Sports card collecting is a cherished hobby, but the market has experienced a decline in value. Why do sports cards lose value? Oversupply, lack of authenticity, and changing tastes among collectors are contributing factors. Player’s injuries, the market collapses and prospect players don’t work out. However, not all cards lose value and in fact, most can rise in value with the right research.
This article will explore the reasons behind this trend and provide insights into how collectors can protect their investments.
We’ll also examine the impact of the pandemic on the sports card market and the future of this once-thriving industry. So, as a sports card collector, investor, or enthusiast, stay ahead of the curve by reading on.
In this ever-changing market, it’s essential to understand the trends and protect your investments.
So, let’s delve into why sports cards are losing value and what you can do to mitigate risk.
Why Are Sports Cards Losing Value?
One of the main reasons for the decline in sports card values is oversupply. Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in the number of companies producing sports cards and the number of cards.
It has resulted in an oversupply of cards, which has driven down the value of many cards. As a result, collectors are now overwhelmed with the number of options available and less willing to pay premium card prices.
For example, in 2020 alone, PSA received over 6.5 million cards for grading, almost double the number of cards received in 2019.
2. Lack of Authenticity:
Another factor contributing to the decline in sports card values is the need for more authenticity in the market. With the rise of online marketplaces, it has become easier for counterfeiters to sell fake cards.
It is leading to a decline in trust among collectors—especially those who are now more cautious about buying cards.
In addition, many collectors have lost by purchasing cards and later found fake or altered, leading to a loss of confidence in the market.
For example, in an article published by ESPN in February 2021, the FBI has seen an increase in counterfeit sports memorabilia cases over the past few years, which includes sports cards.
The article notes that the FBI’s art theft program has seized thousands of counterfeit cards and other memorabilia items in recent years, leading to arrests and prosecutions of individuals involved in producing and distributing these items.
3. Changing Tastes:
Finally, changing tastes among collectors have also contributed to the decline in sports card values. Older collectors interested in vintage cards and memorabilia have traditionally dominated the hobby. To understand why sports cards lose value you need to know which sport, player, team has the biggest market share.
However, as younger collectors have entered the market, their tastes have shifted towards modern players and technology, which has led to a decline in demand for vintage cards and an oversupply of modern cards, resulting in a decrease in overall card values.
The rise of digital collectibles has also diverted attention and spending away from traditional sports cards.
For example, there’s been more interest in alternative asset classes, such as cryptocurrency and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which may contribute to the decline in the sports card market. The article cites a survey of sports card collectors and investors that found that 39% of respondents were interested in cryptocurrency, while only 29% were interested in sports cards.
Are Sports Cards Becoming a Bad Investment?
Based on current market trends, sports cards can be a good investment if done wisely. For example, iconic players like Michael Jordan and LeBron James and Hall of Famers like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle have seen steady value growth. Additionally, vintage cards, which are rarer and evoke nostalgia, have proven to be more resilient during market downturns.
However, it’s essential to do thorough research, buy from reputable sellers, and focus on iconic players and cards to avoid overpaying. Properly storing cards and keeping them in good condition is also crucial for protecting their value. The sports card market has seen cycles of booms and busts, so patience is critical.
It comes down to conducting research; here are three examples of where you can start:
1. Analyzing historical sales data:
Collectors can look at the sales data of specific cards, such as the PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) Sports Market Report, to track the cards’ performance over time and identify trends. For example, the PSA SMR showed that a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sold for $5,200 in 2005 and more than $2 million in 2018.
2. Tracking news and events:
Collectors can stay informed about news and events related to the sports industry and specific players to identify potential investment opportunities. For example, when LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, the value of his rookie cards increased.
3. Consulting with experts:
Collectors can seek the advice of experts in the sports trading card industry, such as appraisers and dealers, to gain insights into the market and specific cards. For example, in an interview with CNBC, David Hobson of PWCC Marketplace advised collectors to focus on investing in iconic players, such as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle, and to avoid overpaying for cards that may not hold their value.
While the pandemic has caused the initial decline, followed by a surge in demand, the future of the sports card market is uncertain.
Therefore, it’s essential to stay informed about market trends and changes in the industry by following news outlets, forums, and social media accounts related to sports card collecting. Investing in sports cards can be a fun and potentially profitable hobby, but it’s crucial to approach it with caution and a long-term perspective.
Is the Decline in Sports Card Values a Temporary Trend or a Permanent Shift?
When a market becomes oversupplied or oversaturated, they experience different challenges than when there’s a low supply and high demand. The decline in sports card value is temporary because demand will catch up once supply is more normalized. Here’s what’s happening in this current environment:
1. Oversupply leads to lower prices for goods and services.
In other words, sports card providers like Panini will cut back on their production until the market stabilizes, so sports card wax like Mosaic, Prizm, and Select have long periods between their releases.
2. Reduced profit margins can result from a decrease in prices.
Dealers at card shows or card eBay resellers will need help moving sports trading cards with low demand and need to properly lower their prices to liquid. Often the lower prices will cut into profit margins making sellers more selective on what they are looking to resell, and display cases will look barer.
