The Ultimate StarStock Review

StarStock is a growing sports card platform, which offers an impressive number of options for collectors and investors. But are they a good platform? To find out, we provide you with the Ultimate StarStock Review.

StarStock bills itself as “the stock market for sports cards.” However, that seems a bit misleading. Most of what it does is fairly simple buying and selling of sports cards.

The site has two primary functions. The first is as a marketplace for buying and selling sports cards. So in that sense, it is pretty similar to COMC, which we have reviewed here before.

However, unlike COMC, StarStock is also a platform for breaks.

Vaulting and Security

When you purchase or consign a card at StarStock, they take a picture of it and put it in your portfolio. Then the card is placed in the company vault.

The website claims that “every card on the site is secured in StarStock’s vault, and is covered by insurance and 24/7 security. Instant ownership at point of trade – no need to wait for shipping.” Elsewhere on the website, the company says that the cards are “in a facility that has 24-hour security surveillance, key card building access and is temperature controlled.”

Ultimate StarStock Review Of Breaks On StarStock

One of the most convenient features of the platform is the in-house breaks. You can join any break held at StarStock and receive the cards into your account.

The selection for breaks was not great. There were four for the day and two future breaks. I mainly collect baseball and soccer. However, none of the featured breaks on the platform when I checked were for sports I collect. Instead, they heavily emphasized football (which makes sense since I am writing this on the opening Sunday of the season).

There was also a 2019-2020 Mosaic Basketball Hobby Box break available. So, I bought into that. Might as well get a Zion Red Wave out of writing this review, right?

When you buy into a break, you have two options. You can either have all of the cards you get shipped to you. Or, if you prefer, they can keep the cards eligible for StarStock and ship you the rest.

You can also get a personal break featuring any wax you own on the platform.

StarStock heavily features their breaks, which include some led by former pro athletes.

One minute before my break started, I received an alert. That was welcome because I had forgotten all about it due to the exciting Browns-Chiefs 4th quarter. I got the Knicks, Suns, and Sixers. Yeah, no Pelicans for me. I didn’t draw anything too great, but I did get a Patrick Ewing and a Wilt Chamberlain, which suits my vintage-oriented tastes.

The breakers were pretty annoying. But that is par for the course. They ripped quickly and efficiently, and that is what matters. Participating in StarStock rips is very quick and painless. It is an excellent facet of the platform.

Ultimate StarStock Review: Which Cards Are Accepted

One of the least appealing elements of StarStock is that they are very selective with the cards they accept. For example, they will only accept Bowman 1sts and no later prospect cards. This policy is a turn-off for casual collectors and set completists.

However, even from a value and investment perspective, this makes little sense. A second-year prospect auto can be a wonderful card from an investment point of view. But StarStock will not accept them.

The bottom line of their rules is simple. StarStock wants rookie cards and very little else. While I completely understand the supremacy of the rookie card within the hobby, this seems needlessly heavy-handed.

Baseball Cards Accepted

Here is the complete account of the baseball cards that StarStock accept:

Bowman (paper and chrome) 1sts
Bowman Draft 1sts and first professional year Mojo Autos
Topps Flagship and Chrome All RCs
Heritage (only High Numbers) All RCs
Topps Inception Only graded RCs or Graded or raw autos/numbered RCs
Other Topps brands Only graded RCs

Note that StarStock does not accept any unlicensed cards. Even if they are graded, numbered, autos, etc.

StarStock only accepts Bowman 1sts, so you won’t find this card on the platform (get Anthony Volpe autos on eBay).

Basketball Cards Accepted

Here is the complete account of the basketball cards that StarStock accept:

Prizm All RCs
Optic All RCs
Select All RCs
Mosaic All RCs
Donruss All RCs
Prizm Draft Only graded RCs
NBA Hoops All RCs
NBA Hoops Premium Stock Only graded RCs
Topps and Bowman Only RCs for the licensed years
National Treasures All RCs
Immaculate All RCs
Flawless All RCs

For all other brands, Panini or otherwise, StarStock only accepts graded RCs.

Football Cards Accepted

Here is the complete account of the football cards that StarStock accept:

Prizm All RCs
Optic All RCs
Select All RCs
Mosaic All RCs
Donruss All RCs
Prizm Black All RCs
Prizm Draft 2021 Rookie RCs only
NBA Hoops All RCs
NBA Hoops Premium Stock Only graded RCs
Topps and Bowman Only RCs for the licensed years
National Treasures All RCs
Immaculate All RCs
Flawless All RCs

 The Collection

All cards users have sent in or purchased are placed in their personal collection. StarStock evaluates the value of your collection according to comps on its platform. The value of the collection does not include monetary funds. These are calculated and displayed separately.

Fees For Buyers

The site does not charge for purchases, storage, or cash withdrawal. However, if you have made purchases, you can get your money back by check or through PayPal (which incurs the fees associated with that company).

If you deposit money but do not use it, the money will be refunded to the card used to make the deposit.

Fees For Sellers

StarStock charges a 5% fee for sellers. In addition, it has a $0.05 minimum charged to the seller per card sold. The fee is immediately taken from the seller at the moment of purchase.

It also charges $0.25 per raw card submitted.

What Do They Specialize In Selling?

Collectors have complained that StarStock has a small selection of cards. Part of this is due to their policy of only accepting particular cards with a stronger appeal.

