Why Collectable Cards Make the Best Alternative Investments
The very first baseball card was created in 1865. Ever since then, people have loved the idea of collecting baseball cards as well as other sports cards both for fun and for the collectible value of the cards. But not many people realize that collectable cards can actually make for great alternative investments.
When you think of investing, you might think of stocks and bonds that have to do with gold, oil, or other important commodities. However, sports cards can be an equally good investment, especially very rare or old cards. This is because such cards have quite high values and those values tend to go up over the years.
But how could you get started when investing in sports cards or even collectable Pokemon cards? What makes these cards so special in the first place? Keep reading to learn more about how collecting these cards can make for a great alternative investment.
Why Are Collectable Cards Such a Great Investment?
If you're a passionate card collector, then you might have fond memories of trading less expensive cards with your friends or family. You might have even tried selling some cards to various shops or individuals for money. What you might not know is that if you hold on to certain cards that their value could skyrocket within a certain number of years.
This is what makes certain cards so important when it comes to making an alternative investment. At the moment, the sports card market is only worth around 13 billion USD. However, within around ten years, it is believed that this number will increase to almost 50 billion USD.
This, of course, is a huge increase, especially within the span of only ten years. Many traditional investments like gold require you to wait an entire lifetime before you can finally cash in on your investment for a return of any kind. While cashing in on your investment will still take some time when investing in sports cards, investing in cards is often a more attractive option to many people.
The only problem is that there is less interest in collecting these cards than in the past. These days, many children prefer to play video games rather than collect physical cards. In the past, due to the lack of video games, collecting cards used to be much more popular.
Even so, the card market still seems to be quite lively. There are still many collectors who spend much of their time searching for very rare and expensive cards to add to their collections. The rarer the card is, of course, the more it will be worth.
This is especially true as time passes and the price of those cards continues to increase. Collecting baseball cards is still very popular among certain communities. Whatever the case, gathering these cards as an investment can be a very good idea, especially if you're having a hard time deciding what to invest in.
There are many things on the market to invest in, but it might be hard for you to choose. After all, you have to think about certain price trends, fluctuations, and all other complicated matters. More than that, you won't actually be able to handle your investments in person.
This is all different when it comes to sports cards. With sports cards, you can hold them in your own two hands and admire them whenever you feel like it. You can also pick out the exact types that you want when you're out searching for them on the internet or in person. You will, of course, also need to find a way to protect your investments, such as by keeping them in a safe place away from sunlight and moisture.
What You Need to Know About Buying and Selling Cards
If you like the idea of investing in valuable cards, you will need to be careful not to jump in right away. If you do, you might only end up wasting a lot of your money without making a return on your investment. After all, investing in sports cards is just as tricky as investing in anything else on the stock market.
You always need to do your research before you buy or sell any kind of sports card. Otherwise, you might buy cards that you think are good choices, but they might not really be valuable at all. This, of course, is the last thing you want to do.
When buying sports cards as an investment, you always want to make sure you make the right choice. To do this, you should first familiarize yourself with different kinds of sports cards or whatever cards you happen to be interested in. If you don't know much about sports cards or their prices, you should learn this before you buy anything.
That way, you'll be able to recognize more easily certain cards that have inherent value. You'll also be able to discard cards that don't have much value at all. After all, cards that are very common and often printed will not be very valuable.
On the other hand, cards that haven't been printed for many decades or have only had very few versions printed will obviously be very rare and sought-after. You will also need to keep in mind that there are professional card collectors who likely already know much more than you about the rarity and value of certain cards.
What to Know
They will also know all the best methods to find such cards and get them for themselves before anyone else could ever have the chance to get them. Of course, it could be difficult to compete with professional collectors, but that doesn't mean that you can't find some great cards if you work hard and do your research.
Once you start getting the hang of things, you will find that your card knowledge will become more automatic. As such, you'll be able to make quick decisions when it comes to buying good cards and avoiding bad ones. You'll also become more knowledgeable when it comes to selling your cards as well.
Selling your cards also requires an equal amount of research and consideration. There are many times when people sell their cards for nothing or even throw them out because they believe they aren't worth anything. However, in some cases, there may be a card or two in a person's collection that is worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Of course, the last thing you want to do is sell a valuable card for nothing because you believe it isn't worth anything. This, again, is why doing your research is important. But if you really are interested in using sports cards as an alternative investment, where should you start?
Get Familiar With What Makes a Card Valuable
You might already be familiar with a few rare cards, but you might not know what makes a card valuable and what makes a card not valuable at all. Of course, the age of the card is very important. As mentioned before, baseball cards started to be made in the late 1800s and they are still being printed today.
However, cards from the past, especially before World War II, are especially valuable for several reasons. For one, those cards aren't being printed anymore, and they haven't been printed for many decades. This puts a set limit on how many of those cards are out in the world.
More than that, over the years, many of those cards have been lost or destroyed. Some might have been thrown out while others might have been ruined by water damage, sunlight, moths, or other types of damage. This reduces the total pool of those cards altogether.
This, of course, makes those older cards particularly rare and sought-after, not to mention expensive. It is also very hard to find them. But if you do manage to find such old cards, you can certainly count them towards your total investments.
Factors to Consider
Besides the age of the card, you should also pay attention to other features of sports cards that might make them expensive. For example, some cards have certain mistakes on them, such as the misspelling of a word or the lack of a part of a word. Whatever the case, these faulty cards often come in very few numbers because only a few of them were printed before the mistake was caught and corrected.
Many of these faulty cards are worth thousands of dollars because there are only a few in existence. As you can imagine, getting your hands on one of those cards and holding onto them for a number of years would certainly result in you having a very hearty investment. If you ever happen to sell such a card after a number of years, you could certainly get thousands of dollars out of your investment return.
You should also keep in mind that some card mistakes don't always make the card valuable. The value of a card depends on a variety of factors, and you should familiarize yourself with those factors completely before you buy or sell any cards.
Caring for Your Card Investment
Once you start to build up enough cards for your investment portfolio, you will need to figure out how to take care of those cards. The last thing you want to do is leave those cards sitting around where they can get damaged or dusty. Any kind of damage to a card, even the slightest wrinkle, will cause the card to lose value.
This is certainly not ideal if you plan on holding onto a card for several years so that it might increase in value. For that reason, it is very important that you learn how to take care of your cards once you start collecting them. This is especially true for older cards that are naturally more brittle and more prone to damage.
To start, you will want to keep your cards out of direct sunlight at all times. This is because the sun's UV rays are very damaging and can damage the molecules inside the sports cards. This can cause them to fade or otherwise look worn down.
What You Need to Know
Besides the sun, you will want to keep them away from moisture or drastic temperature changes. For example, keeping them by your window is not a good idea for that reason. Exposing the cards to too much moisture will cause the cards to weaken.
In some cases, the cards might even start to pick up signs of mold or mildew. You also need to avoid bending or wrinkling the cards in any way. You certainly don't want to throw them in a drawer and forget all about them.
Rather, you should make sure that the cards are in a place where they won't get damaged in this way. There are many different kinds of card protectors that you can use such as plastic sleeves. These sleeves will ensure that the cards are protected from moisture and dust.
There are also hard glass or plastic protectors that can help prevent any bends, tears, or wrinkles on the cards.
All About Investing in Collectable Cards
Many people don't realize that collectable cards can make for great investments. After all, some of them are very expensive even today and they will only continue to get more valuable over the years.
If you manage to start gathering these cards now, you'll certainly be sitting on a sizable profit in a number of years.
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