Culture Trading Cards

Your Ultimate Guide to Selling and Investing in Sports and Trading Cards

This guide to investing and selling trading cards was written by Gary Vaynerchuk, Jason Koeppel, Raghav Haran, Tyler Schmitt, and Lou Geneux.

So… you’re thinking about investing in sports and trading cards. This guide will cover everything you need to know to get started – from figuring out what your old cards are worth to finding what new cards to buy, and more.

Also be sure to bookmark this post and listen to the Card Talk podcast for more tips and tricks on the go.

Why Invest in Sports Cards?

Sports card prices have spiked in recent years for a few reasons:

  • Kids who flipped sneakers are getting into the game. The big difference with sports cards is that people can get them in much higher volume than they can with sneakers – with sneakers you might only be able to get one pair online, but with sports cards, you can get as many as your budget allows.
  • Nostalgia is a huge driver. Men and women from the 80s who grew up with sports cards now have young kids and love seeing their kids get into the same hobbies they loved. You see toys like GI Joe “reboot” every 30 years or so for the same reason.
  • Buying sports card packs also ties into the rise of sports betting – buying a pack of cards and hoping you pull out a $50,000 card is similar to the excitement of betting on games. 

It all creates a perfect storm for cards to rise in value today. 

The other more fascinating element, especially for you as you’re reading this article, is the concept of trading cards being the current generation’s “art.” 

As attitudes and values shift, a lot of people are into displaying – say – a Michael Jordan rookie card in their house that they can show to their friends instead of a Jackson Pollock painting. It’s like how Justin Bieber showed off his insane Pokemon card collection hanging on his wall. 

Similarly, the scarcity and supply-and-demand elements of certain sports cards makes them an interesting long term investment that could increase in value – similar to something like fine art. 

Here’s how closely fine art has tracked the stock market over time: 

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And here’s how the trading card market compares to the stock market over a 10-year period (according to PWCC).

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Not to say that trading cards will always go up or that they’ll always beat the stock market—but it’s an interesting conversation to have, especially for those who can afford a small, fun, alternative investment. 

Being successful with sports card investing is all about education. Unfortunately, many people will get caught up in FOMO, gambling-like behavior, or buy in areas where they’re not educated – and that’s where they’ll lose over time. Education comes in the form of figuring out what sports to invest in, what players to buy, understanding the supply of the card you’re buying, and more. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the specifics of everything you need to know when it comes to trading cards, such as:

  • Setting goals
  • Different card buying strategies
  • Card values
  • Rookie cards
  • Types of cards to collect
  • What to know about card grading
  • The 4 most popular grading companies
  • Card value variables
  • Considering options outside of sports
  • Places to buy
  • How to sell
  • Research tools
  • Future of the hobby
  • Risks involved
Set your goals
1. Set a budget

Without a budget, it’s easy to spend a lot more than you’re comfortable with! Before you get started, make sure to set a budget for the amount that you’re willing to spend on cards. 

2. Decide your financial goals with the hobby

What are you looking to accomplish, financially? Are you just looking to collect, or are you looking for a return? 

Different financial goals might require different strategies. If you have some cash and you’re looking for a long term investment, you’ll have a different strategy than if you’re looking to make money in the next few months, for example.

Understand different card buying strategies
1. Long term investing

Cards that are long term investments require a different thought process and strategy than cards that are short term investments. 

If you’re looking for long term growth (and less risk), you should be thinking generationally. When you’re thinking generationally, you’re not focused on a player having a good game today or tomorrow, you’re focused on accumulating cards of generational icons like Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle and Tom Brady. You’ll be thinking more along the lines of what players will have the best legacies, as opposed to the short term implications of one game or even one season. 

These cards generally cost more, but also typically carry less risk.

2. Flipping

Flipping is for people who want to buy a card for a lower price today and flip it in a few days or weeks or months – or some would even consider a year short term – based on a player’s future performance or overall value.

If you’re going to flip and try to make short term money, you need to have a deep understanding of the game and the sport you’re trading in while also understanding the inherent risks. Don’t forget, at one point Derrick Rose was an MVP and the face of the NBA.  

For example, if you don’t really know basketball outside of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant, you should not be thinking about flipping cards in the short term. If you do know the sport, you can start to think about which players’ cards are based on the current status of where they’re at. Which prospects could have an incredible game and surprise everyone? Which teams could go deep into the playoffs? Are there any incredible players right now that just aren’t getting the attention they deserve because they’re on a bad team? What if they get traded to a better team over the course of their career and get more awareness as a result of that? How fast can you move if something changes? 

We’ll cover some of these different variables later in this post, but those are just some of the things to be thinking about. If you don’t know a sport deeply enough to be able to form opinions or hypotheses about those questions, then you probably shouldn’t be flipping yet. GET EDUCATED FIRST!

3. Collecting

Let’s not forget that sports cards are a hobby! 

That means a number of people should be into this just for that purpose. If you want to collect cards of a certain player because you like that player, then that’s amazing. Just enjoying collecting makes investing and flipping more fun too, if you go down those routes.​​​

4. Sports betting & gambling

If you’re into sports betting, flipping sports cards could be another potentially lower-risk way of playing. If you’re betting on the New Orleans Pelicans winning a game, or Zion Williamson scoring more than X amount of points in a game, then sports cards might be a safer angle to go (since you won’t necessarily lose all your money if it doesn’t work out). Or if you’re betting on someone to win Rookie of the Year, buying their card and flipping it after they win would be another way to do it. 

If you can bet on a game, you can bet on a player as well in the same form or fashion by buying up their cards.

How to find the value of your cards

A lot of people are getting back into the hobby by first researching and figuring out the value of their old cards in their closet from when they were younger. If you have a card that you’re trying to find the value of, make sure you have the following info: 

Step 1. Find the year of the card. You can find this by checking the copyright date or the final year of the stats that are included. 

Step 2. Find the card company name.

Step 3. Find the player’s name. 

Step 4. Find the card number.

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For example, in the case of this Michael Jordan card: The date is 1986, the card company is Fleer, and the card number is 57/132 (this means that there were 132 cards in the set this card was in, this is the 57th card). 

Step 5: Head to eBay

You can enter all of those things into eBay, and scroll down and hit “sold items.” Make sure “completed items” is unchecked.

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From there, you can see all the sold listings for that card and get a feel for how much it’s going for. You’ll see a variety of listings – some cards will be “raw”, some will be “graded”, and others will be similar cards from different years or sets. 

You’ll learn all the terminology later in this guide, but this is a great starting point! 

After you go through your existing cards and see what you have, you can start the process of exploring new players that you’re interested in. You can explore new cards and get a feel for the market – starting with that player’s “rookie card.”

Figuring out what player’s card to buy: Starting with the rookie card

First, go to a site like eBay, and start by picking a player you like. Let’s say you like Ja Morant. Type in “Ja Morant rookie.”

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We’ll talk about this more later, but the most desirable version of a player’s card is typically their rookie card. The rookie card is the first version of their card to be printed. If you don’t know what set their rookie card is from, a good way of figuring it out is by typing in “[player name] rookie” and seeing what comes up. 

Once you type it in and press enter, look at what graded cards come up. Graded cards are cards that are enclosed in a case like this one and given a rating from 1-10 (which reflects the card’s condition) by a grading company.

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Here’s some context on what the different words on the case mean:

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In Ja Morant’s case, a good chunk of the graded card listings were 2019 Panini Prizm – which indicates that that’s his main rookie card. “Panini Prizm” or “Topps Chrome” will typically be the main rookie card sets for some of the more recent players. Panini acquired the exclusive NBA license for trading cards in the 2009 – 2010 season. 

For LeBron James, his rookie card is the 2003 Topps Chrome. For Giannis Antetokounpo, his rookie card is from the 2013 Panini Prizm Basketball set. 

From there, we can start searching for recent prices and sold listings. Type in “2019 Panini Prizm Ja Morant PSA” into eBay, and click on the “sold” listings on the left-hand side filter:

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That search term will give you a list of all rookie cards that have been graded by PSA (which usually hold the most value).  

You can scroll through and start to get a sense for what the prices are, and what you can expect to pay. The rookie card is usually the most desirable and will usually be the first card to go up in value in correlation with the performance & future outlook on the player, if that fits within your budget. The general rule of thumb is to take the average of the last five sales, and consider that as a fair price to pay. One thing to note, is that when selling on ebay or stockX, there is a ~13% fee for the seller. This means when purchasing from a human off platform, prices could be anywhere from 10-15% less than comparison on an online marketplace. 

From there, you can consider the other variables that play into whether the card is a good short or long term investment – things like what team the player is on, the grade of the card, the population report, the cultural awareness around the player, the artwork on the card, and more. 

In the rest of this post, we’ll cover the different aspects of card collecting, and the different variables that can affect a card’s value.

Types of Sports Cards you can collect
1. Rookie cards

A player’s rookie card holds more value than their other cards, historically. The reason is because it can’t be manipulated – even as new product is released, the rookie card remains the rookie card. People in the hobby typically want to get the first card that was ever printed of that player, which happens to be the rookie card. 

At the time of writing this article, the LeBron James Topps Chrome rookie card is selling for around $8000-10,000 in PSA 10 (we’ll talk more about PSA grading later in this post).

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LeBron’s 2006-2007 Topps Chrome card on the other hand, is selling for around $400-500. It’s not the rookie card, so it’s not as highly desired. But keep in mind that LeBron is one of the greatest therefore you see other cards going up. 

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That being said, as the rookie card of a player gets too pricey, people begin to collect other cards of that player, such as second-year cards or first-year cards with a specific team. For example, LeBron’s first Prizm card sells for about $500 now. 

2. Inserts

Card companies put inserts into packs to spread out the regular cards. Inserts are typically more artistic, or hold a different kind of design from the rest of the cards in the set. For example, Panini did a fun design with Zion as a superhero for one of their inserts.

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Inserts have started to hold more value over time as of late. As people start to look for different ways to invest in cards, there are lower populations of inserts. 

Zion’s 2019 Panini Prizm rookie card has 20,949 PSA 10s right now – an insert of his would definitely be printed less, which means that the inserts might be more valuable depending on what it is and what it signifies.

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You can find inserts on eBay by searching something like “Dwyane Wade PSA” and looking for cards that seem a little “off the beaten path.” From there, enter the set that card is from into the “PSA Pop Report” tab to find the supply of the card. 

Check out the “population report” section below for more on this.

3. Complete sets

Hardcore collectors love the “chase” of trying to assemble complete sets – they love the challenge of trying to get every card in – say – the 2019 Panini Prizm Basketball set.

It can be fun as a hobby, but a full set doesn’t necessarily sell for more than individual cards by themselves.

4. Boxes

There are different types of card boxes you can find. There are retail boxes that you can find in stores like Target. There are also what’s called “hobby boxes” and “jumbo hobby boxes” – those are the ones that have autographed cards in them, guaranteed. 

You can approach this in a couple of ways: 

For one, you could buy the boxes, keep them sealed, and hold onto them as they rise in value. Sealed boxes typically hold the most value because you don’t know what’s inside – it gives people a “thrill of the hunt” and a sense of excitement as they buy the box and open up. The value of sealed boxes really depends on the type of boxes you’re buying – like this 1986 Fleer Basketball Box for example sells for a ton of money because people could potentially pull a Michael Jordan rookie card out of it (among others).

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You could also just open up the packs for fun as soon as you buy them from the store, in hopes that there’s a valuable card inside. This ties in a bit more to the gambling or sports betting aspects, but it can be a ton of fun, especially if you really enjoy collecting.

