THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG
In today’s world, buying, selling, and trading sports cards, for better or worse, is no longer a childhood hobby. It is now a billion-dollar a year business utilized by individuals from celebrities and successful businessmen as an alternative investment, to a college freshman spending whatever they can scrounge up to enjoy watching their favorite player hit that game winning three pointer or home run just a little bit more. Today’s athletes are not just people, they are walking corporations, and each one of them is an individual stock. If you are trying to figure out how to protect your cryptocurrency, stocks, or notes, you need to also protect your sports cards and collectibles. To give you an idea of how the market has changed, look at 2020 vs 2021’s first quarter of sales in sports card sales on eBay:
- Sales of soccer cards grew from $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $24.7 million in 2021. (+1546%)
- Basketball card sales soared from $98.2 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $389 million in 2021. (+296%)
- Football cards grew from $42.2 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $197.2 million in 2021 (+367%).
- Baseball sales grew from $80.4 million in first quarter of 2020 to $234.9 million in 2021 (+192%)
- Hockey cards went from $5.8 million in first quarter of 2020 to $22.4 million in 2021 (+286%)
This is just on eBay alone, and if you are thinking that Covid-19 is solely responsible for the boom, eBay reported that sports cards had seen 142% growth from 2019 to 2020. Furthermore, Goldin Auctions, arguably the premier auction house for memorabilia, cards and collectibles, had sales of $800,000 in 2012 vs $100 million in 2020 and on track to quintuple that number this year. Although stimulus checks, low interest rates, and a profitable stock market have provided a catalyst to this asset class in recent times, the collectible market has been rapidly rising over a long period of time and recent large bets by Wall Street, hedge funds, streaming platforms and many other large companies in the space suggests this could only be the beginning.
With the mainstream media reporting on the explosion of this asset class, masses of people, including ones who don’t even own sports cards and collectibles are gaining awareness of a very lucrative and previously overlooked space. This provides grave danger to those who are heavily invested in collectibles of being preyed upon when being sued or divorced, especially without any sort of Asset Protection planning in place. What makes owners of sports cards, memorabilia and collectibles even more susceptible to having creditors pursue their prized possessions in judgments is the category's extreme visibility. When you go over to your friend’s house for dinner, you don’t see his shares of Apple stock or his Bitcoins hung up on the wall. However, you might see a signed game used jersey of their favorite player or his rarest Michael Jordan card on a mantle. People like to show off when it comes to collectibles as there is a prestige factor to owning rare and valuable collectibles. While countless men have been striving to have the best man-cave in their friend group for decades, that “in your face” display of wealth is a big flashing sign to others of the value they could expose. Sports is a part of popular culture and it’s easy to brag about your collectibles to a business partner, friend or even your spouse, who won’t forget it if a relationship turns sour.
With the rise in value of collectibles and more lawsuits than ever before, the time is now to add sports cards, memorabilia, and other collectibles with value to your Asset Protection structure. Chances are, if you are heavily invested in cards, collectibles, and memorabilia, collecting is a passion you are well known for by your peers. These people around you, as well as strangers, have been made acutely aware of the value of collectibles from the mainstream media over the last 12 months and the time to protect your coveted treasures is now.
A LOT CAN GO WRONG TRANSACTING BUSINESS IN THE SPACE
Every person who buys and sells sports cards, or memorabilia of some type has at least one nightmare story. At The Presser Law Firm, P.A. we are concerned with protecting your assets before that nightmare occurs and becomes a lawsuit. Unlike stocks or cryptocurrency, which are bought at a market price on a network or blockchain, every sports card deal is a negotiation between individuals to determine the price and very often issues arise after a deal is completed. Typical issues that come up in this space are debates about condition of items, items getting lost in the mail, sellers taking the money and not sending the item, buyers claiming they never received the item, buyers not paying after a deal is agreed to, items beings stolen at trade shows, and even forgeries. The business of bartering and flipping items can inevitably lead to trouble. In this space it is very likely that if someone owns one high value item, many more are in their possession. Furthermore, many sellers display all of their inventory on their websites, at trade shows, and through social media pages, which also double as selling platforms (Instagram, Facebook). This exposes other high value items a seller owns, and it is very easy to be targeted especially by people who are savvy in the space. If you are a large investor in sports cards, if this is a business for you, or if it is just a casual hobby, you should have an Asset Protection plan to shield you from the often-significant financial ramifications a difficult business transaction can create.
The time to integrate your sports cards, memorabilia and collectibles into your Asset Protection plan is now. It is an asset class that has put mainstream Americans and people internationally on notice of how lucrative it can be. A strong Asset Protection plan will shield your appreciating collectibles from manipulative creditors, spouses, other collectors in the hobby as well as save you money from a tax perspective. Call us today to learn more about how The Presser Law Firm, P.A. can help you to protect your valuable collectibles.