People love baseball. However, some super-passionate fans also love collecting memorabilia from their favorite teams and players. If this sounds like you, then you may find the perfect hobby—and venture—in buying and selling baseball and other sports cards.
One of the great joys for many baseball fans is collecting and trading baseball card supplies. The thrill of opening a pack and finding that elusive card can prove magnificently exhilarating. Some people are so passionate about their hobby that they create a collection to rival those found in museums.
If you want to get started collecting or selling your own baseball cards, keep reading for some helpful advice on how to start collecting sports cards, as well as how to find great trading card supplies.
1. GET INTO THE GAME
In recent years, the value of baseball cards has spiked. In part, this phenomenon is occurring because sneaker collectors have switched to baseball cards. They’re finding that they can turn over much more volume in baseball cards compared to sneakers.
For instance, sneaker collectors will often find that they can only get their hands on one pair of coveted kicks. However, the baseball card market is different. In fact, you can learn how to collect baseball cards and buy as many as you can afford.
In addition, not only do baseball card collectors have the opportunity to purchase more cards. They can diversify their collections in ways that sneakerheads can’t.
In baseball card collecting, nostalgia is driving a surge in the industry. Sports fans from the 80s are causing a shift in the market.
Now, these fans have young children, they love to see their kids take part in the same fun activities that they used to enjoy as children. Every 30 years, you’ll see a reboot of G.I. Joe toys for the same reason.
2. COLLECT ANY SPORT YOU DESIRE
It’s also important to note that you’re not limited to baseball cards when you’re learning how to start collecting sports cards. For example, you might want to buy basketball cards.
Alternatively, you may want to buy football cards. You can even invest in wholesale football cards. Ultimately, the choice is yours, even if you get started by figuring out how to start collecting baseball cards.
In fact, there’s a market for all your favorite sports, even soccer cards. You might even consider investing in soccer card boxes or soccer card cases.
Sports betting is also contributing to increased activity in the baseball card industry. For gamblers, there’s nothing like buying a pack of cards hoping that you pull a rare $50,000 card. This thrill is much like placing a bet.
3. GET SKIN IN THE GAME WITH LESS RISK
Yes, it’s true. Some gamblers use collectible sports cards as a way to get skin into the game. Flipping cards is a low-risk way of betting on the sport.
For instance, you might bet on your favorite team to win again. Alternatively, you might bet on your favorite player to make a certain amount of points in the game.
In either case, buying and selling sports cards is a safer way to get your thrills. If things don’t go your way, you won’t necessarily lose all your money. With this in mind, there are two high-level categories of sports cards—graded and raw. This is important to know when you’re figuring out how to start collecting sports cards.
GRADED OR RAW?
Here, you have two options. You can purchase cards that have already been graded.
Alternatively, you can purchase raw sports cards. These items are cards that collectors haven’t submitted to a grading company.
There’s a lower barrier to entry for raw cards. They cost less compared to graded cards. They haven’t been officially graded for value—yet. As a result, they cost less to buy.
4. PLAN FOR PROFITS WITH BASEBALL CARDS
You’ll want to set a budget right from the start when you’re learning how to start collecting sports cards. Without a budget, it’s easy to spend much more than you can afford.
Here, you want to think about what you want to accomplish financially. For instance, you may want to build a collection. Alternatively, you may want to earn a fast return on your baseball cards.
In fact, there are a few different ways that you can plan your baseball card investment strategy if you have a specific goal like how to start collecting baseball cards. The following are just a few.
INVESTING FOR THE LONG HAUL
Long-term baseball card investing requires a specific strategy. It’s different from buying cards for short-term investment.
Here, you’re looking for long-term growth and minimal risk. With this in mind, think of generational notoriety when you purchase cards.
For instance, you’re not looking for cards of players who recently had a great game. Instead, you’re on the hunt for generational icons. These are the cards that you use to build your long-term collection when you first learn how to start collecting sports cards.
Conversely, flipping baseball cards is a form of short-term investment. With this method, you want to buy baseball cards for as low as possible. When flipping cards, you’ll also want to look for new sports card releases.
Next, you’ll flip it in a few days, weeks, or months. Some collectors consider any sale less than a year after purchase a short-term sale. Here, however, you’ll earn your profits based on a player’s future performance or overall value.
Again, flipping it’s all about short-term money. To win in the flipping game, you need a deep understanding of the sport. It’s also highly beneficial to understand the inherent risk of flipping.
HOW TO START COLLECTING SPORTS CARDS: KEEPING COLLECTIBLES
Alternatively, some baseball fans want cards as collectibles. There are many baseball card collectors whose sole goal is to build a valuable collection. These individuals are true fans of the game.
For instance, you might want to collect cards for memorializing your favorite player. This practice is an amazing hobby that offers loads of enjoyment.
This kind of baseball card investor is simply happy with collecting their favorite cards. However, if you really enjoy the sport, flipping cards is fun too.
CHOOSING A MANUFACTURER
Some collectors prefer to invest in cards from specific manufacturers. Two of the leading manufacturers in the field are Panini and Topps, and these will stand out, whether you want to know how to start collecting sports cards or how to start collecting baseball cards, rather than multiple cards from all different kinds of sports. The following is a closer look at what the companies have to offer.
