Baseball cards - worth anything?

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CorradoJr
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Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by CorradoJr »

I've come across some late 1970s - early 1980's baseball cards (Topps, Fleer, etc.) and other assorted trading cards (Garbage Pail Kids) I collected in my youth.

Is there a good source other than eBay for me to see if these are worth anything? Or should I take them to a local sports collectible shop and hope for an honest answer?

These are typical grade cards, when I opened a wax pack I would put them in a clear protective 9x9 sheet and then into a 3-ring binder. I also have a few Upper Deck box sets from the 1990s. Any thoughts?
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Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.
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vitaflo
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by vitaflo »

They're worth more as kindling than as cards. Unless they were professionally graded and sealed with their grade (which costs money to do, and good luck getting a mint grade back), they are worth nothing.

Consider how many millions of cards are floating around and how many actual collectors are still left. There is vastly more supply than demand, and the few people still collecting already have everything you have, in probably better shape (note: mint doesn't just mean sharp corners, it means centered image, front and back, good inking, no shadowing, etc).
am
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by am »

Some cards from the junk era 80s and beyond are extremely valuable, especially in top condition. My wax boxes from 83 topps and 84 donruss have been auctioning off for 1k or more when authenticated.
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greg24
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by greg24 »

The best way to make a profit is to sell them individually on ebay. But that requires a huge amount of time.
barnaclebob
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by barnaclebob »

You could be lucky and have a rare card but most of them will be worthless. Your best bet is to go through them picking out star players (especially rookie cards) and seeing if those happen to be worth anything.
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lthenderson
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by lthenderson »

CorradoJr wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:39 pm assorted trading cards (Garbage Pail Kids) I collected in my youth.
The last time I checked, GPK cards from the first series of 1-41 a & b (82 cards in total) are the only ones worth money if they are in great condition. I have a box full of them but don't want to pay to have them graded and then try and sell them. For now they sit on a shelf maybe for a grandkid to find someday and deal with them.
stlrick
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by stlrick »

It's easy to go to an online dealer and look up their price for selling the same cards that you have. You need to know something about how condition determines grading. If they want to buy your cards (unlikely), you might get 25% of their selling price (I'm not suggesting that these dealers would make that kind of offer - it is just a ballpark expectation). Baseball cards from the late 70's or later would have to be in excellent condition, or a rookie card of someone now in the Hall of Fame. The Garbage Pail Kids are in the "Non-Sports" Category at these dealers, and you might get lucky with some of those.

https://www.deanscards.com

https://www.justcollect.com
BogleBoogie
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by BogleBoogie »

Former collector, still have 10's of thousands of cards.

90's worth nothing (rare exception).

80's some are worth something and worth looking at.

70's may have some real value if in great shape.

Like other said, the big bucks are graded cards (PSA seems to be the standard). I read an article recently where basketball cards are up 130% over the last year and baseball cards up 50%. Be careful on a store, you won't know if you are getting taken advantage of. I've sold a handful of cards on Ebay, it is a time suck. I'm not aware of a better way. Local listings will be such a small market. If you have any recollection of who are the big time players you can sort them out and price them on Ebay.
Johnny Thinwallet
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Johnny Thinwallet »

I dug out my old basketball cards earlier this year when I was wondering if any of them might be worth anything. That's when I figured out what the grading systems (PSA) are all about, and it's also when I figured out that ungraded cards simply aren't worth anything unless you have something really rare. Most people don't have anything that fits that really rare category.

I don't have any rare or unique cards, but I did discover that I have about a dozen "potential" cards that might be worth a bit if they were graded PSA 10. Left ungraded, these are cards that might be worth $10. But grading cards costs money - I thought it's something around $40 per card. And any of those cards getting graded PSA 8 or below is essentially no better than ungraded. If they were graded PSA 9, then I might be able to sell them for just enough money to recoup the $40 grading fee and break even. But I cannot simply look at each card and determine which ones might be a 9 or 10. It'd be a crap shoot on what grade each would come back with. I could send all of those "potential" cards to get graded, and the likely scenario is I'd spend more money in grading fees than I'd recoup selling the cards on eBay. It'd probably be a net loss.

