Best Long-Term Rookie Card Investment?

Over the last 4 or 5 years (2017 to 2021), we have seen an incredible run-up in sports card values. This run may never happen again in our lifetimes but if it does you will want to own two specific rookie cards.

Which two cards you ask?

Well, it won’t get better than the 2000 Bowman Chrome Tom Brady RC #236 and 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan RC #57  what we have dubbed “The Two Goats of Cards”.

These two cards had the best performance in terms of ROI from late 2017 to early 2021 and are a MUST HAVE in your sports cxard investment portfolio.

Best Overall:

2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome RC/1986 Michael Jordan Fleer RC

SHOP BRADY                 SHOP JORDAN


Shohei Ohtani - Trae Young - Luka Doncic - Justin Herbert - Mike Trout - Zion Williamson - Michael Jordan - Alex Ovechkin - Tom Brady - Ja Morant

true goats
Investing in “The Two GOATS of Cards” is not only a good idea it is required as fare as were concerned. If you can afford high grades hust yet drop down to a PSA 6 or PSA 7.

These two cards are Kings in a super competitive field (other close contenders included Ty Cobb T206, the legendary 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. UD, and the Mickey Mantle Topps RC).

PRO-TIP: when making a purchase/investment we suggest the following grades PSA 10 to PSA 6, BGS 10 to BGS 7, SGC 10 to SGC 7.

Sports cards are back in the headlines…

  • “Trading-Card Mania Inspires New Reality TV Show From The Makers Of Pawn Stars” – Bloomberg
  • “The prices of sports cards and odd collectibles are booming” – The Economist
  • “Why sports card investing deserves 10 to 20% of your retirement portfolio” – WSJ

Obviously, sports cards have overcome the dark ERA collectors dubbed “Junk Wax”.

Get this! Not only did they overcome it but they are hotter than ever before with most valuable records being broken monthly.

Without further ado here are more tremendous sports cards investment options to buy now and hold forever.

These cards are the cream of the crop and should be the backbone of your sports card portfolio.


#1: 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck RC #1


Best baseball rookie card to buy now
This card is required for every collector. Can you call yourself a true sports card collector if this card is not in your profile?

Perhaps the most iconic sports card ever made, this 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. card from Upper Deck changed the industry forever. The higher quality material it was produced on as well as the signature photo combine to make a special card.


#2: 1992 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Fanimation French International Version #506


1992 Upper Deck Fanimation International French Michael Jordan #86 PSA 10 GEM
Super underrated, super DRIP, super ROI in 20 years. Pro Tip: look for rare French or Spanish versions.

One of the most unique cards on this list, this French Michael Jordan card has an incredible design that is hard to beat. Investors should want to get their hands on this card because in the future it’s likely to be highly sought after.


#3. 1979 Wayne Gretzky Topps/OPC RC #18


best trading card investments 2022-min
This card should of created “The Three GOATS of Cards”. But hockey isn’t as popular enough… yet. This will change over the next 5 to 10 years and the NHL will take a spot at one ot two.

While hockey cards might not have quite the same market as their basketball and football counterparts at the moment when that changes the demand for this card will go through the roof. It’s the signature card of the player who may be the most dominant athlete in North American sports history.


#4. 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update RC #US175


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Best modern rookie card investment.

Mike Trout is the best baseball player of his generation and his stats compare favorably to many of the game’s greatest legends. This is the most recently produced card on the list and arguably the best modern sports card made.


#5. 1909 Ty Cobb T206 Red/Green Portrait


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One of the safest cards in the hobby if not the safest.

This card has a long track record of holding its value which means that investors can be confident that they’re buying into a known asset. It’s very hard to get your hands on one of these masterpieces but if you can, you then have access to one of the most special cards in the industry.


#6. 1992 Mariano Rivera Bowman RC #302


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Great for investors on a budget

Mariano Rivera was one of the most dominant closers of all time and his cutter will forever be remembered as unhittable. He was a key part of the New York Yankees teams that dominated the MLB and was a fan favorite.

