Tip #1: Get Friendly with Your Local Sports Card Dealer
Developing a friendly bond with the owner of your local hobby shop can’t hurt, as it will get you inside scoop on anything from mint condition cards to limited editions. First, look for a store that specializes in selling sports cards and memorabilia, perfect for that personal touch. Ask when new shipments are coming in, what values the cards you’re interested in have, which cards are good deals, and more. You can buy packs of baseball and basketball cards from large department stores but you won’t get that personal attention you’re looking for.
Tip #2: Protect your Cards and Memorabilia Properly
Buying that vintage baseball card you’ve had your eye on for months won’t amount to much if you don’t store it properly. If you fail to protect your collection, it can fall victim to moisture, temperature extremes and sunlight. Buy the supplies needed, such as sleeves, pages, displays, toploaders and cases, to save yourself headache and disappointment later.
Tip #3: Check for Quality and Age
By inspecting each card before you buy it for signs of wear, age, sunlight and other factors, you are protecting yourself against buying something that is too high priced for its value. Be sure to take a look at the edges and corners in particular, which are the most obvious places that get worn. Break out the magnifying glass if you have to. Clean edges and sharp corners are signs a card has not been handled much. Also, take a look at image centering, color, printing quality and photo quality.