FAQ

What is "Ladder Score"?

  • Ladder Score (or simply "Score") ranks cards according to their 14-day trend.
  • The formula sums a card's (1) daily dollar change, (2) daily percentage change, and (3) transaction volume to produce the card's Ladder Score.
  • The formula is: [(Last sale w/in last 14 days - First sale w/in last 14 days) / Days Elapsed]/10 + [((Last Sale w/in last 14 days - First sale w/in last 14 days) / First Sale) / Days Elapsed]*300 + (Quantity sold per day)/10.

Is Card Ladder's sales data reliable?

  • One of Card Ladder’s primary services is vetting and organizing sports card market data. eBay is the leading public source for such data. We create profiles for sports cards that track each card’s eBay sales history. (We also collect and report data from independent auction houses and other sources where it lends additional insight into a card’s sales history.)
  • We scrape eBay daily for new sales of every card in our system. Our research team reviews these sales and decides whether to admit them into our database or send them to “purgatory”—a list we publish daily of sales that require additional verification before we admit them to our database.
  • Why do we spend hours each day reviewing sales? For starters, because sports card auctions sometimes are shilled, sports cards that are listed as “sold” sometimes get relisted, and sellers sometimes erroneously title their sports card listings. Reviewing sales helps increase the likelihood that the sports card data in our system reflects sales that have truly been consummated.
  • The review process requires judgement. The vast majority of sales that we review every day are admitted into our database. But there also tends to be at least a few sales every day that are sent to “purgatory.” For example, our researchers study bidding patterns on auctions for obvious signs of shill bidding and send those auctions to “purgatory.” We do the same for extreme outlier sales (whether sold via auction, BIN, or BO) that are inconsistent with reasonable market trends. We spot and exclude obvious scams from suspicious sellers. We note when a card's market trajectory is fundamentally unusual, or if an atypical sale is admitted into the card's sales history, by including remarks in the "Card Information" section of a card's profile. We speak to buyers and sellers throughout the Hobby to obtain additional insight into specific sales. We also include links to all recent auctions as well as unusual or noteworthy historical auctions (accessible via the "View all sales" link in the card's profile).
  • For cards that sell frequently, only their historical auction data (and not their BIN/obo data) has been added. Such cards feature the phrase “Auctions only” above their sales chart.
  • A data point added to our system that later turns out to be unreliable is promptly removed.
  • Due to the possibility of human error, it is likely that a handful of mistakes will be made in logging data. If you spot a mistake, please use the feedback option to alert us (available at the bottom of each card's profile or by clicking the profile icon in the top right).

How do I search for a card?

  • You can use the search bar at the top of the site to search for any card in our database.
  • You can search by category, grade, or specific sport (e.g., you can type in "hockey" to see the Ladder’s hockey card database).
  • You can also use it to filter by player (e.g., you can type in "LeBron")—effectively allowing you to create a Ladder for one specific player.
  • You can also search by year, by set, many more filters. Try it out for yourself, and share your search results with others.

What is the eBay button on each card's profile?

  • Clicking the eBay button on a card's profile will take you to an eBay search specifically tailored to find the card depicted in the profile.
  • This is an eBay affiliate link. If you make a purchase on eBay using this link, Card Ladder will get a small commission from eBay. You pay the same amount whether you use our affiliate link or not. The difference is eBay sends us a percentage of the "final value fee" of which they would otherwise collect 100%.
  • Of course, there is zero obligation whatsoever to shop for cards using our affiliate links. But it helps us if you do.

What safeguards exist to ensure ethically responsible data reporting?

  • We are collectors first and foremost. Our love of collecting is an important part of why we created Card Ladder. We will continue to buy, sell, and trade cards. With that said, we have made the following provisions in order to operate Card Ladder ethically.
  • We implore you to adopt a skeptical mindset when examining all sports card data, including the vetted data in our system, and especially when examining a card that is owned by a Card Ladder founder or employee. We do our best to guard against our biases, but our attempts are surely imperfect. To help remedy the potential for bias, we provide complete transparency, as described below.
  • A very small percentage of the cards displayed in the Ladder are owned by founders or employees. Any time one of us owns a copy of a card displayed on Card Ladder in any grade, the phrase "Employee owned" appears at the bottom of the relevant card profile. See, for example, the bottom of the card profile for Luka's 2018 Prizm Base RC PSA 10. One of our founders owns a copy of this card and it is indicated in the card's profile with the phrase: "Employee owned."
  • The Ladder's rankings are based on objective algorithms that are equally applied to all cards. There is no subjective judgment involved when ranking an individual card. Above, in the section entitled, "What is The Ladder?" we have disclosed the formulas used to rank cards.
  • Our predictive pricing requires a degree of subjective judgment; namely, it requires selecting an appropriate "comp" and selecting appropriate historically correlated multipliers. To that end, any time we offer a price prediction, we fully disclose what the "comp" card(s) are, the data points used to generate the historically correlated multiplier(s), and the computations performed. You should always cast a skeptical eye on predictive pricing, especially when the card in question is owned by a Card Ladder founder or employee. By the same token, you are welcome to help us improve our predictions. You can use the “My Collection” feature to generate your own “Member Predicted Values” for any card for which we have generated a predicted value--using the same software tools that we use. We’d love it if you came up with a better prediction than us and sent us your work; it helps us improve our site!
  • There is editorial subjectivity involved in selecting cards for inclusion in Card Ladder's database. To help guard against potential bias, we have developed an objective procedure for determining which cards are added to the Ladder. We have described that procedure above in the section entitled "Which Cards Get Added to Card Ladder?"