This card has a great image of him as a young man and has a bit of a cheaper upfront cost than the other cards on this list.


#7: 1993 Derek Jeter SP FOIL RC #279


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Ultra-low risk. High to Very High returns. Win-Win baby.

Another player from those dominant Yankees teams of the 2000s, Jeter resonated with fans far and wide and built a reputation as a stand-up guy. Because of how many fans want his cards, this is also a safe investment choice.

Please note many of the cards mention in the article further down could easily make the above list as we’re talking super small percent when comparing ROI in regards to the top-rated card investments in the hobby.

The return on investment (ROI) on certain cards over the past 4-5 years has been insane and those who jumped in early are sitting fat down south.

For example, the 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck Star Rookie and the 2011 Mike Trout Update are two excellent examples as both have increased in value by more than 700% from 5 years ago.

For example, there’s much less risk in a Hall of Fame player such as Ken Griffey Jr. compared to a current player such as Zion Williamson).

The best sports cards to collect for a profit below may be updated from time to time with a new face or subtract one that didn’t quite pan out.

But the Blue-Chip Hall of Fame players and active players will always have a spot as they are your safest, most profitable card investments.

However, the top ROI usually comes in the form of a first or second-year player who is just starting their career (i.e., LaMelo Ball), but they carry more risk.

Just remember the above when choosing the best rookie cards to buy to maximize hobby profits.


Best Baseball Cards To Buy Right Now


2017 Ronald Acuna Jr. Bowman Chrome RC #BCP127


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If you’d prefer a long-term investment, we’re personally holding onto this Acuna Jr. card for the next 10 years if all goes to plan.

Not only can Acuna Jr. blast the ball out of the park with a haunting uppercut swing, he also hits for a high average and even has a good deal of speed – which is very Mike Trout-esque.

Ronald Acuna Jr. has a knack to upset opposing players and sure he can be a little too flashy at times, but the talent is right up there with Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, and Juan Soto

We like his 2017 Bowman Chrome card as a great long-term investment (Chrome base and Refractors).


1993 Derek Jeter SP Foil RC #279


best baseball card to invest in


A few years ago, we saw this card as a brilliant short-term investment due to the likely price hike once he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony took place in July 2020, and sure enough, Jeter gained 99.7% of the vote to earn his spot.

The 1993 SP Jeter was one of our first major purchases.

We loaded up on around 20 of them, mostly PSA 9 but a few PSA 8’s as well. We sold too early on maybe half but still had a juicy profit of around 400%.


T206 Ty Cobb Red/Green Portrait HOF Baseball Card


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Ty Cobb has a duo of portrait cards that are highly sought after in the T206 set. There are four overall, and the Green Portrait is the rarest, with Bat on Shoulder, Bat off Shoulder, and Red Portrait making up the quartet.

The red and green backgrounds are some of the more popular versions and are a must-have for serious collectors.

Ty Cobb T206 cards are an excellent investment and should steadily rise in the long term.


1989 Ken Griffey Jr. 1989 Upper Deck RC #1


Best baseball rookie cards invest

This is a true no-brainer.

The Griffey Jr. RC is an iconic card to millions of kids who came of age in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It’s the signature card of an era in which the hobby reached its highest highs. We have seen the card steadily climb in value every year since we started tracking prices.


2018 Topps Ronald Acuna Jr. Bat Down RC #698


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This card may very well end up as the most popular Ronald Acuna rookie card. Numbered #698, this card has exploded in value and is quickly becoming a must-have for Acuna Jr. collectors.

(The card is an error as the normal card has the bat pointing upwards.)

We love this card and actually prefer this over the Acuna 2017 Bowman Chrome card, it is truly one of the best sports cards to invest in if you can tolerate a moderate level of risk.


1987 Greg Maddux Leaf RC #36


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We really like this Greg Maddux for a few reasons, number one being the ‘stache! A young, baby-faced Maddux with a mustache is awesome to behold. Thirdly, we have always loved the signature light blue “rated rookie” logo printed on the bottom of the card.

