The art of collecting, storing and protecting baseball card sets has evolved since the early days when young collectors used to stick their Topps baseball cards in the spokes of their bikes and into any sort of toploader or protective sleeve. Modern day collectors cringe at the very thought of such mistreatment of Topps and Bowman baseball cards, especially vintage cards. Sports card protection is now in high demand, and has become a business in itself as an increasing number of collectors now view their card sets as investments.
As a rule of thumb, the better the condition of a sports card, the more it is worth. Sometimes even the smallest smudge, fray or scratch can devalue by a card up to thousands of dollars. In addition to the monetary value, Topps baseball cards in good condition also look better and are more enjoyable.
Today's collectors have many weapons at their disposal for safeguarding their card collections. Most collectors tend to use a combination of different methods to protect their baseball card sets. This article highlights some of the best supplies that offer an increased level of protection at a very small cost for storing sports cards, especially valuable ones.
As the backbone of many collectors' baseball factory sets storage supply arsenals, toploaders are individual plastic card holders that come in both rigid and semi-rigid versions, in virtually every size imaginable. Not only are they a great way for storing and protecting your baseball card sets, they offer a great way of showing off and displaying your cards as well.
Generally available in packs of up to 100 sleeves and (depending on the quantity purchased) typically costing roughly one cent and available, these individual plastic card-sleeves are an extremely attractive and rather inexpensive way of storing your sports cards.
These clear plastic cases allow easy storage of multiple cards all in one place. They are available in many different sizes and can hold anywhere between 5 to several hundred baseball cards.
These are a very efficient and cheap method for storing large quantities of sports cards, as they are capable of holding anywhere from 50 to 5,000 sports cards each. The most popular storage boxes for sports cards are constructed out of corrugated cardboard.
Similar to photo albums, baseball card albums are essentially binders with three rings that hold plastic pages containing sleeves specially designed to hold sports cards. Although they are a more expensive and time consuming way of storing sports cards as compared to some of the aforementioned alternatives, they are a much better choice for baseball factory sets that you'd like easily keep track off, access and show off to your fellow collectors.
Screw Down Plastic Holders
These two-piece cases offer a much harder exterior and well-fortified shell around cards. However, they are notorious for causing substantial damage to sports cards that are stored within them for prolonged periods of time, especially when the two sides of the holder are very tightly screwed together.
- Start protecting your cards from the moment you purchase them and check on them from time to time.
- Store you cards in a cool and dry climate as they can easily become worn and faded when kept in a warm and humid climate. Furthermore, avoid exposing your cards to direct sunlight as this can also cause fading.
- Keep your card collection as high up as possible; this reduces the chances of damage from any spilled liquids or inquisitive children.
- Always label your collection, as a lot of cardboard boxes tend to look pretty similar when stored in the same place.
- Make sure to use some sort of divider between cards when stacking them; this prevents them from sticking to each other.
- Don't skimp when buying storage and protective supplies; saving a few bucks will only leave you with a damaged or faded, and hence a deteriorated and valued collection. Try sticking to products from proven companies such as Ultra Pro and BaseballFactorySets.com.
- For exceptionally rare cards, use special protection such as framed glass covers to ensure their safety and integrity.