How To Avoid Sports Card Scams On Etsy

Dude, I don't care if you're already judging me for the title of this. Yes, I buy sports cards on Etsy. 🙂

I'm all about any place where you can find undervalued or even reasonably priced sports cards, especially those that are already slabbed by PSA.

Which is why I've been super cautious recently with listings I've seen from Etsy sellers specifically listing well known modern vintage cards like the 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan  Rookie and the 1996 Topps Kobe Bryant Rookie in PSA 10 for less than $1,000 USD.

At first, these listings made my heart beat almost as fast as the first time I kissed my wife.

Then, I remembered that when things seem too good to be true, they typically are. But before I walked away, I did some research.

First, I Google'd "Etsy Sports Card Scams," but couldn't find anything. Then, I researched Etsy's buyer protection policy, but couldn't find much that made me feel good about risking my hard earned money on a potential scam.

I then even debated setting aside a "this might be a scam but I'm willing to take the risk up to a certain amount of money" sports card budget. But after about 30 minutes, that felt really stupid.

So then, I went back and forth between the scam Etsy listing, (which pulls in the latest eBay data for listings and sold listings for more than 7k cards for free), just to make sure I wasn't missing something...

... Nope, wasn't missing anything. This dude (and others) are listing these kinds of cards for about 85% off.

Okay, my next step was to take the PSA Certification Number in the listing and search it at to see if anything seemed fishy...

...Nope, nothing fishy.

So then I thought it would make sense to see how many other Etsy listings this guy has, and how many sales he has. Sure enough, in each "likely sports card scam" case that I found, like the one I'm showing you here, the bogus seller has one or two total items listed for sale. That's it. And typically zero sales history.

Finally, I decided to message the seller to see if I got a response. 20% of the time I get a response from the seller, and in those cases I ask for them to send me a picture of them with the card. Not to be creepy, but to rule out them simply copying a photo of a legit card off the internet (likely a PWCC listing on eBay - because they have the best photos), and using it in their bogus Etsy listing.

Sure enough. No response.

I walked away, and I'm glad I did.

I know this article will help you because I've seen many people have these items in their carts, and have even had them in my cart when notified that someone else bought it. Ouch. I hope they got their money back from Etsy.

I'm not saying don't buy cards from Etsy. In fact, there are many good sellers. One in particular I've had the best experience with is called VinylDestiny.

Anyway, I hope this article helps you.

Collect With Respect and have a great day.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention there's a lot more about how to avoid sports card scams in my book What To Do After You Find Your Old Sports Card Collection: The Middle-Aged Dude's Guide To Selling Old Sports Cards.


Paul Hickey is a Digital Creator, spending about about 60% of his work time building WordPress websites for small businesses, 20% of his work time running an eCommerce Sports Cards and Digital Collectibles business at and another 20% of his work time authoring books and creating digital art in the form of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

In each of his entrepreneurial endeavors, he believes it's important to create a community. He strives to do this by creating helpful content for his audience (community members) to learn about the topics he's interested in.

This is why he creates content on the following topics:

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