On top of everything we’ve mentioned, this card is cheap when compared to many of the others on this list (for now). When we first added Maddux to the list you could find PSA 10 copies for roughly $230/240.

As of late 2021, this has now jumped to the $700-$1,000 range.


2011 Mike Trout Topps Update RC #US175


best cards to invest in

This is the most iconic baseball card since the 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck RC, and the price jump over the last few years definitely reflects that.

When we first started this blog, the Mike Trout Topps Update Rookie Card PSA 10 was going for $400 to $500.

That’s insane profit and a reminder of why it’s a great idea to stick with legends and potential GOATs.


1909-11 Ty Cobb T206 Bat Off Shoulder #350


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The second T206 Cobb card to make the list, we think that the “bat off shoulder” T206 card is another great long-term play.

We love the multi-color background and his stone-cold stare off into the distance.

We also love the potential for profit in the future.


1992 Mariano Rivera Bowman Baseball RC #302 


Best Relief Pitchers Rookie Cards to buy now

Mariano Rivera is not only the best relief pitcher off-all time but also one of the most underrated rookie cards in baseball in terms of price and eye appeal.

The card has made up ground in terms of value over the last year but should still have a big upward track over the next few years.

Trending: Best Muhammad Ali Cards To Buy Now

Now, let’s talk about that outfit. Not only does it have nothing to do with baseball, but you would also think he was a high school principal or maybe a semi-pro in tennis, anything other than the relief pitcher for the NY Yankees.

We absolutely love this card!


2016 Fernando Tatis Jr. Bowman Chrome Refractor RC #CPAFT


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Fernando Tatis Jr. proved his rookie year was no fluke as he has been the best player in the game over the last few seasons.

This kid is loaded for bear and he is only 22 years old!

Either his 2016 Bowman Chrome rookie card or the 2016 Bowman Chrome Refractor RC are two great options for long-term investors.


Best Football Cards To Invest In 2021


2020 Justin Herbert Panini Prizm RC #325


best football cards to invest in now

Drew Brees and Tom Brady are on their way out but we have some great young talent at the QB position that looks ready to take over.

One of those young bucks is Justin Herbert, and this kid is clearly the real deal. We feel that Herbert’s rookie cards are undervalued and that they are severely undervalued based on his long-term potential.

A great card to capitalize off this young phenom’s career is the 2020 Justin Herbert Prizm RC. A dark horse candidate in 2021, thank us later when he wins his first MVP award.


2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic Rookie Card #118 (for high limit investors)


tom brady rookie card

This card is the certified GOAT of Tom Brady Rookie Cards and is one of our best picks for long-term card investing.

It is numbered #118 and has a print run of only 1,250 copies. This card is on another level, combining rarity and artistic appeal.


2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome RC #236 (for average investors)


gold card hot 10 tom brady

It won’t come any better than Tom Brady. Over the last 5 years, we have seen an incredible run-up in sports card values. But guess which card saw the best ROI of them all? 2000 Tom Brady Bowman Chrome.


2017 Patrick Mahomes II Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket #303


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Patrick Mahomes may be ushering in a new era in football – out with the old (Tom Brady) and in with the new.

We fully expect Mahomes to win at least one more Superbowl and maybe even run a string of them together to move the dynasty West to Kansas City (bye-bye New England).

All of Mahomes’ rookie cards are great investments but we particularly like the Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket and feel as though this one has the greatest ROI relative to his uber-expensive rookie cards.


1986 Jerry Rice Topps RC #161


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Jerry Rice was without a doubt the best receiver the NFL has ever seen; and likely will ever see.

His work ethic was second to none, and his desire to win was just as great.

But guess who else had a great worth ethic? Michael Jordan. Check out the top-rated Michael Jordan Basketball Card investments.

Numbered #161, the 1986 Topps Rice rookie card seems somewhat undervalued to us given the greatness of the player.

It might have something to do with how bad this Topps set looks, with bright colors that clash with the border.


