The trading card industry is one of the most popular in all of the collectibles. With everything ranging from race-used sheet metal to game-used bats and rookie cards of tomorrow’s hottest stars, the manufacturers of trading cards have changed the way people collect. Some time ago, the greatest insert in a wax pack was a stick of bubble gum, but today it’s so much more.
With such popularity comes great wealth, for both manufacturers and collectors, and a few tips to consider when dealing with trading cards will make the hobby not only one of profit but also of fun.
Condition. When shopping for trading cards, pay close attention to the condition. A mint card is one that is just like new, with sharp corners, no markings or creases. Some companies actually grade trading cards, while others simply let the shopper decide. Trading cards that are in poor condition are noticeable immediately, but ‘good’ and ‘fair’ ratings are open to interpretation.
Authenticity. If you are in the market for trading cards, take special care to learn as much about the hobby as possible. If you are going to spend big bucks on a single card, make sure that you are getting the real deal. A good example is the Michael Jordan rookie card, which was reprinted years ago. It looks so much like the original that even experts have a difficult time distinguishing the original from the reprint. If you are looking for an expensive card, make sure that it is graded by a reputable company and it never hurts to have it checked again after purchase.
Investment. If you are an investor, trading cards may be a hobby for you. It is inexpensive to get started collecting and the future profits can be high. Investors should consider purchasing rookie cards, which will be the first trading card that a rookie player appears on. If the star rises in fame, so will your investment. Additionally, mint condition cards appreciate the most in value.
Reputation & Research. If shopping for trading cards online, especially, find a company that has been in business for awhile. Look for information relating to their return policy, just in case the card isn’t exactly as described. Always be sure to do your research when purchasing trading cards and check the price guides to make sure you are getting a fair deal.
Have fun Most importantly, have fun when shopping for trading cards. While it is a profitable business venture for some, most importantly it is a hobby and should be enjoyed by all who partake.