This doesn't even factor the time necessary in getting them graded, selling on eBay, etc. I concluded that it just wasn't worth it so the cards went back into the closet.
Humility101
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Humility101 »

This is highly dependent on if you have any unique cards as well as quality (rookie cards, autographed, specialized subset out of a deck). I would review them to see if there are any that jump out for big name players as rookies and if they have a unique number (card x of 20). Good luck!
Willmunny
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Willmunny »

I collected in the 80s. Subject to some caveats, I am under the impression that the cards in the early 80s may be more worth more than the cards from the late 80s (at least the mass produced ones). The 87 Topps set is amazing in terms of design and quality rookies, but it appears that they printed them like we have printed federal reserve notes in 2020. I recently looked up the price of my entire set of 87 Topps cards (several hundred cards), and the buy it now price on ebay with free shipping appeared to provide the seller with little more than the cost to cover the free shipping. It was sad. I wouldn't sell my 87 Topps cards for anything like that as they are a reminder of much fun I had putting together the set, trading with childhood friends, and looking through wax packs for those coveted rookie cards.
Redlion
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Redlion »

I have thousands of Baseball, Football, and Basketball cards from the 60s and 70s, with all the big names Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax etc, but as a kid I played with them so they are not in mint condition so they are not worth much. I give them away to friends who are fans of certain teams.
In my opinion baseball cards are for kids.
Nowizard
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Nowizard »

Yes, we deducted $.01 for each of about 10,000 we donated to Goodwill and sold another batch of about 5,000, unopened cards to a purchaser for about 30% of the original cost. In reality, we have a few left that are supposedly of some value, but, like coin and stamp "investing," those areas are unpredictable to say the least.

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rich126
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by rich126 »

I have a bunch I will have to go through. I also came across several silver dollars (in those cases with a rating on them) that I collected 30+ years ago. I'm assuming most of the cards are worthless.

The more valuable cards I have are ones I actively collected while younger and I was a huge Brooks Robinson fan. Some of those may have decent/good values since they are in cases and not lying around. I think I got one from every year (it was a goal of mine when I was in my 20s).

My fear, well not a big one, is that I have something worth a lot of money but won't realize it during my lifetime and then someone down the road will find it and rake in the money (and I don't have any kids that would benefit from finding "it"). :oops:

I read at another site (sports) that the rating systems are somewhat of a scam and you may be better off not getting cards rated because once you do then you are stuck even if you don't agree with the rating. You may want to research this further on more sports related sites.
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Makaveli
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Makaveli »

Similarly, I looked into several of my "high quality" cased Michael Jordan cards and they are worth $50-100/card. Not worth the effort to sell.
Flashes1
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Flashes1 »

From the 1980's: look for the Michael Jordan rookie card from Fleer - one perfect card recently sold for $100k. Pristine Joe Montana and Jerry Rice cards sell well and the Ricky Henderson and Cal Ripken rookies sell for a few dollars, but outside of them, none of the others are worth much.

I put most of my collection on Craigslist pickup for free on curbside a few years ago. Made me feel better to have them out of my house and with somebody who hopefully appreciates them.
am
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by am »

Pristine (psa 10) hall of fame rookies from the early to mid 80s auction for thousands on eBay. Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Don Mattingly, Ryan Sandberg etc. Wax boxes that have the prospect of containing one of these cards auction for more than 1k at times. Wouldn’t say worthless.
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willthrill81
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by willthrill81 »

I collected quite a lot of baseball cards in the early 1990s, and when I checked the value of most of them last year, most were practically worthless and certainly not worth any effort trying to sell them. They got trashed.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by abuss368 »

I have a massive footlocker of them. All 80s and early 90s. When I check a couple years ago they were worth practically nothing. Maybe I could sell for a $100 bucks or more. My kid has them but has never looked at them as they are not a “thing” for today’s kids.

I recall growing up and loving a pack of Tops cards with the big hard stick of gum.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by abuss368 »

I read an article recently on why the value of baseball cards from the 1989s to present are worthless. Essentially the companies mass produced everything and drove value down as demand from today’s kids dried up.