Best Basketball Cards To Invest In 2021


2018 Luka Doncic Panini Prizm RC #280


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The 2018 Luka Doncic Prizm rookie card has been nothing but jaw-dropping since he first arrived on the scene.

One Investment Only: Were buying a Luka Doncic Rookie Card

It’s a must-have for any serious investor attempting to maximize profit from their sports card collection.

“The Luka Doncic Panini Prizm Rookie Card is a must-have for collectors and is one of the best investments; if not the best investment in the entire hobby”

The card is also available in a variety of rare parallels.


1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Card #57


What is the most expensive Michael Jordan rookie card?

Michael Jordan rookie cards are some of the greatest investments in the hobby, and the ’86 Fleer is the best by a wide margin.

Not only is it a top-rated card for investment purposes, it’s also one of the best-looking basketball cards on the planet with a classic Jordan dunk and an iconic border design.

Prices for the Jordan Fleer RC have exploded, but we’d still advise to buy in if you’re aiming for a solid ROI year in year out.


2020 LaMelo Ball Panini Prizm RC #278


best sports cards to invest in 2021

LaMelo Ball’s rookie season reminded us of Luka Doncic until he got injured. He hasn’t been the same since but is still putting up insane numbers for a player of his age.

We feel the 2020 Prizm LaMelo Ball rookie card is a no-brainer investment for a rookie who will soon be a triple-double threat nightly.

It’s just a shame that he missed 21 games with a fractured right wrist.


1996 Kobe Bryant Topps Chrome Rookie Card #138


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The 1996 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant rookie card was always going to make the list.

Not only is it an absolutely gorgeous card, but it should also be an ROI beast over the next few years.

The potential value is also influenced by his untimely death in January 2020.

Consider if a Kobe documentary similar to the Michael Jordan doc is released, the value of this card is likely to skyrocket.


2009 Kobe Bryant Lebron James Topps Chrome Refractor #24


Best Looking Basketball Cards

Although not officially a LeBron James card, the 2009 Kobe/LeBron Topps Chrome Refractor has broken out from a cult following to reach mass-market appeal.

We named this card one of the best-looking cards of all time. The 2009 Kobe/LeBron Topps Chrome Orange Refractor may go down in history as one of the most iconic cards in the hobby.

The card obviously looks amazing but it also seems to hold a hidden, deeper message in the image.

Two of the best of all time, one on his way up, one on his way out, and the passing of the old guard to the new guard with the ball being the key.

We would love to have this card as we feel it is one of the more undervalued cards in the hobby.


2013 Giannis Antetokounmpo Panini Prizm Rookie Card #290


Top Sportscards To Invest In

The Giannis Antetokounmpo Prizm RC is one to hold onto for the next decade.

We like the love the Orange version but it is hard to find, not to mention it will set you back by a significant amount!

We would not be surprised to see three or four more MVPs from Antetokounmpo, although Luka Doncic may have something to say about that in the future.


2003 LeBron James Topps Chrome Refractors RC #111


best sports cards to invest in 2021

Every serious collector in the hobby should have a copy of this card in their investment portfolio.

The 2003 Lebron James Topps Chrome RC is on fire and the ROI in the last few years is insane.

It is still not too late to buy this card as, like fine wine, the price will only go up if current trends continue.


Best Hockey Cards to Invest In


1990 Jaromir Jagr Upper Deck RC #356


best hockey cards to invest in

Jaromir Jagr is one of the most underrated players/rookie cards in the hobby.

The 1990 Upper Deck Jagr rookie card is an icon in our eyes as many of us on staff can relate to tearing open more than a few packs of 1990 UD in search of this bad boy.

Trending: Best Upper Deck Young Gun Cards of All Time

We consider it to be a great-looking card that is somewhat undervalued based on where it will be 10 years from now compared to other HOF-type players who dominated their sport similar to the way Jagr did.


2005 SP Authentic Alexander Ovechkin RC #190


SP Authentic Alexander Ovechkin card

For a time, this was the only hockey card on this list and should be seen as a must-have for long-term investors.

In our opinion, Ovie is already the best player to ever lace up the skates and is a scoring machine even in the “dead puck era” (imagine what he would have done in the ’80s and ’90s).

