In a year when so many of us sought to seek comfort in the past, reaching out to our childhood seemed rational.
It’s one of the main reasons why trading cards — sports and non-sports — exploded in 2020.
On Thursday, eBay released its first State Of Trading Cards report, which, among other things, revealed that gross trading card sales on the year were up 142 percent, with four million more cards sold into the platform than in 2019.
Basketball cards saw a 373 percent rise, thanks to four of the top selling players on the site all being basketball players — Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Zion Williamson.
The Action Network partnered with eBay to drill down deeper into the data. The Jordan 1986 Fleer rookie was clearly the star of the class. One sold on eBay for more than $200,000 in 2020, but the more telling story is the numbers that were sold and the average price they sold for. In 2020, 584 Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer rookies from grades 7- 10 were sold on eBay at an average price of $7,070. That’s up from the year before when a then-record 367 of them were sold for an average of $3,484.
Go back to 2013 and the average Jordan sold on eBay for $1,849. Today, you can’t buy a Jordan in a PSA 1 for less than $4,000!
The other star of the trading card world was the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky rookie, which for the first time, hit the $100,000 barrier on eBay in 2020. A record 125 Gretzky O-Pee-Chee cards sold on eBay last year with an average value of $4,520.
No report on last year would be complete without soccer and Pokémon. Sales of soccer cards grew 1,586 percent thanks to the heat around Kylian Mbappe and vintage Pele cards. Sales of Pokémon cards rose an 574 percent last year.