How to Quickly and Easily Identify Your Sports Cards with the Beckett Database
Once upon a time, it was simple to recall which sports card set a certain sports card originated from. That was back when there were only a few of sets released every year, inserts were scarce, and parallels were just lines you drew on the board during math class. Every year, hundreds of sets are released for every sport, and the number is growing. Additionally, there are typically numerous levels inside each of these categories. As a result, what happened? Players now have more cards than our brains can handle on their own, therefore we need some assistance.
It may assist you in identifying exactly which sports cards you have in your collection, frequently within a matter of seconds.
At the top of the screen, there is a search bar that you may use.
Beckett.com is littered with references to the Beckett Database Search Bar.
- You don’t have one, do you?
- It’s completely free.
- You’re all set to go.
- By doing so, you will be able to take use of the database’s convenient, powerful, and simple-to-use filters.
Identifying Your Sports Card with Two Words and a Number
In the great majority of situations, you should be able to narrow down your search with a couple of words and a number — the player’s name and the card number — and you should be able to find what you’re looking for. Try it out and see how it works for you. Take a card from the stacks on your desk and simply type those words into the search box on your computer’s screen. Please double-check that the drop-down menu is set to the appropriate sport or, even simpler, to “All Categories” prior to pressing the enter key.
- It might be difficult to detect if a player’s jersey number appears prominent in some situations.
- Take a look at a random Ryan Dempstercard that I have laying on my desk and see how it works.
- I appreciate the “All Categories” option in the drop-down menu since it keeps things simple and could include any multi-sport sets.
- The outcomes are pretty much what I expected them to be — straightforward.
- Although this is not always the case, it is undoubtedly beneficial when photographs are available.
- The card I have is not a micro, as the name implies.
- There’s also nothing on the card to suggest that it’s a Black counterpart, which is a disappointment.
- This specific set has the set name listed on the back, which is also beneficial.
In addition, you’ll see that values are displayed in the image below. That information is only available to those who have paid to become members of the online pricing guide. If you are not, the pricing will not appear, but it will not interfere with your search in any way.
When Things Get Complicated
There are instances when you’ll come upon a card where the standard “Player Name/Number” search yields a large number of results despite your efforts. For example, the phrase “Ken Griffey Jr 1” has received almost 600 hits. Since inserts became popular in the 1990s, it has resulted in a significant increase in the number of cards available, particularly for players in the top tier. When opposed to base sets, basic inserts often include a smaller number of cards. That means that those perennial all-stars and fan favorites that are crammed in whenever feasible have plenty of cards that are near the bottom of the checklist.
- However, this does not rule out the possibility of assistance from the Beckett Database.
- With a simple search for “Mike Piazza 8,” I receive over 150 results.
- Don’t be concerned if you receive a large number of results at first.
- The first is on the face of the card and is inscribed with the business name — Fleer.
- Now we’re down to only 20 people.
- In this case, the restricted results and visuals make it clear to me what I’m dealing with straight immediately.
- It’s usually simple to find out what year a card was issued.
Usually, you’ll have to look on the back of the package for the copyright information.
In some cases, copyrights aren’t always correct.
The Donruss Baseball set from 1994, for example, bears a 1993 copyright.
Because the year 1997 is printed on the front, we’ll utilize it to lower the results down one more time.
We were able to reduce the number of results from 147 to only one with little effort.
Other Things to Look For
Attempting to identify a card by starting with the name and card number is the quickest and most straightforward method. As you narrow down your search, the Beckett Database may help you filter down your findings in a variety of ways. It’s possible that your search string will include a serial number, team name, insert name, and other information. If your findings are tiny but still not completely obvious, check for additional indicators, such as the color of a parallel, to help you figure out what you’re doing wrong.
Most of the time, this should not be the case, but you may need to examine the outcomes as well as the card itself to be sure. On addition, you may experiment with the filters in the sidebar. These can help you narrow down a large number of results without having to type anything additional.
Baseball Card Guide: Are My Cards Worth Money? // ONE37pm
This response will be different based on your goals and objectives. For me, first and foremost, collecting baseball cards is a recreational activity that provides a great deal of enjoyment. Going to the local card shop with my father and brother, frequently returning home with packs to open, and bonding over the discovery of some of our favorite players, are among of my fondest memories from my childhood. However, it’s crucial to remember that, while certain cards might be incredibly expensive, the ultimate objective should be to have a good time, build memories, and enjoy your collection rather than to gain money.
With the proper amount of education and knowledge, you can make a lot of money in the card business, whether you want to open your own local card shop, buy and sell cards on eBay, or be one of those people who stand in line overnight at Target and Walmart hoping to score retail boxes to flip for a profit, there is a lot of money to be made in this industry.
- If you try to get into the hobby without first learning which cards and things sell, why they sell, and how to sell them, you will almost certainly lose money, according to the statistics.
- When you are in the streams, engage in conversation and ask questions of others around you.
- It’s certain that you will make blunders once you decide it’s time to start buying and selling.
- As long as you’re going to require reps, it’s best to start small and work your way up.
How To Determine Baseball Card Values & Worth
What factors influence the value of my baseball cards? Continue reading to learn how to determine whether or not your baseball cards are worth anything. In recent years, there has been a significant surge in the popularity of the sports card collecting pastime. During its early years, children were enthusiastic about the activity, which originated in the 1880s and dates back to that time period. Later in the 1930s, with the rise of Goudey as a renowned sports card manufacturer, the practice began to gain popularity among adults.
Baseball cards, being one of the most sought-after sports cards, have been a prominent aspect of the sports card hobby for many years.
