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The Sports Card Bulletin

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Baseball cards have been manufactured since the 1800’s and have touched the hearts of millions of collecting enthusiasts young and old. We'll let you in on a little secret, the key to this hobby is for you to collect what YOU like! There are as many different types of baseball collectors as there are types of baseball cards…which type are you? Some collectors take the hobby very seriously and invest a lot of money and time on their prized baseball card collections. Other collectors enjoy the hobby equally as much and invest much less money and time.

Still others love the hobby so much that they pursue a career in baseball cards! Whichever type of collector you are we are sure that if you haven’t already, you will soon discover that baseball card collecting is a hobby you can enjoy for life. We happen to think that once you discover how fun it is to  trade baseball cards with other collectors, you'll really be hooked on the hobby! Baseball card trading has been around as long as the cards and is a great way to get rid of cards that you don’t want for cards that you do.

 

Check out a valuable 2006 baseball card. What do you think?  Was it a mistake or a ploy to sell more cards?

We've put together a list of sports card shops that recommend our site.

Are you looking for information about football card collecting? We've got that too, although, once you understand the basics of collecting one sport you'll pretty much have it for the others.

Where do you get the baseball cards?
Aside from trading baseball cards there are several other ways to get the baseball cards that you want including:

 

Hobby Card Shops
These shops specialize in selling sports cards. There are many advantages to hobby shops. Usually you will find an excellent selection of cards and a knowledgeable shop owner to learn from. It’s also nice to see the cards up close to get ideas about what you want to collect. Card shops get “hobby” boxes and packs that often contain more and better baseball cards. Another advantage of buying your cards from a hobby shop is that they will often trade with you or buy cards back from you that you don’t want.


As of 2011 there will be only one company that makes baseball cards of current MLB players:  Topps


Retail stores
Stores like Kmart, Target and Walmart. These places can also have a pretty good selection of cards. Keep in mind they may have packs with fewer cards and less rare cards. However, sometimes there are some very rare baseball cards that are primarily found in retail stores! Take for example this years 2006 Topps set. The packs purchased at Wal Mart had a very valuable card in it, card number 297 Alex Gordon currently sells for between $2000-$4000. These packs were specifically made for Wal-Mart and are called Wal-Mart exclusives. One down side to the retail stores is that they will not be interested in buying or trading any cards with you.

Baseball Card Shows
Card shows can be a lot of fun. Groups of shop owners and baseball card collectors get together to buy, sell, and trade cards. You can go just as a customer or when you have a big enough collection you can get a table and sell some of your cards. Check with your local hobby shop for the shows nearest you. You can also locate baseball card shows in most good sports card magazines. Beckett magazine lists all of the card shows by State in the back of each monthly issue. You can search our list of Baseball Card Shows.

The Internet
Ebay and many other auction sites can be a good place to purchase cards, just make sure you are familiar with how the auction process works. There are also sites such as thepit.com where you can participate in a stock market type of format, only the commodity is sports cards. Etopps.com is another online card buying/selling tool that sells both digital and real cards. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of online sports card shops. Naxcom.com is another popular site to purchase sports cards. As with anything you buy via the Internet it’s good to at least know the reputation of who you are buying from. You’ll also want to keep in mind the shipping charges when buying your cards online.

Although the Internet has provided baseball card collectors with seemingly unlimited access to buy just about every baseball card imaginable, it's also provided an amazingly effective tool for baseball card trading enthusiasts.

The Current State Of Shipping Baseball Cards When Trading On-line
There's been a wave of speculation lately over the long-term viability of the U.S. Postal Service. Burdened with debts of at least $10 billion, and facing operating losses of $200 billion over the next decade, the Post Office--which has been in business since Benjamin Franklin helped to establish it in 1775--is clearly on the ropes in the digital age. But its loss would be calamitous for those of us who collect and trade sports cards as a hobby.

Most, if not all, baseball card collectors start out as young kids with a passion. Usually it's for one sport or another, but I remember once having trading cards for the first Star Wars movie in the 1970s, and for Grease when it came out in the theaters. These cards were, and still are, a way of keeping something that matters to us--whatever it might be--close at hand.

As with any collectible item, though, we end up looking for something new that we don't already have. We do this by trading things that we already have (but don't want) for other things that we want (but don't already have). And the Postal Service allows us to trade with others from around the world. 

The trading of sports cards, whether for fun or for profit, depends on the availability of a post office. Shipping cards from one city to another, via regular mail, can cost anywhere from a dollar or so, up to more than $12.00 for a standard-sized box that holds 800 cards. These things can become heavy when they're sent out in bulk.

In many cases, the monetary value of the cards being shipped is equal to, or even less than, the postage that is needed to send them out. And every card trader has horror stories about the package that got lost after they sent it out, or the envelope that came open in transit, or the disappointment they felt when a promised parcel never arrived. But we generally chalk it up to experience and move on to the next trade as quickly as possible.

Trading cards through the mail allows us to build our card collections, but it serves another purpose, too. It offers the comfort of knowing that the card collecting hobby extends beyond our immediate surroundings, into places that are both near where we live and far, far away. Card shops, especially, rely on the Postal Service to send their goods out to collectors across the country and around the world. These shops are already few and far between, and many of them would be forced out of business without the services that the Postal Service provides.

Some collectors, who deal in valuable cards with a high "book value," would use higher-priced services like Fed Ex, if they don't already. They would find the peace of mind that a tracking number brings, and revel in the reduced wait time brought about through the wonders of overnight delivery. But other collectors--who already question if they spend too much on postage costs--will just stop making trades if the Postal Service ever goes away. And the hobby itself would be diminished as a result.

All is not yet lost, but lasting solutions to this problem need to be found, and soon. 



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