3. Increased competition can occur as producers fight to sell their products.
When demand is at an all-time high, there’s a need for supply to meet the demand. However, now that demand has diminished, there needs to be more supply to meet demand. So, making the environment more competitive, dealers and eBay resellers look to outbid each other to win the limited customers available.
4. Investors may be less likely to invest in an oversupplied market.
Companies like Fanatics and PSA will pull back on their budgets to invest in an over-saturated market. So, while we have yet to see this year, it’s possible in the future; this will contribute to more of a decline.
5. Persistent oversupply can lead to decreased production, lower employment, and reduced economic activity.
While sports trading cards are a hobby, there are a few folks who buy and sell sports cards full-time. It’s their livelihood, and when production slows down, it can cause that full-time endeavor to shift as priorities change over time.
Which Sports Cards Have Experienced the Biggest Decline in Value?
Basketball and football cards have seen the most significant decline. Sometimes buying this category of cards you’ll experience the sports cards lose value.
The decline has been particularly severe for modern players whose cards were investing heavily in but underperformed.
According to a report from Sports Collectors Daily, the PSA 10 1986 Fleer Basketball cards of Michael Jordan have dropped in value by more than 50% from their peak in early 2021.
The decline caused overproduction, grading controversies, and shifting of investment money into other assets.
How Can Collectors Protect Themselves from Losing the Value of Their Sports Cards?
Keep cards in good condition and buy from reputable sellers.
Collectors can protect themselves by keeping their cards in good condition and buying from reputable sellers.
They can also do their research, focusing on iconic players and cards, avoiding overpaying, and storing their cards correctly.
Collectors should be aware of the grading process, the importance of card conditions, and the trends and shifts in the market.
According to a Forbes article, collectors can protect themselves by researching, focusing on iconic players and cards, avoiding overpaying, and storing them properly.
Are Vintage Sports Cards More or Less Susceptible to Value Loss Than Modern Cards?
Vintage cards are often considered more valuable due to their scarcity, historical significance, and the fact that many players are no longer active.
Due to rarity and nostalgia, they are less susceptible to value loss than modern cards.
However, the value of vintage cards can still fluctuate depending on market trends and demand.
According to a report from CNBC, vintage cards have been more resilient than modern cards during the recent decline in the sports card market.
What impact has the pandemic had on the sports card market?
The pandemic caused an initial decline in the sports card market, but a surge followed it in demand.
Many collectors turned to the hobby during the pandemic, leading to a significant price increase for specific cards.
The pandemic also disrupted the supply chain and production of new cards, leading to scarcity and higher prices for specific products.
According to a report from Sports Collectors Daily, the pandemic has fueled demand for sports cards and contributed to a surge in prices for some cards.
Can Sports Card Values Rebound, or Will They Continue to Decline?
Values can rebound, but research and patience are fundamental.
Similar to how sports cards lose value they can also rebound quickly, but research and patience are fundamental.
Historical data shows that the sports card market goes through cycles of booms and busts.
The market can be unpredictable, but collectors who do their research and invest wisely can still see significant returns on their investments.
It is difficult to predict future market trends, but historical data shows that sports card values have gone through cycles of booms and busts.
Are Any Sports Cards That Have Increased in Value Despite the Overall Trend?
While the overall trend has declined in card values, some cards have continued to increase. Baseball and hockey have seen some increases.
Vintage cards of legendary players such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle have seen significant increases in value.
Some modern players experienced a surge in demand and prices.
According to a report from Sports Collectors Daily, some vintage cards, such as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, have continued to increase in value during the recent downturn in the market.
What Is the Future of the Sports Card Market, and How Can Collectors Stay Ahead of the Curve?
The future of the sports card market is uncertain, but trends suggest continued growth in certain areas.
The market will likely shift towards rare and unique cards featuring players from emerging sports and markets. Especially, when sports cards lose value it’s important to know which will lose the least amount.
Collectors can stay ahead of the curve by staying informed about market trends and changes in the industry and by being patient and investing wisely.
It is difficult to predict the future of the sports card market. Still, collectors can stay informed about market trends and changes in the industry by following news outlets, forums, and social media accounts related to sports card collecting.
Where The Future of Sports Trading Cards Is Going
In conclusion, the why sports cards lose value and the market has experienced a decline in value is due to oversupply, lack of authenticity, and changing tastes among collectors. However, this trend may be temporary, and the market may stabilize once supply is more normalized.
As a sports card collector, investor, or enthusiast, it’s vital to stay ahead of the curve and understand the trends in the market. In addition, protecting your investments and mitigating risk are crucial in this ever-changing industry.
This article has explored the reasons behind the decline in sports card values and provided insights into how collectors can navigate the current market. As the industry evolves, staying informed and adapting to thrive in the sports card-collecting world is essential.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:
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- How to Sell Sports Cards on Online (2023)
Sports card hobby enthusiast (originally from New York) who can’t resist ripping cards and eating donuts on the weekends. Passionate about all collecting, have been collecting football cards and other memorabilia for half a decade. Enjoys going to card shows, visiting card shops and getting to know other collectors. Owner of NOWCollectibles a collectible e-commerce business – online card shop for buying affordable cards helping connect sports fans with their favorite teams and players. Follow my personal IG to see PC: @NowCollects See my latest articles here: NowCollectibles Articles (thinksportscards.com)