Choosing the Right Trading Card Storage Supplies – You’ve spent a lot of time and money building your collection. Choosing the right supplies to store, display, archive and curate your collection is a must for any collector. Luckily GTS Distribution carries a wide range of storage supplies for just about every collectible category. This includes supplies for trading cards, toys & action figures, sports and entertainment memorabilia, numismatics, comic books, gaming and more.
Here is a guide to choosing the right trading card supplies for your own individual collecting needs. This includes a look at some products you might necessarily be aware exist. If your local shop doesn’t carry the supplies you need, simply ask them to contact GTS Distribution to place an order.
In future posts, we will provide guides to choosing supplies for other aforementioned collectible categories.
Supply Product Manufacturers
There are three primary manufactures of trading card supplies; BCW Supplies, Pro-Mold Inc. and UltraPro. Each company carries a vast line of products to help collectors properly store and display their collection. The product lines they carry are so vast not even GTS Distribution can stock them all. However, we can place special orders for specific products not in our inventory. Just call or shop our full line of each manufacturer’s products by clicking the links above.
Choosing the Right Trading Card Storage Supplies
Sleeves, Card Holders – Choosing the Right Trading Card Storage Supplies
Trading card thicknesses are measured in the point stock of the material on which the card is printed. The general measurement used is: 1,000 points = 1 inch = 25.4 mm. Thankfully, you don’t need to memorize this fact. BCW Supplies offers a handy, reference card, pictured here, which you can download for free. One tip is to cut out the guide and lightly glue it to a trading card decoy and place in a penny sleeve to keep it usable for a long time.
With the ever-changing creativity coming from trading card manufacturers, the storage solutions for this category can often be the most complex and confusing. However, it needn’t be. The first thing you need to decide is if you are purchasing supplies to store your cards, display your cards or a combination of both.
For individual trading cards, your first line of defense is the sleeve, often referred to as a penny sleeve. Because of the increased thickness of trading cards, today’s supply manufactures have responded by producing sleeves of various weights and thicknesses.
Standard singles, parallels and non-memorabilia insert cards will fit traditional penny sleeves. For thicker memorabilia and patch cards, to be stored in a toploader or magnetic holder, sleeves are available in 130 point thickness. Cards thicker than 130-138 points should simply be inserted into a toploader or magnetic holder without a sleeve. DO NOT FORCE CARDS INTO A PENNY SLEEVE OR TOPLOADER.
Next, choose weather you are going to keep the card in a toploader, snap tight or magnetic holder. Determine the thickness of the card, using the aforementioned thickness gauge. Select the appropriate point thickness of toploader, snap tight or magnetic holder.
In addition to supplies for standard-sized and premium trading cards (thick patch cards etc), new supplies are now on the market to store booklet cards which have become very popular in the hobby. These uniquely hinged cards, as you would imagine open like a book. They can be vertically or horizontally oriented. As a result, supplies are available for both orientation formats. UltraPro, in particular offers numerous point thicknesses for booklet cards.
You will then need to decide if you are going to store or display the card. Again, there are several options for storing or displaying your trading cards. Here is a look at some of the hobby’s most popular.
Binder Albums & Pages – Choosing the Right Trading Card Storage Supplies
One of the easiest ways to attractively display all large collection or set of trading cards is in a binder. Easily stored and presented in an aesthetic manner on a shelf, this method allows for quick access and safe storage of your trading card collection. You can easily view and share you trading cards with other people without the need for unboxing.
The amazing array of trading card sizes, produced through the years, definitely means that one solution doesn’t fit all. Like seemingly everything in our hobby, customization is essential. Thankfully, acid free, archival storage quality album pages are available to fit everything from tobacco cards to cabinet cards and everything in between. Even the tough early sets from Bowman and Leaf.
Cardboard Storage Boxes – Choosing the Right Trading Card Storage Supplies
Ideal for base sets and miscellaneous cards, these long-time collector favorites come in a variety of sizes. They can store cards with or without a penny sleeve. The are available to fit quantities from 100-930 cards. They are designed to store the cards horizontally on their long-edge. Sponge card blocks insure a proper fit and keep cards from sliding within the box which would obviously cause unwarranted edge wear.
To store cards vertically, several options are available to collectors. Two-piece boxes with storage compartment and lids are available in two, three and four row varieties. These boxes can store anywhere between 1,600 and 5,000 regular sized trading cards (no toploaders, magnetics or other holders). There are even cardboard storage boxes available for graded cards.
Display Stands and Holders – Choosing the Right Trading Card Storage Supplies
So you want to display several of your favorite cards on a shelf, curio or cabinet. Miniature display stands are available that can hold toploaders, snap tights and magnetic holders. You can even store your favorite vintage rookie card in a lucite holder with its own built in stand.
Have several standard-sized cards to display? How about a wall mountable 9-card, screw-down holder?
Specialty Products – Choosing the Right Trading Card Storage Supplies
If you need it, chances are one of the supply manufactures makes it. There seems to be no shortage of supplies available to trading cards collectors. Want to store cards in a hard plastic case? Great. Choose the number of cards you need to store and whether you want a hinged or stand-alone lid.
Need to quickly sort cards? Choose from cardboard or semi-rigid plastic trays.
Want to keep your magnetic holders or graded cards in a sleeve to keep the clear acrylic from getting scratched? Choose from a variety of resealable bag options. And yes, they even make them for booklet cards.
There is virtually nothing in the sports and entertainment trading card hobby that can’t be securely stored to preserve its condition. GTS Distribution can even provide retailers with a free reference guide from UltraPro. It helps choosing the right supplies easy for any sports collectible.
The Sports Collectibles Desktop Guide is a full-color, 11″ x 17″, double sided, laminated sheet for reference. The list includes Memorabilia Holders, Card Storage Boxes, Comic Bags, Pocket Pages, ONE-TOUCH Holders, and Toploaders with part numbers and description for easy reference. It also features a Card Thickness Point Gauge to easily identify the size of a card.
Call your GTS Representative to get your copy of this great reference tool. Or, you can download a digital copy here: Ultra Pro Sports Collectibles Reference Guide.
Visit this post on our Facebook Page and share a picture of how you store and display your trading card collection. Next, we will take a look at preserving and displaying your sports or entertainment memorabilia collection.
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