Americans love sports more than any other pastime. Whether it’s attending games, playing them, or armchair quarterbacking, nearly half of all Americans call themselves sports fans. Needless to say, with that many sports enthusiasts out there, sports-related objects are among the most popular of all collectible items that are bought and sold. Furthermore, the odds are high that you have old sports-related items that others would be willing to buy.
The value of baseball cards
The first sports collectible that people typically think of is baseball cards. Unfortunately, a collecting craze in the 90s led to market oversaturation and value instability, so the real heyday for these cards is now over.
Even if baseball cards’ popularity among buyers has peaked, there are a few serious collectors left. Of course, these diehards have their choice from a huge oversupply, so prices have plummeted for all but the rarest and finest condition examples. While a mint Honus Wagner card can still bring literally millions, the vast majority of cards are nearly worthless. If you have pre-1970s cards, it is worth having them looked at, but don’t get your hopes up. What collectors really want are the very early cards from the early 1900s, along with certain early celebrity player cards such as Babe Ruth.
Other sports memorabilia is still hot
Of course, there are countless other sports items out there, and collectors are hunting for all of them. Aside from paper items like cards, ticket stubs and posters, collectors are seeking virtually anything that harkens back to earlier times.
So what’s valuable right now? The potential list is endless, but consider items like old balls, bats, helmets, skates, rackets, bows and arrows, snow shoes, pool cues, golf clubs, bicycles, uniforms…you get the picture. Then there are related items used in sports, such as scoreboards, stadium benches, skate sharpeners, bowling alley furniture, banners, trophies…the list goes on. These types of items are usually much rarer, and can therefore command a premium in the second-hand market.
Older items will be worth more
Needless to say, your kid’s used hockey stick probably isn’t worth much to a collector. Look for items that are pre-1970, and preferably much older. Collectors especially want nostalgic-looking items in good condition. Signs of age and use can be desirable in the right circumstances, but there is a point where things are just worn out. Those items are only collected in cases of extreme rarity.
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