: How to store sports cards
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Target suspends in-store sales of sports cards, cites safety
MINNEAPOLIS -- Target on Friday cited safety concerns in suspending in-store sales of sports and Pokemon trading cards, but made no mention of a recent fight over cards outside a Wisconsin store.
While the Minneapolis-based retailer didn't give a direct reason for the change, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported it came after police in Brookfield, Wisconsin, reported that four men had attacked another man over cards on May 7.
“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority," Target said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop call bank mobile vibe customer service cards online at Target.com.”
Dave Bondi, president of Twin Cities Sports Collectors Club, said sports cards have been rising in value over the past year for several reasons: the emergence of some exciting rookies in baseball; the release of a documentary about the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan years; and Kobe Bryant’s untimely death. He also said card companies are printing fewer cards.
“The boxes of cards are not as readily available as they once were in the ’80s and ’90s,” Bondi said.
He cited a 2011 Topps “update” card for Angels star Mike Trout.
“Up to a year ago, it was probably a $20-25 card,” Bondi said. “Now it’s approaching over $1,000.”
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
Sports cards have long been a favorite collector’s item for people everywhere. The first-ever sports cards came with tobacco products and took America by storm. Since then, sports card collecting has become a staple of popular culture worldwide.
In this article, I will be taking you through everything you need to start a collection, how to decide what to collect, and I’ll explore some important terminology and things to keep in mind as you embark on starting your card collection.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it….
How To Start a Card Collection
Before we get started, I really want my bp card synchrony bank stress the importance of having a plan before you start putting a bunch of money into your newfound hobby.
Spending a little time planning ahead will help you decide what types of cards you want to buy. Your planning should involve some research into what cards are out there.
You can do this by seeing if the listing and sold items on sites like eBay, and you should also do a bit of a search for any blogs or websites that are worth keeping an eye on.
This will give you a rough idea of what’s on the market so you can see how easy (or how difficult) it may be to get the cards you have your sights set on. Like my old math teacher used to say, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
However, don’t expect to do all of your research at the start – otherwise, you’ll never get started. I have been in the hobby for years and I’m still constantly learning.
If you’re coming back into card collecting as an adult, the first thing that is important to know about is that things have changed a lot since you collected as a kid.
Back in the day, cards were pretty easy to get your hands on. Almost every convenience store had packs how to store sports cards cards on the counter – and they were cheap to buy too, so collecting was incredibly accessible. Nowadays, it is not that easy.
It’s not that cards aren’t being produced anymore – There are a lot of cards being printed every year, But they’re a lot harder to come by. Now, the prime brands are almost impossible to find in retail stores.
The limited retail release means you’ll have to do almost all of your shopping online, either directly through the manufacturers’ website, a dedicated card retailer, or on the secondary market with sites like eBay.
So, just to reiterate, make sure you have some sort of plan. It doesn’t have to be set in concrete, but it’s way better to start with something. The rest of this article will look at the different elements of card collecting that you can include in your plan.
Pick the Type of Collectable Card e.g Sports Cards
When you are choosing what sort of cards you want to collect, it is wise first to give a little thought to what theme you want to focus on.
Of course, my expertise (and the majority of my collection) is in sports cards, so that is what this article will focus on. That being said, the advice here can also be used with any other sort of collectible cards you may be interested in.
So if you’re collecting Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, Garbage Pail Kids, or any other pop culture cards, the vast majority of this will still be relevant.
When you have chosen your theme (in this case sports cards) you can then narrow down that choice even further to the sport you want to focus on. These could be baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards, soccer, or any other type that you fancy.
Ideally, it’d be a sport you’re already interested in and know a lot about. Of course, you can also spread your collection over multiple sports if you want. For example, I have mostly soccer cards, but also a lot of basketball, and wrestling.
I just think it’s a lot easier to narrow your field of options when you’re starting out – otherwise it can get pretty overwhelming.
There are a lot of other factors to consider when choosing your sport too. For example, some sports may have cards that are much harder to come by, turning your collection into more of a challenge or a treasure hunt.
Now, for many collectors, the challenge is a part of the fun, but for others, this may be frustrating. I know I love going down the rabbit hole of finding some hidden card, but I have friends in the hobby who absolutely hate it.
On the other hand, if cards are harder to come by, they have the ‘scarcity’ factor (more on scarcity later), and end up being worth a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, this means that a lot of the time you will have to pay a lot more to purchase the card in the first place.
However, if you are an investor looking to sell your cards later on, then this could be attractive as the theory is that you how to store sports cards then be able to sell them for even more money in the future, making a profit.
This has its issues though, as I discuss later in the article as there are no guarantees that your collection will increase in value. Therefore, this is a gamble if you are collecting purely to sell them for a profit later on.
