JUNE 7, 2019 | 3 MIN READ
Are Baseball Cards Valuable?
We get baseball cards brought into our pawnshop to sell at least once a week, with their owners hoping they’ve hit the jackpot and have at least one that’s valuable. The truth? It hardly ever happens.
Baseball cards are one of those ‘collectible’ items that just didn’t stand the test of time. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, so many cards were produced and sold that the market was flooded and values plummeted.
This made most baseball cards worth pennies, some even less.
Nope. It’s probably not.
Even popular players and their rookie cards are still worth next to nothing. Literally. Nothing.
It’s not all doom and gloom with baseball cards, though. There still are a handful of cards out there that are valuable and worth buying and selling. Some cards selling as high as $150K! Let’s take a look at these cards and what makes them special.
What makes a baseball card valuable?
Basic baseball cards that you can get in a pack are typically not valuable. Like we said before, there are so many of them made that the value is just not there. But there are some features of baseball cards that can significantly increase their value:
If you’re wanting to get big money for your baseball cards, then they better be graded. Not only graded, but graded high and by a reputable company. Companies like PSA, SCG, and Beckett will take your baseball cards, determine their condition, put them in a plastic slab and put their name as well as a grade on the card. This proves that the card is authentic, and that it is in a specific condition according to their grading scale. If you have a valuable card, it needs to be graded. Grading an already valuable card can significantly increase its value.
Another way to increase a cards value is to have an autographed card. Most cards that sell for a premium have been autographed and graded. These cards are rarer to find than others, and this makes them much more valuable! If you have the right card that is autographed and graded, you could be looking at BIG MONEY. Some signed cards will sell for HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars.
Before you get all excited because you know you have a rookie card at home, please keep reading. The RIGHT rookie cards are valuable. Not just rookie cards. Rookie cards of big name players are usually worth more money. Combine this with an autograph and a graded condition, you’ve got an amazing find! Please keep in mind, although rookie cards are worth more, unless they are specifically collectible for a particular reason, they’re probably still not worth a ton of money. Raw rookie cards that are ungraded will still sell for $10-$15 each. But not thousands. The best cards are the cards that have ALL three of these qualities. Graded, signed, and specific cards.
Which Baseball Cards Should I Be Looking For?
There’s really no ‘specific’ players to be on the lookout for. Obviously popular players are going to have more valuable cards than a fairly unknown player, but no single player sticks out as having all their cards be valuable.
If you have a ton of baseball cards at home and want to know whether they are valuable or not, the first step would be to look through them for rookie cards. Take out ever card that is of a player from their rookie season and place them aside. For most players, their rookie card will be their most valuable card, so this will be a good place to start.
Once you’ve taken all the rookie cards you have, then you can start looking up their values. It’s as simple as going to eBay.com and typing in the card to their search.
**Important! When you are looking up values on ebay, make sure you click ‘sold listings’. this will only give you search results for cards that have sold on ebay. you never want to use the value of a card that is just listed on ebay. i can list any card on ebay for $200k. it doesn’t mean it’s worth it. sold listings are the key!
When you’re searching through sold listings on eBay for your card, try to find your specific card and get a range of prices for it. This way you can get a good average of what it’s selling for.
Baseball Cards are not quite as valuable as everyone may think. Typically, the only cards that are valuable are cards that have been graded, autographed or a player’s rookie card. If you have all three of these qualities on a card, you might be looking at some serious money!
The odds of you having a rare card that’s worth a ton of money are slim. Not trying to be a Debbie-Downer here, but it’s true. That shouldn’t stop you from looking, though. eBay is the perfect place to check the value of your cards, or you can always bring your cards to us and we’ll check them out. If you bring your cards by the pawnshop, try to pick out the rookie cards and just bring them ;)