Technology has sure changed our lives forever, and the trading card market is no exception to the trends. But while there are many trading card and auction websites out there, there is still something uniquely great about a card show. Just as it isn't quite the same only watching football on TV, it isn't quite the same trading, buying and selling cards online exclusively. Nowadays, the best way to find investment grade football cards is to vary your approach, and investigate all possibilities both online and in your community.
The buzz of a card show, with kids (plenty of adults as well) ripping open packs and players signing autographs, these events are still a unique experience. Flea markets used to be a great spot to find a steal of a deal, and in some parts some dealers go that route, for the most part, shows are now weekly, monthly or annual events instead of a daily occurrence. Although shows aren't quite the trading ground they used to be, deals can still be made.
Obviously, the internet has made it easier to find some of these events in your area, but it has also made it easier to compare market prices and get feedback on local card shops.
eBay is, of course, one of the preferred methods to find the cards you are looking for, and includes a reputable rating system that allows for trust. Many people in the market, even those trading on other websites, will ask for an Ebay reference before being willing to deal. So having an eBy account with a decent number of transactions is one way to build a trustworthy trading profile online.
Major sports memorabilia auction companies also carry high grade football cards and while some set records, others for some reason, slip through the cracks and sell at very reasonable rates, especially in bulk.
In addition, Beckett has created quite the marketplace and trading ground for collectors, especially if you like message boards. Many other sites exist on the web, but you'll need to be careful about how you select to trade or purchase. Buying cards through Paypal can make things easier, but you'll need a reputable way to know you can trust the person, such as a rating or reference from Ebay, Beckett or another type of account.
Hobby stores are still a great place to buy cards and hobby boxes, and while you may pay premium prices at times, you're likely to have a better experience and get a better product. Plus, if you become well known at local shops, you can usually meet other collectors and benefit from a relationship with a shop owner (find out when new products arrive, insider insight etc.).
Overall, the web and card shows are the best economical ways to buy investment grade cards, and local hobby shops are definitely worth consideration as well. There is something to be said for a tangible purchase, but online you may be able to get better deals (especially in bulk). We find that a varied approach is best when looking to buy investment grade football cards. Check out links below for some high grade football cards of Hall of Famers.