The 2005 SP Authentic Alexander Ovechkin RC will cost more than $2,000 but is worth the price long-term as this card will only go up over the years.

The card is numbered #190 and the back reads “The top overall pick in 2004, Ovechkin can play both the physical and the finesse games, blending blazing speed with a 212-pound frame”.


1990 Pavel Bure Upper Deck Young Gun RC #526


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The 1990 UD Pavel Bure rookie card ranks right up there with the 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. UD RC as an iconic card for kids who came of age during the ‘junk wax era’.

Numbered #526, the Bure Upper Deck Young Guns RC is a thing of beauty and should have a tremendous potential ROI moving forward.

For whatever reason, it seems hockey cards were more popular than any other sports card for a brief period of time during the early 1990s.


1990 Eric Lindros Score Canadian Future Superstar RC #440


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Like the Pavel Bure RC mentioned above, the 1990 Score Eric Lindros Future Superstar RC was what dreams were made of for many kids in the early 90’s.

Look out for the Canadian version in particular as it’s much rarer.

Numbered #440, the card shows Lindros cruising up the rink looking to make a pass or shot towards the net.

Hockey was king in the early ’90s among sports cards, although you will have to contend with the massive print runs seen at the time.


2005 Sidney Crosby SP Authentic Future Watch RC #181


best hockey cards to invest in 2021

The 2005 Sidney Crosby SP Authentic RC is not only one of our top hockey cards to make the list; it’s also one of our favorite sports cards ever.

Decades from now this RC is going to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more.

A true masterpiece from one of the best hockey players of all time.


1990 Martin Brodeur Score Canadian RC #439


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Martin Brodeur is the best goalie to ever stack the pillows; and by a wide margin.

He was a professional in every way and has the championships to prove it.

The 1990 Score Canadian Hockey set makes another appearance on this list, and for good reason.

Numbered #439, this Brodeur rookie card wasn’t a huge deal at the time when we first pulled it but it has aged exceptionally.

This card should have an excellent ROI moving forward and could get even better as collectors realize just how good Brodeur was (and this was a time of massive goal scoring).


1979 Wayne Gretzky O-Pee-Chee RC #18


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The Great One. Enough said.


A note about hockey cards.

Many were predicting NBA cards and the NBA, in general, to take over as the most popular/profitable sport in the US. For the most part that is generally correct as the NFL has faced many issues.
We recently read that ‘Hockey is the new Basketball‘ ten years from now.
In other words, there are predictions that hockey will become the most popular sport in the United States over the next decade.
ESPN did just purchase the NHL viewing contract.
However, they have to increase the scoring, (and excitement) if this is to happen.


Best Soccer (Futbol) Cards To Invest In 2021


2004 Lionel Messi Panini Sports Mega Cracks La Liga RC #71


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Potentially the top soccer RC in the hobby, it’s no surprise as the 2004 Panini Sports Mega Cracks contains an image of Lionel Messi in his trademark Barcelona kit.

The only drawback is it will cost you the price of a brand new Range Rover at higher grades and is only going up as he edges closer to retirement.


1993 Zinedine Zidane Panini Soccer RC #261


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A much more affordable soccer card to invest in for the average collector also happens to feature one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

To be honest, we have always loved Zinedine Zidane since the ‘headbutt heard around the world’, which was a shocking end to a World Cup final, as well as the player’s career.

Zidane went on to manage Real Madrid, leading the team to an unprecedented three Champions League wins in a row.


Best Golf Cards To Invest In 2021


2001 Tiger Woods Upper Deck Golf RC #1


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It may not be the most expensive Tiger Woods rookie card, but the Upper Deck Golf RC is a solid pick nonetheless.

Numbered #1, it’s a great-looking card that should have nothing less than a great ROI moving forward.

Maybe not as great as the ‘2001 SP Authentic Auto Gold #45 /100 RC, but that card simply isn’t obtainable for the average investor.


