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Q: Sports Trading card market ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Sports Trading card market
Category: Sports and Recreation > Hobbies and Crafts
Asked by: maribeth00-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 22 Jan 2005 12:04 PST
Expires: 21 Feb 2005 12:04 PST
Question ID: 461606
I want to know statistics about the sports trading card market. Over
the last 10 years, what is its growth pattern? How much trading and
selling is currently done online, versus 5 years ago? Obviously that
is growing, but what are the numbers?
What is the spread of the market over collectors--how much
volume/dollars is generated by small collectors with 2-500 cards,
versus power players?
Subject: Re: Sports Trading card market
Answered By: belindalevez-ga on 14 Feb 2005 06:08 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
<Sports trading card market.

1990 - $857 million
1991 - $1.2 billion
1992 - $1.4 billion
1995 ? market collapsed
1999 - $400 million
2000   $3 billion
2001   $5 billion
2003 ? 20 billion cards sold. Sales of new cards - $450 million. Sales
on ebay - $3 billion.

Internet trading has gone from $300 million in 2000 to $1 billion in
2001 to over $3 billion in 2003.
According to this book, 20 billion cards were sold in 2003. (Source:
2004 Baseball Card Price Guide. 18th Edition. Author: Sports
Collectors Digest.)

According to Tom Pederson of American Card Exchange, Ebay sells
approximately $3 billion worth of sports cards. At any one time up to
650,000 cards are listed. Cards can reach prices of $1,000 to $10,000.
The American Card Exchange lists 2 million cards for sale. (Source:
Entrepreneur: Billings-based Web site breaks into sports trading?s big
league. July 14, 2003.)

In 2001, the sports card industry was a $5 billion a year business
with 20% or $1 billion derived from trading cards over the internet.
(Source: American Card Exchange.)

According to the American Card Exchange Inc, approximately 1 million
sports cards are traded on ebay each month. Yahoo auctions
approximately 100,000 sports cards per month. Thepit trade
approximately 14,000 sports cards per month. (Source: The American
Card Exchange.)

2000 - Ebay $300 million. (Source: The value of Trading Cards. By Mark

1990 sales - $857 million (Source: Trading cards wrap up big growth, a
bright future ? Hot Categories: 1992. Drug Store News. Jan 20, 1992.
Find Articles.)

1991 - $1.2 billion
1999 - $400 million (Source: Baseball Cards See Sales Slump In Pokemon
Era. By Gregory Zuckerman. 10/28/1999. The Wall Street Journal.)

1992 - $1.4 billion (Source: Trading cards score in separate centers;
aided by magazine wholesalers, supermarkets are getting off the bench
and onto the $1.4 billion trading card field. Progressive Grocer.
March 1, 1992. Snyder, Glen. High Beam Research.)

2000 - $3 billion. (Source:

2000 - $400 - $450 million wholesale. (Source: Topps to Issue IPOs of
Baseball Cards. Stephen Taub. October 30, 2000.

2001 - $5 billion (Source:

2003 - $450 million (Source: Baseball card collecting can be a
high-stakes investment today. By JacQui Podzius Cook.

Online trading.
In 2001, ebay had 500,000 trading cards auctions per week. (Source:
Topps Puts Web Spin on Baseball Cards. By Tim Wilson. April 5, 2001.

In 2000, Ebay auctioned $200 million worth of sports trading cards.

Spending by collectors.

According to, the average transaction size for sports cards
is $200 and some people are depositing amounts of up to $50 thousand
to build up a portfolio of cards. (Source:
A large majority of hockey card collectors?63 percent?bought brand new
2003-04 products. They spent an average of $1,768 on boxes and
individual packs of the 33 products released this year. That spending
level could drop to just over $1,200 per collector for similar 2004-05
products.  (Source:

Amount spent. 
This survey found spending on sports cards distributed as follows:
Under $50 ? 10.2%
$50 to $100 ? 8.16%
$100 to$250 ? 24.49%
$250 to $500 ? 20.41%
$500 to $1000 ? 16.33%
Over $1000 ? 20.41%
(Source: Sports Card Sheriff.)

Spending habits and interests.
The average monthly expenditure of online buyers in $149. 
34% of collectors buy in shops, 33.1 % from online auctions and 24.5%
buy from online fixed price dealers. (Source:

Beckett gives a profile of its readers here. (Source: Lake Group Media Inc.)

A profile of collectors of sports memorabilia is given in Sports
Market Report as follows:

Men 92 %
Average age 37.2. 
38.4% are aged 25-39 and 29.1% are aged 10-54. 
Their average income is $91,775 - 12.6% earn over 150,000, 29.3 % over
100,000 and 58.1% over 75,000.
72 % own their own home. 
68.3% are college educated and or have a degree.>

<Additional links:>
<Sports trading card sales by category.>

<Sports card publications demoraphics (>

<Sports market report ? reader profile>


<Search strategy:>

<"sports trading cards" growth>

<"sports trading cards" billion>

<"american card exchange" billion>

<"card collectors spent">

<Hope this helps.>
maribeth00-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great indepth research--thanks!

Subject: Re: Sports Trading card market
From: five4us-ga on 17 Mar 2005 06:05 PST
I have quite a few sports trading cards of Baseball and Football.  I
just want more information on their value before I start trading them.
 I will be sure to check out the links.

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