How to Collect a Complete Set of Sports Cards

Collecting sports cards is something that sports enthusiasts may wish to pursue if they’re looking to collect small pieces of history and go beyond just watching games or attending live events. However, the biggest issue that sports card collectors may encounter is managing to get their hands on all the cards within a given series. 

How exactly do you collect trading cards and get every card within the series along the way? If you want to make sure that you’re not just collecting blindly but actually building your collection with full sets, let’s take a look at the step-by-step guide on how to collect a complete series of sports cards below!

1. Focus on One Series At a Time and Understand What That Series Has to Offer

A man using a laptop to collect sports cards

In any given year, there are a lot of amazing debuts from several sports card companies that collectors want to get their hands on. But while it can be easy and fun to grab several hobby boxes from different producers at once, this can make it that much harder to collect a full series of sports cards. If your intent for collecting sports cards is to collect a full series, you need to focus on one series at a time. This means: 

  • Choosing a series that you want and committing to collecting that series fully. 
  • Understanding how many collectible cards you can acquire in that series. How many base cards are there? How many parallels? How many inserts? How many autographs? 
  • Analyzing the difficulty of acquiring certain cards. How many base cards can you expect in each hobby box? What are the box break averages, and what exactly can you expect to receive with each box you purchase? 

Collecting sports cards isn’t just a game of chance. There’s a lot of information about the series you’re most interested in that you can use to better understand which cards are available in each series and how much you might need to invest in order to get your hands on the full series. 

Of course, you don’t want to break the bank when you decide to collect trading cards and acquire a full series. You need to work smarter, not harder in order to collect the full series of your choice. This brings us to our next step…

2. Start Collecting the Full Series By Purchasing Hobby Cases Rather Than Boxes

Collecting sports cards: a pile of sports cards

When you start collecting sports cards, there are two types of offerings to pay attention to: hobby boxes and hobby cases. Hobby boxes will feature a specific number of card packs per box, which can help you build your collection gradually over time. However, when you’re looking to collect a full series of cards, this can be an inefficient way to source all the cards you’re looking for. 

Instead, it’s best to begin your collection by purchasing hobby cases - especially for series that have larger checklists. Hobby cases offer a ton of value by providing you with multiple hobby boxes in a single case, while also usually offering case hit(s), which are short prints that carry higher value than other cards. If one hobby box provides you with several card packs and hundreds of cards, a great hobby case can provide you with thousands of cards from both the base set as well as the insert and autograph series. This gets you off to an excellent start and makes getting a full series when you’re collecting sports cards easier. 

The sheer value of hobby cases makes them a great place to get started when you’re collecting trading cards with the intent of getting the full series. However, buying case after case can end up putting you at a disadvantage as you end up with multiples of the same card time and time again. This is when you’ll inevitably need to switch strategies and focus more on hobby boxes. 

3. Switch to Hobby Boxes Once You Have Collected the Bulk of the Series

Collecting sports cards: a man shopping online

Hobby cases are stellar investments when you first start collecting sports cards in a series. However, it makes no sense to continue investing thousands in cases if you have most of the series and only need a few missing cards here and there. This is especially true if the box break averages may not contribute the parallels or inserts that you need for the full collection. 

Once you have most of the series, switch over to hobby boxes to try to get your hands on the cards that you’re still missing. While you may still end up with a few multiples, it’s much better than ending up with more than you need by getting thousands of cards at a time through hobby cases! 

Start Collecting Full Series at Giant Sports Cards

Collecting a complete series of sports cards is easier than it seems. That being said, where do you begin collecting all the sports cards you’re looking for? Start here with Giant Sports Cards! Giant Sports Cards makes collecting sports cards series easy by offering all the newest releases at the lowest prices. With benefits like great customer service, free, speedy shipping on orders over $175, and $10 off your order when you sign up for our newsletter, now’s the perfect time to discover new sports cards and explore our hobby boxes and cases today!