The first baseball cards were issued by companies over a century ago. These companies were merely looking to advertise their businesses; it wasn't really about having a connection with the sport itself. However, with the passage of time, baseball cards have become a commodity in their own right.
As far as investing in baseball cards goes, there isn't an official, sanctioned market regulating their exchange; investors publicly buy and sell these commodities in physical venues such as card shows, specialty hobby shops or auction houses. Online sites such as SportsBuy, eBay and Beckett.com have also become increasingly popular platforms for the exchange of Topps baseball cards as they contain millions of user listings.
But why really do it? The answer is simple; for the love of the game, because it provides the opportunity to put a price tag on sentimentality. Most people who invest in Topps baseball card sets tend to be avid fans of the sport and to do so for nostalgia's sake. Today's investors are the kids of yesteryear who flipped through their Topps baseball card sets and traded with other enthusiasts in their neighborhoods. Only nowadays, they would never even consider the thought of sticking these valuables in the spokes of their bikes. People who make real money in this business are professional dealers who possess an intimate knowledge of the business, the game itself and card values. Stockpiling rookie cards of highly anticipated players cheaply when they first come out is one of the many savvy practices today's collectors engage in.
Several factors determine the returns for successful investors; the supply and demand of the market itself, the collector's foresight and shrewdness regarding how well legendary players age and if current players stand the test of time. The individual cards themselves matter too and sometimes it's just the luck of the draw; such as discovering grandpa's vintage baseball card collection. The worth of the cards is determined by the ebb and flow of the market; baseball card sets' values usually decline during bearish times (with the exception of expensive, rare and vintage ones).
Alan Rosen, also known as 'The King of cards' and self-proclaimed "World's largest buyer of baseball cards' spent over $5 million in sports cards and memorabilia in 2010. His strategy is to buy only buy mint-condition baseball cards (money is obviously no object for him) and use clever self promotion to flip the cards for a profit. However, his devotion to the sport and the business has enabled him to successfully execute such a strategy.
If you are interesting in investing in baseball card sets, start off by purchasing a baseball card price-guide like CardPricer or Beckett's and familiarize yourself with the various card publishers, the card-grading system and trends surrounding the market. To determine where to find the best bargains and below-market deals, search on-line and browse through various auction houses. For first timers, it is recommended that you start with the safest bets; rare, highly sought after, pre- 1970 cards, Hall of Fame roll call rookie cards and current rookie cards that are projected to have long careers with marquee-name potential. It is wise to probably only step foot into speculative, riskier territory once you have a solid grip on the basics.
However, amateurs beware; this isn't your average easy-go market. Back in the 1980s, card collecting was considered a bona fide investment alternative, and yielded annual revenues of around $1.4 billion! However the bubble eventually burst due to overproduction which was followed by devaluation, along with the 1994 baseball strike, from which the market was never able to fully recover. Nowadays, new merchandise garners only about $200 million a year.
Tips For Investors of Topps Baseball Card Sets And Bowman Baseball Cards:
- Always buy baseball card sets from reputable sellers and auctioneers.
- Try to buy the highest quality cards you can afford.
- Do extensive on-line research and look for trends to identify cards or sets on their way up in value.
- Regarding high-end collectibles, always purchase authentic PSA graded and sealed cards
- Beware of the risks involved in this venture; the emotional bond you form with baseball cards can sometimes be offset by their volatility at the high end.
- Above everything, have fun with it; despite the mercenaries out there, remember that it's still a pastime that began with kids, and your interest and love for the game is what initially got you started.
If you want to venture into baseball card investments, visit our website BaseballFactorySets.com to view our vast collection of legendary Topps' baseball card sets and place your order today!