NBA CARD COLLECTING GUIDE
Who Makes NBA Cards?
The cards which make up the main portion of a card set.
Opening a number of packs (at least one box) of the same product to see what variety of cards you received.
Refers to how well cards are packaged in an unopened box. A box without many doubles has good collation.
The lowest-priced card in a set. Common cards do not picture a superstar or a hot rookie.
"Game-Worn Card" or Memorabilia Card:
A card which has a small piece of sporting equipment (such as a jersey, ball, shoe, etc.) attached to it.
Cards that have been assigned a condition grade by someone other than the owner or buyer of the card.
These are numbers like "6X - 8X" found in price guides. They help you determine the value of your card, most often parallel cards. For instance, a card might be priced at $2, with gold "parallel" versions at 6X - 8X or $12 - $16.
A card which has the same photo as a base card but features a slightly different design (such as a different color foil treatment) and is printed in smaller quantities.
Refers to how often an insert card will normally appear within a pack.
A card inserted into packs that can be mailed back to the card company for a prize or a card.
The first appearance by a player in a card set. A player's rookie card is not always made during the same year as a player's rookie season.
Sequentially Numbered Cards:
A card which is numbered, as in card #242 of an edition of 500. Look for low numbers or a player's uniform number.
Base cards which are printed in lower quantities than the other cards within the regular-issue set.
Signed cards that come out of a pack are guaranteed by the company to be signed by that athlete.
Refers to unopened card product. Years ago, cards were packaged in wrappers made from wax paper.
There are currently three companies that have permission from the NBA to make and sell trading cards of NBA players all over the world -- Fleer, Topps, and Upper Deck.
Are NBA Cards Valuable?
Some NBA Cards increase in value (the amount of money someone will pay for it), and a few can become very valuable. A card's value is based on how popular the player is, how few of that card there is, how new the card looks, and how many collectors want the card. Even if there are very few of the card, if no one wants the card then it won't be worth much money.
Where Do I Go To Buy NBA Cards?
There are thousands of places around the country which sell basketball cards, including sports card and memorabilia stores, grocery stores, mass retail stores, and convenience stores. You can also buy cards at trading card shows or online, including at NBA Card company Web sites.
What Are The Rules For Collecting NBA Cards?
That's the best thing about NBA Card collecting -- there are no rules! There are different ways you might choose to collect. You can try to collect all of the NBA Cards in a given set. Or you can just focus on NBA Cards of your favorite team or even your favorite player. Some people only collect cards of rookies, while others only collect cards of Hall of Famers. It doesn't matter how you collect. The important thing is to have fun.
How Do I Know Which Cards To Buy?
The important thing is to look for NBA Cards you like, don't try to just find the cards that you can sell for the most money. The companies that make trading cards make several different brands of cards, all at different prices and all with different designs.
How Do I Keep My NBA Cards In Top Condition?
There are many storage supplies available to help collectors keep their NBA Cards looking like new, from hard plastic holders for just one card to "monster boxes" that can hold more than 5,000 cards.