Last Updated On: September 25th, 2023
Once upon a time, collectors were limited to brick-and-mortar hobby shops, consignment stores and pawnshops, or packs and boxes in order to get their hands on sports cards. But thanks to the Internet, sellers have thousands of buyers at their fingertips (and vice-versa).
While eBay gets most of the love, there are several other options available for collectors. That includes the site MySlabs, a site that focuses exclusively on trading cards and offers super cheap transaction fees.
In this MySlabs review, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the buying and selling process, fees related to buying and selling on the platform, the card selection, pros and cons, and a final verdict. Here’s everything you need to know!
Table of Contents
Overview of MySlabs
Founded in 2019, MySlabs was started with the simple goal of providing a “user-driven marketplace created BY collectors FOR collectors seeking an alternative to the high auction and consignment fees that have become standard in the hobby.”
While the New York-based platform started out only listing graded card slabs (hence the name), it’s since become a hub for raw and graded cards alike. And their lists aren’t limited to sports cards; the site boasts an array of comic books, memorabilia, and even Funko Pops.
But what’s their angle? How do they get an edge over established competitors like eBay? For anyone who has sold on MySlabs, it comes to three words: low seller’s commission.
Transaction Fees for Buyers and Sellers
You cue up eBay, put up a card for sale, and are lucky enough to have an offer. You accept! But you won’t be seeing every single dollar of that sale hit your bank account. That’s because of something called buyer and seller fees.
A buyer and seller fee is the amount each party is required to pay the site that hosts a sale. So, if you sell a card for $100, but the seller fee is 5%, then you as the seller will have to pay $5 (usually, that fee is taken out of the sale). If you’re a buyer, it could mean paying an additional $5 if there is a buyer’s fee associated with the sale.
Think of it this way: What’s in it for eBay to host a sale? Nothing, unless they can make a bit of money from each sale.
MySlabs’ angle is taking an uncharacteristically low seller’s commission on sales through its platform. For a while, that rate held firm at 1%; now, the site carries a 2% seller’s fee and a 1% buyer fee on graded cards, graded comics, and wax, according to its Terms and Conditions. Raw cards and comics, however, carry 3% seller’s fees.
In addition to the buyer and seller fees, all transactions on MySlabs go through Stripe and Paypal (a few offer debit/credit card options), which also take out their own chunks of change.
Here’s how that shakes out:
|Collectible Type||Buying Fees||Selling Fees||Paypal/Stripe Processing Fee|
|Graded Trading Cards||1%||2%||3.49% + $0.49|
|Raw Trading Cards||1%||3%||3.49% + $0.49|
|Wax||1%||2%||3.49% + $0.49|
|Raw Comics||1%||3%||3.49% + $0.49|
|Slabbed Comics||1%||2%||3.49% + $0.49|
User Interface and Experience
Your first go at any new platform can be daunting. So let’s break down what you can expect when you go to MySlabs to either buy or sell a card.
With this background in mind, it’s time to move on to what a buyer can expect when browsing MySlab’s site.
Graded Card Slabs
Let’s start with graded card slabs – the OG products sold on the platform. When you go to the website, you’ll see a row of search-related bubbles:
- The first bubble auto-fills to “Slabbed Cards” – so you can leave that as it is for now.
- The next one over is a traditional search field, where you can type in a player’s name or card description and hit Return on your keyboard to perform a search. This is similar to performing an eBay search (e.g. “2019 Ja Morant Prizm PSA 10”)
- Moving on right, you can choose from a handful of options including the date the card was listed on the site (newest vs. oldest), price range, most views, etc. This is a great way to narrow your results to what you can afford, for example cards priced between $500 and $749.
- Finally, the last dropdown opens a popup with a wide array of filters to hone in on specific cards you’re looking to buy. You can specify the grading company, numerical grade (e.g. BGS 9.5), sport, card era (e.g. vintage, modern era, etc.), and type of card (RPA, parallel, short print, etc.).
Your results will populate below the search fields. You can select a card, view its pictures, and even run a PSA verification that the card has indeed been graded and has the characteristics recorded by PSA. In addition, MySlabs offers a “Compare on eBay” link that takes you directly to a page with similar cards on eBay. It’s a great way to quickly review what other sellers are pricing the same card for and make sure that you’re not overpaying.
