Now that you understand the different types of cards and have been able to go out and buy some (see Buying Options Part 1 and Part 2), it’s important to know how you should store them. The condition of a card is incredibly significant to the value it holds, so this is a crucial piece to understand despite not being as exciting as other aspects of the hobby.
Before and throughout your time of collecting, you’ll have to ask yourself a number of questions when it comes time to store your cards.
How many cards are you wanting to store? How often are you going to want to look at them or show them off? What’s the value of the card? As you answer these three questions, you’ll be able to narrow down some options for how to best store your collection.
If you’re looking to have a large collection of cards, you’ll want to invest in some boxes. Most often, collectors use cardboard boxes as they are cheap and get the job done. These come in various sizes and are great for those building sets or storing many (but not as valuable) cards. Unfortunately, box storage can result in some nicks and damage to cards, even if well cared for. That said, you can find boxes that will still allow for bulk storage, but are the sections are big enough to allow for sleeves and top loaders.
Another common option for storing cards is in binders made up of nine-pocket pages. These are a more expensive option than the boxes, but allow collectors to view their collection more easily without damaging the cards. That said, pages generally aren’t considered great protection for valuable cards. This option is great for the set-builder who enjoys looking at his accomplishment.
These are must haves for collectors. Penny sleeves, as alluded to by their name, are pretty inexpensive but help to ensure cards stay protected. Whether storing in a box or in a top loader, a card of value should first receive a penny sleeve.
Top loaders and magnetic holders
As we work our way to the top of the storage ladder, we come to top loaders and magnetic holders. These options provide the best protection for your cards, but also cost more. That said, some cards are valuable enough that they deserve the more expensive storage option. Typically, these are used for storing rookies, superstar, memorabilia, and autographed cards. Because the top loaders and magnetic holders offer strong protection, collectors can flip through their cards without having to worry about damaging their cards or their value.
As you add cards to your collection, be sure to think through the value and how often you’ll want to look at them as you decide where to store them. We personally use all of these storage options for different aspects of our collections and imagine that you may as well. We hope that this helps you better understand the importance of storing your cards and the options available to you.
Extra Points: Putting Knowledge into Practice
Imagine you’re an avid football collector and are working on collecting the 2016 Absolute Memorabilia set. You already have each of the storage options discussed above. Earlier today, you purchased a mystery pack of assorted cards. In it, you found a 2018 Josh Allen Prizm autograph, a 2018 Classics Deshaun Watson, a 1998 Upper Deck MVP Jake Plummer, a 1999 Topps Junior Seau, and a 2016 Absolute Memorabilia Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Discussion: How would you store each of the cards in the example?
We know that there are many elements to the card hobby. Whether you’re just starting out or have been doing it for years, we’ll do our best to help you better understand the ins and outs of collecting. If you’d like to receive our updates, we’d be happy to have you join us on this journey!