If you have a favorite player or favorite team, chances are you have some sort of merchandise of that player or team. Whether it’s a jersey, a banner, a blanket, a helmet, or even just a baseball cap. You may want to expand your horizons and invest in some memorabilia which would perhaps be investments for your future financial gain. There are some elements to consider when becoming a collector. First, you must educate yourself about the sports memorabilia industry. Second, you must determine what you want to buy. Third, you must determine how much you want to spend. And fourth, you need to do your homework before you get started.
(1) What is sports memorabilia?
- Sports memorabilia refers to anything that can be directly related to a sports event or a sports personality. Items from professional sports such as a baseball, football, basketball, a jersey, a boxing glove, a baseball card, and even an old bleacher seat from the famed Yankee Stadium which was recently dismantled in order to make way for the new Yankee Stadium. What makes these sports artifacts become valuable due to fans or ‘collectors’ if you will, find value in the rarity time value of these collectibles. Vintage sports memorabilia typically refers to sports items ‘representing the best of a pastime’.
(2) Sports memorabilia cards
- Collecting cards is a fun, exciting, and educational hobby that can last a lifetime. Almost all of us have had a pack of baseball or football cards at one time or another when we were kids. Many people have been saving all of their trading card since their childhood. These people may be sitting on a gold mine because some of these cards have a very high value in the memorabilia market -especially if they are in good condition.
When one thinks of sports cards, the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is of course baseball cards. However, collector cards are popular in sports such as football, basketball, and hockey.
(3) Beginning as a collector
-With as little as a few dollars, you can start a collection of your own. First, you need to decide how much money you can afford to spend on your collection and what type of memorabilia you want to acquire. Then survey the varying types of memorabilia out there in the marketplace. This will give you a general idea of how much you may want to spend and what it is you may want to collect.
Second, you will probably want to join a memorabilia forum or message board. A good one to join is sportscardforum.com. At sportscardforum.com, you can keep up with the latest news in the sports memorabilia industry. Also, this is a great way to meet other collectible enthusiasts and perhaps some sports memorabilia dealers in your local area.
Purchase a price guide. You will need this as a point of reference to determine how much each piece of sports memorabilia you are interested in approximately worth in the marketplace. The best price guides can be found at Beckett.com. When purchasing a price guide, be sure you purchase the type of price guide that corresponds to the type of memorabilia you are interested in buying.
Begin your collection by starting out with inexpensive items at the start.
(4) Where to buy sports collectibles and artifacts
- The most efficient and easiest way to find sports memorabilia is on the internet. Many online auction sites such as eBay rate vendors and provide buyer and seller guides. Many people scour newspaper ads for estate sales and auctions looking for vintage memorabilia that may be available and are hidden gems. Some collectors even deal with sports memorabilia brokers and attend collectible trade shows. As a beginner with any collection, most collects start out by visiting sports memorabilia shops.
By visiting and patronizing sports memorabilia shops or stores, you can see the items in person. You are dealing directly with the shop owner, and you have a comfort level that surpasses any online shopping site. The problem with the online industry is that you are prone to counterfeit items. Don’t get me wrong, you are always prone to counterfeit items in the sporting memorabilia world.
(5) Autographed sports memorabilia
There are a few more factors in which sports memorabilia autographs can enhance the value of a piece of memorabilia.
- The death of a popular or respected athlete can prove to bring a sudden increase in demand for autographed items by that player. The simple logic is that the player will not be able to sign any more autographs-limiting the supply of his signed memorabilia in the marketplace. As a result, collectors will want these items even more and that in turn will increase its value even further.
-Sports memorabilia collectors value their favorite athlete’s autograph. For instance, signed NFL full sized helmets will surely cost a lot more in the future if it were signed by a football great such as Joe Montana or John Elway.
-Sports memorabilia autographs can increase in demand if a particular athlete has a very lengthy career and a good reputation as an athlete (i.e. Derek Jeter). Furthermore, players who have retired with well respected careers will also have prized memorabilia in their name.
-If an item in which the signature of the player is inducted into the Hall of Fame, the value of the collectible goes up due to the permanent elevated status of that athlete among his or her peers.