First Decision – Collect Vintage, Modern or Both?
Collecting vintage can be a lot of fun but many times you will have to buy individual cards, which can get pricey over time. Buying sealed packs and boxes that are old can be expensive, unless you are buying the heavily marketed junk sets from the 80’s and 90’s.
If you’re buying vintage football cards, do an ebay search for the particular cards you want, just make sure you are not bidding or buying the hot teams right now or hot players. For those expensive cards like Tom Brady rookies, focus on buying the sealed packs and boxes. Those are going to yield better results than shelling out $100’s for one card.
If you’re buying modern football cards you can get everything you need at Walmart or other big box grocery stores. Usually right in the checkout lane or in the toys section. However, you will save a bunch of money buying on Amazon. Start your search here. This page has the best sellers, cheapest boxes and free shipping. You’ll probably find a lot of individual cards too. Modern cards seem to have the best resale value, just make sure you resell them while the player is hot.
If you’re going to go for both I would focus on individual cards.
When are Football Cards the Cheapest?
Usually the new sets from the big companies release their football cards in the summer right before the season starts. Think Upper Deck and Fleer. You can pre order a lot of them on Amazon for a discount. My advice though is to buy at the end of the Super Bowl when things have cooled down. You will have less competition for indivdual cards and you will find boxes at retailers like Walmart and Target will be marked down more than 50%!
Which Football Players Should I Invest In? Who Do I Sell?
If you’re like me, you’re probably going to keep your favorite players and sell the rest. Trades are also still a great idea but difficult to pull off. If you are just investing and you want to sell everything you should sell into the hype and buy into the despise. What do I mean by this? Every year, there will be that one player who is getting hot. Maybe there are a few. Their card will jump in price after they have a few good games, turn the team around or make the playoffs. This is usually centered around quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs. Occassionally some near legendary defensive players will also trade this way. Avoid buying cards then. This is when they rise the highest percentage. They may rise a little higher but there’s less money for you on the table.
One of the great advantages in buying sealed boxes is you will get a lot of players you don’t know or that are not worth much of anything at the time. Many will be newly acquired to the team they are playing for through trades or recently acquired from the draft. Trust, very few people actively bought Tom Brady rookie cards. The reason they had them to sell was that they hung onto all of the cards they opened from boxes. Save them all because there will be many more out there. Do you know who the next Tom Brady will be? Will it be Johnny Manziel? Will it be Jammis Winston?
No! It’s neither of them. The next Tom Brady will be a guy that is picked way in the back of the draft and no one is paying attention to his card. Those two already have cards valued like they are legends and they haven’t proven anything.
If you open up a box and get one of these new stars, sell them right away! You’ll probably recoup the cost of your box. I have been doing this for years. Do you know how it works? I buy a box and I get one or two cards that are right away very easy to sell for about the same price as the box. The rest of the cards go into a nice binder, organized by name. This is the best binder for the money!
Then I take the money I made off of those two guys and buy another box. Any of those stars I get, I turn around and sell. I keep doing this until I get a box that doesn’t have anyone I can sell profitably. I keep all other rookie cards, jersey and autograph cards.
What’s going on here is I’m having a ton of fun opening packs of cards. Next I’m not paying for any of these boxes because I’m selling the valuable cards everyone else wants. Sometimes I’m even making more money! At the end of the experiment I usually have 8-10 boxes per year that cost me nothing!
What happens to those hundreds (now thousands) of cards that no one wants right now? I sit on them. I sit on them for years. Eventually there will be another Tom Brady and when that card goes up to $100 a piece, I’ll probably have 10 of them sitting there.
Where Do I Sell?
Short term and long term your best bet is probably going to be eBay. There site is pretty easy to figure out and gives both buyer and seller pretty good protection to conduct business. You will have a small fee for the transaction but it’s usually not a big deal. You can open up an eBay account here. It’s free and they walk you through the process.