1965 Arnold Palmer Bancroft Tiddlers Giants Of Sport RC #26


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A wonderful vintage card hailing from 1965 featuring Arnold Palmer, it hails from the Bancroft Tiddlers “Giants of the Sports” set.

These hand-cut cards have illustrations on the front, with info about Palmer’s illustrious career found on the reverse.


Best Boxing Cards To Invest In 2021


1987 Mike Tyson Panini Supersport Italian #160 


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There are a number of Mike Tyson boxing cards that are worth checking out, but the 1987 Panini Supersport Italian is the one that stole our hearts.

Numbered #160, the card features a jacked Tyson ready to demolish a poor, helpless soul. A patriot crowd-pleasing picture of old glory in the top right-hand corner finishes this masterpiece of a boxing card.

We purchased this card a year ago and couldn’t be happier with it.


1979 Muhammad Ali Venorlandus Our Heroes World Of Sport Boxing #3


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One of the MOST UNDERRATED cards in the hobby. 20 years from now I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the most expensive cards of all time.

When picking the Ali card it was a close race between the ‘1979 Venorlandus Our Heroes World Of Sport Boxing Muhammad Ali #3’ and the ‘1960 Hemmets Journal Cassius Clay Muhammad Ali RC #23’.

Ultimately, we went with the Venorlandus card as there is something about the uniqueness of the design that you rarely see.

This is another boxing card on this list that we have purchased in the past year.


Top Rookie Cards To Invest In 2021/2022

Below is a list containing our picks for the best rookie cards to invest in for the maximum return on investment in 2021.

Best Baseball Rookie Cards

JDOM is coming to New York in 2022 and he is going to destroy Yankee Stadium. He’s good, very good.

BUY jasson dominguez bowman chrome 2020

2020 Jasson Dominguez Bowman Chrome Prospects RC #BCP8


Best Basketball Rookie Cards

MVP in year two?

Best Basketball Rookie Cards to invest in 2021

2020 LaMelo Ball Panini Panini Prizm RC #278



Best Football Rookie Cards

Like basketball, we are buying the best hockey cards containing players competing for the ROY in 2021.Only one kid here worth buying as hockey isn’t fun as it used to be. Bring back goal scoring! We think Kaprizov would have been a lock for 50 goals in 50 games if he was playing in the early ’90s.

justin herbert optic holo rookie
This kid is the next GOAT QB

Justin Herbert Rookie Cards



Best Hockey Rookie Cards

Like basketball, we are buying the best hockey cards containing players competing for the ROY in 2021.Only one kid here worth buying as hockey isn’t fun as it used to be. Bring back goal scoring! We think Kaprizov would have been a lock for 50 goals in 50 games if he was playing in the early ’90s.

best hockey rookie cards 2021

2020 Kirill Kaprizov Upper Deck Young Guns RC #451 


Where Not and Where To Buy Sports Cards

We have been buying thousands and thousands of cards over the last few years so we have a good grasp on the best places to buy sports cards and places you want to avoid.

Where to Buy Sports Cards

In our experience, the best place to buy sports cards is by far eBay. Not only do they have the widest selection of cards but they also have reasonable buyers/sellers fees.

Although eBay is number one the most recent sports card craze has brought some new players with some new ideas into the card arena (i.e. and

Pro-Tip: We purchase 80% of our cards at eBay but have also used Heritage from time to time. These should be the only two you need when investing.


Where NOT to Buy Sports Cards

By far the largest sports card buying trap is If Amazon wanted to toss some money at developing a sports card auction they could most certainly do so.

But alas it’s not to be as of now they are just running overpriced buy now deals and an auction is unheard of there.

Also, be careful with shady websites and dealers.

Not all websites that look like trash are trash. But would we take a chance of buying a Babe Ruth baseball card at one? Hell NO.

Same with a dealer or shop. If you walk in the shop and it looks like and smells like garbage then it probably is.


Best Please to Sell Sports Cards Online

When it comes time to sell its all about paying as little fees as possible while at the same time reaching a ton of eyeballs. And not just regular eyeballs, buy sports card collectors eyeballs



This is an easy one as the best place to sell your cards online is eBay.

