What Causes Card Values to Increase or Decrease?

Rare baseball cards

Collectors know their rare sports cards well, including the current value of each card. Whether you are a collector that specializes in specific sports or specific card manufacturers, it’s easy to research the current value and know the total value of your collection. The key to understanding the current value is to know what can affect the value of individual cards or a full collection. Here are some of the main factors that will help you determine your card’s current value and how likely the card is to increase in value.

Condition

No matter what type of vintage item you collect, condition is often the single greatest factor in determining the value of an item. For sports cards, condition is especially important because it is made from a material that can easily be damaged by water, sunlight and other types of wear. A common card with water damage, creases and worn edges may not be worth much, though these imperfections can be less of an issue when the card is extremely rare. Condition is not everything, however. You may have a mint condition card that was very common at the time it was issued, and it may not increase in value simply because every sports card collector already has one.

Special Editions

Another factor that can potentially increase the value of a sports card or card collection is whether the card was issued as part of a collection or as some type of special edition. These cards are often sold at a higher price and in limited quantities when initially released, which can only help the current value of the card or collection.

Famous Figures

Some sports collectors specialize in a specific sport or team, but collectors that want to bring together the highest value cards into a single collection will often look for those famous figures that bring in the most attention. Names like Mickey Mantle, Nolan Ryan, and Ken Griffey, Jr. can often bring in more money with their rookie cards than most of their teammates.

Supply and Demand

The last factor in determining whether your card will increase or decrease in value is the supply and demand of the card on the collector’s market. While prices can vary from year to year, if you have mint condition cards featuring highly sought-after players, you will be able to build a collection that will continue to increase in value. Common cards that flood the market in high numbers don’t often bring a high return and may even decrease in value over the years because they’re easily available.

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