As a result, sports card collectors are in a desperate dash to get their hands on rare sports cards, and are even willing to part with large sums of money in order to do so.
You should be familiar with how to calculate your baseball card prices and worth in order to avoid having this gap impair your ability to sell your cards, especially if you plan to employ grading services such as PSA.
In light of this, we will explore how to assess the worth and value of a baseball card. RELATED: Here are some of the reasons why you should use PSA Grading Services.
Factors that Determines Baseball Card ValuesWorth
For those who are familiar with the sports card trading industry, it should come as no surprise that cards in less-than-perfect condition fetch far higher prices than cards in good condition. It may appear strange to individuals who are unfamiliar with the methods used to estimate the value of sports cards. However, after going through the variables listed below, you’ll have a better understanding of how base cards are priced.
No matter what era a baseball card was made, the condition of the card has a substantial impact on the value of the card overall. Any sports card collector wants to ensure that the cards they acquire are in the finest possible condition. This has caused collectors to demand much greater prices for high-quality baseball cards. The rarity of a high-value edition of a baseball card determines the price a collector will pay for that card’s quality. Collectors frequently seek for the following characteristics in baseball cards before making a purchase:
When it comes to evaluating the quality of a baseball card, the centering is possibly the most important consideration for all baseball card collectors. The term “centering” refers to the fact that the image printed on the card is centered from all perspectives. Generally speaking, it is preferable if the boundaries of a card have the same width on both sides. A well-centered card, on the other hand, is one with a centering that is not worse than 60/40 – 55/45 on the front and 70/25 on the reverse.
In general, collectors would be less willing to pay more for a card with poor centering.
It is the edges of a card that have a big impact on how a card is seen by collectors. Collectors often evaluate the margins of a card by holding it sideways and inspecting it for faults and cuts. Some old cards have dents and cuts on their edges as a result of the way they were cut by their producers. For older cards that have been identified as having such cuts, professional graders such as the PSA typically make an exemption. To be sure, every collector loves cards that are devoid of flaws such as chips, cuts, dents, and notches.
Every baseball card collector who participates in the sports card collecting activity hopes of finding a card with “razor-sharp” edges on the cards they collect. The term “razor-sharp” edges refers to edges that are well defined and have sharp edges. Collectors would be less willing to pay more for cards with rounded edges since they indicate excessive use and bad condition.
Baseball cards are printed on glossy paper, which makes it easy to distinguish between cards that have creases in the body and those that do not. The most effective technique to lower the value of a card is to damage its surface. It is something that many baseball card collectors search for on a baseball card.
On the surface of a baseball card, collectors look for creases, stains, indentations, scratches, and other characteristics that indicate wear and tear. Cards that are free of these flaws will have a higher selling price.
2. Print Year
It is widely accepted in the sports card collecting hobby that the older a baseball card is, the more expensive it will be; this is mostly due to a dominant element that will be described later in this article—scarcity—which will be explored later in this article. Older baseball cards are extremely difficult to come by when compared to their more recent counterparts, and as a result, they command high prices. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. T206 cards from the early 1900s would command a higher price than T206 cards from the 1980s, and a 1963 Topps Pete Rose card would be more expensive than a 1983 Topps Pete Rose card.
Cards created in contemporary times were produced in vast quantities, lowering the value of the cards produced.
Each era has its own set of values and worth.
Pre-War Baseball Cards
Listed below are cards that were printed prior to the end of World War II in 1945. Baseball cards from the pre-World War I era depict some of the greatest baseball players of all time, including Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and a host of others. These cards are significantly reduced in size when compared to normal cards. Additionally, they include stunning artwork and adverts for tobacco or confectionery firms printed on the backside of each one of them. Cards of Hall of Famers from this era typically fetch a hefty sum of money on the secondary market.
Vintage Baseball Cards (Printed from 1946–1979)
The cards that are classified as vintage are around 30–70 years old. They include baseball legends such as Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays, as well as other prominent players. The 1952 Topps set is often considered to be the most valuable set produced during the vintage era.
Modern (Printed In 1980 Or Later)
As previously noted, cards from this era are extremely scarce. There has been a tremendous growth in card manufacture during the course of the contemporary age. Several card companies, including Donruss and Upper Deck, as well as Fleece, Score, and Topps, were unable to keep up with the demand. Despite the fact that numerous cards from this era are much too common to be of any value, cards such as the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas rookie card are excellent examples of the era. The 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie card, the 1993 SP Derek Jeter rookie card, and the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas rookie card are among the other notable rookie cards.
When it comes to the baseball card collecting hobby, mistakes may play a huge influence in increasing the value of a card.
However, the availability of cards with errors is a factor that is reliant on the paucity of such cards. There are two sorts of mistakes that may be made in the activity.
Typically, these mistakes arise after the card has been manufactured, when the maker discovers the mistake. The issue is then remedied in the card’s future release, which makes the cards that had the fault very uncommon, causing their value to increase as a result. Among the most sought-after error cards is the T206 Joe Doyle, which was issued when Joe Doyle was pitching for the American League’s New York Highlanders during his time in the majors. T206 printed the card with a “NAT’L” mistake on it, indicating that he was a member of the National League at the time.
However, the limited edition of the error card proved to be valuable.
These are cards that have errors on them that were not corrected by the card manufacturer. The Hank Aaron Topps20 card from 1957 is an excellent example of a card with an uncorrected error on it. Hank Aaron was supposed to bat on the left side of the infield, but he actually batted on the right. Because of the player, it is worth a significant sum of money in its own right. However, it would have been more expensive for Topps to correct the error, resulting in only a few of the error cards remaining in circulation.
