Whether you're an avid sports fan or just looking to expand your investment portfolio, sports memorabilia is a hot market. Here are four tips to help you start building your collection.
Patience Is A Virtue
It can take a lot of time and research to find just what you are looking for. Scour eBay and other online sites; there are plenty of football, basketball, and baseball cards for sale online. Get to know what each merchant tends to deal in and what is popular. Watch the prices and auctions. Subscribe to sports collectible sites, such as those that deal in sports trading cards, and buy the annual price books and monthly magazines. This will help you get an idea of what is being actively traded and what new trading cards you should be watching for. Do your research by watching the different major league and college draft picks, too.
Anytime your favorite local team holds an event where players will be present, pack up your memorabilia and get there. Autographed items will almost always be worth more than the same item without the player's John Hancock.
Other special cards to look for include special edition inserts, which are a bonus added to the back of a pack of cards that are not a part of the set; refractor cards, which have a metallic sheen to them; parallel cards, which are identical to the original except for they have a different color palette; and game used cards, sometimes called jersey cards, which will often have a small piece of the featured player's actual game-worn jersey.
The sports card and memorabilia market naturally places a high emphasis on the condition of the piece. Most of the sports memorabilia companies judge by the same criteria to keep the industry standardized. The grades typically range from pristine to mint to excellent to good to fair to poor, with a few grades in between. When you are first starting out, it's okay to purchase trading cards that may only be in fair condition because part of the fun is trading up. You may have a card that someone else needs to complete their team collection, making that trading card in fair condition valuable to someone else.
Go To Local Sales
Auctions, estate sales, and even neighborhood rummage sales can be a collector's best friend. Many times, people clean out their basement or attic and find an old cigar box filled with trading cards. They often don't know the value or even care about them, they just want less clutter in the house. Don't forget to tell your friends and family to be on the lookout for you, too.
Contact a company like BEGC Sports Cards to learn more.