5. Unopened packs

Boxes are made up of a number of individual card packs, which can be sold by themselves too. 

Packs can also go for a lot of money, depending on the set they’re from.

6. Autographs

Autographed cards are printed less than regular cards because the card company has to pay to get player autographs – and the more popular the player is, the more expensive the autograph is. 

The supply of autographed cards are typically a small fraction of the total number of rookie cards a player has.

7. Jersey patch cards

There are some cards that come out with a patch of a player’s jersey on it. 

Just because a card is a patch card doesn’t necessarily make it the most valuable thing – the most valuable patch cards are typically game-used jerseys (as opposed to event-used jerseys). The game-used jersey patches are usually reserved for premium products, like Panini National Treasures basketball sets.

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To find jersey patch cards, you can search things like “[player name] patch”, “[player name] RPA” (which means rookie patch auto), or “[player name] rpa psa” (which will give you graded cards). Rookie patch auto cards are autographed cards with a jersey patch from the player’s rookie season. 

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From there, you can take into account all the other variables – things like population reports (more details below), your general intuition about the player, recent sale prices, amount of recent sales, and more.

8. Error cards

Error cards are cards that have some kind of misprint on them, which can be valuable. They don’t happen as much anymore because there’s usually much more quality control these days when it comes to that, but with vintage sets, you can find some error cards with wrong names or images. 

They’re definitely flippable, but it doesn’t happen as often with newer stuff.

What to know about sports card grading

Grading companies evaluate the condition of the card and assign a grade from 1-10 based on that condition – with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest). Below are the four major grading companies. For more detailed information on grading, check out this article.

The Grading Companies
1. PSA
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PSA is currently the top grading company in the hobby. PSA was recently purchased for $700 million dollars by a group of investors including entrepreneur and collector Nat Turner and New York Mets owner Steve Cohen.

Outside of the BGS Black Label 10 (more on that below), PSA 10s will almost always increase the value of your card more than any other grading company. Their recognizable red and white labels are simply the slabs that the industry wants, and after working their way through an astronomical backlog of cards, they seem to be back to churning out huge numbers monthly.

2. BGS (Beckett)

BGS (Beckett Grading Services) is probably the next biggest, but they grade on a bit of a different scale than PSA. A BGS 9.5 is considered Gem Mint by their standards, as they include “sub-grades”, which are grades for each aspect of the grading process.

BGS black labels cards that earn a 10/10 on centering, edges, corners, and surface quality are the toughest grade to achieve, but if you do end up with one it will very likely command a hefty premium over a PSA 10.

3. SGC

SGC has really come on strong in the hobby over the last two years, with relatively inexpensive pricing (about $25/card) and fast turnaround (less than a month) at their basic level.

Their “tuxedo slabs” are unique in comparison to the other grading companies as they have a black background inserted which really make the colors of the cards pop.

4. CSG

CSG is an interesting company to look out for. Their slabs are crystal clear and they recently updated their labels after facing some backlash over the look of their previous clunky green ones. They are relatively new to card grading, but are the biggest names in the comic book and coin grading space.

One of the biggest reasons for optimism with CSG is the fact that Michael Rubin, the founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, is an investor in the company.

Which grading company should I use?
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Newer companies such as HGA and ISA offer their own approach to sports and trading card grading, but sticking with one of the top four will likely return you the most value.

If you’re a newer investor or collector getting into graded cards, start with PSA for your more valuable cards (worth $1000 or more), then look into BGS. For cards that are under $1000, SGC is certainly a very attractive option. 

The “premier” grading company might be something that changes over time. A different brand might be “number 1”, meaning their graded cards might be more desired in the future compared to a PSA graded card. 

That’s something to think about especially if you’re really in this for the long haul. But for now, graded cards are the absolute currency of the industry on the premium end.

Variables that can affect a card’s value
1. Modern vs vintage

Cards of current players like Luka Doncic or Patrick Mahomes could go up and down based on injuries, how well they play, and a number of other factors.  

On the other hand, the argument for buying modern cards is that new people entering the hobby are more excited about – say – Giannis than they are about someone like Julius Erving. There could also be more opportunity for short term gains with modern cards, since a lot of the recent excitement around the hobby is based around current players.

Some people feel that vintage cards are a better investment compared to modern cards because there are less variables. Meaning, players like Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have been cemented as icons of basketball, so their price might not fluctuate as much in the day-to-day. The supply of those cards also won’t rise as demand goes up, so some people view them as a safer investment. 

2. Supply of the card (Population reports)

The number of cards in circulation can affect the value in a big way. Supply & Demand is a tried and true principle and is at the core of this hobby!

You can check population reports for PSA-graded cards on their website

Just enter the set your card is in… 

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And you can find the population of all cards within that set. For example, Ja Morant’s main card within that set currently has 20,047 PSA 10’s in circulation. 

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Zion Williamson’s 2019 Prizm PSA 10 also has a population over 20,000.

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You can also search by player name, and get a list of all the cards they have in circulation, along with the population numbers of those cards. 

Just because a card is lower in supply doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s more valuable. There are a lot of other factors to consider too – like the overall awareness around that player, the team they’re on, future potential, and more. Ask yourself, is the card low in supply because it’s truly rare? Or because it’s irrelevant and so no one’s sent it in for grading? 

Population reports are one important tool you can use to compare cards and find the rarest cards of a player you like.

3. Buying raw vs graded

You can buy cards that are graded by companies like PSA or Beckett, or you can buy cards “raw.” Meaning, cards that haven’t been submitted to a grading company. 

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The barrier to entry is often lower for raw cards because of the lower price. Since they haven’t been officially graded for quality, they don’t carry as much of a premium. 

Raw cards are generally better for beginners who are just getting into the hobby because they allow more room for mistakes and for learning. You could spend $100 and get – say – seven raw cards, or spend $100 and get maybe one PSA-graded card. There’s more room for error with the seven. 

Early on, it can be safer to start with raw cards, then move into graded cards as you learn the nuances.

4. Surface, corners, edges, creases, and centering

When a grading company grades cards, they pay attention to the surface, corners, edges, creases, and centering of the card. 

Does the surface have any scratches? Are the corners and edges frayed? Does the card have any creases? How well is the player centered on the card?  

Grading is a subjective process with a human element to it. People at these companies will grade cards based on the condition, and these are some of the things they look for. 

Assessing a card’s condition is a deep skill that takes time to develop, but if you’re buying raw cards and sending them into a grading company to get them graded, or digging cards out of your closet to get them graded, these are some of the factors you can look at.  

5. The card company

There are different companies that create cards – you’ll hear of these names as you get into the hobby. 

Panini is the company that predominantly is known for basketball and football cards, the reason being that they currently hold the licenses with the professional leagues to distribute player cards with team logos. 

Topps currently holds the licenses for baseball cards. The MLB player’s association has a deal with Panini which allows Panini to print baseball cards with player names (but not team logos), but Topps has the full deal where they’re able to print both player names and team logos. For that reason, Topps baseball cards hold more value. 

Upper deck holds licenses for hockey.

Recently, Fanatics purchased the licenses for the NBA, NBAPA, MLB, MLBPA and NFLPA, as well as the Topps brand in a major shift in the collectibles market. This consolidation means that Fanatics will also produce Formula 1, MLS, UEFA, and Bundesliga cards in the near future, as well as WWE.

6. Cultural relevance of the athlete

Cultural relevance plays an important role in overall demand because it shows how much awareness people have about the player. 

For example, with all the things that LeBron James does off the court, what does that mean for his cards? Which players – like Shaq, Dwyane Wade, or Charles Barkley – will stay culturally relevant even after they retire? 

The player’s life off the field or off the court could potentially also play a role in whether they make a good long term investment – even after they leave the game.

7. Player performance in a game

Player performance can play a role in the short term fluctuations of their card’s value. This is more relevant for flippers than long term investors, but the dynamics are similar to sports betting. If a player has an incredible game or series of games, their card price will probably go up.​​​​​

8. Your negotiation tactics

Negotiation is part of the hobby! 

It’s something people do a lot at card shows, but also something you can do on sites like eBay when you’re buying. 

You can look for listings that “accept offers”, and message the buyer with a price you think is reasonable based off of recent sales.

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Because information on recent sales is so readily available, there’s typically not a ton of flexibility on recent prices. The wiggle room comes when you buy from a particular seller more than once – if you’re a repeat buyer or you buy multiple cards from one person, you can ask for lower prices. Also, put yourself into the seller’s shoes, why not list at a higher price point than the market at the chance lazy buyers are perusing the market and willing to pay over market value in exchange for the time saved from doing the research? If there is an option to make a “best offer” or “OBO”, do so! But don’t be upset if while you’re waiting for a response, someone comes along and buys at full price.

9. Retirements and Hall of fame potential

Getting into the Hall of Fame is one variable that can really spike a card’s value. For example, Vince Carter’s rookie card saw a lot of demand as he became eligible for the Hall of Fame.   

10. The player’s team: Major markets

The team the player’s on matters. Major markets overall tend to hold more value than smaller markets. When a player wins with the Yankees, Lakers, or Celtics, it can hold more weight. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t excel as an individual athlete – for example, the Anaheim Angels aren’t necessarily the hottest team, but Mike Trout is “the guy” in baseball. It’s just something to take into consideration.

11. The player’s team: Smaller markets

Small market teams can hold less weight than larger markets, but like it was mentioned before, just because a player isn’t on the Celtics or Lakers or Yankees doesn’t mean their card isn’t valuable. 

For example, Zion Williamson is in New Orleans, but if he ever gets traded to a major market team, that might spike the price of his card. That’s one way to use this data.

12. Player career path and potential

One of the most fun parts about the hobby is seeing whether you’re “right” about a player or not. 

When you’re buying modern cards – especially new rookies – evaluating a player’s talent is a huge variable. Who’s going to be a huge talent? Who’s already a talent, but hasn’t gotten the chance to really shine? Who’s talented, but on a small market team? What if they get traded somewhere else? 

This goes back to deeply knowing the sport you’re trading in – if you can’t answer those questions, then you probably won’t be able to make educated decisions on current players.

13. The player’s league

The league the player plays in makes a difference too. 

Basketball is a major sport and also has a fanbase in countries like China and around the world. That can influence the demand for basketball cards. 

Football is extremely popular in America and has a loyal fanbase. The stats show that 75 of the top 100 TV broadcasts in 2021 were football. It’s the biggest sport in America and will have an audience. 

Baseball is the oldest sport out of the group and was the sport that truly popularized sports cards. They’re the foundation of the hobby. 

Hockey isn’t as massive in terms of popularity, but the NHL fanbase is extremely loyal and excited about the sport which could sustain demand. Same with baseball, wrestling, and the UFC. 

Soccer has a huge international audience. And with the explosion of the Premier League and the TV rights deal they’ve done with NBC, and the fact that the schedule over the next two years will be jam packed due to COVID-19 match delays, there could be a lot more awareness around it. International soccer which always dominates TV. Also, the 2026 World Cup will be played in the United States, and that could make a difference in the overall awareness around the sport.

14. Nostalgic elements

Nostalgia’s a powerful driver of human behavior and is something that carries weight in the world of collectibles. 

This is especially true for areas like Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards that hold a lot of sentimental value for people – people often want to collect the cards that they played with as kids. It’s true for sports cards too, and a big argument as to why vintage players hold a lot of value. 

Older people might have grown up watching Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing. Those players hold a place in a lot of people’s childhoods, which can make them more collectible and influence their card’s value. 

