Introduction to Collecting NFL Memorabilia for Fun and Profit

2020-21 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings Fandom Memorabilia  profit memorabilia introduction collecting  The popularity of the NFL continues to rise from year to year from the opening kickoff to the final whistle of the Super Bowl. The same can be said of the increase demand for NFL sports memorabilia collecting. Whether you are an avid fan of an NFL team looking to add some memorabilia to your Man Cave, a fan of collecting autographed sports memorabilia, a young one looking to get into collecting or an investor looking at the future value of an item, there is plenty of NFL sports memorabilia to go around. For each one of you or anyone looking to collect NFL sports memorabilia there is some key information to take into consideration before making your first purchase.

The first thing to consider when purchasing your NFL memorabilia is to take the time to do your research on the item. For example what company is selling the product, what type of price is it set at, is there any bad feedback left on the seller whether an online store, a local sports memorabilia store or even sites like EBay. One of the biggest pieces of advice to consider is if the price or item looks to good then the likely hood it could be fake. For example a seller is selling a Tom Brady jersey selling online for $200 when all the one’s you have seen on EBay or at a local shop selling for $1,000. This would be a great sign to avoid the purchase. Now in addition to doing your research on the items you are purchasing, the big question is what types of NFL sports memorabilia is their available?

The answer to that question is there are a wide range of NFL sports memorabilia to collect to include autographed footballs, helmets, jerseys, football cards, photos and even more popular actual game used equipment. Now before we look into a few of these items, you must have a reason to purchase these items. Whether it is to just fill your Fan Cave with items of your favorite team or to add items to your collection that will grow in value over the years. With that said, we will look at the most popular NFL sports memorabilia to collect as well as a few of the top memorabilia items to collect for an investment as well as the players you should target.

Here are the top NFL sports memorabilia to collect:

Autographed & Framed Jerseys: One of the top items to add to any NFL collection are autographed NFL jerseys. In addition to just the autograph jersey alone, the best way to display this item is to have the jersey framed by a custom sports memorabilia framer or to purchase a custom jersey frame. While autographed and framed NFL jerseys take up a lot of space, the right player and autograph will not only look great on the wall but hold value into the future. Additional options when framing could include Die-Cut lettering, cut-out and framed photos and other memorabilia into the frames.

Autographed Helmets: Another item that is very popular among collectors and individuals looking to invest are autographed full size helmets but more importantly full size Pro-Line helmets. Now before you ask, you can purchase NFL helmets in two variations either a replica helmet that looks identical to what the teams wear on the field or a Pro-Line helmet that is the exact helmet the players wear on the field. Each of these helmets can come in a variation as the change of helmets to include the new speed flex helmets. The big question with these is whether you want to pay a minimum of $100 more for an authentic helmet and whether you may resell the helmet in the future. Along with full size replicas and Pro-Line helmets, autographed mini helmets that are a scale of the actual version are another item that is very popular to collect.

Game Used Equipment and Memorabilia: Along with jerseys and helmets, game used equipment continues to grow as fan favorite and have shown to be solid investments based on the specific player you have collected and what type of item it is. Popular game used items include on-field game used jerseys, game used helmets, and game used footballs as well as other equipment including receiving gloves, towels and cleats. When purchasing game used equipment, be careful of where you are purchasing the items and do your research on how that specific company/person has come into contact with the items.

Autographed & Memorabilia NFL Trading Cards: The debate can be made that sports cards might not be memorabilia but with the hobby making a big time comeback and the demand for the items it makes them a key part of the NFL sports memorabilia industry. Today’s NFL football cards not only feature the standard base sets that many collected as kids but now feature both autographed cards, autographed memorabilia cards and memorabilia cards. Add in many new display features such as high end display cases and framed displays to secure the cards, these items are not only a great item to put into your collection but also a great investment. Prices with these will vary based on the player, the hype around the player, whether it is a rookie card and whether it is graded.

Autographed Photos & Canvases: Another item many fans and collectors collect are autographed photos and/or canvases. These items range from 8×10 in size upwards of 42×48 photo canvasses that are signed by the player. The best part of these items are the actual image is visible and can tell you a piece of some of the greatest moments in NFL history. From the memorable Odell Beckham Jr one hand catch to the Dwight Clark catch in the back of the end zone. While these look great on walls, photos and canvasses have a history of not increasing in value such as some of the other items listed above.

Now that we looked at some of the NFL sports memorabilia you can add to your collection, here is a look at a few of the top NFL sports memorabilia to collect:

Tom Brady & Peyton Manning Rookie Cards and Autograph Rookie Cards: One of the most sought after item to anyone’s sports memorabilia collection are rookie cards and autographed rookie cards of top stars. This includes versions of these rookie cards that are highly graded. Two players to consider when collecting are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as both players are future first ballot Hall of Famers and both are considered one of the top quarterbacks to ever play the game. Here are a few of their top rookie cards to collect.

