The Best Online Tools, Apps, and Services for Card Collectors

Let's take a look at the best online sites and tools for card collectors, including technologies for sports card recognition & grading.
Michal Lukáč, Ximilar
Michal Lukac
31. May 2024
This article explores the best AI-powered online tools for sports cards collectors.

Welcome to the ultimate guide for card collectors! This blog post explores online technologies for individual collectors, small shops, as well as big companies. Whether you are collecting or selling Trading Card Games (TCGs) or Sports Cards, or just looking for inspiration and new technologies, you’ll discover great tools to enhance your collecting experience with sports card recognition technology.

We’ll look at companies developing interesting technologies for sports card recognition. Online card grading solutions (both offline and online, with AI and human graders), marketplaces where you can list cards, scanner companies that automate identification in big warehouses, mobile apps for managing and valuing personal collections, platforms for card investors, and special vaults for storing precious items can all benefit from automated sports card recognition.

Scanners for Sports Card Recognition

Card scanners are becoming very popular and there are tens of companies around the world with different pros and cons, features, capacity, processing speed, and pricing or subscription plans. All of them want to solve the problem of unmanaged warehouses full of cards.

TCG Sync – TCGSync is a very interesting startup that offers tools for cards like scanners (in partnership with Fujitsu), card catalogizing, inventory management, auto pricing and more. They support a lot of TCG types and have their own shop for card scanners that are ready for use. If you sign up for their yearly plan they will even give you a Fujitsu scanner for free and you can start selling on eBay, Shopify or Card Market from day 1.

If you already have a scanner and want to just identify the cards, you can connect to our API service with tools that will do it for you. Read more in my article How to Identify Sports Cards With AI.

Card Dealer Pro – This site is very similar to TCG Sync, but focused on sports cards. You just feed the cards to your scanner, Card Dealer will identify them with AI, propose a price for listing with title and description and publish them to eBay, Shopify or CollX.

Scanners can help with sports card recognition.
Scanners can help with sports card recognition (Source: ricoh.com).

Krono cards – This tool by Kronozio is for scanning and documenting your card inventory in bulk. It’s very similar to the TCG Sync and Card Dealer Pro. However, when you scan a card with a Krono Card, they directly submit it to their own marketplace. This can be a great advantage if you don’t have your own shop and a disadvantage if you don’t want actually to populate their database.

These are three main, but you can also explore several other options. For instance, TCG Machines is a Canadian company providing its own machine. Roca Sorter by TCG Player focuses on the four main TCGs: Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, and Lorcana. CardCastle is an Australian company with its own scanner and platform to organize your collection. SortSwift is a system for managing your hobby store using the Ricoh scanner.

Sports Card Recognition & Evaluation With Smartphone Apps

Smartphone apps are really useful when you want to just check the card, its condition, or price on the internet. Here are the most popular ones that millions of collectors around the world use daily.

Ludex – A simple card scanner app that helps you identify the sports cards and get the prices using sports card recognition. After that, you can list it on eBay with a few clicks. In their free plan, you can scan up to 200 cards monthly. The plans are currently for 4.99, 9.99 and 24.99 USD enabling more functionalities like customized collections.

CollX – CollX is very similar to Ludex. With this smartphone application, you can snap a photo of your card and get its value in seconds. It’s the most popular smartphone app for card recognition and collection management. Also, the community is pretty active and you can easily submit a card to their own marketplace. It can tell the actual marketplace value and find similar listings.

Cardstock: Price Sports Cards: This app by Cardstock helps you with the identification and valuing of your cards. It’s designed for iPad and it can analyze baseball cards with great accuracy. This app is great for individual collectors, go and try it!

Sports card recognition app from Cardstock enables you to scan your card and match it with their database. You approve the identification or select the right match in the variations.
Cardstock enables you to scan your card and match it with their database. You approve the identification or select the right match in the variations.

Collectr – Collectr is a great application for TCGs, that updates the value of the cards daily. You can manage your inventory and see the total invested value in the cards. The only downside is their a bit aggressive ad campaign.

Sports Card Investor – It’s a great website with a smartphone app for everyone interested in investing in sports cards. You can see which cards are trending, you can search cards by complex queries, view recent sale prices and look at how the card is trending over the past. There are a lot of articles, resources, tips and also a very active community on Discord and social networks.

PSA Set Registry – This enables tracking your inventory of PSA-graded cards, seeing the populations and updating your own sets/collections. Basically, it is a gamification of collecting: you can compare your collection to others and compete on the leaderboard with your cards or get achievements or awards for collectors.

Online and Offline Card Grading Services

Card Grading is submitting and evaluating the quality and origin of the cards by third-party service with final sealing cards to the slabs. The grading usually increases the value of the cards (by demand) and makes the cards protected.

PSA, Beckett & CGC – There are several standard grading companies and the most popular are the PSA, Beckett and CGC. The PSA has the largest market share and the cards they grade generally have higher value than those from other companies. CGC first started with the comics but they are also doing cards now with currently refreshed labels.

