Here’s what’s going on around the sports card industry — March 2021

It’s the beginning of a new month, and that means we’re back for another round of news surrounding the hobby. February was a short month, but it had no shortage of going-ons and notable events. Here’s some of the recent stuff that’s created waves.

(And, if you missed our last entry, here’s the news roundup from early February.)

eBay confirms what we already knew

You may have heard this a time or two by now, but the sports card hobby is en fuego right now. It’s massively popular, it’s driving record revenues, and everyone wants to get in on it.

Just in case it needs to be a little louder for the people in the back, eBay released its first-ever State of Trading Cards report to confirm that sports card sales are way up. In 2020, domestic sports card sales increased by 142 percent; that’s a jump of more than four million sales over 2019’s totals.

The biggest risers were soccer (up 1,586 percent) and basketball (up 373 percent). But I think we can all agree that no sport was left behind when it came to 2020’s explosion.

Topps launches Project 70

Project 2020 went over so nice that Topps is doing it twice. Last year, Topps commissioned 20 artists to recreate some iconic baseball cards with their own artistic flair. It was a tremendous success. (And, if you want to know more, we highlighted some of our favorite Project 2020 cards in a separate post.)

Topps is looking to recapture that lightning in a bottle with Project 70. It’s huge. This time, there are 51 artists each doing 20 cards. That’s a 1,020 card checklist. At $20 per card, you’ll need deep pockets if you want to complete this set.

PSA raised submission prices

Everyone is well-aware that PSA is flooded with grading submissions as demand is at an all-time high. To help combat this, PSA is raising prices for the foreseeable future.

The price hike was announced on March 1 as PSA works to get through its backlog of submissions. This affects every tier of pricing; for instance Regular service level jumped from $50 to $100, and the Economy level (which is still suspended) went from $20 to $50.

Collectors are divided as to how they’re taking this news. One school of thought doesn’t welcome something getting more expensive. However, others see it as an opportunity for PSA to cut down on cards that shouldn’t be submitted, and their cards will see quicker turnaround times as a result.

A Luka Logoman broke the record for most expensive basketball card… allegedly

It has created a rumble within the hobby, but not for all the right reasons. A Luka Doncic rookie Logoman out of National Treasures has become the most expensive basketball card ever when it sold for $4.6 million.

However it wasn’t sold at auction or through a broker. It was a private sale that was announced on Instagram. The buyer just casually wrote a check from a Bank of America account for $4 million. Allegedly.

Naturally, a lot of people are skeptical. There’s a lot about this that doesn’t feel quite right — although, it could be perfectly legitimate. The Luka Logoman is the most expensive basketball card ever for now, but not necessarily as a completely confirmed sale. Something will probably come along soon and eclipse it anyway.

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