Hobby Tips

Tips For The Beginner Collector

Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of meeting new collectors. Some have literally just begun their collections.

When beginning something new there are always plenty of questions. This is sort of a guide in an attempt to help out new collectors or those looking to begin a collection. It’s certainly not a guide, as each collector and collection is unique.

What To Buy

Packs are a great way to start your collection. I would suggest starting your collection by buying retail blaster boxes. First, “retail” is generally defined as Target and Wal-Mart. A blaster box is a small box with about eight packs of cards that retails for $19.99.

Any retail box is a good start, but basic Topps (series one or series two) is a perfect starter set. Other recommendations are Opening Day and Bowman. Both Topps Heritage and Allen & Ginter are personal favorites, but each product has a number of parallels and inserts that can be confusing even for a more seasoned collector.

What To Look For

“Hits” are what you’re looking for, so they don’t get piled with common cards. Hits can vary by product, but are typically serial numbered cards, relics, and autographs. Serial numbered cards will be, for example, 10/99, and will be stamped on the front or back of a card. Relics are mainly jersey cards with a swatch of jersey on the front of the card. Certified autographs will always be denoted as an autographed card (many sets have replica signatures on their cards).

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