The Seven Most Important Questions in Picking a Sports Auction House to Consign Memorabilia

You have some vintage baseball memorabilia that you’d like to sell. Maybe it’s the proverbial shoebox of cards in your grandparents’ attic. Maybe they’re treasured items collected over many years. Whatever it is, every piece of memorabilia has a story behind it. A vintage sports auction house exists to connect every special piece of memorabilia, and their stories, with trusted collectors who value them.

The term for selling an item through a sports auction house is called “consigning.” Unlike do-it-yourself platforms like Ebay, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, every aspect of the transaction like research, writing, photography, marketing, accepting bids and payment, shipping and handling bidding, photography, marketing, payment, and shipping and handling is handled by the auction house. You, as a consignor, just have to provide the item, and we’ll do the rest and send you the payment minus a minimal fee.

If you’re not already in the sports memorabilia industry, it can be difficult to understand what the value of a vintage sports auction house is, or how to evaluate one. Here are some of the top questions we get:

What is the reputation of your auction house?

If an auction house is doing consignors and collectors wrong, then it won’t be in business for very long. Bidders know that Love of the Game Auctions has respect for the value of every item that comes in, reverence for the vintage and pre-war eras of baseball, and an understanding of the historical significance of what we do. When an item is in our auction, bidders know it is well-researched, professionally authenticated, accurately described, and may even have a one-of-a-kind story. If an item exceeds its original estimated value, it is because we did research and work to show what its actual historical rarity and worth is.

One of our most famous examples of this was a game-used Lou Gehrig game bat sold in 2015. If we simply took the item at face value, it may have received $50,000 at auction. But because we did the work to examine the origins of the bat and matched it to a photograph of Lou Gehrig holding it, the item ended up fetching a record $436,970. The consignor had no idea their bat could be so valuable. 

What are your consignment fees?

Consignment fees vary, but we offer some of the lowest consignment fees in the industry, and for higher-value items, there may not even be a commission. We may even offer a cash advance in the right circumstances. 

Is my old baseball memorabilia actually worth selling?

There is a robust demand for cards and items from the late 1800s and early 1900s on our auction site. Cards issued by tobacco and candy companies, like Old Judge, Sweet Caporal, Piedmont or American Caramel are highly sought after. As for other forms of memorabilia, photographs, postcards, cabinet cards, bats, gloves and balls are also desired by collectors. Even if an item’s value isn’t readily apparent, the story behind it can help it sell.

Do you sell modern memorabilia too?

Our auction house specializes in vintage memorabilia and ephemera, but we occasionally will list modern items. For modern cards, their condition, star power, and rarity are key. 

Is your website easy to use?

Once you fill out our simple consignment form, we will get in touch with you to discuss your items and make arrangements for shipping or pickup.

How is communication with your auction house?

Our auction house is known across the industry for its personal touch. You will be communicating with a person who values your time and wants to make sure all of your questions are answered quickly and accurately.  And we specialize in working with first-time sellers, so you’ll be in good hands.

Do bidders trust Love of the Game Auctions?

The silent factor that can make items sell for less than what they’re worth is when bidders don’t trust the authenticity of the item, or the auction house that’s selling it to them.

We never make grand claims about items, and we carefully evaluate each item to weed out reprints, counterfeits, fakes and scams. We are well-regarded for our honesty and integrity.  This approach leads to bidders who trust us and takes the stress and uncertainty out of communications and transactions. We treat the items the way a historian would, with respect for the material and reverence for the era of the game, and an understanding of its historical significance.

Every item is photographed or scanned with the highest possible quality and care, and we write informative descriptions about the items and the stories behind them. 

Trusting your auction house

Consigning your sports memorabilia with an auction house comes down to trust. Whether you’re going to sell dozens of items over years, or a one-time auction, we hope that the questions above help you pick a good partner to help you through the process.

Love of the Game Auctions is an internet sports auction house catering to the passionate collector of memorabilia and cards, brought to you by longtime hobbyist Al Crisafulli.  Established in 2012 with the goal of being a trustworthy resource for hobbyists to buy and sell quality material, the company has quickly grown to be one of the most widely respected auction houses in the industry. Are you considering selling baseball cards or football cards, or sports memorabilia? Learn more about our consignment program today.

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