Baseball Cards: How To Start a Valuable Baseball Card Collection
Did you know that the very first baseball card was produced in 1865? Since then, baseball enthusiasts have gone crazy over baseball cards and how to collect them.
If you want to start collecting these unique cards, you might be wondering how to buy baseball cards and how to build an impressive collection.
Fortunately, the process isn't as difficult as you might expect. However, you will need to keep a few things in mind when gathering them. For example, you'll want to buy from only reputable sellers, stay within your budget, and so on.
Keep reading and learn more about collecting and buying baseball cards below.
Buy Your Baseball Cards From a Reputable Seller
Many people don't realize that buying baseball cards from a reputable seller is of utmost importance. Some people settle to get their baseball cards from any old seller and sometimes even from garage sales or yard sales. While, in some cases, it is possible to gather good baseball cards from these channels, it is usually not recommended, especially if you want to be a professional baseball card collector.
Why might this be, you ask? If you don't get your cards from a reputable seller, you'll never know whether or not your baseball cards are the real deal. Unfortunately, it is a very common thing for unprofessional sellers to sell phony baseball cards.
These cards might look very authentic, but there are people who are skilled at making fake cards look like the real deal. In this case, if you managed to be tricked, you'll end up spending a lot of money on cards that aren't actually worth anything. To avoid this problem, always look for sellers who sell real, certified baseball cards.
These can be a bit tricky to find, but once you find one or two, you'll know that you'll be in good hands. Professional baseball card sellers are useful for other things as well. For example, they tend to be very knowledgeable about baseball cards, their history, their collectability, and so on.
So, whether you're new at collecting baseball cards or have been doing it for years, you can still probably learn something from a good baseball card seller. But how can you find a good card seller, you might ask?
Finding a Seller
A good place to start is to look for online customer reviews.
These online reviews will tell you a lot about a certain seller, his professionalism, and more. For example, if the majority of the online reviews for a seller or a seller's store are negative, it is a good idea not to bother with that seller. The last thing you want is to deal with a seller who doesn't know what he's doing.
On the other hand, if you find plenty of positive reviews, it might be a good idea to pursue that seller further and see what he has to offer. Once you find a good seller, you'll have a good place to buy high-quality baseball cards to add to your collection.
Don’t Blow Your Budget
Imagine that you're in a store that sells baseball cards and while you're there, you spot a super-rare baseball card that you've been seeking for a long time. You'd love to snatch it up but then you realize how expensive the card is. This happens to many card collectors and while it might be tempting to buy all the rare baseball cards that are out there all at once, this is typically a very bad idea for your budget.
While it might seem like a good idea to buy a very expensive baseball card at first, after buying it, you will likely start to regret it. Taking such a heavy blow to your wallet won't make you feel good and it won't do all that much to progress your baseball card collection. In fact, spending so much money, even on a high-quality card, could actually end up stunting your collection.
If you spend all of your money on one card, this means that you won't have the means to buy other cards you might want for a very long time. Instead, you'll have to spend some time and save up enough money before you can even look at another baseball card. Of course, staying within your budget can require some serious self-control.
Buying a rare and expensive baseball card might seem like the only logical option, but it takes some strength to step away and keep yourself from buying such a treasure. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should never buy rare or expensive baseball cards. On the contrary, these cards would be very good for your collection.
Building a Larger Budget
However, if you do plan on buying such cards, you will need to purposefully build up your budget to accommodate these cards. This means that your budget will need to be much larger than usual and, of course, it will take a lot longer to put together. If you have enough patience and you want to invest in a rare card, then you will find that this time putting together an extra-large budget will be worth it.
Besides, having a larger budget for your baseball card collection is a good idea in general. If you only have a small budget, you will be limited to certain types of cards you can buy and a certain amount of which you can buy. This can quickly stunt your baseball card collection before it even gets started.
If you want to build up your budget fast, you can always take up a side job temporarily in addition to your normal job. That way, you can gather a few extra bucks here and there. Before you know it, you'll have a nice and hefty budget that you'll be able to spend on just about any baseball card you want.