After you’ve settled on a card, you can either “Buy Now” or, if the seller allows, “Make an Offer.” If you make an offer, it is valid for 24 hours or until the seller declines, accepts, or counters, or the buyer cancels the offer, whichever comes first. If you make an offer on a card and it’s accepted, the buyer is expected to pay within 24 hours. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in MySlabs deactivating the buyer’s account.
As for shipping – all prices reflect shipping. This is a nice feature that reduces any unknown fees on the buyer’s end.
A final note: purchases of graded cards, sealed wax, and graded comics on MySlabs are FINAL. If there are any issues, they must be substantial (damage, wrong product shipped), then the buyer and seller are expected to communicate and resolve the problem. When it comes to raw cards, there’s a bit more leeway, and buyers can send disputes to the customer service team, along with photos and a detailed explanation of the reason for the dispute.
Buying raw cards operate in a similar manner, with a few caveats. First, you’ll want to scroll down to the “Raw Card Singles” option in the first search bubble. Follow the same steps as before (but keep in mind none of your results will come back graded – this is kinda the point).
Once you’ve selected a card, you’ll notice the interface is a bit different for a raw versus graded card. One feature is the “Raw Card Condition Scale.”
The Raw Card Condition Scale is an advisory note from the Terms and Conditions which informs that the site prohibits any seller from labeling a raw card as anything higher than NMMT/MT, mainly due to the subjective nature of non-professional grading.
In addition to sports cards, MySlabs also offers buyers collectibles like comics (raw and ungraded), Funko Pops, and other sports “memorabilia.” When you’re searching for these products, make sure to adjust your criteria in the first search bubble.
When it comes to assessing the condition of raw comic books, MySlabs relies on standards set by Overstreet, though the platform admits to keeping these assessments a little more generalized. The conditions range from poor to near mint and do not involve the use of -/+.
For these products, the buying process is fairly similar to sports cards, as described above.
What MySlabs review would be complete without an examination of the selling process? Here’s how you go about selling various items on MySlab’s website.
Graded Card Slabs
Sellers have 24 hours to ship a sold product and verify the shipping information. Further, any sales of slabbed cards on MySlabs are final and the company will only mediate disagreements in rare cases. And if there’s any concern about proper shipping etiquette, we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step how-to guide.
One nice aspect of MySlabs is the lack of a listing fee. Many other platforms charge sellers an additional fee just to have a product listed on the site, usually less than $1. Even still, for large sellers with massive inventories, those listing fees can add up.
Also, be extremely mindful about the photos you upload to MySlabs. The platform has strict rules when it comes to how a photo should look, and include a list of best practices in its Terms and Conditions. If your card was graded recently, it doesn’t hurt to download the scans provided by PSA as they are picture-perfect for MySlabs, too.
Here are few excerpts:
- “All cover photos (images that appear in the feed) uploaded to MySlabs must be flat and not tilted”
- “All grading company certification numbers MUST be clear and legible”
- “There should be no slab stands, fingers, or other objects holding up the slabs”
- “No advertising or branding is allowed in the images”
- “The entire slab must be in the picture and be cropped using our built-in cropper tool and as close to the slab as possible while leaving all edges and corners of your slabs visible”
- “Images should be uploaded to listings showing any damage or any questionable, non-typical issue if the issue isn’t obvious while looking at a front or back scan”
- “No stock images may ever be used with the exception of wax listings”
Finally, and this is probably a given, but the site reserves the right to refuse or delete any listing for any reason at all. Don’t sweat this aspect, though – if you’re selling sports cards on the site, you’re likely perfectly fine.
When it comes to selling raw cards through MySlabs, it’s important to know that the platform utilizes a three-strikes policy on “egregious” errors in card descriptions. In fact, the platform reserves the right to completely ban a seller on the first go if the dispute is egregious enough.
And keep in mind MySlabs’ rules when it comes to identifying a raw card’s condition. The platform provides a thorough explanation of its raw condition scale, which operates on an A-E scale (A being the best quality and E being the worst).
