The Hobby is Still Reaching Record Prices.
In 2022, Sports card collecting attracts some very serious players, who usually refer to collecting as simply “The Hobby.” In the last couple of years, there has been a resurgence in interest in “The Hobby”. Four of the most expensive card sales ever have taken place in the last two years. The most valuable card ever was sold is Honus Wagner (T206 SGC 3), which was sold for $6.6 Million in August 2021, smashing the previous record price by $1 million!
An Overview of the Sports Card Market
It was not very long ago that people regarded collecting trading cards as nothing more than a hobby. Innocent enough, but certainly not an occupation to be taken seriously.
However, in 2019 people woke up to the potential profits. The sports card trading market around the globe had grown to $13 billion. What is more, ResearchAndMarkets.com has predicted that this figure could be $98 billion just five years from now.
Many people credit the COVID pandemic for the resurgence in card collecting. It is said that people in quarantine had time to re-establish a connection with their old hobbies. Not everyone shares this opinion, they believe that cards were steadily growing in value before the pandemic.
One person who feels that the connection with COVID has been overstated is Josh Luber, the founder of StockX. They are a online marketplace for luxury sneakers and handbags, which was valued at $1 million in 2019.
Luber is so optimistic about the market that he has just launched a new trading card company. His new company, Zerocool, produces trading cards featuring icons to create a market sector and expand the market.
A more established player in the market is Goldin Auctions, which is the most influential marketplace for cards and other collectables. The company was founded by Ken Goldin, who has successfully sold over $1 billion in cards and memorabilia.
Recent Record-Breaking Sports Card Sales
What Are Sports Cards?
Sports cards is a general term that refers to a trading card with a sporting theme. Collecting sports cards was among the very earliest kind of collecting to take place. They generally contain a player’s photograph on one side and text on the other. Most sports, especially ones played in the USA, have been featured on sports cards.
Sports cards value
Sportscard collecting is an entertaining activity that can start with as little as a couple of dollars and develop into something much more. The primary goal is to obtain cards that will eventually rise in value. Some cards acquired or sold in this manner are now valued at several million dollars.
Any collector needs to understand that purchasing card packs is an expensive endeavor. While in the past, they cost a matter of cents. Specific sports cards are now regarded as works of art rather than just collectables, with a consequent leap in their value. For example, a T206 Honus Wagner card sold for $6.6 million in August 2021.
Understanding Why a Card Can Become Valuable
Knowledge of the history of cards is an essential tool for the collector. For example, particular factors made the Honus Wagner trading card more valuable.
While most ATC sports cards were manufactured in massive numbers, over 4,200 Cobb cards are to be found — only a few Wagner cards were produced. They are exceedingly hard to locate, especially if they are in better condition. That’s why they’re so pricey.
In 2021, the price of T206 Wagner’s in any condition increased significantly. One sold for $3.75 million in May, while another sold for $6.6 million in August, breaking the previous record of $3 million.
There were several eye-popping record sales for sports cards in 2021. The top five most valuable sports cards ever sold were sold in 2021. The year 2021 was a record-breaking year for the Hobby.
eBay Trading Card Trends
The first annual “State of Trading Cards” study, which was issued in January 2021, provides more proof of the comeback of the trading card sector.
The popularity of trading cards on eBay is expanding at an unprecedented rate, and this trend is expected to continue. Sports, collectable card games, and non-sport trading cards had a rise of 142% in domestic sales in 2020. With more than four million more cards sold in 2020 than in the previous year, according to The State of Trading Cards study. This surge illustrates precisely how much interest there has been in this area and the cultural foothold it has gained in becoming popular.
Never before has the popularity and value of trading cards seen such a dramatic surge in such a short period. According to the National Basketball Association, gross sales of basketball cards have increased by more than 300 per cent in the last year. And just in a previous couple of weeks, there have been cards on the market that have sold for more than $500,000. The collectable card game and sportscard industries combined on the marketplace.
Last year there was a significant increase in the number of people collecting and flipping trading cards, primarily due to people remaining at home and looking for new ways to pass time. This led them to trading cards. At the same time, there was a shortage of sports programming on television. In addition, new collectors are entering the trading card market to diversify their financial portfolios by adding another route of investing.
Global Growth of the Market
Based on the patterns provided on eBay, we can observe that the Hobby has had substantial growth around the world in 2021, not just in the United States.
Sales of trading cards to customers in other countries:
Industry Predictions for 2022
Cards that are not traditionally collected will continue to be dominant.
Cards that are a little further off the beaten road, yet make sense in terms of prior popularity and low population, will continue to be the most popular in the long run.
There will be a strong emphasis on mainstream cards — such as the 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer. Entenmann’s Jordan and Interlake Jordan cards and cards such as the Bumblebee Tuna “The Rock” will continue to shine brightly in the Hobby as will Pokémon cards.
Don’t forget about the advent of collectable card games such as Pokémon, which will continue to increase in popularity.
Invest in Vintage Basketball Cards
Basketball cards grew by 373 per cent in 2020, thanks to the success of new players such as Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson. However, individuals who made money on ultra-modern basketball cards will choose to reinvest their riches in older. Vintage basketball cards from the 1980s and 1990s will become a more evident and reasonable investment when population reports are available, and card grader backlogs are cleared.
Purchasing Lower Grades
Buyers will make concessions on the best cards to be able to possess them all. As cards rated 8-10 become increasingly out of reach for many collectors, anticipate cards graded 1-3 to see a more significant increase. It is the only way to receive the “art” despite the condition.
This downgrading has already been confirmed to be accurate in early 2021. The 1986 Fleer PSA 1 Rookies of Michael Jordan, sold for up to $1,600 in November, are reportedly selling in the $4,000-$5,000 level.
Trading Cards as an Investment
Back in the 1980s, children saw card collecting as a harmless recreational activity with no real intention of gaining anything.
However, now the generation of children has grown up to be middle-aged investors, this is making a resurgence in popularity. Except for this time, individuals see it as a serious investment rather than a recreational activity. This new interest is because sports card investment has offered traders exceptionally spectacular profits.
Sports Cards v The Stock Market
For example, the S&P 500 is often used to assess the stock market’s overall performance. If you had made a $10,000 investment in this index on December 31, 2007, you would have $71,000 in your account today. This return is pretty good.
However, consider the following.
If you had put the same $10,000 into an index for trading cards, you would have made a whopping $165,000, a spectacular return on your investment.
There certainly isn’t enough money to live off of in retirement. However, it will prepare you for a much more comfortable living and may even allow you to appreciate the better things in life.
In addition to taking the average market returns into account, you could quickly raise those profits even more by putting a little more work into picking the correct cards.
When first released in 1975, the Honus Wagner T206 card could be acquired for around $1500. A realistic estimate of the value of that card now is about $6.6 million. That’s over a 400,000 per cent increase in the value of the investment. In the stock market, returns of this magnitude are unfathomable. That may be over 40 years or more, but I am sure you get the point.