How to Know the Value of Basketball Cards | Key Tips

How to Know the Value of Basketball Cards

/ 01:14 PM February 09, 2021

If you are a long-time basketball fan, chances are you’ve been curious about how to know the value of basketball cards. The world of technology and electronic books, invitation cards, business cards — anything you can think of that can be made into a thrifty file — has been dominating the world in recent years.

However, physical mementos are different. There is something about holding a real, tangible keepsake between your own two hands. If you find yourself interested in starting a collection of sorts for your favorite ball sport, here are a few things to know about basketball card value.

How Much Are Basketball Cards Worth?

basketball cards

Basketball cards’ price worth, much like other collectibles, depends on multiple factors. There are things to consider when appraising your basketball card’s value, such as the featured player, the year the deck was manufactured, what part of a collection the card is from, and other relevant details.

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Rookie cards are typically priced the highest because they are the first and limited edition of older star players.

Long-time basketball fans are also more likely to buy cards featuring many NBA champions. These champions being LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan rookie cards.

The younger demographics are looking out for emerging stars like Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, and Trae Young. Basketball card values also vary with the year, edition, featured player, and condition.

What is Sports Card Trading?

Sport trading cards are among one of the earliest collectibles that became a popular thing amongst collectors. It is similar to other trading cards, wherein it typically consists of a picture of the player on one side and their statistics and additional information on the other. Many sports teams and managing companies have released limited edition cards for loyal fans.

Some star players in the past have also released hobby boxes. These are a type of configuration that contains rare sports cards, memorabilia, and autographs.

They can only be bought in hobby or collectible stores and of target towards more serious collectors. These are made even more special because some hobby box editions are so limited that less than a dozen are of production for retail.


How Did It Become Popular?

Sports cards have been a popular hobby in recent years for a couple of reasons. Nostalgia plays a big part in this as many sports fans in the 80s grew up collecting trading cards.

Now that you can practically make and buy everything off the internet, it is easier and harder to get your hands and know basketball card value.

For this same reason, the business of “flipping” sports trading cards is quickly gaining traction among collectors and entrepreneurs.

Flipping is the practice of buying low and selling high. If you manage to get lucky and buy a rare or limited edition card, you can hold on to it until the value significantly increases from when you first bought it.

What to Look for to Know the Value of Basketball Cards

When selling or buying anything, trade cards, or otherwise, you have to be knowledgeable about the market you’re selling it in. The basics of how to know the value of basketball cards work the same way.

You have competitors, and you have card-collecting buyers who are willing to buy as high as you are ready to sell. This is all depending on the merchandise advertised. Here are a few things to consider if you are looking to know your sports trading cards’ value.

Online Price Guides

Luckily for you and the rest of us, the world wide web is an infinite place of resources. Websites out there could help you compare prices and consider other factors before putting up your basketball card for sale.

Knowing how competitive the market is only half of the game, the next part is trying to be at par with the rest of the players.

These online price guides will help you figure out the best value to sell your priced trading cards. These sites can also tell you where to put up your listings. In which other sports card collectors most frequently visit e-commerce sites.

Know the Year and Name of Your Card

Apart from knowing the featured player of your card, consider looking up the year and card company’s name as well. Both of which are usually available on the card itself, but if not, the internet is once again your friend. The card’s year is typically the copyright date or the final year of the player’s listed stats.

The card company’s name should be of print on either of each card or its box. There is also something that is a card number for some of these basketball cards.

If you see something like 42/162, then that means there are 162 cards in this set, and yours is the 42nd card; after pinpointing all of these, head on over to retail websites and check similar items to yours.

You can check the list of sold items similar to your card and see the value they were of the price and the date they were sold. You can base your selling price on this and see if people might be interested in buying.

Highest Priced Basketball Cards

basketball cards

Unless you’re buying fakes or rip-offs, the chances are that new sports cards don’t cost a dollar a pack anymore. Not many things sold cost that cheap, but it may come as a surprise that basketball card values have reached so high as to make your jaw drop or at least your eyes pop out a bit. Especially now that card flipping and collecting has become a hobby-trend.

In the last decade alone, some basketball card decks have sold at $500 at the least. Like other vintage items, the older and more pristine older cards have sold at even higher prices, going up to $15,000 and perhaps even more. But before you completely write off sportscard collecting as a hobby, remember that what you’re planning to buy, you can also likely sell off to other traders.

Other Things To Look For

Apart from the ins and outs of how to value basketball cards when it comes to pricing, you should also be at least aware, if not fully well-versed, of a few things. First, know the history of your upper deck.

It can be a good deciding factor for some buyers. Especially if it comes with verification that it is a limited edition. Try contacting the manufacturer and see if they can give you a certificate of authenticity or something of the like.

There is also the matter of keeping your basketball cards in pristine condition. If your rookie card of the late legend Kobe Bryant is a rare one, keeping it in a dust-free and damage-free environment will keep it safe until a suitable buyer comes along.

Final Thoughts

Basketball card-collecting and the buying and selling of them is of consideration a form of art. However, you have to remember that not every product is meant for everyone.

The sports card trading industry is of consideration a luxurious one at the rate the collectibles are being sold. It is not a sustainable source of income but is instead a profitable yet enjoyable hobby.

Your value as a basketball fan does not rely on whether you get into trading sports cards or not. But if you are of interest, there is a community of fellow fans out there that are more than willing to help you get started.

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