As a collector who’s been in the hobby for many years and has over 13,500+ sports trading cards, it’s easy to answer whether someone should start collecting. Is it worth the money, time and effort to collect trading cards these days?
Our article will go over real-world examples, the pros and cons of collecting trading cards, and ten reasons why people collect in the first place. All to help you decide why you should or shouldn’t start collecting.
On a YouTube live stream with one of our favorite sports card content creators ‘Mojo Sports‘. We asked the honest question, ‘Does Sports Cards Keep You Broke?’.
It’s an honest question collector must come to terms with and understand before deciding whether they should start collecting. Mojo’s sports answer was perfect: ‘ No, it’s just a hobby – something we do for fun. Nothing more or nothing less.
Is Collecting Trading Cards a Hobby?
It’s entirely true; collecting sports trading cards is a personal decision, and from a macro perspective, collecting is simply a hobby.
However, some actual benefits and advantages come from this hobby.
Let us highlight a few:
1. Nostalgia: Drives the Sports Trading Hobby
It may remind the collector of their childhood or a favorite sports team. For example, if you grew up in New York and your favorite football team was the Jets because it reminds you of all the times you’ve seen them in person.
2. Enjoyment & Passion: Keeps the Sports Trading Hobby Alive
Some folks may enjoy the aesthetic appeal of the cards, with their colorful designs and images of iconic players. For example, color-match Patrick Mahomes mosaic cards are exciting to look at with red and yellow.
Collecting becomes a habit that’s enjoyable, peaceful, and fun.
3. Price/Value: Gives Balance to the Sports Trading Hobby
Profitability becomes an element that supports the hobby. While collectors aren’t concerned with if the price or value of a trading card goes up, those, who are investing or flipping focus on this aspect.
The value of a card is a combination of its rarity, age, condition, and popularity. Similarly, a card featuring a famous player or team is likely to be more valuable than a card featuring a lesser-known player or team.
The age of a card can also affect its value, with older cards often being more valuable than newer ones.
For example, vintage Football cards (from the 1990s) tend to hold less value than newer cards from 2020 and beyond. So, it largely depends on whether the collector you are selling is looking for vintage cards instead of modern ones.
From collecting for years, we’ve found that collecting trading cards can make a big difference in your personal life and how you feel about yourself.
It’s an excellent opportunity for all ages and is safe, teaching others the benefits of selling, buying, and trading items. We go in-depth on How to Trade Cards Safely Online if you’d want to learn more about it.
Let’s start with the pros and cons of collecting:
- Mental Health: Having a healthy distraction that keeps you active and productive in completing your collection can make you happier.
- Social Life: Planning to attend a trading card show, either locally or out of state, gives you a chance to make life-long connections.
- Personal accomplishment: Completing an entire set feels good because you’ve remained consistent and focused. For example, some collectors look to collect the entire ‘rainbow’ colors of the mosaic collection for a specific football player. Mosaics have different colored Parallels, which makes it fun to get them: Blue, Red, Pink, Purple, Orange, etc.
- Self-Discipline: Learning how to buy cards you like and not overspend and getting them at the value within your budget takes specific skill and negotiation skills, which both take discipline. Here’s a small list of skills you gain from collecting trading cards:
- Sorting/Tracking/Organization: Completing a collection.
- Negotiation: Getting a deal or finding deals.
- Math: Used for pricing or comparing what has sold.
- Financial difficulties: A common misconception is that sports trading cards are cheap and affordable, but times have changed. There are cards worth thousands of dollars; even graded cards can go for hundreds. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and buy cards out of your price range or budget.
- Addictive behavior: Collecting cards can likely turn into a habit that can become obsessive when it’s too much.
Here’s a fellow YouTuber who’s completed his rainbow collection:
9 Reasons Why Collecting Trading Cards Can Help Your Life
If we summarize some of the core reasons folks become a collector and join the collecting community of sports trading cards, it would be these nine different reasons.
- Sense of accomplishment: Adding new and valuable cards to your collection can be satisfying.
- Social Activity: Start conversations and discussions with others who enjoy cards just as much as you do in-person and online.
- Process of Organizing: Increase your attention to detail and help build skills around the organization, sorting, and tracking of the growth of your collection.
- Escapism: Helps you reduce stress and serves as a relaxing activity to do with leisure time.
- Concentration: Improve your focus and exercise your brain in new ways that are stimulating.
- Community: Sense of belonging by making friends or joining groups based on common interests.
- Inspiration & Creativity: Become a source of motivation and creativity as you develop new ideas for displaying or organizing your cards.
- Research: Learning about teams, players, and sports history can help improve your overall knowledge.
- Ownership: You get a sense of responsibility, ownership, and pride as you’ve consistently collected.
How Can Collecting Trading Cards Impact You Financially
When you collect trading cards impacts a person’s finances in various ways.
For example, listing hundreds of cards on eBay or Mercari leads to more sales and can become a supplementary income.
Selling in volume cheap and affordable cards valued between $10 to $25 can bring in a monthly income of an extra $500 to $900. Giving you breathing room to address your bills.
However, it can also be just as dangerous as spending your income on buying sports cards daily; you may end up in debt or ranking up a credit card bill that’s not easy to pay. In addition, it’s straightforward to overspend on platforms like eBay or Mercari online, especially during live auctions like WhatNot.
Lastly, some collectors may find that their hobby leads them to become knowledgeable about the market for trading cards, which could allow them to make informed decisions about buying and selling cards to turn a profit.
Overall, the financial impact of when you collect trading cards will depend on various factors, including the value of the collected cards and the collector’s overall financial goals and situation.
By understanding the principles of supply and demand, collectors and traders can make more informed decisions about buying and selling trading cards.
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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)