3 Helpful Tips for Sports Memorabilia Collectors

With the explosion of the internet and online shopping, collecting sports memorabilia has become much easier. You no longer have to scour obscure shops or go to great lengths to find an interesting piece. All you need is your credit card and Wi-Fi connection, and you could go online to find everything from signed jerseys to game-worn socks.

While this is welcome news to collectors, it does present the challenge of fakes and counterfeits. It also leaves newbies vulnerable to impulse buys that turn out to be bad investments.

With both the positive and the negative heightened by internet technology, how do you expand your collection or start one without falling victim to its pitfalls? Below are some simple tips that can help today’s collectors.

  1. Start Small

Popular pieces from famous players are valuable, but they might be too expensive, especially for beginners. If you want to start a collection from scratch, it might be a good idea to start small.

You could look for promising prospects and buy their rookie cards. A good example is Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic. He was a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA draft, an intriguing European player with unlimited potential. Ten weeks into his NBA career, established superstars were already heaping praises on him.

As a result, he became the heavy favourite for ‘Rookie of the Year’ honours. The market for his rookie cards soared on a weekly basis, to the point that most of them are being sent for grading. If you were able to get hold of Luca’s rookie cards when they first came out, they would be worth several times more by this time.

  • Have Them Autographed

The fastest way to raise the value of sports memorabilia items is to have them autographed. Some players are extremely famous that even a napkin bearing their signature is worth a lot of money.

If you are going to have your item signed, snap a picture while it is happening for documentation. You might also want to hold off on personalised messages, as this would make selling the item more challenging.

If you are going to buy a signed item, then put in the due diligence. Do some research or go to an expert who can analyze the signature and verify its authenticity. There are autograph verification companies that specialize in this.

  • Buy Genuine Items

This tip sounds simple and yet presents one of the biggest challenges for collectors. The sports memorabilia market is awash with fake items that anyone could fall prey to. Still, it is possible to build a collection of genuine pieces, especially if you are careful.

For instance, you could find out which players work exclusively with certain memorabilia dealers. Buying from these retailers will help ensure that the item you are getting is the real deal and all player signatures are authentic.

There are also other dealers who have built a solid reputation in the industry. Each item that they sell comes with certificates of authenticity. Once you find them, make sure that you get all your items exclusively from them. You could also have them appraise your other pieces if you have some doubts.

If you come across a very rare item that is being sold at a low price, make sure that a trusted dealer can vouch for it. Something that is too good to be true is most likely not.  

Author: Ester Adams