Most enthusiasts have experienced a moment when they consider becoming more than just a novice collector. For some, this notion is an easier practice to comfortably transition into but for those that are unsure as to where to begin, here are a few tips to kick-start your collections!
1. Become as knowledgeable as possible: Do as much research as possible to gain a deeper understanding of what makes certain cards more valuable than others and then establish what type of collection you would like to build. Could it be the player featured on the card itself? Are cards from one distributor worth more than another? Should I pursue a single year collection from one manufacturer or aspire to collect every card from one team/player? These are just a few examples of what a rookie collector should ask himself or herself before entering the big leagues.
2. Purchase a Price Guide: A price guide is a much-needed tool for any person, seasoned or not, as they contain vital information about every card to the date of print. While the information is unfortunately not set in stone, the price guides to offer a good starting point from which to base value on individual cards.
3. Begin acquiring cards: There are many sources readily available to those who wish to start collecting. One source, which will also provide detailed knowledge, is a reputable card dealer or a hobby shop in your area. Many times these stores employ highly knowledgeable enthusiasts who will often be more helpful than just a guide or a person on the internet. These dealers also have access to a vast network of other card dealers and will, therefore, provide a greater ability toward obtaining rare or specific cards.
4. Keep Cards In Good or Excellent Condition: Once you begin building your collection, you want to maintain the cards in the best possible condition. Any nick, dent, slight tear, etc. can significantly reduce the value of a collectible. Many baseball card collectors keep their most valuable baseball cards in plexiglass cases. Other times cards are kept in plastic sheets with card slots housed in folders, an excellent idea when trying to keep entire sets organized.
Baseball has long been Americas favorite pastime, so it is no big surprise that so many have found joy in collecting baseball cards. While the values of cards are ever-changing, the love for them and the sport is never fleeting. Collectors, aspiring and well versed alike, know there is no limit to how informed one can be when it comes to building one's baseball card collection.