Black Friday Guide

Black Friday sports cards

Let’s face it. Collectors are finicky. That makes them tough to buy presents for. While it’s great to take a pause to be thankful, now that you are well into your turkey-induced food coma many of you will engage in the time-honored tradition of Black Friday shopping. The hobby has been in such boom times the past couple of years that deals were hard to come by so you might have overlooked the hobby in your bargain hunting.

All of the major retailers are offering deals this week though so it’s time to put on some sweatpants, wake up from your tryptophan naps, and get ready for some holiday hobby shopping. We’ve got you covered with the newsletter’s first-ever Black Friday Holiday guide. This will help you figure out what to give the sports card collector in your life or maybe it will help you figure out what to ask for (or buy for yourself, we won’t judge).

The Staples

These are easy gifts you are unlikely to go wrong buying. They might not be the most exciting things under the tree, but they will be appreciated.

1. Supplies. Supplies are always the first thing I tell people to get me if they want to buy me a hobby-related gift. Everyone needs them and appreciates them. Recently, they’ve been tough to find at times and surprisingly pricy. The best thing is that there is something for every price range from a pack of penny sleeves to swanky Zion cases. Supplies might not be the flashiest of gifts, but they have a high probability of being a success. Be sure to shop for deals and to pay attention to brands if you’ve got a picky collector.

2. Gift Certificates. Gift certificates are a great option for the tough-to-buy-for collector crowd. Sure, it loses the personal touch, but it ensures your collector gets something that they want. Don’t forget, gift cards don’t go bad. I used an almost twenty-year-old one at my local store a while back.

Boxes

Boxes are fun to get and receive but the odds of picking up something your collector doesn’t collect or like are high unless you ask them.  Below is a list of current favorites that have mass market appeal or are great for the holidays.

1. 2022 Topps Update- I liked it better when you could find it for $75 a box, but even at current prices it is still one of the most fun rips of the year. I especially recommend products like this for kids at Christmas as pretty much every box at least has a handful of decent rookies and inserts. The feeling of getting skunked on a box is bad enough, but it feels personal at Christmas. Topps Update might not deliver a home run every time, but it avoids strikeouts. As an alternative, lots of people have Series 2 on Black Friday sales and that has the excellent SP rookies to hunt for.

2. Basketball- There are deals all over the place currently for basketball wax. If you’ve got a basketball collector, double check their list as many products that you might have written off as too expensive might be available for decent prices. Football and baseball haven’t seen quite the drop in prices yet so one needs to be more judicious there.

3. Topps Holiday Products- These are on sale at many places and offer a great price for those looking to rip and hunt for their favorite player. Aaron Judge cards have spiked, but 2017 Holiday can still be found for $50 a box. At those prices, these are great affordable rips and quite festive as a bonus.

Singles

1. Graded Cards- I strongly suggest graded cards for those not familiar with buying raw cards. It is easier to establish what the market price is, and it takes the need to evaluate condition out of the equation for the most part. That said, be sure to do some research on market prices and be sure to pay attention to what company graded the card. BGS, CSG, PSA, and SGC are all widely considered reputable but check with your collector to see if they have a preference.

2. Avoid the special card. After every Christmas, there are myriad posts about a loved one that spent way too much for something they thought was truly special that ended up being common. Unless you know a card is on a collector’s want list, it is probably best to avoid trying to get them the best or most special card ever. In fact, a more common card that one can readily find pricing information on is probably the safer bet here. One is less likely to get scammed and your collector will also be more likely to know what it is and appreciate it immediately.

3. Autograph cards. On-card autographs issued by reputable companies are one of the safest kinds of singles to buy. You do need to make sure that the autos were pack-pulled (the card should specify it is an autograph issue somewhere on it). Pricing can be all over the place on these so one might need some help in figuring out if a card is a good deal or a rip-off, but autograph cards make for great gifts.

Wrap Up

Most of the best deals are just now opening/being announced so it’s time to go shopping! What will you be targeting this Black Friday? Let us know in the comments below.

Also, be sure to check out the Card Shop Live App for all your breaking needs as well as the place to go for the hobby’s best giveaways and specials. You are bound to find a good deal there. The best thing about CSL IMO is all of the sellers are heavily vetted meaning you can shop with complete confidence.

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