Looking to Sell Baseball Cards? Here’s How (and Where) to Do It
“Can you tell me how I can sell my baseball cards?” It’s a question that we get asked by people all around the country who call us for help. What they truly mean, or what they ask as a follow-up inquiry, is, “Where can I sell my baseball cards?” or anything along those lines. We’re fairly excellent at assisting these individuals, and we’ll give you with a few crucial actions as well as answers to those same queries on this page. Before you begin, you should double-check your deck to make sure you understand what cards you have.
Although they may not be in the finest of shape, most old cards have some monetary worth.
Older baseball cards and other sports cards, on the other hand, have a thriving secondary market (generally cards manufactured before 1980).
The value of your cards will be determined by a number of variables, including the demand for them and the condition in which they are found.
Most local sports card dealers may be interested in purchasing your collection, but only if they believe they will be able to generate a profit on it soon.
A globally recognized dealer who has the financial means and client base to pay you more for your cards than the local card store might be a great choice for you to consider.
Sell Your Vintage Sports Cards For Cash
Fill out the free assessment form provided below: Each collection is unique, and each seller has his or her own set of objectives, but there are certain fundamental procedures that anyone, even a total newbie, may take in order to be able to sell sports cards. Follow the procedures outlined below to acquire a better understanding of what you have, what condition it is in, what grade it may receive, and how much it has recently sold for. From there, you may choose which selling path is the most appropriate for you, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Identify exactly which sports cards are in your collection and where they came from.
Look for stats, manufacturer, and copyright date
Each card should have the year and manufacturer printed on it. If you’re not sure what year a card is from, have a look at the back of the card. If a player’s statistics are provided, search for the year that was indicated on the player’s statistics page. It is nearly often the case that the card is from the next year. As an example, if the back of the card has statistics that stretch all the way back to 1955, the card is from 1956. In addition, look for a copyright date and the name of the maker on the back of the card in the fine print.
The reverse of a Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card from 1958.
For example, you may Google “Mickey Mantle Topps150” to find out the card you’re looking for in this situation. You can tell it’s a Topps card since it has the letters T.C.G. on the right side, which stands for Topps Chewing Gum (highlighted here in yellow).
Use Google to figure out the year (and brand)
You can search for the player’s name and card number on Google, as well as part of the information on the back that is in quotation marks, if there are no statistics, no copyright date, and you are unable to ascertain the year and/or the brand. It is possible that the text will include a recap of the player’s career or possibly some advertisement for cigarette or sweets companies. This is the most likely method of obtaining information on the card. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your options, try using Google Images or even YouTube.
Determine what era your cards are from
If a set was made before WWII (1941) and after WWII (1945), it is termed vintage; if it was made before WWII (1945), it is considered pre-war; and anything made after 1980 is considered contemporary. If the cards are in good shape, antique and pre-war collections often fetch a far greater price than current collections.
Identify the stars of your collection
The monetary worth of any set or collection of cards is exactly proportionate to the number of star cards that are included in the set or collection in question. A collection of ten baseball cards including three superstars is often worth more than a collection of one hundred baseball cards featuring only one superstar. However, there are a few notable exceptions, such as Old Judges and T206s. If you are unable to correctly identify all of the superstars in your collection, you may find yourself selling your cards for far less than you should have done.
- The greatest Major League Baseball players of all time
- The greatest NBA players of all time
- The greatest NFL players of all time
- The greatest NHL players of all time
Having a group of these men together may result in something very unique and memorable. Once you’ve determined what you have, when it was made, and which celebrities are involved, you’ll be well on your way to calculating the worth of your collection. A Bowman from 1949 Jackie Robinson was one of his most sought baseball cards. Examine the condition of your playing cards in Step 2. Make every effort to determine the condition of your playing cards. If you’re successful in identifying issues, your prospective buyer will very certainly do the same (and probably others as well).
Corner wear, creases, surface scuffs, off-centering, paper loss, being out of focus, and writing on a baseball card are all examples of faults that can occur on baseball cards.
Vintage and prewar cards were printed utilizing outdated printing procedures and equipment, and as a result, they typically include print flaws, centering difficulties, and miscuts.
Store your cards safely
Once you’ve recognized your cards and assessed their condition, make sure to store the most valuable ones in plastic sleeves, toploaders, or plastic sheets in binders or albums to protect them from being damaged. This will guarantee that they are not subjected to any additional wear and tear, as well as that the value of your cards is maintained and protected. One of Tom Seaver’s rookie cards from 1967 Topps, with some corner wear and centering difficulties. Step three: Become acquainted with the grading system.
Third-party specialists such as the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Sports Card Guarantee (SGC), and Beckett all assist individuals in determining the worth of vintage sports cards and memorabilia by authenticating cards and establishing a standardized standard for condition for all items.
- The better the grade, the higher the monetary value of the card.
- You should not, however, get your cards graded unless absolutely necessary.
- Step 4: Review recent eBay sales results.
- In order to achieve the greatest outcomes, provide condition information as well.
- If you look at previous final selling prices for similar cards on eBay, you’ll have a good indication of how much the card is worth.
- The majority of dealers will most likely offer you between 50 and 60 percent of the most recent final sale prices, if not less.
Recent sales of a search for “T206 Lajoie” have been found. Take note that the sale prices for sold products are displayed in green (as opposed to black). Step 5: Investigate other avenues for selling your cards.
Selling on eBay
Selling on eBay is one of the first options that most people think of when they think about selling. Although this can be a realistic choice for those with previous experience, it is not recommended for those who are less experienced. Actually, we discourage people from selling on eBay so frequently that we established a page titled “7 Reasons Why You Should NOT Try to Sell Your Cards on eBay” to help them.
