Things You'll Need
- Subscription to Beckett.com
- Ebay account
According to Trading Card Central, basketball cards are more popular than ever in 2010. While a common card was going for 10 cents (or less), a rookie card of a star like LeBron James averaged $34.33. High prices of packs and boxes of cards have turned the hobby of collecting basketball cards into more of a money game than a collecting and trading game. That means basketball card collectors are more interested than ever in learning the value of the cards they have purchased, and the return on their investment.
Basketball Card Value
Check a Beckett guide. Beckett is the authority in the basketball card world for determining card values. Beckett price guides can be purchased at a local sports card shop or accessed online with a subscription at Beckett.com.
Beckett isn't the only price guide available. If you aren't willing to pay a subscription, try another national site like tuffstuff.com.
Look for the year and set name of the card in the price guide. Price guides are organized by year, and then alphabetically by set name. The year of the card is usually shown on the bottom half of the back of the card. The set name is generally shown on the front of the card, and if not, can also be found on the back. (You can also tell the year by looking at the player's last yearly statistic line. For example, if the last line is 1974-75, you're holding a card for the 1975-76 season.)
Find the number of the basketball card. The card number is located on the back of the card, and distinguishes it from the rest of the cards in that set. Now check your specific card against the Beckett list. Beckett will give two values: a "near-mint" value, and a "mint" value. The condition of the card will determine the real value. If a card is in perfect condition, it is considered "mint" and the value will be the highest one listed. A card that has damage to corners or surface decreases its value.
Search for your card by player name. Search by "Player Name + Card Set" to narrow search results.
Scroll down the left side of the eBay window and click "completed listings." (You will have to sign in to eBay to view this section.)
Find your specific card, by set, in the completed listings. This method shows the cash value that eBay users have been paying for the card in question.
The value listed in Beckett is what can be expected in a trade for the card. But in general, people pay less than what a basketball cards value is shown as in Beckett. If you are looking for a real cash value of the card, eBay is the best option.
Ryan Mac is a freelance writer from Omaha who has been writing since 2009. His specialties include health topics, such as ultra-violet radiation and its effects on one's health, as well as marine microbiology. He holds a Master of Science in molecular biology and a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from the University of Nebraska.