Quick Tips to Start Collecting Basketball Trading Cards

Earlier this year, a Lebron James rookie card sold for 5.2 million dollars – the record for the most expensive basketball trading card! Of course, most cards aren’t worth nearly as much money, but collecting basketball trading cards now improves your chances of making a fortune in the future.

Even if you aren’t in it for the money, collecting basketball cards can be a fun hobby for NBA fans. So, if you want to embark on this fun and interesting pastime, this post will share some tips to help you get started!

Know Your Cards

There are several styles of cards, and it is important to find your niche before starting your sports cards collection. Let’s take a look at the most common types of cards.

Base Cards

These cards are the most common in packs and often feature players with little to no playing time. Yet, these are popular NBA trading cards for beginners who want to collect for fun.

Rookie Cards

The majority of collectors go after rookie cards, which feature players drafted into the league during the set’s manufacturing year. That’s because these cards have a higher value than base cards, making them the best cards to collect for profit.


Inserts are randomly inserted into the packs, and they differ from the standard layout of base cards. Often, they feature popular players using fun and creative designs.

Parallel Cards

These cards are similar to base cards in layout and style but with a unique variation. You can have a lot of fun accumulating the different styles as you get into collecting.


These cards are much thicker than normal basketball cards because they are made from the featured player’s clothing. Those with more than one color of the player’s jersey are usually worth more money.


If you are lucky enough to find the best basketball card packs, they will include autographed cards. Unfortunately, these are harder to find since the manufacturer only inserts one in each box.

Decide Which Cards You’ll Collect

Now that you know the types of cards, you should decide which you would like to collect.

If you want to play it safe, purchase popular players that will keep their value, such as LeBron James.

Alternatively, you can collect players from your favorite team, veterans, or up-and-coming stars.

No matter who you choose to collect, it is best to stick to a few players. Doing so will help you build your collection faster and prevent you from purchasing cards that you may regret.

Protect Your Cards

A card is only valuable if you take care of it properly. Here are a few tips to protect your cards:

  • Never bend the card
  • Place your cards in top-loaders
  • Store your cards in boxes or binders

The condition of the card is one of the most important factors in determining its value. As a result, some companies offer to grade cards and encase them in a plastic shell to preserve their value. However, you should only do this with special cards.

Share Your Hobby

Once you’ve decided what you will collect, connect with others who enjoy this hobby. There are groups on social media platforms that connect buyers, sellers, and avid collectors.

This network will allow you to share your love for basketball cards and teach you about the upcoming trends. You may even meet up for basketball tournaments!

Collecting Basketball Trading Cards

Collecting basketball trading cards is an excellent hobby for those who love the game. After learning the basics of collecting, you will make smarter card purchases, grow a valuable collection, and even earn some money!

Did you enjoy this basketball card collecting 101? If so, check out more of our informative and interesting articles!


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