Make Money Investing In Sports Cards Offseason

Investing in sports cards offseason can present a great opportunity for profit.  Imagine if there was one time each year when you could buy stocks and be sure there were about to climb 20% over the next month or so. What would you do?

You’d probably buy all that you could and enjoy making 20%.

Crazy enough, sports card investing does have a period where prices dip and then surge 99% of the time.

The offseason.

No major sport plays year-round, so let’s learn how to use that to our investing benefit.

Sometimes it is best to buy well before the opening pitch (get Dr. Anthony Fauci cards on eBay).

An Overview On Investing In Sports Cards Offseason

Investing during the offseason is one of the safest ways to invest. When the players and sports are out of the headlines, the buzz around them dies down, and the prices cool off a bit. Then, once training camp begins, prices come zipping back. As always, this is not financial advice, but this is a very effective way to ensure you get in on the highs and lows of the market.

When you buy during the off-season—while the players are doing nothing at a performative level, mind you—the cards will climb as the season nears. It’s hard to track how much the cards have fluctuated over the last few years because quite a few new collectors are getting involved, and the market is changing incredibly quickly. Still, I’d estimate the average is about a 20% average jump between off-season and in-season.

That means if you buy a Russell Wilson rookie during the middle of the off-season, it will be worth about 20% more when the season kicks off. And sure, that number varies between cards and players, but it exceeds your expected 7% stock market annual returns for a much shorter hold.

I typically load up on cards during the off-season and sell throughout the year—buying both “safe” investments like star quarterbacks and rolling the dice on under-the-radar players that can offer the 800-1000% returns.

Let’s look through the three most prominent sports and discuss their calendar for investment purposes.

Investing In Offseason Baseball Cards

While baseball season is jam-packed with games, players still enjoy a lengthy offseason so that you can pick up the best cards at lower prices. Here are some significant dates from the 2021 season, which has been COVID-affected but should still give you an idea of the cycle:

  • 1 April: Opening Day
  • 11-13 July: MLB Draft
  • 30 July: Trade Deadline
  • 4 October: Playoffs Begin
  • 15-24 October: NL and AL Championship Series
  • October 26 – November 3: World Series
  • Mid-February, 2022: Spring Training Reporting

And, from there, it repeats again and again. Once the playoff hype dies in December, it will be an excellent time to load up on cards until about March. In addition, the home run derby and HOF induction present other unique opportunities to buy cards of players that could make headlines.

Wait until well after the World Series to invest in baseball cards (look for World Series posters on Amazon).

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples from last offseason. All cards are PSA 10’s.

Card During 2020 Season Deep in the Offseason Spring Training Around Opening Day
2011 Mike Trout Topps Update $3,383 $2,850 $4,750 $4,951

Investing In Offseason Football Cards

Here is the NFL schedule for the upcoming season:

  • 28-30 April: The NFL Draft
  • 12 August: First Preseason Game
  • 9 September: Start of Regular Season
  • 2 November: Trade Deadline
  • 15 January: Playoffs Begin
  • 13 February: Super Bowl

While the off-season stretches from February to early August, NFL cards will be at their lowest prices during March, April, and May, when more attention is on other sports.

And don’t forget! As we’ve seen recently, a lot of overeating to preseason stars presents money to be made, too.

Card End of the Regular Season Deep in the Offseason During Preseason Games At the height of the season
2001 Drew Brees Topps Chrome RC $485 $341 $1,260 $1,700
Drew Brees rookie cards are a lot cheaper in the offseason (look for Brees RC’s on eBay).

Investing In Offseason Basketball Cards

Finally, here’s the NBA schedule for the 2021-22 Season:

  • 29 July: NBA Draft
  • 3 October: Preseason starts
  • 19 October: Tip-off
  • 18-20 February: NBA All-Star (Cleveland)
  • 16 April: Playoffs Begin
  • 2 June: Finals Begin
Don’t invest in big stars around the All-Star break (get Michael Jordan All-Star cards on eBay).

With a schedule like this, July through September are optimal months for investing. The closer the regular season draws, the more hype will drive up the prices.

Card End of the Regular Season Deep in the Offseason At the height of the season
2017-2018 Jayson Tatum Prizm RC $2,251 $1,780 $3,210

Playoffs? Let’s talk about playoffs!

One thing that can’t be overlooked is the importance of playoffs to all of these schedules. We have already discussed this issue before, but it was worth repeating briefly.

Once the regular season ends and playoffs begin, cards will take another leap in value. The deeper your investment players or teams go in the playoffs, the higher the cards will climb. If you get a 20% boost from the season starting, you could get another 20% boost from the playoffs, so always consider this when investing—what teams have the best shot to win it all?

Bottomline On Offseason Sports Card Investments

We hear it all the time: Tom Brady and LeBron James are beating time. Well, when investing in sports cards offseason , you’re prepared to beat time, too!

If you’re ready to start buying based on the calendar, keep this list handy and get to shopping!

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is a novelist and content writer (contentninjamarketing.com) who has played sports and collecting trading cards almost his entire life. He just graduated from the University of Tulsa with an MBA and should probably get a “real job,” but instead hopes to continue telling stories in his pajamas for a long time.