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How Much Are Your Baseball Cards Worth

Jul 15, 2008
Collectors can determine the value of your baseball cards by using one of the two popular pricing guides, which are Beckett and Tuffstuff, but this may be a tricky process with both guides have different prices of the same card. However, the majority of collectors use the Beckett pricing guide, which has become the most commonly used guide, so prices are determined by using Becket.

Beckett and Tuffstuff pricing guides will give a high value and a low value for each card, which can be purchased monthly with new issues of their magazines. Currently, they are both offered on-line, which can be subscribe for a monthly fee, but will wanting to sell cards within your collection does not mean that you will receive the same price as the pricing guide suggest. Baseball cards are only worth what collectors or individuals are worth paying for them.

On-line auction sites can also be helpful in determining the price of your baseball cards, but you will soon realize that these cards will normally sell less than the posted low value in these pricing guides. It is important before investing in baseball cards that you research your investment and determine which are the most common cards that tend to hold their value.

The authentication of your collection would involve an independent grading service that will conduct an analysis of the quality and condition of the cards within your collection. Baseball cards are usually graded between one and ten, with ten being the best. Independent grading services will also authenticate any card that contains a signature. The lowest grade and the less valued cards are known as commons. Rookie cards can be valuable also because they are the first official card to be released during the career of an athlete.

Other valuable cards within a collection would be inserts, which are specialty cards that are included within sets that may be autographed, gold leafed, or contain a memoir from a player like a piece of used bat or old batting glove. The core group of cards from a manufacturer that are included in every pack of cards you purchase are known as the base set. Limited edition cards are designed with a particular number assigned to show the order they were released in a manufactured set.

Often older cards manufactured before the 1970s would increase in value. In fact, in the 1950s children would play with baseball cards by flipping them or by putting them in the spokes of bicycle tires. By doing so these cards were often damaged and the supply diminished, but the demand increased as well as their value. The value is once again based upon supply and demand. Like in the 1990s when baseball cards were overly produced and the majority of those cards have little value due to the supply being so great. During the 80s, the notion of baseball cards becoming an investment increased and collectors were encouraged not to touch them by placing them in protective cases, binders, or sleeves. Children were no longer placing cards in their tire spokes either.

Cards still may sell for their book value at cards shops, but it is possible to find some cards selling for less than their listed book values. There are even times when certain cards will be priced higher than the stated book value as was the case with a recent Topps card that featured Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, and President Bush.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about rare coins, stamp collections, and rare collectibles. Follow these links to find the best marketplace for: rare coins, stamp collections, and history of baseball cards.
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