How to Preserve and Store Your Trading Cards
You spent a lot of time collecting your trading cards. Now you want to make sure they stay in pristine condition. That’s why you need to properly store and preserve them. If you want to enjoy your collection and make sure it holds its value for years to come, be sure to follow these important tips on how to preserve and store your trading cards.
How Can You Organize Your Cards?
If you have a large card collection, you’ll need to come up with an organization system. For example, if you collect sports cards, you can organize your collection by year, then by team, and then by player. There’s no right or wrong way to organize your cards. You simply need to come up with a system that makes sense to you so you can stay consistent as you add to your collection.
As you’re organizing your cards, it’s also a good time to catalog them. Cataloging your collection is the ideal way to know what’s in it without having to go through your binders or storage boxes. You can easily catalog your collection by setting up a spreadsheet on the computer. Once you have the spreadsheet set up, you can quickly check to see if you have a particular card or not.
A catalog also makes it easy to retrieve cards from your collection. As you’re cataloging your cards, tag each one with the specific binder or box it’s located in. If you ever decide to sell some of your cards, you’ll know exactly which box or binder to open to get them.
Should You Use Protective Sleeves?
Putting your trading cards in protective sleeves is an easy and cost-effective way to help prevent damage. When you put your cards in sleeves, this ensures they’re protected against dirt and sun and the edges won’t get bent or worn.
The most inexpensive type of sleeves you can use are trading card sleeves, also known as penny sleeves. You can often purchase them in bulk for just a few dollars. They’re best for offering minor surface protection from scratches, dust, residue, and moisture that would cause the cards to stick together. Plastic top loaders are another option to consider. They are firm, durable, and are best used in combination with penny sleeves.
While card savers are a sturdier and more flexible alternative to penny sleeves and a good alternative to top loaders, they also cost more money. However, they are the preferred card holder type for submitting cards for professional grading through a Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).
Should You Put Your Cards in Binders or Boxes?
Storing your trading cards in binders or boxes is an easy way to protect them and keep them in one place. Deciding whether to use a binder or storage box comes down to the size of your collection. If you’re just starting out, or if your collection isn’t very extensive, binders can work well. Although they’re more expensive than boxes, they offer the most protection and they can help you stay organized.
On the other hand, if you have thousands of sports cards that go back several decades, your best option would be to use card storage boxes. Boxes aren’t as expensive as binders and can often hold more cards, which makes them a more economical solution.
Another option to consider is to store your less valuable cards in boxes and keep your most valuable cards in the binders. With this system, you’ll be able to make sure your valuable cards stay in the best condition possible and are more easily accessible.
Where Should You Store Your Cards?
The condition of your collection is critical to its value. This is why it’s important to store your cards in a cool, dry place. Heat and humidity can compromise the condition of your cards. Keep in mind that prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the colors on your cards to fade and damage their condition.
If possible, the best place to keep your cards is in a climate-controlled storage unit. This ensures your collection is properly ventilated, stored at a constant temperature, and is out of the sunlight. A climate-controlled storage unit is also the ideal solution if you plan to store your cards for a long period of time since this will protect your cards from damage and help them retain their original condition.
If you’ll be storing your cards at home, make sure you keep them away from places where temperatures and humidity are less than ideal, such as the attic or basement. Keeping your cards in a watertight protective hard case can protect them from dust and water. However, these cases can only hold a certain number of cards. For larger collections, a traditional safe is another good option that can keep your cards secure and protected.
How Should You Display Your Favorite Cards?
Part of the fun of collecting trading cards is showing off your prized possessions. If you want to prominently display some of your favorite cards, you have several options. One type of display you can consider is a recessed card holder. These acrylic displays have a recessed area to hold the card in place. Many displays will also include UV-resistant and acid-free protection to ensure the valuable card and any possible autograph will stay in pristine condition while on display.
Recessed card holders are perfect for individual cards. If you have a large collection of cards you want to display, you can use an oversized display case. Many options include UV-resistant glass to help prevent fading, suede matting to keep the cards in place, and a lock and key to keep them safe.
At Americash Jewelry & Coin Buyers, we buy trading cards and many other types of sports memorabilia, such as championship trophies and rings, sporting equipment with autographs, magazines, and more. If you’re ever interested in selling, we’re more than happy to review your collection to get you the best price possible for your trading cards. Contact us today or stop by one of our showrooms in the western suburbs of Chicago and surrounding communities to discuss your collection.
Image via Unsplash by Mick Haupt