How to Invest in Something Other Than the Stock Market

By Alan Kirk

  • Overview

    Finding investment opportunities with the stock market dropping can be a real challenge. One way to overcome this challenge is by investing in something you enjoy doing. Many Americans enjoy following sports, and the sports card collectible market has a resale market that can produce a profit for the smart investor. Investors that research the market and buy and sell at the best times in that market can make a significant amount of money investing in sports cards.
    • Step 1

      Choose a sport that you enjoy following. Making an investment something you enjoy will result in your looking forward to spending time working on that investment instead of looking at it as a chore. Start collecting trading cards from that sport.
    • Step 2

      Read magazines such as "Beckett" or "Tuff Stuff" to get a feel for what the most popular sets of trading cards are for the sport that you have chosen (see Resources below). Keep in mind that trends in sports cards change quickly. In general, you can count on boxes of cards of a new set being popular for up to 6 weeks after their release. Due to the volume of sets produced, at that point there is usually a newer set that is more popular, so you must spread your investment out.

    • Step 3

      Research prices that boxes of the sports cards you are collecting sell for on eBay. Search on eBay for auctions from sellers that are selling boxes for less than the average price those boxes are selling for. Purchase these boxes only, as they have potential to make money for you on eBay when you list them for sale after purchasing them.
    • Step 4

      Place the box of sports cards for sale on eBay, Craigslist or at local flea markets.
    • Step 5

      Determine your asking price. Keep in mind that on eBay you will want to have your price reflect the cost you paid to get the box, including the shipping cost you paid when you purchased it, the fees associated with selling on eBay and a small profit for yourself as well. When using Craigslist or flea markets, the only fee you would be concerned with would be the shipping cost you had paid.
    • Step 6

      Collect your money after the auction ends on eBay or through the other methods you use to sell the cards. Take 10 percent of that sale and put it away as income; take the other 90 percent and reinvest it into purchasing additional boxes of sports cards. As the volume of your business increases, you can increase or decrease the percentage you put away as income based on current market conditions.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging
    • Tip: When purchasing sports cards on eBay, make sure you check the shipping price closely. Some sellers charge extremely high shipping and low item prices to avoid the fees that eBay charges based on the price of the item itself when it sells.
    • Warning:
    • Past performance of sports cards are not a guarantee that they will be profitable for you. The price you can sell at depends on who you market the cards to, how you market them and the popularity of sports cards in that market. Wild fluctuations in sales volume for sports card collectors is not uncommon.

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