Sports Cards

Tips for storing your sports cards

Sports card collecting should be first and foremost about having fun. Die-hard collectors know that there's nothing that can compare to the feeling of opening a brand-new pack of sports cards and discovering what players are inside. It doesn't matter whether you collect baseball cards, hockey cards, basketball cards or even non-sports trading cards – the feeling of anticipation is the same.

In addition to being fun, collecting sports trading cards can also be an investment. Smart collectors are very serious about taking good care of their cards. After all, cards lose most of their value if they are damaged. Even if you never plan to sell your cards for profit, it pays to take good care of them. After all, cards that are cared for can survive for decades and provide you with hours of enjoyment (assuming, of course, that you mom doesn't throw them out).

Card Storage Tips

It may seem like a daunting task to go through all your cards, organize them and put them into safe storage, but it can be fun to do. After all, isn't flipping through your cards, remembering players from the past and reading the stats on the back what makes sports card collecting so enjoyable? Before you get started, here are a few things to consider:

  • Wash your hands – Never handle your cards unless your hands are completely clean. Dirt, remnants of food and even your skin's natural oils can damage cards.
  • Take inventory – Before you start putting cards into storage, determine exactly how many cards you have. You may even find a valuable card that you didn't know was in your collection.
  • Determine which cards require extra care – If you own a rare rookie card, an autographed card or any card that's significantly more valuable than the others, you should consider purchasing a hard plastic case. If you're unsure about what your cards are worth, you can look up the value of sports cards online.

Storage Options

In order to preserve your cards, you'll need to put them into some sort of protective packaging. Here's a list of your best options:

  • Soft sleeves – Thin, transparent plastic envelopes. The cheapest way to store sports cards.
  • Top-loaders – Larger and sturdier than soft sleeves. Often, collectors put their cards into soft sleeves first and then into top-loaders.
  • Screw-down cases – The most durable storage option. Cards are places between two hard plastic covers, which are then screwed together.
  • Storage boxes – Specially designed boxes that fit exactly the width of a card (which prevents cards from banging around and getting damaged).
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