Ace Grading – Ace Grading is a company from the UK with really cool slab labels. At this moment, they focus mostly on TCGs like Pokemons, Lorcana, or Magic The Gathering. This is a very good option for non-US citizens. The pricing is transparent with great support.

Ace Grading from the UK and their slab labels.
Ace Grading’s slab labels. (Source: acegrading.com)

Tag Grading – Sometimes human graders can make a big mistake or can be very subjective during the grading process. Submitting to standard companies like PSA or Beckett can be very shady. That is why some companies try to develop grading based on computer vision. TAG Grading is a startup that develops its own technology for card grading. They use a scanner and AI models that can grade a card with accuracy, transparency and consistency. When TAG grades your card, you also get the grading report with an explanation of the grade. I think this is the way the grading should be done in future.

There are several online tools that you can use as individual collectors. For example, EdgeGrading provides a great web tool for getting the centering score. You simply upload the image of your card and adjust the Left / Right and Top / Bottom offsets.

SportscardsPro is also offering a centring web-based tool. However, the card photo cannot be scanned and there must be some background around the card. TrueGrade on the other hand is a smartphone app that grades cards based on the evaluation of centering, corners, edges and surfaces. A website alternative to TrueGrade is TCGrader – an AI-powered Pokemon grading system.

We built several useful tools for AI-powered sports card recognition, trading card game identification, card grading, and search. Read more in the articles and let me know what you think.

Online Platforms for Collectors

There are several platforms that can help you manage your collection, connect with the community, price the cards, sell them and much more.

Card Ladder – Card Ladder (by collectors.com) is a great platform for finding the value of your cards – including historical prices from several marketplaces like eBay, Goldin, Heritage or MySlabs and population reports. It also offers complex analytics and can track your collection. Personally, I like features like the charts of historical prices for my collection or notifications (price alerts) when some cards hit specified prices. They offer a free trial. Then, you need to subscribe for 15 USD/Month.

CardLadder helps collectors find value of their trading and sports cards.
CardLadder helps collectors find the value of their trading cards.

Price Charting – In my opinion, this is an awesome website, not only for trading cards but for comic books, video games, lego sets and coins as well. It offers you a search-by-photo functionality for selected card types/games. Our favourite function is an API for finding the value of ungraded or graded cards. The value for graded cards can be categorized per grade which many collectors consider to be the best source for price identification.

Collectibles.com – Collectibles are a quite new project with several interesting features. They have their own mobile application for iOS and Android. You can create your collection of cards, coins, stamps, memorabilia or comic books (with a showcase feature). The mobile app can scan and identify the items via AI-enhanced image recognition and add them to your collection. You can track the value of your collection so you can get better insights. Moreover, it has an active community where you can connect with other collectors, which is a big plus.

Collectors.com – Collectors are currently one of the largest market players (it is a site of Collectors Holdings, Inc.) when it comes to sports cards and trading card games. It has several divisions, one of them is a popular card grading company PSA. It also acquired companies like Wata Games. Currently, their app helps with managing your collections, selling them or sending them to PSA Vault. The PSA Vault is a cool service that helps you securely store your collector’s items with the opportunity to publicly sell them on their marketplace or on eBay.

Cardbase – Lastly, Cardbase is a platform designed for trading card enthusiasts to search, discover, and manage their collections. It aggregates prices and availability from over 30 marketplaces and auction houses, allowing users to track card values, view price trends, and find deals. Key features include comprehensive collection management tools, price tracking, and a mobile app for on-the-go access. Additionally, the site provides useful articles, guides, and resources for collectors.

Collectibles Marketplaces

If you are looking to sell your cards there are big sites as well as smaller ones, specialising in sports cards and TCGs. In general, you can always sell your card on eBay, but if you have a really expensive card then maybe you can try some auction house.

Sportlots.com – This is an amazing marketplace where you can get low-end sports cards very cheaply. In total, it lists more than 80 million cards from over 1000 sellers. The website has a kind of 90’s vibe but it has a lot of reputable sellers. Also, you can save a lot with their box system. That means that during the checkout, you can ship cards to your personal box and once you gather a good amount of cards you can ship them at once.

COMC.com – Check Out My Collectibles is a large marketplace and auction for all the card types. If you have more than a few hundred sports cards you should probably try to sell them via this marketplace.

Goldin.co – Goldin is a well-known auction house (goldin was acquired by eBay) that specializes in sports memorabilia, trading cards and sports cards. They are hosting high-profile auctions featuring rare and valuable items. The site is so popular that the founder Ken Goldin was featured in their own Netflix series King of Collectibles, The Goldin Touch. The Goldin is also a marketplace with tens of thousands of listings. Similar to the Goldin marketplace there is also PWCC which offers auctions, vaults and a marketplace.