With all that in mind, you may be prompted to choose a type of card that is a little more common. This will make your search to collect them a little easier.
This may be because they were mass produced on a wider scale, or just because, for whatever reason, the set is not worth as much as others.
If you are not concerned with profit and investment, going with the low-cost option may be attractive to you. This is especially true of anyone looking to collect purely for the fun of it.
The fun part is choosing what sport to specialize in. Baseball cards used to be the clear number one option for collectors. However, in recent years, basketball cards (many of which feature the greats like Kobe Bryant rookie cards) have become the number one option for sports card collectors.
Alongside basketball and baseball noaa weather forecast bangor maine options for football, soccer, hockey, wrestling, and much more.
The same thought process also applies to any other type of non-sport card collecting too. Narrow your field of options down at the start and choose something that you’re interested in.
Types of Cards
When bmo online banking usa at sports cards, there are a few different types of cards to look at.
how to store sports cards height="300">Most of the time, a player’s rookie card is their most sight after card.
Rookie cards are cool because they are the first cards depicting a player in their first year of being included in a major set.
Think of someone like How to store sports cards James who plays over fifteen seasons in the NBA. However, he’ll only ever be a rookie once.
That already gives a layer of scarcity to his rookie card; it’s not a card from any year, it’s their first year.
Back in the day when there were fewer sets produced, players might have only had one rookie card – this made collecting players’ rookie cards pretty straight forward.
These days there are multiple sets produced, so a player can have well over a dozen different cards produced in their rookie year when you consider all the different inserts and parallels (more on that later).
In recent years, a lot of rookie cards will have a special emblem, commonly known as an “RC logo” printed on them. This logo to give collectors the heads up that it’s a card from the player’s first season.
The more time you spend in the hobby, you’ll see some debate over what’s a “true” rookie card for particular players – But I wouldn’t worry about that too much now.
If you’re just starting out, use the RC logo as a rule of thumb with recent cards to differentiate which card is from a player’s rookie season.
For older cards, you’ll have to do some research in finding a player’s debut season and go from there.
Base, Inserts, Subsets, and Parallels
I briefly mentioned “inserts” above.
Here we’ll look at base cards, inserts, subsets, and parallels in a little more detail – they’re phrases you’ll almost certainly come across when collecting.
To do that, it’s probably best to use examples.
Here is the regular (also called “base”) Luka Doncic card from the Panini Prizm set.
The base cards are the backbone of every set – and the regular cards that make up any collection.
A parallel is a serial-numbered version of a base card. So that means that there’s a set number of each card printed every year. For example, this red/white/blue parallel of the Luka Doncic Prizm was only printed 299 times.
As you can see, the card itself kinda resembles the right airpod replacement 1st gen card – but with a slightly different design around the edges. Think of parallels like the ‘shiny’ cards we used to like as kids.
A subset is a different set that’s put into the regular packs. They’re usually numbered, and look completely different to the regular base cards. An insert is a card within a subset.
For example, here’s a Luka Doncic insert from the “Freshman Phenoms” subset that was included in Panini Prizm’s 2018-19 release.
As you can see, the card looks completely different from the base card, even though it was in the same packs.
Sometimes these inserts and parallels can be distinguishable by a foil serial number somewhere on the card. For example, if there’s a card that is printed 50 times, yours might have a foil “14/50” printed on it – showing it’s the 14th card out of the 50 produced.
However, the number won’t always be printed – but you can always learn more with the set checklist.
Many collectors find success in purchasing or collecting complete sets. These are sets that come ready completed, usually dating back to before the 1980s.
Most of the time, it is far easier to find completed older sets than it is to find completed newer sets (such as those dating after 1981).
This is good news if you are a vintage collector, but if you collect newer sets, it could turn out to be very expensive.
Of course, a lot of this depends on the cards in the set. If the set has an incredibly valuable rookie card in it, the set will obviously cost more than one that doesn’t.
Buying complete sets can also be a sneaky way to get a good deal. If you’re looking for a particular card or two from a set, sometimes it might be cheaper to buy the entire set!
A little different to cards but in the same ballpark (pardon the pun), there are more and more people collecting tickets from key matches.
I like tickets because they’re almost a little piece of history.
Match tickets can be a lot harder to come by compared to cards and stickers, so a lot of the joy comes from the treasure hunt around finally finding a ticket after months of trying.
You can even get tickets graded too – here’s what a ticket looks like once it’s been graded and slabbed up.
Unopened Packs and Sealed Wax
Unopened packs have that air first tennessee bank online bill pay mystery that many collectors enjoy. It is, perhaps, the ultimate nostalgia.
New, unopened packs vary greatly in price, from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the age of the pack and the cards that could be in it.
Those packs dating back to the pre-1950s are by far the hardest to find and will come with a premium price tag. Likewise, if there’s a desirable card included in the set.