Panini is an Italian collectibles manufacturer. The company offers several products, including the:
- Panini baseball box
- Panini baseball case
- Panini basketball box
- Panini basketball case
- Panini football box
- Panini football case
- Panini soccer box
- Panini soccer case
Panini is a well-known company that’s been around since 1961.
For beginners, Panini offers an affordable line called Prizm. The Prizm line might include the:
- Prizm basketball box
- Prizm football box
- Prizm hobby box
- Prizm hobby case
If you’re just starting out, Prizm collectibles are a great way to test the waters.
Alternatively, Select is Panini’s assortment of high-end collectibles for those looking to discover how to start collecting sports cards. If you want to assume greater risk, Panini Select is a great place to start. Here, you might try your luck with a Select hobby box or the Select hobby case.
Of course, Topps is one of the greatest collectibles companies in the United States. Topps offers a range of collectibles, including the:
- Topps baseball box
- Topps baseball cards
- Topps baseball case
They’ve been around since 1951.
5. VALUE YOUR INVESTMENTS
There are a lot of people getting back into collecting baseball cards. Before you start with this exciting hobby, however, you want to learn how to figure out the value of your cards.
Many people get back into baseball card collecting by figuring out the value of their existing collection. These individuals have held onto cards from their youth, even if they may be just getting back into it and learning how to start collecting sports cards once again.
It may surprise you to learn what value you have tucked away in the back of your closet. There are a few things that you’ll want to check to find out the value of your good old card election.
Firstly, you’ll want to figure out the year of your cards. Here, you can check the copyright date of the card. Alternatively, you can look at the final year of the stats included on the card.
You also want to find out the name of the card company. Also, pinpoint the name of the player.
Finally, you’ll want to find the card number. Once you have this information, there are a few things that will affect the value of your cards.
VINTAGE OR MODERN?
Some collectors believe vintage cards are a better investment, and this is something you will want to consider if you’re planning on figuring out how to start collecting sports cards. There are fewer variables to consider.
For instance, sports card favorites, such as Willie Mays and Babe Ruth, are forever baseball icons. Accordingly, the value of their cards will not fluctuate as much compared to modern baseball cards.
In addition, the supply of cards won’t increase along with demand. As a result, many collectors view vintage cards as a safer investment. Alternatively, supporters of modern cards believe that there’s more opportunity for short-term gains.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Like many other fields, supply and demand are the cornerstones of baseball card collecting. Supply is the number of sports cards in circulation. It can have a huge effect on the value of your card.
You can check a site such as PSA for a report on graded cards in circulation—more on grading companies in a moment. You’ll need the set information for your card to look up the report. With this information, you can find a population of all cards in that set.
CHOOSING A GRADING COMPANY
After you’ve figured out how to start collecting sports cards or specific options like how to start collecting baseball cards, you need to know what shape your cards are in. A grading company evaluates the condition of your cards. The biggest grading company in the game is PSA.
The second-largest grading company is BGS. Meanwhile, SGC is the third-largest sports card grading company.
You can submit raw, ungraded cards to these companies for evaluation. They’ll assess it with a grade of 1 to 10. After grading, the company will enclose your card in a case.
In addition to a player’s performance, there are a few things that a grading company will look at when they evaluate your baseball cards. For instance, they’ll examine the surface of the cards. The grading company will check to see if the card has any scratches.
They’ll also look at the corners and edges. The grading company will check whether the corners are frayed. They’ll also inspect the card for creases.
Finally, the grading company will look at the centering of the card. They’ll look to see how well the player is centered on the card.
6. PROTECT YOUR CARDS
Learning how to start collecting sports cards by picking out popular options isn’t the final step in your journey. You’ll want to protect your cards by investing in toploaders too. Here, we’re not talking about the cheap toploaders that you buy from a big-box retailer such as Walmart. Instead, you want to invest in Ultra Pro Toploaders to keep your collection in pristine condition.
7. CHOOSE YOUR CARDS
You’ll need to find a place to find sports cards for sale to get started. However, it’s not a good idea to buy your cards from anywhere.
You want a trusted source for sports card supplies. If you’re just getting into collecting sports cards, you can start out with a trusted site such as Giant Sports Cards.
There, you might begin by searching for the cards of your favorite player. You’d simply enter the player’s name into the search box.
You want to look for the most desirable version of your favorite player’s card. Typically, the most desirable version of a player’s card is their rookie card. The rookie card is the first version of the card that’s been printed.
The site will then return any available results. Now, you’ll want to take a closer look at how the card has been graded.
8. CASH IN ON YOUR COLLECTION
If you want to get into buying and selling baseball cards rather than just learning how to start collecting sports cards, you’ll want to hone your negotiation skills. Negotiating is a major part of the hobby.
If you ever go to a card show, you’ll see a lot of negotiating going on. You can also use your negotiating skills to earn a profit on sites such as eBay or StockX.
GET STARTED BUILDING YOUR COLLECTION
Now you know more about the wonderful world of baseball cards and collecting. What you need now is an affordable source that can help you to get your collection started.
Do you love sports cards and want to learn how to start collecting sports cards or get into buying and selling them?
Giant Sports Cards has the best deals on collectible sports cards. Whether you’re a fan of football, basketball, baseball or hockey, we have something for everyone.
We’re also the best source for wholesale sports cards. Whether you want to start your collection or add to it, we have what you need at prices our competitors can’t beat. Our knowledgeable staff is always happy to help you find exactly what you need.
Don’t wait. Start browsing our online deals to get your collection off to a great start!