Selling on Craigslist
Many individuals consider Craigslist to be the next best option after eBay when it comes to selling their card collection. This is also not always the most optimal strategy to use. Craigslist advertisements will restrict your potential purchasers to those in your immediate vicinity, and there is always the possibility of being ripped off in one way or another. Even if you are successful in finding a buyer through Craiglist, you will almost certainly be able to obtain a greater selling price by selling your home elsewhere.
Selling to a dealer
Until recently, you could locate a baseball card dealer in almost any town in the United States of America. However, with the bursting of the baseball card bubble in the late 1990s and early 2000s, card dealers have become fewer and farther between. The number of big dealers that acquire collections from all over the country and the world has shrunk dramatically in recent years, particularly when it comes to collections of antique and prewar cards. It doesn’t matter if it’s here with us or with another respectable dealer; we strongly advise selling to a professional who makes their livelihood doing this.
- You’ll find detailed information on our purchasing procedure further down on this page.
- In order to deliver your products to one of our five evaluation locations, we provide a variety of shipping choices.
- If your collection has a high monetary value, we will cover all shipping costs.
- While we recognize that some people may be uncomfortable sending in a valuable collection of sports cards and memorabilia, we also understand that others may be.
- If you do not live within driving distance of our office but have a valuable or rare collection that cannot be shipped, our team of specialists will fly out to you for a free evaluation at your convenience.
- What we are looking for We’ll buy your baseball cards and memorabilia if they have any monetary worth.
- We are constantly on the lookout for (pre-1980) sports and non-sports trading cards.
- We also enjoy trading cards that feature celebrities or Hall of Famers, as well as high-grade cards that feature everyday players.
- Just Collect purchases a variety of other collectibles in addition to sports cards.
- Only in recent months have we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars collecting historic sports collections from people all around the United States and Canada.
We want to continue this trend in the future. Get in touch with us You can reach us by phone at 732-828-2261 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, you may contact us by email at [email protected]
150,000 worthless baseball cards in the time of coronavirus
The 7th of May, 2020 On one particular day in first grade, I was sitting in my little-kid chair at a table that was low to the ground and listening to music when the loudspeaker in my classroom blared to life. Is it possible for Ryan Hockensmith to visit the guidance counselor’s desk? I had no idea what a guidance counselor did, so I was completely befuddled when I walked into his office by accident. Mr. Thompson, on the other hand, was familiar with me. He inquired about the weather, how I was doing at school, and how wonderful it must have been to be on the same T-ball all-star squad as my younger brother Jason, among other things.
- “How are things at home?” he inquired, his voice a little quieter and his phrases spaced out enough to imply worry.
- “It’s very decent,” I commented.
- No, not at all.
- What made him think he was right?
- He noted how much he like basketball when we returned to the subject of T-ball and football, and I agreed.
- I was relieved when he informed me I could return to my classroom, and I was certain that my family’s secret would remain safe.
- The feeling of apprehension lasted around 30 seconds.
Thompson remarked, slipped a 1979 Topps Pedro Guerrero rookie card over his desk to me, and we exchanged pleasantries.
At the time, my brothers and I had a few baseball cards at home, but because we were so young (I was seven, Jason was five, and Dustin was three), we didn’t have much of a collection.
Maybe you can hang on to that and remember that if you ever need to talk to someone about anything that’s going on in your life, I’m always available to listen.” My anguish erupted through my body and out of my eyes as the tears flowed.
When I was finally able to utter a few words, I turned to Mr.
What can I do to persuade him to return?
I have no recollection of meeting with him again, or of what I thought later that day or the following week.
But there are two things that stand out in my mind about that moment: I remember sobbing because it was the first baseball card I had ever seen, and it was the only time I can remember crying because my parents’ marriage had ended.
Yes, she answered, “how would you like some peace and quiet?” she said.
Nerves have been fried.
However, they are not fond of each other for considerable periods of time.
You are paralyzed by fear of the outside world.
The only place of refuge in my house is the basement, which has an old couch, three litter boxes, and that damned artificial Christmas tree, which the cats are still attempting to ingest.
After my parents separated, those cards were the glue that held my life together.
It was largely a colossal failure.
I thought that I could receive a few thousand dollars for them, and that I could use the money to take the family on a road vacation.
The vast overproduction and fraud that plagued the baseball card industry during its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s had consigned that segment of the industry to extinction.
Despite the fact that I was calling an auction house that demanded money up advance and then a portion of anything sold, the firm indicated it didn’t bother with any cards from that era despite the fact that there was absolutely no risk involved.
Now I recognized that just one or two of them were truly valuable.
Even if I kept trying to sell them, I’m confident that I’d ultimately find someone who would be willing to pay me something – even $100 – for all of them.
Alternatively, I may dispose of them in the garbage.
On that particular day, it poured biblically.
During a break from grabbing lunch for our movers, my wife called and told me I needed to go home immediately.
In the meantime, it was steadily engulfing my card collection.
We were forced to dig our way out of the swamp by yanking as many boxes out as we could, but entire crates were wrecked after being submerged in what the fire department eventually determined to be sewage water that had backed up into our home.
It had crossed my mind to just toss the whole thing out the window.
I vacillated between the want to throw them and the pains of nostalgia that I couldn’t seem to shake.
It was a huge 1980s-era jumble of step-this and half-that, and my parents did an excellent job of making it feel as natural and comfortable for us as they possibly could have.
On weekends, my brothers and I would go to my father’s house every other weekend, and we would frequently pack bags that had only two items – necessities like clothing and toothbrushes, as well as our playing cards.
We’d open packages together and revel in the excitement of discovering something brand new.
Rather than the cards, we were more concerned with the common ground shelter we’d discovered beneath the tornado that was overhead, a location where you could still hear the wind but felt peaceful and protected.
