What Cards Should You Collect? (Trading? Sports? Games?)


What Cards Should You Collect?

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Collecting cards was one of the most popular hobbies when I was a kid. I used to love collecting baseball cards and there was just something special about opening a pack up and finding my favorite player inside! 

I know I’m not alone as many kids will start collecting cards at an early age. 

Whether they pick it up from their parents or their friends, the collecting of cards has been around for a long time, and it isn’t going anywhere soon. With the collectables markets in a constant state of growth, collecting cards of any sort can be both fun and profitable.

The collectable card market is very vast. It covers a wide range of interests and although some cards can become very expensive over time, it is definitely more of a long term investment versus a quick flip most of the time. 

With this in mind, it is very important to understand that collecting cards with the purpose of profit is not something that will work over a short span. It is going to take time and investment and might not ever turn into money (looking at you late 80s and early 90s baseball cards). 

When considering what types of cards you want to collect, the best way to determine that would be what interests you. 

Collecting cards for a profit will require you to research the market. If you don’t enjoy the market that the cards represent, this research can become very boring and tedious. 

When you hit a wall, you might start to lose interest, which in the long run will cost you money.

If you are a sports fan, then sports cards are a great opportunity. 

Baseball cards have long been the staple of the collectable card market, but in recent years’ basketball and football cards have come on strong. The market continues to stay steady in baseball cards, but the value of basketball and football cards is growing quickly.

If you enjoy playing games like Pokémon, Yu-gi-oh, or Magic: The Gathering, then the collectable trading card games might be a better option for you. 

These cards vary widely in value, but understanding the games can help you gauge the value of new cards as they come out and will help you know what to hold on to versus what to sell while it is hot at the time.

Whatever type of cards you choose to collect, just remember that the market swings. There will be times that you will have a card you know is of great value, but at the moment you try to sell it prices are down. 

Hold on to it, the value is likely to come back.

To see the most popular card games on the market just click here. 

Is Collecting Playing Cards Worth It?

When you are considering joining the hobby of collecting cards, you have to evaluate the reason you want to do so. 

If you are solely doing this to make money, it probably isn’t the best option for you; however, if you are looking for something that you can have fun with, pass down to the next generation, and enhance your love of a topic, collecting cards can be a great thing for you.

Playing cards are a little bit different (assuming you are talking about a normal 52 card deck).

Typically normal playing cards won’t be very collectible since they are produced in bulk and are quite cheap. Card games that have rarer cards (such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.) will have many cards that will become more valuable so collecting them can be worthwhile. 

When determining if collecting cards is worth it, you have to understand your end goal. If your end goal is to make money, collecting cards can be a bit of a gamble. 

You can go out and spend thousands of dollars on sealed boxes of cards that end up being worth pennies rather than dollars. This can be discouraging and cause you to quit while you are under water. If your end goal is to enjoy a hobby and have something to pass down to your kids, collecting cards can be a great thing for you.

There are a lot of reasons that you might start collecting cards. If you choose to invest in cards, it is important to understand that you won’t hit a home run on every pack. 

Not every card is going to be worth hundreds of dollars. 

Not every pack is going to have a desirable card. 

You have to play the long game.

In addition to understanding that success is going to take time and investment, you have to remember that in order to make money, you’ll likely have to spend a good bit as well. 

Some of the higher end cards that you hear about are not cheap to obtain, even from a pack at the store. The reason cards have high value is because they have a small supply. 

Some of the most expensive cards out there have only a few known to exist.

How Do I Know If My Sports Cards Are Valuable?

While collecting cards, you are bound to come to a point where you have a card that might be worth some money. I’m not talking a few dollars, I’m talking hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. When we come across these cards it is important to evaluate their worth and determine if it is something to hold on to or something to unload.

The easiest way to know the value of a specific sports card is to go to eBay and look at what other copies of the card have sold for. If there are no recent sales because the card is really rare then you will have to take the card to an expert. 

In order to determine the exact value of a card, you want to consider a few things. 

First, the condition. No matter how rare a card is, condition is going to play a huge factor in the price it will demand in the market. 

Next you want to consider the age of the card. Newer cards are going to have a lower value, as there are going to be more available. 

If you have a card that you feel could be worth money in a few years, be sure to take care of it. 

Finally, look for limited run cards. Some cards are only produced for a small number of printings. This is becoming more common in the sports cards market.

Once you have determined that a card could have some real value, it is a good idea to get it graded. 

There are a few different card grading companies, and they each do a good job. If a card is graded, you are much more likely to get maximum value out of it versus a non-graded card.

Once a card is graded, if you are lucky enough to have something that is graded a “10”, you will have something that will be desired by collectors. If it isn’t worth a lot today, it will be some day. Hold on to that until the market goes up, then sell high.

Conclusion

Every kid wants to be the one that rips open a pack of cards and finds their favorite sports player. Every card collecting young adult wants to find that mint condition rookie card of one of their favorite stars. 

These events happen all the time. 

People get thrilled when they pull a valuable card from a $5 pack of cards from their local store. If you are a collector, you know it isn’t going to happen every time, but it will happen. 

So find a category of cards you can thoroughly enjoy, and have fun.

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