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Sports Memorabilia Collecting Made Easy

Turn your love of the game into a fun - and possibly profitable - hobby.

Signed trading cards. Fly balls. A game-worn helmet. Even the actual seats from a legendary stadium.

In some ways, we’re living in a Golden Age of Sports Memorabilia. With a high enough Visa limit, a dedicated fan can now go online and buy anything from an NBA Championship ring to an autographed jockstrap. But let’s be realistic about two things. First, no matter how much you love a particular team or player, this stuff should be treated as an investment. If you love it, so much the better. Second, the explosion in collectibles has also sparked a bull market in junk, forgeries, and fakes. How do you begin assembling a collection that will appreciate over time while others fall prey to impulse buys (like the signed Orlando Pace jock recently listed on eBay for $30) and counterfeiters? These simple tips and tricks will help get you started.

Healey Cypher is a Men’s Fitness adviser and head of shopping innovation for eBay Inc.

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