We’d spread out on the floor of both houses, say a kind welcome to our stepmom or stepdad, and then disappear into the world of playing cards for a while.
Yet here I was, some 30 years later, gazing at the shattered pieces of my collection and feeling paralyzed by indecision: should I throw away the remaining cards or hold on to the last vestiges of my childhood?
When the phone rang, a voice on the other end said, “HELLO, THIS ISJEFF THOMPSON.” “Hello, Mr.
“You used to be a guidance counselor at Rossmoyne Elementary School, didn’t you?” “You used to be a guidance counselor at Rossmoyne Elementary School, didn’t you?” Yes, it was he who did it.
He told me I could call him Jeff, but I preferred the name Mr.
He chuckled and said it was great, and the rest of the hour was spent chatting.
He had no recollection of working with me at Rossmoyne, and even the Pedro Guerrero card failed to elicit a recollection.
It was explained to me that he distributed cards because there were a large number of youngsters like me in the early 1980s, when divorce rates reached all-time highs.
You just want to establish a relationship.” When I said “Mr.
“In fact, Ryan, I am a member of the West Shore Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Chagrin Falls Sports Hall of Fame, which are both located in my birthplace of Cleveland, Ohio.
The following question was asked: “Do you think I should sell my card collection?” He wouldn’t say yes or no, but he did tell me that he regretted getting rid of his old playing cards from his childhood.
“And it’s quite difficult to ever get that piece of yourself back.” As we said goodbye, I vowed to get in touch with him and informed him that this phone conversation had swayed the scales in his favor.
OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, when I haven’t been interrupting pre-K students with lunch orders, I’ve found myself increasingly looking at my business card collection.
One of the most unsettling aspects of quarantine, in my opinion, is the lack of chapter breaks in one’s personal history.
For the time being, everything appears to be one long run-on sentence.
When is this going to come to an end?
Will the economy come crashing down?
“Don’t live in the ruins of your future,” warns a buddy of mine, and he’s correct.
Even in the best-case scenarios that I can concoct about what a post-COVID-19 world would look like, I am filled with dread for the society in which my children will grow up.
However, when I’m in my basement with my cards, I’m ten percent less afraid.
I don’t even bother to look into them.
I just stand there staring at them.
All three of my daughters are in a stage of life where they are attempting to make sense of the outside world and how to engage with it effectively.
They gravitate toward electronic devices and streaming services, and they remain quiet and serene for extended periods of time.
and on it goes, and on it goes.
Fortunately, I go to bed most nights with a tinge of hope in my heart.
I hope my daughters feel the same way about themselves.
It was too difficult to come downstairs to tell me in person, after all, when my eldest daughter read this narrative (she always edits anything I say, type, or think).
Instead of sending me a touching letter about how affected she was, I’d want to inform you that she really typed the following message: “It’s an exceptionally well-written narrative.
This is especially true because we are not permitted to own it.” Then she inquired as to when she will be able to have TikTok.
My wife and I are both going to give in to the app eventually. The parental OK click is usually so much simpler to get than the struggle – and right now, no one should be denied their shelter, even if it is made of small little pieces of cardboard, because of their financial situation.
What the Hell Should I Do With My Massive Baseball Card Collection?
On one particular day in first grade, I was sitting in my little-kid chair at a table that was low to the ground and listening to music when the loudspeaker in my classroom blared to life. I couldn’t believe it. Ryan Hockensmith is a high school senior who would like to visit the guidance counselor. So when I walked into his office, I was completely clueless because I didn’t even know what a guidance counselor was. Mr. Thompson, on the other hand, was familiar with my work. My younger brother Jason was on the same T-ball all-star team as me, so he was interested in how the weather was, how I liked school, and how cool it must have been to be on the same team as me.
- ‘How are things going at home?’ he inquired, his voice a little lower and his words spaced out enough to indicate concern.
- He was aware of what was going on in the room.
- My response was, “Everything’s fine.” He mentioned how much he enjoyed basketball after we returned to talking about T-ball and football.
- My father eventually told me I could return to my classroom and I assumed my family’s secret would remain a closely guarded secret.
- For about 30 seconds, I was filled with dread.
- Thompson said, slid a 1979 Topps Pedro Guerrero rookie card across his desk to me, and we both laughed.
- At the time, my brothers and I had a few baseball cards at home, but we were still quite young (I was seven, Jason was five, and Dustin was three) and didn’t have a large collection.
Maybe you can hang on to it and remember that if you ever need to talk to someone about anything that’s going on in your life, I’m always available to talk to you.” Throughout my body, tears poured out of my eyes as I realized what I had done.
My questions to Mr.
The question is, “How do I persuade him to return?” Possibly you could speak with him and simply tell him to return home.
Thompson sat back and nodded.
I’m not sure when I gave up hope that my father would ever return to the United States of America.
I remember crying because it was the first baseball card I had ever seen, and it was the only time I can recall crying because my parents’ marriage had ended.
Yes, she said, “how’s about a little peace and quiet?” When I finally got away from this tiny dictator in Elsa pajamas, I muttered under my breath, “Uh, OK, I love you, too.” Anyone my age and circumstance – 42, married with three children living in the same house – is likely to be having conversations that are similar to mine.
- All of us will always be in love with one another.
- In addition to working from home, you are homeschooling your children.
- The amount is significant.
- in addition to approximately 150,000 sports cards, 500 old magazines, and 50 figurines of athletes and pro wrestlers from my extensive memorabilia collection My daily routine includes spending a few minutes down there, and each time I do, I’m transported instantly back to my childhood.
- When my family relocated two years ago, I embarked on a mission to liquidate my unwieldy and space-consuming collection.
