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THE INS AND OUTS OF COLLECTING SPORTS CARDS


Looking for a wonderful and exciting hobby that has to do with sports, that you can begin at any age, that you can share with family and friends? Then sports card collecting is for you. The love of sport card collecting can be passed on from generation to generation and can last a lifetime. There are no rules when it comes to collecting sports cards. You are in charge. You get to decide what kind of cards you want to collect. Some collectors will focus on collecting cards of a favorite team, a special player, or build a set. The list of groups of cards to collect is endless. There is no right way, or wrong way to this. Sports card collectors may collect rookie cards, others insert cards, or cards from a specific year. Many collector's concentrate on one sport, collecting baseball, basketball, football or hockey cards. There are as many ways to collect sports cards as there are collector's.

Finding the sports cards you need for your collection may be difficult at times. However, with the advent of on-line sports card sites such as AD Sports Cards Etc, makes buying cards convenient and easy. At AD Sports Cards Etc. you can buy your cards in factory sealed boxes, factory sealed sets, or single cards. When a product is factory sealed you have more assurance that it was not searched, or sorted through prior to selling. Please be aware that many of the older sets were never sealed by the manufacturers, so in that case you want to be sure you are buying from a reputable dealer such as AD Sports Cards Etc.

We are often asked what is the difference between a hobby box, a retail box, and a set.
  • Hobby Boxes generally contain more packs per box than the Retail Box. The number of cards per pack may/may not be the same in the two versions.
  • Hobby Boxes have a better insert ratio for the special cards, such as Memorabilia Cards (cards with pieces of game worn jerseys, game used bats, etc) and Autographed Cards. For example, a Hobby Box may have 2 of them per box; a Retail box may have one per box, or one per every 2 boxes, or even none at all.
  • Hobby Boxes will have more different types of insert cards.
  • If both the Hobby and Retail boxes have the same type insert card, then the odds of getting one in the Hobby box will be better. Many types of insert cards are only available in the Hobby Box.
  • Hobby Boxes may have a Box Loader, a card that sits on top of the packs, and is all by itself. A retail box generally will not contain the Box Loader.
  • Once in a while Hobby boxes may have all of the cards in a set with serial numbers (for ex. 100/250). The retail version of this box would not contain the serial numbering. Thus, the hobby cards are more valuable.
  • Hobby boxes are only available from Hobby dealers, whereas Retail boxes are available from retail stores such as Target, Wall Mart, K-Mart. Some Retail boxes however may also be available from Hobby dealers.
  • Within each manufacturers box, a collector can find a variety of different kinds of sports cards. Each release may feature some, or all, of the following types of sports cards; Base Set Cards, Subsets, Inserts, Memorabilia Cards, Rookies, Error Cards, Star Cards, Semi-Stars and Common Cards.
  • Sets, unlike boxes, do not contain packs of cards. Instead, they contain individual cards that are the same base cards issued by a manufacturer in the boxes. In a set you will get 1 of each different base card in the manufacturer's specific product.
Each year the sports card manufacturers try to come up with something a new and different. Like any other business competition is high. There is no guarantee as to which card company will have the break-out product for the year. Also there is no guarantee as to which rookie, or star player, will have a hot streak. That is why it is best to start your collection with cards YOU like. If you just recently started collecting cards and want to add some older cards to your collection you will have to find a dealer or another collector who has them available. Sports card manufactures only make the sports cards for the current year and they only manufacture a predetermined quantity. Once that quantity is produced and distributed, the product is no longer available from the card issuing company. The only way to purchase older cards is to find an on line site, or store, that sells the older boxes and sets. At AD Sports Cards Etc you will find older boxes, sets and single cards along with the newest releases.

To maintain the value of your card collection, the cards need to be kept protected from the elements. Once a sports card is damaged the value decreases depending on the amount and type of damage. Just as it is with collecting cards, there is no right, or wrong, way to safely store your cards. If you want to be able to view your cards frequently and/or show them to others, then you might want to store the cards in 9 pocket card pages that go in the card albums. For your extra special cards you might want to display them in screw downs, magnetic one touch holders, or snap-tight holders. A lot depends on the value of the cards. If you have a large quantity of cards that you want to put away for a long time you could store them in the inexpensive cardboard boxes designed especially for sports cards. Or, you could store them in toploaders and then put the top loaders in a specialty cardboard box called a Shoe Box. For added protection some collectors put the cards in card sleeves before placing them in the selected the top loader. Usually sports card supplies have to be purchased from a hobby store, or an on line store like AD Sports Cards Etc.

If you want to protect your cards with the best product available then you will want to use the Ultra Pro holders. Ultra Pro is the leading manufacturer of archival safe-storage protection for your sports cards, sports memorabilia, sports collectibles. With Ultra Pro you can see,and feel, the difference.

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