What I've Learned from Trading Cards
Don’t rip everything you see
You know when you see a big hit that someone is bragging about? Well, what they don’t tell you is how much they spent to get that hit. They won’t show you all the bad hits, just the big ones. It is so hard to make more money than the current market value you could make if you sold. Unless you get a really lucky hit, you’ll likely lose money, unless you’re willing to wait and pay for grading. Be smart with your money and minimize risk.
Don’t invest in players when they are hot
More often than not, if a player or card is in the news, that means their value iss going to be at a peak. I’d say 8/10 times that I’ve sold players at a peak like this, I’ve been happy I did. Don’t FOMO and buy in at peaks, sell at them. There will always be other players or cards to invest in, so don’t think you have to buy every single card or player with potential.
Take profits when you can
If you’re grading cards, profits can come in waves. If you send all your cards that could make you money to PSA, you’ll likely not see it back for a year. A lot can happen in a year with the card market as a whole, or your player/card. It’s smart to take profits as you can. Don’t be afraid to take your cut while you can. You can always put those profits into other items that will work for you.
Sell in season, invest in off season
During the off-season, value of cards decrease. This is a good time to invest in players for the upcoming season but not a good time to sell. When buying cards, you want to buy in at the cheapest possible price to increase your return on investment. If you see that a player or card has spiked in value in a short amount of time, it’s likely that will be a peak value. Have your money work for you.
You don’t have to buy every new investment
It’s okay to skip out on a new, hot prospect when you already have investments of your own. Don’t chase every opportunity to invest in a new player. There will always be new investments. Sometimes it’s better to have capital saved when you need it, instead of spending it on every up and coming prospect.
You don’t have to grade all your cards
A lot can happen over the course of a year while your cards are getting graded. It’s best to only grade cards you’re confident will get a perfect grade. Over the course of time while you’re waiting for your cards to get back, a lot can happen. Players can get injured, new players can take their spotlight, the market could shift. Be smart with what you grade because there is nothing worse than paying grading fees for cards that no longer have value.
Invest in wax
Investing in players or slabs can seem like a good idea, until they get injured or lose value. Wax will always retain value and grow over time, regardless of what is happening with the card market. Even though some return on investments look insane for certain players if they gain hype, there’s plenty of times you’ll also lose money by investing in players that don’t. The safest way to make money with cards is to invest in sealed product (wax). This way, you’re not dependent on certain players continuing to remain in the spotlight, because you have a full rookie class that has potential to progress.
Diversify your portfolio
Don’t be stuck invested in one player or just one product. Just like with stocks, you want to diversify your portfolio. Invest in different sports, different players, and different sealed product. That way, if one player or one sport market decreases in value, you’ve still got other products that are growing your portfolio for you. Invest smarter, not harder.
Just have fun
Lastly, have fun with it. If you like Pokemon, invest in Pokemon. If you like soccer, invest in soccer. Investing in markets that you are most passionate and familiar with, will take you a long way. There’s no reason to FOMO into a market that you don’t care to follow. The trading card market can be a lot of fun, so enjoy it.