How Much are Babe Ruth Cards Worth?
Over the past several years, there has been considerable fluctuation in the baseball card market. While some cards have dropped in value by 50% or more, others have held their value or even appreciated. Are these cards truly worth less than they were 10 years ago?
No. The internet has arrived.
Before eBay and online auction-style sales, the only way to determine the value of a Babe Ruth baseball card was to check the latest issue of Beckett or Tuff Stuff. Even if you found the card at a baseball card shop or card show, the dealer would base his pricing on the latest issue of Beckett, which in turn was based on dealer feedback. The model was flawed and true supply-and-demand market forces hadn't come into play.
Today, there are a number of ways to assess the value of Babe Ruth cards. First, you need to know the exact grade of your card. You can try to do this yourself based on a variety of online grading scales, but you won't be able to determine the exact condition of the card until you consult a baseball card grading service. For a small fee, these services can determine the condition of your card and provide you with a simple numerical grade to use in your research and to communicate to potential buyers. A word to the wise though - card grading are only as useful as the name of the company. Bert's Authentication Company isn't going to be at all useful to a potential buyer.
Armed with your grade, it is time to do some research. If you own a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth, your best measure of value will be to find what 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth baseball cards in similar condition have sold for recently. To do this, you will first check out eBay's Completed Listings and see how recent eBay auctions have valued the card. Seeing what actual buyers have recently paid for the card is the best possible way to determine its true value.
For a small fee, other services such as Terapeak can provide some more detailed analysis of baseball card trends. If you are sitting on a vintage card that is difficult to value properly, major auction houses may be able to assist you in determining the value and matching you up with a buyer if you are interested.