Cashing in on Trading Card Craze
In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic people stuck at home turned to other hobbies including collecting trading cards. Cards that were being collected were from Pokémon, to sports cards. Social media influencers such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Logan Paul, Matthew Meagher, and the group known as “2 Hype” have all bought into the upward progression that trading cards have been taking.
Other students on the campus of Olivet College (OC) have actually sold cards to pay for their tuition. Ben Morris, an OC Alumni had completely paid for school by reselling cards and making an online store in his dorm room. Morris’s roommate Dalton Miner, also OC Alumni, talked about what it was like to live with someone that had a store inside his room.
“He bought and sold Yu-Gi-Oh cards. It is a competitive game and with competitive games comes a meta. So he would pay close attention to the meta or developing metas and made sure to buy those cards in advance. He would also buy new cards as they released and either resell the valuable ones at the same time or just wait until the value increases,.” said Miner, “He kept his closet at school full from top to bottom with shoe boxes full of cards. He would make really good money over the four years he was attending Olivet and completely paid off my tuition, room and board. However the cost was the amount of time spent keeping track of everything.”
Right now, in stores it is very rare to even find a single pack of sports cards due to the massive demand that has occurred. People only really started to buy trading card once Logan Paul did a charity stream opening up the first generation of Pokémon cards and auctioned the three boxes off for around 2 million dollars after he had only purchased each of them for a total of 1 million dollars and donating the money to a charity called the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Even just recently a rookie Tom Brady card was sold for 2.25 million dollars, breaking a record for the most expensive trading card on the market.
Seeing the success and the very coveted and sought after cards being pulled by these influencers people have wanted to recreate that success Takato Timmerman sophomore, has done just that in collecting baseball cards.
“I got into the sports card market because I wanted to start another hobby and I was Inyo baseball so I thought, why not,” said Timmerman. “It’s[trading cards] a fun hobby and it is really cool to know that what I got an on-card autograph, the player held the card and signed it.”
With the high demands stores are be booming with sales. Daniel Cato, owner of Gamers Gauntlet in Metro Detroit, has seen an increase of people purchasing cards form his store especially during the pandemic.
“Since last June trading cards had been bought by people I haven’t seen before and I wondered if there was something to it and I found an interview with Gary V that talks about the trading card market being something that everyone should be apart of due to the nostalgia that the cards hold,” said Cato. “ The increased demand has brought more people to not just the collecting scene but the competitive scene as well. I’ve seen more and more people over the year joining Magic and Pokémon tournaments than I have since I opened the store.”
The demand for trading cards has gone up due to influencers on the internet reselling the cards for a huge amount of money. This has brought in more collectors and has helped local card stores keep business during the pandemic.