They have a vault containing 1,552,139 cards. However, only 653,044 of them are currently for sale.

As they say, your mileage may vary. There are 146 base Chase Claypool Prizm rookie cards and no less than 418 Luis Robert flagship rookies.

The selection is good for high profile ultra-modern rookies. However, it is good for little else.

However, you may be disappointed with their ultra-modern rookie offerings as well. For example, I searched Wander Franco and found only nine cards. Furthermore, none of them was an auto, which is what I wanted.

As for vintage? Forget it. They do not have a single Sandy Koufax for sale and only one in the vault. No Joe Namath cards and not a single Wilt Chamberlain to soothe my soul.

Even basic cards from the 1980s are absent. There is only one Joe Montana available and no Jordan Fleer rookies. Just about the only older player that was well represented is Ken Griffey Jr., of course.

Buying Cards

The downside of buying cards on this platform is the lack of selection. As we said, it is primarily ultra-modern and only rookie cards.

Another drawback is that they do not have a separate picture for each card in the vault. So if there are several of one card, you do not know which one you are examining. So buying raw cards on StarStock can be a bit risky.

However, the buying experience is relatively smooth. You can send in offers for cards at below their value. I always like to lowball (yes, I am that guy). So, I immediately took advantage of the feature and shot an offer of $40 for a Kai Havertz Press Proof Red Donruss card I have been eyeing for a while.

The owner drove a hard bargain, and I ended up getting the card for $80. The card immediately appeared in my inventory, and I could ship it home with no problem. All and all, I was impressed with this element of StarStock.

The platform also provides you with helpful info. For example, you can see the latest offers made for the card and the latest sales on the platform. It also shows the most recent offers owners have received.

StarStock provides you a lot of useful information on cards you wish to buy or sell.

Ultimate StarStock Review Of Its Stock Market Info

The coolest thing about StarStock is the stock market-like info they provide. The marketplace homepage provides you with the numbers for top-performing players and their increase in card value. They also offer an “NFL Emerging 30 Index,” providing numbers for the collective performance of their Prizm rookie cards.

For baseball, they have the MLB emerging 20. It is a confusingly mislabeled index of the top 30 MLB rookie cards for those who debuted in the 2017-2020 seasons. Looking at that index was a bit depressing, as they have collectively lost about 40% value throughout the season.

Meanwhile, the NBA emerging 30 has the top prospects from the same years. These charts are an excellent tool to help investors maximize profits by buying and selling cards at the right time.

An “Upcoming Action” feature allows you to track card prices as they fluctuate during a game.

There is a ton of potential there. Many collectors are also stock market traders (I own a poorly performing portfolio), and they will enjoy this feature.

Sending In Cards

It is pretty easy to send in cards for StarStock to hold in their vault. You fill out a fairly basic form and send them in. The guide notes that if you have a large submission, it helps speed things along if you organize the cards by set and player.

The ingestion fee is a reasonable $0.25. However, keep in mind that you are still on the hook for the fee if StarStock rejects your cards. The funds are taken directly out of your StarStock account. The company requests that all cards be placed in a penny sleeve but not top holders.

If your cards are rejected, you can either have them shipped back or ‘abandoned.’ If you want them shipped back, you will have to pay for shipping and labor. So be careful what you send them!

Sealed wax and graded cards receive a “Fast Pass” and are ingested into the system quickly. However, raw cards need to be evaluated and given an internal grade. Therefore, they take longer to process.

Ultimate StarStock Review Of StarStock Grading

StarStock grades raw cards with their internal system. They grade on a simple scale of A, B, and C. However, the company cautions that “We do not guarantee that any score will transfer over to a specific grade from grading services such as PSA, BGS or SGC.”

What do the grades mean? Glad you asked.

  • A: Typically has 4 sharp corners, a clean surface, and clean edges. It could also have a minor issue such as a slight soft/white corner, light edge chipping, scratch, print defect, or slightly off-center.
  • B: These cards contain one or multiple of – soft corners, some light edge wear or chipping, print lines, light scratching, noticeably off-center.
  • C: These cards have one major issue or multiple more minor issues.
Aside from selling graded cards, StarStock has an internal grading system.

StarStock PSA Grading

StarStock can send the cards in your collection to PSA for grading. They only submit cards that StarStock believes will get a 9 or a 10, but they clearly state that no grade is guaranteed.

While the cards are being graded, they will be temporarily removed from your account until they return. You can also choose to have graded cards shipped to you at home for no extra cost.

However, StarStock is subject to all current PSA limitations. In addition, as you probably know, they have suspended most types of grading recently and have significantly increased their prices. So, they advise you to contact their support team for submissions until they return to full service.

Bottomline Of The Ultimate StarStock Review 

With their focus on rookie cards, breaks, and sealed wax, StarStock caters more to the needs of short-term flippers than long-term collectors. However, they are also handy to individuals who invest heavily in current rookies to aim for future gains.

However, if you are more of a completist collector or into vintage, there is little to attract you to this platform. This is not a criticism of the platform, as much as it is an observation of the owners’ intentions.

In the ultimate StarStock review, we conclude that it is an excellent platform for getting rookie cards low and selling them high; StarStock is the platform for you. It cuts out all of the other cards and distractions and will focus on what interests you. They also do not nickel and dime you with fees or try to make it hard to get your money back.

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is a former history and political science professor at UCLA. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary. Shai also worked as a diplomat and journalist on three continents.