Over the last 30 years baseball card values have skyrocketed beyond anyone's wildest dreams, but baseball cards weren't always regarded as the collectibles that they are today. Fifty years ago baseball cards were played with, flipped, thrown, and stuck in bicycle spokes. By the time the 1990's arrived, people began to see baseball cards as items of value and in some cases even legitimate investment vehicles - a far cry from the bicycle spoke fodder they were used as in the not so distant past.
Factors That Influence Baseball Card Values
The most important core principle to understand when buying or selling cards is that baseball card values are determined by the highest price someone is ready, willing, and able to pay for them at a specific point in time. Obviously someone can only make an effort to buy something if they know that it is for sale. As such the more people that are aware of a particular baseball card being sold, the better the chances are that someone will perceive your baseball cards value as being high enough to warrant paying more money to buy it. This is a big part of why eBay has become the most popular destination for people looking to buy and sell sports cards. Despite their high fees and erratic policy changes eBay still offers sellers an unparalleled level of visibility for their listings, which typically results in increased demand, and higher baseball card values. This added visibility means nothing if the sales price isn't commensurate with buyers' expectations of the baseball cards value, or if there is no demand for the card being sold.
Here are some other factors that can influence baseball card values:
Just as all sports teams are not created equally on the playing field, all teams are not created equally in the baseball card world either. Generally the more fans a team has, the higher the demand for their cards. The baseball card values of New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox players are on average far higher then the baseball card values of Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals because they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in this regard.
Geographic Location of the Sale
The geographic location where a baseball card sale or trade is being made can also significantly influence a baseball cards value. For example, when the Texas Rangers' talented young Slugger Chris Davis was promoted to the Majors last year he went on a home run hitting tear that took the hobby by storm. While his baseball card values surged nationwide, baseball card dealers throughout Texas experienced more demand then anywhere else in the country.
Condition is a huge factor in determining a baseball cards value. A slight dent, ding, or rip can cause a baseball cards value to drop drastically. Because condition effects the price so much, buyers can be wary of paying much money for an item unless they know exactly what condition it is in.
A high grade from a reputable grading company can increase a baseball cards value immensely. A sports card that has been inspected, graded, and sealed by a professional grader assures potential buyers of a card's quality and condition. These days anyone can start their own fly by night sports card grading company, so use caution when deciding what company to send your cards to for grading. PSA and BGS graded cards are almost invariably the most trusted among collectors, making the value of the baseball cards they contain second to none.
Player Performance and Career Milestones
Another factor that influences a baseball cards value is a player's performance. A hot streak, career milestone or a new championship ring can cause a player's baseball card values to skyrocket. Conversely, a run of bad luck can cause a player's baseball card values to take a turn for the worse.
Now that you have a better idea of what determines baseball card values its time to find out what baseball card price guides and baseball card pricing tools are at your disposal.