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Insider Tips and Tricks for Selling Sports Collectibles

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

Just because you're grown up doesn't mean you have to leave the basketball memorabilia and sports cards behind. Channel that hobby into a side hustle and learn how to sell autographed memorabilia and more sports collectibles to other avid collectors. Learn the popular types of collectibles, how to spot and authenticate vintage sports cards and gear, and where to sell your wares with our helpful tips.

What are Sports Memorabilia?

Sports memorabilia is a wide umbrella term that includes all collectible sports merchandise that’s made to champion a certain sport, team, or player. Fans collect all kinds of things, whether they're looking for more modern football memorabilia sold at the stadium or autographed memorabilia from the ‘50s.

Can You Make a Profit Selling Sports Collectibles?

Anyone can make money selling sports collectibles if they know where to look. Everything from the rare baseball memorabilia rookie cards to less pricey autographed memorabilia can be worth something to the right buyer. While not all baseball, football, and basketball memorabilia are worth millions, understanding the more sought-after sports cards and other items will help your new business flourish.

Why Do People Collect Sports Collectibles?

To sell baseball memorabilia, you must first understand why they're valuable to people-- and it's not all about the money. While some collectors are willing to spend thousands on a single sports card because they value rarity, others may collect basketball memorabilia just for nostalgia. That could mean anything from hunting down a certain piece of autographed memorabilia just because it was their dad's favorite team or collecting football memorabilia from a specific team because they grew up loving it. Understanding these reasons and adjusting what you choose to sell based on them will help you make money in your new hobby.

Most Popular Types of Sports Collectibles

If you're interested in selling your binder of sports cards or are starting a football memorabilia collection from scratch, keep an eye out for these popular collectibles:

1. Cards

2. Jerseys

3. Game items

1. What Sports Cards Are Valuable?

Sports cards have been made for years, from the original Babe Ruth card to more modern football memorabilia cards. Whether you're searching for rare rookie cards or looking to complete a set of basketball memorabilia, cards can be found just about anywhere. Depending on the niche, collectors will pay a pretty price for nearly every card type, whether they're signed or in pristine condition.

2. What Jerseys Do People Collect?

Sports jerseys from certain players, years, and teams can be valuable to all sorts of collectors. Baseball memorabilia fanatics seek out iconic MLB jerseys. Football memorabilia collectors would go wild if you came across a signed Peyton Manning jersey. As you start to sell, remember that every type of sport has iconic jerseys that are worth something, whether they're new, rare, or vintage.

3. Which Game Items Can Be Sold?

Any item a player has used during a game or practice has value! Home run baseballs are widely sought after by fans of baseball memorabilia, just like touch-down footballs are for football memorabilia collectors. Bats, gloves, or even hoop nets for extreme basketball memorabilia collectors can be found and sold for a steep price to the right buyer.

Where Can Sports Collectibles Be Found?

Not sure where to find items for your baseball memorabilia stock? Lucky for you, there are endless options. From browsing eBay and other online forums to hitting up your local antique mall, football memorabilia, autographed jerseys, and more are all around you. Take the time to search dime-a-dozen boxes at your local thrift stores for basketball memorabilia or buy sports cards in bulk online—you may end up with a hidden gem!

Remember: don't forget to search your own family's homes! Your grandparents may have a secret box of valuable basketball memorabilia or vintage autographed jerseys tucked away.

Is Autographed Memorabilia Worth Selling?

Autographed memorabilia are a debated topic amongst sports collectors. For some, the signature of a favorite player on baseball memorabilia ruins the mint condition, making it worthless. But for others, nostalgia takes over, and the knowledge that their idol has interacted with that item makes it priceless. You can collect and sell autographed memorabilia as long as you understand that it has a divided fanbase, and you may have to work a little harder to find your target market.

Where Do You Get Sports Collectibles Appraised?

Perhaps the most important step of selling sports collectibles, whether basketball memorabilia or sports cards, is getting each item appraised and authenticated. To be recognized as a trusted seller and get accurate pricing for your memorabilia, you must have your pieces appraised by legitimate companies, such as Professional Sports Authenticator, a dependable source for authenticating and valuing your items. Another source is James Spence Authentication.

3 Insider Tips for Selling Sports Collectibles

Baseball memorabilia, sports cards, and more can all be sold with a little dedication and passion.

Use our tried-and-true insider tips as you learn how to sell vintage sports items:

1. Make connections: don't be afraid to message other football memorabilia sellers and buyers online or talk to them at your local antique mall to build up your community.

2. Find a niche: whether you sell exclusively autographed memorabilia or baseball memorabilia of a specific team, choosing a niche when collecting sports memorabilia will draw your intended buyers in.

3. Set up an online store: even if you mainly sell at an antique booth or locked showcase in an antique mall (or want to start), starting an online store for your basketball memorabilia will help buyers easily find you and your products wherever they are in the world.

How to Set Up an Antique Booth for Sports Collectibles

If you want to sell your football memorabilia in person, setting up an antique booth or locked showcase is simple with a few smart steps. Find an antique mall near you, rent a booth or showcase, and get to work arranging and decorating it. Include signs that state what you’re selling so that visitors can easily spot you. Establish a pricing system for your sports cards and baseball memorabilia that is organized and easy to understand for all ages. Sit back and enjoy talking to interested buyers at your antique booth or showcase.

Whether you've been sitting on a basketball memorabilia collection for years or stumbled upon a priceless sports card at the thrift store, selling sports collectibles is easy. Get your items authenticated, determine your price, and sell online or in-person at our Algonquin, Melbourne, and Highland locations today.

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