Consider your options outside of sports

With sports cards rising so much in value, there’s been a lot of awareness brought to the world of trading cards and collectibles as a whole. Things like Pokemon cards, Magic the Gathering cards, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and more have been really rising in value in a big way over the past 1-2 years. 

Check out this blog post from PSA on the collectability of Pokemon – sets of some of the most valuable cards have been appraised at $300,000+, including this specific Charizard card which recently sold by itself for $420,000.

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There are plenty of options outside of sports if you’re more passionate about another trading card game you played as a kid!

The Best Channels to Buy Sports Cards
1. eBay

eBay is the most well-known place to buy and sell cards. It can also be a quick tool you can use to see what a card is selling for. 

2. Facebook groups and Instagram

There are a number of sellers who post their cards on Facebook groups or directly on Instagram for sale. It’s another place to find deals, and an opportunity to build a closer relationship with a seller (or buyer) who you can go back to over and over again. As those relationships are formed, it’s easier to get deals.

3. COMC is another place you can buy trading cards. It’s built more for collectors who are trying to collect full sets. 

4. Card shows

Card shows still happen across the country, the biggest one being the National Sports Collectors Convention. It’s an opportunity to have a ton of fun, potentially relive some childhood memories, and buy direct from sellers at their booths. 

5. Whatnot

Whatnot is a community marketplace where and shop owners and “breakers” can go live and collectors can buy single cards or participate in a box break.

It has gained massive popularity in the hobby of late, making the selling and shopping process much more seamless than Instagram and Facebook live.

The Future of Sports Cards

As demand for cards increases, the natural reaction of card companies will be to increase the amount of supply in future sets. It’s part of what caused the junk wax era – as card companies tripled the amount of printing, supply outpaced demand and the cards from that era just weren’t as valuable. 

It makes sense – card companies like Panini and Topps are trying to get more sales. If there’s more demand, they’ll increase production to match it. 

The only way to combat that is being smart about how you’re buying cards. Like we mentioned earlier, you can check PSA population reports to see how many of a certain card are in circulation and think about whether the market demand outpaces the supply. 

Markets go up, and markets go down. 

There’s a good argument to be made that certain sports cards and Pokemon cards will continue to rise in value over the long term (especially the icons), but like with everything, it’s important to recognize that there are macroeconomic factors that can affect the card market. 

Collectibles aren’t a “top need” for most, so in recessions, liquidity could dry up and we could see a decline in card value. That’s why it’s so important to set a budget – define how much you’re comfortable spending and treat it like any other investment (i.e. don’t overexpose yourself and diversify).


One risk of sports card investing is that athletes get hurt. 

For example, if you were obsessed with Derrick Rose and put a ton of money into his rookie cards at the height of his career, that wouldn’t have been a good outcome given what happened to him with injuries.

There are some sports where athletes might be more at risk than others (like football) but there’s not really any sure way to predict this. It’s one of the risks that come with the territory.    

Just like there’s fake art, there are fake cards, too. 

You can educate yourself on how to tell whether a card is real or fake, and also lean more towards buying graded cards over time. Taking into account the seller’s reviews and feedback can also help. 

“Shilling” is when sellers put in a fake, massively high bid on a card just so they can sell it at a higher price. If a card has a few sales where it “sold” for a much higher price than what you think it’s worth, it could be manipulation. Don’t forget, trading cards, just like sneakersm fine art, modern art, or any other collectible is an unregulated market and there is bound to be manipulation. 

If you’re not transacting through a reputed website or trading card marketplace, PayPal goods and services can be a reliable way to send money to sellers or collect money from buyers. 

It offers protection to both buyers and sellers to make sure that the transaction gets carried out properly. You can use this if you’re buying cards through places like Instagram or Facebook groups. 

If you think about buying cards as a business, the same rules apply as any other investment! 

By diversifying you can make sure that you’re not overexposed to any sport or player. Consider collecting different sets, different players, different leagues (if you really know multiple sports), different rookie cards, different grading card companies, etc based on where you think the risks are in your portfolio.

Research tools

Hope you found this guide helpful as you’re getting started – happy trading, and hit us up @ONE37pm on Twitter!!

Culture Trading Cards

How to Sell Pokemon Cards: Your Ultimate Guide

Looking to invest short and long term with some of the safest cards on the planet? Pokémon cards have been on a blistering pace over the last five years, with unbelievable growth and what appears to still be plenty of meat left on the bone. The facts might have you on eBay in a matter of minutes. With prices shooting to the stratosphere, are you curious to see what your old cards collecting dust might be worth?

This Ultimate Pokémon Guide is your compass to buying and selling vintage Pokémon cards today and for the future.  

For more information on what Pokemon Cards are worth you can read our Pokemon Card Value and Price Guide.

(Note: all values listed are valid as of date of publication)

Why Invest in Pokémon?
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Pokémon cards are the premier non-sports cards to invest in today. The original 1999-2000 sets have been on an upward trajectory for over 5 years, with 2020 being the mega increase, thus creating a cultural demand similar to the 1999 release. 

  • Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise ever. Recently the company hit $105 Billion. 
  • The Most Valuable English card, 1st Edition Charizard in PSA 10 Gem Mint has soared from $50,000.00 in July 2020 to a then record-breaking purchase by the rapper Logic for $225,000.00. That record was topped in March of 2022 at PWCC Auctions with a final sale price of $420,000.
  • Pokémon Trading Card sales have topped $10.25 Billion. 
  • The buying demographic is between ages 24-36. This group will continue to make more money annually and have a higher spending threshold. The next 20 years should be meteoric. 
  • Starting in March 2020, prices surged – in part due to the pandemic. Being stuck home caused a major demand in collecting and opening original sealed packs. Pokémon Cards exploded, just as the sports card market did as well. 
  • Grading companies became overloaded, unable to meet the demand in a timely fashion causing graded cards on the market to surge. The trajectory from January 2020 was for cards to double in price over the year, not quadruple. 
  • Original Pikachu cards increased up to and beyond 1,000% in that time period. The most famous Pokémon has become the new go to character for collectors. 
  • Japanese Pokémon cards are 24 years old. With the 25th anniversary last year, the original cards continued to surge before pulling back a bit.  
  • A 1st Edition Box sold for $432,000.00 at PWCC Premier Auction in N0vember of 2021, breaking the $408,000 record previously set at Heritage Auctions just a few months earlier. There are also reports of one of these boxes selling for as high as $450,000 in a private sale on Instagram.

High-End Pokémon cards are being viewed as modern art, with the price tag for a pristine 1st Edition Base Charizard currently at $433,000.00 and climbing if you can get one. Due to correlations to Magic the Gathering, the prices today could increase steadily over the next 5 years. Outside of the economy crashing, Pokémon would seem to be a safe play. 

Demand for original cards has consistently increased since 2010, but due to awareness, and points mentioned previously, there has been a fearlessness from buyers to set records. All year, record sale after record sale for high-end Pokémon Cards. The fear of missing out on today’s price is real.

Set Your Goals
  1. Budget 

It’s imperative that you set a budget and know when to stop buying. Winning auctions can be addicting and it’s easy to go overboard fast. Monitor recent sales. Know how much you’re willing to spend to acquire the desired card.  

  1. Decide your financial goals with the hobby

Why are you getting in? Are you an enthusiast who wants to collect for long-term profits or are you trying to make money fast?  

There are many routes you can go when investing in Pokémon Cards and there is a quality card for every budget. Starting out at $10 card purchases works in the long term. Buying the rarest cards under $20,000.00 for a quick profit has been a major play in 2020. 

Understand Different Card Buying Strategies
  1. Long Term Investing

With 1999-2000 Pokémon cards, the long term investing would be towards Mint raw cards and Near Mint graded cards. Graded cards have been on a blistering pace the last 12 months. Lower grades of the most expensive cards or PSA 8 and up for the rest of the 1999-2000 cards are great long-term investments.   

  1. Flipping

Flippers will buy a card with the goal to make a profit on it ASAP. Education is what sets the flipper from the casual collector. They know the sales, population reports and what cards are coveted by monitoring the market. If a card takes off, flippers often look to capitalize. If you only know the main Pokémon characters and not much else about the cards, flipping is probably not for you. You have to study sets, know errors, sales, population reports and have a deep understanding of why cards/sets get hot. All of this is covered here. 

  1. Collecting

Pokémon cards are all about collecting. Gotta Catch Em All is the slogan and for good reason: children aimed to have every card. In 1999, having a binder with complete sets was a major deal. Set collecting isn’t much different now, with gem mint and lower graded complete sets becoming all the rage once again. Pokémon battling and collecting were the essence, but today collecting dominates. One of the phenomenons with Pokémon cards is the overwhelming nostalgia and lack of willing sellers due to attachment to the cards. Many collectors value their cards well beyond the current prices and it’s shown with a limited supply of high-grade 1st Ed Base holograms available. Being out-priced is becoming more apparent and some collectors are flipping cards to finish sets and upgrade. 

How To Find the Value of Your Cards
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Taking your old cards out of the closet and researching to find their current value is the most common way people are getting back into Pokémon. When trying to figure out a card’s value, make sure to follow these steps:

Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Step 1. Find the year of the card. Check the bottom year(s) of the card.

Step 2. Find the set the card belongs to. If there is no logo on the right side, it’s Base. Every other set has an indicator. 

Step 3. Identify the card with the name and number in the set. 

Figuring Out What Pokémon Card To Buy
1st Edition Base 
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  • The grail set, Charizard is on fire with a recent sale topping $420,000.00.
  • The graded population on this set is low, and the demand has become astronomical.
  • The record sale price of a sealed box in an auction went for $432,000.00.  
Shadowless Base Set
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  • Identical to the 1st Edition cards except they don’t have the 1st Edition Stamp. 
  • The Shadowless set is just as rare / more rare than the 1st Edition set.
  • Gem Mint Charizard has a much lower population and the price hovers around $90,000.00. 
  • Shadowless is the only other set with the Red Cheek Pikachu error card.
Base Unlimited
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  • The Unlimited set boxes are currently selling for just over $14,000.00.
  • Gem Mint Charizard is around $9900.00.
  • This set had 6-8 times the print runs compared to 1 print run each for 1st Edition and Shadowless.
Jungle Set
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  • 2nd Expansion set
  • 1st Edition Boxes worth over $14,000.00
  • Each holographic card has a non-holographic version
  • Only expansion set where every holographic card has a no symbol version.
Fossil Set
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  • 3rd Expansion Set
  • 1st Edition Boxes currently sell for around $12,000.00
  • Each holographic card has a non-holographic version.
Base Set 2
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  • Combination of Base & Jungle sets.
  • Boxes currently sell for around $7,000.00
  • PSA 10 Charizard is valued at around $10,000.00
  • Having the original Charizard artwork will always keep this set in demand. 
Team Rocket
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  • The 5th set, Team Rocket pays homage to the villains of Pokémon: Jesse, James & Meowth.
  • 1st Edition Boxes are currently valued at around $10,000.00
  • 1st Expansion set to have Charizard
  • After Base Set, Team Rocket is arguably the hottest Gen. 1 set to collect.
Gym Heroes
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  • Focuses on 1st 4 Gym Leaders: Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge & Erika
  • 1st Edition Boxes are valued at around $12,000.00
  • PSA 10 1st Edition Moltres is worth $1,500.00
Gym Challenge
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  • Focuses on Final 4 Gym Leaders: Sabrina, Koga, Blaine & Giovanni
  • 1st Edition Boxes are valued at around $10,000.00 
  • PSA 10 Charizard is worth $5,500.00 
Promo Cards
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Pokémon had numerous promo cards: E3 promos, Black Star Promos and Prerelease promos. They were available at events, in magazines, by mail request and one was available with a VHS film. Due to scarcity, some have skyrocketed and the demand is increasing rapidly.  You can read more about Black Star Promos in this article.