Sealed Wax refers to an unopened box that’s still in its plastic wrapping. Usually, these boxes have dozens of individual packs inside.
People collect unopened packs and boxes in a similar way to how they collect cards. Some will keep them sealed, and others will rip them first light federal credit union lee trevino el paso tx on the hunt for a rare card.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. In fact, there are some other types of sports cards that you should also keep your eyes peeled for. These other types of sports cards include:
- Digital cards
- Relic cards
- Autographed cards
- Memorabilia cards
- …and much more
One of the biggest factors in the worth of a card is the player that features on the front of it. Sure, having a rare card immediately boosts the value, but it is no secret that some players are just far more highly sought after than others.
It should be no surprise that a rookie Tom Brady base card is worth more than a reserve Quarterback’s rookie rare parallel card.
And it’s not just the best players that gather higher prices. In most sports, offensive players seem to attract more interest cambridge savings bank home equity loan defensive players, so bear this in mind too.
It really just comes to supply and demand. A well known and popular player will likely have more people searching for their cards, increasing the price with it. And in a lot of sports, defenders aren’t given the same love in the media as forwards.
Vintage vs Modern Cards
The definition of “vintage” wholly depends on the person. However, in general, vintage is a reference to any cards that were made prior to the 1970s.
The definition of vintage can really depend on the sport too. For example, soccer cards only became really popular after the 2018 World Cup, so you could argue that the 90s and early 2000s could be classified as vintage in soccer.
When comparing the prices of vintage and modern cards, it makes sense that vintage cards are, on the whole, more highly valued than that of modern cards. This comes down to scarcity – A card from the 1940s (or earlier) will most likely have been damaged or lost over the years.
For example, there are even some 1950s soccer cards featuring Pele that are worth tens of thousands of dollars these days that were originally a redemption token at supermarkets – so shoppers would collect the cards and exchange them for groceries.
The vast majority of these cards were handed into supermarkets for bread and milk, so only a few are still around today.
The most iconic sports card of all time is vintage and has its own story of scarcity. The 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card was sold with tobacco products.
This card was actually withdrawn from trade as Honus Wagner was against the sale of tobacco products and of the promotion of smoking to kids. Well, that’s the story that Wagner’s family told, anyway… Others believe it was a licensing issue and Wagner wanted more money.
Regardless of the reason, the cease in sale and production of this card meant the value of it went up as the amount of them in circulation dwindled. To this day it remains one of the most expensive sports cards with value well into the millions.
That being said though. Again, it comes down to supply/demand. There are usually more people looking to buy modern cards compared to vintage.
With that higher demand, comes inflated prices. There are certainly some modern cards out there that will cost a lot more than anything vintage.
It should also be noted that, with the more modern cards, prices and value are less predictable especially if that player is still playing. If they start to have a few bad games, their value can decrease.
On the other hand, if they win a title, or have a run of incredibly good games, their prices will increase.
The condition of your card is something that can have a massive effect on the value of your collection (more about this when we talk about grading below).
Ultimately, there are three main things to look for when checking the condition of a card.
Any defects to the card when it was printed
This refers to any issues with the card that happened when it was originally printed. These could include the printing of print lines, anything that prints off-color, or any other faults that happened during the printing process.
Any defects to the card when it was cut
how to store sports cards defects to the card when it was cut" width="257" height="300">When manufactured, dozens of cards are printed how to transfer money from prepaid visa to debit card large printing sheets and then cut down to make the individual cards.
This could often lead to faults during the cutting process.
To most people, these faults would be pretty unnoticeable – such as jagged edges, or edges that were not straight leaving the card off-centre – but to experts, they can first united methodist church live stream reduce the value of the card.
Any defects to the card after it left the pack
The most common type of damage to a card is done after it’s opened and out of the pack. This can include rips and tears, jagged edges, creases, water damage, and discoloration.
All of these factors play a major role in deciding the condition of a card. However, any damage that occurs when the card has left its pack is avoidable.
It is for this reason that people handle their cards with the utmost care, often using plastic sleeves and top-loaders to keep them safe straight after opening.
Professional Grading: Is Professional Grading Worth It?
Professional grading is a process where you send off a card (or whole collection) to an independent auditing company who will then give you a card rating or grade based on the condition of the card.
These professional graders tend to give ratings out of ten, with 1 being the lowest (Poor Condition), and 10 being the highest (Gem Mint Condition).
Basically, an expert looks at your card and assesses it based on a grading scale, giving it a grade out of ten. Your card is then encased in a thick plastic holder which preserves the card in its condition.
It’s also given a special label that shows the card, the grade, and a serial number that you can use to look up the card in a grader’s database. This gives added peace of mind when buying online.
Here’s what a card looks like after it’s been graded.
