What You Need to Know When Collecting Trading Cards

Table of Contents

The global trading card market was most recently valued at nearly $14 billion, with projections that it will reach nearly $99 billion by 2027. The continued growth is due in part because of advancements in technology. 

What is a Trading Card?

A trading card is one or more cards that feature a figure, character, or other special feature. It could feature a professional athlete like a famous baseball, basketball, or football player. Beyond athletics, trading cards can extend into the realm of games, fantasy characters, and many other topics and focus areas. 

Hockey Trading Cards
Lot of Trading Cards from 1950-1960s, sold on MaxSold for $140

Types of Trading Cards

While collecting trading cards may seem to mostly focus on sports, there are other types of trading cards you can collect. Here are the three major categories you should know about: 

Sports Cards

Trading cards often focus on sporting activities like baseball as well as the NBA and NFL. You can also find trading cards for sports in Australia. Rare sports cards that are graded in excellent condition have sold for more than $5 million. 

Entertainment Cards

These types of trading cards can involve favorite TV and movie characters, like Marvel’s characters: Captain America and Iron Man. It could also feature characters from Star Wars: Princess Leia, Hans Solo, or even Luke Skywalker. You might even find card decks for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, The Big Bang Theory, Smallville, and other favorite shows and movies. 

Collectible Card Games

Some of the most popular trading cards involve Pokémon cards, as well as other customized card decks for games like Magic: The Gathering, or even Dino Hunt, Dragon Storm Game, and Nuclear War

How Do Trading Cards Compare?

When you consider which trading cards to collect and buy, there are a variety of ways you can compare your trading cards. Here are some of the main factors. 


The condition of the trading card will always be a factor, which is why you may need to access professional grading scales to confirm the value and condition of the cards 

Subject Matter

The subject matter of the trading card matters as a factor in comparing them. It could be that the trading card is collectible or of special significance because of the character or player on the car. Or it could have the nostalgic appeal that makes you want it even more. 


When the card is rare, it’s frequently sought after and valuable by collectors and fans. When you see the value of a rare trading card, you might appreciate a reminder of how supply and demand works. 

Errors and Autographs

There might have been a time when you’d have been upset when you bought trading cards with errors or misprints on them. Now you should know that those anomalies factor into the increased value of those trading cards. Autographs from the athlete, illustrator, or even the actor can help increase the value of trading cards. 

Your Budget

The value of a trading card comes down to what you and other collectors will be willing to pay. So you should determine how much you are willing to pay before ever becoming a bidder at an auction or reaching out to a private seller to offer a price for a trading card. 

Your Level of Knowledge

If you’re new to collecting trading cards, you’ll probably focus on the “safe” bets, those trading cards that have obvious value both now and in the future. As you learn more, you may take more risks with the types or varieties of trading cards you collect.

Sealed Packs or Boxes

When you buy sealed packs of trading cards, you could find something valuable and unexpected, but there’s more chance involved. With a sealed pack, there’s a better chance that the cards are in pristine condition. 

What Factors Affect the Value of Trading Cards?

There’s a certain amount of subjectivity in determining which trading cards are worth your time and effort. In many cases, you may simply decide to collect Pokémon cards because they have special sentimental value. Or, you could collect all the trading cards from your favorite teams. There could be any number of reasons why you collect certain ones. 

Large Box of Baseball Cards

When you post or search for an item on MaxSold, the starting bid is $1. It’s fast and cost-effective to get the auction started off, without delay. You can also search for trading cards in your area, so you don’t have to pay for shipping or arrange other pick-up options. You can easily pick up the items when you win the auction. Register with MaxSold now to start expanding your trading card collection. 

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