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Tips for Building a Great Card Collection.

Updated on August 9, 2015
Steve Dodder profile image

Steve has been collecting and selling autographs for over 20 years. He also completed a course in Antiques and Collectibles from Stafford.

A couple of my cards.

Tips for hunting cards.

One of the best things I enjoy is working on completing sets for my sports card collections. I go to yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops and just scour the area to see what if anything is available. In this article I will give you some simple tips for building a nice collection. Remember the most important part of acquiring sports cards for your collection: Never buy on impulse. Do your homework.

1. Nice segue to my first tip. Do your homework. It is a beautiful Saturday morning. You got paid yesterday so you have some money allotted to buy some cards with. Here is where you need to have your homework done. Be sure that before you leave the house that you have taken notes of the top cards you want to try and get. Make a list of cards wanted and categorize the players needed in order of importance.

2. If you do not have a Beckett price guide I would highly suggest purchasing a subscription. It has very valuable information on cards and their most recent value. One thing I am not a fan of and I hear it everywhere I go when I am buying is "Well Ebay has it listed for" I am sure you have heard that in your ventures. Ebay is a wonderful sight for selling and very good for buying if you have the patience to search through numerous pages of the same item. Ebay should not be used as a price guide. You must keep in mind that items that are listed by a seller are more then likely on average going to be 20-30% higher then raw value.

3. Ask questions and educate yourself. You can never ask enough questions in this hobby. The more information you have about a certain item the better. In today's world with all the technology on the web you should be on there everyday educating yourself. Knowledge is Power. This knowledge is essential when you are thinking of acquiring a high end card or collection.

Fakes and Re-Prints.

This is an area that unfortunately exist in the hobby of sports cards. I believe one of the best examples that there are fakes out there is the 1986 Michael Jordan Rookie Card. First thing I can advise you is to keep in mind that if it is to good to be true it probably is. An old saying but a good phrase to know when shopping for any high end card. That definitely is true for the Jordan rookie.

There are some very good fakes out there. Forgers are very good at what they do. Again, going back to doing your homework, it is imperative when shopping for a Jordan rookie. Genuine Jordan rookie cards have been sold for as much as $100,000.00 dollars for a mint 10 graded card. In 2011 that is how much one went for in an auction in California. It is documented that there are only 3 Gem Mint 10's out there with over 5500 cards that had been graded. Now you start to understand why forgers want to try and duplicate it.

One area of collecting that can confuse the novice are re-prints. An example of a re-print would be that Topps decided to do a copy of Mickey Mantle's rookie card and insert it randomly into packs. That would be a re-print of the original. Believe it or not I have seen examples of rare T-206 Honus Wagner cards that someone tried to make as an original. That did not even work. Be careful when you go to card shows, flea markets, etc. You never know when someone is trying to take advantage of people who unfortunately see a card that has value and gets it at a great price just to get home and find out it is not an original card.

Remember, when trying to add to your collection I would recommend to find a reputable dealer and build a relationship with him or her. That way they can help you with your collection and you have the security of knowing that the card or cards you are purchasing are authentic. With that I will just say Happy Collecting.

What To Look For in a Fake Jordan rookie.

Some quick tips on things to look for when you come across a Jordan Rookie Card up for sale. The first thing is to look at the arrow underneath the Fleer on front of card. It will be to the right end of the box that has premier. The arrow just below that should be a darker yellow then what is in the box. if it is the same shade odds are it is re-printed.

Along the border you should see a distinct difference in the blue and red color. In most re-prints the colors will look fuzzy. It is not a bad idea to carry a magnifying glass with you.

Another obvious thing to check is the black border. On the original it will be a solid black line and under magnifier if you see breaks throughout the border like little tiny spots it is a re-print.

One of the best areas to check first is on the back of the cards in the stats section. On the line that reads pro totals you will see 27.2, on almost all re-prints the period will be missing.

As you can see I have touched on just a few of the things to check when you are looking to add a Jordan rookie to your collection. Common sense plays a huge role. Do not let the excitement of possibly owning one get in the way of doing your homework. If you do, there is a good chance you will regret it.


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