Myths About Collecting Sports Cards Debunked
Myths About Collecting Sports Cards Debunked
There are a lot of different sports, and many companies create their own sports trading cards. Collecting sports trading cards is a big hobby that many around the world like to participate in, but even with this popularity, there are some pervasive myths. Thankfully, we can debunk those myths about collecting sports cards and provide you with the critical information you need to start, or continue, your sports trading card hobby!
Myth: It’s Too Late To Start Collecting
A huge myth about trading cards, both sports cards and other kinds, is that it is too late to start collecting. When different hobbies gain prestige and value, they seem nearly impossible to join. For example, classic car collecting and restoring cars can seem unapproachable to outsiders. There are experts in their craft who have been collecting for years and know where to get their parts, what everything is, and how they interact.
Card collecting can often feel the same because the only thing you hear about sports card collecting is the multi-million-dollar deals. To outsiders who hear only this, it can feel impossible to join in, but it’s never too late to start collecting. The barrier to entry is subjective.
Myth: Barrier to Entry Is Objective
While many hobbies have high barriers to entry, collecting sports cards isn’t always one of them. The barrier to entry is subjective since every person has a different goal with this hobby—some are in it to make money, whereas others just want to have fun. If you want to start collecting sports cards from a purely financial perspective, there is a large barrier to entry. You’ll need to invest in rare and vintage unopened packs and boxes to get valuable cards, or you can pay for a card by itself, hoping to sell it in the future.
As mentioned in the last point, some people in the hobby are moving around millions of dollars, but these aren’t the average players. The average person collecting sports trading cards starts from the same position as everyone else, and then slowly over time, they build their collection. It starts with a joint case break one year, trading with someone else later, and slowly but surely adding more and more cards to their collection.
A Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” You can’t go back in time to join the hobby earlier, but you can start now. Waiting longer will make the hobby feel even more out of reach when, in reality, it is always the same distance away. Yes, if you want to get to the point where you’re trading multi-million dollars’ worth of cards, there is a barrier to entry. But for the average collector, all you need to start collecting sports cards is passion.
Myth: It’s Not Worth It
One of the biggest myths about sports trading cards is that it is a hobby that is not worth the time and financial commitment. Yes, as mentioned already, you don’t have to go for the most valuable cards immediately, but is it even worth getting cards at the lower level? What’s missing in the discussion about sports trading cards, and trading cards as a whole, is that this higher value is relatively new.
Some cards were always worth more than others, but the value many are going for today is not the norm. Rather, for most of sports trading card history, the majority of cards were cheap. It’s easy to forget about this when trying to start the hobby today, but it’s something to keep in mind. You don’t need to pursue the bigger cards to have fun—you can collect newer cards that aren’t worth as much if that’s how you want to have fun.
Additionally, you can try to find more valuable cards simultaneously. Nothing is stopping you from enjoying this hobby in the way that makes it valuable to you. If you want to get a bunch of cheap cards of your favorite player, that’s your prerogative. If you want to save up to buy a more popular card or buy unopened packs hoping to draw a valuable card, you can do that too!
Myth: Older Signatures Are Always More Valuable Than Newer Ones
A common belief in every collectible hobby is that signatures that are more vintage are more valuable than newer ones. For example, let’s say you have a signature from Michael Jordan when he was on the Bulls and a signature from today. Depending on the quality of that signature, the newer one may be better. Faded and illegible signatures may have a greater history to them, but there’s something refreshing about having a new and clean signature. There are also additional factors to consider, such as:
- The athlete’s current position
- How often they give out signatures
- If the signature has changed
- What the signature is on
Yes, older signatures are still valuable and are sometimes more valuable than newer ones, but it doesn’t mean you need to dismiss newer ones outright.
Myth: “Valuable” Cards Cost a Fortune
One myth that has continued in the sports card collecting world is that “valuable” cards cost a fortune. While there are many valuable cards that go into the millions of dollars, there are many others that are rare and unique but don’t cost an arm and a leg. For example, in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, there are over 300 players. Cards from these players may be more expensive, but they won’t break the bank.
This myth goes even deeper as many believe baseball cards for players before World War II cost a fortune. Part of this conception comes from the fact that graded cards tend to skyrocket in value, but some graded cards are still relatively affordable. You can add one of these vintage cards to your collection for a few hundred bucks if you’re inclined. It is more expensive than a newer pack of many newer cards, but these more vintage cards will help make your collection feel richer and more unique. Depending on what you want from your collection, paying these prices may be a deal you can’t pass on.
By debunking these common myths about collecting sports cards, we can show you that collecting trading cards is an open and fun hobby for anyone who wants to participate. What’s also fun about trading sports cards is that there are many ways to enter, such as breaks. At JRI Cards, we want everyone to have fun collecting cards, and we help make that possible with our different breaks, including football box breaks. We’ll help you have fun with friends and open vintage cards together!