Five Tips for Winning Sports Memorabilia at an Online Auction

Collecting sports memorabilia is a great way to own a tangible piece of your favorite sport, whether you once played yourself or you’re simply a fan. Online auctions have brought the opportunity to own valuable mementos, from game jerseys and equipment to autographed photos, to a wider audience. If you’re interested in starting your own collection, here are some tips to make online auctions work for you:

  1. Understand the mechanics of the auction: Not every online auction is run the same way, and it’s important to understand the differences between them in order to decide on a bidding strategy. In timed auctions, items up for bid are left up for predetermined period of time. In such cases, bidders will often wait until the last few minutes of an auction to place their bid, so it may be impossible to tell what an item will ultimately go for even by monitoring the course of the auction. In live online auctions, on the other hand, the bidding opens at a set time and closes when active bidding ceases. You’ll be able to quickly gauge the level of genuine interest in items auctioned in this format.
  2. Know the market: The sports memorabilia market can be subject to fads, especially when you are looking for items associated with currently active teams. When a particular team is winning or a particular player is having a string of luck, items associated with them can soar in value, to plummet later when the public mood has changed and someone else is in favor. For such items, you may want to avoid buying at the peak of their popularity. On the other hand, classic sports memorabilia is likely to be fairly stable in cost. A too-good-to-be-true price can mean that you’re not looking at an authentic piece. Either way, doing a little research can help you know what to expect.
  3. Set a budget: It’s all too common for bidders to get swept up in the heat of competition and find that they overspent for that auction win. You can avoid regret by establishing your budget and sticking to it.
  4. Research your item: When you’ve identified an item you’d like to bid on, do some more specific research. If it’s a baseball card, for example, look for what the same type of card has recently sold for, or for other examples of the same card offered elsewhere. This will help you establish how much you should be willing to bid on the item, and if it’s within your budget.
  5. Stick with reputable dealers: Collectors of sports memorabilia often regard their purchases as a way of connecting to the games they love. Unfortunately, counterfeiters take advantage of those who let their hearts, rather than their heads, make the decisions on what to buy. It’s best to establish trusted sources for your purchases so that you can be sure the items you buy are the real deal.

At, we offer genuine live-auction bidding backed by the experience of three generations of auctioneers. We triple-check the authenticity of every piece offered on our site so that you can bid with confidence. From baseball, basketball, and football to boxing, golf, and hockey, we seek out genuine sports memorabilia for the particular collector. Register now for a free online account to start bidding and start winning.


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