If you haven’t heard, sports cards are back in vogue and in astronomical demand! Yes, sports cards, like MBA and NFL collectable cards from your childhood. In fact, the demand is so high that PSA Authentication and Grading Services, the gold standard in sports collectibles grading, has shut down several services due to overwhelming demand. They simply could no longer keep up with the boom.
This has left the industry in a tight spot. The backlog at PSA has reached over one million cards! But the shutdown of these services has not affected the massive rush that occurs with card drops. Card releases, or card “drops”, are scheduled release dates for card packs, boxes, and special edition trading cards. And the trend is on the rise.
In fact, Target has recently had to discontinue carrying cards in store out of an “abundance of caution” after a parking lot brawl that resulted in a man pulling a gun on 4 men who were attacking him over the collectibles. This news has resulted in much anticipation on Discord servers dedicated to card buying and selling. Target will continue to sell cards online, which means the ante is up for buyer’s savvy enough to use retail bots that can procure purchases in milliseconds after a card drop.
Why the hype?
One good buying day can result in resales with a profit of hundreds or thousands of dollars, and a few cards can even go for millions of dollars. The resurgence in popularity of the pastime can be chalked up to the pandemic. People had a lot of time on their hands to discover or rediscover a passion for trading cards. For some, it’s about being a part of the fandom. For others, it’s purely profit. For serious collectors, there are collectible funds formed for the purpose of buying and sitting on valuable cards. It is almost like a hedge fund for trading cards.
Will the trend continue?
There have been spikes in popularity of trading cards in nearly every decade since the 1950s. Manufactured scarcity by producers can keep the game going for years, driving up prices for cards. Many collectors hold out hope of finding their white whale that will sell for life-changing money. And for the lucky few, it does happen. Just last year a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle in nearly perfect condition sold for $5.2 million.
The Bottom Line
Perhaps it’s time to go digging through the attic for your card binder or hit up your grandparents for theirs. You may just find your golden ticket.
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