Value of basketball cards

Fleer-Michael-Jordan-rookie-basketball-cardHow to determine basketball sports cards value and prices; learn about NBA, basketball card appraisal & pricing

The value of basketball cards depends greatly on the demand for such sports card and how much a person is willing to pay for it.

For example, a 1933 Goudey Sport Kings #3 Nat Holman card was sold at Memory Lane Inc. online auction (2004) for $21,675 with a starting bidding price of $1,500.

The auction lasted for almost a month with 11 bids made. This shows how collectors would spend for a basketball card they deem valuable.
However, the demand for and value of basketball trading cards are also associated with different factors (which will be presented below).

Though it is important to pay close attention to each determining factor, you must keep in mind that they are altogether considered when coming up with the most accurate or current basketball card pricing.

1. Condition of the basketball cards

The condition and eye appeal affects the demand for a basketball trading card, thus, its value. Sports card collectors do not usually go for collectible cards having severe signs of deterioration such as bends, wrinkles, stains, tears, and chipping by the sides.

Printing defects like blurry photo, poor centering, and uneven border sizes are also discouraging to collectors.  Such basketball cards may be called “not in collectible condition”.

To determine the state of a basketball card, it undergoes the process of sports cards grading. This involves evaluating the edges, corners, surface, and centering of the basketball sports card.

A grading scale of 1-10 (with 10 as the highest) is used by third party grading services like the Professional Sports Authenticator or PSA. Generally speaking, higher graded sports cards are more expensive than lower graded sport trading cards.

2. Age of the NBA card

Antique basketball cards (those issued before the 1980s) are usually more valuable than newly released basketball trading cards. This is because older cards immortalize players and events which are significant to basketball history – the first basketball Hall of Famers, the first athletes playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) championships, among others.  More so, with the passing of time, vintage basketball cards may decrease in population and quality.  So, the remaining cards, especially those in collectible condition, have higher basketball cards prices.

3. Rarity of the basketball trading card

Rarity could mean two things: only few basketball cards were originally issued and released by the manufacturing company (examples are limited edition sports cards) or a small number of basketball trading cards currently exist (just like vintage basketball cards as mentioned in the age factor).

Passionate sports collectors would willingly spend money just to be among few sports hobbyists who could afford the most expensive rare sports cards and famous scarce basketball cards.

4. Subject or the basketball player featured in the sports card

Naturally, famous players in sports cards will be more sought-after by sports collectors.  For example in the 1987 Fleer Rookie card set, the value of the Michael Jordan rookie card was around $600 or more making it the most expensive in the set.  Other 1987 Fleer rookie cards were priced for as low as $5.

1948-Bowman-Basketball-George-MikanOther factors that influence demand and values of basketball , NBA cards:

1. Presence of a sports autograph

Unless it bears a fake sports autograph, basketball cards with a player’s signature will be more expensive than the same cards without the sports autograph.

2. Brand of the basketball trading card

This may not be true to all sports cards, but many collectors prefer Upper Deck or Topps basketball cards.  It is said that these card manufacturers produce the best collectible sport cards in terms of quality and relevance of subject featured in their sports cards.

3. Economic Conditions

There is a great possibility that demand and value of basketball cards and other sports cards will decline during times that economy is not stable.  When there is financial crisis, sports collectors would prioritize their needs over unnecessary expenses such as sports memorabilia and trading cards.

Mostly affected by the loss are the newly released and mass produced NBA cards.  Significant and valuable antique basketball cards are less likely to decrease in price despite crisis, unless they deteriorate in condition.

Tips on how to find basketball card prices online

You now know the factors that influence the prices of basketball cards.  The next thing to learn about is how to find current values of basketball cards on the internet.

1. Refer to online basketball card price guides

You can get the most current and accurate basketball cards prices online by referring to sports cards price guides.  Many sports collectors and sports cards dealers recommend Tuff Stuff and Beckett. They are both publishers of sports magazines and feature long, detailed, and updated basketball cards price lists.

2. Compare basketball cards values from sport memorabilia and collectibles online auctions

Auction sites are also good sources to know the market value of basketball cards.

A common example would be eBay wherein a huge variety of basketball trading cards (new and antique sports cards) are being sold. Sports Cards Plus and Memory Lane Incorporated, on the other hand, are examples of auction sites for vintage sports memorabilia and rare basketball cards classics.

3. Visit the websites of sports cards manufacturers

Get your basketball cards values straight from sports cards manufacturers by visiting their websites. You may visit the Topps Online Store or the Upper Deck Store on the web.  As mentioned earlier, these two are the biggest name in sports cards making.

The most valuable basketball card

The most valuable basketball card in the sports cards collecting hobby is the 1948 Bowman Basketball #69 George Mikan. It is also referred to as the “King of Basketball Cards”.

According to sports history, Mikan made basketball a nationally recognized sport.  He is acclaimed as the pioneer of Modern Age professional basketball having scored 11,764 points and retired as the all-time leading scorer in 520 National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America, and National Basketball Association games.  He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.

A 1948 Bowman Basketball #69 George Mikan with a PSA 9 Mint grade was sold for $52,107 at the SportsCards Plus Summer 2008 Internet Auction of Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards.