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6 Trading Card Storage Tips

How To | June 22, 2015

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Collecting sports cards is a passion passed down from one generation to another. It is a tradition much like comic book collectors, where condition is everything. We all know the value of a mint condition Ty Cobb baseball card.

The fragile nature of trading cards are due to their cardboard construction. If a card becomes bent, the value of the card plummets. To prevent this tragedy from happening, follow these six special precautions:

  1. Store Baseball and Trading Cards in Plastic Covers: Do not leave a card on display outside of protective covering for long periods of time. It can get dirty and the colors can fade from the lighting.
  2. Place Baseball and Trading Cards in a D-Ring Binder with Plastic Protective Pages: Special caution must when inserting and removing the cards from the protective pages. Any bending or creasing of the card will decrease the value.
  3. Store Sports and Trading Cards in Boxes Designed for Them: Sports card storage boxes are usually made of corrugated cardboard. This enables them to hold anywhere from 50-50,000 sports cards each. The boxes contain dividers that prevent the cards from moving around in the box. Trading card storage boxes are easy to stack and place on storage shelving.
  4. Store Trading Cards in a Dry, Cool Place like a Climate-Controlled Unit: Collectible cards storage should be far away from direct sunlight. Long-term exposure to sunlight and lighting can cause the colors on the cards to fade. Beware: Faded sports and trading cards have diminished value!
  5. Store Above Ground if Storing in a Storage Unit: Be careful when storing trading card collections in a storage unit. Store their boxes above the ground as a precaution. Use a shelving unit if you have one. Organize the boxes of trading cards by sport, type and year much easier on shelving units.
  6. Create an Inventory List of Your Trading Card Collection: Place a copy of the list in the box as well as keep a copy of the list with you. This allows for easier access when you need to find a specific card.

History of Baseball Cards

For over 150 years, sports and trading cards have been trading hands! A company called Peck and Snyder started the tradition in the 1860’s. They created trading cards as a means to advertise their products. On the front was a baseball team, and the back had the products advertised.

Peck and Snyder printed these cards in mass quantities and handed them out for free. The original name for these cards were “trade cards.” They remained popular through the 1800’s.

Tobacco companies joined trade card production years later. They would include a card with a pack of cigarettes. The “Golden Age” of baseball trading cards was during the early 1900’s. Cards created during this time contained original artwork. If you found a card from this period today, it could sell for over $500,000 in an auction.

The trading card industry continued to change over the decades following. These changes continued until the 1950’s. Topps, a chewing gum company, joined in the baseball card business. They became a dominate force in the space.

Topps continued to dominate until Fleer and Score joined in the mix. With increased competition, card companies created new types of trading cards. Today, there are trading cards for:

  • Movies
  • Television Shows
  • Popular Performers
  • Interactive Games, such as Pokeman.

Proper storage of your collectible trading cards will help preserve them. Reserve a storage unit for your cards so that you can pass them along to future generations. ezStorage offers a variety of storage unit sizes from 5×5 to 10×30 for trading and baseball card storage.

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