While it makes sense to want to show off your sports card collection in your bedroom, den or “man cave,” there are a few main reasons why you should consider keeping your sports cards in a vault.
It’s a bit misleading to think that only super expensive or ridiculously valuable cards can be kept in a vault, because the reality is that vault services are not only for peace of mind and security, but they are also super practical and allow sports card investors and collectors to maneuver easier and make more plays efficiently while flipping in the hobby - and in some cases, even save money.
There are currently three main vault services - eBay’s Vault, PWCC Vault and Collectors (PSA) Vault, with many more on the way from companies like Beckett, and there are several other companies such as COMC and Ship My Cards that offer similar services.
Here are the top reasons to vault your sports cards instead of keeping them in your possession.
1. Safety and Security - The word “vault” implies the utmost secure location to keep valuable possessions, for both the short and long term. Instead of handling your cards and shipping them yourself, vault services such as eBay's vault do an amazing job of receiving, securing, storing your cards.
By vaulting your cards, you can rest easy that your cards are in good hands, and you can easily request them back if you want to take them to card shows, or just hold them. Each vault service ships cards very securely, and they’re typically all insured, in case something happens - like a cracked slab due to rough handling in the packing and shipping process - or worse.
2. Tradeability - For example, the eBay vault isn’t just a way to protect what you collect, it’s a new way to trade. With the eBay vault’s seamless in-app experience, you can track, buy, and sell your cards in real time. From listing your cards in seconds with eBay Collection, to tracking trends with eBay Price Guide, managing your collection is super seamless.
eBay’s vault integrates with the “Collection” feature in the eBay app, and every item you purchase is backed by eBay’s authenticity guarantee program.
Also, because eBay is the top sports card marketplace, the eBay vault features a one-click listing population, which saves you a ton of time listing cards.
So while PWCC and Collectors Vault offer similar services, it’s really eBay’s vault that is most built for the collector to save time, and money…
3. Cost Savings - While PWCC is located in Oregon, which allows you to ship there and avoid paying sales tax, PWCC charges high ingestion rates for raw cards and even charges for graded cards. They also take a while to curate your cards and show them on your portfolio.
With eBay’s vault, you pay no sales tax when you ship to or transact within the vault, and there are no storage fees for two years.
That’s a huge savings compared to PWCC. Also, PWCC’s marketplace is much smaller than eBay, which is significant, because you’ll also need to pay PWCC an additional fee when you ship your cards somewhere, but with eBay’s vault, there’s a good chance you may never have to ship your cards to the buyer again, because the buyer is more likely to have an eBay vault themselves to transfer cards to.
As someone who has lived overseas for four years, I’ve used vault services to save a ton of money keeping my cards in a different country than where I’m selling them. Not having to deal with long shipping times and delays, customs fees and increased risk of damage, has put me in a position to do a ton more in the sports card business than I would have been able to without a vault service.
To me, vaulting your cards drastically reduces the likelihood of anything bad happening, as everything is typically insured - on top of all the safety and security measures put in place.
Vaulting isn’t just for wealthy investors with five and six figure cards - it’s for everyone and every card - even sealed wax.
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