Trading cards have been around for a long time, and while their popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years, they seem more popular and valuable than ever. With this popularity, more people are getting into the hobby, and they need some ways to know if their trading card is worth real money or if it’s a common card with little to no value. It’s a tricky world to enter, but there are ways you can know if what you’re buying is worth the money.
Do Your Research
Before purchasing a card or knowing if it’s valuable, do some research. Being fastidious when examining what makes a valuable card in your specific set, whether basketball, Pokémon, or anything in between, helps you know what to look for. Learn the history of the cards and sets to know which cards are valuable and which are nearly worthless.
For example, in Pokémon cards, there have been numerous editions released throughout the years. While some cards may be nearly identical, one could be worth much more money because of its rarity, while another may be a newer, more common edition. Finding out what is rare and hot in the trading card world is essential to finding valuable trading cards.
Know What’s a Good Card
In addition to researching editions and versions of cards, you need to learn about the quality of the card itself. In the world of collectible and sports trading cards, there are specific grading standards that you must consider, such as:
- Print quality
- General wear and tear
A really valuable card should be in near-pristine condition. If you have a card lying around in a box for years and it was something you played with, it likely won’t look great. Alternatively, a card that has stayed in the pack, or you moved directly from the pack to a protective card seal, will likely be in much better condition. Use and aging can quickly bring the value of a card down, but unfortunately, so can poor print quality. Sometimes, the manufacturer had a printing issue that led to imperfect borders, a mistake you should be aware of when buying cards or sending your own for grading.
Look at the Cards History
Depending on the card, you can monitor the sales history of a specific version of a card, the prices it has gone for, and the last time someone sold it. Sometimes, you may be able to probe further and see the specific selling history of the unique card you’re looking at, who traded it, and how much the seller bought it for.
Finding the right ways to know if your trading card is valuable is an important step in entering this hobby and getting money out of it if you’re so inclined. However, it’s important to mention that you could get deceived even when something looks valuable. People like to scam and post fake cards or hide the actual damage on a card when selling it—staying safe when trading cards means sticking to reputable sellers and grading companies.