- My cards had cost me approximately $50,000 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I knew they were no longer worth much money.
- The realization that my cards were practically worthless didn’t take long for me to come about.
My inquiries were answered by 10 different variations of “We buy cards, but not those cards,” from dealers who advertised that they aggressively purchased trading cards.
It’s likely that I had 1,000 cards worth $50 each back in the early 1990s when things were really good.
After that, I had three choices.
My grip on them was strong.
The day we moved into our new home in 2018, I assumed my decision had already been made for me.
By the afternoon, there was more than 2 feet of water accumulating in our street.
Floodwaters were pouring into the cellar.
My collection had been submerged by the time I returned home and went down to the basement, including a box containing some of my most valuable cards.
The majority of my collection had to be thrown away.
What was the point of all of this, anyway?
In the two years following their divorce, both of my parents remarried, and both of them had additional children in their new marriages.
The transition, however, had been difficult and chaotic, with my card collection serving as the only consistent source of order in my life.
Then you could sort them alphabetically by sport and then reorganize them by value using the new price guide.
Then we’d make trades, which makes us chuckle now because we’d trade so much that we’d end up with exactly the same cards we’d started with in the beginning.
We were all obsessed with the same thing, even though I was the oldest of three boys that my mother and father had together.
It was during those times that I felt the most secure in my life, as were my brothers when they were playing their cards.
Then it occurred to me that I might be able to locate the ideal person to assist me after all.
Thompson,” I introduced myself as I approached him.
The number was finally found after several days of unsuccessful attempts to locate him.
Thompson as a nickname.
The guidance counselor had recently retired from his position as a high school basketball coach after a 40-year career in central Pennsylvania schools, where he had also achieved success.
Although he admitted it, “that was a really good card,” he added, “It was a really good card.” As he explained to me, he gave out cards because there were a lot of kids like me in the early 1980s, when divorce rates were at record levels.
All you want is to establish a connection with another person.” When I said “Mr.
It is my hope that you hear from others who feel the same way as I do, because I am confident that there are hundreds of children who are thankful every day, even if they are unaware of it.” On the other end of the phone line, there was a pause.
Even more meaningful than any award that has ever been bestowed upon me is what you just said.” The two of us continued to converse for a few more minutes, at which point I informed him that I had one final question for him: I’m thinking about selling my card collection and wanted to know what you thought about it.
- “It’s almost like giving up a piece of yourself if you don’t have them,” he explained.
- As soon as we got off the phone, I promised to get in touch with him and informed him that this phone call had tipped the balance.
- THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, when I wasn’t interrupting pre-K students with lunch orders, I’ve found myself increasingly staring at my business cards.
- When I was in quarantine, I discovered that one of the most disorienting aspects of my life was the loss of chapter breaks in my writing.
- I had no idea how valuable they were until I experienced them.
- It appears that other people in my life are experiencing the same sensation – that everything, big or small, is tinged with a sense of dread.
- When is this going to come to a conclusion?
The economy is on the verge of collapsing.
“Don’t live in the wreckage of your future,” says a friend of mine, and he’s right.
In spite of the best-case scenarios that I can concoct for what a post-COVID-19 world will look like, I have a great deal of concern about the society in which my children will grow up.
My basement, however, is a ten-percent less frightening place for me.
I don’t even bother to look into them any further than that.
The only thing I do is stare.
They are all in a stage of life where they are trying to figure out what the world is like and how to interact with it, and all three of my daughters are in that stage.
During long stretches of time, they are quiet and calm, as they gravitate toward devices and streaming services.
after that, it’s just a never-ending cycle My 12-year-brain old’s must be a jumbled mess compared to mine.
That the world is good, that people are good, and that order will return are all things I believe.
Nonetheless, I’m not sure if the fleeting distractions of Snapchat and TikTok are providing the kids of 2020 with the same benefits that Tom Gugliotta and Napoleon Kaufman rookie cards provided for me.
So she texted me right away.
You can bet your bottom dollar that TikTok isn’t providing us with what the cards did.
To be honest, it’s something that all of her friends have.
The parental approval click is always so much easier to get than the fight – and right now, no one should be denied their right to shelter, even if it is made of tiny little pieces of cardboard, because of their financial circumstances.
Inherited A Baseball Card Collection? Here’s What To Do Next
One day when I was in first grade, I was seated in my little-kid chair at a table that was low to the ground, when the loudspeaker in my classroom came on. Is it possible for Ryan Hockensmith to visit the guidance counselor’s office? I had no idea what a guidance counselor did, so I was completely befuddled when I walked into his office. Mr. Thompson, on the other hand, knew who I was. He inquired about the weather, how I was doing at school, and how cool it must have been to be on the same T-ball all-star team as my younger brother Jason, to name a few topics.
- “How are things going at home?” he inquired, his voice a little lower and his words spaced out enough to indicate concern.
- “Do you want to be sure?” he inquired.
- He was aware of what was going on.
- “Everything is in working order,” I assured them.
- I didn’t say much, though, because I’d shut down.
- However, my name was announced over the loudspeaker again the following day, and I felt knots in my stomach as I returned to the office.
- “Ryan, I have something for you,” Mr.
Guerrero was my favorite player on the Dodgers, who happened to be my and my father’s favorite team as well.
“I’d like to hand it over to you.
It was one of those physical sobs where your brain loses control of your respiratory system and your chest heaves uncontrollably, with no way to stop it.
Thompson and asked him a series of questions for which he had no answers: Why are my parents divorcing?
How can I persuade him to return?
In response, Mr.
I have no recollection of meeting with him again, nor of what I thought later that day or the following week.
But there are two things I remember about that moment: It was the first baseball card I can recall having, and it was the only time I can recall crying when my parents’ marriage came to a grinding halt.