4. Position in Set Sequence
As strange since it may sound, the value of a baseball card may be determined by its placement in the set sequence, as this would dictate the printing and handling procedure for the card. It would be positioned in the upper-left corner of the sheet, making it susceptible to harm such as wear when the sheet is stacked. Among the most notable examples of this is the 1953 Topps1 Andy Pafko card, which is extremely difficult to come across in mint condition, raising its value.
5. Variation in Print
Variations in print, as opposed to mistakes, have to do with the design of a card and can arise for a variety of different causes. As a result of these design changes, the value of a card might increase by a large amount. The 1958 Topps Bobby Richardson cards, for example, are a perfect illustration of this. The regular version of the card has Bobby Robinson’s name printed in white across the top of the card. However, the card with his name inscribed in yellow is more expensive. PSA 9 versions of the white and yellow cards are available for purchase for $600 and $2500, respectively.
If you want a PSA 9 grade of the card with Mickey Mantle’s name written in white, you’ll pay $12,500, but if you want a PSA 9 grade with Mickey Mantle’s name written in yellow, you’ll pay $40,000.
This issue is linked to the emotional attachments that collectors have to baseball cards featuring some of the game’s top stars. Among those included are cards of players who are well-known to baseball fans, like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, and a slew of other legends.
Cards of Hall of Famers would be more expensive than cards of other players, as would be expected. However, it’s important to recognize that this component has a smaller impact than the other ones discussed above.
The scarcity of a baseball card is the single most important element in determining its value and worth. Baseball cards are usually of negligible significance, but the desire for them has made them lucrative in recent years. As a result, the scarcity of a baseball card has a substantial impact on the price of the card.
The determination of the price or price range of a baseball card is dependent on a number of elements, all of which have been discussed in detail in this article. Each of these characteristics, on the other hand, has a different impact on the price of baseball cards in differing degrees. It is crucial to note that taking all of the criteria into consideration would provide you with a near to perfect estimate of the value of your baseball card.
Baseball Card Values: The Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Sold
Baseball card collecting is a passion that many people take up at a young age and continue long into their adult years, which is unusual. As youngsters, young collectors understand the worth of baseball cards depending on the year the cards were manufactured, the player who appears on the card, and the quantity of cards in the collection that they have. Young baseball card collectors have grown up to become members of a knowledgable community, and with the most valuable baseball cards selling for hundreds or even millions of dollars at auction on occasion, baseball card collecting has become a popular hobby for both amateurs and experts.
A Brief History of Baseball Cards
It is common for people to begin collecting baseball cards at a young age and continue to do so well into their adult lives. Baseball card collectors understand the worth of baseball cards when they are young, depending on the year they were manufactured, the person shown on the card, and the set number. Young baseball card collectors have grown up to become members of an informed community, and with the most valuable baseball cards often fetching thousands or even millions of dollars at auction, baseball card collecting has become a popular activity for both amateurs and experts.
The Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Sold
|Card||Card No.||Auction Price|
|1952 Topps Mickey Mantle||–||$5,200,000|
|2009 Mike Trout Autographed||1/1||$3,936,000|
|1909–11 T206 “Jumbo” Honus Wagner||–||$3,200,000|
|1909–11 T206 “Gretzky” Honus Wagner||–||$2,800,000|
|1915-16 Sporting News M101-5 Babe Ruth||151||$717,000|
|1909 American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson||–||$667,189|
|1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle||253||$588,000|
|1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth||151||$575,000|
|1955 Topps Roberto Clemente||184||$478,000|
|1909-11 T206 Ty Cobb||–||$450,000|
|1909–11 T206 Eddie Plank||–||$414,750|
|1909-11 T206 N.Y. NAT’L Hands up Joe Doyle Misprint||–||$414,750|
|1954 Topps Henry “Hank” Aaron||128||$358,500|
|1938 Goudey Gum Company Joe DiMaggio||274||$288,000|
|1968 Topps Nolan Ryan Rookie Card||177||$132,000|
|1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson||103||$108,000|
|1915 Cracker Jack Ty Cobb||30||$103,000|
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle
Date: 1st of January, 2021 Private Sale at the Auctioneer’s Office Obtainable price: $5,200,000. This 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle got a condition grade of Mint PSA 9 and is currently the most expensive baseball card ever sold (though it is unlikely to hold that title for long). It is one of just six copies to get such a high grade in its original condition. Rob Gough, an actor and entrepreneur, purchased the card at a private sale in January 2021.
2009 Mike Trout Autographed Rookie Card
The date is August 2020. Goldin Auctions is the auction house in question. 3 940,000 dollars was the final price realized. This 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Superfractor autographed rookie card, by far the most recent addition to the list of the most valuable baseball cards, went for $3.94 million at a 2020 auction, displacing the T206 Honus Wagner and momentarily being the most costly baseball card ever sold.
1909–11 “Jumbo” T206 Honus Wagner
September 2016 is the month in question.
Goldin Auctions is the auction house in question. The price that was achieved was $3.2 million. Due to an error in the cutting of this Wagner card, it has a huge size and a larger white border, which adds to its monetary worth. This led to it being dubbed “Jumbo” by the public.
1909–11 “Gretzky” T206 Honus Wagner
April 2015 is the month in question. Robert Edward Auctions is the auction house in question. The price that was achieved was $2.8 million. This baseball card is identical to the “Jumbo” example, with the exception that it does not have the mis-cut. Due to the fact that the set was supplied by the American Tobacco Company, Wagner was not pleased with it, as he did not want youngsters to see him advocate cigarettes, among other reasons. As a result, only around 50-200 T206 Honus Wagner cards, including the “Jumbo,” were ever produced, making them very rare.
