Does AnyLot Deliver As An Effective Card Monitoring Service?

30 years ago the hobby was a lot different. Tracking down specific cards could be complicated; it often involved driving hours to a card show or calling dozens of shops, just to wind up empty-handed.

Like most things in life, the internet has completely changed the game. For the most part, those changes to the hobby have been positive – you can now complete sets with a single click, and finding rare hits on your favorite players and teams takes minutes, not weeks.

But one challenge posed by a sprawling online marketplace is that you have to sort through the thousands of auctions that happen every day. Cards you might be hunting for can be posted and sold before you even knew they were available.

That’s the problem AnyLot is trying to solve. They claim to use AI to scan every corner of the internet to find cards you might be interested in and send them to you in a personally curated email.

This concept sounded pretty interesting, so I decided to dig in deeper and see if it followed through on its claims. And spoiler: it didn’t.

In this review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about AnyLot, including its (theoretical) benefits, the role it’s trying to play in the industry, and our negative experience with its service.

how anylot works
The process for how AnyLots *should* work

What I liked about AnyLot

Ultimately my experience with AnyLot was a letdown, but at first there was some hope. Here’s what I liked right off the bat.

what we like

The site is simple to use

When I hopped onto AnyLot’s site it was initially encouraging. This interface is a lot cleaner than some of the other platforms I’ve reviewed, and their tagline was simple: “Get notified every time cards matching your interests become available for sale. FREE. FOREVER.”

I liked that there wasn’t clutter, it wasn’t trying to sell me anything, and signing up for the service was pretty simple. For a lot of websites, creating an account requires forking over a lot of personal info. But all they asked for was an email, which was definitely a plus.

They ask good questions

After entering your email they ask you a few questions about your preferences, such as:

  • What types of cards are you looking for?
  • Your favorite sports to collect?
  • Pick your preferred grading
  • Do you have a favorite card manufacturer?
  • Do you have a target price range?
  • Add 1 – 5 keywords that best describe the cards you’re looking for.

I appreciated that they weren’t just asking about the sports and players; they were digging into grades, manufacturers, and price ranges as well. That level of customization was nice.

I filled out the questionnaire with my genuine interests; that meant asking for NBA cards, rookies, relatively low price ranges, and some specific players like Jokic and Morant. I sat back and waited for my personally curated email. And I waited, and I waited, and I waited…

The email debacle

A week passed and my inbox was still empty.

I thought it was strange that I didn’t get a “welcome to AnyLot” email or anything, and I was surprised it was taking so long to get any recommendations. It’s not like my selections were super niche – I literally had the reigning NBA MVP listed as a keyword.

But I was determined to see what an AnyLot email looked like, so I went back to change my settings to be as general as possible. But after going back on to the site, I realized that there’s no way to alter your picks. You’re stuck with the choices you make when you first fill out the survey.

So, I made a second account on a burner email to see if I would get anything in my inbox. I filled it out with the most generic preferences possible, saying I was interested in every sport, in every price range, and used keywords like “LeBron James” and “Tom Brady”. I waited another week, still nothing.

After two accounts, two weeks, and 0 emails to show for it, I got in touch with their help email. They got back to me fairly quickly, saying “we didn’t find cards that match your interest.”

In the second part of the email, they asked if I wanted to change my preferences. Still hoping to get some type of recommendation email, I sent an email back asking, once again, for the most general preferences possible.

But I never heard back from customer service, and as of publishing, I still haven’t received a single email from AnyLot on either account.

What I didn’t like about AnyLot

AnyLot is an email recommendation service, so not receiving any emails is about as bad as it gets.

Still, during all of the back and forth, there were three other issues I could see that would cause problems even if I did receive one of the recommendation emails.

what we dont like

You can’t change your preferences

As I mentioned above, you can’t change your card preferences. While the AI does supposedly learn about your tastes over time (and alters your recommendations accordingly) you can’t do it manually, which is really frustrating.

What if when you start out your target price range is different than later on? What if new players come into the league and you want to add them to your keyword list?

Technically you can make these changes by sending an email to their support staff, but that’s still way more complicated than it should be. AnyLot is a nice idea, but realistically I would never spend the time to go back and forth with customer support just to have my preferences changed, even if the service worked perfectly.

Maybe there is a way to change those preferences and I just couldn’t figure it out, but I pretty much scoured every part of the website looking for a way to do so. So if there is a way to make those changes, it isn’t obvious enough to be useful.

The AI clearly doesn’t find everything

150.

That’s the number of Jokic cards that were sold on eBay from the time I set up my account to when I received my email from the support staff, and still, they told me that their AI didn’t find anything that matched my preferences.

So clearly their AI has some issues. Of course, I don’t need an email for every Jokic card that goes on sale, but I would have expected something in my inbox within a day of signing up.

If the AI couldn’t be bothered to alert me to any of those 150 cards that were sold in the week before, how could I trust that it would be a useful tool in helping me search the internet for specific cards?

The emails don’t come often enough

In my correspondence with support, they made it seem like it was pretty normal to go a week without receiving an email.

If that’s the case, how can I know that the card that I’m looking for won’t be sold in the time it takes for me to get the email? One of the biggest problems for specialty items is that oftentimes they are sold just as fast as they’re listed. So even if their AI did find the cards, it isn’t necessarily helpful to be getting the alert days or weeks after the listing.

What would be better (or at least a nice edition) to this service, is some type of alert that is shot directly to your phone as soon as the listing for a specific product goes on the market.

How does it fair against eBay’s services?

When reviewing a product that claims it’s doing “something new” in the sports card industry, I like to compare it to eBay. Ebay offers a lot of great features to help connect collectors to items on their site.

So the question I ask is “how is what you’re bringing to the table better than what I can already get?”

Ebay already has an email notification system, and from what I can tell, it beats out AnyLot; their service scans for items every 10 minutes, and sends you your personalized emails once a day.

Ebay’s emails also “learn your behavior”. While AnyLot wants to act like their AI’s ability to learn and advise is unique, it’s really just a repackaging of the customized recommendation emails eBay and other online marketplaces have been offering for years.

The only real advantage AnyLot has is that it can find cards that aren’t available on eBay. At first, this sounds like a pretty big deal; eBay’s can only let you know about items on its site, which theoretically limits a lot of options.

But the truth is, eBay doesn’t have that many true competitors. In a comparison that I did in another review – where I looked at prices on eBay versus other sites – only 1 card out of the 10 that I looked for could be found cheaper anywhere else.

For me, I’ll be happy to keep using eBay notifications as the best way of finding out when new cards hit the market.

Bottomline – is AnyLot worth it?

Even if I did receive an email from AnyLot, I’m not sure that their product offers enough for me to use it over the alert system I can get from eBay itself.

While the idea of an “AI personal card advisor” is a nice-sounding pitch, it really isn’t different from getting an email from any other company that tracks your behavior and makes your recommendations on products you’d like.

And this is all assuming, of course, that an email actually shows up in your inbox. For me it didn’t, but who knows? Give it a shot – maybe they’ll like you more.

Brian Marshall

Brian Marshall

Brian’s a Denver based freelance writer, who’s interested in all things Denver sports. He’s an NBA aficionado who still can’t get over Derrick Rose’s ACL tear, and will happily debate anyone who doesn’t believe that Nikola Jokic is the greatest basketball player on the planet.


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