As a collector, your passion for the game is likely what encouraged you to pursue new card releases, get cards signed, and build a massive collection of cards featuring top players and rookies in your favorite sport. But while collecting may simply be a way for you to further your interest in the sport of your choice, every collector is aware that some cards can be a major investment should they be highly sought after down the road. But how will you be able to tell when you have a great card in your collection?
This trading card price guide will help you better understand what makes sports cards valuable and how this translates to certain cards on the market.
Your Go-To Baseball, Football, and Basketball Price Guide: What Makes a Card Valuable?
Cards aren’t just highly sought after because any collector wants them. There are a number of reasons why a card you own might skyrocket in both price and demand. Some of the factors behind a card’s value include:
- Condition: No matter what types of cards you own, they’ll only be worth good money if they’re well-maintained. Cards that are discolored, rough around the edges, bent, or torn are not going to fetch a good price or find many buyers should you try to sell them.
- Rarity: We couldn’t write a trading card price guide without talking about rarity. Rarity or scarcity play a massive role in a card’s value. This is why cards that are one-of-a-kind or vintage cards that have been lost to time sell for such high prices.
- Featured Player: The above qualities are important, but they don’t necessarily indicate value if the featured player isn’t a player that someone needs in their collection. The player on the card is just as important as the quality or rarity of the card itself. Cards from a player’s rookie year will typically always fetch higher prices than cards of any other year.
- Errors or Variations: Trading card price guides may not always include this, but errors and variations can boost the price of a card. If a card has variations that are very rare or if there were mistakes that were corrected later, this can make a card more valuable to certain collectors.
- Grading (Sometimes): Grading can sometimes end up costing you more than what a card is worth, but it may help you sell vintage cards that are highly sought after, along with rarer modern cards that are in perfect condition (well-centered, sharp corners, clean face, and smooth edges). A PSA 10 will always fetch multiple times what a PSA 9 can bring, so if you think you might have a 10, it might be worth grading.
Whenever you want to know whether or not you have cards that might be worth something, you can reference the qualities in our trading card price guide above!
What Are Some Examples?
There are quite a few vintage cards that have sold at millions, but we find that more modern examples can be a great demonstration of how the above factors play into how much your card might go for.
One great example, if you’re looking for a basketball price guide for your cards, is the Luka Doncic 2018 1/1 National Treasures Rookie Patch Autograph Logoman, which was a one-of-a-kind Panini release that fetched $4.6 million. Another more recent example is the Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket #144 with a BGS 9 grade, which sold for $3.1 million and featured an extremely popular player.
No matter what you might have in your collection, always look out for top players, rare finds, and relevant cards that collectors want to get their hands on now.
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