Hobby Jargon and Abbreviations 

If you have ever shopped for cards online, you likely noticed several terms and abbreviations you did not understand. What is BMWT? What does it mean to “coin” a listing? I remember years ago when I transitioned from eBay (my old go-to) to groups on social media, and it was almost like reading a foreign language!

There are many common acronyms and abbreviations you might come across in the hobby, especially when browsing, buying, and selling online. Understanding the common terms is necessary to buy or sell safely and according to a given group’s rules. 

In the cover image, we are obviously looking at a nice ’57 Brooks. Let’s break down the listing:

  • “RC” indicates rookie card.
  • SGC is the grader an 5 is the grade–EX means Excellent. I bet you’re with me so far.
  • “24 hour auction” usually refers to an auction that ends 24 hours after the last bid (so it is a bit of a misnomer since the auction might go on for days!).
  • “SB” is “starting bid,” and $5 is the minimum bid increment.
  • I’m not a fan of “Net to Me” language–but in this case, the final price is the seller’s net after sales fees (usually Paypal).
  • PPGS = “Paypal Goods and Services,” which is the most common type of payment–and what you want as a buyer for safety reasons.
  • BMWT means “bubble mailer with tracking,” but in this case, please spring for Priority shipping for old Brooksy.

Whew! That’s just one listing!

Glossary of Hobby Jargon

  • 24-hour rule: An auction that ends after 24 hours of no new bids. 
  • BMWT: “Bubble mailer with tracking” (shipping method) 
  • Bump: “Bring Up My Post.” People “BUMP” their posts to bring them back up in the feed so they will get more action. 
  • Coining: Coining has nothing to do with coins. It typically refers to the practice of including a picture that includes the card or cards, along with a piece of paper showing the seller’s name and the current date. The idea is to establish that the seller has the card. Watch out for photoshopped “coin jobs”–they are usually obvious, but you need to look closely. Requesting short videos has become more commonplace.  
  • FF: “Friends and family” (payment type offering almost no recourse to a buyer–avoid it when new to buying). 
  • GS: “Goods and Services” (payment type offering buyer protections against fraud) 
  • “Net to Me”: Sellers use this phrase to indicate that they expect the buyer to cover any associates transaction fees charged by PayPal, etc.  
  • PSA, etc.: The main grading companies all use 3-letter acronyms. The most credible graders currently are PSA, SGC, Beckett (BGS, BVG), and CSG. Other graders are either new and unproven, or often fraudulent basement operations. 
  • PWE: “Plain white envelope” (cheap shipping method–usually not tracked and less protected–use for cheap cards and at your own risk) 
  • Raw Cards: Refers to cards in their natural state that have not been professionally graded. 
  • RC: Rookie card
  • SB: Starting bid amount in an auction. 
  • Slab: A “slabbed” card is a professionally graded card–“slab” refers to the plastic grading case. 
  • W: “Watching” (making a comment on a facebook post means the member will be notified when new content is added to your post) 


See other terms you are unsure of? Comment and I will add them here!