The 4 ULTIMATE Card Investing Strategies For BEGINNERS!
June 28, 202110 min read
This video is all about sports card investing strategies for beginners and I would consider myself a beginner. Still, I've done a few different strategies on buying and selling and I just want to kind of go over those four strategies that I found have worked and maybe some that haven't worked, and kind of talk about the pros and cons. Remember take your time. Don't go buying on a huge rampage right off the bat. That’s kind of what I did. Take your time, understand the market, understand the different types of cards. It can be overwhelming, and do your research, but join a lot of Facebook groups if you can. Find out what people are buying, what people are interested in, and take your time. There's no rush to get into this.
Let's start off with the number one strategy and that is buying raw cards. So these are ungraded cards that have never been sent to PSA, Beckett, or SGC, and just reselling them as raw cards. Not getting them graded at all and just selling them as is. What are the pros to this strategy?
Well number one you don't have to get them graded. You don't have to spend any money on it and you don't have to send them off to PSA and wait three or four months for it. So you're not gonna have any additional cost to it. You buy the card at ten dollars, you sell around twenty dollars or whatever you choose to sell it for and there's very little overhead to it because typically when you're buying raw cards they are the cheapest of the cheap. Obviously raw cards are gonna be cheaper than the graded cards so you're not gonna have a huge bunch of overhead, so this is a good strategy maybe for someone who's just kind of getting into the hobby that is trying to figure out what sells and doesn't want to fork over a huge investment. Wants to maybe recoup them right away and it's just an easy strategy. It doesn't take a whole lot of learning to do it.
The cons for something like this. Well very little profit margin. You're not really adding much value to the card because you're buying it raw, you're selling it raw. So you're just hoping that that player gets increased interest and that card maybe becomes less available therefore driving the price up. You're not adding really any value to it at all. This is again typically for people with minimal budgets who are just kind of wanting to get their feet wet with the card game. This is the strategy for you. If you're just trying to get started doing something in the card market, buying around, selling raw, nothing wrong with that. Again, just very minimal profit on that.
Number two is buying cards that are already graded. So ones that have already been sent to PSA, Beckett, or SGC and then reselling them as is. So you're getting a card, let's say you're buying a Luka Doncic rookie card. You get a Prizm. You're buying it at a PSA ten. Let's just say that’s seven hundred dollars right now and your goal is that that card is gonna be going up to nine hundred maybe, to a thousand dollars, in the next few months and you could sell it at that point and make two or three hundred dollars.
What are the pros of doing a strategy like this? Well you don't have to worry about the grading. You already know what the grade is on the card so if you want to be reselling a PSA ten you can go out and buy a PSA ten, or you want to do with the nines you can do a PSA nine. So you know exactly what you're getting it for. It's a good strategy for cards that are tough to get graded. So if you go to the PSA population report for example, this is the population report of all the cards that they have been graded for this particular card, and you looking at Luka Doncic and let's say they've graded for example a thousand cards and only 100 have been PSA 10s. Well you know that's a tough card to grade because it's less than 10% at PSA 10. So going out buying PSA 10s as an investment strategy is actually probably not that bad because potentially that card is going to be going up and up and up a little bit quicker than another card because there's not that many PSA tens out there.
Another big pro here is you don't have to wait for sending off cards to get them graded and waiting three or four months to get them back. You've already got it graded and it is ready to go. It's ready to be sold and also sets you up for a quick sale too. So let's say for example again you are buying this Luka Doncic card and all of a sudden hypothetically he wins an NBA championship. Well boom there goes his cards way through the roof, unimaginable prices, and you've got PSA 10s already in hand. You don't have to worry about “oh man my cards are at PSA right now. I'm not gonna get them back for a few months!” You're good to go. This is actually a very good strategy I think for the long-term. So if you've got some cash that you can sit on a card for maybe a year or so, you're not worried about selling quickly, this is a pretty good strategy for you.
Cons. The biggest one I see here is you essentially you're buying a card at its peak. So you're buying it at a retail price and you're hoping it's gonna go up in value. Of course if it goes down in value your cost of goods is so high on this card that it's gonna be very hard for you to make your money back. So if it goes down in value you're essentially screwed. So make sure that you buy the right cards with this strategy. By the right card I mean ones that are popular of a popular player and potentially also ones that are maybe difficult to grade so it's gonna be a low population on them, and you're gonna be sitting pretty if you've got a PSA ten on a card that’s got less than 10% PSA population report for a ten.
Number three is what they call a crossover. Now this is when you are gonna take a card, for example graded at BGS with 9.5 and you are gonna resubmit that to PSA and hoping that you were gonna get a PSA 10. This is the most popular strategy when it comes to crossovers. We know as investors that PSA 10s typically sell for way more than BGS 9.5 so that's why people will do a cross over. Some things to think about when you are doing this is try to look for those sub grades on the BGS card. They subgrade on corners, surface, centering, and all that kind of stuff. Make sure you're looking at 9.5 at least on every single one of these four sub grades. That's kind of a good indicator that potentially that could be a PSA 10 card. It’s not guaranteed by any means so also make sure that you look at the actual card itself and make sure that you agree with the Beckett grading on there because if a centering is a 9.5 and you look at that thing and it’s definitely not centered and it's a nine or maybe an eight and a half or something like that in your mind, maybe that's not a good candidate for a crossover.
