So you want to start collecting vintage sports memorabilia
That’s actually a very good decision, as long as you go into it with an idea of what you want to focus on and you have an idea of your budget. Collecting vintage memorabilia can be a bit tricky and very expensive if you’re not careful because there are quite a few options out there for collectors to choose from.
What’s your focus?
Are you going to collect vintage signed baseballs, and if so will they be single signed or multi-signed balls? Are you going to collect vintage baseball cards, and if so will they be autographed or from a certain year? Aside from making a decision as to whether you’ll be collecting cards, baseballs or signatures you must also decide if you’re going to target a specific team or player when first starting out in collecting vintage.
Before I even talk to you about picking, and sticking to, a budget that would realistically work for you I feel it’s important for you to be aware of the different options you have of actually finding and buying vintage memorabilia.
First and foremost, brick and mortar sports card and memorabilia shops are always a great place to look. Not only do you get to experience the joy of physically going in and looking at the different pieces they may have, you get the added bonus of having someone likely as passionate about sports and collecting as you are ready to help you. Furthermore, reliability of these shops to have authentic pieces in stock – or knowing reliable dealers you can find specific things from – should be your top priority anyway because nothing is worse than buying something that’s not genuine.
Your next option, and one that’s just as good as a brick and mortar shop, are the many different sports memorabilia auction dealers you can find online. You can generally tell the ones who run a reputable business from the ones who do not by how knowledgeable they are about what they are auctioning off, and they will have no problem verifying to you their legitimacy if asked. These dealers typically specialize in hard to find items and have many contacts at their disposal to help you find just about anything you are looking for.
Your last option, one that I urge the utmost caution with, is eBay. This online auction site is a great place to find those hard to find items that you may not be able to find elsewhere, but it carries the most risk and there’s no guarantee you’re actually getting what you think you are. Countless times an item will be listed as an “autographed” something or another and then you get it and it’s simply a facsimile baseball or card. Many amateur collectors have been duped and spent large sums of money on items that were either forgeries or were listed in a misleading manner.
Finally, be sure to set yourself a firm budget when collecting vintage memorabilia. Collective quality pieces of sports memorabilia can already wrack up quite the bill and deciding to collect vintage will only raise the cost that much more. Don’t get too carried away and make sure you know exactly what you are paying for and the value it holds.