Gary Vee: Why Some In The Sports Card Hobby Hate Him, Why I Love Him

Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee) is a mid 40's media mogul, purveyor of wines, has a shoe deal with K-Swiss, owns a talent & sports agency, current net worth in the ballpark of $200,000,000, and someday wants to own the New York Jets. He's done all of this growing up as a Russian immigrant kid who was an F student in school. What's interesting is his return to the sports card hobby about a year ago, and what impact he is having in the hobby. You would think that someone with over seven million Instagram followers would be welcomed back into the hobby with open arms, that is not the case.

A small group of collectors and flippers, don't like him because they think he's inflating the market, providing bad advice to his followers about getting into collecting, and just flat out thinks he doesn't know what he is talking about. I could not disagree more with the naysayers. I've been following Gary for many years by watching his YouTube videos and listening to his podcasts. What I like about him is he gives practical advice on how to improve your life, others around you, and business advice. He also seems to have a great connection with millennials, young adults, and our youth.

What he's doing for the hobby is incredible. Our hobby has been stagnant for years since the overproduction of cards in the '90s. This ultimately led to a lot of kids, and adults to leave the hobby. What Gary is doing is making cards "cool" again. He's opening up our world to past collectors and trying to bring new ones in as well. He's also showing that card collecting and flipping could be a great tool to become better at business, and creating relationships with people. This is the type of momentum we need in the hobby to keep it going.

We need new collectors, prior collectors, and flippers to come in and be part of our community. This hobby is not just mine, yours, or Gary's; it's all of ours. The more people we have in it, the stronger the hobby is, which is suitable for everyone. Gary released a 2 hour YouTube video where he shared his thoughts and took phone calls from people about the hobby, and I found it to be very interesting.

A few perspectives that he brought up that I think he is spot on are the following: 

  1. Card collecting will eventually become like collecting pieces of art to the 40s and under crowd. 
  2. If you're looking for guaranteed value in the hobby, buy hall of fame players, or ones that are destined for the hall (LeBron James, Tom Brady, Mike Trout). He also believes that a lot of basketball hall of Famers are way undervalued. (Jerry West, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird)
  3. If you are looking to collect, flip, or get into another sport, you need to do massive amounts of research first on the players, products, when is the best time of year to buy/sell. He believes too many people jump in uneducated and get burned.
  4. Collect cultural players. He believes that as time goes on, players that are liked more as a person or active on social media will carry more value than another player with similar stats that isn't active socially. 
  5. He believes Basketball & Soccer Cards will have exponential growth in the coming years because of the popularity globally and how much easier it is to reach these markets in today's world. He went on to say that Soccer is way undervalued. 
  6. Buying PSA 8, or 9s of top tier players, is a good move. Ten grades are getting too expensive, and he believes that the market will start to appreciate the lower grades more increasing their values. 
  7. Think outside of the box about cards in general. Gary thinks stickers (ex. Panini basketball, and Michael Jordan's sticker RC) will exponentially increase in value. He also references LeBron James's Bazooka RC card as well as an example. 
  8. Don't get too hung up on grading companies. He thinks more will enter the industry, and that card values will get closer together between graded companies such as SGC, PSA, and BGS. 
  9. He's waiting for more athletes and celebrities to get more active in the hobby. For example, imagine if Justin Bieber posted a photo of his Luka collection on twitter what that would do to the card values? He believes it's only a matter of time before we start seeing this happen.

These were just a few key points I picked up in the video. When you have time, I highly suggest that new collectors, returning collectors, or veterans of the hobby take the time to watch the video. Gary is a positive force in our hobby and looking forward to what the future will bring to it. 


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