Only Buy the Baseball Cards You Want
Building a baseball card collection is all about having fun. Collecting rare cards and entire sets from certain years is all about enjoying yourself and admiring the cards you have personally put together. However, the fun of collecting these cards can quickly fade if you try to follow what other baseball card collectors are doing.
Suppose that you do some research and find that some baseball card collectors only collect the newest baseball cards. However, you might be more interested in vintage baseball cards from decades ago. Even so, you might be tempted to start collecting new baseball cards because that's what a lot of other card collectors are doing.
However, doing this can quickly leave you disillusioned with the entire idea of collecting cards. If you start collecting cards that you don't care about, then those cards don't have much value in your eyes. This, of course, will create a baseball card collection that you're not proud of and that doesn't bring you joy when looking at it.
To avoid this problem and to keep your card collecting itch as passionate as ever, you will want to avoid trends in the card collecting community. It doesn't matter what other collectors are doing. You are a collector in your own right and there is no reason to follow what all the other collectors are doing.
To make sure that you always have a card collection that you're proud of, you'll want to understand what kind of card niche attracts you most.
What You Need to Know
Suppose that you love baseball cards from the 1950s. While these will be harder to get in good condition compared to modern cards, collecting them might be a great thrill for you.
And when you store them in your collection at home, you'll be much happier with them compared to cards that you don't care about. The only thing you should be particular about for all of your cards is the condition. You should always buy cards that are as high-quality as you can afford.
There isn't much of a point in buying cards that are torn, wrinkled, or otherwise beat up. These cards won't do much to add any spark or value to your collection. In fact, such cards can really bring down your collection, especially if you start collecting a lot of beat-up cards.
Instead, even if it costs you a bit of extra money, you should try to opt for cards that are in the best condition that you can afford. Well-preserved baseball cards are obviously more appealing to look at. More than that, however, they are also more valuable.
Because they are more valuable, if you collect only high-quality baseball cards, your card collection will soon become valuable as well. On the other hand, if you mainly collect beat-up cards, your collection won't be worth all that much and you risk your collection being considered mediocre or perhaps even amateurish.
Storing Your Cards Like a Pro
The last thing you want to do is buy some nice baseball cards and then throw them into your nearest drawer. If you do this, you might forget about where you put your cards or you might stuff the drawer with other objects which would then wrinkle and ruin your new cards. Most baseball card collectors have a few different methods of storing their cards.
There are two main factors to consider when setting up storage space for your cards: create storage space that will protect your cards but also leave your cards viewable. You can easily put your cards in a dark metal box where the light will never hit them and where they'll be completely protected.
However, this wouldn't be very fun for you as a collector because that means that it will be a real hassle to admire your cards when you feel like it. Baseball cards are not meant to be shut up and ignored. After all, there isn't much of a point in spending a bunch of money on baseball cards only to never look at them after buying them.
But what is a good way to store the cards, you might ask? First, consider buying a binder.
Most binders come with a few plastic sheets on the inside to protect whatever you put inside them.
This, of course, is a good way to not only store but also organize your baseball cards. By putting the cards in these plastic sleeves, you can be sure that no foreign objects will ruin them, especially if you put the binder in a safe location. You'll also be able to look at your cards and show them to your friends or family whenever you feel like it.
For very expensive or rare cards, however, you may want to keep them out of the binder and instead find a very special place for them. Many card collectors make special frames for such cards. That way, these rare cards are separated from the cheaper varieties and are much more protected.
This is also important for older cards. Many old baseball cards are much more fragile compared to newer cards, so you'll want to be extra careful when storing them. Framing them on a wall is always a good choice if you don't know what to do with them.
Building a Collection of Baseball Cards
There are many types of baseball cards out there, and when it comes to collecting them, there are a few things to keep in mind. You should always buy from a reputable seller, stay within your budget, only buy the cards you want, and store your cards. As long as you do all this, your card collection should soon be very valuable and in great shape.
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