Charizard. Anyone who has entered the Pokemon universe would know about the fabled dragon-like creature. Did you also know that this one card can be worth more than US$150,000?
After decades of sitting on the sidelines as nothing but a curiosity, trading cards are taking the world by storm. Here are some of the reasons why trading cards are becoming the norm for investors thronging into alternative asset classes, and how you can tap into this trend as a business owner or entrepreneur.
What Are Trading Cards And Why Should You Care?
Trading cards, commonly known as collectible cards, are small cards that contain the images of a specific place, people, or thing with their descriptions. They are commonly manufactured out of paperboard cut-outs or thick paper. Each card differs in accordance with its shape, image, color, description, and size.
There are many categories that you can explore in trading cards, such as sports and fantasy. Pokemon cards are an example of fantasy trading cards, whereas basketball cards fall under the sports category.
Two or more years ago, media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk presciently spoke about the impending rise of sports cards, citing nostalgia as one of the pre-eminent factors that will catapult sports cards into mainstream consciousness.
With the world moving at such a fast pace, and technology accelerating this shift towards the newer and bolder, there will naturally be a pushback against such a shift as people resist the winds of change and yearn for a better time (perhaps through rose-tinted glasses) of the past.
Things like Pokemon, which have been a major part of people’s lives throughout their childhood, could come to the fore as people clamour to hold on to physical things that remind us fondly of our good memories. With this rise of social value, the prices of some of these collectibles will naturally appreciate.
3 Big Factors That Will Likely Contribute To The Rise Of An Alternative Asset Class
#1 Limited Supply
Pokemon cards or other collectibles printed decades ago are rare to find today. As time goes on, the cards printed earlier are hard to get. Due to this scarcity, the value of such cards steadily increases in the market.
The rise in the value of the cards results in profit. As investors looking for a return on their capital, the economics of it makes perfect financial sense, if only you know which cards to pick. For entrepreneurs and business owners who understand this game of arbitrage, you can sell your knowledge or expertise to help investors create a collection or tap into the trend to market your own products.
#2 Global Accessibility
The world is becoming smaller with the digitisation of everything, including collectible trading cards. Online marketplaces will spring up to service card collectors, investors and entrepreneurs. This will bring more people into the market with excess cash on their hands and willing to take a punt on a growing market. With more information available online, almost anyone can be a card collector and investor, further accelerating the velocity of cards changing hands. These factors will contribute to growing liquidity in a once-illiquid and opaque market.
#3 Excess Global Money Supply
With bond yields at historically low rates (compared to the 20th Century) and stocks looking rather expensive at the moment, any investor sitting on a large cash pile would be hard-pressed to find alternative avenues to grow their wealth.
A 5-10% allocation to collectible cards from investors coming into the space looking for better yields could raise prices across genres of trading cards, allowing those who are able to find gems to make a quick killing on their knowledge and inventory.
3 Quick Ways You Can Leverage This Trend To Make Money Or Build A Business In Collectible Cards
As American investor Martin Zweig once quipped: “The trend is your friend, until the end when it bends.” For those savvy enough to see it, trading cards can be a valuable marketing tool for any business or corporation.
It can help any business owner inform and promote their products or services to potential customers, or to foster company culture by rallying your team around an interest or activity. Here are some of the potential strategies you can use to leverage on this trend.
#1 Event Promotion
“Get a free pack of Pokemon cards when you buy _____ today!” Collectible cards can be a great way to draw crowds to your event and shows. You can use trading cards in your events and use them to promote goods and services that are aligned with your brand.
You could also think about hosting a contest or a showcase of cards and from there, weave your product or service into the event.
#2 Education In A Card Genre
If you are a passionate collector of Pokemon cards, you can focus your efforts on creating educational content for your niche market, providing value by helping your readers or viewers understand the differences between genuine and fakes, which sets of cards are valuable, etc.
#3 Increase the Traffic to Your Website
Faux trading cards can be a way to advertise your website or online business.
You can add QR codes to the back of cards (designed by you or your brand) so that people can easily visit your website to explore your products or services. If you are a consumer brand, creating some limited-edition trading cards can also help to increase the visibility of your brand.
Can you imagine if the now-viral sugarcane drinks brand Sugar Daddy had a set of Sugar Daddy cards?
Some Of The Most Valuable Cards In The Market Right Now
#1 Charizard 1st Edition Shadowless grade 10 (1999): $369,000
#2 Pikachu Illustrator Card (1998): $250,000
#3 Kangaskhan Family Event Trophy (1998): $150,000
#4 Lugia 1st Edition Neo Genesis (2000): $129,000
#5 Trophy Pikachu Gold 1st place (1997) – $100,000
Magic The Gathering Cards:
#1 Black Lotus: $150,000 to $250,000
#2 Ancestral Recall: $3500 to $15,000
#3 Mox Sapphire: $2000 to $13,000
#4 Mox Jet: $1500 to $10,000
#5 Timetwister: $4000 to $6000
#1 Tournament Black Luster Soldier: $2 million
#2 Signed Japanese Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon: $421,000
#3 Tyler The Great Warrior: $150,000
#4 Dark Magician Girl: $50,000
#5 Amatsu-Okami of the Divine Peaks: $18,800
Online Marketplaces Where You Can Find Collectible Cards
eBay is one of the best marketplaces with regards to selling exchanging cards, particularly on the web. Here, you will find niches that you never thought existed, and the variety of cards sold can prove to be a real eye-opener.
#2 Facebook Groups
There are many Facebook Groups where like-minded collectors gather and discuss, buy, sell and trade any genre of cards you are thinking of.
#3 TCG Player
An e-commerce marketplace where you can find Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic The Gathering cards nested among a variety of other genres.
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