I can not ever see it reversing.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by abuss368 »

I recall as a kid going to card shows at the outlet mall and also walking downtown to the local card dealer stores.
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BogleFan510
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by BogleFan510 »

Grading is pretty expensive, at least $20 per card and takes time and effort. Now if you have old Magic the Gathering collectable trading cards, cards from the original first set can go as high as 6 figures in perfect condition. Many cards worth hundreds, so worth having someone evaluate a collection, as in demand cards are scarce and there are millions of players making for an efficient market (cards have a value as something someone wants to use, not just collect).
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vitaflo
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by vitaflo »

BogleFan510 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:54 am Now if you have old Magic the Gathering collectable trading cards, cards from the original first set can go as high as 6 figures in perfect condition. Many cards worth hundreds, so worth having someone evaluate a collection, as in demand cards are scarce and there are millions of players making for an efficient market (cards have a value as something someone wants to use, not just collect).
This is true. Many friends of mine played Magic when it first came out. Few years back we found out how much some of the old cards are worth. Friend of mine sold two Dual Lands for $1k each. They don't even really need to be in perfect condition because people use them in play. It's more about having a technical advantage in a game than putting it in a frame somewhere.
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willthrill81
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by willthrill81 »

vitaflo wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:19 pm
BogleFan510 wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:54 am Now if you have old Magic the Gathering collectable trading cards, cards from the original first set can go as high as 6 figures in perfect condition. Many cards worth hundreds, so worth having someone evaluate a collection, as in demand cards are scarce and there are millions of players making for an efficient market (cards have a value as something someone wants to use, not just collect).
This is true. Many friends of mine played Magic when it first came out. Few years back we found out how much some of the old cards are worth. Friend of mine sold two Dual Lands for $1k each. They don't even really need to be in perfect condition because people use them in play. It's more about having a technical advantage in a game than putting it in a frame somewhere.
I played that many years ago and sold most of my cards to a teenager for $40. The collection would probably be worth at least 10x that now. Hardly the biggest financial mistake I've ever made though.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by tennisplyr »

I have a picture of the shot heard 'round the whole signed in person by Ralph Branca and Bobby Thompson....whatdathink?
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by whodidntante »

You also need to consider your time. I'm guessing you don't have a Honus Wagner card in your collection. Unless you're sitting on something highly valuable, list them on eBay for a penny, charge enough for shipping to cover your costs, and let the auction decide what they are worth.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Glockenspiel »

I recently went through and looked at my collection of baseball and basketball cards from the late 80s to late 90s. I discovered that I own at least 25 cards that are worth at least $100 each, as well as about 5 cards that are worth more than $500 if they end up in mint condition. Most of my cards have been sitting in protective pages for the last 25 years so are in pretty good shape. I'm trying to go through and get them submitted for PSA grading.

In my opinion, take a look through your cards to check if you have any Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, Grant Hill, Ken Griffey Jr, or Derek Jeter cards. Rookie cards are especially worth a lot of money. Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan rookie cards in mint condition are worth more than $10,000 graded in mint condition.
Dregob
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Dregob »

Buy a diamond (or a mint card) and then ask the seller what they will pay you for it.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Marseille07 »

I recently scanned average cards and tossed them. For something that *might* be of value, I still have them but I don't really intend to sell on the market or anything like that.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Glockenspiel »

Dregob wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:07 pm Buy a diamond (or a mint card) and then ask the seller what they will pay you for it.
Ebay has sold listings. You can easily check what other people paid for the very same card that you have.
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Kenkat
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Kenkat »

A lot of individuals holding ungraded cards will think they have a mint 9 or 10 when in reality it’s probably a 7. Values drop off quickly due to conditional rarity. I know some about card grading but I see this all the time with coins as well.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by kaudrey »

My DH uses deanscard.com when he researches baseball cards.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Marylander1 »

Glockenspiel wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:32 pm
Dregob wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:07 pm Buy a diamond (or a mint card) and then ask the seller what they will pay you for it.
Ebay has sold listings. You can easily check what other people paid for the very same card that you have.
I believed Dregob's point is that both the diamond market and the trading card market have extremely high friction. The prices to buy and to sell the same item at a given dealer are much further apart than most people realize.

Marylander1
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lthenderson
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by lthenderson »

Glockenspiel wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:30 pm I discovered that I own at least 25 cards that are worth at least $100 each, as well as about 5 cards that are worth more than $500 if they end up in mint condition. I'm trying to go through and get them submitted for PSA grading.
I hope you let us know what you end up selling them for. I'm assuming it is like just about anything online, the prices are the top of the range and what one actually gets is much less and then after paying for grading, perhaps one recoups enough to cover costs.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Glockenspiel »

lthenderson wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:44 am
Glockenspiel wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:30 pm I discovered that I own at least 25 cards that are worth at least $100 each, as well as about 5 cards that are worth more than $500 if they end up in mint condition. I'm trying to go through and get them submitted for PSA grading.
I hope you let us know what you end up selling them for. I'm assuming it is like just about anything online, the prices are the top of the range and what one actually gets is much less and then after paying for grading, perhaps one recoups enough to cover costs.
Actually, Ebay will show you exactly what cards sold for. Anyone can check what any specific card sold for. Yes, Ebay takes their commission. Paying $10-50 to grade a pristine Kobe rookie card that sells for $500-$10,000 seems well worth it.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Glockenspiel »