One interesting thing that many of these professional graders offer is a popularity report. This is where the grading company will tell you how many of that particular type of card out there has that same rating as yours.
So, for example, if you gave them a 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan #57 basketball card and it got a rating of 9 out of 10, you can find how many of that same card had that exact rating. This gives you an even more in depth understanding of the scarcity of it.
As well as this, the higher the grading of a card, the higher the price. It’s not uncommon for a card graded a perfect 10 to get almost double the price of a 9!
With that in mind, if you are collecting cards for investment purposes, then I think that it is definitely worth seeking out a great professional grader if your card is in great condition.
There are also some auction houses that will only sell graded cards – again, going back to that peace of mind I spoke about before. Buyers can look up the serial number of a graded card and double check that they’re bidding for the card in the photo online.
That being said, if you are collecting cards for the fun of it, as a hobby that you are passionate about, then there is no real reason for you to get your cards professionally graded (unless of course, you are curious).
Professional grading is not a must-have, but it may be helpful if you plan to sell your collection in the future in order to make a profit.
As much as I may try to tell you about the beauty of collecting cards for www amazon com online shopping pure joy and nostalgia, I understand that for many people, this is an investment opportunity, and honestly, there is no problem with that (provided you are wise in your purchases and don’t spend anything you’re not willing to lose).
But no matter if you want to collect for fun, profit, or both – you still don’t want to overpay and get ripped off so learning how to price your cards is vital in the hobby.
The easiest way to price cards is to use recent sales history.
Note, this does not include looking at what a card is listed for on sites like eBay – often sellers will inflate the listed price on eBay a little with the expectation that buyers usually submit offers to try and buy the card for a better price.
To find actual sales prices, you can look through the ‘sold listings’ on any marketplace. This will give you an idea of what cards like yours have recently sold for. This is great for most sites.
When checking eBay in particular, I use tools like Sell the Peak, and Card How to store sports cards to find exact sale prices. For some reason, in eBay, if a seller accepts a low offer on a card, eBay will show the listed price as the “sale price” – not what glenview state bank review card actually sold for.
Storing and Protecting Cards
When looking at storing your card collection, there are a few things to consider. First, how to protect individual cards so they don’t get damaged. And second, how to store entire collections to save space while ensuring they don’t get damaged.
When looking at individual cards, there are a few items you might need for protection:
- Penny sleeves: A single-card clear plastic sleeve that cards are put in to keep from getting scratched. Almost like a small plastic pocket you used to use at high school. These are usually pretty flimsy by nature, but good enough for most cards.
- Toploaders: A toploader is a single card sleeve made of a thicker plastic. They’re far more rigid than a penny sleeve. Most will put the card in a penny sleeve then into a top loader to keep the card safe.
- “One Touch” cases: For your most valuable cards, you might want to try a one-touch case. These are far more sturdy than toploaders and are usually magnetic, meaning you can get cards in and out of the case easily without damage.
These items might seem like an unnecessary expense at the start – but as we mentioned before, some damage to a card can take thousands of dollars off the resale value. So spending a few cents on a toploader is a no brainer.
Storing your collection can be a bit of a nightmare at times. While storing one or two cards is easy, when your collection beefs up after a few months or years, it can be hard to find the space.
Here are some ways that you can store your collection at home:
- Folders: Folders are a great way to store a lot of cards. I store a lot of my low-end base cards in folders as they don’t have a lot of resale value and are more for my own collection.
- Card boxes: You can icici internet banking safe login cardboard boxes that are designed for storing lots of cards. Usually, it’s a bigger box with two or three compartments where you can stack your cards in rows. If you decide to use these, make sure the compartments are big enough to store your cards in toploaders.
- Safety Deposit Boxes: I haven’t paid tens of thousands of dollars for a card before – but if I ever do, it will 100% be kept in a safety deposit box.
- Display cabinets and cases: These days, there are a bunch of cool cabinets and cases designed to display sports cards in a living room like a piece of art.
- A Third Party: There are some businesses that will let you store your cards with them. Some are high-end auction houses. Storing your cards here means that you won’t be able to get it out and hold it in your hand – but if you do decide to sell down the line it’ll be a lot easier.
Honestly, there is no right or wrong way to store your collection, but bear in mind the time and money you have spent acquiring your cards, and ensure you adequately protect them from wear and tear (and even theft if they are worth a small fortune).
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Do Your Homework
As you’ve probably picked up from this article, there’s a lot to know when it comes to collecting sports cards. Make sure you do your homework.
For example, there’s no guarantee that the eBay listing’s title is completely accurate. If a card is listed as a “rookie”, don’t take it at face value. Make sure you know when a player’s rookie card is – these days information like that is literally only a ten-second Google search away.