While slowly backing away from this tiny dictator dressed in Elsa pajamas, I muttered under my breath, “Uh, OK, I love you too.” If you’re my age and in my situation – 42, married with three children, all crammed into the same house – you’re probably having conversations that sound a lot like mine.
- Everyone will always be in love with one another.
- You’re home-schooling your children while also working from home.
- It’s a lot of money.
- as well as approximately 150,000 sports cards, 500 old magazines, and 50 figurines of athletes and pro wrestlers from my extensive memorabilia collection Every day, I find myself down there for a few minutes, and every time I do, I’m transported back to my childhood.
- However, two years ago, when my family was preparing to relocate, I embarked on a mission to sell my unwieldy and space-consuming collection.
- My cards had cost me roughly $50,000 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and I knew they weren’t worth nearly as much now.
- The realization that my cards were practically worthless didn’t take long for me to come to.
Ten dealers who advertised that they aggressively purchased cards responded with ten different variations of “We buy cards, but not those cards.” Despite the fact that I was calling an auction house that required payment up front and then a cut of whatever sold, the company said it didn’t bother with any cards from that era even though there was virtually no risk.
- Now, I realized that only one or two of them were truly valuable.
- I could keep trying to sell them, and I’m sure I’d eventually find someone who would be willing to pay me something – even $100 – for all of them if I kept trying.
- Alternatively, I could throw them away.
- That day, it rained like it was biblically raining.
- During a lunch break, I received a phone call from my wife, telling me that I needed to return home immediately.
- In the process, it was slowly engulfing my entire card collection.
- When I pulled as many boxes out of the swamp as I could, they were damaged, as they had been submerged in what the fire department subsequently determined to have been sewage water that had backed up into our home.
It crossed my mind to just toss the whole thing in the trash.
I vacillated between the want to trash them and the pains of nostalgia that I couldn’t shake.
It was a huge 1980s-era jumble of step-this and half-that, and my parents did an excellent job of making it feel as natural and comfortable for us as they possibly could.
My brothers and I would go to my father’s house every other weekend, and we would frequently pack suitcases that had only two items: the bare necessities, such as clothing and toothbrushes, and our playing cards.
We’d unwrap packages together and revel in the excitement of discovering something completely unexpected.
Rather than the cards, we were more concerned with the common ground shelter we’d discovered beneath the tornado that was overhead, a location where we could still hear the wind but felt peaceful and protected.
It was customary for us to spread out on the floor of both houses, say a kind greeting to our stepmom or stepdad, and then retire into the house of cards.
Yet here I was, some 30 years later, gazing at the shattered pieces of my collection, unable to make a decision: should I throw the remaining cards in the trash or hold on to the last vestiges of my childhood?
“HELLO, THIS ISJEFF THOMPSON,” stated the voice on the other end of the phone line.
Thompson,” I said.
After a few days of unsuccessfully attempting to track him down, this was the number to call.
Thompson since it was more familiar to me.
Following a 40-year career as a guidance counselor at numerous central Pennsylvania schools, where he’d also been a successful high school basketball coach, he had lately announced his retirement.
“However, that was a pretty excellent card,” he stated.
“At the time, divorce was still stigmatized, and I had to fight through that stigmatization on a daily basis in order to encourage them to open up,” he added.
You just wish to establish a link.” When I uttered “Mr.
In the future, I hope you hear from individuals like me, because I am confident that there are hundreds of children out there who are grateful every day, even if they are not aware of it.
“In fact, Ryan, I am a member of the West Shore Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the Chagrin Falls Sports Hall of Fame, which are both located in my birthplace of Columbus, Ohio.
I’m wondering whether you think I should sell my card collection.
“It’s almost like losing a piece of yourself if you give them up,” he explained.
It didn’t matter to me that the cards were worthless since they were so important to me.
The basement is the most peaceful room in my home, and it serves as a safe haven for me while I am sheltering in place within my shelter in place.
I had no idea how important it was to take the half-hour walk from my work desk to the ESPN cafeteria, or the half-hour car journey from work to home, to separate from the previous chapter of my day.
It appears that other individuals in my life are experiencing the same sensation – that everything, large or little, is tinged with a sense of dread.
When is this going to be over?
Will the economy come to a grinding halt?
“Don’t live in the ruins of your future,” as a buddy of mine constantly advises, but I can’t help myself right now.
With the stench of existential catastrophe hanging over the earth, it’s difficult to have a logical discussion over who dropped the Tostito into the sour cream.
I don’t really require them any longer.
The numerous boxes, which are still ordered alphabetically in protective plastic sleeves, are not opened, nor are any of the packets that I still have.
Some folks have bubbling brooks or bird sounds in their backyards that provide them with peace and tranquility.
I have 500 Pedro Guerrero cards that aren’t worth the plastic containers in which they’re stored since they’re worthless.
When you add in a pandemic that drives them to isolate themselves and avoid their pals, I can’t even begin to picture what they’re going through.
I know how I feel: afraid, then optimistic, then confused, then frustrated, then terrified again, then exhausted, then content.
My 12-year-brain old’s must be lot more jumbled than mine.
That the world is good, that people are good, and that order will return are all beliefs I hold.
But I’m not sure if the transient distractions of Snapchat and TikTok are providing the same benefits to the kids of 2020 as Tom Gugliotta and Napoleon Kaufman rookie cards did for me.
She quickly texted me to tell me what she had read.
I’m confident that TikTok isn’t providing us with what the cards provided you.
You should know that all of her buddies have it, you know?
My wife and I will finally succumb to the app’s demands. The parental OK click is usually so much simpler to get than the struggle – and right now, no one should be denied their right to shelter, even if it is constructed of tiny little pieces of cardboard, because of their financial situation.
