by Craig Blake
If you've already decided how to build your sports card collection, you can go through your newly opened packs and decide which sports cards fit and which you don't need. This is where the "trading" comes into trading cards. When it comes to sports collectibles, few things are as popular as baseball cards; however, basketballs cards and football cards have also become very hot items. Get together with other sports card collectors and make trades to help each other build trading card collections. You might have friends who also enjoy this hobby or you can meet people at hobby stores or on the Internet who want to trade sports cards. Here are some tips to make sure you get the best deals possible out of your trades.
Know their worth and potential. Before you contact anyone to trade cards, make sure to check the current worth of your sports cards. There are a number of magazines that keep track of the values of trading cards. You can probably pick up plenty of these magazines for cheap at a hobby store. Aside from individual value, some cards are worth more if they are part of a set. A card that is otherwise not very valuable can add a lot of value to other cards if it helps complete a set. Make sure you don't trade away a card you'll need to complete a set later. Be sure to check the value of any cards you will be getting in return.
Consider signatures. Autographed sports collectibles might be worth more or less than the listed value for the trading card itself. Whether you are trading away or trading for an autographed sports card, remember the value is probably different than what is listed in the magazines.
Balance sentimental value with financial value. If a specific set of sports cards means an awful lot to you personally, it might be hard to replace them, even with more valuable trading cards. Don't make any trade until you feel comfortable with the deal.
Don't do sight-unseen trading. Make sure you are able to see the sports card before you trade for it. Some traders might not understand exactly what they have. It can't hurt to verify. Be fair and have fun. Trading sports cards is supposed to be a fun hobby.
Kids, make sure you ask your parents' permission before trading with anyone from the Internet. It might also be a good idea to ask your parents' advice before making any trades.