I've posted on this topic once already this year, but it bears repeating.
This is a great time to be a buyer.
Houses. Cars. Stocks. Baseball Cards.
Prices are down and if you have the means, I think there are tremendous opportunities out there. We all tend to think in the short term, but if you can look past your next paycheck, invest now.
I just watched an online auction by one of the industry's top players end with prices on some graded, mint and near mint-mint cards at ridiculously low levels. While it's possible that the vintage sports card market is shrinking, a better guess is there just isn't much money being put into it because of the effects of the economy.
Most wealthy people get that way by buying when the market is bad, holding and selling when things are good. I'm no economist but I think it won't be long before things turn for the better. Banks are beginning to get their legs, loaning more money last month than they have been. Recovery won't be immediate, but those who have been buying good stuff over the last several months will be glad they did.
If you're strictly a collector, there are a lot of folks out there dumping nice quality older cards and memorabilia on eBay. Dealers at shows should be more than willing to make deals.
Dreams, Inc claims other outlets are dumping signed memorabilia and other material into the marketplace just to try and break even and that's why they're losing money. You can build a really nice collection by grabbing onto some of the deals that are out there. No one's giving away '52 Mantles, but it's a fun time to be shopping if you've got a small stash of cash to spend.