to Determine the Value of Your
Sports Cards Collection
Baseball, Basketball & Football Cards
first step -- determining a sports card's value
look up the specific card in a sports card price guide, such as Beckett
. Cards are listed by year, set and number. The "set" would be listed
as "Topps Gold Label" or "Fleer Ultra." The year is listed either on
the front near the brand label, or on the bottom of the back
side. This applies to all card whether they are baseball
cards, basketball cards or football cards.
When you locate your specific card in the price guide, it may have an
arrow pointing up or down. The arrow pointing up means that the card
went up in value since the last edition of the price guide. The arrow
pointing down means that the card went down in value since the last
edition of the price guide. No arrow indicates that the value did not
In Beckett, there will be two numbers listed as the value, a lower
number and a higher number. This range of prices signifies the lowest
and highest value of the card. It can be worth anywhere within that
range. Note that the value listed assumes your card MT-NRMT (mint-near
mint) condition. Bad corners, rough edges, faded color and
centering will all lower card value. Beckett
provides multipliers for the various card conditions.
Beckett price guides can be found at www.beckett.com . Not all sports
card are listed by name in a monthly price guide. Price guides, such as
Beckett, often go back decades, as early as the 1940's. However, not
every card can be listed by name. The card may be included in these
categories: "Unlisted Stars," "Semi Stars" or "Minor Stars" or "Common
Cards." If you know what category your card fits into, you can
determine its value through these listings.
numbered sports cards
is a card where the entire print run is limited, and the card is
assigned a number in that print run. For example, if there are 500
cards printed, you may get number 128 out of 500.
Usually number 1 is worth more, and the player's number is worth more.
For example, if you had a Derek Jeter sequentially numbered card, and
you had number 2 out of 25 it would be worth more since Derek Jeter's
jersey number is 2.
graded card is a card that has been graded by a professional grading
company. Some grading standards are: PSA 1-10, or BCG 1-10 with
half-grades (.5), SGC 1-100. The higher the grade, the more valuable
the card. Graded cards are often available for sale at card
shows, hobby card shops, and on-line from dealers who carry
hobby boxes and sets for baseball, basketball and football sports cards.
can be traded or sold at specialty card shops or card shows. Card shows
are held in most cities and towns throughout the United States.
(Although they are becoming few and far between.) Many card collectors
sell their cards on-line on auction sites such as ebay. For more
Your Sports Card Collection
What price will dealer pay
for sports cards?
is common for card dealers to offer half of book value, although this
depends on the card. It is your decision whether or not to sell.
How many kinds
boxes are there?
are two kinds of card boxes -- "Retail" and "Hobby." Retail boxes are
sold at large stores, such as Toys R Us or Target, or sometimes at card
shows. The word "Retail" or the letter "R" is usually at the top of the
package label. Hobby boxes are sold at hobby stores and on-line by
dealers who specialize in hobby boxes and sets for baseball, basketball
and football cards.Hobby boxes have the word "Hobby" or the letter "H"
on the label.
boxes usually cost less, and may have fewer packs, with fewer special
cards randomly inserted. Hobby boxes usually have more packs and come
with a greater variety of special randomly inserted cards.
have a better
chance of containing a rare card or good insert?
most cases, there is a greater chance of getting a more rare card in a
provided by AD
and Football Boxes & Sets
Ultra Pro Card Supplies