What replaced baseball cards in the collectors market?

Question by Wu tang for life: What replaced baseball cards in the collectors market?
Trying to figure it out. 10 years ago baseball cards not just in baseball, but other sports were worth so much money. Now most are worth under like $ 20 for some pretty big names and the really big time players are worth more but a lot less than they used to be. I was thinking maybe signed stuff but even stuff like that isn’t always big money either. Did baseball cards get replaced by something else?

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Answer by Sergio [is] (COOL)

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One thought on “What replaced baseball cards in the collectors market?

  • December 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    You must not know the vintage card market. I’m talking cards before 1980. Values have either held steady or continued to rise, with a continued emphasis on professionally graded and certified cards.

    The collapse in values for modern cards began a lot longer than ten years ago. It started around 20 years ago when too many companies making too many different products (trying to cash in on the craze that began around 1985) almost destroyed collecting. Many dealers lost huge amounts of money and many collectors left, never to return. It’s my opinion that they weren’t true collectors, they were in it for the love of money, not the love of collecting. I am one of those who got burned, value-wise, but I loved collecting and stayed with it, using my head and buying older instead of new. I have a nice collection of vintage material now that’s increased in value and more than made up for the money I lost on junk.

    When the market went south, the card companies needed to do something. First thing that happened is that some of the companies just went away. Score, Donruss, Fleer, all gone. Bowman is a Topps brand. I don’t know if Upper Deck is still doing baseball or not. The other thing they did is come up with even more gimmick cards, something they had already started to do in the early ’90s. Get people -suckers, I call them – chasing after those elusive ‘limited edition’ cards, even autographs, to the point that nobody gave a crap about trying to put together sets, trading with friends their extras, the things that built card collecting. The plain old regular cards essentially became worthless, and the lottery ticket mentality took over.

    That mentality remains today, but also, the glitz of the gimmickry has worn off. Ten years ago, getting a card with a little piece of a star’s jersey in it was big. Now, it’s ho-hum. It has to be limited to a ridiculously small number before some fool will pay $ 200 for it, only to see it be worth half that much a year later when everybody’s chasing the next big thing. Same thing with autographs. Me, what do I care if it has a number 10/50 on it when another company has the same player with 20/100, and both companies had the same player signing for them for the last ten years? An autograph is an autograph. Scarcity created by the card companies on purpose is still scarcity, but fewer and fewer people are buying it.

    So, yes, baseball card collecting for the masses became some other thing for the masses who never really cared about collecting, really, only how much profit they could make from it. Some of those people got into coin collecting, fueled by the State Quarter craze. Most of those people were gone once they saw that everybody and their brother was saving the quarters and that the ones you found in your pocket will never have any value. But some of those people, just like with card collecting, found that there were other things about coin collecting to enjoy, and they stayed with it. Rising gold and silver price have kept coin collecting fairly strong. It was big in the 1960s. died in the 70s and 80s, and has come back pretty well.

    Baseball card collecting, for the vintage card market, is as strong today as it was ten years ago. Like they used to say about buying land, “They ain’t making any more of it.” 20-30 years from now, some of the stuff made now will have good value. It’s just that right now, nobody can say what that is. Which is why I always tell people to collect what they like and don’t worry about value, and if future value is the only thing they care about, go find something else to do.

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