On the other side of that, if you know what a player’s rookie card is, you can search for that card without the word “rookie”. This might help you find the same card at a much better price.
It’s also a good idea to do your homework regarding pricing – knowing the recent sales prices will help you get the best deals and make sure you’re not overpaying.
Check the Condition
Checking the condition of your collectible cards is very important especially if you want to make a profit on them.
Now, at first glance, it can be difficult to properly assess the condition, especially if you are buying online or if the dealer keeps them behind glass or is reluctant to hand them over for inspection.
However, to the best of your ability, I thoroughly recommend that you spend at least a little bit of time trying to get a feel for the condition of your cards.
Look for any signs of wear and tear. Of course, older collections such as 1930s originals will definitely have at least small signs of wear over time. That is to be expected given their age.
However, what you can do is research into what conditions are seen as acceptable by other buyers, and make a judgment based on that. The more damaged an item is, the less value it has, and so you should not be paying over the odds for it.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a damaged card. Indeed, if you are buying for the pure joy and nostalgia of collecting then this may not be an issue for you. Assess the situation based on your personal plans for the collection.
Find and Buy from a Reputable Seller
Most sports card buying and selling is done online. Sometimes you might not know who you’re buying from.
This is all a part of the game these days. However, there are a few things you can do to be as safe as possible.
- While people might complain about the fees related to eBay, they offer great support for buyers
- Avoid purchasing with PayPal ‘Friends and Family’ with people you don’t know. A lot of sellers will encourage you to use the Friends and Family feature on PayPal to avoid fees – I’d avoid doing that because it basically means you lose all of your rights as a buyer and there’s no way to get your money back
- Be careful with open marketplaces like Facebook. I have used the Facebook marketplace to buy cards plenty of times before, but it can be sketchy from time to time and there’s basically zero buyer support through the platform.
- Buy from hobby shops. These days most card stores will have an online storefront. These are usually a safe option
- There are platforms like StarStock and ComC that allow you to buy and sell cards without ever getting them shipped to you. It’s almost like a buying and storage solution combined.
Consider What is a trust company To Store Them
I already mentioned storage a little earlier can i embed a youtube video in a powerpoint the article.
However, as someone who had a massive, ugly cardboard box full of cards in the spare room (and a partner who was equally angry with it), I thought it’s worth mentioning again.
Follow the earlier advice and really give some thought to how you want to display your card collection.
If you don’t want to display it, preferring to keep them safe until the time comes to sell them, then think about a safety deposit box that may be suitable, ensuring it protects the collection from damp, pests, and dust.
If you’re really dealing with high-end cards, you might even want to consider having some sort of humidity gauge in your safe to guarantee that the cards are kept in mint condition.
Keep Collecting Fun
1st may public holiday in south africa width="257" height="300">There is a huge temptation to begin collecting sports cards because of the money that cards and sets can attract.
However, if card buying and collecting isn’t something you enjoy in the first place – it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be consistent with it.
Make sure you actually enjoy card collecting! Going down the internet rabbit holes finding obscure card sets from decades ago, and the thrill of the chase when you’re looking for these cards can be a whole lot of fun.
And there are so many great people out there in the hobby. You can connect with other collectors through social media, blogs, podcasts, and pretty much every other platform you can think of. I’ve made a bunch of great friends through the hobby from all over the world.
While I’ve sold cards for considerably more than I’ve paid for them, I still get a little uneasy when I talk to people who are “investing” lots of cash into sports cards without even knowing if they like collecting as a hobby.
This isn’t the stock market and cards aren’t revenue generating assets. They’re worth something because people in the hobby deem them to be worth something.
There is no real way of telling whether the price of your cards will rise in the future. So you could be spending hundreds, or even thousands now, only to find that they plummet in price, or at best, stay the same.
My theory is to not spend anything that I wouldn’t want to lose, and not buy anything that I wouldn’t want to keep.
However, that is a completely personal opinion, and if you are looking at cards purely as an investment opportunity, that’s completely fine – But there’s nothing wrong with adding a little more fun into a hobby along the way.
A card collection is more than a trip down memory lane these days. While there’s that nostalgia hit of looking at the cards of your favorite players growing up, there’s a lot more to it.
This article should have given you enough information to get started with your collection – bookmark the page so you can come back to it later on.
Can sports cards make money? Some in central Ohio say yes
A Twitter account that Nick Singer follows recently asked people to name their favorite type of investment and offered a list of possible answers, including 401(k)s, health savings accounts or real estate.
Singer responded a bit differently: sports cards.
More: 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card sells for record $5.2 million
The unconventional answer might elicit a chuckle from some and conjure up thoughts of boxed-up collections gathering dust.
These days, though, sports cards are surprisingly lucrative as the industry experiences a renaissance during the pandemic, fueled both by nostalgia and the rise of some game-changing players in increasingly popular sports leagues.