lthenderson wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 10:44 am
Glockenspiel wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:30 pm I discovered that I own at least 25 cards that are worth at least $100 each, as well as about 5 cards that are worth more than $500 if they end up in mint condition. I'm trying to go through and get them submitted for PSA grading.
I hope you let us know what you end up selling them for. I'm assuming it is like just about anything online, the prices are the top of the range and what one actually gets is much less and then after paying for grading, perhaps one recoups enough to cover costs.
I'll try to let you know once I get them back from the grading company. It might be 6 months or a year though.
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Lethal
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Lethal »

Found a Dirk Nowitzki PSA 10 rookie in a box in the basement the other day. Paid $60 back in 09, last two sold for $2500 on ebay. Score! 99.999% of the rest of my collection from the 90s and early 00s are probably not worth the effort to sell.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Monsterflockster »

My grandparents owned a gas station in Minnesota and once a week my Mom could get one candy. She always grabbed the gum... that came with a baseball card. Like so many others when they moved in ‘63 threw out the cards. Which is why they’re so valuable now.

She didn’t learn though... she tossed my toys & comics. :oops:
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by bhwabeck3533 »

Dregob wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:07 pm Buy a diamond (or a mint card) and then ask the seller what they will pay you for it.
FWIW. I am 65-years old, bought thousands of baseball and football cards with my own nickels and dimes (1963-1967). I still have many of these cards. They are not mint, I loved to hold and sort them. I had them assessed for their value about a couple years ago, I was hoping maybe $1500, being conservative. I shipped them to Cincinnati, and was offered about $300 for hundreds of cards. I was surprised, but not heartbroken. I had the cards returned to me.

I've met some everyday collectors on Twitter. I now give away cards to them so they can complete their sets. I'm hanging on to my full football set of 1964 Philadelphia cards. Wonder why old NFL cards have not found a home in collector's hearts?
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Nowizard »

Those years were ones of mass production. Unless you purchased individual cards with value at the time, you may have a fortunate card but few worth anything. We sold 10,000 at about $.02 each from the same era. If you want a last time to go thru something important to you in earlier years, you might find one worth $20 retail, half wholesale.

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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by jrbdmb »

vitaflo wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:45 pm They're worth more as kindling than as cards. Unless they were professionally graded and sealed with their grade (which costs money to do, and good luck getting a mint grade back), they are worth nothing.

Consider how many millions of cards are floating around and how many actual collectors are still left. There is vastly more supply than demand, and the few people still collecting already have everything you have, in probably better shape (note: mint doesn't just mean sharp corners, it means centered image, front and back, good inking, no shadowing, etc).
Absolutely incorrect generalization. A large percentage of "common" cards (players you've never heard of) are basically worthless. But for example a 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck card (ungraded but looks decent) just sold for $77 on eBay. Cal Ripken's rookie cards from 1982 are also worth quite a bit, graded or not. (Of course a card with a high grade from reputable grader - BGS / PSA / SGC are the ones I'm aware of - will be worth far more.)
Last edited by jrbdmb on Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by jrbdmb »

Kenkat wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:45 pm A lot of individuals holding ungraded cards will think they have a mint 9 or 10 when in reality it’s probably a 7. Values drop off quickly due to conditional rarity. I know some about card grading but I see this all the time with coins as well.
I have a few raw cards that could potentially be worth a bit (Ichiro/Pujols RC), but I haven't pulled the trigger yet because I hate to send the cards in just to find out they are PSA 7, making them less valuable than ungraded.
tsohg
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by tsohg »

Given the recent boom/bubble in trading card prices and subsequent rush in the market to get cards graded, PSA grading shut down / drastically increased prices for grading services-- this will make it harder to realize value on the cards. There are other sources for grading (Beckett, etc) but PSA graded cards carry the highest premium.

https://dotesports.com/news/psa-card-gr ... ubmissions

Anything form the 1980s isn't worth much unless it's a highly graded, in demand card. Similar story for the 70s cards, too.

