Sports Card School Logo

1. Forget Everything You THINK You Know

So you think you're a high roller?

Or, you want to be a high roller?

First, what is a high roller?

I define a high roller as someone who expects to net profit more than $100k annually on sports card investing and flipping. Many people reach out to me consistently, asking how they can make this happen. That's what this lesson is about. Stay tuned.

If you already think you're a high roller, you probably fit into one of two categories:

  1. You've been in the hobby for several years and move through tens of thousands of dollars in cash monthly or even more frequently and turn over hundreds of sports cards consistently at a 10-30% net profit consistently.
  2. You have disposable income and want to treat sports cards like the stock market or mutual funds and make money long term using a set-it and forget it strategy.

If you're #1, congratulations. Not only do you not need Sports Card School, but you'll likely agree with everything I say in this lesson and have even more valuable insights to add on top of what we publish.

If you're #2, you need this more than ever, but first you need to forget everything you think you know about sports card investing.

Sports Card Investing is Nothing like the stock market or mutual funds

Many "#2s" want a set it and forget it strategy for making money flipping sports cards. They want a sure fire portfolio mix of GOATS, Heroes and Fliers that will provide balance of 10% compounding returns annually over decades, with the upside of some penny stocks and a slight taste of what's in-between.

I'll be the first to tell you, that does not exist in this game. It just doesn't.

Let's first dive into some quick data proving why this doesn't exist.

Macro data

The SCI 500 is a market index published by Market Movers looking at the top 500 cards in the market by sales price.

  • Since 2021, the SCI 500 is down 41%
  • Since the start of 2024, the SCI 500 is up 1.8%
  • In 2023, the SCI 500 finished down 1.1%

Micro data

  • Jackie Robinson's 1948 Base Leaf #79 SGC 1 is up $1,900 in the last 365 days
  • Michael Jordan's 1986 Fleer Sticker #8 PSA 2 is up $225 in the last 365 days
  • Tom Brady's 2000 Fleer Ultra Base BGS 9.5 is up $567 in the last 365 days

These are the three biggest profit margins across all cards for these three iconic athletes in the last year.

  • Anthony Edwards alone had 25 cards with a $300+ profit margin sell in the last 30 days.

That is an example of how moving in and out of an ultra modern market quickly is far more lucrative than sitting an waiting on a vintage market.

Here are examples of iconic vintage cards that have fallen in value over the past year.

2003 LeBron James Topps Chrome 111 Refractor PSA 10 (last sale May 6, 2024 - $26,100 - down $3.59k over 24 sales from June 13, 2023 - June 12, 2024.

1952 Mickey Mantle Topps 311 Base PSA 1 (last sale May 28, 2024 - $20,500 - down $10.7k over 6 sales from June 13, 2023 - June 14, 2024.

1980 Magic Johnson (with Larry Bird and Julius Erving) Topps PSA 9 (last sale March 13, 2024 - down $2k over 4 sales from June 13, 2023 - June 14, 2024).


This data isn't meant to discourage you from being in the game. It's meant to teach you how to play the game.

Sports Cards can't be treated as "store of value" investments. They're not gold bars, retirement accounts or houses. They're volatile and finicky, based on several factors - including hype, player performance, grading and in certain cases, pop count. That's not to say none of them go up in value by simply holding them over a period of time, as many do. However, for each card you buy, you have to have a plan - even more so for high dollar cards.

Perhaps better said, you have to find the right "pricing pocket" for you to maneuver. For example, instead of trying to make 10% annually on a $20k card by simply acquiring it, you may need to take a hard look at moving in and out of $50 cards that can easily go to $250+, or $500 cards that can go to $750.

The Sports Card Market is NOT Like Other Markets

Just Because You’ve Been Successful With Other Alternative Asset Investing Doesn’t Mean You’ll Succeed In Sports Card Investing

Why You Can’t Just Set It And Forget It

In this course, we're going to break down some successful aspects - let's call them "principles," of being a high roller, then we'll talk about what a mix of those aspects could look like for you.

Principle #1

Speed Wins. This means moving in and out of cards quickly, and being first to the market.

Principle #2

The top comp is a myth and doesn't exist. Always take profits.

Principle #3

Understand what the market wants, especially when that means your gut feelings, predictions and opinions don't matter. Learn to love what the market loves.

Principle #4

You don't have to buy expensive cards to be a high roller. High rollers can and should deal in lower dollar cards, as they're easier to move in and out of.

Principle #5

Higher dollar cards are harder to move in and out of, making it hard to execute a strategy for Principle #1.

Principle #6

Only Buy low. Why? Because you can. You're the one spending the money. Buying low is the key to being a high roller, because Buying Low is Building In Your Profit Margin so you can make moves without worrying about market factors.