Collecting sports cards has been an American pastime for decades. With the introduction of technology, this process of buying, selling, and building a community with fellow collectors has changed. (Hint: don’t give your money to randos online who offer you too-good-to-be-true deals.) We have some tips to help improve your collection, increase its value, and find rare cards to bid on—and our Google Chrome extension Carrot can make the process even easier!
1. Do your research
In a world where more card purchasing is done online than in person, it’s important to know where your money is going and if you can trust the quality of a card that you haven’t had a chance to hold in your hand. There are a limited number of companies producing sports cards, and buying their packs from retailers and “breaking” them to see what you get can be super fun. But if you’re looking for a specific card or buying from third-party sites like Amazon or eBay, make sure you’ve taken the time to research the seller and read their reviews to avoid getting scammed. It’s even better if you can connect with someone else who has purchased from them!
2. Develop a niche
It would be unrealistic (and super expensive) to try to get all of the cards that get produced every year. Developing a niche with your card collection is a great idea—not only does it allow you to focus on the sport, teams, players, or time period that you enjoy, but a niche collection can be worth a lot more money if you decide to sell later on. Maybe you’re only interested in autographed cards, so it makes more sense to seek them out individually than to buy a bunch of packs and hope for the best. Stick to what works for you!
3. Spend $$ where it counts
Let’s be real, the average card collector doesn’t have the means to drop $35,000 on a Tom Brady rookie card, let alone millions on a one-of-a-kind. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of the game! You can buy packs of new cards for as little as $20. The prices of sports cards are just as varied as the collectors and their interests. Focus on the type of collecting you want to do and be willing to spend the money on quality cards when you find them.
4. Take care of your cards
Taking care of your collection is important. Card collecting is a hobby based on pride—in your favorite teams and players, in your years of hard work and money spent collecting, and in the presentation of your cards. It is also a hobby in which the quality of your cards affects the value of your collection. Most people put their cards in a protective plastic sleeve, which can then be stored in boxes or binders. Make sure to keep your cards flat and store your collection in a temperature-controlled space away from moisture to avoid any damage. And if you’re lucky enough to have a collection that’s worth a good chunk of change (go you!) it’s worth getting it insured so you won’t lose your investment if the cards get lost, ruined, or stolen.
5. Build a community
Message boards, Twitter, blogs, and youtube channels are all great places to find other trading card hobbyists who can teach you everything you need to know about how the world of sports card collecting has evolved. It’s a great place to get advice, learn from the pros, or just connect with others who have the same passion as you. Collecting cards is certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme (unless you’re already rolling in dough), so it’s important to focus on having fun. If you’re not enjoying yourself, what’s the point?
Let Carrot help you build an awesome sports card collection
Carrot, our easy-to-download Google Chrome extension, can be a great asset in your card collecting journey! With Carrot, you can consolidate all of your online shopping carts into one location. This is a great option for hobbyists who want to keep track of how many cards they’re buying and how much money they’re spending.
Download Carrot today with a few simple clicks and start shopping for the next favorite card! Organize your collection, share with your community of card lovers, track prices, and even get notified when there’s a price drop. It really doesn’t get better than this! But, oh, it does! What’s more?
Carrot is 100% freeeee!