When Pricing Baseball Cards or other sports cards in your collection there are many things that must be determined before you can make an accurate assessment.  This article will help you break down the elements that you need to consider to come up with accurate figures when determining the value of your Baseball card collection.

Value of Autographed Cards and Jersey Cards

Pricing Baseball Cards that are autographed or cards that have game used memorabilia is very different than pricing cards that have not been autographed.  If you have a baseball card that has been autographed or are individually numbered they are sometimes worth a lot more than cards that are not.  If you have these cards professionally graded by GMA Grading you will be able to sell these cards at a premium.  Autographed Baseball Cards that have been graded by a sports card authentication company give the person that might purchase the card the guarantee that the autograph is real.  Game Used Cards can be more valuable than the standard card because most are individually numbered which based on the total amount created can create a very valuable card.  Many of these cards can be found on auctions sites like ebay.

Finding the Value of Old Cards

Pricing old baseball cards without having them professionally graded can be a hard thing to do.  When you open a price guide or go to an ebay auction you can see the card selling for a certain price.  The prices can range on old card from $5 – $500 depending on the condition of the card.  Older Baseball cards in good condition are extremely rare and bring a premium while older cards that have a lot of wear and or damage don’t bring nearly as much. Once an old card has been graded it is very easy to compare and get an accurate value based on the grade the card received.  A 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle Graded  8 is much more valuable than the same card that has been graded a 5.   You must compare likeness in grade as much as likeness in the card itself.  Old cards are great collectibles and will remain great collectibles due to the wear and tear over the years and the fact that they were not mass produced as many are today.

Why Price Guides My Not Be the Right Way to Go

Price Guides have been around for a long time and have been very helpful to many collectors.  Most people used a Beckett price guide or Tuff Stuff Magazine to help them determine the value or worth of their baseball card collection.  In the past 5 years ebay has developed which has helped people find very accurate and up to date information on the value of their sports cards.   Ebay has a few advantages over price guides when it comes to the value of baseball cards.  Ebay is updated daily and you can see the results of auctions that have just ended while price guides take 30-40 days to get printed and hit the shelves.  The other major advantage of ebay over a price guide is the cost.  A price guide can cost $5, per guide, per sport, and still might have all the cards that you are looking to find the value of. On ebay you can find the value of almost every card graded and ungraded as well.  This can be a very helpful tool and it is free.  Also many people don’t know that Beckett estimates the value of the cards in there price guides from ended ebay auctions as well as some dealers that have signed on to help.  If they think it’s good why shouldn’t you use the same tools that they use to determine the value or worth of you baseball cards?

Grading Card Companies and the Value of your Sports Cards

Pricing baseball cards can be a very daunting task if you do not know what you are doing but grading baseball cards is much harder.  Most grading card companies have a set criterion to help them determine the grade or condition of an individual card. If a card is graded properly the grading card company will assign a number value to the graded card as well as a guarantee that the card is real and not a counterfeit.  This is a major obstacle that a person must determine before actually being able to price their cards properly.  This is also why baseball card grading has become such a popular element to the sports memorabilia industry.  Once a card has been professionally graded it becomes very easy to determine the value of the individual Sports card because the condition has been determined by the third party company.  This is also very helpful welling selling baseball cards because the person that is deciding whether to purchase the card or not has a third parties opinion of the condition of the card without the bias of the seller who is selling the card.

Buying Baseball Cards at Wholesale Prices

Many people selling cards on ebay do not have the knowledge or the know how of what a card is worth or to access the condition of the card that they are selling.  This is where the consumer or dealer that knows how to determine the condition of the card can make a lot of money.  A dealer will sit on his computer looking for ungraded cards that he believes he can get graded himself and flip the card for a presumed profit.  He can buy an ungraded card and re-list the same card after it has been graded and sometimes turn a large profit of more than 50%-100% of what he initially paid.    I do not believe that there are many banks that are willing to pay that type of percentage on any investment.  This is why the knowledge of getting your cards graded can help you in pricing baseball cards correctly and help you in selling them at a later date.

Selling Baseball Cards at Retail Prices

Once you have some experience under your belt and have learned the techniques needed in pricing baseball cards properly you can set your sites on selling them.  Selling on ebay can be a very fun thing to do especially when it makes you a lot of money.  The process is very easy and all you really need is a computer and some baseball cards to sell.  When selling baseball cards make sure you have used all the tools that have been discussed to price them properly.  Over priced cards normally do not sell and can cost you a lot of money in unwanted ebay fees.  List the cards at prices that a customer is willing to pay and little more than you can replace the card that you are selling.

This post should give you all the information you need when pricing baseball cards or pricing sports cards. These tools and techniques can help you in all sports of the process and save you a lot of money and time in the process.


Alan Karpuch

Owner of GMA Grading Inc. Over 20 years experience in the sports card industry.

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