Sporting the Right Price


baseball memorabilia

By Steve Conway

Valuation can be a tricky concept, especially in a thriving market like sports memorabilia. The common variables affecting all products will always exist, including the condition and authenticness of the memorabilia as well as the rarity of these pieces.

But what about the nuances in value? Furthermore, what are the intangibles that drive people’s interest? When it’s time to price sports memorabilia, navigating a vast marketplace can be daunting.

In these cases, it’s imperative to have multiple, reliable resources from which to generate an idea of what your owned/desired items should procure. Using a combination of local and online resources will give you the most well-rounded idea of where to set your price point.

Local Experts

Visiting a local certified dealer of sports memorabilia is one of the most helpful ways of gaining perspective on a given piece; after all, these are the people who are immersed in the marketplace on an everyday basis and understand all of the changing dynamics affecting value.

Beyond generalized base values, local experts also possess an understanding of how items are valued differently by location, and more specifically, may even have a customer/seller to match both parties’ needs. One other option is doing a consignment agreement with the local dealer to gauge interest, thereby exchanging exposure for a small portion of the potential profits.

Trade Shows

Conventions put a large variety of sports memorabilia experts in the same place at the same time for the purpose of assessing value to the public like no other resource (auction houses, authenticators, dealers, etc.). Indeed, taking advantage of events like the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention is paramount for pricing items that are more unique in nature.

Of course, it can be difficult to assess scarce and one-of-a-kind memorabilia due to unknown desire around something hardly seen before. Bringing items of this nature to a trade show allows experts from various regions and backgrounds to offer their varied expertise on how it should be priced.

Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)

The PSA has specialized in grading and authenticating cards and collectibles since 1991. In 1998, the third-party sports card authentication service expanded to include authentication of autographs and sports memorabilia, as counterfeiting became more prevalent.

Getting your memorabilia authenticated increases its inherent value to fellow collectors, but also provides access to what similar authenticated merchandise from that athlete, team or overall era is selling for at any given point in time.

For example, on PSA’s website, you can track the auction history of a particular keepsake and compare what other similar items have been selling for in comparison to yours. Indeed, this is great for providing a general idea of the value of autographs from certain athletes.

Sports Memorabilia Websites

You’ve done your due diligence in the collector marketplace, gathered as much information as possible, and now have a price point for your sports memorabilia. So where do you go to sell for fair market value?

Selling your keepsakes on particular sports memorabilia websites allows your piece of sports history to be viewed by a specialized audience with greater depth for context, as opposed to a generic auction website.

Furthermore, when adding a piece of for-sale memorabilia, you can verify important factors such as authentication and overall condition using photos. This serves as an excellent way to create a dialogue with professionals to help confirm/finalize an appropriate asking price as well.

Buy and Sell with Confidence

Building perspective on the market value of sports memorabilia can be done using various tools. With that in mind, take advantage of local trading outposts and experts to gain regional perspective and exposure in the marketplace.

You can also attend sports memorabilia trade shows for access to all of the top experts in the industry for evaluations of more unique items, as well as authenticate, search and compare similar items using the PSA. And finally, sell for fair market value using a specialized site/forum just for sports memorabilia. Utilizing all of these tools will have you sporting the right price.

Steve Conway is a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert. Previously, Steve worked as a marketing manager for a tech software start-up. He is passionate about discovering new software that will that will advance his already well-honed digital marketing techniques. 

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