1915-16 Sporting News M101-5 Babe Ruth
The month of August 2016 Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. $1,077,000 was the final price achieved. Babe Ruth’s rookie card is extremely important not only because it depicts him as a member of the Boston Red Sox before he was traded to the New York Yankees, but also because it depicts him as a member of the Boston Red Sox before he was traded to the New York Yankees.
1909 American Caramel E90-1 Joe Jackson
The month of August 2016 SCP Auctions is the auction house in question. $667,189 was the final price achieved. Following the “Black Sox Scandal,” a Major League Baseball fixing episode, Joe Jackson was banned from baseball for life. As a result, there are less Joe Jackson rookie cards in circulation, which is why this rookie card is so expensive.
1951 Bowman253 Mickey Mantle
The month of August 2016 Memory Lane Inc. is the auction house in question. $588,00 was the final price achieved. Although manufacturing mistakes make grading this Mickey Mantle rookie card difficult, a pristine condition253 Mickey Mantle card sold for a world record amount in 2017. In place of his well-known No. 7, it had a No. 6 and was laid out in a horizontal fashion.
1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth
August 2012 is the month in question. Robert Edward Auctions is the auction house in question. $575,000 was the final price achieved. Neither the red nor the blue colored versions of this “pre-rookie” baseball card showing Babe Ruth are believed to be common. With just 10 of these cards believed to exist, even a low-grade grade card can sell for as much as $152,750 on the secondary market.
1955 Topps184 Roberto Clemente
February 2016 is the month in question. Heritage Auctions is the auction house in question. $478,000 was the final price achieved. The popularity of the athlete, more than the scarcity of this Topps card, determines the value of this card.
1909-11 T206 N.Y. NAT’L Joe Doyle Misprint
The month of August 2016 MBA is the auction house’s abbreviation. Seattle Auction House is a public auction house in Seattle, Washington. The final price reached was $414,750. Joe Doyle’s misprint card was created with him depicted as a pitcher for the New York Highlanders of the American League, rather than as a player. Inaccurately labeled as “NAT’L,” which is an acronym for the National League, the card has the name of the league incorrectly.
1954 Topps Henry “Hank” Aaron
May 2012 is the date of the event.
SCP Auctions is the auction house in question. The final price reached was $358,500. The fame of Hank Aaron has increased the value of this card, much as it has increased the value of Roberto Clemente. Throughout his career, he appeared in 21 consecutive All-Star games.
Baseball Card Price Guide: How Much Are Your Baseball Cards Worth?
Baseball cards are assessed depending on a variety of factors other than the player shown on the card itself. Conditions, mistakes, scarcity, and print variation are all factors that might influence the price and worth of a piece of jewelry. Most baseball card collections contain Topps baseball cards, which are the most widely distributed baseball cards in the world, however other brands such as Donruss, Fleer, and Upper Deck were also popular in the early days of baseball card collecting. You may learn more about the different cards in your collection and what to look for if you’re just getting started with them by reading this guide.
The value of Hall of Fame cards is normally higher than the value of regular player cards, however there are some exceptions. For emotional reasons, valuable common player cards are frequently worth more than their face value (if the player was considered a childhood idol, for example). However, when compared to other players, the baseball cards of famous players command a higher price than those of lesser known players. Also of note, most player cards are valued the greatest when they are rookie cards, which are issued to athletes who are in their first year as a professional baseball player.
The condition of a baseball card has an impact on the value of the card, independent of its rarity or condition. Checking the corners, edges, centering, and surfaces for signs of wear and tear will help you estimate the overall condition of the card.
- Corners: The corners should have crisp edges that are well-defined in order to be effective. “Poor” condition is defined as corners that are rounded, ripped, or frayed. In order to analyze the edge, the card should be turned sideways and the edge should be examined straight on. Chips or dents in the foil are examples of damage. In many cases, old cards were improperly cut by the maker, resulting in sloppy edges. The centering of the picture on the card refers to how the image was printed on the card in relation to the center of the card. This indicates that the borders are exactly the same width on all four sides of the page. Due to the fact that they were printed before more advanced printing processes were available, vintage cards can have centering concerns. Generally speaking, the lower the value of a card, the less centered it is. Aspects: The glossy or shiny cardboard used on the surface of current baseball cards makes it easier to distinguish between damage and non-damage. Devaluation of the card is caused by imperfections such as creases, indents, markings, fading, scratches, or stains.
Graded Versus Ungraded Cards
Graded baseball cards are those that have been evaluated by a professional grader for their condition and authenticity. Collectors are more likely to pay more for graded cards than they are for ungraded cards since it implies that the card being offered is real, according to statistics. A score is assigned to each card on a scale ranging from 1 to 10, with 1 representing “bad” and 10 representing “nearly perfect.” It is more difficult for buyers and sellers to come to an agreement on a reasonable price for baseball cards that have not been graded, because buyers and sellers cannot see the actual condition of the card.
In general, the more valuable a baseball card is, the longer it has been in circulation. Consider the value of a common baseball card from 1912 compared to the value of a common baseball card made in 1970. In certain cases, there are exceptions to this rule, such as if the card features a particular player who is not well-known or if the card is extremely uncommon. There are also other considerations to consider, such as the card’s condition. This is due to the fact that there are fewer of these cards in existence, and many have been lost or destroyed over time.
