More than one dealer at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention referred to popular, high quality rookie cards as ‘commodities’. And it’s true in the sense that the market has ebbs and flows. Much of it has to do with a current player’s performance or projected future, but in the case of some of the hobby’s most iconic cards, it’s more than that.
One website that makes no bones about comparing cards to the stock market is ThePit.com. It’s been around for several years but is now being run by a new management team that’s become active in social media, hoping to draw new customers.
Customers can open a free account to browse the site for players they want to invest in (or collect) from a list of top stars and best rookie cards of certain prospects. Buy/bid prices are listed along with a sell/ask price, just like the stock market. The dollar figures represent the prices someone wants to buy the item for (the bid) and the lowest price that someone is willing to sell that item for (the ask).
After making a buy, you can either leave the cards in your account as an asset ready to be sold again later or you can request shipment of the physical card if you want it in your possession. If you have cards to sell and have them in your possession, you make arrangements to ship them to The Pit.
At this year’ National Sports Collectors Convention, the company had a presence in the corporate area, showcasing some of its inventory, which included a long display of mint Michael Jordan rookie cards, which General Manager Mark Humphries says have proven to be a wise investment—even if you got in well after MJ retired. He talked to us about the website and the market.