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How to Determine the Value of Your
Sports Cards Collection
Baseball, Basketball & Football Cards


The first step -- determining a sports card's value
First, 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 change.

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.


Sequentially numbered sports cards
This 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 cards
A 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.

Selling sports cards
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 information see Selling Your Sports Card Collection

What price will dealer pay for sports cards?
It 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 of card boxes are there?
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.

Hobby vs Retail boxes
Retail 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.

Which boxes have a better chance of containing a rare card or good insert?
I
n most cases, there is a greater chance of getting a more rare card in a hobby box.

Information provided by AD Sport Cards Etc. 
Baseball and Football Boxes & Sets
Ultra Pro Card Supplies
 


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