The Most Popular Marketplaces

Cardmarket – This is originally a German company that offers a marketplace for your cards. It’s also the most popular marketplace in Europe. Just sign up and you can sell your singles, booster boxes or sealed products in minutes. It is very similar to eBay (each seller has a profile with reviews) but specialized in games like Pokemon, Dragon Ball, One Piece and others.

TCG Player – This is also one of the most popular marketplaces for selling trading card games (seller accounts), their marketplace supports a large number of games. The site was acquired by eBay in 2022. It has a lot of features, a mobile app, inventory management, and great customer support. They also offer developer tools like API for knowing the price of the card.

Japanese Card Marketplaces

In some cases, the Japanese sites can be very useful because cards are very popular in Japan and it’s a big market for sellers and buyers. So I picked a few that you should check out.

Cardotaku.com – is quite a great site developed for getting Japanese variations of cards. Started as a one-man business, and its popularity is growing. For the Japanese version of Magic The Gathering, we recommend checking Hareruya and Bigweb.

On TCG Republic you can find cards from various games. In general, I would recommend also checking out classic eBay and Mercari.com with their trading cards and collectibles sections.

E-Commerce Platforms

Do you need your own e-commerce solution with inventory management and many other features? Then try one of these platforms.

BinderPOS – BinderPOS is a solution that can run on top of your Shopify store and help you with the collectibles inventory. Originally from New Zealand, it quickly raised popularity among game stores worldwide.

CrystalCommerce – This is an in-store & online e-commerce platform for collectibles. A very similar solution to BinderPOS which helps you sell the stuff to several sales channels (such as eBay, Amazon, TCGplayer, and others). It’s easy to set up and you can pick from several website themes.

Storepass – Storepass is marketed as software for board games and TCG stores. It’s a generic platform on top of your e-commerce site like Shopify or BigCommerce. You can automatically access TCG market prices from TCG Player, manage your product inventory, edit the cards in bulk, and much more.

Other Projects

Lastly, I want to mention several other interesting projects, which do not offer typical services but can be very helpful for individual collectors.

For Card Pricing & Shipment

Mavin.io and Card Mavin – Mavin is a search engine for collectibles, you can get insights into what your collectibles are worth. Similar to pricecharting, they are offering the API for developers. So you can simply get the actual and historical prices for cards, comics or coins.

ShipMyCards – Shipmycards is an interesting project that can become your tax-efficient storage facility with your own USA shipping address. The main business is in the cards but they also support vinyl records, magazines, comic books, memorabilia, or even shoes. In general, you will get your own US address where you send your orders from eBay or other marketplaces. They will help you with collecting, grading, insurance, and final shipment. Great for people outside North America.

For Magic the Gathering and Other TCGs

Card Conduit – Have you found your collection of Magic cards from your teenage times and do you want to sell them? The card conduit is a really smart way how to sell Magic The Gathering in a very transparent and easy way. You simply send your cards via postage and they will price them and sell them for you. You exactly know how much you get for each of the cards because they can automatically identify them and get the best price for your cards. This is a very nice tool with amazing support.

META TCG is a project similar to Card Conduit but focused on Pokémon, Magic The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! You just send your bulk submission via the post office and you get your payments via PayPal.

To Keep Up With News & Stats

CardLines – CardLines is a website where any collectors can get information and read news related to sports cards, trading cards and other collectibles. The articles are released daily and if you are an active collector, this one is great to read. The site is trying to monitor the latest releases and there are a lot of tips for collectors. It also has its own small e-shop where you can buy some hobby boxes.

Universal Pop Report by Gemrate – is an amazing site for getting population reports and statistics of cards. The best thing is the grading stats for major grading companies – with this, you will know how many of the cards were graded by PSA or Beckett. In their blog, you can find the grading recap where you can find monthly statistics.

Universal Pop Report by Gemrate helps with population reports and statistics of cards.
Universal Pop Report helps with population reports and statistics of cards.

Sports Cards Calendar – This is a great way how to stay updated on upcoming sports cards. On the cardboard connection website, you can find checklists for almost all the sets.

Visual AI Infrastructure for Collectibles by Ximilar

Lastly, I would like to list the solutions we’ve been building for businesses such as collector marketplaces, comparison websites, card dealers, and their mobile applications. We are a SaaS company, focusing on AI, computer vision and visual data, so our tools can be used online via REST API.

Simply said, when it comes to AI for collectibles, we get quite enthusiastic. Currently, we provide:

Our systems are built to analyze large datasets with speed & accuracy. They’re ready to use right away and customizable for specific image collections.

We are continuously improving the models, extending our sports card database and enhancing the speed of the recognition process. We are improving the parallels/refractors identification of sports cards, and our TCG identifier can manage language variations (US, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, …) and different editions (1st edition of Pokemons, MTGs editions). If you would like to help with an API integration, we are here to help. Just reach out via our chat or contact form.

Michal Lukáč, Ximilar

Michal Lukáč ML Engineer & Co-founder

Michal is a co-founder of Ximilar and a machine learning expert focusing mainly on image recognition, visual search and computer vision. He is interested in science, loves reading books and Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu.

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