Monday, November 26, 2018

A Review: The Sportlots Box

Since January of 2009 I've placed twenty-five orders through Sportlots.com to help fill my collecting needs. Recently Sportlots has stepped up its game by offering the Sportlots Box option to help reduce shipping costs.

When placing orders in the past I was always super concerned about trying to maximize shipping costs from each dealer. I didn't want to pay three bucks in shipping for 12 cards when I could purchase up to 25 cards for the same shipping price. So, I would peruse the dealer's inventory until I could maximize the most cardboard for my buck.

The Sportlots Box option in many cases awards you more freedom than in the past. For instance, check out the postage rates from one of the dealers I like to purchase cards from:
Did you see that final column? Yep, by choosing to use the Sportlots Box option this dealer will ship your cards to Sportlots for FREE. Once there, the cards will sit in your box until you're ready to ship.

When shipping is free, the stress of trying to maximize a purchase centered around shipping costs is tossed out the window!

Not all dealers are using the Sportlots Box option, but those who are have been given one of three discount designations.  For example, six different dealers are offering discounted shipping to the Sportlots Box for this 2018 Topps Fire Ryne Sandberg card. Now it's just a matter of clicking on the dealer info to see what they charge for shipping to find the best deal.
Dealers with a blue check mark offer the best bargain (sometimes free), while red is the next best deal and that is followed by green.

Here's another screen shot of the postage rates from a dealer with a blue check mark.
Again, I can get behind these postage rates. They aren't free, but they aren't going to break the bank either.

So, I decided to test the process. I needed some cards for my Topps Big League master set build.
And I decided to finally chase down those Bull Durham cards from Topps Archives.
And I needed some random Cubs cards to fill some holes.
And, most importantly, I needed some cards to send out in trade packages for other bloggers.

I guess I went a bit overboard, because before I knew it I had cards from TWENTY-ONE different dealers in my shopping cart.
In every instance I found the cards I wanted were significantly cheaper, with shipping including, than what I could find on Ebay or COMC.com.

So, I placed my order after handing out candy on Halloween.
Two-and-half weeks later, on November 17th, the cards from the last dealer arrived in my Sportlots Box. Not the best turn around time in the world, but I think two to three weeks should probably be expected when purchasing from so many different dealers. For what it's worth, all but three orders where in my Sportslots Box within twelve days.
Before leaving for work on the 17th I paid $8.90 in shipping to have the cards shipped to my house from my Sportlots Box. Not bad.

Upon my return home later that evening I found I had another message waiting for me.
Timely and saving me money! Now that's customer service!

A few days later I had a good sized yellow mailer sitting in my mailbox.
Here's the contents all spread out for you to take in. That's a fun mail day right there!

Here's the timeline of the purchase:
* Placed the order after business hours on October 31st
* The final cards arrived in my Sportlots Box on November 17th
* Paid to have the cards shipped on November 17th
* Was given a shipping discount ($1.50) and the cards were sent out on November 17th
* Cards arrived on November 21st

Here are the shipping figures:
* I paid a total of $5.85 to have the twenty-one dealers ship to my Sportlots Box
* I then paid $8.90, but was reimbursed $1.50, to have the cards shipped to me from Sportlots
* The grand total I paid in shipping was $13.25 (54 cards from 21 total dealers)
* If I chose to have the cards shipped directly to me it would have cost $32.05.
* By using the Sportlots Box I saved $18.80 in shipping. Nice! 

Overall: As a set builder I have patience to spare. I don't pick up singles to complete my sets until the market has settled on a new release. So, waiting three weeks from the date of purchase to get my cards isn't a big deal whatsoever. Honestly, it's just about finishing my set or adding cards to a player collection at the right price. Sportlots.com often times offers that "right price" and it is perfect for a set builder or anyone looking for those random cards time has forgotten. Obviously, the savings in shipping is the big bonus, but I also enjoyed no longer feeling like I have to maximize the shipping with each dealer. I really enjoyed my Sportlots Box purchase and will definitely be using this option for my next purchase.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the Sportslots Box. I'm not an expert by any means, but I do have some experience and will help if I can.

Thanks for reading!

9 comments:

  1. Great post, really interesting to see how collectors are using this new feature.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting concept. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used it recently myself and found it works well if you can find the right sellers. Sadly, I had one guy not send at all, basically saying selling was too tough, so they were marking it as shipped, but needed more time. Opened a case, and still nothing. It was a 100 card order with a top seller, too....
    I sell on SL, and this makes me want to experiment with changing my shipping rates a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I purchased a couple of times from Sportslots, it not since they offered the box option. I should take a look.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice breakdown. Haven't purchased anything from Sportlots in awhile. I used it a lot to pick up Steph Curry singles for my students back in the day. Then guys started charging $1 for his base cards and I haven't gone back since.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's been a while since I bought anything from Sportlots. I've mostly since migrated to COMC for online purchases because they're way more reasonable/convenient, and this new "Sportlots Box" seems a bit COMC-ish. Might have to give it a shot.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not a fan of the box option as a seller or buyer. As a buyer it's nice to get discounted rates from sellers, but you're also doubling up the postage (and time). I look at that shipping rate as $13.25 for just 54 cards, and that's very pricey. So, when shopping for Cubs cards I still search for sellers with the most inventory of what I'm looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice looking Marquises!

    And thanks for the post. Good to know. I shy away from SL after a few not-great experiences, tending to stick to COMC even if the cards are a little more expensive. But I have been curious about the SL box option.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i looked at SL just this morning but really am not sure if I understand all the options. The Box though, does sound convenient.

    ReplyDelete