When baseball cards are produced, it is common for mistakes to occur. Depending on the rarity of the item, these inaccuracies can frequently result in price hikes. The inaccuracies on baseball cards may be divided into two categories: uncorrected errors and fixed errors. Corrected mistakes are those that are discovered and corrected by the manufacturer, however not before some of the cards containing the error have already been manufactured and distributed. As a result, because there are fewer error cards before the repair, the error cards before the correction are more infrequent.
The price of repaired mistake cards tends to be higher than the average price since there are two versions of the card and collectors are ready to pay a premium price for the non-corrected version.
Since then, the mistake has been fixed, and the original “NAT’L” version has been appraised for $550,000.
Print variants are distinct from mistakes in that they pertain to different designs and styles that were used in the printing of the card. Depending on the condition of the card, some cards can have a white font while others can have a yellow font. An example of this is the yellow font version of the 1969 Topps Mickey Mantle card, which can fetch up to four times the price of the white font version depending on the condition of the card. Other variants might include different color backs as well as information printed on the back of the card (see illustration).
Because of the way baseball cards are printed and handled, the worth of a baseball card may be determined by the set order. When the first card in a set is placed in the top left corner of the sheet, it is more vulnerable to damage than the other cards in that set. Additionally, because of its placement in the set, the card is more exposed than the others when stacked, and as a result, it is more prone to get worn over time. As an example, the 1953 Topps1 Andy Pafko card, which is notoriously difficult to locate in pristine condition due to its position in the set, is a well-known example of this.
Prior to the 1980s, the number of baseball cards available for purchase was restricted. As a result, cards issued prior to this date are valued more than cards issued after this date because of their age and rarity. Cards with a “high number” that were printed at the conclusion of the baseball season, as opposed to cards that were printed in the summer to keep children’s attention, frequently sell for more money than ordinary cards. “Short prints” are cards that were printed in a less quantity for no apparent reason, and as a result, they might be worth more money.
If you keep additional factors in mind, such as condition, print variety, and scarcity, you may find yourself holding numerous new and valuable baseball cards in your hands very soon.
More from the In Good Taste series: How to Calculate the Value of Your Football Trading Cards Lionel Trains: What They Are Worth, Their History, and What Collectors Need to Know 9 of the Most Exorbitant Bottles of Wine Ever Sold Old sports cards|Athlon Sports|The Atlantic are some of the sources.
Everything You Need to Know About Grading Vintage Baseball Cards
When determining the worth of sports cards, the condition of the cards is critical. Many people who are trying to sell their cards are unsure of how to rate them, or, more significantly, how other people will evaluate them, which is understandable. It might be difficult to determine the condition of your cards, and thus, the worth of your collection. Collectors frequently rely on third-party graders, sometimes known as TPGs, to make a condition determination on their behalf. However, learning how to appraise condition for yourself is a valuable skill whether you’re selling or purchasing new material for your own collection.
When it comes to evaluating or grading cards, both modern and old cards are regarded similarly.
A vintage card, despite the fact that it may be more than a century old, is nonetheless held to the same exacting requirements as a card created today. We’ve included descriptions and samples of the qualities of each grade, ranging from MINT to AUTHENTIC, in the sections below.
MINT or MT (PSA 9 or SGC 96):
A MINT card will be a virtually flawless card that is as clean and crisp as the day it was printed, and it will be worth its weight in gold. In addition, there will be no surface imperfections such as wrinkles, bends, and staining on any side (front or back). With a ratio of 55/45 or better all-around, the picture will be centered inside the borders, and the corners and edges will be crisp and clean, much like a new business card. Corners that are sharp and the center that is centered 55/45Sharp corners and well centered almost 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50Sharp corners and well centered nearly 50/50
Near Mint to Mint or NM/MT (PSA 8 or SGC 88):
A NM/MT card will appear to the naked eye to be identical to a MINT card, but upon closer inspection, it may have slightly less centering and a light touch of wear that may be visible on a corner. NM/MT cards should be free of flaws on the surface such as bends, creases, and stains on both the front and back of the card. Centering must be no worse than 60/40 all around. Orientation and a slight tilt Very light corner tick and centering Corner tick Corner wear is extremely minimal.
Near Mint or NM (PSA 7 or SGC 84):
Close inspection of an NM/MT card will reveal that it has the same appearance as a MINT card, but it may have a little less centering and a little touch of wear that can be seen on a corner. NM/MT cards should be free of faults on the surface such as bends, creases, and stains on both the front and back of the cards. All around, the centering ratio must be no worse than 60/40. Orientation and a little tilt are important considerations. Corner ticking and centering are quite light. Tick in the corner Corner wear is minimal.
Excellent to Mint or EX/MT (PSA 6 or SGC 80):
An EX/MT card, which is a more frequent “higher” grade for vintage cards, may have slightly fuzzy edges, color or print flaws, a little skewed cut, or a slightly out-of-focus picture, among other characteristics. The centering ratio must be at least 70/30 all around. Corner lift and minor corner wear are both present. Corner wear is minimal. Corner wear is minimal. Corner crimping in the reverse direction
Excellent or EX (PSA 5 or SGC 60):
This is a more frequent grade for older cards than the previous one. The corners may show the beginnings of rounding due to normal wear and tear. It is possible that the sheen of the surface may begin to diminish. Cards should still have a centering ratio of at least 75/25, if not better. a significant deviation from the center Corner wear and a small amount of crimping at the corner wear on the corners Back wrinkles that aren’t very noticeable
Very Good to Excellent or VG/EX (PSA 4 or SGC 50):
It is normal for the corners of a VG/EX card to exhibit signs of wear and mild creasing along the edge. The centering ratio must be at least 80/20. On the back of the card, there may be a faint wrinkle or a slight crease that is visible. Cards with more major print flaws, as well as cards with wax stains, will fall into the VG/EX category.
