04/15/2019 at 10:42 am #60193
Despite my attempts to dodge it, a massive collection of sports cards (99%+ are baseball) landed in my lap recently. I think there are more like 105,000 cards based on my initial measurements & weighing estimates.
At least 99% of the cards are baseball and of the years between 1980 & 1997, aka the ‘modern era’ (aka the least valuable era, from my research anyway.) Roughly half of the cards are in binders (which hold about 1100 cards each) with the other half in clear plastic cases (which hold about 55 cards each). I am not a professional grader, but the cards look to be in very good to excellent condition overall and appear to have been well preserved/protected.
I have begun researching how to ‘handle’ (for example via semi-automated duplex scanning) such a large volume of cards (which weigh a combined total of over 550 lbs. in their boxes/binders/cardboard outer boxes), but also whether or not I even want to bother trying to list them on eBay as it will surely be quite a project.
Has anyone ever had to deal with a large collection of sports cards? I am curious to hear your thoughts and any advice you might have.0
04/15/2019 at 10:56 am #60194
Correction- I said ‘duplex scanning’ but meant to say ‘double sided scanning’ above.1+
04/15/2019 at 11:19 am #60197
- Location: Central NJ
If you go to this podcast topic.
and then scroll down and read the posts from newvintageny, you will find how he was able to sell a large collection of baseball cards.
You can also put in “baseball cards” in the Search Forums box to find other discussions of this topic.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Jay.
04/15/2019 at 3:34 pm #60208
04/15/2019 at 3:50 pm #60213
I use to be a huge card collector – but sold my collection in 2008. My collection was from the same era.
If you have full sets, they will sell – some are close to worthless, others worth a few hundred, but buyers are out there.
Individual/random cards are harder to sell. If you have good ones (you may want to get a copy of Beckett Baseball Magazine – it has pricing of the best cards) they will sell at the right price. Cards for “common” players may sell if they are from a expensive set, but even then they are not worth much. I put my incomplete sets together and listed what cards I had – usually if you have a 100 or more for a premium set, they will sell. For worthless sets, you are better off ditching them.
You can also try and put together lots by player or team – they won’t get much, but if you want to make a few bucks and feel it is worth your time, it’s worth a try.
If you don’t know anything about baseball – good luck. If you know a bit, at least you will know who the stars are and see if their cards have any value. Most won’t from the late 80’s on unless they are from a premium set.0
04/15/2019 at 4:35 pm #60221
Thanks Sharyn- that thread has some great information. Jay, thanks for the link- I won’t bug him until I do some more research. Inglewood, good call on Beckett Magazine. You hit on an important fact- I know next to nothing about baseball/sports/trading cards in general. I tried to run from this card collection. I said “honestly, I am not interested in these unless all of the potential buyers you are communicating with back out and you are going to throw them away”. You can guess what happened next.
The trickiest part of this situation is that I know the ‘era’ of these cards is thought to be mostly not valuable, but with 100k+ cards there are going to be some exceptions. I am encouraged when I see things like this printer & software combo, which can scan both sides of a card which may or may not (haven’t gotten that far yet) be cataloged in a local database by a form of image matching done in this case by the “Kronozio platform”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8HkqF27YQM (warning, super loud dubstep soundtrack on that one 😀 ) I might be able to do something myself with the image sets vs. buying a subscription tool… as usual it’s all about how far down the rabbit hole I want to go on this one.
For example I have this card, but there would be a $75 grading fee via PSA to match the others- and assuming it came out at 10 (or a 9?), only then could I hope to put a price close to the top prices it has sold for historically: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=1989+Fleer+Glossy+%23548&_sacat=0&LH_Sold=1&LH_Complete=1&_sop=16
Eventually I’ll do some looking using lists like this: https://www.cardboardconnection.com/best-baseball-cards-80s-90s to see what I can dig up.
I think I’m going to pace myself a bit on this one, in attempt to suppress the low-level hum of “get riiiiid of those things” that fires up every time I walk by these towering stacks of cards (at least I was able to corral them into a single shelf rack unit).0
04/16/2019 at 9:07 am #60273
Hi Greg – you have to be VERY careful if you are unsure of what you are doing – for example, the 1989 Ken Griffey Jr Fleer card has several variations. Are you sure it is the Glossy one you have? Do you have the Tiffany version? Do you just have the regular issue? By chance it may be the regular issue, but a “printed in Canada” variation and not “printed in the USA”?
There is a lot to educate yourself on – if you do have the Glossy, awesome – if not, you still have a $5 card to sell if it is a more common version.
Baseball cards are very tricky – I’m glad I sold out my collection when I did…0
04/16/2019 at 8:26 am #60267
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Well the only good thing from this era is that it is pretty easy to cull the crap cards from the good cards.
One tip: In Topps cards, you will mostly find crap quality card stock that is matte finish and they just look…crappy. If you see Topps cards from mid 80’s thru early 90’s that are gloss finish and much brighter in general, these are “mostly” referred to as Topps Tiffany cards.
If you can get good at identifying the tiffany cards in there, you stand to make some money.0
04/16/2019 at 10:36 am #60282
Inglewood- thank you for helping to provide a great example of how tricky correctly identifying cards can be.
The Fleer 1989 card I linked above uses white stock, is printed in the USA, is bright and appears to be glossy- or at least glossier than straight matte paper- but I do not have a ‘glossy index’ or sufficient data in my own brain to compare/understand relative glossiness when it comes to cards.
Retro Treasures- your link was very helpful to shed light on understanding glossy/tiffany cards. The 1989 card in question passed some tests, but not the star tests, which is apparently ok in some cases (in other words it can still be a tiffany card without passing the star test, if I understood that part correctly).
While researching this morning I happened upon one of several dedicated web pages that focused solely on card versions for this single player: https://www.beckett.com/news/ken-griffey-jr-rookie-cards/
Finally, I still don’t understand why some glossy cards have blue ink on the back, and mine has yellow ink. What I did see is that the valuable cards that have sold on eBay have blue ink.
Conclusion: this is likely a common card and therefore worth about $1, ungraded.
So yeaaah. I’m getting an idea of how ridiculous this process could get. I’m sure I’ll do a little more exploring, but I’ve also started to collect contact info for card buyers in my area who might want a large, nicely maintained, partially sorted collection of generally low-value baseball cards. I’m not anticipating much enthusiasm from local buyers.
Here are a couple photos of the card being discussed:0
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