Much of the same rules apply for other collectibles on the site as they do sports cards. Just keep in mind that, as the table earlier illustrated, raw comics (and raw cards) carry the most expensive seller’s fee – 3%.
Mobile Interface (and/or Mobile App)
The mobile interface is very similar to the desktop version, except the ads feel a bit more pronounced on a smaller device. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the search bubbles appear in two columns instead of one straight row. Which is probably for the best – it’s hard to imagine fitting four search bubbles across the screen of a mobile device.
As of yet, there’s no mobile app for MySlabs, though they do have several social media sites, including an Instagram page where they advertise high-price sales and recent additions to entice buyers.
Card Selection and Inventory
On the surface, one of the dings against MySlabs might be the lack of inventory, especially when compared to platforms like eBay, which host millions of sports cards sales yearly. It’s simply hard to beat eBay’s name-recognition in the hobby.
Even still, MySlabs boasts a strong inventory. Baseball and basketball card collectors have plenty of choice, as the two sports together make-up two-thirds of all slabbed cards available. In total, the platform currently has around 115,000 slabbed cards for sale and nearly 9,000 raw singles available. Here’s a rough breakdown of how each sport is represented in terms of slabs on the platform:
- Baseball: 42,000
- Basketball: 34,000
- Football: 24,000
- Soccer: 4,400
- Hockey: 2,400
The site also has a decent number of vintage (1940-1986) and pre-war (1869-1939) cards, sitting at around 11,000 total between the two eras.
Further, the platform has a wide array of cards in terms of value, ranging from a few bucks to cards valued in the thousands of dollars.
Security and Trust
MySlabs requires that sellers answer nearly two-dozen questions before they are cleared to sell. This adds an additional layer of protection and oversight by the platform, which is often missing from larger sites like eBay.
And from the buyer’s perspective, the smaller platform actually cuts down on shilling, which isn’t uncommon on eBay. In fact, eBay’s non-paying repercussions tend to more closely resemble a slap on the wrist when compared to potential termination for the same activity on MySlabs. In short, the smaller the site, the better-able the platform is to address problems on either the buying or selling end.
Pros and Cons
So you have your card. You’re ready to sell. And after reading this MySlabs review, you’re curious. But what are the platform’s pros and cons?
Advantages of Using MySlabs
- Competitive Fee Structure
- Here’s the biggie – the entire reason MySlabs was founded was to provide buyers and sellers with a lower-fee alternative to sites like eBay, Goldin, and PWCC. In addition, with shipping calculated in the initial price of the card, buyers can be sure that surprises after making an offer are few and far between.
- No-Nonsense Platform
- Sellers on MySlabs are pre-screened, meaning that the platform has vetted their reliability. In addition, the site has a one-strike-you’re-out policy when it comes to failure to pay or ship a card on time, giving peace of mind to both parties in a transaction.
- Focused on Sports Cards and Collectibles
- MySlabs is dedicated primarily to sports cards, with a smaller collectibles inventory, as well. Contrast this with platforms like eBay, which can be dizzying with the sheer amount of products making it difficult to find what you want without advanced search techniques.
- No Sponsored Listings
- While the site has plenty of advertisements running down its sides, the platform doesn’t allow sellers to pay to have its product promoted. As a result, you don’t have to wade through content that isn’t what you’re looking for, but is nonetheless being pushed by the platform. Everyone gets a fair shake!
Disadvantages of Using MySlabs
- Limited Exposure
- While MySlabs has done great at wedging itself in the hobby, the site simply doesn’t have the name recognition of an eBay. As a result, fewer eyeballs are going to hit MySlabs, which means it could take longer to make a sale on MySlabs as opposed to a better-known site. Sellers with a strong following can make up for this negative by doing independent marketing to their community.
- No Communication Allowed
- While many collectors of the platform consider this a blessing more than a curse, some express frustration due to the inability to message users before making a deal. A little nudge or dialogue can make the difference between a transaction happening, but MySlabs strictly prohibits displaying contact info. in images, card descriptions, or offers (with good reason: so you can’t bypass the site to transact). At least that means no DMs from buyers asking “what’s your best?”
