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Returning Member

sale of trading cards



In the past year, I have purchased a lot of boxes of baseball cards.  I have then taken some of these and listed them online for sale.  I will get a 1099 as a result.  My question is around basis.  Let's say I bought 100 boxes at $10/box.  Each box contained 10 cards.  That's 1000 cards, for $1000, suggesting that each card has a basis of $1.  However, 99% of the cards are not worth anything tangible.  The 1% that are, I sell online.  Let's say I get $10K total for the 10 cards I sell.  Since the other 990 cards are not worth the cost of selling, can I use the entire $1000 as the basis for the 10 cards?

1 Reply
Employee Tax Expert

sale of trading cards

When you buy a box of baseball cards, you pay $XXX.  Then, you review the cards you purchased in that box and allocate the $XXX you spent to the cards in that box.  So if you have one Mickey Mantle and one Roger Maris in the box and the rest are players who played 5 games in the Majors and never got a hit, you allocate YY% of $XXX to Mickey and ZZ% of $XXX to Roger.  You are using the relative fair market value of the asset to allocate your cost (which we hope is a bargain purchase) to the assets you purchased.  My friend had a wonderful tee shirt:  I was a Millionaire until my Mother threw out my Baseball Cards!

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