Not only are they the largest online marketplace and arguably the best place to buy and sell cards online, eBay allows users to list up almost anything related to sports cards as well.

Bottom line: eBay provides the most bang for the buck when selling your cards and maxing our ROI.


Check Out My Collectibles (COMC)

Check Out My Collectibles (COMC) is a solid option that allows customers to sell their sports cards.

While they can’t compete with eBay as far as auctions go, COMC has a loyal, solid customer base when it comes to buying and selling cards for a set price (or buyers can negotiate the price).

Bottom Line: You might like COMC if you don’t like waiting on auctions and you like to haggle. The obvious pitfall to this is the price you pay for a card is likely to be greater than the same exact card on eBay auctions.


Best Boxes Of Sports Cards To Buy

Do not buy a hobby box expecting a positive ROI, the majority of the time the value of the cards you receive will not equal the amount you spend on the hobby box.

However, there are few boxes that do offer a decent chance at hitting it big, and over the long haul could potentially result in a positive ROI.

Another reason to buy a hobby box is the sheer joy you got from ripping packs as a kid! It brings us back to a time when life wasn’t so stressful!

Get a group of your friends together and go in on some hobby boxes (the ones listed below would be a good start). Order a pizza, put some beer on ice, and sit around for a couple of hours ripping packs.

Without further ado; here are some boxes of sports cards that are worth a purchase if you want the most bang for your buck!


1993 Upper Deck SP Foil Baseball Hobby Box 

Buy on eBay

Best Boxes Of Sports Cards To Buy

We have bought this box a number of times and have had some great results.

Out of the four hobby boxes we bought, a total of 5 Derek Jeter rookie cards were pulled. Two graded PSA 8, one graded PSA 9, and the other two came back PSA 5 and PSA 6.

1993 Upper Deck SP Foil key cards to pull: 1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter #279, 1993 SP Foil David Justice #280, 1993 SP Foil Manny Ramirez #285


2011 Topps Update Hobby Box

Buy on eBay

Best Boxes Of Sports Cards To Buy

This hobby box provides you with a chance of scoring the legendary 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update Black Border rookie card.

2011 Topps Update key cards to pull:

  • 2011 Topps Update Jose Altuve #US132
  • 2011 Topps Update Anthony Rizzo #US55
  • 2011 Topps Update Paul Goldschmidt #US47
  • 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update #US175


2018 Panini Prizm Basketball Box

Buy on eBay

Best hobby boxes to buy 2021

Here is a box that contains the best player in the hobby in terms of the greatest ROI over the next 10 years (in our humble opinion).

The 2018 Prizm hobby box holds the legendary 2018 Luka Donic Prizm rookie card and a shot to obtain some sick parallels (i.e. Luka Doncic White Sparkle).

2018 Panini Prizm key cards to pull:  2018 Luka Doncic Prizm RC #280, 2018 Kobe Byrant Panini Gold Fast Break Prizm #FBKBR,  2018 Trea Young Prizm RC #78, 2018 Deandre Ayton Prizm RC #75


Best Cheap Sports Cards To Invest In

Here are some cheap cards that could turn into expensive cards.

Please note there is a decent amount of risk in these purchases as the players are not exactly proven at this point. In our opinion, they still have the potential for great things.

These are younger players that we see potential in. If they fulfill that potential, expect the price of their cards to skyrocket.

For baseball cards, we like to buy Bowman Chrome when possible as they grade well when sent into PSA and lots as you can get them cheaper vs buying singles.

Here are a couple of options to purchase when it comes to investing in the best cheap sports cards;

  • 2020-21 Tim Stutzle Upper Deck Series 2 Young Guns #482
  • 2020-21 Tyrese Maxey Panini Prizm #256
  • 2020-21 Theo Maledon Panini Prizm #289


Best Cards To Invest In Now: Advice and Tips

If you have any concerns or are nervous in regards to buying an expensive card ($1,000 or more) feel free to contact us at to get a second opinion on the purchase.

