Sports memorabilia collecting used to be a children’s hobby. They were able to get special items signed or maybe even worn by their favorite sports stars. These days it is a business and no longer for the amateur collector. Large companies buy and sell sports memorabilia for profit. This has resulted in collecting sports memorabilia becoming less affordable for the younger and casual collectors.
For sports memorabilia enthusiasts the collecting hobby has changed significantly in the past 10 years. Before the late 1990s the most popular collector cards for sports collectors were rookie cards. This has changed; now many sports card companies include cards that have autographs, pieces of memorabilia or even pieces of the playing field itself on the card. These are now the most popular collectibles for sports card collectors, as the line between memorabilia and sports cards that once was clear has effectively been erased.
Sports memorabilia allows fans and collectors of the sports memorabilia to feel that they “own” a part of the game. The ability to get limited edition signed cards, uniforms, game balls or other sports memorabilia has collectors on a quest to find the next hot item. Many collectors collect sports memorabilia because they are fans of the game or athletes and just want to display it. Others collect it for long term investments. There are also those that purchase with the intent to sell it quickly for a small to moderate profit.
Sports memorabilia comes in a large variety of types today. There are the traditional autographs on a game ball, but no longer is memorabilia just available in bulky sizes. The sports card industry has capitalized on the memorabilia market as it has included autographs, game-worn jerseys, college jerseys and pieces of game balls or portions of a playing field on a sports card itself. The new smaller versions of collectibles have allowed more collectors to participate in the sports card memorabilia industry, as the sports cards are quite often more affordable than the full size memorabilia.
Most sports memorabilia is now being produced in limited numbers. This was always the case, as there was only so many autographs a player would sign. Now though, this scarcity is noted on the sports memorabilia itself. Many pieces of sports memorabilia indicate how many total pieces of that item are available in the market. An item might be labeled 1/50, meaning it was the first item produced for this particular item and that there are only 50 on the market.
The popularity of sports memorabilia has brought with it an increased number of fraudulant items on the market. To make sure you are getting an authentic item, request a certificate of authenticity. Even these certificates can be forged, though, so you will need to do additional research. Research the credibility of the seller from which you are buying the item. This can involve searching comments about the seller at websites such as eBay where they sell their items. If you have any doubts about a seller, do not buy from them. Another significant change is that the secondary market for sports memorabilia has weakened. With the large amount of memorabilia on the market today, the resell value of items is dropping. If you wish to purchase an item with the intent to resell it, you should check auction sites to see how much it is selling for on the secondary market. Decide how much profit you wish to make, and use those numbers as a guideline as to how much you will pay for an item.