Taking Inventory:Recording The Inherited Collection
People I’ve spoken to who have been bequeathed a sports card collection have expressed confusion about where to begin collecting. These people aren’t sports aficionados, and they haven’t collected baseball cards in their lives, so they have no clue how much the cards are worth. You will almost certainly have to do some research on your own, unless you have a family member who is knowledgeable about sports cards to help you out. Certainly, you could hire someone to take inventory and sort the cards for you, but this would be a costly endeavor that would require bringing in someone who you might not know or trust.
First Step – Organize The Collection By Sport And Year
In order to keep things as easy as possible for those who aren’t collectors, I believe the simplest place to start would be to simply group the cards according to their sport. Baseball, basketball, football, and hockey are the four major sports in the United States. The majority of the time, it should be rather straightforward to distinguish the fronts of the cards. Once you have the cards categorized by sport, I would recommend trying to organize them by the year in which they were issued, if possible.
It’s possible that the collection has already been arranged and that this stage will not take up a significant amount of your time.
Second Step – Record All Of The Cards In The Collection
You can keep track of your collection with the aid of a very easy spreadsheet that we’ve created for you! I strongly advise you to use anything like this to keep track of your cards. That information will assist you in your progress in determining the worth of the collection and will enable you to compile a list of cards that you can share with potential purchasers.
Valuing Your Inherited Collection
It’s likely that you’ve made a comprehensive inventory of the cards in your collection by now. Following that, you’ll want to figure out how much your collection is worth. Another aspect that might be intimidating for someone who has never collected cards before is the organization of the cards. If you have the opportunity, please spend some time on our article, which assists collectors in determining the worth of their collections. However, there is a type of shortcut that can be used to assist distinguish between cards that are worth money and those that aren’t.
- Cards from this era (also known as the ‘Junk Era’) were substantially overproduced, and the supply far outstrips the demand at the time of publication.
- The 1993 SP Jeter is considered to be one of the most expensive baseball cards ever produced.
- It is possible that the early Star basketball cards, as well as the first two Fleer basketball sets (particularly the Jordan rookie and second year cards created between 1986 and 1987) may be quite valuable in the future.
- Find the members of the Hall of Fame in your collection.
- Although this is often the case, it isn’t always the case, especially when the card was created during the 1980s (and even sometimes during the 1970s).
- As a result, if it’s a card of a Hall of Fame player, the older the card is, the more probable it is that you have something of greater worth in your possession.
- Christy Mathewson rookie cards are going to be worth far more than Cal Ripken, Lawrence Taylor, and Ray Bourque rookie cards in the future.
Here are the connections to the various sports: Hall of Famers in the sport of baseball Hall of Famers in the sport of football Hall of Famers in the sport of ice hockey Hall of Famers in the sport of basketball A few Football 1980s rookie cards, such as Joe Montana’s rookie card and the 1984 Topps collection (which included rookies Marino and Elway), still have value, albeit their worth is heavily dependant on the general condition in which they were obtained.
- The only hockey cards from the 1980s that have any actual worth are the 1979-1980 Topps cards, which are on the cusp of being valuable.
- Important Note: Card Grading Has the Potential to Increase Values.
- If you’ve recently acquired a collection, it’s possible that you don’t know much about sports card grading.
- Generally speaking, cards that have been evaluated are worth more than their ‘raw’ ungraded counterparts.
- Because with a graded card, we have a definitive, third-party view on what a card’s condition is based on a 1-10 scale, and we can trust that assessment.
- A graded card, on the other hand, validates the legitimacy of the card.
- If you take the time to study the aforementioned link that we gave surroundingtips to evaluate your collection, you will discover a variety of resources that will assist you in finding approximate values for your collection.
- If you discover that the majority of your cards are baseball cards from the 1980s and 1990s, and you have thousands upon thousands of cards, I wouldn’t recommend putting together a spreadsheet to try to inventory thousands of cards since it would be too time-consuming.
Remember, this should be an enjoyable process; don’t stress about getting everything done all at once! If you have a large collection, this can quickly become disheartening unless you break it down into smaller, more achievable tasks.
Deciding What To Do With Your Inherited Collection
We can only hope that I’ve given you some useful information on the initial steps you should take in order to catalog and evaluate your collection. At this point, you should have a spreadsheet with your collection organized by sport, year, and individual player on it (with more attention given to HOF players).
Selling Your Collection With Established Auction Houses
This is the ideal moment to start thinking about what you want to do with your collection in the future. Most people are ready to simply sell their collection, which would mean locating a third party to assist you in selling your collection. Alternatively, you might approach one of the sports card auction houses. Some of the more well-known antique auction card firms have been included on this page. Auction houses will charge the highest commission for selling your collection, which is often calculated as a percentage of the total sales price of your whole collection.
The auction firm is in charge of putting the cards up for sale and taking high-quality pictures of the collection, among other things.
Selling Your Collection Yourself on eBay
It’s possible that some people who inherit card collections will opt to try to sell the cards on their own terms. While doing so may assist to reduce the total expenses of selling the collection, it will also require the most effort on your part. It would entail placing each of the cards for sale on eBay, writing up a description for each card, taking images of each card and then packing and mailing the cards to the eventual customer. This might be a daunting task for people who do not have an established eBay account (and feedback) or who do not have prior expertise in packaging cards for shipment.
This is a significant savings above the 20-25 percent commissions imposed by the majority of large auction houses.
This is analogous to having a real estate agent sell your property as opposed to you personally handling the listing and sale of your home on your own.
The act of dealing in person with high-valued cards can be quite hazardous.
