How to Buy a Babe Ruth Card
As is the case with stocks, real estate, and any other object, a baseball card is worth only what someone else would be willing to pay. Price guides, such as Beckett or Tuff Stuff, do a decent job of assessing the value of vintage cards based on careful research. However, those prices don't always perfectly reflect what the current value of a Babe Ruth baseball card truly is.
The Importance of Card Grading
Determining the true value of a Babe Ruth baseball card is part art, part science. Baseball card authentication and grading services have brought considerable stability to the always important question: 'What condition is the card in'. Buyers and sellers can work from a common interpretation on condition and focus instead on true market value.
Know What You're Looking For
Let's say you are in the market for a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth card. You start by reviewing listings of Goudey Babe Ruth cards. Determine what condition you are looking for. Are you happy with just getting a vintage Goudey Ruth card to add to your collection (maybe a PSA 2 or higher)? Or are you determined to buy one that would be more difficult to find - maybe a PSA 7 or better? Once you know exactly what you want, you can proceed to doing some research.
Do Your Homework
Before you begin bidding, it is important to know what others are paying for similar cards. Armed with the exact card and graded condition you are looking for, proceed to eBay's Completed Listings and see what previous auctions have gone for. This search is free and is as helpful as any other guide in determining the true market value of a Babe Ruth baseball card.
For a small fee, other services such as Terapeak can offer more robust and detailed historical analysis of a specific eBay product. If you are looking at chasing after a high-priced Babe Ruth card, it may be worth spending the extra money for more detailed research.
Go Get It!
Once you know the grade and fair market value of your targeted Babe Ruth baseball card, you are ready to start bidding!