He turned another year older on Tuesday, eligible for AARP and his last game as an NBA player a dozen years in the rearview mirror but it was as if he was still a reigning champion. You know you’re a big deal when your 52nd birthday is trending on Twitter. Online, it was like any other day. Active bidding and buying as collectors sought out cheap Michael Jordan autographs (and some that were not so cheap).
In retirement, Jordan has continued to sign hundreds of autographs for Upper Deck on a semi-regular basis. The company may no longer have an NBA license, but its exclusive arrangements with Jordan and a few of the greatest modern era athletes are valuable properties. The demand is still greater than the supply, but the price of a certified Jordan autograph on a trading card, once a $600 and up commodity, has dropped.
Just four years ago, the release of All-Time Greats Basketball made it possible to virtually guarantee pulling an MJ signature from a box at a cost of around $400 if you were willing to accept it on a card with a photo of Jordan in his college uniform.
Since then, more products have been released during Upper Deck’s Collegiate Licensing agreement and some selling prices have fallen well below $300 with a significant quantity between $300 and $400. While many are glad to add any Jordan autograph to their collection, some are a little more finicky. With more Jordan autographs in the market than ever before, collectors can be a little more discerning.
Inexpensive Jordan autographs can usually be found in one of several different ways:
- On non-serial numbered cards
- On stickers attached to cards
- On swatches of non-game used North Carolina fabric
- On lower end brands
- On less appealing or black and white photos
- On cards that don’t showcase the autograph well
- On cards where Jordan’s autograph is a little sloppy
Few certified Jordan autographs prior to 2011 would be classified as ‘cheap’, but from 2011 on, there are several different products and cards that fit the bill of putting a signed card in your lap for a little more than one of your monthly utility bills. It’s a direct reflection on the greater numbers in the marketplace.
Among them (click the links to see them on eBay):
- Upper Deck Exquisite Dimensions
- Upper Deck SP Authentic Home Court, Patch
- Upper Deck Master Collection Sketch and Patch
- Upper Deck All-Time Greats
- Upper Deck Exquisite Bling, Dream Seasons
- Upper Deck Golf
It’s tough to get a quality Jordan autograph on a small letter patch that was never on a game jersey and a plain black and white photo on plain card stock may not be exciting, but some of the cards in those products above are fairly attractive. Exquisite is a high-end brand and Jordan signed hundreds of cards for the 2011-12 issue alone.
You’ll still pay thousands for a high-end, low serial number Jordan autograph from an older Upper Deck product, but now there are options for the masses and it’s hard to say that’s a bad thing.