- No Auctions
- One of the keys to getting a deal on a card (from the buyer’s perspective) is finding an auction that is devalued. On sites like eBay, a card may be for sale for $100, but an auction could see a buyer get the same card for $75, as an example. That lack of optionality on MySlabs isn’t ideal for buyers. As a result, interested buyers might be more attracted to a site like eBay, which also isn’t great for sellers on MySlabs, either.
On a positive note, rumor has it MySlabs is working on launching an auctions feature late in 2023!
Alternatives to MySlabs
If this MySlabs review isn’t moving your needle, it’s important to remember there are many options to buy and sell sports cards online if you’re not attending local card shows or connecting with nearby collectors. By and large, eBay is the most popular online platform to sell sports cards. In addition, online auction houses like Goldin and PWCC are popular, especially for higher-end sales given their marketing muscle.
The most common alternative to MySlabs (or just about any sports card store) is eBay. With hundreds of thousands of sales every year, eBay is the spot where you can expect to get the most amount of eyeballs, which equates to more interest in your product and a quicker sale. That said, eBay does have a few drawbacks when compared to MySlabs.
When selling on eBay, the site collects around 13.25% in fees for sports cards sold, which is calculated after tax is added to the final total paid by the buyer. Fortunately for buyers, eBay does not charge a buyer’s premium, however.
And while MySlabs requires a card to be shipped (and payment processed) within 24 hours, eBay gives sellers up to 30 days to get a product in the mail (although shipments usually happen far faster).
In addition, eBay’s sheer size makes it difficult to police bad actors in its marketplace. Especially egregious problems will likely be handled, but it’s hard to imagine the same level of customer service with eBay as a smaller, tailored marketplace like MySlabs.
On the plus side, eBay allows for daily or weekly payouts, depending on what option the seller has set up. And eBay, of course, allows both auctions and buy-now sales, while MySlabs sticks exclusively to offers and buy-now sales. For more info on eBay, check out the platform’s buyers and sellers guides.
Alternatively, buyers and sellers might wish to explore an auction house like PWCC or Goldin. Both have a track record of catering to higher-end sales and deeper-pocketed buyers, and their fees reflect as much.
Weekly auctions on Goldin charge a 22% buyer premium. But, 8% of that figure goes to the seller for cards with a sale price of $5,000 and up, in which case the seller makes 108% of the sale’s pre-premium price. The portion of the commission entitled to the seller is even worse for cards under $5,000 in value. PWCC operates similarly with its fees, with sellers earning between 2% and 8% on top of the hammer price (aka the price before buyer’s premium is tacked on) on cards valued at less than $5,000.
Further, these auctions’ payout schedules usually allow anywhere between 4-6 weeks for sellers to see payment hit their bank accounts.
MySlabs Review: Final Verdict
At the end of this MySlabs review, it’s hard not to be impressed with the platform’s success in finding their place in the hobby. If paying as little in extra fees is your ultimate goal, then MySlabs is an excellent way to go.
But there is a catch: in a sense, eBay can charge higher fees because of the site’s popularity.
With MySlabs, you might well pay less in selling fees, but it also might take longer to make a sale. In addition, many buyers find the best deals through auctions; MySlabs’ lack of an auction option might scare off more budget-conscious buyers. This could mean that you, as the seller, might have to do a little extra marketing to make up for the lack of exposure on MySlabs — at least until auctions are finally introduced late-2023 (fingers crossed).
Pro tip: your card will get the most exposure in the initial days upon being posted to MySlabs. With a competitive listing price at or near comps, you’ll have much greater success unloading the card quickly.
Moving forward, the site could do with a little updating – the page is littered with advertisements that can make the search for a card feel a little cramped. Further, after cueing up a card search, the card description is often cut off (and the slab description is a bit small). This forces the buyer to initially judge a card based on the portrait, which can be confusing for new buyers who aren’t as familiar with parallels.
Making the card descriptions a bit easier to read could do the site well. Otherwise, it’s an excellent platform. And when it comes to the hobby, the more outlets, the greater optionality for the buyer.
But the combination of low fees, a no-nonsense policy, quick disbursement of payment (since it’s directly coming from PayPal), and speedy shipping requirements make MySlabs a great alternative to the higher-end online consignment shops like Goldin or PWCC.