Corner wear and a loss of surface sheen are two of the most common problems. Even wear on the corners Corner wear and the presence of a little foreign substance on the surfaceCorner wear and the absence of a shine on the surface Corner wear and a small amount of crimp
Very Good or VG (PSA 3 or SGC 40):
Generally, cards in Very Good condition will have minor wear and the edges may be rounded rather than square. In most cases, cards with a significant wrinkle or crease will be graded VG regardless of their other features. Similarly, this is often the highest grade awarded to any card that has a stain on the surface. Wrinkle on the front wear on the corners Corner wear is severe. crease in the back
Good or GD (PSA 2 or SGC 30):
Unusual wear and tear on a GD card includes rounded corners, several folds, a very minor rip at the borders, and tape residue on the reverse, among other things. It is rare to find a crease that fractures the surface (either on the front or back) that will grade higher than GD. crease on the front Scratches on the front surface and heavy corner wear Back crease that is rather severe.
Poor or PR (PSA 1 or SGC 10):
There will be substantial difficulties with a PR card, such as ink or pencil marks on the card, loss of paper from creases or discoloration, high wear from pins and tacks, tape or minor tears to the card. If a card has tape on it, or a pin or tack hole in it, it may be graded in any of the categories above, but the fault will restrict it to a PR rating. a lot of creases and wear pronounced crease Pinhole Writing on the back side of cards might be off center, from left to right, from top to bottom, or both at the same time.
- 0 percent to the left and 100 percent to the right of the center Miscut from the very top to the very bottom Half-points are awarded.
- Generally speaking, half grades indicate that the card possesses some of the features necessary for the following grade higher, but not enough to warrant a full grade award.
- Because of the fault, the value is often at least two classes lower than it should be.
- The following are examples of several sorts of qualifiers:
- (One or more borders are much bigger than the opposing border
- OC – off center.) The term ST refers to staining (which can be caused by chemicals such as wax, gum, water, or other things). Smears of ink, random areas of ink, “fish eyes,” and other printing flaws that occur during the manufacturing process are referred to as print defects (PD). The term “OUT OF FOCUS” refers to a picture that is out of focus due to registration or color application. MK – Marks – (pencil writing, ink stamps, or any other type of mark)
- The abbreviation MC stands for Miscut (a section of the card is missing or a portion of another card shows on a normal-sized card). The term TR refers to a card that has been trimmed (the card may have been cut, either gently or severely, to make it smaller or to improve its aesthetic). Original but changed, mended, or otherwise improved
- AUTH – Authentic (card is authentic but has been altered, repaired, or otherwise enhanced)
Pricing for Professional Grading: If you prefer to have your cards professionally graded, you can anticipate to spend at least $15 per card – this does not include shipping and handling charges. Prepare to spend between $50 and $300 per card if you have a particularly expensive one in your possession. The penalty for exceeding $10,000 in stated value is upwards of $700! PSAPSA is the largest participant in the sports card grading sector, with over a million members. They are the first grading firm in the hobby, having been established in the early 1990s and grading millions of cards since then.
- In certain circumstances, PSA graded cards attract a higher price than other types of trading cards.
- Costs and information about becoming a member a grading system Grading with the SGCSGC is similar to grading with PSA in that it specializes in grading old and prewar cards.
- The company, which was formerly situated in New Jersey, has just relocated to the South Florida area.
- Beckett is perhaps most known for their card pricing publications, but they also have BGS (Beckett Grading Services) for contemporary cards (1981 to present), as well as a section named BVG (Beckett Value Group) (Beckett Vintage Grading).
- Please keep in mind that Beckett Collector’s Club Grading should never be used (BCCG).
- Costs and information about becoming a member Should you have your playing cards evaluated by a professional?
- For those wishing to sell their collections quickly, it is typically not necessary to pay for grading services unless the collection is of particularly high quality and dates back to before World War II, in which case it may be worthwhile.
For high-end cards, the main three grading businesses spend a lot of money promoting themselves as the sole alternative available to customers.
Many collectors prefer “raw” cards, which are cards that have not been encased in a protective plastic shell.
The condition of their own cards is frequently overestimated by inexperienced collectors, who then submit them for expert grading only to be gravely disappointed by the findings.
Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
This question has now been given its own page on our website.
Are you looking to sell?
The first is to get the cards professionally graded.
In this instance, you’ll want to take your time choosing a grading service and deciding which cards you’ll want them to evaluate.
Sending them everyone away for grading is one option; sending only the top performers is another option.
Option number two is to just sell the collection in its unprocessed form.
This is a great choice for first-time collectors who are trying to dump their inventory of cards.
You’re not sure if you should grade or not.
We will evaluate them and get back to you as soon as possible. A professional grader from our company will even provide you with an estimate on a card of your choosing. We’ll show you current market prices and, if you’re interested, we’ll make you an offer within 24 hours.
6 Tools to Answer the Question: How Much Are My Baseball Cards Worth?
“Can you tell me how much my baseball cards are worth?” As one of the most compelling questions in the ordinary card collector’s life, it ranks right up there with “Are we there yet?” and “How long till the weekend?” as one of the most engaging inquiries. Although we are unable to tell your children that the wait is almost over or to make Friday come any sooner, we can start working on the problem of card values. Sadly, your old playing cards may not be worth what you previously believed they would be in today’s market.
