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New to collecting - very overwhelmed

Hi everyone,
I am completely new to this world and have wanted to pick it up as a new hobby but I’m so confused with all of the different cards available these days. I feel like 20 years ago there was only a few companies/packs to choose from and now all these companies have a million different sets.
I’m sticking with baseball cards for now but a question I have is, is there a site to go to to look up a cards value?
Without getting into the weeds, is there any specific info you’d pass to a new collector?
Thanks so much for the assistance.



  • HappytrailsHappytrails Posts: 15 ✭✭
    edited March 22, 2023 7:18AM

    https://130point.com/sales/. ~ A good Site for sale prices on both ebay and auctions..... I collect MLB and I'd get fluent with the main 5-6 offerings.....look for the highest liquidity in sales. Topps Chrome, T.C. Update, Bowman Chrome, Topps Heritage etc... It's going to be a real 6 months to understand it all depending on your passion... and then another lifetime after that :)

  • JolleyWrencherJolleyWrencher Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    edited March 22, 2023 8:53AM

    Cards today have many parallels (variations) which have a variety of names and scarcity. If you pickup a modern card then it should be PSA10 or maybe a 9..only go lower if it's very rare (I prefer to buy a very rare card raw).

    Terms like prism, prizm, refractor, superfractor, vinyl, every color of the rainbow, all kinds of patterns (waves, ice, etc.).

    I am overwhelmed constantly when I begin to go down the rabbit hole.

    Take a look at online checklists to see what variations were made. Many HOF players are released every year if you still want to collect past players.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 10,867 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You said hobby, so I am going to assume you're doing it for fun and not profit.
    The best advice I ever got about collecting anything was collect what you like, if it never becomes a good investment, you still have something you like.
    Second is to determine a budget and stick to it.
    I am a single player collector. Some people collect a favorite team others collect complete sets. I'm sure there are other types of collectors too.
    Other than sticking to baseball, for now, you didn't say much about what you enjoy. Let us know a few more specifics and you'll get more specific answers. Do you collect new or vintage?
    Secondly, you asked about a cards value, I look up "sold items" on eBay, that's generally going to show you what cards are selling for.
    Good luck, keep us posted and have FUN with this great hobby!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • pab1969pab1969 Posts: 1,023 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to collecting. Collect whatever you like but make sure to stay within a budget. It is easy spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on cards. You have your whole life to purchase cards so don't feel pressured to buy everything in 1 day. Make sure you buy what you like because then collecting will always be fun. Good luck.

  • Thank everyone. I’ve been trying to read as much as possible. It will definitely be a hobby and not for profit at this point. I like individual player cards and yes I have a gambling mentality. I’m a day trader in the stock market as well ;).
    I’ll take it one day/pack at a time otherwise my wife might not approve 😃

  • FilamCoinsFilamCoins Posts: 1,899 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm a newbie too but decided to start with football (my favorite sport to watch). I've been reading articles online, watching YouTube videos, reading books, etc to try to get an understanding of how the market works these days. It has changed a lot over the years. I can't believe one player can have hundreds of variations of his card in a single year. Good fun!

  • JolleyWrencherJolleyWrencher Posts: 453 ✭✭✭

    @Anders34 said:
    I’ll take it one day/pack at a time otherwise my wife might not approve 😃

    At least not the current one!

    If you want graded cards then you can find some PSA9/10 for the cost of grading. Watch out for old labeled cards where the condition not longer warrants the grade. Some consignment shops are pros at taking pictures to avoid showing you the edges and corners. I often ask for more pictures.

  • jay0791jay0791 Posts: 3,471 ✭✭✭✭

    Collect what you like. Almost everyone has a theme such as player, team, RC, HOF, Milestone, ect.
    Then decide if you want to be a master collector or just the mainstream cards. I stick to the major cards such as Topps and not the more obsolete ones. Look at a popular player on this website and pull up a basic set vs master set. You will know what I mean. Stay on your budget or you will soon be pulled into collecting for profit. For many reasons I only buy PSA graded cards as I do the set registries. Many just collect raw. Start slow and learn. Most if not all of us has made rookie mistakes. Most of all before you learn don't make speculations and but solid cards of what you will enjoy even if the cards don't appreciate in value.

    Welcome and good luck

    Collecting PSA... FB,BK,HK,and BB HOF RC sets
    1948-76 Topps FB Sets
    FB & BB HOF Player sets
    1948-1993 NY Yankee Team Sets
  • DBesse27DBesse27 Posts: 2,870 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lots of great advice here. The budget thing is super important, as is focus. I have a few projects I’m working on, but I get my most joy out of player collecting. I try to be a master collector of a few favorite players. I don’t collect complete company sets mostly because I have no interest in commons.

    Yaz Master Set
    #1 Gino Cappelletti master set
    #1 John Hannah master set

    Also collecting Andre Tippett, Patriots Greats' RCs, 1964 Venezuelan Topps, 1974 Topps Red Sox, 1968 Venz Sox

  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 24,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another thing I thought about when collecting.

    Trite saying: think of your pursuit as a "marathon" rather than a 100 yr sprint.

    Pace yourself. It's easy to get all OCD.

  • robert67robert67 Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 27, 2023 5:23AM

    Mike is correct. Following a budget and focusing on what I like have made this hobby much more enjoyable.

    Also, taking the "what is it worth" question out of the mix has helped.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 9,603 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First, do a bunch of research. watch youtube. a lot! read the message boards and join some facebook groups.
    2. Find yourself a fairly narrow focus. player, team, etc.
    3. realize starting out that you will never be able to have "all" of the cards you have chosen to collect.
    4. whatever you do, relax and have fun with it. do not make it a competition or a stressor.

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

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