Join Our Newsletter

“Collectors Corner” – Investments Of Sports Cards And Memorabilia

(“Collectors Corner” by Rich Mueller, Managing Editor of Sports Collectors Daily) – When the economy began to suffer in 2008, a friend said he suspected that we would see a “flight to quality” in both the stock market and in the sports card and memorabilia market.  During tough times, safe harbors like high grade vintage cards and items associated with Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and a few other icons usually do become more popular with those who have an eye on investing as well as collecting.  Scarce, one-of-one graded cards fit in that arena too.

Some shift their interest to blue chip items because the prices dip just enough to allow them to finally own them.  Others buy because it’s a relatively safe place for your money to be.  When economic conditions are static or favorable, the demand for those things usually outpaces supply by a pretty good margin and that’s why prices eventually float upward.

Collecting, though, is supposed to be more about fun than anything and the last sixteen months or so seem to have been a pretty good time to chase after items that have suffered a bit.  The pool of disposable income that folks have had available to put into cards, autographs and other items shrunk and many lots of older cards that weren’t resting in mint-graded slabs became pretty good bargains.  It’s been a pretty good time to buy things you’ve always wanted to add to your collection that used to be more expensive.  The price drops haven’t been catastrophic, of course, but some items just aren’t bringing what they once did.       

It’s still true on many levels.  People continue to watch their wallets and there are bargains to be had in large lots of older cards.  PSA 7-level type vintage sets are a good buy now.  Older regional sets have, in many instances, been much cheaper than in the past.  Hall of Famer autographs have been available at very attractive levels—even oversized photos that would be the centerpiece of any hobby room can be had for well under $100.  Even once-strong sets like the 1986-87 Fleer basketball issue have seen significant price drops. If you have always wanted to own an ultra high-grade Jordan rookie card or complete set but couldn’t afford one, this might be the time.

It’s a good time to do some research.  Look up past auction results and compare what items are going for now, then pick a market that looks soft.  Chances are it won’t stay that way for much longer.   

Rich Mueller is Managing Editor of Sports Collectors Daily, updated Monday through Friday with fresh sports collecting stories culled from news sources across North America.

News by Company & Category

Featured Auctions

(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
(*) Alt Liquid Auctions: May 10 - May 23
(*) Fanatics Auctions: May 10 - May 23
(*) Goldin: May 14 - May 23
(*) MeiGray Auctions: May 1 - May 23
(*) RR Auction: May 2 - May 23
(*) 44 & More Auctions: May 12 - May 26
(*) Heritage Auctions: May 12 - May 26
(*) Icons Auctions: May 20 - May 26
(*) Pristine Auction: May 1 - May 26
(*) Pristine Auction: May 20 - May 26
(*) PWCC Marketplace: May 16 - May 26
(*) Queen City Cards: April 22 - May 26
(*) Auction of Champions: May 23 - May 29
(*) Goldin: May 21 - May 30
(*) Sirius Sports Cards: May 20 - May 30
(*) Goldin: April 19 - June 1
(*) 44 & More Auctions: May 12 - June 2
(*) Collector Connection: May 15 - June 2
(*) Heritage Auctions: May 19 - June 2
Icons Auctions: May 27 - June 2
Pristine Auction: May 27 - June 2
(*) PWCC Marketplace: May 23 - June 2
(*) Queen City Cards: May 1 - June 2
(*) MeiGray Auctions: May 1 - June 3-4
Fanatics Auctions: May 24 - June 3-6
Auction of Champions: May 30 - June 5
(*) Clean Sweep Auctions: May 2 - June 5
Alt Liquid Auctions: May 24 - June 6
Goldin: May 28 - June 6
(*) MeiGray Auctions: May 15 - June 6
(*) Gotta Have Rock & Roll: May 15 - June 7
(*) Goldin: May 10 - June 8
Iconic Auctions: June 1 - June 8
(*) 44 & More Auctions: May 12 - June 9
(*) Grey Flannel Auctions: May 20 - June 9
Pristine Auction: June 3- June 9
PWCC Marketplace: May 30 - June 9
Classic Auctions: May 24 - June 11
RR Auction: May 24 - June 12
(*) Heritage Auctions: May 23 - June 13
Sirius Sports Cards: June 3 - June 13
(*) Goldin: May 20 - June 15
(*) 44 & More Auctions: May 12 - June 16
Fanatics Auctions: June 7 - June 17-20
Alt Liquid Auctions: June 7 - June 20
PWCC Marketplace: June 6 - June 20
RR Auction: May 24 - June 20
2024 Full Auction Schedule