Card collecting 101: A primer on everything you need to know to successfully get back into card collecting

By David Gonos Feb 15, 2022 30
Over the past few months, I’ve started to build out my YouTube card-collecting channel. In doing so, I’ve had to focus on who my audience is and what my point of view truly is, which has slowly been refined by the commenters on these articles I’ve been writing for The Athletic. I thought I’d share what I’ve observed! This article series and my YouTube channel are meant to help new and returning collectors get a better understanding of the hobby right now.

Something I’ve noticed is there are currently several different segments of collectors. They’re like a pack of cards! Some are future Hall-of-Famers who have been collecting for decades, some are All-Star veterans, some are rookies, and a few have dinged corners, but we still like them!

New Collectors: They love sports and decided this is a nice extension from their fantasy teams, which is very true! But because they’re new, they are apt to fall prey to unscrupulous people in this industry. Like all industries, we have good guys and bad guys. The “bad guy” card collector ranks among the lowest forms of villain, taking advantage of young collectors, new collectors and collectors whose nostalgia sometimes clouds their judgment on good business.

Things New Collectors might be heard saying: “I just bought a rookie LeBron on Twitter for $50 shipped! It wasn’t graded, the picture was blurry and the seller was new to Twitter with zero followers, but still, what a deal!”

Investors: This version of “collectors” just wants to diversify their portfolio. Old school collectors aren’t particularly fond of these folks, but in reality, they’re great because they bring a lot of money and interest into the hobby. There are many more cards available to collectors because these Wall Streeters like cards.