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Sports cards: Why prices skyrocketed during the pandemic and how you can cash in

Sports cards became a hot commodity during the pandemic and the value of the cards has gone wildly up.

Just two years ago before the pandemic hit, most sports cards were likely tucked away in a shoebox or buried somewhere in a basement.

However, that all changed once the pandemic shut things down and people dusted off their old sports cards.

Thomas Fisher, the owner of Gemini Sports Cards says the industry exploded in March 2020, when the pandemic began.

"I can't even begin to explain from March of 2020 to right now, the ebbs and flow of this industry. It's been insane and amazing all at the same time," Fisher said.

In the first year of the pandemic, home prices in Columbus jumped 13% and the stock market went up about 52%.

The price of a Michael Jordan mint condition rookie card? That went up an eye-popping 1,845%.

"This pandemic brought families closer together, and now they're at home, they can't go anywhere. So let's get in the closet and look at cards," Fisher said.

"It's supply and demand. There are so many new people coming into this market," said Keith Neuhart, the owner of Neuhart Cards in Delaware.

So what happens when supply can't meet demand? In Wisconsin, a fight broke out at a Target store, resulting in one person pulling out a gun. Because of that incident, Target has stopped selling sports cards in stores.

Now here is the big question: How can you turn your old sports cards into money?

Getting your cards graded can determine their value. You send your cards to a company to be appraised. The most well-known company is PSA. Due to the big demand in people who wanted their cards graded, PSA recently doubled their prices and still had to shut down temporarily due to the amount of work they were receiving.

"I look at a card and I say it's worth $50. You say it's in better shape and worth $100. If you get it graded, a PSA 7 sells for this, it becomes a commodity. At that point, it trades at this value," Neuhart said. 

The other benefit of grading is that it proves your card isn't a counterfeit.

To start turning your cards into cash, you need to do research and find a dealer you can trust. Have them look at your cards and tell you which ones are worth the most.

At that point, get them graded. The two companies with the best reputations are PSA and Beckett.

Plus, do a little research on how much cards like yours are going for on the market right now. Find out what the cards are selling for, not what the seller is asking.

The sports card market has cooled over the last few months, but it is still way up compared to where it was just two years ago.