What to Know About Collecting Football Memorabilia
In July 2021, an autographed Patrick Mahomes rookie card that was originally printed back in 2017 was sold for more than $4 million. That made it the most expensive NFL trading card ever sold. It easily eclipsed the $3 million that a signed Tom Brady rookie card sold for a month earlier.
This proves just how lucrative collecting football memorabilia could potentially be. Football is the most popular sport in the U.S. at this time, and it has led to the price tags on football collectibles skyrocketing.
If you want to get in on the action, there has never been a better time to put together a football memorabilia collection. You may not necessarily be able to afford some of the most expensive football memorabilia, like the signed Mahomes card we just mentioned.
But there is affordable football memorabilia that can help you get your sports memorabilia collection off the ground. Here is what you need to know about collecting this memorabilia.
Begin By Deciding Which Kind of Football Memorabilia You Want to Collect
If you're interested in starting a football memorabilia collection, you'll be amazed to see how many different kinds of memorabilia are out there. It'll be up to you to decide which kind you would like to collect.
As we just alluded to, there are obviously NFL trading cards that you can collect. But you can also collect things like:
- And so much more
You can even find things like seats from old football stadiums if you would like. You should spend some time thinking about which items you want to collect and hone in on them as opposed to buying all different types of sports memorabilia.
Focus On Buying Football Memorabilia From Young, Up-and-Coming Players
If you've got a whole lot of money stashed away in your savings account, you're more than welcome to shop for expensive football memorabilia. You can buy memorabilia featuring players like Peyton Manning, Jerry Rice, Johnny Unitas, etc.
But if you're going to be starting with a relatively modest budget, you will be better off focusing on buying football memorabilia from younger players. More specifically, you should look into investing in memorabilia from NFL rookies who appear to have promising futures.
Someone like, say, Detroit Lions rookie Aidan Hutchinson could be a good example of a guy that you'll want to turn your attention to when it comes to football memorabilia. You should be able to buy some of his memorabilia at a low price point now and see it spike over the course of his career as long as he continues to get better.
Who knows? He might end up making it all the way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, at which time the football memorabilia you buy now will be worth exponentially more than it's worth at the moment.
There will be some risk with taking this approach. But it could pay off in a big way if you play your cards right.
Look For Football Memorabilia That Has Been Autographed
The Patrick Mahomes rookie card that we mentioned earlier would be fairly valuable in and of itself. But what put that particular card over the top and made it so valuable was the autograph that was on it.
Generally speaking, any football memorabilia that you have that is autographed is going to be worth more than memorabilia without an autograph. So whenever possible, you should look to purchase autographed memorabilia.
You might also want to get out there and try to score your own autographs if you can. In some cases, you can do this by attending an autograph signing event. But more often than not, you'll need to work on getting players to sign autographs for you at training camps, games, etc.
If you take this approach, just make sure that you don't ask any players to personalize the things that they sign. It could have a big impact on its value, and it might even make it virtually worthless to anyone other than you.
Make Sure the Autographs on Football Memorabilia Are Legit
If you're ever able to get NFL players to sign things for you, you should also ask them to take a picture with you. This can serve as proof that the autographed item you have is legit.
You should also attempt to get any autographed football memorabilia that you buy authenticated if it didn't come with any official documentation. There are companies like Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) that can tell you whether or not an autographed item that you have is authentic.
Collect Things That Could Be Considered Rare Football Memorabilia
The reason why something like a signed Patrick Mahomes rookie card is worth so much money is because it's a very rare piece of football memorabilia. There aren't many of these cards floating around out there in the world.
You probably won't be able to afford a piece of football memorabilia that is that rare. But you can try to track down rare football memorabilia to add to your collection.
How? Well, you will once again want to focus on buying football memorabilia from younger players who aren't yet established. You might be able to luck up and land a signed rookie card from someone who was a part of the 2022 NFL Draft that could be worth a lot of money later.
You might also be able to find other things that NFL rookies signed back during their college days. Anything with a cool story behind it will no doubt have some value and add something special to your memorabilia collection.