The possibility of a sports card skyrocketing in value
Consider NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes.
Singer, 28, of Dublin, has various versions of the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback's rookie cards that are worth thousands of dollars. If Mahomes beats Tom Brady in the Super Bowl on Sunday, that value could skyrocket.
“It’s like owning personal stock in an athlete,” Singer said. “I never thought sports cards had the potential to make some cash. Honestly, since mid-2018 (these Mahomes cards) have gone up 40 to 50 times per card.”
Like many, Singer's youthful interest in sports cards turned particularly serious during the pandemic when options for watching sports were more limited. When he was furloughed from his sales job in March, the sports card market exploded and he began focusing full-time on his card business, Setter Sports Cards.
“A year ago, this was a side hustle,” said Singer, who didn’t return to his sales position. “Now, it’s very mainstream. You turn on MSNBC and they’re talking about the craziness, or CBS Sports talking about the record numbers.”
Last year brought in record-breaking sales at auction, according to a CNBC news report, with 10 cards that sold for more than $500,000, figures not seen since sports cards’ heyday of the late 1970s and early 80s’ — or ever.
Huge demand for sports card packs
But it’s more than just the big-money cards appearing at auction, it’s the fervor surrounding the industry that's made a comeback.
Just try to find a pack of cards at a nearby Walmart or Target store. It's next to impossible, even with customer limits, as people line up before stores open to buy boxes — either to “break” open themselves or resell unopened on the secondary market for double or triple the price.
"The retail stuff is a monster," said Charlie Prior, a 27-year-old youth pastor from Hilliard, who got back into sports cards in December. "Trying to get cards at Walmart is very difficult."
The past 10 months have accelerated the growth of recent years, according to industry experts, since people were stuck at home with no sports for much of that time, instead watching documentaries, such as “The Last Dance” about Michael Jordan, and feeling nostalgic for better days.
While Ron Florey has seen the business ebb and flow over the 32 years he’s owned Triple Play Sports and Memorabilia, he’s never seen anything like this, both in terms of the frenzied demand for products and what people are doing with them (opening cards in YouTube videos, selling fractional shares of a high-dollar card).
More: 32 things we learned from 'Super Wild Card Weekend' of 2020 NFL season
“In-store traffic has more than doubled in the last year,” said Florey, who expanded his Westerville store to 3,600 square feet in December. “Nobody could’ve predicted this.”
A shipment of 200 boxes of a certain product two years ago used to last Florey more than two months. Now, he’s lucky enough to get two weeks out of the same shipment — and that’s in spite of the rapidly increased cost.
Florey said he sold upwards of 40 boxes (each containing 24 packs of eight cards each) Wednesday of a release of NBA cards at $349 a pop.
“I hate to use this term because I hate when people use it in my store, but it’s like a lottery ticket,” Florey said. “You pay $300 for a box and you get a card worth $600 or $700. There’s a lot of excitement, especially if you’re someone who likes to open, rip and flip.”
Some newer customers represent that mentality, but others are there for the pure joy of collecting. They are returning to the hobby after spending time during the shutdowns rediscovering their old collections and organizing them, Florey said.
Most of the '80s and '90s cards still aren't worth much, with a few exceptions, as they were so mass-produced, but looking through old collections brought people back into a reinvigorated sports card market.
“Cards generally reflect a happy time in their childhood,” Florey said. “It’s hard to replicate that ally financial bill payment memory in today’s society.”
Modern cards differ greatly from the 1980s and ’90s, said Ryan Johnson, 28, owner of CardCollector2 Sports Cards in Grove City.
“There was nothing about (the older versions) that was unique — not the paper and they’re not numbered or autographed,” said Johnson, who opened his retail location in an old card shop in May 2019. “Companies printed them and printed them, and you didn’t know everyone had the same cards as you.”
Today’s versions might contain a swatch of a jersey or be signed by a player. Card companies have added serial numbers to certain cards and only made a finite number, Johnson said.
They’re also just cooler, card collectors and sellers said. They’re printed on thicker cardstock or sometimes metal or clear plastic. They can be holographic and sparkly, and there are variances — such as silver, gold or emerald versions — making some cards even more valuable.
Sports cards gain popularity as a hobby amid COVID-19
At the start of the pandemic, Johnson actually sold off $17,000 worth of his inventory — he’s had an online store since 2013 — as he was worried about paying bills, especially since COVID-19 shuttered his doors for two months.
“It was in case the market goes down, but the exact opposite happened,” Johnson said. “I had one part-time employee then. Now I have 10 employees.”
Johnson started hosting popular “breaks” on YouTube in which customers pay a fee and then are randomly assigned a team, such as the Cincinnati Bengals. All the players from that team that are pulled during the break — which is shown virtually — are sent to that customer.
