What was considered an old tradition is becoming new again during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trading card collectors said sports cards are going for thousands, even millions of dollars. Experts said the current demand is simply outweighing the supply.
House Divided Sports Cards & Collectibles owner Kevin Carpenter said he is seeing a resurgence of trading cards. Carpenter believes the pandemic has driven the interest.
"Any form of collectibles has just, has gone through the roof,” Carpenter said. “They were sitting at home. Everyone has their sports cards they had as a kid. Stashed away in the attic, out in the garage. They just starting thumbing through it."
Carpenter said there are many factors that contribute to a sports card's worth including its condition, age, rarity and, of course, the name attached to the card.
"It's become a very difficult market for the individuals, for shop owners, as well,” Carpenter said. “Trying to get products in stock."
For reference, Carpenter said that he is hoping his one-of-a-kind, signed Tom Brady Panini XR football card will one day cover the college tuition for his son Matthew.
A rare Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for $5.2 million back in January. During the same month, a card of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes card went for $861,000.
Earlier this week, Tom Brady's rookie card sold for $1.32 million.
For Joel Penfield, it is less about profit and more of a passion he hopes to share with his son.
"Whenever I'm putting him down to bed at night, there are times when I'll pull out the binder and I'll just read the back of the cards to him,” Penfield said.
Penfield said adding to his collection is challenging because he is seeing cards sell online in under 30 seconds.
"That's just because people are getting back into it, and I think that is a really cool thing to see,” Penfield said.
Business may be booming, but Carpenter said collecting is about much more than money.
"Enjoy what you love. Collect what you love,” Carpenter said. “That's the backbone of a true collector."