Come Up With Ways to Keep Your Football Memorabilia Safe
From the second that you start collecting football memorabilia, it's going to be your job to figure out how to keep it all safe. You don't want to just throw memorabilia into a box in your bedroom closet and hope it's OK.
If you're collecting NFL trading cards, you should buy cases for them and avoid touching them with your bare hands at any point. This will keep your cards in pristine condition.
If you're collecting NFL jerseys, you should have them framed or find other ways to stop them from coming into contact with dirt, dust, and even just the air. You should also take the same approach to collecting things like helmets and cleats.
And if you find that something in your football memorabilia collection is worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars at some point, you might want to think about locking it up tight in a safe or even a safety deposit box.
Attempt to Find Out the Value of Football Memorabilia From Time to Time
It's going to be very important for those who collect football memorabilia to be patient with it. It isn't usually going to be worth more than you paid for it at the start.
You'll need to play the long game with football memorabilia. It should increase in value in the coming years as long as players continue to take their careers to the next level.
But every so often, you should attempt to see if you can find out what your football memorabilia might be worth. You can see what similar items are selling for online or even take something to a sports memorabilia expert to have it appraised.
Keep Some Personal Favorites in Your Football Memorabilia Collection
We've talked a lot about how valuable certain types of football memorabilia can be here and for good reason. Football memorabilia and sports memorabilia, in general, are really enjoying a moment right now and helping some people to get rich.
But we do want to point out that, at the end of the day, collecting football memorabilia is supposed to be fun. So in addition to looking for memorabilia from players who could blossom into superstars soon, you should also add some personal favorites to your collection.
If, for example, you're a huge New York Giants fan, it might be worth getting your hands on a signed Daniel Jones jersey. You should be able to get one for an affordable price and hang it up somewhere in your home.
Unless Jones completely revitalizes his career this season and turns into the second coming of Tom Brady, that jersey isn't going to go up in value much. But it will let you show off your love for the Giants and serve as a cool conversation piece when people visit your house.
Stay Informed on the Latest Football Memorabilia News
A big part of the reason why there has been so much hype surrounding football memorabilia over the last few years is that it's gotten a ton of coverage online. There are always stories popping up about different types of football memorabilia being sold for record numbers.
If you're going to collect football memorabilia, you should stay informed on these stories. Look for at least a few sports memorabilia blogs that you like and bookmark them.
By doing this, you will be able to spot trends that take place within the sports memorabilia world. It might help you get some ideas on which football memorabilia you should buy.
It will also help to educate you more on sports memorabilia as a whole. You can learn a lot about things like the grades that are given to NFL trading cards and the way that you can spot fake autographs on memorabilia.
Share Your Football Memorabilia Collection With Others
Just about every single item that you add to your football memorabilia collection is going to have some kind of story behind it. There will be a jersey that you traveled 6 hours away to get signed or a helmet that was signed by a guy who was a no-name 5 years ago and is now a Pro Bowler.
Part of the fun of collecting football memorabilia will be sharing the stories behind your items with others. You'll have a great time talking to other people about how you've acquired certain items over the years.
You should offer to show your football memorabilia collection to family, friends, etc. You might also want to attend memorabilia shows and conventions to show it off there, too.
Whatever you do, try not to just let your football memorabilia collection sit untouched in your house. It isn't going to do you much good there.
You don't necessarily want to take all your memorabilia out and have kids playing with it or anything. But at the same time, you don't want your grandkids to inherit your collection one day and have no idea that you even had it.
You'll love taking items from your football memorabilia collection out and showing them to others. It'll make all the hard work that you put into building it well worth it.
Start Creating a Football Memorabilia Collection Today
Now that you know how to build a football memorabilia collection, why not start doing it? You can start small by trying to get your hands on affordable football memorabilia before moving up from there.
Within just a few years, you should have a respectable collection that you're proud to show off. You should also have at least a few items that are more valuable than they were when you first obtained them.
Check out some of the great football memorabilia that we have available on our website. Contact us today if you have questions about any of it or would like to place an order.