Complete Sets
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Serious collectors always value sets. The challenge of putting together any complete original set gets tougher by the day due to demand. For example, there are only 12 complete PSA 10 Base 1st Edition English sets currently, with the last sale fetching $129,500.00 in July 2020. Set collecting is a crucial aspect of the Pokémon community; even filling a binder with every card is an accomplishment that will make you money over time. Money isn’t the biggest driving factor; the desire to hold cards you coveted as a kid outweighs all other aspects and provides further proof that prices will continue to skyrocket.

Sealed Packs
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Hands down the safest way to invest in Pokémon has been buying sealed packs. The opportunity to pull a Charizard or rare card is enough to make people rip packs open to display or send cards in to get graded. Blister packs are the safest way to get un-weighed packs (packs can be weighed to determine if a hologram is or isn’t in it). There are lots of ways to tamper with packs so make sure to read the risks involved further down.

Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Owning any original English sealed box has become a major accomplishment. Multiple boxes make you a rock star. A clean, sealed box is one of the ultimate investments moving forward. As noted earlier, a 1999 Base English 1st Edition Box fetched $433,000.00 recently at PWCC Auctions. That’s almost six times the value from as recently as 2019 and the more boxes that are opened, the less remain in existence – which should cause the value of the remaining boxes to rise.

Artist Autographed Cards
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Pokémon artists have become rock stars as well. Mitsuhiro Arita (Charizard & Pikachu Base Set artist) signed cards have soared in value and created a whole new market for collectors. Illustrations on the cards have also become a major part of collecting and the sales are staggering.

Error Cards
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Error cards have shown to be major value opportunities for collectors. There are many error cards, such as the Red Cheek Pikachu in the 1st Edition and Shadowless sets. 1st Edition cards, the stamp itself can be grey, which is highly desirable. There is a ghost stamp 1st Edition Pikachu where the 1st Edition logo is barely noticeable: this card is a grail. In 1st Edition and Shadowless there is a Vulpix with a Green Dot on its butt.

Variables That Can Affect a Card’s Value
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1. The Grading Company

PSA is the king of Pokémon card grading with BGS a close 2nd. Both companies command top $ for their graded cards and have proven that grades do matter in the Pokémon realm, with a BGS 9.5 1st Edition Charizard selling for nearly $73,000.00 in July of 2021. 

2. Supply of the card (Population reports)

Pokémon cards have low populations compared to sports cards. The number of graded cards can be the biggest indicator of value, but some cards, such as Pikachu or Charizard, have insane demand regardless of populations. Supply is outmatched by current demand, and after two decades since these cards were produced, that won’t change. Check the PSA 1999 Pokémon Game Population report to get more info on how limited the Base set cards are. 

3. Buying Raw vs. Graded

Thanks to modern technology, getting clear photos of cards is easier than ever. That said, until you hold a card, you don’t know how clean it really is. Graded cards are the safest indicator that you’re getting what you want. When buying graded cards, think of the price paid for the grading and that there is no wait time besides shipping. There is much less risk buying graded cards, but raw (loose cards) can be the best bet to make profits faster. You never know what you can find in a binder someone is selling, but be careful and do your best to inspect those cards.  

4. Surface, corners, edges, creases & centering

In the process of card grading, the most important aspects are the surface, corners, edges and how well the card is centered front and back. For Pokémon cards, are there any scratches on the holofoil? Do you see whitening on the edges? Are the corners nicked? Grading is subjective with individuals determining what a card is valued at, based on its condition.

5. Your negotiation tactics

How you negotiate will go a long way in collecting and flipping. Knowing market value, monitoring auctions, and making offers when possible are great ways to limit risk and help you score deals. Never be afraid to message a seller, feel them out and potentially make a long-term outlet for purchases while building trust. Networking is a major component.

6. Nostalgic elements

Pokémon culture is wide-ranging, with the Pokémon Go app, video games, movies, TV shows, merchandise, and more, everyone knows something about Pokémon. Pikachu is as recognizable as Hello Kitty, Pokémon is unisex, and the cards are a major component for the culture. This won’t change. The cards are a major part of Pokémon Lore and will continue to be the biggest aspect of nostalgia moving forward.  

Best Channels To Buy Pokémon Cards

1. eBay:

The safest online marketplace to buy and sell Pokémon cards. Check sales for a quick look at where cards are at price wise. Check seller reviews and buy with confidence from high rated sellers. eBay is the largest online marketplace and is your best chance to locate inventory. When searching for cards, look at items nearest you, and contact nearby sellers, potentially creating a local network. It saves on shipping and more. Load up your watch list to get faster alerts when cards sell or are pulled. 

2. WhatNot:

WhatNot is at the pinnacle of auction sales by live streaming their auctions. Sellers have the ability to add prizes and a multitude of different other ways to entire buyers to participate. They also frequently do large charity box breaks with influencers, bringing additional light to the hobby.

2. Facebook groups & Instagram:

Look for feedback from sellers to check legitimacy, these are great places to score deals and build relationships within the collecting community but beware of scams. 

3. COMC:

Marketplace designed to help you buy individual cards, specializing in set collecting.

4. Mercari:

Popular marketplace to buy and sell cards. When hunting for low population cards, it’s important to utilize all options. 

5. Card Shows & Stores:

If you can find a show or store with vintage Pokémon cards, go. You get the chance to look at cards in person, check sales online, network and decide what’s of value. You never know what you can walk away with.


Shill Bidding

“Shilling” is when a card bids for an overly high price, but the sale never gets completed. Bidders often times will try to manipulate the market this way, to pump the value of their own identically or near graded cards. Check recent sales and bidding history on a sale to identify if it’s legit or not. There is a number rating next to buyer’s names in the bidding history. Often times it’s safe to trust the highest bid from a legitimate account. 

Fake Cards

When purchasing loose cards, make sure to research what you are buying, check the indicators (years, artwork) to make sure you are not getting scammed. The fake Pokémon cards are easily spotted, you can see through them, although there are some impressive forgeries of Charizard and the Illustrator Pikachu. 

Re-Sealed Packs

First off, check whom you are buying packs from. Ratings, reviews, make sure the seller is legitimate. Packs can easily be resealed and if you don’t know how to look, you can easily be scammed. Ask for as many pictures as it takes to see the entire pack, look at the top and bottom of the foil to see if there are any discrepancies, such as the foil looking different in one spot, and check for how crumpled up the pack is to indicate if the cards inside have been damaged. 

Weighing Packs

Assume every Booster pack you buy is weighed. If it says Unweighed, it’s almost certain to be a light pack. Light packs won’t contain a hologram. Heavy packs will. When listed as heavy, make sure to tell the seller you intend to open the pack upon arrival, which will ensure they send a legitimately weighed pack otherwise they face ramifications of bad reviews, refunds, and can be labeled a scammer. The safest way to purchase individual packs is in Blisters. Blister Packs are sealed in plastic and cardboard, they can’t legitimately be weighed or tampered if sealed. Sealed packs get more limited by the day because people won’t stop opening them. Nostalgia is a major factor. Also, the dream of pulling a perfect Charizard or Pikachu can’t be overstated.

The Future of Pokémon Cards

Given this is vintage, the original high graded cards, sealed boxes and packs are scarce. The probability for further profits is strong. Due to demand, desire and drive, the Pokémon Game appears to be safe. Over $10 Billion in card sales since 1996 is staggering. 

Long term investing paid off in a short term for collectors in 2020. Prices have come back down a bit since, due to population growth and declining recent exposure from celebrities and influencers. It’s a winning proposition due to Pokémon culture being bigger than any competing market. Pokemon is the #1 ranked media franchise on the planet, slightly besting Hello Kitty. They flat out win. Television, video games, cards, it’s still going strong. The children collecting today know all about the original cards and they covet them. Can you name the top 10 sports cards to own pre-1980? The children collecting today can name the top Pokémon Cards from 1999. 

Even though prices have fluctuated a bit, if you zoom out and look at the growth over the last five years, it has been astronomical. The main concern moving forward is liquidity drying up, but that has also impacted the entire card market, crypto, the stock market, the NFT market, and more.   

The first generation of collectors is dropping record money on these cards because all the indicators show Pokémon is still wildly undervalued. The new investors who research and make rational decisions should see major profits moving forward. If you are selling, make sure you pay close attention to detail. 

Culture Trading Cards

The Top 10 Most Valuable Women’s Sports Cards Ever Sold

The sports card market has been rapidly growing since 2019 and we’ve seen a number of sales make headlines across many different sports and athletes. 

Since it’s Women’s History Month, we wanted to take a look at the top 10 women’s sports cards ever sold. 

Not surprisingly, one athlete dominates this list: Serena Williams. 

Mia Hamm’s S.I. for Kids trading card initially hit a record sale for women’s trading cards in June 2021, but over the past few months, Serena Williams’ cards have set multiple records, including sales that went over six figures. 

Let’s dive in! 

1. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro International Series Apparel Autograph #2A PSA 7 — $120,000

The record for any women’s trading card in history was set on March 13th when this copy of Serena Williams’ 2003 Netpro International Series Apparel Autograph featuring an autograph and match-worn apparel for Serena Williams sold for $120,000 via Goldin Co

Serena Williams turned pro in 1995 and had a storied career (often ending up in finals matches against her sister, Venus). Serena won the 1999 US Open and later won the French Open, US Open, and Wimbledon in 2002. In total, she won more Grand Slam singles titles with 23 than any other tennis player in history.

She also was awarded the Best Female Athlete ESPY award twice (2003, 2013) and ESPN ranked Serena as the most famous women athlete in the world in 2018.Note: there’s a copy of this card in a BGS 8 grade on Rally, a fractional ownership platform, and it’s valued at $114,750.

2. Serena Williams 1999 S.I. For Kids Series 4 #814 PSA 10 — $117,000

In January 2022, this PSA 10 copy of Serena Williams’ 1999 Sports Illustrated for Kids card sold for $117,000 via PWCC marketplace on eBay. 

Sports Illustrated for Kids was a magazine that often featured sheets of cards that could be torn so kids could have a card for an individual player. Because they required tearing, it is rare to find a card like this in a high grade with serrated edges. 

3. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy #G2 PSA 10 — $96,000

On the same night of Serena’s record-breaking S.I. for Kids card sale, this PSA 10 Netpro Glossy sold for $96,000 also via PWCC Auctions on eBay. 

NetPro tennis trading cards were first produced in 1991 and the 2003 set was “the first trading card set available to the public in nearly a decade.” 

This was the first officially licensed card for Serena Williams and the “Glossy” version is numbered to 100 copies with 28 in a PSA 10. 

In November of 2020, a copy of this card sold for $6,420, meaning it appreciated in value by 1,395% in a little over a year. 

4. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy #G2 PSA 10 — $55,200

On January 8th, a copy of Serena Williams’ 2003 NetPro Glossy (numbered to 100 copies) sold via for $55,200. 

This particular copy was numbered 1 out of 100 and is the second-highest sale of this card a few weeks before it jumped to nearly $100,000 in value. 

Another copy of this card sold on February 28th via eBay for $50,2999 (at auction) but to avoid redundancy we are only listing this once. 

5. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro International Series Apparel Autograph #2A PSA 5 — $43,200

In October 2021, sold this PSA 5 copy of Serena Williams’ 2003 NetPro International Series Apparel Autograph card for $43,200. 

This particular copy is numbered 1 out of 100 with match-worn apparel featured in the card.

6. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro International Series Apparel Autograph #2A Ungraded — $39,999

On January 23rd, a raw copy of Serena Williams’ 2003 NetPro International Series Apparel Autograph numbered to just 100 copies sold on eBay in an ungraded condition for just shy of $40,000. 

The sale occurred a few months before a PSA 7 copy sold for a record $117,000.

7. Mia Hamm 1992 S.I. for Kids Series 2 #71 PSA 10 — $34,440

At the time of this sale, the Mia Hamm 1992 S.I. for Kids in a PSA 10 grade was the most expensive women’s trading card ever sold. 

The card sold for $34,400 via There are only 3 copies of this card in a PSA 10 grade. 

This Mia Hamm card set a record for a reason. She’s considered to be the best female soccer player in the history of the sport, played for the women’s US national soccer team for 17 years, winning Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004. 

Up until 2013, Hamm had the record for the most international goals scored. 

She was also named FIFA’s world player of the year in 2001 and 2002. 

8. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy #G2 PSA 9— $27,600

On March 13th, 2022, Goldin.Co sold a PSA 9 copy of Serena Williams’ 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy trading card for $27,600. There are just 18 copies of this card in a PSA 9 grade. 

Another copy of this card in a PSA 9 sold in October for a similar amount but in May of 2021 a copy of this card sold for just $7,407 for a growth of 272% in less than a year. 

9. Serena Williams 2018 Upper Deck Employee Exclusive Autograph Materials #UDSW PSA 9 — $22,800

On January 9th, 2022, sold this PSA 9 copy of Serena Williams’ 2018 patch autograph card for $22,800. 

These cards were given to Upper Deck employees (often done as an expression of gratitude, like a company bonus) and are numbered to just 199 copies. 

While not one of Williams’ first trading cards, this one features match-worn material and an autograph in the format of the well-known premium Exquisite Trading card format. 

10. Serena Williams 2003 NetPro International Series Autographs #2C PSA 8 — $22,200

On the same day that the Upper Deck Exclusives card sold, this copy of Williams 2003 NetPro autograph in a PSA 8 grade sold for $22,200 via Goldin Co. 

We’ve seen other examples of this card with match-worn swatches set records in the women’s trading card space, and the auto-only version commands a 5-figure sum on the secondary market. 

Culture Trading Cards

Enter the World of Physical Backed NFT’s with

As a collector of trading cards, I was blown away by the recent ONE37pm x Courtyard Twitter Space and how rapidly it appears that the space is about to change.

To listen to the entire conversation, check out our podcast on Spotify!

The days of purchasing a physical card, taking photos of it, listing it for sale on eBay (or other platforms), waiting for the card to sell, then packaging it up, insuring it, shipping it, and finally, the buyer waiting days for the card to arrive (all the while hoping it’s actually delivered safely) could very well be a thing of the past.

In the new collecting world, you will be able to take the physical cards that you have stored in your drawers at home and send them to Courtyard, which will store them in a secured Brinks vault and create NFTs tied to those specific cards. The NFT would be located on Opensea and is traceable.

“We are a collecting company,” said Nicolas le Jeune, CEO of Courtyard. “We are trying to improve that space. It’s very important to us. Our goal is to help users trade physical assets with no friction, and have something new that they can share and collect with other people rather than have their collection sitting in the basement or in a vault. They can actually showcase their collections and connect with other people. People who collect love to talk about it with other likeminded people, so this is a way of bringing people together and ensuring your collection.”

Collectors can then choose to either display their NFTs on the metaverse, sell or trade them, or burn the NFT and receive the physical card. Holders of the NFT also own the physical asset.

Why Collectors Will Enjoy the Fee Structure

Let’s say you sell one of your NFTs for $200 – and then the person who purchases it then sells it at any point in the future for $500 – and that person then sells it for $1000, you will have the ability to get a percentage every single time that card that you introduced to the Courtyard ecosystem is sold.

“We can reward behaviors through the fee structure.” said le Jeune. “If you bring a collection to Courtyard, not only will you receive NFTs that will likely sell for more, but on top of it, we can possibly give you a small percentage perpetually for each sale of that card until the NFT gets redeemed for the physical asset. So if you sell the NFT to somebody, and that person sells it to somebody else, you would still make a percentage of the transaction fee because you provided that liquidity to the ecosystem in the first place. That’s the beauty of smart contracts.”

But that’s not the only way that the fee structure can be used to bring additional eyes and value to the NFTs and physical assets. Courtyard plans on eventually cutting the players in on the transaction fees, which could incentivize them to drive further value to the space.

“We can also reward players. For example, if a Kevin Durant card is traded, why not reward Kevin Durant and have him get a small percentage of the transactions?”

Security and Authentication
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With the recent rise in fake PSA/BGS/SGC slabs entering the market, one of the biggest concerns as a collector before getting involved with a company like this would be how they know that the graded slabs they are receiving from collectors are authentic before the NFTs are made and the cards are stored in a vault.

“We are building the authentication capability.” said le Jeune. “Even if we only offer slabs and graded cards, we want to make sure we control whatever is getting in and that it’s authentic. We are building that infrastructure for authenticating so we make sure that any Courtyard NFT is validated. We are looking to build those partnerships currently.”

Taking Loans Against Your Assets

Another potential utility of the physically-backed NFTs could be figuring out a way to take loans using your NFTs as collateral to provide liquidity.

“A lot of projects have been trying to figure out a way to collateralize their NFTs but the challenge is that NFTs are so volatile.” said le Jeune. “Apart from some bluechip projects, there is so much volatility that it’s dangerous for a liquidity provider. Here you have an NFT that technically could go up as much as the market wants, but could never go much below the value of the physical asset in real life. So there is more security for a liquidity provider.”

The Technology Behind Courtyard NFT’s
Getty Images

Courtyard NFTs are ERC721 Tokens that are built around a single registry on the Polygon Network, a layer 2 scaling solution on the Ethereum Network.

Benefits include:

• Lower transaction (gas) fees

• Supported by Opensea and traded the same way as they are on Ethereum mainnet

Courtyard Genesis Drop

To bring awareness to the brand, Courtyard recently offered to the public the first physical collectible-backed NFT drop featuring NFTs backed by 800 PSA-graded Pokemon cards.

“History is on the blockchain.” said le Jeune. “If Gary (Vaynerchuk) owns an NFT and sells it afterward, that would have value on the blockchain. We actually believe that the additional liquidity, visibility, and coolness of having the first physically-backed NFTs will bring a lot more value, so it’s a very interesting experiment. We’re gonna see how the market reacts. So far, it’s been amazing.”

Culture Trading Cards

Fortnite Series 1 Trading Cards: Top 10 Sales

In March of 2018, Fortnite became the most-viewed video game on the streaming platform Twitch and is still one of the most popular battle royale video games of 2022 with 80.4 million active users and as many as 4 million players per day.  

Fortnite launched in July 2017 and Battle Royale was released as free to play in September 2017. 

The game itself has become a pop culture icon and is a recognizable brand around the world

Emote dance moves from the game have been featured in Hollywood movies and a slew of partnerships bring in skins from some of the most recognizable IP including the NFL, Marvel, John Wick, Halo, Star Wars, and much more. 

Given that it has become more than just a video game and has a strong pop-culture element, we are going to break down Panini’s Fortnite Series 1 trading card product and dive into 10 record card sales from the set. 

Fortnite Series 1 Breakdown

Panini released a Fortnite Series 1 Trading Card set in June 2019 in three countries: the United States, Italy, and Brazil. 

Series 1 comprised a 300 Card set with different categories — Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary. There were 100 Common cards and the remaining 200 cards were split equally between Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary. 

The latter four categories each had 50 cards featuring different characters and also had two parallels: Holofoil and Crystal Shards.

The checklist of cards includes weapons and objects from the game (commons) as well as popular characters and skins. You can see the full set checklist here

Panini later released a Promo Set with 9 Crystal Shards P1 — P9 exclusively sold through Panini’s Website for customers in the US. 

PSA has graded a total of 3,730 Fortnite Series 1 cards awarding 1,256 PSA 10s for a 33% gem rate across US, Italy and Brazilian cards. 

The United States print run reportedly has slightly larger cards (about 1 mm taller and wider) and besides differences between the “made in [country]” label on the back of the cards, Crystal Shards are slightly different in design based on the print location as well: 


On the left is the United States Crystal Shard, in the middle is the Brazilian Crystal Shard and on the right is the Italian Crystal Shard.

Generally, US prints are worth more, but Italian prints are slightly more rare in higher grades given their 23% gem rate. 

The cards were released in Value packs, Fat packs, Blaster Boxes, Mega Boxes, and Hobby Boxes. Italian and Brazilian prints had clear plastic wraps and US prints had the Panini-branded sealed plastic wraps. 

Mega Boxes were the only way to obtain the US crystal shard (the most valuable parallel on the market), which is why they are more valuable today, priced around $1,000. 

The Top 10 Fortnite Series 1 Trading Card Sales

Before we dive into this list, it’s important to note that pricing data was sourced from Goldin Co., eBay, 130point sale data, PSA data, and a Fortnite trading card fan website

This list is largely dominated by the most popular skin from the early days of Fortnite, The Black Knight. Nearly every top-10 list across different trading cards tends to show a concentration of the most popular athlete/characters in a sport or genre and the top Fornite Series 1 sales are no different! 

1. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Crystal Shards #252 BGS 9.5  — $55,000

In February 2021 the most expensive Fortnite Series 1 trading card sold via private deal for $55,000. The sale was reported here, and here but keep in mind with private deals, we are unable to personally verify the sale. 

The Black Knight dominates this list of top 10 Fortnite trading card sales as it was one of the most popular skins in the game and players who had it were highly respected. Some YouTubers even said that gamers who encountered players with the skin would stop and cheer for the person who had it. 

The card pictured in this ranking is the Italian print, but it is unclear which country the $55,000 sale was from (most likely the US print, but it was difficult to find a clean photo of that card in a BGS 9.5 grade). 

Both the US and Italian Crystal Shard prints are close in population (32 and 38 total graded by PSA respectively) with the PSA 10 Italian Crystal Shard slightly rarer with 7 copies versus 9 for the US print. 

2. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Holofoil US #252 PSA 10 — $30,000

The second most expensive Fortnite Series 1 card sale also happened in February of 2021 when a Legendary Holo Foil Black Knight sold for $30,000 via eBay best offer and is verified by PSA. 

As we mentioned, the Black Knight skin was one of the most popular in series 1 and took a lot of work to get it. 

This rarity and popularity of the skin and value in the game transferred over to the card market. 

There are 16 total Black Knight Holofoil PSA 10s and are less rare than the Crystal Shards based on the total graded population. 

3. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Holofoil US #252 BGS 9.5 — $20,000

February and March of 2021 were record months for Fortnite Cards (like the rest of the trading card market) and a BGS 9.5 Black Knight Holofoil sold for $20,000 on an eBay best offer accepted. 

The Holofoil and Crystal Shard are the two most desirable cards in the set because they are parallels with refractor elements and a low population. 

4. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Crystal Shard #252 Ungraded — $17,877

In December 2021, a Legendary Fortnite Series 1 Crystal Shard Black Knight sold for $17,877 via eBay auction. 

There is a lot of variation between the PSA 10 and raw card value multipliers based on set and cards (i.e. PSA 10s are worth 7x of the same card in raw condition), but this recent raw sale indicates that the market for the Black Knight Series 1 Fornite Crystal Shards paralell card hasn’t dramatically decreased since its peak in early 2021. 

5. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Holofoil US #252 PSA 10— $17,211

In April of 2021, this PSA 10 Black Knight Series 1 Holofoil sold for about $3,000 less than its BGS 9.5 counterpart that sold a few months earlier. 

It’s still a strong five-figure sale but suggests that the value of Fortnite cards started pulling back after hitting a peak at the beginning of 2021. 

6. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Crystal Shard Italy #252 PSA 10 — $14,900

In June 2021, this Italian print Black Knight Crystal Shards PSA 10 sold for $14,900 via PWCC Auctions verified by PSA

The Italian print of this card has a slightly lower population (by 2) in a PSA 10 but the market does not currently value them as much as US prints.

7. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Holofoil US #252 PSA 10— $12,699

In May 2021, a PSA 10 copy of the Black Knight Holofoil parallel sold for $12,699. A $17,301 price drop from its original high of $30,000 in February. 

A second copy of this card last sold for $8,600 just a few weeks later, marking a further pull-back in the value of this card in the market.  

8. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Holofoil US #252 PSA 9 — $12,000

Along with a number of record Series 1 Fortnite card sales in 2021, a Black Knight Holofoil PSA 9 (US print) sold for $12,000 via accepted best offer on eBay. 

There are 50 copies of the Black Knight (US) Holofoil in a PSA 9 grade versus 16 in PSA 10. 

The total PSA graded supply of the Holofoil parallel is 119 cards, which is small relative to other sports card sets. 

9. Red Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Holofoil US #285 PSA 10— $11,000

Our first non-Black Knight record Fortnite card sale is the Red Knight. This is another rare skin in the Fortnite game and some people weren’t happy when it was announced that the skin could be purchased as it watered down the skin’s scarcity in the game. 

Nonetheless, a PSA 10 copy of the Crystal Shard parallel sold for $11,000 in February 2021. There are only 6 copies of a PSA 10-grade Red Knight Crystal Shards.

10. Black Knight 2019 Panini Fortnite Series 1 Holofoil US #252 PSA 9 — $10,000

In March 2021, a PSA 9 Black Knight Holofoil parallel sold for $10,000. 

There are 50 copies of the card in a PSA 9 grade and the most recent sale of a PSA 9 was $2,025 in September, a nearly 80% loss in value. 

Zooming out, the card has still appreciated significantly as it sold for just $66 in February 2020. 

Culture Trading Cards

Top 10 Kaboom! Sales of All-Time

Kaboom! inserts from various products ranging from Innovation (‘13-’14) to Absolute (‘18-’20) have become highly collectible in the past year given their aesthetic and hard-to-pull nature. 

Basketball was the first sport to feature Kabooms back in 2013, Soccer introduced the inserts in 2017 and Football in 2018. 

Kabooms come in three variations: Base, Gold /10, and Green 1/1. 

We look at the top 10 record Kaboom! insert sales of all-time. Tom Brady and football dominate this list, as there have only been 4 years of Kaboom! inserts for the sport. 

Kabooms are like the modern-day PMGs and recent sales suggest their popularity in the card market. 

1. Tom Brady 2018 Panini Kaboom! Gold /10 #TB BGS 9.5 — $120,000

Tom Brady just retired but he will likely be one of the most collectible athletes for a long time. He’s played in 10 Super Bowls, winning 7 of them, and set a bar so high that another Quarterback may not even come close to his accomplishments. 

2018 was the first year Kaboom! inserts were introduced into football products and it’s fitting that the pop 5 BGS 9.5 Brady insert holds the current record with a private sale of $120,000 on October 13th, 2021: 


What’s fascinating about this card is that a copy sold for $13,220 while Brady’s rookie cards were exploding in value, but it increased in value by over $100,000 within the following 8 months. 

2. Giannis Antetokounmpo 2018 Panini Kaboom! Green 1/1 #GA BGS 9 — $99,630

In October 2021, this 1/1 Giannis Antetokounmpo 2018 Kaboom! Insert sold for $99,630: 


It’s the only recorded sale of the card and is the record for any basketball Kaboom! (so far). Giannis is an NBA Champion, 2x MPV, 6x All-Star, NBA defensive player of the year, and is a 3x All-NBA First Teamer. 

It’s likely that this record would be broken by a Lebron James Kaboom! Gold insert, but as it stands today, this Green 1/1 is the most expensive basketball Kaboom! insert sold.

3. Tom Brady 2018 Panini Kaboom! Gold /10 #TB PSA 9— $80,000

At just 10 total copies, with 3 in a PSA 9 grade, the 2018 Tom Brady Kaboom! is the most valuable insert in football. A copy of this card sold in September 2021 for $80,000 via a private sale: 


Despite the news of Brady’s retirement, we haven’t seen a recent sale of his first-year Kaboom! gold featuring him in a Patriots uniform. This card is more valuable than a BGS 8.5 Brady 2000 Bowman Chrome Refractor Rookie (last sold for $72,000 on 1/23/22). 

4. Patrick Mahomes 2018 Panini Kaboom! Gold /10 #PMA PSA 10 — $80,000

Outside of Tom Brady, Mahomes is one of the most popular Quarterbacks that already has a Super Bowl Ring, MVP award, and two Super Bowl appearances under his belt by 26. 

Mahomes was a rookie in 2017, so his 2018 Kaboom! Gold Insert in a PSA 10 grade (pop 1) is the first year of this insert and it sold via private deal for $80,000: 


Mahomes’ 2021-’22 season didn’t finish the way most of us thought it would, but in his 4 seasons as the Chief’s primary starting QB, he’s already played in 2 Super Bowls and made it to the AFC Championship in the other 2 seasons. 

5. Justin Herbert 2020 Absolute Kaboom! Green 1/1 #K-JH2 PSA 9 — $79,200
Goldin Co.

Justin Herbert took the NFL by storm during his rookie season, winning rookie of the year, but he is just 15–17 in his first two NFL seasons. Despite missing the playoffs this season, his on-field performance signals a bright future. 

Goldin Co. sold Herbert’s 1/1 Green Kaboom! PSA 9 for $79,200 making it the fifth-most expensive Kaboom! sold all-time. 

6. Stephen Curry 2018 Panini Kaboom! Gold /10 #SC PSA 10 — $66,000

Steph Curry is a generational talent and was ranked the 13th-best NBA player of all time by ESPN. Curry is a 7-time NBA All-Star, 2-time MVP, 3-time NBA Champion, and now holds the NBA regular-season record for most three-pointers. 

His pop 4 PSA 10 Gold 2018 Kaboom! insert last sold for $66,000 on 2/19: 


The card sold for $1,927 less than two years earlier, which speaks to how much the demand for Kaboom! inserts have grown. 

7. Tom Brady 2019 Absolute Kaboom! Gold /10 #K-TB BGS 9.5 — $70,000

There are 3 copies of Brady’s 2019 Absolute Kaboom! Gold in a BGS 9.5 grade and its record sale hit $70,000 via a private deal in September of 2021:


Given that football card products first launched Kabooms in 2018 and that Brady retired after the 2021 season, there are only 4 Kaboom! sets from his playing years (unless he comes back to play in the future). 

Brady frequents the #1 spot of NFL rankings and is largely considered one of the winningest athletes across any major sport. When you pair that with a limited supply of a popular insert from his playing years, you get eye-popping prices. 

8. Tom Brady 2021 Absolute Kaboom! Gold /10 #19 PSA 10 — $60,000

Tom Brady shocked the world by leaving the New England Patriots to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he won a Super Bowl in his first year with the new team. 

Brady has two variations of his 2021 Absolute Kaboom! insert, one in a Bucs uniform and the other in a Patriots uniform. 

The former sold for $60,000 in a PSA 10 grade (pop 5) on 1/23/22: 


There are only 3 recorded sales of this card so far, with the record sale set on the first transaction. 

9. Patrick Mahomes II 2019 Absolute Kaboom! Gold/10 #K-PM BGS 10 — $49,200

The Kaboom! insert wasn’t released during Mahomes’ rookie year, so 2018 and 2019 are the earliest you can get when it comes to these cards. 

There are 2 copies of Mahomes’ Gold Kaboom! insert in a BGS 10 grade with a copy selling for $49,200 in September 2021: 


The card sold for less than $15,000 just 4 months earlier despite being one of the most sought-after Quarterbacks in the hobby. 

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo 2018 Panini Kaboom! Gold /10 #GA PSA 10— $46,800

Giannis rounds out our list as his 2018 Kaboom! PSA 10 Gold sold via GoldinCo for $46,800. There are multiple other 5-figure basketball Kaboom! sales including Kobe Bryant’s 2018 Panini Gold copy that sold for $33,000 in May 2021 and based on the growth of market popularity, they would likely sell for much higher today. 

Culture Trading Cards

Tom Brady Retirement: Analyzing His Card Market

Tom Brady has officially retired after 22 seasons in the NFL despite rumors that he may change his mind. At 44 years old, he led the reigning Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a tough divisional-round loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champions after an MVP-like season of 5,316 passing yards, 43 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, and a 13–4 regular season. 

Brady has been the primary starting QB for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 20 seasons and in that time has: 

Took his team to the playoffs in 19 seasons. 

Won 18 divisional titles. 

Played in 13 AFC Championship games and 1 NFC Championship game. 

Played in 10 Super Bowls. 

Won 7 Super Bowls. 

He’s won 35 playoff games. That’s more than two full NFL seasons’ worth of games in playoff wins alone. 

Tom Brady’s rookie cards exploded in 2021 with the possibility of even more Super Bowl rings to add to his accomplishments, but now that he is retired, where does that leave the card market? 

We’re going to dive into recent sales data for 10 different Brady rookie cards to see how the card market reacted to his retirement. 

1. Tom Brady 2000 Contenders Rookie Championship Ticket Auto /100 BGS 8.5 

On February 1st, a BGS 8.5 copy (pop 28) of Brady’s rookie Championship Ticket Auto sold for $2.3 million via PWCC Auctions on eBay. 

The previous high sale for this card was $1.72 million in April 2021 and it last sold in October for $1.54 million. 

It’s not surprising to see the immediate lift in this card’s value as just about every media outlet has been discussing his retirement. 

A second sale of this card netted $2.04 million on February 19th and is still higher than the previous all-time record despite a slight dip. 

2. Tom Brady 2000 Bowman Chrome Base #236 PSA 10

There are 1,108 copies of Tom Brady’s Bowman Chrome PSA 10 rookie card that features him in a Patriots uniform and is one of his flagship rookies that commands 5-figures on the secondary market. 

The card hit a high of $28,000 in February of 2021 before dropping to a low of $13,200 in July. 

The card last sold on 2/22 for $15,460:


Higher supply cards are always more vulnerable to price fluctuations and this one is no exception. In the past 3 months, the card has lost 18.24% of its value, or $3,447.

3. Tom Brady 2000 Bowman Chrome Refractor #236 PSA 9

There are just 57 copies of the Tom Brady Bowman Chrome Rookie Refractor in a PSA 9 grade and a copy last sold for $168,000 on 2/19:


In the past 3 months, the card has lost 12.5% of its value ($24,000) and is down from its all-time high price of $192,000 in December 2021. The tail-end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 brought a wave of record card sales across multiple sports and have since retracted significantly in value, but Brady’s cards have not had as steep of a drop. 

This card in a PSA 9 sold under $1,000 up until early 2015, so when zooming out, Brady’s market has exponentially grown and stayed pretty consistent in value. 

4. Tom Brady 2000 Skybox Impact #27 PSA 10

An alternative rookie card that features Brady in his college uniform has taken a 32.5% price hit ($780) in the past 3 months and sold for a record low in that same time period at $1,620 on 2/20: 


This card hit a high price of $3,575 in February of 2021 and has since lost value. For perspective, this card sold for under $100 in 2015 and is up 2,845% since its first recorded sales in 2007. 

