Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

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Carousel
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Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

A relative has a large collection of sports cards (mostly baseball and hockey) dating back to the 1930s. He wants to know how to have the estate valued, which auction houses to contact, etc. There are thousands of cards.

EDIT: value might be $50-100K.

Thoughts?
Last edited by Carousel on Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
runner3081
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by runner3081 »

Start with local sports cards dealers. They will make you offers, that will give you a sense if they are worth anything or not.

Then, go from there.
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Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

bumping this up
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Raymond
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Raymond »

"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"
brian91480
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by brian91480 »

Carousel wrote: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:07 am A relative has a large collection of sports cards (mostly baseball and hockey) dating back to the 1930s. He wants to know how to have the estate valued, which auction houses to contact, etc. There are thousands of cards.

EDIT: value might be $50-100K.

Thoughts?
Take about dozen of what you ***THINK*** are the most valuable cards in the collection. Go on eBay and run a search of each card.

Note 1: lots of sellers LIST cards on eBay for ridiculous amounts of money. They get no bids because the cards aren't worth that list price. Scan the listing for cards that have bids. Those prices will be more realistic.

Note 2: cards that have grading (PSA, GMA, Beckett) sell for a lot more money than ungraded cards.

Grading proves the cards are authentic, not tampered with, and assigns a condition of each card. Many, many, many potential buyers will not pay for high value premium cards without a grading.

Grading can be expensive if you have a lot of cards, so pick and choose which ones will give you the best ROI if a good grade is given.
young-ish
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by young-ish »

Carousel wrote: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:07 am A relative has a large collection of sports cards (mostly baseball and hockey) dating back to the 1930s. He wants to know how to have the estate valued, which auction houses to contact, etc. There are thousands of cards.

EDIT: value might be $50-100K.

Thoughts?
He probably does have some valuable cards if they are pre-war. Even many cards from 1950s & '60s hold significant value.

Condition is very important. Were these cards well loved by kids or carefully pulled from packs and forgotten about? Do you have pictures?

I enjoy collecting cards & would be happy to help. PM me if you want any advice.
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Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

young-ish wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:06 pm
He probably does have some valuable cards if they are pre-war. Even many cards from 1950s & '60s hold significant value.

Condition is very important. Were these cards well loved by kids or carefully pulled from packs and forgotten about? Do you have pictures?

I enjoy collecting cards & would be happy to help. PM me if you want any advice.
Thanks!
The cards are well cared for and carefully stored.
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Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

Raymond wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:15 pm I don't have any personal experience with this auction house:

Heritage Auctions - Sports Memorabilia home page
Get a Free Auction Evaluation for Sports Cards & Sports Memorabilia - Heritage Auctions
Thanks!
I was wondering about Heritage Auctions. Will post separately to see if others have gone through them.
cacophony
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by cacophony »

brian91480 wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:33 pm
Carousel wrote: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:07 am A relative has a large collection of sports cards (mostly baseball and hockey) dating back to the 1930s. He wants to know how to have the estate valued, which auction houses to contact, etc. There are thousands of cards.

EDIT: value might be $50-100K.

Thoughts?
Take about dozen of what you ***THINK*** are the most valuable cards in the collection. Go on eBay and run a search of each card.

Note 1: lots of sellers LIST cards on eBay for ridiculous amounts of money. They get no bids because the cards aren't worth that list price. Scan the listing for cards that have bids. Those prices will be more realistic.
...
After searching, you can click "Sold Items" (left-hand side of screen) and it will only show completed auctions that have sold. Most bidding often happens in the final few minutes, so looking at prices of in-progress auctions doesn't give a very good indication.
Dyloot
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Dyloot »

A word of warning to the OP: the sports card market has surged in the past 12-18 months and may have hit a peak in January or February. I don’t believe any estimate you get today will age well. I have no idea where it’s going.