Keeping The Card Collection And Safely Storing The Cards
At the absolute least, make sure your cards are placed in penny sleeves to help preserve them from damage. This is something I would recommend regardless of whether you want to sell the cards or retain them for future generations to enjoy. Ultra Pro sleeves, such as those pictured below, are the industry standard, and they are available in a variety of sizes depending on the size of the card.
Most people will place their cards in cent sleeves and then insert them into these top loaders for further protection. I believe this is an excellent starting point for anybody wishing to add an additional layer of security to their collection.
Get A Free Appraisal Of Your Card Collection
If you’ve read this far and are still perplexed, don’t worry, it’s because it’s a really intricate subject. We at at All Vintage Cards are happy to assist you. We are situated in Boston, but we serve consumers all around the United States. Because of our openness and honesty, we have earned a reputation as one of the most dependable antique dealers in the industry. This is a straightforward procedure; we discuss in depth what you have (the spreadsheet is quite helpful!) and how we might assist you.
Our advise includes suggestions on whether or not to grade your cards, as well as an analysis of the cards to assist in determining their validity and legitimacy.
In addition, we would gladly offer you with a complimentary evaluation of your collection.
What to Do With All Those Extra Sports Card Commons
Frequently, we purchase boxes or packs of sports cards just for the purpose of flipping any of the hits that come out of them. In part, this aids in the recovery of a portion of the purchase price. After that, we divide the players and teams, leaving a large pile of commons from the basic set. As a result of the large number of items published each year, these sports card commons may quickly accrue and, if left unchecked, could swiftly develop into a hoarding scenario within a few years. So, what should we do?
Regardless of the explanation, the vast majority of responses may be divided into two categories: money and space.
When you consider the amount of money we spend on cards, it might be difficult to accept the truth that the vast majority of what we buy on a regular basis is essentially useless if the hits, inserts, and parallels are eliminated.
The amount of time required frequently outweighs any potential financial reward.
Disposing for Money
You could easily sell a box of commons from various years and sports on eBay and still earn a reasonable profit in the early days of the site. Modern-day card collectors that use the eBay marketplace are more intelligent, and they are frequently hunting for certain cards. Larger quantities of 400 or more commons are still available for purchase, but they must all be from the same brand, or at least from the same year, in order to qualify for a discount. It’s possible that you’ll have to post your items more than once before the proper bidder comes along.
- Amazon.com has emerged as a viable platform for the sale of large quantities of commons in recent years.
- This category includes a variety of bulk sports card commons of various types.
- Listings include the item category, description, shipping information, and other conditions of sale pre-built within the listing template.
- Another option for disposing of commons while still receiving a financial return is to donate them to a charitable organization with federal tax-exempt status, such as Goodwill Industries International.
Even while it is not as nice as cash, the fact that you may write an estimated “book value” on the receipt and deduct that amount from your tax liability is still preferable than receiving nothing at all.
Disposing for Space
Sometimes it’s necessary to part with your sports cards commons just to make room in your storage facility. There are simple alternatives to simply putting them in the trash. There are a variety of additional charities that take bulk card donations in addition to Goodwill. Some of these, on the other hand, may not have received federal tax exemption status as of yet. Their efforts are commendable, and by making a donation, you can be certain that you have contributed to an useful cause by sharing your enthusiasm for the game with youngsters.
- Both companies are based in a certain location.
- To be sure, contact ahead and confirm that they do really accept donations before bringing a couple 5,000-count boxes of greeting cards.
- If you are aware of any more locations where you may give commons, please list them in the comments section below.
- However, by putting these practical alternatives into action, you will at the very least have a strategy for what to do with your excess sports card commons when the time comes to get rid of your collection.
8 Survival Tips for Collectors Returning to the World of Sports Cards
For a lot of people, sports card collecting is not something they do for the rest of their life. Start as children, then pause in our quest of a vehicle, a college degree, a family, or any combination of the aforementioned things. Some people may gather for a period of time and then simply walk on for whatever reason. And that’s completely OK with me. Actually, it’s quite natural. However, there’s a strong probability that when you returned to sports card collecting, the scene had changed significantly, both positively and negatively.
Here are some suggestions to get you thinking and to assist you in navigating some of those transitions and re-entering the world of collecting.
1. Don’t Chase Everything
When taken as a whole, there are a large number of new items available. Whatever you gather, don’t even think about trying to collect everything. Even if you win the Powerball lottery, you’ll never be able to escape the rabbit hole. It was possible to genuinely follow everything associated with your favorite club or individual up until roughly the mid-1990s. In fact, you could probably piece together every major set, including inserts, if you tried hard enough. Cards were also far less expensive per box back then.
- The number of autographs was restricted to a bare minimum.
- Do you see where I’m heading with this?
- Despite the fact that there are only a limited number of firms who produce them, each release is meant to appeal to a specific sort of collector.
- It’s just not doable at this time.
- A good objective should be feasible, therefore be realistic in your expectations.
- Is there a certain player?
Begin with this.
Essentially, you’re seeking for a niche inside a niche in order to find success.
There’s no need to buy every single thing on the market if you notice a huge list of options before of you.
To a certain extent, sampling is beneficial.
However, you should not feel obligated to invest in every product.
Choosing the singles method may not provide the same level of charm, but it will assist you in narrowing down your collection’s emphasis.
Among these are theBeckett Marketplace andeBay, to name a couple.
Most of them are directed at pretty particular audiences.
Others go after folks who are solely interested in signatures.
Everything is different this time around. Consequently, even when there is a huge list of new releases almost every week, take a look at them and ask yourself what the product’s target audience is and whether or not it is consistent with how you want to collect.
