How To Get Started In Sports Cards Collecting & Selling
If you are new to the hobby welcome! Or, if you are returning to the hobby like I did welcome back! Now, where do you start? Do you get into the hot basketball market, or do you focus on just baseball? What about soccer cards, those could be the next best thing? The hobby has definitely changed over the years as the internet, and social media has created a global community and marketplace. Ten years ago, you couldn't give soccer cards away, now it's one of the hottest markets around including basketball. Don't forget about baseball, it is strongest as ever loaded with young stars. Football is picking up steam again, with its new stars such as Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and a great rookie class for 2020. And finally what about non-sports cards such as Pokemon?
Yes, the hobby will make your head spin, and your wallet empty, if you don't have a plan. Below I will outline a few key points to consider on your journey in Sports Cards Collecting & Selling to help make it enjoyable, and maybe put a few bucks in your pocket.
1. Come Up With A Plan First: This might not be an exciting part of collecting, but it is the most important. You need to first determine what you are passionate about. If you're a basketball fan, it's probably a good idea to start with basketball. Or if you played/collected Pokemon in the past, that could also be a good start. Collectors make a huge mistake if they dive in, and try to do basketball, football, baseball, hockey, etc.. Doing this becomes costly, and you are going to make mistakes in buying because you are not knowledgeable. Start with one interest, then gradually span out if you want to.
2. Educate Yourself: Now that you have an idea of what you want to collect, you need to become more knowledgeable. You can find plenty of Facebook Groups, Instagram accounts to follow, Podcasts, Twitter, Websites, and YouTube can be a great source. Take about 10-20 minutes daily to research. (Links to some great resources are listed at the end of the article.)
2. Start Small: Don't be that person that buys into a National Treasures group break as your first purchase! FOMO (Fear of missing out) is a new collector's/ returning collector's worst enemy. I've seen plenty of people go into massive debt because of this, don't do it. Take $10, $20, or $50, and start buying a few cards, you don't need to jump in with a ton of money.
3. What To Spend: To this day I still have limits on what I will spend on a card. For example, I will not spend more than $150 for any single card. I can probably count on one hand how many times I spent over $100 dollars for a single card this year. You can still have plenty of fun, or be profitable selling, with cards under $10. You minimize your risk, but you can still maximize your gains if that card appreciates in value. You don't know how many times I've bought a card for $1, and sold it later for $15. Don't go whale hunting, pick off the low hanging fruit. Spend what you are comfortable with.
4. Where to Buy: Ebay is still top dog, but Sportslots.com. Comc.com, FB Groups, and Instagram are great places as well. Make sure you check them all out because deals can be found everywhere, and you get to connect with other great people in the hobby too.
5. How To Buy: On eBay you can participate in auctions or my favorite, buy it now/best offer. If I focus on a card I want I like going on eBay and making offers to multiple sellers. Usually, I will get a least one to accept my offer. If you have the patience, you can snag some deals on auction as well. Comc has an auction and buy it now feature, Sportslots.com is just a buy it now for the most part. In FB Groups I like to create a post of whom I'm buying and wait for responses. Just make sure you don't spend over the limit you set for that particular card! Stick to your price, if you can't buy it move on.
6. Create A Card Inventory: Very important to keep track of your collection, and what you spent. This will help you stay organized, and track profits/losses if you sell the card. You can create a list with Excel/Google Sheets, hire someone on Fiverr to create the template for you if you're not a spreadsheet guru, or use an app like CardGenie on the app store.
7. Selling: If you're selling cards, you need to do a little research first. A simple way for beginners is to look at eBay for active listings, and the sold/completed listings. You will be able to determine with the sold price if it's a good time for you to list your card/cards. It's amazing how many people try to sell cards without any research. As a rule of thumb, if I am selling, I like to be at least 10% lower than similar listings on Ebay. This way I know, I won't be holding the card for a long time. In most circumstances, I won't sell a card if I can't get at least a 30% return. This is after seller fees so make sure you factor those in as well. Just make sure you have a selling philosophy that makes sense to you.
The above 7 points will help you get started, but there is so much more you need to know. Below I have listed additional resources that you may find helpful. In the future, we will dive into detail on a lot of the topics above that we scratched the surface on. Again welcome to the hobby, and I look forward to connecting to you soon!
Our Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kollectorskorner/
Podcasts: Waxpack hero, Breaker Culture, Fat Packs Podcast
Inventory Tracker: Apple App CardGenie
YouTube Channels: Phil's Pulls, Philmington, PackGeek, PSA Collector, Plenty of others are out there too!