So, how can you figure out how much your baseball cards are actually worth?
Let’s take a look at six of the most outstanding examples.
eBay “Sold” Listings
The worth of my cards to my father quickly increased when I began collecting in the 1980s, based on what I was seeing in the yearly Beckett price guide and what I had learned from other collectors (affiliate link). It’s safe to say that Dad wasn’t impressed. Whenever it came to determining the monetary value of anything, Dad’s credo sprang to mind: “It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” It was sound counsel at the time. As a result, eBay is my preferred way of determining card values.
To illustrate, let’s pretend you’ve heard that the 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe card is a rare and valuable collectible (it is not) and you want to find out how valuable it really is.
You can check the “Sold listings” box on eBay to see how much the Jose card is selling for — or how much it is “worth” — on the auction site.
Vintage Card Prices
Using a single database, Vintage Card Values takes the concept of searching eBay for gradedcard prices to the next step by collecting selling prices from numerous online auction sites (eBay, HugginsScott, and so on) into a single searchable database. Ultimately, the outcome is a type of one-stop shop that provides an overview of recent card transactions and allows you to evaluate your purchasing and selling alternatives in one convenient location. It looks like this on the listing for our 1990 Fleer Jose Uribe dreamboat, according to the seller: As you might guess, this additional feature comes at a price, and in order to view past pricing information, you must subscribe.
The free membership, on the other hand, is still beneficial since it allows you to compare your wish list against the thousands of cards that Vintage Card Prices keeps track of.
For the record, “Beckett” has been the most recognizable name in sports card pricing guides for at least 40 years, dating back to the annual tomes that my father didn’t really believe. It should come as no surprise that the pricing behemoth has kept up with the times and now provides an online subscription to its price information. They do, however, provide The Beckett Marketplace, where card collectors may purchase and sell their cards to one another. You may use this page to browse through categories of cards currently available for purchase or to do focused searches to locate specific cards that interest you.
In addition, you may click on “COMPARE SELLERS” to discover what other sellers have to offer.
PSA Sports Market Report Price Guide
PSA has developed into the primary grading and certifying company in the hobby over the course of the last couple of decades. The millions of card submissions they’ve handled throughout the course of that period have resulted in the development of a massive database of card-condition populations (see theirPopulation Report). By itself, the pop report is a useful tool for determining which cards could have some worth based on their relative availability, but PSA has also been keeping track of how much money collectors are willing to pay for the cards they grade.
On that page, you may dive down into particular sets and then select the exact cards that interest you.
As a result, we will not be able to add another Jose Uribe data point from the 1990 Fleer set to our collection, but we will be able to examine some of the major cards from the nearby 1990 Topps set:
If you’re looking for really obscure cards or extremely high-end merchandise, eBay is likely to be hit-or-miss at best for your needs. A genuinely exceptional piece of memorabilia or card will almost always find its way to one of the large, prominent hobby or antique auction houses when someone is ready to cash in. For example, you may wait for a 1954 Bowman Ted Williams card to come up for auction and then visit the auction house’s website to see how much the gem sold for. Alternatively. You might simply go toPriceRealized and conduct some Googling there instead.
For example, when I go looking for the Splendid Splinter card, I discover that PriceRealized has documented 15 sales of the card: The downside here is that there may have been a significant lapse in time between the latest sales result and the time you conduct your search, meaning that the market may have changed significantly.
Nonetheless, PriceRealized is an excellent resource for gaining a grip on the high end of the sport. As an extra caution, if you visit the site, you may find yourself dragged into it for hours at a time – it is quite addicting!)
Check Out My Cards
It’s going to be hit-or-miss if you’re looking for really obscure cards or extremely expensive items on eBay. A genuinely exceptional piece of memorabilia or card will almost always find its way to one of the major, famous hobby or antique auction houses when someone is eager to cash in. If you want to find out how much your 1954 Bowman Ted Williams card is worth, you may wait for one to come up for sale and then check back on the auction house’s website to see how much the hidden gem was sold for.
Instead, you might simply go toPriceRealized and conduct some Googling for yourself.
So, for example, when I go looking for the Splendid Splinter card, I discover that PriceRealized has documented 15 sales for it: Note that there may be a significant lag between the previous sales result and when you conduct your search, resulting in a market that is much different from what you were expecting.
You may find yourself drawn into the site for hours at a time if you visit (as an extra caution, the site is addicting!
7 Baseball Card Value Apps to Help Price a Collection
Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate connections to eBay, Amazon, and other platforms throughout the text, as well as in the sidebar advertisements and in other places of the site. Because I am a member of the eBay Partner Network and other affiliate programs, I will get a compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my affiliate links. In the same way, as an Amazon Associate, I receive commissions from qualifying sales. The entire “there’s an app for that” marketing and associated pop culture craze feels like it happened a long time ago (younger collectors probably have no idea what I’m talking about, to be honest).
Isn’t it incredible?
The following are seven different apps to examine when it comes to putting a monetary value on the cards in question, listed in no particular order.
- Beckett, Alt(Referral Link), SportsCard Investor, Cardbase, eBay(Affiliate Link), SoldFor, and WorthPoint(Free Trial Affiliate Link) are some of the websites that I recommend.
1. Sports Card Investor
The App Store has received 4.9 stars and 4,600 ratings, while Google Play has received 4.8 stars and 717 ratings. “However, baseball cards aren’t a good investment!” If you’ve spent any amount of time in any baseball card community, you’ve almost certainly heard this issue raised at least once. Regardless of your beliefs, you may still need a simple, easy-to-use software to assist you in determining the worth of your collection. The Sports Card Investorapp has large, sharp photos, tables of statistics displaying current transactions, and historical charts that allow you to quickly determine how “up and down” a card’s worth is fluctuating.
