How Technology has Forever Changed the Trading Card World

Jeremy Arnold

Most adults age 30 or older probably collected trading cards as a kid or know someone who did. Now with everyone spending a little more time at home, more people than ever have taken up the hobby. Myself included. I remembered the nostalgia of collecting cards when I was growing up and decided to re-engage with the hobby I loved. It had been 20 years since I collected, so I had no idea what I was getting into and boy, was I surprised about how much things had changed in the last two decades!

As a child, I remember the feeling I got when I ripped open my card packs and the thrill of going to the local shop/department store to score my next big “hit.” That was the only way to score cards back then, but along came the Internet and changed everything…card collecting included. Gone are the days hoping for a specific card in a random selection, and in its place are several easy avenues for collectors to find exactly what they are looking for. If you collect for personal reasons, then you can still buy traditional boxes and packs at your local card shop or discount store. However, if you want to add specific items to your collection, then this is where the Internet comes into play. is probably the most popular option for buying single cards, but I was amazed to discover that there were dozens of Facebook groups dedicated to card collecting that allowed me to look at buy whatever card I fancied. Of course, if you are looking to sell your cards and not looking to add to your collection, these two methods work equally as well. But if you are looking to flip cards for profit, there is this site allows buyers to purchase and relist cards without ever touching them.

Not only did these new methods of buying and selling cards surprise me, but in some cases, they made my head spin. You can join “case breaks” where you pay a set fee and get assigned a team from your chosen sport. Any card from that team that is pulled from the boxes is yours to keep. There are games in which you can pay for card pulls at a set price in hopes of hitting something good. There are tons of live online auctions for cards that were never available before as well. It’s impressive to see all of the new innovations that have hit the card collecting world and I hope that the hobby continues to evolve for future generations so that more people can get in on the action.

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