Back in the day, there were few trends as popular with the youth of America as sports trading cards. Many can recall the days of heading to the store and picking out a pack from the counter, excited to get home and see who they’d claimed.
While sports cards collecting isn’t as popular broadly as it once was, there are still many serious collectors out there. The value of sports cards has increased and the market for trading them is booming. If you’re interested in getting into collecting and trading this kind of sports memorabilia, there’s a lot that can be helpful to know.
Read on and we’ll walk you through a few tips that can turn you from an amateur collector into a pro.
Pick a Niche To Focus On
There are all sorts of different sports cards out there. Sports cards were created to focus on a wide number of different games, after all. There were football cards, baseball cards, and several other popular past times that were memorized in these types of playing cards.
If you’re looking to start a collection sometime soon, it can be helpful first to pick a niche to focus on. This can make it easier to make progress on your collection as opposed to just broadly collecting all kinds of different cards.
Choosing between football, basketball, soccer, and so forth can help to ensure you’ve got a solid and focused path ahead of you. This can help the experience from being too overwhelming.
It’s best to choose something that you’re interested in. Of the sports mentioned, is there one that you’ve always been more of a fan of? This will be the one to go with, as your enthusiasm can push you forward even if you hit a wall at some point.
You might even decide to collect other items from the same sport, such as Custom Throwback Jerseys.
Understand Card Values
It’s important to know what is common and what is rare when it comes to sports card trading. This will allow you to know when you’ve got something really special on your hands and when you don’t.
For example, one of the most important things to remember is the value of the rookie card. The rookie card is something of the holy grail of sports cards collecting. Rookie cards are far rarer to find and often represent well-known athletes in their early days of the game.
No matter how many years an athlete played for a league, they were only a rookie one time. This helps make that card much more valuable. Some player cards have ‘RC’ emblazoned on them to let you know it was the athlete’s first year, but older cards generally don’t have this marker.
That means you might have to research on your own to determine when the card you’ve got comes from in terms of an athlete’s overall career.
Remember that condition plays a big role in the collecting game as well. If you have sports cards in your possession that are in mint condition, they will be worth a lot more than cards that have been beat up, faded, or lost their general appearance.
You’d be surprised at how many conditions can drive up the price. People are willing to pay loads to get an unopened vintage deck of sports cards – and they don’t even know which cards are in there!
That should give you a sense of how big of role conditions play in overall value.
Look Out For Scam Sellers
Anytime you’re dealing with goods that are traded between individuals, there’s always the chance you could find yourself in a tough situation. Without the oversight of a larger company, there’s always the chance that people can try to scam you in one way or another.
Scammers know that collectors look feverishly for these kinds of items and thus take advantage by offering cards they don’t have or lying about certain details.
To avoid ending up on the short end of one of these scam transactions, you’ll want to be sure you do most of your trading via reputable sources. Trading through eBay, for example, can be okay because you should be able to check a seller’s backlog of client feedback.
Always do your research on a seller before accepting a trade with them. Ensure they are someone that you want to do business with.
Store Your Cards Safely
We talked about the importance of the condition above, but we’ll get into the topic once more for a different reason. The last thing you want is for a particular sports card to lose its value while you have it in your possession.
However, it’s easy for a card to worsen in condition if you don’t handle it with careful care. Putting your cards in sleeves, binders, and keeping them away from bright light can help to maintain their overall quality.
Keep these cards in a controlled climate that doesn’t get too hot or too cold.
If you have started to amass a big collection that is worth a lot of money, it can be worth it to look into insuring them.
Sports Cards Collecting: Tips and Tricks
If you’re looking to get into the exciting world of sports cards, you’ll want to get a good lay of the land first. The above tips and tricks provide the basics of what you should understand before you start trading.
Need more sports memorabilia advice and information? Keep scrolling our blog for more.