How to Value Football Cards

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Learning how to value football cards is important when managing a large collection.

I know, I have tens of thousands sports cards and keeping tabs on what’s what can be a nightmare.

In this article, I’ll go over ways I keep on top of valuing my football cards.

The Basics of Valuing Football Cards for Dummies (or any football card novice)

The value of a football card is determined by many different factors including:

  • Player’s prospects
  • Player’s age
  • Player’s success in the NFL
  • The team a player represents
  • The set that the card is from, and many more.

For example, Tom Brady rookie cards are worth thousands of dollars because of the player and the set they come from.

On top of that, the grade of the card makes a huge difference. A card graded a ten out of ten will obviously sell more than a card graded five or six. If you’re interested more in different grading companies, my Beckett and PSA article is a good place to start.

How to Find Out the Value of Your Football Card Collection

If you want to learn how to value football cards, there are a few different methods you can use. Basically, it’s the same as determining the value of any sports card collection.

There are several methods that can be used to determine the value of a card collection. The most popular method back in the day was using the Beckett Grading Card Guide. The prices listed in the guide are based on several factors including rarity, condition, and Beckett Grading Services’ own opinions.

The Beckett Grading Card Guide is a well-known resource for determining values for collectible cards. They have many different grades and price points which makes it easy to find a card that fits your budget.

Personally, I don’t use Beckett though. I use online tools – these tools scrape sales data online so everything is up to date and pretty much instant.

Not bad considering we used to wait a month for the Beckett magazine to get delivered.

There are free ways to do it online – you can use eBay sales history (for a rough estimate). Or, you can use a site like 130Point to find the recent sales prices of particular cards. What I like about 130Point is that it actually gives you the accepted offer price – eBay only says what the card was originally listed for.

So, if someone selling a card for $100 accepts a $70 offer, 130Point will list it as a $70 sale whereas eBay won’t.

There’s nothing wrong with these free options but they’re a bit tome-consuming – well, a lot time-consuming. Doing your entire collection every few months (because you can’t save cards) is a bit of a nightmare.

The Best Paid Option: Market Movers

Market Movers (use the code SCR20 for 20% off) is the card price checking tool from Sports Cards Investor and is my favorite choice for those who are serious about their cards.

I’m not going to lie, when Market Movers first came out I rolled my eyes a little. However, they keep improving the tool and it’s now quite a robust way to keep track of a busy football card portfolio – along with checking football card values.

Market Movers has a lot of positives to it that I know you’ll like.

  • Keep track of card prices over time. You can see pricing trends easily and check that your football card values are going up or down
  • Compare cards on the same chart. If you want to compare two players’ cards, or even two cards of the same player you can do that to see how they’re performing. A great way to keep track of an entire draft class.
  • Chart any card, or sealed wax
  • You can keep track of sales volume – so not just what price a card is selling for – but how many are selling
  • Set price change alerts. This is cool when you’re looking to either buy or sell. You can set a low price on cards you’re looking to buy, that way, when a card sells for that price you’ll get alerted. But you can also do it for cards you’re looking to sell. For example, if you have a rule that you’ll sell a card for double what you buy it for – you can set that price alert.
  • Check graded card ratios. You can see the ratio between PSA 9s and 10s of cards to see opportunities with grading.

The price point can be a tad expensive for some – $25 a month for the basic plan, and around $50 a month for the pro plan.

There’s also a yearly plan where you only pay for 10 months.

But I guess that really depends on how you look at it.

If you’re not really taking your cards seriously and just buy the odd card here and there, then these features might be a little more than you need. However, if you’re managing a card collection worth thousands of dollars and you’re always looking to buy/sell – then, for me, $50 a month to make sure you can keep track of everything mentioned above is a no-brainer…. Just the man-hours alone that you’ll save is worth it.

Out of the two, I 100% think the Pro plan is the best value. Everything else in the Lite plan can be done for free (with a little more elbow grease and a lot more time).

Like I said though, it really depends on what you’re after. If you’re just casually collecting cards then I wouldn’t bother – but if you want to keep track of sales prices over time, set price reminders, and all that other good stuff, then I’d give Market Movers a try.

You can try Market Movers out here. And make sure you use the code SCR20 to save 20%.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Mint and Good Condition Football Cards?

You would be forgiven for not knowing the difference between the two. Mint condition is something that is new. It’s never been used. Good condition means it still looks like it’s new, but it may have been used before.

In general, mint condition is a term that people use to describe the condition of goods that are brand new or unused. Good condition means that an item still looks as if it’s in good shape, but may have been used before.

Most of these terms are used when it relates to grading though. Some sellers will put their opinion on a card’s condition when selling, and that will impact value.

How Do You Determine Your Own Personal Collection Worth?

The best way to determine the worth of your personal collection is to keep tabs on your main cards’ performance over time. I use Market Movers to do that.

How Do I Know if my Football Cards are Worth Money?

There’s a few things to look out for. The player, their impact on the game, the year of the card (rookie year is always better), the condition of the card, and it’s scarcity all contribute to price. If you’ve got a card that you think ticks a lot of those boxes, you can look at prior sales data.

What is the Most Expensive Football Card Worth?

The most expensive football card in the world is a rookie Tom Brady card. Obviously with new auctions weekly the ‘most expensive football card ever’ changes from time to time. However, it’s well into the millions of dollars

Are any Football Cards from the 90s Worth Anything?

There’s no surefire answer, but if you’re looking to add an old card to your collection- or simply want to see how much your favorites might be worth- some could certainly be a good investment. Just make sure to check the condition and rarity of each card before parting with any cash. The best 90s football cards to look out for are the key rookie cards of important players. The rookie cards of the greats will always for top dollar.