Aleigha Willingham’s family has bought into a number of Johnson’s breaks over the past 10 months.
“When COVID started, we wanted to get kids into a different hobby besides playing Xbox,” said Willingham, 29, who lives in Obetz with her husband, Scott, and her two children Landen and Layla Harrison, 8 and 7, respectively. “Now, we have cards all over the house.”
While she laments the fact that they no longer can find cheaper cards at Walmart or Target, she said Johnson has been very generous with her children. He even let Landen open some special packs on his eighth birthday in which he found a rookie Joe Burrow card that the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback had signed, valued at more than $200 and climbing.
“It has turned into a family hobby,” she said. “The kids have grabbed onto it and haven’t let go.”
Over the past two months, Prior, the youth pastor, has bought more than 2,000 cards, some of which he’s already sold. He said he noticed late last year a surge in teens opening packs of cards on TikTok.
“One of the reasons I got into this was, I’m a huge basketball nut,” said Prior, who lost his part-time emceeing and promotion jobs with the Columbus Clippers and Columbus Blue Jackets. “I thought I’d use all that basketball knowledge for something good.”
Despite the talk of investments and profits, however, the hobby still appeals to him mostly as a sports fan.
“It’s been a way to feel like you’re part of the team, that you connect with a certain player,” Prior said. “I like (former Ohio State star and current NFL standout) Chase Young a lot, so I have a whole bunch of Chase Young cards.”
Welcome to the internet home ofAttack of the Baseball Cards. Attack is located at60 MILLTOWN ROAD, UNION NJ 07083 (908-687-8107). The store is located on the Union/Springfield borderwith the entrance in the back of the building.
With more great things planned for 2021. Stop in for an experience unlike any other store or card show. See why, Attack of the Baseball Cards, is "the store the whole country is talking about"! Attack of the Baseball Cards, is located less than 20 minutes from N.Y.C., less than 10 minutes from Newark International Airport. Attack, can be reached by Facebook private message atwww.facebook.com/attackofthebaseballcards, by telephone at 908-687-8107. or by using the Contact Us section below.
The sports card and memorabilia market has seen a recent boom in the past year and one new store is looking to cater to the surging need for product.
Jumbo’s Sports Collectibles opened in Lima in early May at 707 N. Cable Road and offers a wide selection of sports cards, along with several pieces of autographed items such as jerseys and helmets.
Doug Mauch, a 1999 Elida High School and University of Findlay graduate, partnered with friends Bob Wireman and James Wall to open the shop.
“We all three got back into collecting, and obviously we collected as kids, but the industry is so much different now and it kind of peaked our interest so we started collecting again and then realized that there is no where around here that offers what we are trying to offer so we decided to open a store.”
Since opening the store, Mauch said he has seen a steady stream of frequent customers but said they are still in the infancy stages and are still trying to get their name out there.
“I would say the first month went better than we expected so that is good and every day we see new faces,” Mauch said. ‘We are growing pretty good.”
Sports card shops have come and gone in Lima throughout the last three decades but Mauch points to the online market of one way to stay viable and cater to not only the online audience but the local collector in search of cards.
One area that Mauch said the store will utilize is called “breaks” where individuals will share a certain box of trading cards. With inserts, autograph and speciality cards, prices of boxes of cards, whether it is football, baseball or basketball, has skyrocketed and the demand for wax boxes is constantly out there.
“Breaks, that is going to be the key to our online business,” Mauch said. “The store is nice and it is good to have customers and meet people but the breaks is what is going to keep the business alive.”
At the store, Mauch adds that the store will offer plenty of wax packs, which as he points out is hard to find because at places like Walmarts and Target, individuals grab all the boxes once they hit the shelves.
“You can’t get it unless you are there at two o’clock in the morning and want to fight over it,” Mauch said. “That is a big thing for us. We have helmets and jerseys but we are more focused on the cards.”
Mauch adds that he as an assortment of vintage as well as new cards.
“We have some high end stuff and we have a lot of the newer stuff and we have a lot of football, baseball and basketball and don’t have a lot of soccer and hockey but we do carry some of that wax we just don’t have a lot of singles,” Mauch said. “We are looking to expand into basically all the sports even UFC is starting to break cards out. They are very popular and hard to get and when we get it in it’s gone. We got some in at five-thirty and it was gone by six.”
Mauch understands that the card market will plateau at some point and the prices have taken a slight dip since its reached its peak a couple of months ago, but he adds that a new bar has been sent for cards and does not see that crashing as it has in previous years.
“It is so much different than it was 20 or 30 years ago when I was collecting as a kid,” Mauch said.
In addition to expanding in store, Mauch said there are plans to host a card shot in Lima during the winter and hopefully in the future as well as having some autograph signing sessions.
