There’s plenty of easy ways to find the value of sports cards these days.
You might have found an old collection and want to know what your cards are worth, or you could be new to collecting sports cards and you want to learn the market before buying.
Either way, the internet has made it very easy to find out the latest values of cards for free.
I always recommend that someone does their research and homework on sports card values before jumping in and investing, and it’s the same if you’re selling an old collection… you could be sitting on some rare gems, and you don’t want to sell them for a lot less than their worth.
In this article, I’ll go through some different ways that you can check prices of baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards, soccer cards or just about any trading card you own.
I’ll also include a more time efficient option, that I love using, at the end for serious collectors or investors who need to regularly track their collection and check card values – This one does cost a fee, but I’ll include a discount code.
What Makes A Sports Card Valuable?
Firstly, I wanted to quickly talk about what impacts the value of a sports card and what factors actually make a card worth money.
The value of a card can often change, for many different reasons – It’s important to remember that fact when looking for the value of cards that you own… especially when you’re using past sale data.
The first factor is the overall market. Sports cards are not an essential need – the price of the overall card market is dictated by the demand compared to the supply. In recent years, more interest and hype has returned to collecting and trading cards and therefore we’ve seen some huge value increases across the board.
Rarity is another factor that impacts a sports card’s price – I mentioned just now about price being dictated by demand compared to the supply… so naturally the rarer a card, the more value it will hold, particularly if it’s a card many collectors want. That’s due to the fact there’s just less of them around.
The grade or condition also plays a part in what makes a sports card valuable – this one is sort of linked to rarity. Collectors favor cards that are in good condition – and particularly those that have been graded highly by PSA or Beckett. Out of the total population or print run of a card, only a small percentage of those are going to be a gem mint PSA 10 for example – and if you’re looking at cards from the 80’s or 90’s then this number becomes even smaller, in some cases non-existent.
The last consideration is player popularity. If a player is having a great season and there’s a lot of hype around him, such as Erling Haaland in soccer right now, then more collectors are likely to want their cards. Star players and the greatest to play the sport will always have a higher demand. The position they play also has an impact… the more exciting players are usually more popular – like quarterbacks in football, shooters in basketball or attackers in soccer for example.
The Best Ways To Check The Value Of A Sports Card For Free
So I’ve talked about what makes a sports card valuable… but how do you actually check the value of specific cards?
I mentioned earlier about previous sales data – this is the easiest way to get an indication of a card’s latest value for free. A huge number of sports cards are sold via online auctions so the information can be found quite quickly.
eBay Completed And Sold Items filter
Thousands of trading cards, both graded are raw, are sold daily on eBay so there’s plenty of data to look at.
Looking at live auctions of cards can be a way to see what other sellers value them at, however it’s important to remember that the price a card is listed for is often not what it’s going to be worth. Sellers naturally want to sell for as much as possible and will start the auction at an inflated price.
Luckily, eBay has a super useful feature which allows you to see what previous auctions finished at (and the date they finished) – looking at items that actually sold is much better than looking at a live auction.
It’s the completed and sold items filter when you search for a card. When you make a search, there are filter options on the left-sided menu, you’ll just need to tick the ‘sold items box’.
It’s best, if possible, to look at an auction which ended with bids, like the 2 in the example above, rather than the ‘buy it now’ option… eBay won’t display a negotiated price if a counter offer was made, it’ll just say ‘counter offer accepted’, so it’s not possible to say exactly what the card was sold for.
PSA Auction Prices Tool
Another great free tool you can use to check a trading card’s price for free is on the PSA website – The auction prices tool. However, this only tracks cards that have been PSA graded.
It’s as simple as typing in the name of the player you’re looking for and searching… you’ll then see a full list of the different cards for that player, select the one you’re looking for and you’ll then see all the previous sales data for that specific card.
I Can’t Find Any Previous Auction Prices For My Sports Card
There might be the occasional time that you can’t find a card’s value using previous sales data because they haven’t been sold on eBay or other online sites before.
This is where you need to use a number of different resources to make an educated estimate of the value.
Firstly, consider the 4 factors I mentioned earlier about what impacts a trading card’s value.
You can also search for similar cards – for example if you can’t find a previous price for a card you have graded PSA 8, then have a look at the price of the same card graded a 7 and a 9 – that will at least give you a range.
Finally, you might not be an expert, but there’s likely someone who is… try using online forums or discords to find someone who can give a better estimated value than you might be able to.
The Best Way To Check Sport Card Values
I mentioned earlier that I’d include an option for serious card collectors and investors who need perhaps a more powerful tool for tracking card values and managing their collection.
The tool I’d recommend looking into is Market Movers – It’s a much more time efficient way of tracking your collection.
Here’s some cool stuff that the tool allows you to do:
- Keep track of card values over time with tables and graphs for every card.
- Compare cards against eachother – see how data (value and popularity etc) has changed over time between 2 or more cards at the same time.
- Track sales volumes of cards.
- Select all the cards in your personal collection and the tool will track them for you.
- See current profit and loss on cards you own based on real-time market data.
- Set price change alerts.
- Check graded card numbers.
- See the hottest and most popular cards right now.
- Check eBay deals for all sports cards.
I personally use Market Movers as a collection management tool. It keeps updated prices and valuations of sports cards and makes it easy to see the latest value of your collection and how much each card has changed in value.
You’ll have to pay a small monthly fee for this option (but you can try it for free using code TRIAL), but the time it saves me makes that totally worth it in my opinion.
How To Identify A Sports Card?
Before you can check its value, you’ll need to identify exactly what sports cards you own.
If you don’t know what card you have (the set or the year that it’s from) then the fastest way to check is to Google the name on the card and any card/serial number displayed on it.
Something to keep in mind is that just because a certain card sold at a price last time, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worth that right now… especially with rare, high-ticket cards – there will be a lot less data on those and the chances are one hasn’t been available on the market for a while. The timing of when you sell a sports card can have a huge impact on its value.
Just remember that sports card values are very fluid, and checking their value based on previous sales will only give you a rough estimate of their value.