Is Now a Good Time to Sell Baseball Cards?
The economic crisis of the past few years has had many people asking this question. Many people are considering selling off collectibles to pay bills or stave off foreclosure. Selling baseball cards is always a possibility, but collectors worry if the current market price means they will lose money on their investment. Choosing to wait may not be an option for some sportscard collectors, but for others the answer isn’t so much in the market but what they are bringing to the marketplace.
Ask collectors of vintage baseball cards about the state of the economy and few will boast of bargains that they have picked up. T210 collectors (especially Series 6, 7, and 8) have seen prices steadily increase in the last few years. The same can be said for many caramel cards and other tobacco sets, too. High-grade examples of many cards, even commons, continue to set new records every day. These cards can continue to bring top dollar because many of the people who collect them are not as affected by the recession as the common collector. With this in mind, it is important to consider what you have to sell and go from there. There really doesn’t seem to be a bad time to sell good cards.
Glancing around the different chatrooms and listening to collectors will tell you what is hot or not so hot. In general, lower and mid-grade examples of cards from the 70s and before are not fairing as well. Even prewar tobacco cards are seeing prices fall off for the lowest grade specimens. 50s sets under a PSA 5 grade are generally low. Most 80s and 90s cards are very hard to sell unless they are PSA 9 or 10 (or the Beckett or SGC equivalents).
In short, whether or not to sell baseball cards in the current market has no quick answer. The only way to reach a rational decision is spend time researching what cards are bringing based solely on what you have to sell. Many sets have actually increased in value during these bad years. It is a difficult decision to part with cards that you may not want to sell at current prices. Try to limit the selling to the baseball cards that have weathered the current financial storm. In a few years, the rest will probably bounce back and can always be sold then.