1) Do purchase the cards of the players you really like. Card value is one consideration when deciding what cards to purchase, but collecting, at it’s essence comes down to purchasing, or trading for, the cards of players you root for, admire, and enjoy watching on the diamond.
2) Do learn more about the hobby. Educate yourself about the best ways to protect your cards, how to find deals on hobby boxes, what the most valuable baseball cards are and the history of baseball cards.
3) Do get involved. Talk with other baseball card collectors on message boards such as Sports Card Forum or The Cardboard Village. Leave a comment or two on one of the best baseball cards around, such as Squeeze Play Cards or Your’s Truly. It’s fun to interact with other collectors and learn more about how they approach the hobby. Just remember – keep it clean!
4) Do look for bargains online, but also buy locally from your nearest hobby shop. You can usually find a good deal on a hobby box of your favorite card release online. But, if you want to avoid the shipping costs, and get to know a local collector, head down to your local hobby shop. If you become a frequent visitor and make friends with the owner/manager, they just may start throwing some freebies your way, or let you know about special deals first.
5) Do insure your card collection, if you think it has a monetary value. If, God forbid, you had a local environmental issue where you store your collection, such as a flood or a fire, you could lose your card collection. It’s happened to others before. Losing the sentimental value of those cards is one thing; not a whole lot you can do about that, other than ensure that the cards aren’t in harms way in the first place. But the monetary value of those cards can be recouped…..if you have collectible insurance. You could hope that your collection is covered under homeowners insurance. But if you really want to ensure they’re covered, purchase separate collectible insurance.
6) In line with “Do number 5″, do catalog your cards, either on your own with software like Microsoft Excel, or with an off-the-shelf card organizing software product. If you catalog your cards, and put estimated values next to them, not only does it help you understand what you have in your collection better and allow you to trade easier, it will give you a total picture of what your collection might be worth. If you back this catalog up in an alternate location, you can present this information to the insurance company in the event of a disaster.
7) And finally, although it was covered in the don’ts, it’s included here because I can’t stress it enough: Do protect your cards! Put them in soft sleeves and top-loaders. Put them in hard plastic screw-down or one-touch cases. However you protect them (other than back-to-back in a nine page sleeve), just make sure that you do.