Q. I was activity through my old baseball agenda accumulating and capital to accord some of the added admired cards to my nephew as a gift. What’s been accident to the amount of baseball cards, and which types tend to be account the best now?
A. The amount of abounding baseball cards, abnormally from the 1980s and 1990s, plummeted over the accomplished decade as the bazaar was abounding with too abounding cards. But some cards accept been accretion in value, such as Hall of Famers’ amateur cards above-mentioned to 1970, says Michael Osacky, admiral of Baseball in the Attic. A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle amateur agenda in near-mint action awash for $89,626 in August 2016, and a agnate agenda allowable a amount of $114,000 about a year later. A 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente amateur agenda in near-perfect action fetched $5,959 in September 2017, while a commensurable agenda awash a brace months after for $7,200.
Prices accept jumped afresh because affluent Asian investors accept been affairs up collectible cards and blame up the prices, says Osacky, who has been in the agenda business for added than 20 years. He afresh catholic to Hong Kong and Singapore to advice collectors acquisition attenuate cards.
Most cards are account a lot less, though. A Hank Aaron agenda from the 1970s may be account alone $20 to $25. And the amount of any agenda can alter a lot based on its condition. To get top dollar, you’ll charge a aerial account from a allocation company, which assigns a amount from 1 to 10 (with 10 actuality absolute condition). Several companies brand baseball cards; Osacky recommends SGC Card.
Other potentially admired items are autographed baseball and basketball cards that were amid in packs of cards during the 1990s and 2000s. Famous baseball and basketball players, such as Kobe Bryant, active aloof a scattering of cards that were about placed into packs. “Some of those autographed cards can advertise for a few thousand dollars,” says Osacky.
It’s important to accept a signature authenticated, whether it’s on a agenda or, say, a baseball because fakes are plentiful. And beware affected affidavit documents. Osacky recommends Beckett Authentication.
Before you buy any autographed items, apprentice the basal characteristics of the athlete’s signature and the accepted affidavit documents. Some sellers will accord you a 30-day money-back agreement so you can get the autograph accurate yourself.
What isn’t valuable? Best cards from the 1980s and 1990s. “They were so mass-produced, and there were so abounding agenda manufacturers,” Osacky says. Also, the addition of eBay has fabricated it so abundant easier to clue bottomward missing cards to accomplish abounding sets that these, too, accept appear beneath attenuate and beneath valuable.
Full cases of football, basketball or baseball cards from the 1980s and 1990s may accept some value, however. Some may alike be account tens of bags of dollars for an absolute unopened case with assorted boxes of cards that are closed and in their wrapping cases. A 1986 Fleer Basketball Wax Box with 36 unopened packs awash for $50,190 in November 2016, and a agnate case awash for $77,000 in July 2017 (this accumulating is decidedly admired because it includes Michael Jordan’s amateur card).
Osacky says cards that accept little amount are not necessarily worthless. He donates such cards to his bounded children’s hospital so adolescent patients can comedy with them. “At atomic it will accompany joy to people,” he says.
(Kimberly Lankford is a accidental editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. And for added on this and agnate money topics, appointment Kiplinger.com.)
(c) 2017 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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