Determining the Value of Old Baseball Cards

HOW DO I GO ABOUT DETERMINING THE VALUE OF OLD BASEBALL CARDS?

Whether it’s something you inherited or pulled from the closet after years, it’s always exciting to discover the value of old baseball cards. While there’s no definitive method for coming up with a price for old or rare sports cards, TonyeTrade is happy to present the following information to help you make the most informed decisions possible.

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FINDING A SOURCE WITH INTEGRITY

When it comes to the value of old baseball cards, there are unfortunately dishonest or unscrupulous individuals who look to take advantage of those with less knowledge. TonyeTrade is proud to have established a reputation for fair and honest dealings, and for paying top dollar for both ungraded and graded cards. If you are looking to buy or sell valuable sports cards, gain peace of mind by contacting TonyeTrade.

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BOOK VALUE VS. MARKET VALUE

Looking to a price guide like Beckett or Tuff Stuff can give you a basic idea of what cards are worth, but it can also be a little misleading. It’s important to consider the market for the items in question. A better method to determine the price your cards might fetch on the open market is looking to online marketplaces like eBay. With eBay, you can check the value of recent sales fairly easily:

Go to ebay.com.

In the Search for anything field, enter a description of your item (i.e. Mickey Mantle rookie card), and then hit Enter.

Make sure your item appears in the search results.

Go to the left-hand sidebar, and from the Show only section, select Sold listings.This will filter results to show the final price of completed sales on eBay.com, and should give you a better idea of the sum your item could realistically fetch.

DETERMIING THE CONDITION OF SPORTS CARDS

Beyond scarcity, condition is one of the greatest determining factors of the value of old baseball cards. Looking for wear and damage is something you can do on your own, and will give you a good idea if there are any issues that might affect the price of the items you’re hoping to sell. To find any wear and damage, look closely at four areas of your sports cards:

Corners

These should be sharp and well defined. As you evaluate the corners of your cards, look carefully for fraying, rounding off, and tears.

Edges

Examine the edge of your card straight on. Damage could include imperfections in the finish, dents, or wear due to improper handling.

Surface

Check the surface of your card for any bends and creases, as well as any areas where the finish is imperfect. Also check for defects from when the card was originally printed.

Centering

The older the card, the less precise the equipment used to print it. This can sometimes lead to cards being printed off-center on the stock. Check the borders to ensure the width is the same on all four sides.

Print issues

Production errors such as marks or imperfections.


SERVICES FOR GRADED CARDS

While the above methods for checking the value of old baseball cards are important for your own knowledge, they might not help much on the open market. For that, most savvy collectors look to grading services. These services, for a fee, will evaluate your cards and assign them a grade — which will impact the price. The most reputable grading services are:

Beckett Grading Services (BGS)
Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)
Sportscard Guaranty (SGC)

Generally speaking, you ship your cards to the services of choice, and then they evaluate the items and assign them a standard grade, from Gem Mint to Poor. Graded cards can almost be like a commodity, in that there are often accepted values for certain cards of a specific grade.


If you have sports collectibles you are interested in selling please fill in the form below.