Bob Wireman (left) and Doug Mauch (right), along with James Wall (not pictured) recently opened up a new sports card and memorabilia shop in Lima at 707 Cable Road.
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Baseball card shop enters World Series of Collecting
By Jay Greene
While most market-watchers are reaching for the stock pages every morning, Max Himmelstein leafs through the sports sections to track his investments. As owner of the Valley Baseball Card Shop in Tarzana, Himmelstein finds his leading indicators that way. He may consider How to store sports cards Clark, the San Francisco Giants first baseman. Or perhaps Nolan Ryan, the Texas Rangers ageless pitcher.
Himmelstein started collecting cards when he was young, stopped for about 20 years and picked up the hobby again in 1974. While he makes money selling cards, he said investors often overlook the fun in collecting. "There are some guys who. look at a card and they just see dollar signs," he said.
Himmelstein started the business with a friend in 1981. Within a month of opening, he quit as western regional manager of Standard Packaging Corp., a paper products maker. Three months later he bought his partner out. Since then he has watched the relatively small how to store sports cards card and memorabilia business develop into burgeoning industry. "In 1981, I was the third store to open" in the San Fernando Valley, he said. "There are probably 12 or 13 right here in the San Fernando Valley now. That's not counting Agoura or Westlake." Even with increased competition, Himmelstein said business is strong, though he declined to discuss the store's annual sales.
One reason for the prosperity may be the growing number of card makers. In 1981, cards made by Topps Co. controlled the market. Today, investors are just as interested in purchasing cards made by Fleer Corp. or Donruss Leaf Inc. or a handful of other smaller companies.
And the number of sophisticated card collectors is expanding. Himmelstein said he doesn't have a single Nolan Ryan card left from the pitcher's rookie card left from the pitcher's rookie year through 1980. Collectors realize that Ryan will likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame and his card's value will jump substantially, he said. "Four or five years ago, pirates of the caribbean at worlds end davy jones death would wait three months before a guy was going into the Hall of Fame when he'd get a lot of action," he said. "Now you see people (asking for former player) like (Jim) Palmer, (Tom) Seaver, (Joe) Morgan, (Mike) Schmidt. They know these people will be going into the Hall of Fame. Now they're looking ahead, saying let's get them at $3, $5, $8 before apple cash card tripled." Insurance companies offer policies covering card collections and Himmelstein said he is called on as an appraiser.
How did you get into the business? "As a collector. I started collecting in 1974. I collected as a kid like everybody else in the early '50s and then for 20 years I had no interest in baseball cards whatsoever. I went to visit a nephew of a good friend of mine and he showed me some old boone county mo jail inmates a friend had given him, early '50s stuff, that's what brought back the memories. And he said 'these cards could be worth 50 cents or a dollar each and this Mickey Mantle is worth $75.' I just couldn't believe a card had any value. That's the same Mantle that's worth about $7,000 what is a trust company now.
What's the most valuable card you have? "It would probably be the Mantle card from that collection. Nice condition, but not great. It's probably a $5,000 Mantle. I have some $2,000 to $3,000 Ted Williams cards. Things like that."
What's the most expensive card you've ever sold? how to store sports cards think I sold that '52 Mantle for $3,200. that's the one that runs about $7,000 now. I sold a set last week for $12,000. There are sets that go $5,000, $6,000, $7,000. That's not the usual thing, but its not unusual either. You don't want to sit with too many $1,000, $2,000 cards. The buyers are there. But the audience is a lot larger for your $20, $30, $40 that might move up to $100 or $200 in time."
What's the hottest card now? "Nolan Ryan cards right now. His rookie card, which lists at $400, will go anywhere from $400 to $700. Will Clark, because he's been hot, and Mark Grace. It's the players who've been hot. And the younger players. (New York Met) Gregg Jefferies was the hot guy in 1988 and disappointed. A lot of guys are sitting on Gregg Jefferies cards who paid maybe $5 and $6 and $7. He might be listing at a few dollars less now. Some may have sold them and taken a loss. Others may be hanging on, figuring he may be a star, he just had a tough year. He's got a lot of years left."
Does a player's card go up if they go four-for-four? "Yeah. Not if they go four-for-four one day but. it's like the stock market. If a player is hot for a week or two a year his card's going to go up. It's all supply and demand. Just last week, when Clark had that good series and Grace had that good playoff series, more people are asking for Grace and Clark cards and most dealers will inmate calling tarrant county them. More demand, higher price, that's all that is.
Is the opposite true of Pete Rose? "I think you're going to see action on the Rose card. I haven't seen tremendous action, but. we've sold some Rose autographed balls, we've sold some Rose pictures. I think it hasn't hurt his Hall of Fame chances. That's why I don't think its going to hurt his card."