5. Tom Brady 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket Autograph /100 #144 BGS 8

There are 28 copies of Brady’s 2000 Contenders Championship Ticket Autograph and a copy in a BGS 8 grade last sold for a record $1.41 million on 2/5:


The previous record was set in March for $1.32 million before dipping to $1.02 million and accelerating in value just a few days after Brady announced his retirement. There are only 100 copies of this Championship Ticket Autograph making it Brady’s most desirable rookie card. 

6. Tom Brady 2000 SP Authentic /1250 #118 PSA 10

This 2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic rookie has just 98 copies graded a PSA 10 and last sold for $114,000 on 2/19: 


In the past 3 months, the card has lost 20.83% of its value ($30,000) but is up from a low price of $95,610 in January. In March of 2021, the card hit a high price of $181,200 but has since lost over $67,000 of value. 

7. Tom Brady 2020 Panini Flawless Signature Gems Auto 1/1 #SGP-TBR Ungraded

Tom Brady entered the league so long ago that he didn’t benefit from the modern card market that features premium sets like National Treasures and Flawless. Because of that, later year cards from these sets garner value on the open market. 

This 1/1 2020 Flawless Brady diamond card with the “7x SB Champ” inscription is currently on auction at Goldin Co. with a bid of $85,000 ($102,000 with the buyer’s premium) and over 2 days left. 

It’s not uncommon to see Brady’s non-rookie cards from premium products sell for 5 figures, but it looks like his retirement news isn’t stopping this card from surpassing a 6-figure sale. 

8. Tom Brady 2018 Panini Kaboom! Gold /10 #TB BGS 9.5

The next two cards on this list are of the popular Kaboom! insert. Only 5 copies of this Brady Kaboom! are graded PSA 10 and a copy last sold in October for $120,000: 


The card sold for $13,220 on 2/4 (during a peak in the overall card market) and shot up to $120,000 in October. Although the card hasn’t sold on the news of his retirement, it’s on the list for a reason: no copies of the six-figure card have hit the market. Neither have any PSA 9 copies. 

Evaluating a player’s card market is just as much looking at sales as it is how many rare cards surface during an event in a player’s career. This is a small sample size, with only 5 graded copies out of 10 total possible cards, but no one is rushing to sell these after Brady’s retirement. 

9. Tom Brady 2021 Absolute Kaboom! Gold /10 #K19 PSA 10

Unlike Brady’s 2018 Gold Kaboom!, his 2021 insert has sold after his retirement news. 

There are only 5 PSA 10 copies of Brady’s 2021 Gold Kaboom featuring him in a Buccaneers uniform with the most recent sale of a copy on 2/19 for $52,800:


Only 3 copies of the card have sold all-time, but it is down 12% since January ($7,200). There are two Gold Brady Kabooms from the 2021 Absolute set, one featuring him in a Buccaneers uniform and the other in a Patriots uniform. The latter is less valuable with a last sold price of $43,200. 

10. Tom Bardy 2000 Metal Base #267 PSA 10

There are 186 copies of this Brady alternative rookie card in a PSA 10 grade and a copy last sold for $8,399 on 2/13: 


This is not one of Brady’s most recognizable rookie cards but it hit an all-time high of $10,000 just 1 day after he announced retirement and is up 8.3% ($649) since 1/25.


According to the Cardladder Player Index, which measures the price changes of a basket of cards per player in a given time frame, Brady’s cards are up 14.47% over the past month. 

This indicates that the market reacted positively to his retirement news, but as we’ve seen in this list, it depends on the card, grade, rarity, etc. 

Whether Brady unretires or not, his name will never leave the discussion. 

Quarterbacks, no matter how great they are, will always be compared to Brady and those conversations will heat up if anyone comes close to playing in 10 Super Bowls, let alone winning 7 of them. 

Culture Trading Cards

Topps Set to Auction Iconic Mickey Mantle Rookie NFT

The past two years have seen incredible growth in the sports card market, with sales of some of the rarest and most iconic cards sometimes reaching in the seven figures. Notably, on January 14th 2021, entrepreneur Rob Gough bought a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 (one of only 9 graded that high on the planet) for a then record-breaking $5.2 million dollars in a private deal brokered by PWCC Marketplace. The same card had previously sold for $2.88 million in 2018. 

We have also seen a boom in the NFT market over that same period of time, with trendsetting projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, VeeFriends and CryptoPunks opening eyes in the mainstream media, merging utility and collectibility. 

The merger of sports and NFTs has also generated quite a bit of attention, with the introduction of platforms such as NBA Top Shot, ToppsNFTs, Panini Blockchain, Candy Digital, SoRare, Autograph and NFL All Day giving fans some fun new collectibles to explore and purchase. 

While each one of these platforms offers their own unique approach to digital collectibles, the world’s most iconic sports card brand (Topps) is about to launch a unique one of one NFT on Opensea based on the hobby’s most iconic card, the previously mentioned 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie. 

I recently had a chance to sit down with Hera Andre-Bergmann, Content Product Manager for Blockchain at Topps, to discuss this historic upcoming auction. 

ONE37pm: Can you give me the specifics of this Mickey Mantle auction? When does it go live? 

Hera Andre-Bergmann: It goes live on Opensea on March 1st at 1pm for 72 hours, closing on March 3rd at 1pm EST. Bids made in the final 10 minutes will extend the auction by 10 minutes. In order to bid you will have to convert your ETH to wrapped ETH.

ONE37pm: Is there going to be any utility behind the collectible itself? 

Hera Andre-Bergmann: We set this up in partnership with the Mantle estate, officially. Mickey Mantle’s sons Danny and David will do a 30 minute call with the winner, if they so choose to redeem that prize afterwards.

In terms of actual utility, there’s nothing yet. We’re hoping with Opensea’s inherent utility that maybe down the line, we will be able to move it around a bit.

Danny & David Mantle, sons of Mickey Mantle

This card has been part of my father’s legacy for 70 years and it is amazing to see its continued impact with collectors and baseball fans around the world. We are very pleased to share this piece of history with Topps in a new and exciting way through NFTs.

ONE37pm: Why did you choose to run this auction on Opensea?

Hera Andre-Bergmann: One of the reasons was because we wanted to cast a really wide net, so we have people who are more dedicated to the NFT collecting. But then, with the 1952 Mickey mantle card you have the tradition and the sort of the lore in physical baseball card collection.

ONE37pm: How cool would it be if somebody like Rob Gough – who owns a physical copy of the card – wins this auction and pairs them together?

Hera Andre-Bergmann: That would be awesome because of its history. We really tried to show that in the art of the NFT, and also bring it to the digital age, so you get a taste of everything. For the card art, we kind of recreated it in an animated environment that has sort of memorabilia that showcases and celebrates Mantle’s legacy. So there’s definitely lots of motion and different items to explore in the video itself. The card is sort of front and center with a digital re-imagination of the physical product, but we tried to add something that you can’t find in the physical product.

ONE37pm: Tell me a little bit more about Topps Timeless.

Hera Andre-Bergmann: What’s cool about Topps and the Topps Timeless brand that we’re creating with these iconic cards is that there are so many different iconic cards in Topps’ history that are grails in the hobby. This Mickey Mantle NFT is our first release in the Topps Timeless series and our first public offering since the Fanatics aquisition, so we are really excited about that. 

For more information on this auction, you can visit

Culture Trading Cards

Top 20 Most Valuable UFC Cards Ever Sold

Televised mixed martial arts (MMA) matches have been growing in popularity over the last two decades with stars like Conor McGregor becoming household names. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has hosted multiple matches with pay-per-view buyers in the millions and its Instagram account has 10 million more followers than the NFL.  

UFC isn’t generally considered amongst the “big four” sports in the US (Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey), but the audience is growing

We’re going to look at the top 20 most valuable UFC trading cards, which have also seen growth with the popularity of the sport. 

1. Conor McGregor 2017 Topps UFC Chrome Superfractor 1/1 PSA 10 — $73,800
Goldin Co.

The new record for the most expensive UFC card ever sold was set by this 1/1 Superfractor Conor Mcgregor PSA 10 on February 6th, 2022. Goldin Co. sold the card for $73,800. 

McGregor is the most famous UFC fighter with over 40 million followers on social media and he’s been the main event in the top-5 most pay-per-viewed fights all-time for the UFC.

The most popular players of a sport tend to dominate the most valuable trading card sales lists, so this is the first of many McGregor cards that have set records.  

2. Conor McGregor 2021 Panini Prizm UFC Gold Prizm PSA 10 — $26,400
Goldin Co.

The second most expensive UFC trading card ever sold is the 2021 Panini Prizm Conor McGregor Gold Prizm /10 graded a PSA 10. Goldin Co. sold the card for $26,400 in August of 2021. 

The Gold Prizm card depicts McGregor’s signature swinging arms warm-up.

3. Khabib Nurmagomedov 2021 Panini Select UFC Signatures Black Disco Prizm 1/1 PSA 10 — $24,000
Goldin Co.

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s most valuable trading card is his 1/1 Black Disco Prizm from the 2021 UFC select set and it sold for $24,000 in the fall of 2021 at Goldin Co. 

Khabib went undefeated in his UFC career and is one of the most popular players in the sport. 

He fought and defeated Conor McGregor in October 2018 in a record pay-per-view event for the UFC. McGregor may be the most known UFC fighter but Khabib is not far behind despite being retired. 

4. Conor McGregor 2021 Select UFC Prizms Black 1/1 Ungraded — $22,212

The fourth-highest selling UFC card is a 1/1 Select Prizm Black featuring Conor McGregor that was sold on eBay for $22,212 on December 19th, 2021. 

The card was in ungraded condition when it was sold and the sale was verified by using 

McGregor’s rare cards have led the charge in the development of the UFC card market. He has a strong personality, has attracted a large fanbase, and got himself even more famous when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017. 

5. Khabib Nurmagomedov 2021 UFC Immaculate Premium Patch Auto /8 Ungraded — $17,500

The fifth most expensive UFC card sold is a Khabib Nurmagomedov Immaculate Patch Autograph numbered to just 8 copies. The card features a match-worn patch with a red on-card autograph and was sold on eBay for $17,500. 

Khabib is a 33-year-old Russian fighter and at the time of his retirement, was considered the top pound-for-pound UFC fighter of all time. 

He fought Conor McGregor in the largest UFC pay-per-view fight of all-time with 2.4 million PPV buys. Khabib won the fight in round 4 by submission. 

6. Conor McGregor 2013 Topps UFC Bloodlines Red #139 3/8 BGS 9.5 — $13,669

Conor McGregor’s 2013 Topps UFC Bloodline Red numbered to 8 copies with a grade of BGS 9.5 sold via eBay auction in November for $13,669. 

McGregor made his UFC debut in 2013 and this set is considered to be McGregor’s rookie set.

7. Conor McGregor 2013 Topps UFC Bloodlines Rookie Autograph PSA 10 — $11,685
Goldin Co.

There are just 27 PSA 10 copies of McGregor’s Topps UFC Bloodlines first autograph and a copy sold for $11,685 at Goldin Co. in August 2021. Back in 2016, after McGregor had gained fame and notoriety, copies of this card sold for as low as $271. 

As the market for UFC cards has grown, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this card set a new record when it comes up for sale again. 

