Are Baseball Cards A Good Investment?

Investing in things can not only be seen as a worthwhile hobby but also a means of making sure that your future is protected and that you are able to ensure your family’s future. Investments can lead to all sorts of places and result in all kinds of different things.

For example, investing in cars can depend not only on which lines of cars become popular in the future but also which cars become rarer over time. If you manage to strike gold with one type of car then you will certainly be likely to make a good profit. 

Similarly, if you are deciding what kind of items you want to invest in to sell in the future you might need to consider what you can afford now. As in the instance of buying cars as an investment, you have to consider not only the cost of buying the cars in the first place but the cost of storing them and of maintaining them.

Maintaining a car can be a long and difficult process if you don’t know how to simply keep the cars somewhere that they won’t get damaged and still in a good condition can be a challenge in itself. 

Therefore, if money and space are a consideration then you might want to invest in something on a smaller scale. You might want to invest in items that can easily be carefully kept in even the smallest of spaces. Such an example are baseball cards. 

However, if you aren’t an expert on baseball cards then you may be scratching your head and wondering – are baseball cards a good investment? Luckily you have found the right article to explain just whether baseball cards are a good investment or not and how to get involved with them. 

Are baseball cards a good investment?

Before we go into how you might want to invest in baseball cards, let’s start with a simple answer to a relatively simple question – are baseball cards a good investment?

The answer is yes, though they are a better investment in the long term as opposed to the short term. We’ll explain more later in this piece but suffice it to say, baseball cards can help you get money in the future – if you know which cards to buy, when to buy them and when to sell them. 

How to get started investing in baseball cards

Now that we have answered that they are a good investment, let’s start by explaining how to get started with investing in baseball cards. Baseball cards might seem like an easy market to get involved in – after all, you might think, they are simply cards of famous athletes, how hard could it be to pick which cards will become worth selling in the future?

However, you would be wrong to make such a presumption. For example, if you don’t know the difference between a rookie card and a relic card and you start investing in baseball cards then you will likely find yourself throwing money away. 

The best way to get started is to simply start by learning all you can about the baseball market. Like many other forms of collecting, the baseball collecting fraternity is a large one and will take time to properly learn about. You need to understand the intricacies of the market before you can start investing and certainly before you start selling. 

This is why the best place to go initially is to eBay to see what cards are selling and for how much they are selling. Knowing which cards are doing well and which will give you a rough idea of the marketplace and what the prices certain cards go for. 

However, whilst studying eBay is a good place to start it is important to remember it isn’t the be all and end all of trading cards. Far from it in fact. eBay will often throw up instances in which, because two people are bidding on a card or a set of cards, the cards go for more than they otherwise would have done or sometimes cards can go for much less than they are actually valued at.

The reason for this is because baseball cards aren’t a set market – like any other market the prices for items can increase and decrease at any given moment. 

Understanding the baseball card market 

Now that we’ve explained how to get started by seeing which cards seem to be selling well and which cards aren’t selling well, it’s time to understand the more nuanced complexities of the baseball card market. 

As mentioned above, eBay may be a good place to get started but it only represents a small section of the overall market. 

The most important thing to consider when wanting to invest in the baseball card market is the condition of the card. Similar to the market for any other type of collectibles, the condition the card is in will determine more than anything whether it is worth a great deal of money or practically nothing at all. 

If a card has obviously been bent or written on then you can immediately discount it as being worth your investment because serious baseball card collectors will want cards that are as close to mint condition as possible. 

Often baseball cards, particularly one that have been circulated around collectors several times, will already be graded. Many other collectors, particularly if you are buying from them, will have already had their baseball cards graded by either following the grading system set out by Beckett’s BGS, the PSA or the SGC.

This will give you a good idea of the price that you should pay for the card and by how much you can expect it to go up in value in the next few years. 

Of course, whilst it is always great to find baseball cards sold by other collectors who have carefully graded their cards, given that like you they will be looking for a profit for their investment then they will likely want to charge the highest amount possible for their cards. However, this isn’t going to get you a great profit. 

The best way to make a profit from investing in baseball cards is to look for cards that are in mint or near mint condition that are owned by people who aren’t collectors or experts. By purchasing cards from them you will be certain to make a profit as, if the seller doesn’t know what they are selling, you will be able to make a better profit than if they do. 

Another key to understanding the baseball card market is to realise that, because baseball cards are generally limited in their runs, this means that they are not as readily available as say mass produced action figures or another type of collectable that many people are able to buy.

This means that even buying a new baseball card can be a worthwhile investment, if you believe that the card and the player will become well known and sought after. 

This method of investing involves a little bit more risk and gambling than other methods of investment, but it works better to play the market this way than it does to try and buy cards that you know will already be worth a lot because they have been traded between different sellers. 

By investing in a player that you think will become much more successful later on in their career means that you will have an advantage over other sellers and be certain of making a good profit on your initial investment. 

Of course, it involves the risk that if the player doesn’t ascend the heights of basketball fame you won’t make your money back, so if you are looking for a safer method of investment then this isn’t the baseball card investing path for you. 

Make a clear game plan for your investments 

One of the most important things to consider when you are buying a baseball card for investment is – what is your game plan? 

Your game plan should either be for long term investment or short-term investment. You can try to do both, however when you start this isn’t recommended as it can either mess up your revenue stream or it can make your investment not as focussed as it should be. 

This means that if you want to invest in baseball cards, start by choosing which type of investment you want and then buying cards that could suit long term or short-term investments. For long term investment you are best to buy cards that are relatively new and unblemished. This will ensure that when you sell them in the future that you know you will have made a great investment. 

If you want to make a quick profit, then simply look for the cheapest rare cards that you can find and sell them as soon as you receive them. Ultimately, you are likely to make a smaller profit on short term investment than long term investment because you are more likely to have to spend more to get the cards and then sell them for a similar price that you bought them for. 

Why you should try you hand at investing in baseball cards

Investing in baseball cards can be one way to ensure that you get a sound investment and learn about one of America’s most iconic sports. Baseball cards are unlike cars or toys because they are more delicate and require greater care, meaning that if you are investing in baseball cards you have to be careful with them and make sure they aren’t easily damaged.

Investing in baseball cards can not only get you involved in the world of investing without having to rent out massive storage units or fill your garage with junk, but it can also get you engaged with a sport that you might not have been interested in before. By investing in baseball cards, you open up your life to a world of not only monetary gain but also potentially an exciting new hobby. 

Matt Roberts
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