If you’re an avid collector of rare and historic baseball cards, you’re certainly not alone. For decades, these colorful and collectible pieces have been sought after by enthusiasts around the globe. But with their rising popularity in recent years, it can be difficult to know where to look for them—or worse yet, why they’ve become so hard to find.
Baseball cards have become so hard to find because of skyrocketing demands. Since fewer cards are being made and more people want them, they’re getting harder and harder to find. Even worse, their prices can also rise significantly.
This article will go into more detail about why baseball cards are often hard to get. I’ll also recommend some ways to improve your chances of finding some.
How Skyrocketing Demand Is Making It Hard To Find Baseball Cards
The baseball card industry has been experiencing unprecedented demand in recent years, creating a snowball effect that is making it increasingly difficult to get your hands on a specific card.
Consumer demand has soared, with prices also skyrocketing. This in turn has caused the market to be flooded with hoarders, speculators, and profiteers who are all looking to snap up the most sought-after cards regardless of cost.
This sudden surge in demand has made it difficult to find baseball cards, particularly rare cards that can be worth thousands of dollars. Let’s take a look at why baseball cards are so sought-after and why it’s so hard to get them.
The Pandemic Effect
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused upheaval in everyday life over the past year. Since most people were stuck inside and didn’t have many ways to have fun, hobbies like collecting baseball cards became even more popular as people looked for ways to pass the time.
This sudden surge in demand made it difficult for card companies to keep up with production, leading to shortages of some of the most desirable cards on the market.
The Collectible Factor
Baseball cards aren’t just fun collectibles. They also have a real-world value that can be quite substantial depending on their condition and scarcity. You’ll be surprised how some rare and unique cards can fetch several thousands of dollars or more per piece if they’re in perfect condition.
This makes them highly sought-after commodities, even among non-card enthusiasts. As demand continues to rise, so too does competition among collectors looking for rare finds that will increase their portfolios’ value.
Since there aren’t enough baseball cards to go around, prices have gone through the roof in the last year, making it even harder for those who want to get into collecting or expanding their collections without breaking their budgets.
However, there’s still great value (and fun) to be found if you know where to look. From bargain bin finds at local shops or online auction sites like eBay, all the way up to private sellers offering high-end rarities from decades past, you’re likely to come across a few cards.
Collectors Hoarding Cards To Flip Them Later
Baseball cards have been a hobby for many generations. But did you know that the hoarding of even common cards to flip is causing a shortage? It’s true!
Many people are collecting and flipping baseball cards, driving up prices and making it difficult for amateur collectors to find what they’re looking for. Let’s take a look at why this is happening and how it’s impacting baseball card collectors.
The Growing Popularity of Baseball Card Flipping
Baseball card flipping has become incredibly popular in recent years. Professional dealers, as well as casual buyers, are buying up common cards in bulk and then selling them to other collectors at higher prices.
This can be a lucrative business for those who are knowledgeable about the value of certain cards. But it also means that even common cards are now out of reach for most amateur collectors.
The Impact on Collectors
Many collectors who’ve been collecting baseball cards since childhood are feeling squeezed out by professional dealers and flippers. Prices have soared on many rarer cards, while it can be almost impossible to find some of the more common cards that used to be available in retail stores.
This makes it hard for people who just want to collect as a hobby to find what they’re looking for—unless they’re willing to pay exorbitant prices.
No Appropriate Measures Taken by Leading Retailers
Over the past few years, baseball cards have become increasingly hard to find in stores—and it’s not due to a lack of demand.
It’s because a few people have been stockpiling them as investments, thus creating an artificial shortage that has made it difficult for average collectors to get their hands on the cards they want. So why aren’t leading retailers doing anything about it?
What’s Being Done?
Unfortunately, major retailers like Walmart and Target haven’t taken any steps to address this issue. They continue to restock their shelves with baseball cards but never impose limits on how many any one customer can purchase.
This makes it easy for hoarders to buy out entire shipments of cards before anyone else has a chance at them. And even when retailers do enforce purchase limits, hoarders often skirt around these rules. They do this by sending multiple friends or family members into stores to make multiple purchases at once.
This hoarding problem has had serious consequences for dedicated collectors who are just trying to gather all of their favorite players’ cards in one place.
Many people have turned to online auctions, only to discover that the prices are frequently much higher than what they would pay if they bought them directly from a store. Some even turn to shady third-party dealers who may be selling counterfeit or stolen goods without knowing it.
Something needs to be done about baseball card hoarding if we ever want casual collectors to be able to access affordable cards again without having to resort to expensive online auctions or shady third-party dealerships.
However, so far, major retail outlets have done very little beyond restocking their shelves with new batches of cards now and then—which only serves as fuel for the hoarding fire!
If we want this problem solved, it’s time for retailers to take some appropriate measures, like enforcing strict purchase limits, offering subscription services, or even ensuring that everyone gets fair access at reasonable prices.
Only then will we start seeing more collector-friendly policies in place that will help reduce hoarding and keep prices down across the board.
Paper Shortages Also Play a Role From Time to Time
The paper shortage is an issue that has been plaguing the United States for some time now. It affects a variety of things, from the newspaper industry to printing companies and even baseball cards.
The root cause of this problem is the increasing demand for paper due to technological advancements, coupled with a decreasing supply thanks to natural disasters and market forces.
This means that businesses are competing for a limited number of resources, which drives up prices and makes fewer products available.
What Is the Impact of the Paper Shortage on Baseball Cards?
Paper shortages have a direct effect on companies that make baseball cards because they need a high-quality paper stock to make their cards. They have to pay more for their materials because there are fewer of them, which makes them less cost-effective and raises their overall prices.
Also, since a lot of these companies use recycled materials, it can be hard for them to find enough of the right kind of materials that meet their standards. This can cause production to be slowed or even halted while they look for alternative sources.
How To Find Baseball Cards
Visit Local Shops
One of the best ways to begin your search for baseball cards is by visiting local shops in your area. Not only will this allow you to get away from your computer screen, but local stores often have unique items that aren’t available anywhere else.
Also, the people who work in these shops usually know a lot about collecting and can give you advice and tips.
Check Online Retailers
If there aren’t any local shops in your area or if they don’t have what you’re looking for, then checking online retailers is another great option. Many reputable websites specialize in selling sports memorabilia and trading cards.
These sites usually carry a wide selection of different items at various price points, so it should be easy enough to find something that fits within your budget.
Finally, attending auctions is another way to find some truly unique baseball cards for your collection. Even though most auctions require travel, which isn’t always convenient for everyone, they are an excellent way for serious collectors to find rare or valuable items.
You’ll want to do some research beforehand so that you know exactly what you’re looking for and how much it might cost. You don’t want to get caught up in the excitement of the auction and end up overpaying!
Though the baseball card industry has taken a few hits in recent years, there are still plenty of avid collectors and fans. The reasons for the current shortage are due to paper shortages, increased demand from new and seasoned collectors, as well as people holding on to their cards in hopes of future gain.