Some baseball and basketball cards sell for thousands of dollars during trading boom – WSB-TV Channel 2
ATLANTA – When the pandemic put an end to the sport last spring, many fans turned to collectible cards for their solution. Now over a year later, the hobby is booming and is even turning into a full-time job for some collectors.
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For the first time since the late ’80s and early’ 90s, the sports trading card industry is going for a while.
“We’re experiencing the biggest growth I’ve ever seen,” said Joe Davis, a longtime card dealer who opened his card store in Loganville during the height of the sports card boom of the 1990s.
Davis told Channel 2 that the sports card market has never been hotter and that much of the excitement can be attributed to nostalgia.
“You had millions of people locked in their homes,” Davis said. “Because the dads were home and said, ‘Son… or my daughter, let me get my sports cards out and show you,’ and start talking about what they’ve been up to,” Davis continued.
Right now, card collectors are cashing in online. In February, eBay reported a 142% increase in domestic sales, selling 4 million more cards in 2020 than the year before.
“Right now we have about 600,000 different items on eBay,” Davis said.
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The rest of his collection is in his showroom, where an unopened box of cards can sell for thousands of dollars. He also took Channel 2 downstairs to his temperature-controlled basement.
“How many cards do you have here?” request Michael Seiden of Channel 2.
“Probably 10 or 12 million,” Davis replied.
He said the card craze not only connected him with new customers, but convinced some to quit their daily jobs as well.
“I have two of my best clients, they literally quit their daily jobs,” Davis said.
To determine the value of your cards, you need to send them to a third-party grading service who inspects them for authenticity and condition. Cards are rated on a 10 point scale, 10 being the most valuable.
From there you are ready to sell online or you can attend a card show. Every other Sunday, hundreds of card collectors and dealers gather in the boardroom of a Cobb County hotel to buy, sell and redeem cards.
The most valuable cards are rare. Those with an autograph or a piece of a player’s jersey can sell for thousands of dollars.
“I’m just looking for Trae Young because he’s going to make the playoffs, and if he averages 36 points per night his price will double,” said collector Harris Seidband, 15.
“Seeing young children come in, especially little girls, is great,” said trader Michell Ferrell-Moore.
Social media also attracts non-traditional collectors through online “smashing”, where a pack is opened and individual cards are sold. Ryan Springer and Andrew Buell are the founders of Classic Pack Break.
The two friends host a show on YouTube where collectors from across the country buy a break, which can cost anywhere from a few to hundreds of dollars.
“It’s the thrill of the game and the fun of it, that, if we have rookie Wayne Gretzky out there, this guy might be able to take off from work for the next year or two,” Buell said. .
“It’s a blessing, you know the fact that we’ve been able to turn something that we enjoyed as a kid into something that we can do as an adult,” Springer said.
Dealers believe that there will still be a lot of circuits in the future.
“If the sports card industry and the trend we’re in right now is a baseball game, I think we’re in the first or second inning,” Davis said.
Trading cards for sports have become so valuable that they attract the attention of shoe dealers.
Sneakerheads who return rare shoes told Channel 2 that they are jumping into collectible cards due to celebrity influence, and as long as they are protected the cards don’t deteriorate like sneakers.