Welcome back to sportscard collecting 101! Today’s Blog/Class will continue to prepare you for the rigors, excitement, and journey of card collecting and speculation. Today’s focus is on cautionary tales and teases some possibilities in sport card purchases!
Did I mention that you should finish this sportscard collecting course before purchasing any sports cards? Well, there are reasons for this approach. Counterfeiting. Fraud. Bankruptcy. Now do I have your attention?
Tools of the Trade
As a seasoned comic collector, you have your tools of the trade that help you determine if that too good to be true Batman #15 has some color touch or has been trimmed. Similarly, to become a seasoned sports card investor and not a BANKRUPT former sports card collector, you need to purchase some tools of the trade. First, you will need a jewelers eye loop. While the 30X magnifying glass you do to work on your comics is good, you don’t want to lug it around. A jewelers eye loop will give you that 30x and 60x magnification you need when reviewing a sports card for potential purchase.
Why do you need to scrutinize sports cards? Great question! A jeweler’s loop will be essential in helping you detect counterfeit cards! Current printers print different dot matrix patterns than those real cards from the 1930s and 1940s. Knowing how to spot these patterns is essential to your financial well-being.
Another essential tool is a digital caliber micrometer. Remember what were the two most important aspects to look for when purchasing a card? Correct! Centering and corners! A micrometer will allow you to determine PRECISELY how centered a card is and how big that ding on the corner measures.
Buying sports cards on eBay is a hard no for me. It SHOULD be a hard no for you as well! Counterfeit reproductions of sports cards are not uncommon on eBay. Many of these cards are even artificially aged and purposefully dog-eared to LOOK old. You will also have difficulty identifying pixels and trimmed cards on eBay. Reputable auction houses and estate auctions are the way to go when purchasing sports cards. If you are certain that eBay is the way you want to go, Rookiecollector.com has a nice article on how to navigate eBay and increases your chances of getting that card you want!
Fraud and counterfeiting is a real issue in sports card collecting and speculation. For example, there is a current FBI investigation into several sports card grading schemes. So, that is why I believe you should take this course in its entirety before you begin investing. Future classes will focus on how to pick out fraudulent cards and which sets are notable for ongoing returns on investments. You do remember me telling you in the first class that you shouldn’t buy any cards from your childhood days unless your childhood days were sometime before or immediately following World War II, right? As we close class #2 for the day, stay focused on how much counterfeiting and fraud should be part of your purchasing strategy. Here is a link to another article on the FBI investigation.
Our next sportscard collecting class will introduce you to the massive, wonderful world of the T-206 collection! Be sure to check out class #1 if you missed it!