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How to Find the Value of Sports Trading Cards

There are a few different ways to check the value of a sports trading card:

One way is to search for the card on eBay or another online marketplace and see what similar cards are selling for since that’s the value others are willing to pay.

  1. Go to eBay and search for the item you want to check the value.
  2. Click on the “Sold” tab to see a list of sold listings for that item.
  3. Compare the prices of the sold listings to get an idea of the average value of the item.

Another option is to use a pricing guide, such as Beckett or Sportscard Price Guide, which provides values for different cards based on their condition and rarity.

You can also check with local collectors or visit a local card shop to get an idea of the card’s value.

Finally, you can use online resources such as the PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) website, which provides information on the value of different sports cards based on their condition and other factors.

3 Reasons Why Trading Card Values Go Up and Down (Volatility is Normal)

  1. Supply and demand: Depending on the time of the season and how much hype is in the system, trading sports card prices can change. For that reason, there are tools like Sports Card Investor Market X, which help you monitor when prices fluctuate. 
  2. Condition and rarity: The better the card’s condition, the higher the value. PSA, HGA, and SGC are a few examples of grading card services that help you determine your cards’ value. For example, if the corners or centering is off on a particular card, it’ll be worth less. 
  3. Economic factors: When inflationary pressures occur, it isn’t easy to have the extra income you can put aside towards a hobby like collecting sports cards. It’s the same for vendors within the hobby; they increase prices to make up for the lack of volume in sales. 

Many economic factors can impact the value of collectibles and other items. Some common factors include:

  • Inflation: As the general price level of goods and services increases over time, the value of money decreases, which can cause collectibles to appreciate.
  • Interest rates: When interest rates are high, people may be less likely to invest in collectibles because they can get a better return on their money by saving or investing in other assets. 
  • Economic growth: In a strong economy, people may have more disposable income to spend on collectibles, which can cause their value to go up.
  • Economic downturns: During economic uncertainty or recession, people may be less likely to spend money on collectibles, which can cause their value to go down.
  • Global economic conditions: Collectibles may be affected by global economic conditions, such as the strength of foreign currencies or the performance of international markets.

What Increase the Value of a Sports Trading Card

Ask yourself the following questions to determine the worth of your trading card: 

Is the Card Numbered?

Specific cards hold more value than others. For example, a card with a serial number like 1/5, 1/10, or 1/25 is more valuable. 

Some cards do not have serial numbers, whereas others have higher-numbered serial numbers like 1/99, 1/399, 1/460, etc. If you’d like to learn more about why numbered cards are valuable, we wrote an entire article on this. 

Is the Card Autographed?

Also, what makes a sports card valuable is its auto. 

For example, some players may sign cards at public appearances, such as sports conventions or charity events. 

In other cases, getting a trading card autographed may be more complex, such as if the player is retired or no longer signs autographs. 

But especially if the player has retired, it’s even more valuable since it’s challenging to find them. 

  • Leverage personal connections: Reaching out to the player can increase the chances of getting your card autographed and increasing the card’s value overall. 
  • Contact vis team management: Often, you can contact the player through their agent, and they can set up a private signing at a price. 
  • Mail-in autograph service: It’s helpful when players participate in a mail-in autograph service that takes care of your trading cards safely.

Autographs become more valuable when there are fewer of them out there available. 

For example, if a specific player does multiple signings each year, their autograph becomes more available (oversupply), reducing the worth of the trading card. 

Examples of Sports Cards Increasing in Value (5)

Here are a few examples of reasons why a sports trading card could increase in value: 

1. First edition Tom Brady Rookie Card: 

Prizm or Mosaic is valuable due to Brady’s success and popularity as a quarterback. He’s the goat of the NFL and can change entire organizations to be Superbowl winners like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

2. Mint condition Joe Montana Rookie Card:

A rare card is due to its legendary status. For example, Montana’s status as a football legend exceeds expectations. Finding a card like this could be difficult and that’s why trading for cards help make it easier to get these added to your collection. 

3. Rare Lawrence Taylor Autographed card: 

The difficulty in finding this card makes it rare—Taylor’s Hall of Fame career and the scarcity of his autographed cards.

4. Limited edition Peyton Manning Card: 

A highly sought-after set could be valuable due to Manning’s success and the card’s rarity.

Why Grading Cards Forces Appreciation and Increases Their Value

You can also force appreciation on a card by getting it graded through providers such as PSA. 

PSA is a third-party grading service for sports cards and other collectibles. The company uses a 10-point grading scale to evaluate the condition of a card, and they assign it a grade based on that evaluation. The grades range from PSA 1 (poor condition) to PSA 10 (gem mint condition). 

You must send your card to the business for analysis to use the PSA grading service. PSA will next examine the card to ascertain its state and grade. Additionally, the business will protect the card by placing it in a tamper-evident holder and providing identification and grade verification.

You can visit the PSA website to check the grade and worth of your card once it has been graded and sealed. The website offers details about a card’s current market value based on its grade and other considerations. Collectors who want to know the worth of their cards or who wish to buy or trade graded cards may find this helpful.

PSA is one of many card grading services out there. There are numerous others like SGC and HGA. 

Why Grading Is Worth it: Our Example (Grading via HGA)


We saw a trend with the Miami Dolphins football team; they had a rookie player named ‘Jaylen Waddle’ who kept out running each team’s defense. So, we went on eBay to find an ‘Orange Reactive Mosaic’ football card. It sold for less than $5 and had very sharp corners with excellent centering. 

Once we got it in the mail, we went to HGA’s website to sign up for our first-grading service. Within 2-3 weeks after shipping this Orange Reactive Mosaic football card, we got the card back with a 9.5 HGA grade. 

That original card went from being worth $4-$5 to now $50-$75. Over 166% increase value simply by sending it in to get a grade. Of course, we had to pay $21 to HGA for the service; however, the card’s value makes up for it entirely. All of which helps increase the value of a sports trading card and why grading cards is popular. 

Here’s some of the best panini mosaic cards to consider adding to your collection! 

For finding out more ways to identify the value of your cards, look at tools like Market Movers X. We wrote an entire article on the differences between tools like these. Also, here’s a quick less than a minute video which may help: 


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