I collected cards as a kid in the 80s and 90s. I still have a box of them, I take them out occasionally to look through for nostalgia sake. But worth anything? Eh, not really.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Kookaburra »

What does it mean to get a card “graded”, why is it important, and how does one go about doing this?
tsohg
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by tsohg »

Kookaburra wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:57 am What does it mean to get a card “graded”, why is it important, and how does one go about doing this?
Grading companies examine the condition of the card (centering, borders, corner sharpness, surface quality) and grade cards on a scale of 1-10, they then encase them in a special tamper-resistant plastic case. 10 is the highest and most rare grade. Very few cards will get a 10 grade, even "mint condition" cards fail to achieve 9+ scores because of flaws in the manufacturing process. For some highly sought after card, a PSA 10 can sell at orders of magnitude higher than a 7 or 8.

Old cards capable of being graded at higher levels are exceedingly rare and sought-after.

Consumers need to mail their cards to the grading companies. Current lead times can be over a year (from when you mail to when you receive a graded card back).
rich126
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by rich126 »

tsohg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:16 am
Kookaburra wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:57 am What does it mean to get a card “graded”, why is it important, and how does one go about doing this?
Grading companies examine the condition of the card (centering, borders, corner sharpness, surface quality) and grade cards on a scale of 1-10, they then encase them in a special tamper-resistant plastic case. 10 is the highest and most rare grade. Very few cards will get a 10 grade, even "mint condition" cards fail to achieve 9+ scores because of flaws in the manufacturing process. For some highly sought after card, a PSA 10 can sell at orders of magnitude higher than a 7 or 8.

Old cards capable of being graded at higher levels are exceedingly rare and sought-after.

Consumers need to mail their cards to the grading companies. Current lead times can be over a year (from when you mail to when you receive a graded card back).

I believe PSA is no longer accepting cards to grade.

From what I understand the whole grading process is subjective and a bad rating can destroy a card's value.

There is a newcomer, HGA, that uses a digital process to rate a card and takes out the human element. Personally I think that is a good idea but I have no idea whether it will gain acceptance.

https://www.psacard.com/articles/articl ... april-2021
Given our growing backlog, it would be disingenuous for us to continue to accept submissions for cards that we will be unable to process in the foreseeable future. It’s an unpleasant conclusion, especially after the March 1 price increase, but it is necessary to properly serve the customers who have already submitted to PSA.

Effective immediately, PSA is temporarily suspending our Value, Regular and Express service levels. This will allow us to fully unbox and receive the recent surge of orders and focus on our most impacted service lines.

We will take a tiered approach to reintroducing these service levels. Our goal is to bring all suspended service levels back by July 1, 2021.
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by tsohg »

rich126 wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:42 am
tsohg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:16 am
Kookaburra wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:57 am What does it mean to get a card “graded”, why is it important, and how does one go about doing this?
Grading companies examine the condition of the card (centering, borders, corner sharpness, surface quality) and grade cards on a scale of 1-10, they then encase them in a special tamper-resistant plastic case. 10 is the highest and most rare grade. Very few cards will get a 10 grade, even "mint condition" cards fail to achieve 9+ scores because of flaws in the manufacturing process. For some highly sought after card, a PSA 10 can sell at orders of magnitude higher than a 7 or 8.

Old cards capable of being graded at higher levels are exceedingly rare and sought-after.

Consumers need to mail their cards to the grading companies. Current lead times can be over a year (from when you mail to when you receive a graded card back).

I believe PSA is no longer accepting cards to grade.

From what I understand the whole grading process is subjective and a bad rating can destroy a card's value.
Yup, although you can always break it out and send it in again (costly, time consuming).

The market is crazy right now. I'm aware of the above because I happen to subscribe to a podcast via the Ringer, "Sports Cards Nonsense". The swings in value are wild.
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Scott S
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

Post by Scott S »

In related news, I see that Topps is going public: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/topps ... 2021-04-06
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Thegame14
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Re: Baseball cards - worth anything?

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CorradoJr wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:39 pm I've come across some late 1970s - early 1980's baseball cards (Topps, Fleer, etc.) and other assorted trading cards (Garbage Pail Kids) I collected in my youth.

Is there a good source other than eBay for me to see if these are worth anything? Or should I take them to a local sports collectible shop and hope for an honest answer?

These are typical grade cards, when I opened a wax pack I would put them in a clear protective 9x9 sheet and then into a 3-ring binder. I also have a few Upper Deck box sets from the 1990s. Any thoughts?
baseball cards are through the roof right now, especially graded ones.... list them on ebay and enjoy the profits.....
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