2. Yes, Some Cards Are Very Expensive
With the exception of a number of exceptions, new sports cards are no longer sold for a dollar a pack. However, this is to be anticipated. What could be more difficult to comprehend is the extent to which some things have risen in price. It all started with Upper Deck Baseball, which broke the dollar barrier in 1989. Packs increase in price until they reach $5. After that, we were promised an autograph every pack, and all sorts of additional barriers were broken. It has only been in the last decade or so that things have really begun to heat up.
- It was then 2012-13 Panini Flawless Basketball that became the first team to reach $1,000.
- A collection of Upper Deck All-Time Greats Master Collection cards from 2016 cost around $15,000.
- Yes, there has been an increase in pricing.
- There are card collectors out there who have the financial wherewithal to spend hundreds of dollars on cards without giving it much thought.
- It is a matter of personal preference.
- I accept the reality that the top-tier items are out of my price range and move on with my business.
- These high-priced items are similar to every other set that is released in that they are not for everyone.
- With so much variety available, focus on the things that you enjoy doing.
- The same may be said if it’s a clearance box from the previous year (bonus tip: being patient frequently pays off).
3. You’re Probably Not Going to Retire Off of That Stash of ’80s Cards
The 1980s and early 1990s saw the creation of some truly spectacular sets. They also created a large number of playing cards. If you’ve been putting away a collection of playing cards for the past 30 years as part of your retirement fund, you’re sure to be let down. There are few exceptions, but for the most part, trading cards from this era are difficult to sell for a reasonable amount of money. The explanation for this is a simple matter of supply and demand. The majority of people that desire 1991 Pro Set Football have it.
Simply said, there is an abundance of stuff available, but no one is interested in purchasing it.
Get a feel of what it was that piqued your interest about collecting. Everything, with the exception of that pesky money-making element, is taken care of by simply enjoying the cards.
4. Making Money Isn’t Easy
Some people enter the world of sports cards with the expectation of making quick money. However, you will likely discover very soon that making money isn’t as simple as simply opening a box, selling what’s inside, then going on to the next box and pocketing the earnings. The process of making money off of sports cards is difficult – at least not in any substantial quantity. Those who are most successful in producing money in this field, like those in any other industry, seek for chances. They fill in the holes that other people aren’t filling.
- What are the requirements of local collectors, if you’re concentrating on them?
- Even if selling is a sporadic aspect of your collecting (as it is for the vast majority of us in some form), take the time to research the best location and method of selling for you.
- If you’re buying a box only on the basis of the possibility of a return, you’re likely to lose money soon.
- Consequently, if you’re searching for a business opportunity, do your homework beforehand.
- In this sense, the worst-case situation of being assigned to a scrub player doesn’t appear to be as horrible.
5. Take Your Time
If you stopped collecting cards 25 years ago, the cards you see today will appear very different. Trying to “Find the Reggie” in 1990 Upper Deck Baseball may have been a fruitless endeavor, but signatures were clearly an anomaly back then as compared to now. As well as that, they’ve started inserting pieces of memorabilia inside of the cards itself. Those aren’t the only alterations that have occurred. Checklists are longer and, in many cases, more complicated. The method of distribution has changed.
- This is all before we’ve even touched on the importance of the Internet in today’s recreational activity.
- Make sure to take your time and explore the area.
- Make a strategy for how you want to collect your funds.
- There is also a big network of blogs available on the internet.
- When attempting to take everything in at once, it’s easy to become captivated and overwhelmed with the task at hand.
You’ve been absent for quite some time. Taking things easy at initially is unlikely to make much of a difference, other than to assist you in becoming more focused and comfortable in your surroundings.
6. Where Did All the Card Companies Go?
A large number of producers produced goods for a wide range of sports during the heyday of the industry. Exclusive agreements are now in place with all five of the main North American sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS). Topps is synonymous with baseball. Basketball and football are available from Panini (starting with 2016 products). Upper Deck is devoted to hockey. All other leagues and organizations are able to benefit from these exclusives as well. It should be emphasized that Panini holds an MLBPA license, however that agreement only permits them to utilize Major League players and not MLB emblems or trademarks in their products.
The hobby industry is no longer as large as it once was.
7. Beyond the Box
The Internet has radically altered the hobby in a variety of ways. The most significant development over the past several years has undoubtedly been the growth of group breaking. If you’re not acquainted with the concept, the fundamental notion is that cards are opened by a dealer offshore and then delivered to you to play with them. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one of the most popular is when you purchase a case break and receive all of the cards for a specific team. These pauses serve a variety of functions, several of which might assist you in narrowing your collection’s emphasis.
- Perhaps you’d want to have a look at a product that might otherwise be out of your price range.
- Maybe you just want to hang out and take a chance on a cheap squad made up of the leftovers from the previous season.
- Online breaks are also beneficial since they may foster a sense of belonging among those who participate.
- Sports, collecting, celebrating a good draw, and berating a bad box are all acceptable activities.
- A number more things to consider if you’re considering on a group vacation.
- Watch them online, either in real time or in recorded form on YouTube, to determine whether their style is a good fit for you.
- Some breakers have been in business for a number of years and have a wealth of expertise and information to share.
- They can all be rather distinct, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
- It is possible that you will not receive a card at all.
Just be certain that you understand the conditions of the purchase before proceeding. If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to ask them. The chances of getting the answers you desire are little to none; you can always locate another code breaker to get you out of your jam.
8. Some Things Never Change
Despite all the changes in the world of sports cards, some things remain the same. If you’ve got a card shop nearby, hopefully it’s a destination where you can go and chat about the things you love (and the players you don’t). Card showsare still great places to find deals and meet people as well. The excitement of getting a new card of your favorite player is still there. Even if they haven’t played in decades, there’s a good chance they’re in today’s products. If you’re getting back into collecting, there must be a reason for it.
And most of all, welcome!
What brought you back?