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Collectible sports cards increase in value to all-time high, decrease in availability to original audience

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) --Collectible sports cards have been increasing in value throughout the pandemic and this week prices have reached an all-time high of resale value. 

Parlor City in Binghamton has an exclusive license to purchase limited run NFL, MLB, and NBA cards and has seen the influx of new buyers and new interest. 

"It's something Wall Street guys are into. They are seeing how, in a few years, these cards are just shooting up, and I have to say, I didn't see that coming," Owner Andy Strong said. Strong said he had a customer sell him a card for $800 in 2018 that would currently be valued at around $30,000.

 Strong says it's not just his regulars; he frequently sees walk-ins that are committed to spending big money for the trading cards. "Your customers are willing to spend a serious amount between $500 to $1,000 on a box set," he said.

 Strong says it's important to understand where the value of these collectibles comes from."It is scarcity, these new card decks, they have autographs or piece of jerseys, something you can't recreate on a huge scale. But in the '80s through the '90s, that's what was happening and that's why most people haven't seen card prices rise."

Strong continues to explain that even if a collector has a big name card, like Michael Jordan, nine out of ten Jordan cards aren't worth very much because so many of them were made.

Special companies work to verify individual cards so collectors have an agreed-upon price, awarding rankings on the quality of the border, texture, and fidelity of the card, scoring them on a 0 to 10 scale. 

Strong says that despite the new enthusiasm, he feels for children, who are the original intended audience of sports cards, that can no longer afford the hobby. "It's tough. Kids don't have that kind of money. When I was a kid I would run to Walmart and every good grade I had you know my parents got me a card for it, I can't see that happening now," Strong said. 

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