  • 1998 Playoff Contender Peyton Manning Rookie Ticket Autograph – These cards can range from $250-300 ungraded upwards of a few thousands depending on how the grade of the card is.
  • 1998 Bowman Rookie Autographs Peyton Manning – Much like the other version, these cards can be purchased for $150-250 ungraded but can increase in value with a high grade.
  • 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady Rookie Ticket Autograph – Brady’s rookie autographs can range up to $10,000 based on the condition of the card and whether the card has been graded. Dating back to 2010, an ungraded versions sold for $709 and $660 online compared to an ungraded version that sold for $4,312 back in January of 2020. In addition, these cards have had variations that have sold for over $100,000.

Johnny Unitas Autographed & Framed Jerseys: Here is another highly collectible NFL sports memorabilia item. Despite being a very easy autograph to collect in the Baltimore market, Unitas is one of those quarterbacks that will always be debated as one of the top in the NFL. Unitas autographed and framed jerseys can range from $1,000 to $2,500 based on the version of the jersey. One of the higher valued versions are the autographed Mitchell & Ness jerseys. These items along with autographed full size helmets and his rookie cards will continue to increase in value from year to year.

Walter Payton Autograph Jerseys, Helmets and Footballs: Much like Unitas, “Sweetness” is one of the more popular players to collect in the NFL sports memorabilia industry. While autographed jerseys, helmets and footballs tend to be hard to come by they are very valuable and will continue to grow in value.

 

 

JoeMontana & Dwight Clark Autographed Helmet W/ “The Catch” Play Call: One of the more unique autographs in the industry and one that any San Francisco 49ers fan must have in their collection is the autographed helmet with both Montana and Clark’s autograph as well as the actually play call diagram from the playbook.


The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Football Memorabilia

2020-21 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings Memorabilia  memorabilia guide football collecting beginner

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but football is the country’s greatest passion. Nothing can match a Sunday of thrilling and explosive gridiron action — and the history of both the college and pro game runs deep across this football-crazed nation.

With the sport’s rich heritage, there is no shortage of iconic and valuable memorabilia on sale these days. Most fans have gotten an autograph or visited the Hall of Fame and understand how much emotional weight is wrapped up in all these items. And, even better to some, there are also great financial profits to be earned.

Fortunately, the barrier to entry of becoming a collector of football memorabilia isn’t high. Knowing where to start can seem daunting at first — and there can be some large, upfront costs for major items. But by following a few key tips, you can avoid the pitfalls some beginners make and turn this into an endeavor that’s fulfilling for both your heart and your wallet.

Know Where to Look

These days, there’s a wide range of places where you can find sports memorabilia and collectibles, including:

  • Reputable card dealers
  • Local card retailers
  • Specialty trade shows 
  • Auctions

Your best advice, though, is to conduct some research before buying anything from a card dealer or retail outlet that you can trust. As you get more familiar with the community, secondary sellers will become easier to validate over time, and you can use word of mouth or online networks to seek out less well-known marketplaces that may contain some gems.

Don’t Be Fooled

Many people on eBay, other online marketplaces or even at some less formal trade shows usually aren’t selling genuine memorabilia. Instead, they’re merely selling a bill of goods and looking to get rich quick. Don’t want to be the sucker who gets duped.

Viewers of the reality show Pawn Stars know even a seasoned collector needs to rely on a professional to spot a forgery. In the sports memorabilia world, authenticity verification is critical. Of course, if you want to be 100 percent certain you aren’t getting duped, make sure the item is valid before purchasing it.

Set a Budget

To some degree, every football collector is an investor. So, particularly as you start out, sticking to a set budget is critical. The goal is to buy memorabilia for cheap and sell it for a significant profit down the road as the item appreciates. 

Making a big come up is rewarding both financially and from a professional standpoint — and it can be addictive, creating a hunger for more. There are other factors involved in collecting, but don’t go overboard early on or take a big loss on an item for which you misjudged the market.

Collect with Your Heart

At the same time, most people who collect football memorabilia started because they were a fan first. Never forget that. If you find an item that’s emotionally significant to you, understand that nostalgia has a price. More than seeing this as a negative, try to remember this is why you got the bug in the first place. 

Now, don’t completely go over your budget due to a personal connection, but realize that some items in your collection will never sell, anyway. If it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it might be worth paying a little extra to give you something of an emotional showpiece that encourages you to keep looking for more incredible items. Indeed, money is always recoupable, but regret is forever.

Becoming a Collector Requires Skill and Diligence

If you already know a lot about the game, you’re off to a great start. Being a real football fan means you’ll have a good understanding of the context and importance of the various items you come across as you begin your journey as a collector.

Be sure to know where to look, do your due diligence to not get duped by fakes, don’t spend beyond your means and remember your heart is what got you into this in the first place. If you start out following these four core principles, you’ll be well on your way to a Hall of Fame-caliber experience in the world of sports memorabilia.