8. Khabib Nurmagomedov 2021 UFC Immaculate Premium Patch Auto /5 Ungraded — $11,500

Khabib Nurmagomedov isn’t the face of the UFC like McGregor, but he’s a popular fighter with over 32 million Instagram followers and his recent card sales show it. His Immaculate Premium Patch Auto features a match-worn patch and red autograph sold ungraded on eBay for $11,500. 

9. Khabib Nurmagomedov 2021 Panini Immaculate UFC 1/1 Logo Reebok Patch Ungraded — $10,507

Another Khabib Immaculate sold on eBay in ungraded condition for a five-figure sum at $10,507 and this time it was for a 1/1 patch card. 

Immaculate is a popular premium trading card set in other sports and the 2021 UFC Immaculate is the first premium card set for these fighters. The set features patch auto cards, patch cards, and autos. The release of a premium trading card set for the UFC is a sign that the market for collecting these players’ cards is growing. 

10. Khamzat Chimaev Teal 2021 Panini Prizm UFC #7 Prizm /49 PSA 10 — $10,200

Khamzat Chimaev has 3 million Instagram followers and is currently undefeated in the UFC. Chimaev is a talented freestyle wrestler who made his first UFC debut in July 2020, winning the fight in the second round by submission. 

He’s a fast riser in the UFC and has been compared to Conor McGregor. Chimeave’s 2021 Panini Prizm Teal (numbered to 49 copies) in a PSA 10 sold on eBay for $10,200 via auction on January 31st of this year.

11. Francis Ngannou 2021 Panini Prizm UFC Signatures Prizm Black (#1/1) BGS 9.5/10 — $9,600
Goldin Co.

Francis Ngannou has an incredible backstory. Ngannou is the current UFC heavyweight champion and got there by rising through poverty, ignoring offers to join gangs, focusing on boxing, and enduring homelessness. Ngannou is originally from Cameroon and after working in the sand mines, he knew he had to change his life. 

He focused on fighting and in order to achieve his dream, he crossed borders illegally through the Sahara desert, had to face jail time, and ended up homeless in Paris. Ngannou worked at a homeless shelter and was fortunate that the director of the foundation introduced him to someone who ran a boxing training center in Paris. 

A few years later, he ended up as the heavyweight champion in the UFC. 

Francis Ngannou’s 2021 Prizm UFC Black Autograph 1/1 in a BGS 9.5 grade sold at Goldin Co. for $9,600 on January 8th, 2022.  

12. Khabib Nurmagomedov 2021 Panini Select UFC Signatures Gold Disco Prizm Autograph /10 PSA 10 — $9,600
Goldin Co.

Khabib Nurmagomdeov’s 2021 Panini Prizm Select Signatures Gold Disco Prizm numbered to just 10 copies sold at Goldin Co. for $9,600. 

Khabib went undefeated in his UFC career at 29–0 and multiple of his trading cards across different sets have commanded significant value on the secondary market. 

13. Khabib Nurmagomedov 2021 Panini Select UFC Octagonside Gold Prizm /10 PSA 10 — $9,600

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s 2021 Select UFC Octagonside Gold Prizm (numbered to 10 copies) in a PSA 10 sold for $9,600 on eBay, yet another nearly five-figure sale for Khabib. 

14. Khamzat Chimaev 2021 UFC Chronicles Gold /10 PSA 10 — $9,100

Khamzat Chimaev is a rising star in the UFC and his 2021 UFC Chronicles Gold numbered to 10 copies sold on eBay via auction in December 2021 for $9,100. 

The fighter had some trouble with COVID and was forced to cancel fights but was finally able to return in October 2021 after missing a year of action. 

15. Francis Ngannou 2021 UFC Prizm Signatures Gold Autograph /10 BGS 9.5/10 — $8,400
Goldin Co.

Francis Ngannou’s 2021 UFC Prizm Signatures Gold Auto (numbered to 10 copies) sold for $8,400 at Goldin Co. Ngannou last fought on 1/22, beating Ciryl Gane, and in that fight, he demonstrated a continued evolution of his talent. 

Ngannou is already 35 years old but has shown that he can get better as a fighter and still has a long career ahead of him. 

16. Khamzat Chimaev 2021 Panini Prizm UFC Rookie Neon Green /75 PSA 10 — $8,700

Khamzat Chimaev’s Prizm Neon Green PSA 10 was last sold via auction on eBay for $8,700 on January 24th. 

Chimaev is a rising star in the UFC and has an “it” factor that could make him a superstar. 

17. Ciryl Gane 2021 Panini Prizm Gold /10 BGS 9.5 — $7,500

Ciryl Gane’s 2021 Panini Prizm UFC Gold Prizm BGS 9.5 sold for $7,500 on eBay. Gane is a 31-year-old French heavyweight MMA fighter who debuted in 2019. 

Gane was the interim Heavyweight Champion of the UFC but lost to Francis Ngannou in the heavyweight championship in January of this year. It is Gane’s only loss in his UFC career. 

18. Conor McGregor 2015 Topps UFC Chronicles Autographs Sepia Autograph (1/1) BGS 9/10 — $6,600
Goldin Co.

Conor McGregor’s 2015 Topps UFC Chronicles Autograph 1/1 BGS 9 sold for $6,600 at Goldin Co. in June 2021. 

McGregor’s market didn’t pick up full-steam until the end of 2021 and early 2022 with his latest record sale it would be interesting to see what this 1/1 McGregor would fetch if it were auctioned off today. 

19. Conor McGregor 2013 Topps UFC Bloodlines Autographs BGS 9.5/10 — $6,000
Goldin Co.

In May, Goldin Co. sold this 2013 Topps UFC Bloodlines Conor McGregor autographed rookie card in a BGS 9.5 grade for $6,000. This is McGregor’s first auto and came out the year he debuted in the UFC. 

If the UFC card market continues to develop and expand, keep an eye on the 2013 Topps UFC Bloodlines McGregor rookie cards. 

20. Israel Adesanya 2020 Topps UFC Knockout Autographed Fight Mat Relics Gold (#1/1) BGS 9/10 — $5,227
Goldin Co.

Israel Adesanya is a 32-year old MMA middleweight fighter who has gone 21–1 in his UFC career with an upcoming main event match on February 12th.

Goldin Co. sold this copy of his 1/1 2020 Topps UFC Knockout patch autograph BGS 9 card for $5,200.

Adesanya was ranked the 3rd best UFC pound-for-pound fighter and is considered to be one of the best strikers in the UFC. 

Culture Trading Cards

Collectibles Market Weekly Recap

The collectibles market has had an incredible past 18 months, with sports cards bursting back in to the mainstream conversation and record sales of both iconic vintage and modern superstars sometimes selling for millions of dollars.

Recently, there have been many other types of collectibles that have been heating up as well, with graded comic books, video games, ticket stubs and game-worn memorabilia beginning to take center stage.

The steady rise of auction houses such as Goldin, PWCC, and Heritage as well as the birth of fractional ownership apps such as Rally, Dibbs, Collectable and Otis, have made it possible for people on any budget to get in the game.

This weekly article will aim to inform you of some of the more interesting and exciting items that sold during the previous week as well as give a look ahead to some assets that will soon be available.

1. Serena Williams Rookie Cards – Record Breaking Sales!
PWCC Marketplace
PWCC Marketplace

This past weekend at PWCC Marketplace saw two record breaking sales for most expensive female sports cards ever.

The first was a 1999 Sports Illustrated for Kids Series 4 that was graded a PSA 10 and sold for $117,000. S.I. For Kids cards are notoriously tough to grade because they came inside of the magazine with 8 other cards on one sheet with perforated lines, and had to be torn out by hand. The PSA 10 population of this card is just 8, illustrating its extreme rarity.

The other was a 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy PSA 10, which also has an extremely low population of just 27 and sold for $96,000.

It will be interesting to see what the upcoming Netflix tennis documentary series does to the tennis card market. Will it have a similar effect that “Drive to Survive” had on the F1 card market? We’ll see!

2. Josh Allen 2018 Panini Prizm Gold Vinyl PSA 10 – $264,000
PWCC Marketplace
PWCC Marketplace

Shortly after one of the best football games in the history of the NFL, headlines were made in the sports card market because of the $264,000 sale of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s 2018 Prizm Gold Vinyl PSA 10 rookie card. In the game, Allen completed 27-37 passes for 329 yards and 4 touchdowns, with the final one coming with just :13 seconds left in the game and appeared to send the Bills to the AFC Championship.

Patrick Mahomes had other plans.

This card is numbered to 5 and is amongst Allen’s most sought after and rare cards. While taking an “L” in a playoff game doesn’t typically shoot the value of the losing team’s quarterbacks cards up, Allen clearly earned a ton of respect amongst collectors for his heroic performance.

3. Trae Young 2018-2019 Flawless Green BGS 9 – +43.6%

From January 17-23, Trae Young led the Atlanta Hawks to a 4-0 record and averaged 31.3 points and 9 assists per game, earning him NBA Player of the Week honors for the fifth time in his career.

Shareholders of this Trae Young card, a green 2018 Panini Flawless rookie auto BGS 9 numbered to 5 (available on fractional ownership app Collectable) had to be excited to see the value soaring almost overnight, jumping an eye-popping 43.6%!

4. ’96 N64 Mario Kart 64 – SOLD OUT

On Wednesday, January 26th at noon, shares of this WATA graded 9.4 sealed “Red Label” variant Mario Kart 64 were made available for $15/each on fractional ownership app Rally.

Less than a minute later, the asset was fully funded.

While you can no longer buy shares at the IPO price, they will be available for purchase on the secondary market on Rally’s app soon.

The wildly popular game sold over 9.85 million copies, with the “Red Label” being used only on the earliest print-runs.

Graded video games are white-hot right now, and are definitely something to keep your eye on going forward.

On The Horizon!
5. 1997-98 Michael Jordan Game Used Chicago Bulls Uniform
Goldin Auctions
Goldin Auctions

This uniform was used during Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls in which he led them to his final NBA Championship against the Utah Jazz. The jersey and shorts are photo matched and authenticated by Sports Investors Authentication to two different games:

1: January 27th, 1998 against the Vancouver Grizzlies, a 103-85 win in which Jordan scored 20 points.

2: March 14th, 1998 against the San Antonio Spurs, a 96-86 win where Jordan scored a team-high 30 points.

The current bid is $120,000, with over 10 days left in the auction (closes on 2/5/22)

6. Patrick Mahomes 2017 Panini National Treasures “Stars & Stripes Patch Auto PSA 10
Goldin Auctions
Goldin Auctions

I previously mentioned the $264,000 sale of Josh Allen’s Prizm Gold Vinyl PSA 10 shortly after the end of the wildly exciting Chiefs vs Bills game, so it’s only fair that I also point out that Goldin’s Winter Elite Auction has some unbelievable cards available of winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

One of the coolest in the lot is this 2017 NT RPA numbered to just 13. Making it even more rare is the fact that it is graded a PSA 10, which is typically extremely difficult for thick patch auto cards like this one.

It is currently the only PSA 10 in the population and the current bid is $240,000 with just over 10 days left.

7. Abraham Lincoln Letter to the Army of the Potomac
Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions

This letter was written on December 22, 1862, during the Civil War by then President Abraham Lincoln to the Army of the Potomac after the Union Defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

The purpose of the letter was to “honor the brave men who fought and died in battle and to remind the Northern public of the great cause for which they fight”, according to Heritage’s site.

It was previously sold at Parke Bernet Auctions in 1964 for $16,000 and then again at Sotheby’s Auction in 1988 for $215,000. There are 16 days left, with the opening bid set at $250,000.

What an unbelievable piece of American history! I will surely be tuned in to see what this winds up selling for.