How To Examine a Sports Card

Buying, collecting and selling sports cards can be fun and profitable. Examining your sports cards is important both when buying and when preparing them to sell.

When you are examining a sports card, there are many things that you can look for that will identify if they are a higher value card. Examining sports cards is time consuming but important. Several collectors magazines are available to help teach you what to look for when examining your sports cards.

Find a well lit area.  Before taking the cards out that you will examine, put on some rubber gloves and get out  your magnifying glass.   If you are at a card show examining cards, have your magnifying glass with you and make sure to be gentle and careful when lifting up a card. If it is in a sleeve, slip it out to examine for fingerprints, etc.

Now, to examine your own collection at home, follow these tips.

  1. Pick up the card carefully holding it only by the edges.
  2. With your magnifying glass, check the card first to see if the colors are bold and vibrant. If they are dull or smudged, it takes away from the value. Check to make sure that the corners are all crisp and clean. If a corner is bent, folded or not cut nice and neat, it takes away value. Check carefully around the edges to make sure that the border is the same size all the way and centered on the card. If the border is thicker on one side than the other, or if it is higher from the top than the bottom, this takes away from the value.
  3. Check to see if the cards are numbered. This adds to the value. Check to see how many of this card were made, the less amount, the better for value.
  4. Flip the card over and check the back. The words should be clear and concise. The words should be centered on the back of the card.
  5. All in all, examine the card for any folds, creases or fingerprints.  All of these will decrease the value of the card.
  6. Once you have examined the card and decided to keep it, with your rubber gloves still on,  place it into a plastic protective sleeve. This will keep the card safe from fingerprints, etc. It is best to put the card neatly into a box or a loose-leaf book. This will keep the card flat.


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