Building a Large Sports Card Collection Cheaply

Building a massive sports card collection is not as complicated as it might seem on the surface. While it is true that buying sports card packs by the box or one by one can be very expensive, one can still buy already opened sports cards in bulk at a severely reduced rate. It is through this method of buying that one can accumulate a large number of sports cards without spending exorbitant amounts of money. What is even more impressive is that this method of buying is often self supported. After your initial purchase investment, one can sometimes turn a profit and reinvest the capital back into another bulk investment.

Like with any collecting hobby, the first thing you’ll want to do is decide upon which particular niche of the hobby you would like to focus on. In the world of sports cards there are an almost infinite number of choices. What follows is a partial list of various types of collections one might find and focus on:

  • Football Card Collection
  • Baseball Card Collection
  • Basketball Card Collection
  • Favorite Former College Star
  • Rookie Cards
  • Positional Collection
  • Specific Brand-Name Collection
  • Jersey Card Collection
  • Autographed Collection

This list is only scratching the surface of the various niches within sports cards. Determine the type of niche that you would like to collect and stick with it. This will allow you to focus your collection, while still maintaining a continuous flow of new cards.

The next step is to find collections to buy. With all the online auction sites and various other sales venues for sports cards, this is the easiest part. Where it becomes complicated is knowing what collections you should buy and which collections you should pass on. If you are looking to purchase in bulk, then the majority of collections will be large batches of commons. Commons are sports cards of those players that are not superstars. A huge benefit to these cards is that they are very inexpensive when you buy them in bulk.

Most every player in professional sports is a common at some point in their careers. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter do not come along very often. This is quite advantageous to the budding collector that is accumulating a new collection.

What you need to do is buy a large collection of common sports cards at a severely reduced rate. There is no shortage of collectors that are still looking to sell their commons. Collectors are always looking to make more room for their collections. Be patient, and get the largest amount of cards possible for your dollar. Once you find a large collection, offer half of what the seller is asking. Sometimes they will take it right away and sometimes you may have to negotiate. Regardless, you will usually end up getting the collection for less.

Now that you own a large collection of common cards it is time to separate them. First go through the entire collection and sort out all of the cards that fit into your niche. These are the cards that will be part of your permanent collection. Next you will sort out all of the cards that are likely to have value in the future. While a certain amount of this knowledge comes with experience, even the beginner can have some level of success with predicting which cards will grow in value. Rookie cards, jersey cards, autograph cards and any low print run cards should be set aside. These will be the cards that you will use to fund your future collection purchases.

The rest of the cards that are left over you will separate into teams. Group these cards into sets of 25 with no duplication. You can then go on to the auction sites and sell these team cards for a buck or two each. While this may not seem like much, a large collection of commons will likely yield hundreds of these. The money made from these will also go towards purchasing more collections.

Through repeating this process over and over you can build not only a great collection of sports cards, but a fairly nice amount of income as well.


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