#005: Stock in the Stars, Money in Motion
While 2020 may have been the greatest year yet for sports cards, a lot of costly unknowns for newcomers entering the marketplace still exist.
The biggest challenge facing online buyers is evaluating raws and assessing a prospective grade - it’s easy to look at a PSA 9 or 10 slab photo with a listing image of a raw card side-by-side and convince yourself it’s a great investment + all you have to do is send it in to 10x your money, only to be disappointed when they get back 6s,7s, and 8s in a year for top-bottom centering, scratches on the back, etc.
For sellers, cancelations and non-payment is the biggest gripe with taxes/eBay fees north of 12.5% eating into their margins as well. And, the time listing items on eBay and for sealed, slabs, or raw adds up - taking away from the other demands in the life of a competent collector and preventing the optimal frequency cards can be traded at.
For investors - especially in the basketball market, it can be a dangerous game to flip on eBay with turnaround times to receive items they intend to sell + volatility of demand in a player where Talen Horton-Tucker can go from $0.20 to $20 in 140 characters or less from LeBron.
For everybody, tracking and shopping ungraded inventory is a hassle.
Founded in November 2019, StarStock features a market index that tracks sales data of individual player cards to mimic the feel of stock market trading.
A revolutionary platform born from a conventional approach - all cards in the market-place, centralized historical sales records, bids, cards for sale - all in one listing.
As a fluid trading card marketplace, StarStock made a name for itself as an exclusively card-focused offer/bid-based platform that allows buyers and sellers to transact at a fraction of the cost of primary platforms (5% fees; no tax) + relist and sell items within seconds of buying them, which in turn, serves to increase frequency and overcome the physical toll of shipping cheap cards in the mail every time eBay sellers want to capitalize. They even began to integrate eBay sales in their data to provide a more complete picture for buyers and sellers
Furthermore, StarStock’s format in segmenting the raw market is quite possibly the reason they’ll win over the hobby and surpass StockX and COMC as the most-popular eBay alternatives.
Every raw card in their vault is reviewed and assigned a grade StarStock A through StarStockC, providing confidence and yielding a relative consistency in the raw market like the graded market of PSA slabs enjoys.
Every card on the site is secured in StarStock’s vault; covered by insurance and 24/7 security.
Recently, StarStock also made two huge announcements that they would be offering in-house group PSA submissions which brings them one decent-sized step closer to becoming the eventual one-stop shop for all things card investors need and want.
The second was an investment from none other than Kevin Durant, who made his investment through Thirty Five Ventures, which he co-founded with Rich Kleiman. (Check out @BoardRoomBreakers and @StarStockMarket).
From “eBay 1/1!!” to the ever-misleading “PSA 10?” there is much machiavellianism in the hobby as there is any resale-oriented/unregulated market today. Don’t even get us started on RPs and qualifiers.
StarStock has cornered a segment of the market and expanded, and evolved. They are now tackling content and other avenues for impactful brand function as their presence grows and their vault inventory increases. We can’t wait to see where it goes and might not have to wait long.