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How to Value Sports Cards

One of the most common questions we get is “how do I find the value of my sports cards?”

Let’s start with the end goal in mind: what has the same item, in a similar condition, recently sold for? We take a very similar approach to pricing when buying (or selling) a house, car or anything else of value. Figuring out what the same item in a similar condition has recently sold for is the best way to determine the value of anything.

**Side-note: sports cards have a tendency to accumulate sentimental value. Sports cards can bring back memories of childhood, collecting, favorite players, teams, events, etc. This article is about figuring out the monetary value of your collection. Only after figuring out the monetary value, can you make a decision on what price you would be comfortable selling the collection for.**

If the sentimental value of your collection exceeds the monetary value, don’t sell! You could “sit on it” and hope the value increases over time, or just stop thinking about selling and enjoy your collection. This hobby is supposed to be fun, not stressful.

How To Value Sports Cards - Step by Step

Step 1: Find a card that you would like to find the value of. For this example, we will use this card.

Step 2: Figure out the manufacturer (Topps, Bowman, Fleer, etc).

This is usually designated on the back of the card. For this card, the marking is T.C.G (Topps Chewing Gum).

Step 3: Figure out what year your card is from.

  • The year a card was printed is typically the year after the last year of recorded stats on the back of the card. It is also helpful to note the card number, in this case it is #302. If all else fails, take your best guess and start typing years or the card number into google. Ex: 1956 Topps Sandy Koufax, 1957 Topps Sandy Koufax, Sandy Koufax #302 until you find a photo of your card.

Step 3: Honestly assess the condition of the card. These are the most important areas to take into account:

  • Centering
  • Corners - sharp, rounded, creased
  • Surface wear - scratching, dents, divots, bumps
  • Any marks or print defects
  • Any creases

Step 4: Search eBay for the card you have “1957 Topps Sandy Koufax.”

To find the value of sports cards, there is no better source than eBay. eBay will show you exactly what a particular card in a variety of conditions has recently sold for.

Step 5: Check the box on the left that says “Sold Listings.”

  • This will provide you with the prices this card has recently sold for.

Step 6: Match the condition of a recently sold card to the card that you have.

It is enticing to look for the highest value possible, which is typically a graded PSA 9 or 10. If your card is ungraded, it is best to find a recently sold card that is ungraded and in a similar condition to your card. There are expenses and time (usually 3+ months) involved in the grading process. If you would like to attempt to submit the card(s) for grading yourself, you can visit www.psacard.com for more information.

I always recommend getting familiar with grading standards before you submit cards. You can see PSA's grading standards in detail here >> PSA Grading Standards

**Side-note: we typically only grade star cards that we believe will achieve a grade of PSA 7 or higher. If you have pre-1975 star cards we think we would grade, we will use the retail value of a graded card that matches yours to calculate our offer.**

In this case we can expect to sell this card for around $67. We all want the higher price tag, but why would anyone pay more when there is the same card in a similar condition out there for less?

Step 7: Log your results and repeat!

If you have done all of the steps effectively, you should have a pretty good idea of the value of your card.

1957 Topps Sandy Koufax - $67

If you get stuck, give us a call or send us an email and we would be happy to help!

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How To Value Sports Cards