A large amount of information and purchasing alternatives are gathered in one location and presented in a straightforward manner. App Store is a place where you may get applications. Google Play is a digital distribution platform that allows users to upload and share content.
Because it isn’t a legitimate program, this should be treated as an unique entry. However, I thought it was very nice and useful and wanted to share it with you. If you haven’t heard of Alt, it is a variety of things, the most important of which is that it is a marketplace where you can buy sports cards, as discussed in this piece. Of course, you can also make money by selling cards, and one tool that Alt gives to assist you in doing so is their “Instant pricer.” At first, I assumed it would be some type of scanner, but it turns out that all you have to do is submit a photo of your identification card.
Just to put it simply, Alt (among other things) provides a new exchange where you can buy and sell cards.
(Learn more about Alternative here.) If you’re interested in giving Alt a try, you can get a free $25 spending credit by visiting this referral link and creating an account.
3. Cardbase: Sports Card Tracker
On the App Store, the rating is 4.6 stars with 466 reviews, while on Google Play, the rating is 4.3 stars with 162 reviews. To be quite honest, Cardbase was the only one of the applications listed above and below that I had never heard of before, and I only discovered it after performing a “cover my bases” search on the AppStore. So, while I haven’t spent much time with the app, I can tell you that I have loved the UI and the options available to me in my limited time with it. Once you’ve downloaded the software, you can go ahead and search for a card, which you can then add to your portfolio along with all of the relevant information, such as the date the card was acquired and the purchase price.
The program will track the value of the card based on previous eBay transactions, and it will do so with attractive visuals, recent completed sale information, and other features.
On the App Store, the rating is 4.6 stars with 466 ratings, while on Google Play, the rating is 4.3 stars with 162 reviews. If I’m being really honest, Cardbase was the only one of the applications listed above and below that I had never heard of before, and I only discovered it after performing a “cover my bases” search on the AppStore. Despite the fact that I haven’t spent much time with the app, I can tell you that the UI and settings have piqued my interest during my little exposure to them.
You may then observe how the value of a card increases in your portfolio as it is added to it (hopefully).
When used in conjunction with recent eBay transactions, this software will track the card’s value, displaying attractive visuals and providing information on recently completed eBay sales, among other things. App Store is a place where you can get apps. You can also buy apps. GooglePlay
On the App Store, the game received 4.8 stars and 39 ratings, while on Google Play, the game received 3.7 stars and 61 ratings. Regarding our last topic, have you ever observed that when viewing sold items on eBay, those that were accepted via best offer had their price shown with a strikethrough? If you’re just getting back into collecting cards, you may not be aware that the price displayed does not correspond to the price at which the card was sold. This means that for example, if a card was listed at a ridiculous $100 price, but the seller accepted a best offer of $20, it is the $100 price that you will see displayed on the app, which can be misleading if you don’t notice the strikethrough or, more likely, if you don’t understand what it indicates by the strikethrough.
In the case of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s “2019 Topps Series 2 NNO No Number SP Card RC Rookie PSA 9,” which sold on May 26th for “$95,” the sample below shows the card that sold on May 26th for “$95.” But, once again, take note of the strikethrough—the $95 is just the amount at which the seller advertised the card, but with the “Best Offer” option activated, the seller accepted a cheaper offer from a potential buyer.
However, as you can see above, SoldFor is displaying the genuine $85 sales price, although there is no way to determine that accepted amount from the eBay mobile application (in red).
Google Play is a digital distribution platform that allows users to upload and share content.
6. WorthPoint (Free Trial Here)
On the App Store, the game received 4.8 stars and 39 ratings, while on Google Play, the game received 3.7 stars and 61 reviews. As a continuation of the discussion from above, have you ever observed that when you look at sold listings on eBay, those that were accepted via best offer have their price stated with a strikethrough? For those of you who are just getting back into collecting cards, you may not be aware that the price displayed does not reflect the amount at which the card was ultimately sold for.
Having gone through all of that background information and build-up, we get at this point: SoldFor and other similar applications can tell you how much the card went for, if it was a “Best Offer.” In the case of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s “2019 Topps Series 2 NNO No Number SP Card RC Rookie PSA 9,” which sold on May 26th for “$95,” the sample below shows the card that sold on the same day for “$95.” But notice the strikethrough—the $95 is simply the listing price, and because “Best Offer” was turned on by the seller, he accepted a cheaper offer from an unsuspecting customer.
However, as you can see above, SoldFor is displaying the genuine $85 sales price, although there is no way to determine that accepted amount from the eBay app (in red).
App Store is a place where you can get apps. You can also buy apps. Google Play is a digital distribution platform that allows users to download and install applications.
On the App Store, there are 1,600 ratings and 4.5 stars, whereas on Google Play, there are 714 ratings and 3.1 stars. Another name you’ve definitely heard before, but this time, instead of the monthly membership magazine you’d rush out and check the mail for, you’ll have card values at your fingertips with the Beckett app, which you can download for free. You will still be required to pay the monthly price, but if you are a frequent Beckett user who has found yourself referencing either the print or online guide on a regular basis, this app should make things a little simpler.
You can do with the information (maybe more to compare various cards), but the applications mentioned above may be more fluid and therefore better indications of the real worth of the cards you’re trying to purchase or sell at this time, so use them at your discretion.
Google Play is a digital distribution platform that allows users to upload and share content.