Getting Started in Sports Cards

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If you’re like me, then you used to collect sports cards when you were a kid. I always had a decent stack of Panini stickers every time a World Cup would roll around – and then the trading and all the fun could start.

Well, sports cards today are back and bigger than ever. Perhaps you’ve already seen the rise in popularity of sports cards and you’re wondering how to get started with collecting sports cards. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place – we’ll look to bring you the basic knowledge about sports cards to help you get started.

Why Collect Sports Cards?

If you’re still on the fence about collecting sports cards, there are some neat benefits to this hobby – both on a personal and an emotional level.

For many collectors today, one of the main reasons why they collect is the nostalgia factor. Collecting sports cards allows them to tap into their childhood memories and relive the glorious days of the past. You can, too! With sports cards, you can relive all of your favorite sporting moments as well as the legends you adored as a kid.

The second reason why collecting sports cards is so popular is because people love collections. If you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me, then you’ll love this aspect. Your collection is never complete as you’re always looking for that next big card. Many collectors today are in their 30s and are getting back to card collecting because of this.

Lastly, there’s an earning opportunity when it comes to sports cards. You can start small or spend big, but it doesn’t really matter where you start. Collecting sports cards has become a bit like art where each piece of art has its own value depending on its sentimental quality and its beauty. Other collectibles like sneakers are also growing in popularity.

Where Can I Buy Sports Cards?

You’ve decided that you want to start collecting cards again, but you don’t know where to start?

One of the main questions card collectors face is where they should buy their cards from. Many opt to buy from the main retailers in their area. However, the problem with that is that those packs sell out fast, so only the lucky few are able to buy them from retailers.

You can also buy from card companies directly, such as :

Panini
Topps
Upper Deck
Leaf

Again, the problem here is that you buy card packs, so you don’t really know if you’ll get the card you want.

Perhaps the best solution if you’re just starting out is to use eBay and other online marketplaces to buy your cards.

And you know how eBay is – there’s a lot of questionable stuff from unknown sellers that might just be looking to scam you.

However, if you know what you’re doing and who you’re buying from (or selling to), then trading cards on eBay is ridiculously easy. You might be able to sell or buy your cards in a matter of minutes or hours.

The first thing you’ll wanna know is how to sell sports cards on eBay to get started. Then, you’ll also want to know how to choose which cards to buy. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s better to start small and see where that takes you.

How Does Sport Card Grading Work?

So you’ve decided to jump onto eBay and have a look at some of the cards you want to own. The next thing you’ll see are weird descriptions of cards you’ve probably never seen before, like PSA 10 – GEM MT, or BGS 9.5. What the hell is that all about!?

That’s simply the grades of the cards that were given by sports card grading companies. Basically, you can send out your cards to external auditors who’ll check your cards for their condition and how well they’re kept, and they’ll give them a grade (normally from 1-10). The higher the grade, the better it is for you – and the more the card will be worth!

You’ll have to pay a certain fee for card grading, and there are more grading companies you can choose. Some of the most popular include:

PSA (arguably the biggest and most popular)
Beckett (BGS for short)
SGC

There are some slight differences between them; PSA is great for all kinds of cards, while BGS is often used for older cards. However, the differences between PSA vs Beckett and SGC are not as huge as one might think.

What Cards are Popular?

In terms of sports cards, there are some sports that are more popular than others. These are the most popular sports in a descending order:

Basketball – obviously, NBA cards are by far the most popular out of all cards, as people are looking to collect cards of their basketball idols, like Kobe Bryant
NFL – again, NFL is one of the most popular sports competitions not only in the US, but also all around the world.
Baseball – this sport is particularly known for older cards, which also have a lot of added value because of the legendary tales of some of the players involved, like Babe Ruth. Also, some of these cards are crazy rare
Soccer – soccer cards are on the rise, which is generally because of the rise of popularity of the sport itself. It might overtake baseball cards soon
Hockey – another popular sport in the US and North America

As for what cards of each player sell best, it’s usually the rookie cards. These are the cards that will only be available once in the player’s career, so it’s normal that most collectors gravitate towards these.

Recently, non-sports cards have been gaining a lot of popularity, such as Pokemon and Magic the Gathering cards.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to start another hobby, sports card collecting can be very satisfying. It doesn’t matter how much you’re willing to invest – my advice is to just start collecting and not look too much into the prices of these cards. Get what you want and desire, and the rest will take care of itself!

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