When you're interested in taking a "prospecting" approach to building a collection of football cards, you're better off shopping online for the specific single cards that you want, rather than buying packs and boxes at your local card store. In collecting terms, prospecting describes investing in the cards of up-and-coming players while their cards are inexpensive, with the hopes of the players becoming stars and their cards skyrocketing in value in the coming years. There's definitely an art to prospecting, and the right approach can make this a lucrative hobby. Here are some tips to get you started.
Stay Away From Top Picks
When the new season's football cards are released, collectors will jump online to buy rookie cards of the top draft picks. Any player drafted in the first round is projected to have a solid career, which can make his cards cost a lot before he's ever played a snap of professional football. Although you can still prospect such players if you have a lot of money to invest, you may wish to stay away from the top draft picks in favor of picking up cards from later-round draft picks for much cheaper. For example, instead of spending $50 on a first-round draft pick's rookie card, you might be able to buy five rookie cards of late-round draftees.
Read Scouting Reports To Find Steals
If you're interested in taking the time to peruse scouting reports on late-round picks and even undrafted free agents, you'll often find some gems. For example, a player who may not have been drafted but instead signed with a team after the draft may not be highly touted, but scouting reports could suggest that he becomes a starter and an eventual star. Since the average collector might not know this information, you could pick up this player's cards for a bargain.
Prospecting is a long-term project. Unless an unknown player emerges as an instant star, you won't typically see players' football cards increase in value quickly. Rather, those who excel on the field will cause their cards to climb in value steadily. Success in prospecting requires you to exercise patience. If a player isn't succeeding, you shouldn't necessarily sell that cards that you've bought of the player. He could be a late bloomer, causing you to regret your quick decision to sell. If you hang onto the cards of the players you believe in, you could be in for a big payday when the player eventually becomes a star and you decide to sell your collection.
For more information, talk to a company like BEGC Sports Cards.