If you have any general questions in regards to sports card investing please do not hesitate to reach out to us at

Now please check out our “Ideal Sports Card Investing Portfolio” write-up to determine how to allocate your sports cards in terms of risk.

Card Grading: Before you get a card graded please read PSA Grading vs BGS Grading vs SGC Grading

We will email you back within 24 hours or even call you on the phone if you would like (just leave your phone number and a good time to call).

  • We recommend buying via eBay 7 day auctions as it’s usually a great way to get the card you desire at a reasonable and even sometimes cheaper price.
  • Buy now on eBay should be avoided as in almost every scenario the cards are marked up from the actual value (not every time but 95% would be a reasonable estimate).
  • It’s hardly ever worth it buying non-graded cards. Stick with PSA 10, PSA 9, BGS 10, BGS 9.5, and SGC 10. One side note; modern Bowman Chrome baseball cards are about the only set of cards that holds up well when being submitted to PSA (in our experience). Comment below if you disagree or can name another.
  • When listing your card for sale on eBay check out the listing of top-rated sellers and consider using them as they are experts in getting the card the most views possible via keywords.
  • Avoid buying hobby boxes or packs of cards as your return on ROI will be terrible. Unless you are doing it for entertainment’s sake.
  • 99% of sports cards are not worth your time. Stick with high-grade HOF players with a few stud prospects, rookies, or second-year players mixed in.


Three Must Reads

  1. Best Time to Buy and Sell Sports Cards
  2. Sports Card Investing Tips
  3. Best Time to Buy and Sell
Sports Card Investor - Trusted, sports card investor who is dedicated to helping his loyal readers maximize sports card portfolio profits.


  1. I have found most of your investment advice to spot on. Your website is one of several that I refer to for intelligent insight….. thank you !

  2. What is the max you would recommend spending on the above Mike Trout card, with same grading? Seeing it priced over $3,000.
    Also, what do you think it could realistically be worth, say 20 years down the road, if Trout continues on the same trajectory of his career and becomes a Hall of Famer?

  3. I recently won an online auction for a Mike Trout Topps Bobzilla Auto 1/1 for 481 and outbid 69 people. I feel kinda stupid I was under the assumption he was 1 of 20 artists Topps had hired to do art, but he not mentioned in Topps. What should I do?

  4. I have recently came across alot cards at the good will there are alot of baseball, basketball, hockey, and nascar cards. I think over 300 I need help figuring out the worth. I have photos that I can email you. Thanks in advance

  5. This makes me happy. I bought the 2017 Bowman Chrome Acuna for 15 bucks Beckett graded it a 9. You guys continue to do a fantastic job. Also, your Tatis info is fantastic! Keep up the good work.

    • 2001 Upper Deck Golf #1 Tiger Woods RC (regular investors), 2001 SP AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPH #45 TIGER WOODS /900 (ballers) cheers!

  6. Hello @goldcardauctions
    For Panini Flawless cards 2019 & 2020, what’s the most you think one should pay for a Vladimir Guerrero diamond hold gold card is $800 US too much ? And also a dual patch (Vlad & Bichette auto)?

  7. What’s the value for something like a rookie 1988 Topps Mark McGuire card? Google is sketchy to say the least and eBay prices vary.

  8. I have a 1987 Darryl Strawberry Donruss that is factory cut wrong. I can’t find it on either list I checked on. Is there any information on this card that might be worth me knowing?

  9. Hello I find your website to be very useful and informative and I thank you for that. Question if I may, would you recommend buying single cards of hot or good players in auctions like on eBay as opposed to buying hobby boxes because I ain’t gonna lie 🤥 I love ripping me packs but I know the ROI is hardly there. I think it’s very similar to say each pack is a pull on a slot machine and the card company is the house and well we all know the house usually cleans up pretty good. Is there like a ratio on how much you should spend a month on hobby boxes compared to buying the hot singles like 30% on hobby boxes and 70% on hot singles and money is that of available business income? I’m starting an internet business and you guys seem like a good resource to ask, Thanks

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