If you’re looking to sell or trade cards, a good place to start is the internet.
From special sites devoted to collectors such as Sportsology.net to auction sites
like eBay and Yahoo! Auctions, the choices are plentiful. Special website search
engines can also give you many options, sending you to dealer and collector websites.
On many of these other collecting-oriented websites, you can often find message
boards where people post their collecting wants as well as trade offers. Selling
or trading is as simple as sending an e-mail to them.
Card shows are another good venue for selling and trading cards. Shows will usually
have a number of dealers and collectors who may be interested in what you have to
offer for a sale or trade. The same holds true for hobby stores, where the store
owner might deal with you or know of a fellow store owner or customer who is looking
for your card(s).
Another way to sell or trade your cards is to place an ad in a hobby publication
such as Sports Collectors Digest. The magazine is widely read in the industry and
your ad is sure to attract attention.
Clearly, the marketplace for trading cards is huge. Part of the fun of collecting
is looking for the cards you want and helping other collectors with their searches.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy the hobby!
Are there any industry newsletters/magazines that I can get to better educate myself
on card collecting?
One of the best ways to learn more about what’s going on in the industry is to subscribe
to a monthly hobby magazine for the particular sport you’re following. Each month
it has feature articles about players who are hot in the industry, updates on what
companies have in store for collectors in coming months and a plethora of facts
and figures (often with box breakdown) on the latest releases.
In addition, nearly every card is accounted for in the price guide section, giving
collectors (serious and casual) a good idea of their card’s value. The arrows indicate
if a card’s value has risen or fallen since the last publication, and certain notations
tell whether the card is a limited run or has some extra special value.
Tuff Stuff magazine has a multitude of features each month, recapping the goings-on
in the marketplace while also serving as a full-service price guide. Focusing on
rookies, why player’s values fluctuate and the state of the industry, Tuff Stuff
provides its readers with large amounts of information every time it hits the shelf.
It also stays very up-to-date on the latest developments from each of the major
manufacturers, providing readers with worthwhile insight.
Card Trade is a monthly publication, which focuses a bit more on how dealers are
faring and what’s hot based on feedback from well-known and respected industry sources.
It also touches on promotions being offered here and there, and what’s happening
in the marketplace. As with the other publications, it touches on new technologies
and different trends in sports collectibles, while featuring the newest and hottest
products to hit the market. The magazine also focuses on activities in the sports
world, and how those will impact the sports card business.
In addition to uppperdeck.com, there are also a multitude of web sites that will
help collectors from beginning to advanced levels continue to learn more and enjoy
the hobby of trading card collecting.
- Bordered design - These designs have a white or other colored border around
the card. This separates the photo and design from the edge of the card.
- Collation - The overall mixing of cards within a production run, so that
a collector doesn’t continuously get the same cards within a given pack, box or
case. If a product has good collation, then the collector will not got several duplicates
of one commonly printed player while completely missing a number of other commonly
printed players. The term good collation is also used when the intended insert ratios
printed on the packaging are found within the respective pack, box, or case.
- Condition - Trading cards (even cards taken directly from factory sealed
products) have a wide range of condition types depending on several factors like
card being centered, crisp and sharp edges, no print spots, perfect gloss, and no
Conditions range from Poor (the lowest) to Pristine (the best). Several categories
in between from Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent, Excellent-Mint, Near Mint, Near
Mint-Mint, Mint, and Gem Mint complete the entire realm of possible conditions for
- Crash numbering (also known as sequential numbering) - Adding numbering to
a card front or back to make known the actual print run of a particular set. Cards
are numbered in order up to a certain number either by foil stamp, ink jet printing,
or by hand using a pen. For example the first card in the run could be "1/100,"
which would mean it is #1 of 100 total. The second card in the run would then be
"2/100." The third card would be "3/100," and the numbering would continue up to
- Die Cutting - The process of cutting away a portion of one side or multiple
sides of a trading card. Die cuts are sometimes made into unique shapes or to fit
within a theme of a particular set.
- Embossing - This technology process adds a raised texture to trading cards
to make the cards seem more 3-D.
- Foil stamping - Decorative foil can be added to a standard paper trading
card with varying degrees of coverage. Foil stamping adds texture, color, and shine
to the card.
- Full bleed design - This is when the design of the card utilizes the entire
2.5" x 3.5" card area, "bleeding" to the edge of the card. The design incorporates
the entire photo all the way to the borders (or edges) of the card.
- Insert ratio - These numbers are associated with cards that are not commonly
available within the packs of cards. The ratio indicates what the odds are of finding
such a card within packs. This is generally communicated on the packaging of a product
with a ratio after a specific name, such as “Top Hitters 1:24,” which would indicate
that the subset or insert set called Top Hitters is short printed (vs. the rest
of the set) and will fall at an approximate ratio of 1 in every 24 packs. Sometimes,
just the total number of cards produced for a specific short printed card is announced,
as these cards are generally sequentially numbered and no approximate ratios are
available at that time.
- Legal line - This is the area on the card, packaging, solicitation, advertising,
etc. that states all of the legalities and rights granted, in order to produce the
- Pack-out (also known as Configuration) - Refers to the number of cards found
in each pack, the number of packs found within each store box (or display box),
and the number of boxes within each case.
- Paper stock - Generally, the thicker the paper that the cards are printed
on, the more expensive the product is for collectors to purchase. Paper stock ranges
are graded by points of thickness with most card companies using between 12-point
up to 24-point stock. Sometimes, multiple sheets are laminated together to create
thicker cards and a more premium feel.
- Security foil - The Upper Deck Company uses a special trademarked hologram
foil stamp on the backs of cards to verify that the card is not a forgery and is,
in fact, printed by the company.
- Swatch - Generally used to describe a piece of game used memorabilia pieces
that have been cut out of the original item (such as a jersey) and then used on
a trading card.
- UV coating - A protective coating that is placed on cards to make them look