What are the pros for doing an investment strategy like this? Well it can pay off huge if you do the right card. For example, let's say you are gonna do a BGS 9.5 and you were gonna buy this particular card at $1,000 and you know that a PSA 10 of that card for example sells for $2,000. You know that you're gonna have probably another fifty to a hundred dollars in grading fee so if you get that ten now you're at $1,100 for a card that can sell potentially for $2,000. So this strategy works really well on those higher end cards, ones that have a big buffer on there. You don't want to do these with cheap lower cards because the additional grading cost is just not much bang for your buck.
What are some cons for this? The biggest comments, you're gonna have a huge investment up front. Like I said we're gonna be doing this for a crossover, typically big-time cards, so let's say for example like a Mike Trout rookie. You're gonna be forking over a big chunk of change for really nothing that's gonna guarantee that you're gonna get that PSA ten. So that's something to keep in mind. It's not a guarantee even if you got all these BGS 9.5 with all the sub grades that's going to be a PSA ten. So really my suggestion would be focus on the centering first. Make sure that card is nice and centered it's got good eye appeal which is really a big thing at PSA. Does the card look good, and then after that then look at the sub grades. Make sure you agree with those sub grades and then go ahead and make your purchase off of that, but just make sure that you've got enough room to be able to make a decent amount of money off that thing because you're gonna be holding on to that card for a little while as it's off getting graded and again you've got no guarantee that it's gonna get a PSA ten. My take on this one is it's definitely for the savvy investor. Someone who's maybe been in the card business a little longer than someone like myself. You got to really know your cards. You got to really know what you're looking at. Making sure again that the card is centered and the corners, edges, and surface all look very good and you really got to know what you're doing here because you're taking a big gamble and buying an expensive card with the hopes that it's gonna be a PSA 10. So lots of risk with it.
Number four strategy and this one is actually my preferred strategy. I think it's probably the best way to go and this is buying raw ungraded cards and then sending them off to PSA for grading, and then once you get them back selling them as graded cards. I prefer to send to PSA just because what I've seen is that PSA cards tend to sell more than Beckett cards, but again that's just a personal preference. Beckett does have a faster turnaround time but you figure out which one is best for you and go from there.
What are the pros for a strategy like this? Huge profit margins. Probably the best profit margins of any of the strategies that we've talked about today. A decent lower investment cost because you are just buying the raw cards and then again you're going to be paying for the grading so that is gonna add a little bit to your investment, but it's still gonna be way less than buying that card at PSA 10 or even a PSA 9 in some cases.
The cons are you're never quite sure which grade you’re gonna get with that card. Yes good quality scans and pictures and everything like that and talking to the seller can do wonders to help you make sure that you're getting a card that doesn't have scratches, that doesn't have dings or dents in it, the corners are sharp, but even then to the naked eye it can still seem good but once you get it under that microscope it can show some scratches and whatnot. That's what PSA looks at them through, so again I'm not a professional grader, and most of us aren't professional graders so we never quite know when we get a card that’s actually a PSA 10. So make sure you ask all your questions before buying these cards. Get as many pictures as you need and even then sometimes that's still never enough so you're never quite sure.
One of the biggest cons of course and this is well known in the industry is the long wait times to get cards graded and this is probably the biggest con. So you're going to be buying these cards let's say week one and potentially week 12, 16, or 20 is when you're gonna be getting those cards back graded. So it's a long process assuming you don't do any express options with PSA. So your investment isn't gonna probably pay off for probably 3 to 4 months at a minimum so you got to get comfortable with throwing a bunch of money out and not being sure what those grades are gonna be and waiting for those cards to come back. It takes a little bit of getting used to. When I got my first one back I literally sold all the cards in like two days. Now granted I had Zion, Jah, and Luka, you know the main guys that sell, but it's incredible to get that first submission. You're like “oh my gosh now I can finally sell these things!” So you’ve got to be careful and you’ve got to be nice and comfortable with waiting for the excitement of selling your own cards.
This to me is the best strategy for all those kind of reasons I talked about. Lots of flexibility in it too. You can buy really cheap cards like one or two dollar cards and get them graded. You can buy more expensive cards and get them graded. You've really got a lot of room on this, and again the profit margins are what you are really after. You buy a card that's ungraded for $10 and getting it graded and selling it potentially for $100 - $125 or even more than that depending on who the player is. Those are some really good profit margins. It makes the wait definitely seem worth it, but again make sure that you do your homework on the card. Get images of the front and back. Make sure you ask all your questions and make sure there's no scratches, dings, and all that kind of stuff and the corners look good.
So hopefully you guys like this video. I tried to make it as short as I could without getting too crazy and through the weeds, and there's a lot more to go into but I just want to give kind of a general overview. Of course there's other investment strategies that you can do but these are the four that I've been studying and doing in these four months of buying cards and selling them. Trust me this is a hobby that you want to get into. Once you get those raw cards back and graded you are sitting pretty assuming you've gotten nines and tens and whatnot and you've got cards that people actually want because the value is going up and the amount of collectors coming into the industry is just incredible.
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