Investing in sports cards

Ty-Cobb-graded-baseball-cardAbout sports cards values and investment, learning how to gain profit in buying vintage sports cards

Investing in sports cards is not something new anymore especially for long-time sports enthusiasts.  They are much aware what profitable opportunity awaits them considering the huge sports memorabilia market.

Collectors who never pondered about how to make money out of selling sports cards could be missing a lot.

Why sports cards are a sound investment?

1.) Sports trading card is a low cost collectibles

Sports cards are generally low cost sports collectibles which means an ordinary collector and investor could start small.  Purchasing game worn sports memorabilia and game used sporting equipment would require you at least hundreds of dollars whereas cards could be as cheap as $2.
With sports cards, the word investment would not be intimidating.  This does not discount, though, that there are sports card sets which are highly valuable especially the scarce vintage sports cards.

2.) Sports memorabilia cards are easy to find

Unless you are looking for the rare sports cards which are already owned by private collectors, sports trading cards are mostly easy to find.  There are online stores, sports shops in a street corner, and the famous sports cards manufacturers are, for instance, Topps & Upper Deck. There are also events intended for selling sports cards like shows, sports autograph signings, and other sports fairs and trades.

3.) sports card collectibles are easy to sell
Sports card collecting is simply for everybody – regardless of age, gender, social status, and nationality.  The neighborhood could be your market, friends within your online social network could be your buyers, or that person sitting next to you in the football stadium could be a willing customer too.

Considering the population of sports fanatics and collecting being downright addictive, someone out there surely wants your cards.

Basketball cards and baseball cards are generally highly saleable and may be more expensive than cards from other sports. The value of football cards, for example, will depend greatly on the featured players.  Football cards are not very in demand unless they feature quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers.

4.) Sports collecting is an established industry

Sports had existed since the ancient ages.  It has not only survived the challenges of times, it has also surpassed its own history – old sports continue to develop while newer athletic activities are being realized.

Sports collecting had a long history in itself as well having started in the 1930s.

Sports memorabilia are a way to capture significant events in the sports arena and sports trading cards provide important information about athletes. For many years from the time when sports collecting begun, people have been very passionate in sports collectible items.
5.) Sports will not die

For sure, you never really imagined basketball, baseball, football, or boxing not being part of a man’s life in the future. A fearless forecast: sports are here to stay.  And with the big population of sports enthusiasts, there is not only a great demand but also a lasting demand for sports collectibles like sports cards.

Fleer-Michael-Jordan-rookie-basketball-cardHow to start investing in collectible sports cards

1.) Decide what type of sports cards you would want to invest on and focus

It is important that you make up your mind and concentrate on what types of sports trading cards you want to invest on.  You can focus on baseball cards because until today, they remain to be very popular among sports collectors.

In fact, the most valuable sports cards are the baseball collectible card sets and many hobbyists dream to have their own sets!  The gamble is you would have a good number of competitors and you need to be strategic enough to keep up.

Focus is vital to a new sports card investor for the aim of mastery.  If you sell your collection, you are expected to be knowledgeable about what you are offering your customers.

For example a potential buyer asks you the background of that Michael Jordan sports cards that you have posted in an online auction shop but you could only answer inquiries about that vintage Babe Ruth card sets. Make that decision: should it be basketball or baseball?

2.) Choose your favorite sport and keep an eye on potential sports superstars
It is actually an advantage in investing in sports cards that you are a keen and avid sports fan and you know the technicalities of the game.  It would be easy for you to determine who are potential Most Valuable Players or budding athletic superstars through watching their performance.

If you observe this one new player to be good, you might consider buying rookie cards (the first card of a particular player) that feature him – while such rookie sports cards are still cheap.

When your intuition works well and the player does get famous, you can resell the sports cards for more.  Lebron James rookie cards were first sold in the market for like $2 and just a few seasons later, they can be bought for at least $20.  Michael Jordan rookie cards cost more or less $800.

3.) Do not fear buying valuable sports cards

Yes, you can start small in investing on sports cards, but it does not mean you would have to avoid valuable sports cards.  If you can afford it, collect rare sports cards and antique sports cards once in a while.

Time comes, their prices will appreciate and people would offer you good price for the items.  Recently produced sports cards are less likely to become rare, so buying vintage sports trading cards is a wise decision.  There is great demand for these but supply is scarce.

A rare Tiger Woods golf card with 10 or perfect grade was sold at eBay for $16, 600 in 2008.  There are only very few sports cards that get a grade of 10.

4.) Handle, maintain, store, and display your sports cards well

Condition of the sports card is top priority in both collecting and selling sports cards.  One scratch, one defect in your card, and it could cost half the price.  That is why you need to take good care of your trading cards, protect them from air, light, heat, and moisture.

Buy sports card collecting supplies:

o Soft sleeves – soft, transparent, plastic folders

o Top-loaders – are larger and harder than soft sleeves; this protects the card from bending and crumpling

o Storage boxes – specifically designed containers for sports cards

o Albums or pages – typically like a photo album best for displaying your sports card collection

o Screw-down cases – sturdy cases perfect for the more valuable sports cards in your collection

5.) Send your cards for grading

Sports cards grading is essential in determining the quality and condition of your cards. Grading is done by reputable authenticators or third party grading services.  The grade affects the sports cards value – higher graded sports cards generally equals to higher price.

Factors that influence the sports card grade are the condition of the corners, edges, surface, centering, and signature or autographs.  If you sell graded sports cards, the more your collection becomes attractive to many possible buyers.

Most grading service providers like the Professional Sports Authenticator or PSA, use a 10-scale grading standard with 10 as the highest and 1 as the lowest.  There are some third-party sports cards grading services that use the scale of 1-100 with 100 as the highest (perfect condition).

Examples of card grades are:

o GEM-MT 10 (Gem Mint)

A card graded with Gem Mint 10 is a perfect card having sharp corners, undamaged edges, glossy surface, and centered image.  It must be free from stains and foreign marks.  Another term used to describe a perfect sports card is pristine.

o EX 5: Excellent

Excellent 5 cards have minor rounding corners; printing defects, loss of gloss, and some minor scratches are visible on the surface. There may also be some chipping on the card edges.

o PR 1: Poor

A poor card is full of defects.  It may be major printing imperfections or damages caused by improper handling of the sports cards. Creasing or crumpling is very apparent and eye appeal is completely lost.

6.) Know how much your sports cards are worth

Just like any forms of investment, sports cards values could go up and down depending on the status of the market, economic issues, etc.  A sports cards traders must be updated with the price fluctuations.

Sports cards pricing are determined through the following considerations: condition (as mentioned above), rarity, authenticity, sports card brand, popularity of the player on the card, and player performance. Refer to different sports cards price guides online to compare price ranges.

7.) Be honest in selling, buying, trading sports cards

Many sports cards traders take advantage of the cards hype to earn easy money.  They resort to counterfeit jobs and sell fake sports cards and autographs.  If this is how you would want to risk your reputation, you do not stand any chance in withstanding the industry and succeed.