In the world of trading cards, some, like baseball cards, have existed longer than others. Even with this storied history, knowing how valuable a card is can be difficult. You must consider many factors that can make the card more valuable or bring its value down to the point where it’s almost worthless. Knowing if your baseball cards are worth money is tricky, but once you know what to look for, figuring out their value becomes much easier.

What Makes Cards Valuable?

Each card is different, and value is hard to know just by looking at a card. It takes a lot of industry knowledge and knowledge about the market to understand what’s valuable and what’s not. Generally, though, there are a few characteristics that help determine value. The first and most obvious trait is the quality of the card. A card fresh out of the pack should be pristine, but the longer you wait to put it in a protective sleeve, the more susceptible it is to scratches and dinged corners.

In addition to these variables, a card can also suffer from different defects even when they’re right out of the pack, such as:

  • Surface scratches
  • Poor centering
  • Miscut
  • Print defects

These variables can affect the quality of the card, but it’s difficult to know precisely what this damage could do to the card’s value. A new card that is incredibly common will still be worth less than an incredibly rare and somewhat damaged card.

Card History

The quality of the card itself is a significant factor affecting its value, but the nature of the card is often more important. For example, a new card of a new player that is more common will be worth less than a classic Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson card. The main reason this is the case is supply and demand. When something is rare and hard to find, it will be much more valuable than something you can easily get. Older, first-edition, and signed cards will always be more valuable and are some of the hardest to get your hands on.

Get It Graded

If you have a card or are looking at buying one, the ultimate way to know its value and whether it’s worth any money is to get it graded. Companies like the Beckett Grading Service (BGS) and Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) will evaluate a card you send them and give it a grade depending on the quality of the card. Combined with the card’s history, you can look at what other cards similar to yours are going for. With this knowledge, you can confidently determine whether your card is worth money.

Knowing if you can get any money with your baseball cards isn’t easy, but with this guide, you should better understand what’s valuable and what you can skip over. This knowledge is excellent for evaluating your current collection, but it also helps when you want new cards! At JRI Cards, we offer a variety of retro baseball cards that will stand out in your baseball card collection. Browse our collection and find the cards you’ve always been looking for.