For those who enjoy this subject, I’ve found this YouTube channel to be quite fun. Chris, the personality, seems to me very genuine and interested in educating his audience on the hobby and the current state of prices.

https://youtube.com/channel/UCxH_AYovVLCphzgb9my1exw
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Kenkat
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Kenkat »

Carousel wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:24 pm
Raymond wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:15 pm I don't have any personal experience with this auction house:

Heritage Auctions - Sports Memorabilia home page
Get a Free Auction Evaluation for Sports Cards & Sports Memorabilia - Heritage Auctions
Thanks!
I was wondering about Heritage Auctions. Will post separately to see if others have gone through them.
I have only purchased items from Heritage (coins, not sports memorabilia) but they are a large, well respected auction house for collectibles.
Topic Author
Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

Kenkat wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:50 am
I have only purchased items from Heritage (coins, not sports memorabilia) but they are a large, well respected auction house for collectibles.
Thanks for the comment!
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Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

Dyloot wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:44 am A word of warning to the OP: the sports card market has surged in the past 12-18 months and may have hit a peak in January or February. I don’t believe any estimate you get today will age well. I have no idea where it’s going.

For those who enjoy this subject, I’ve found this YouTube channel to be quite fun. Chris, the personality, seems to me very genuine and interested in educating his audience on the hobby and the current state of prices.

https://youtube.com/channel/UCxH_AYovVLCphzgb9my1exw
Thanks for the link to Chris's channel. I will pass that along.
thefireguy
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by thefireguy »

Pretty neat - I have gotten pretty heavy into sports cards in the last 16 months so it’s been super interesting to see the run ups and downs in values.

Knowing the old stuff was stored well it VERY well could be worth grading some of the more valuable cards. If it’s something that is worth your time and the money I would definitely make sure you aren’t getting lowballed by any dealers you talk with. Grading could increase the cards values that are more sought out after by quite a bit. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!
earlywynnfan
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by earlywynnfan »

Go here: https://www.net54baseball.com/
Post a few of the best, people will be more than willing to tell you what to do. Best vintage card forum out there.
MAKsdad
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by MAKsdad »

I think the suggestions to get the cards graded are good ones. I collected cards as a kid (80s/90s) and the evaluation of cards today is substantially different from what was possible back then. I had a relatively rare card from the mid-80s that would absolutely have been considered "mint" back in the day. I had it graded and it came back as a 7 out of 10, with the primary issue being that the card was printed slightly crooked and there was a little discoloration. Moral of the story is that simply keeping cards in good condition is not a glide path to a perfect grading. So just looking at auction values is not going to be super instructive until you've had at least some cards graded.
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jjunk
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by jjunk »

Since these are older cards, I agree with the advice to pick out a few "name" cards and share them online or with a dealer for a general valuation. When it comes to grading, just make sure if you decide to grade that you do so with low expectations. I know a lot of people feel they have an 8 or 9 and the card is clearly (to my eyes) a 4 or 5. Particularly in the pre-war era, each ring up or down the grading ladder can add huge value or it can take it away.

I used to buy and sell a lot of pre-1956 stuff on Ebay and privately and have been shocked with what the card market has done recently. Reminds me of the 80's and 90's right before the crash in the card market. Its the main reason I always stuck with the older stuff, its reliable and known, plus the cards are simply works of art in some cases (Bowman color, 56 Topps, etc).

Good luck with the valuation, looking forward to hearing how it goes.
Dyloot
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Dyloot »

The challenge with grading right now is that the established services are massively backlogged. You could go with some of the newer, alternative grading services but that may reduce your customer base who are looking for raw cards or PSA graded cards.
Topic Author
Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

earlywynnfan wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:22 am Go here: https://www.net54baseball.com/
Post a few of the best, people will be more than willing to tell you what to do. Best vintage card forum out there.
Wow, that's very helpful! Thanks.
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Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

MAKsdad wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:45 am I think the suggestions to get the cards graded are good ones. I collected cards as a kid (80s/90s) and the evaluation of cards today is substantially different from what was possible back then. I had a relatively rare card from the mid-80s that would absolutely have been considered "mint" back in the day. I had it graded and it came back as a 7 out of 10, with the primary issue being that the card was printed slightly crooked and there was a little discoloration. Moral of the story is that simply keeping cards in good condition is not a glide path to a perfect grading. So just looking at auction values is not going to be super instructive until you've had at least some cards graded.
Good point.
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Carousel
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Re: Sports cards (hockey, baseball) valuation & sale?

Post by Carousel »

Great advice from everyone! Thanks. I will pass the info on.
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