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COVID-19 linked to sports trading card boom

Sports trading cards.png
Sports trading cards.png
Posted at 8:23 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 23:58:23-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the sports world, the same cannot be said for the sports trading card industry.

When the coronavirus hit, trading cards became such a hot commodity, they were disappearing off store shelves left and right. In fact, stores were seeing lines of people, just waiting their turn to get their hands on boxes of cards

"Trading cards have become the hottest thing going, and it began when lockdown started," says trading card hobbyist Todd Tobias.

Looking at recent history, Tobias notes that sportscard collecting was very popular in the 1980s and '90s, but the pandemic has created a boom like the industry has seen.

"Part of it is people not having anywhere to spend their money and having extra money. People are bored sitting around, so they start digging stuff out of their closet and finding their old collections."

List: Highest-selling sports trading cards of all time

Interestingly enough, the people buying the cards are not necessarily collectors. Tobias says many of them are flippers.

"People are going into stores and buying everything they have the opportunity to purchase. Then they either turn it around, and resell the unopened packages at double or triple the price. Or they are open up the packs and look for certain cards. Specifically trying to play that rookie game."

So if your 10-year-old takes an interest in collecting sports trading cards, and wants to buy a single pack, with many store shelves empty, it can sometimes be tough.

"It does kind of have that negative feeling because people are essentially hoarding."

Tobias says the current card popularity brought on by the pandemic, is something the industry has never experienced.

"There are a whole bunch of different elements that are brand new to the hobby. They are all contributing to this, and nobody is really sure what the end result is going to be."