If you know anything at all about collecting baseball cards, you know how important it is to keep them in good condition. Trading cards in good condition are more valuable than those that aren’t.
Storing baseball cards in toploaders keeps them protected from damage. Toploaders come in different sizes and are made with various materials. They offer different levels of protection, depending on the type you buy. Load your baseball card in from the top and then stack them on one another. Better yet, store them standing upright in a holder pack.
The values of baseball cards are determined by other factors, like player status, age, and season importance. But the condition of a card makes a huge difference in the value placed on it by an expert. Toploaders help keep your baseball cards in the best condition possible.
How to Store Baseball Cards that Are in Toploaders
Even if baseball cards are protected in toploaders, you still need to store them in something else to keep them better protected. So, how do you store your toploaders?
If you’re using the protective sleeves, your best option is to put them in a storage bin. You should stack them as nicely as possible to avoid any bending or folding.
Rigid plastic toploaders are best stored in slotted card boxes or slotted shoe storage boxes. You store cards in an upright position in these boxes. It’s also easy to see what you have.
What Do Toploaders Protect Baseball Cards From?
Several options exist for storing baseball cards safely. Some collectors keep theirs in binders with pages of toploader slots. Binders are great for organizing your cards and keeping them all in one place. However, they’re not economically efficient.
Putting baseball cards in toploader sleeves and then into cases or storage boxes is much more practical. The sleeves protect the cards from sticking together. They keep corners from getting worn. They also protect against color transfer, scratching, and wrinkling.
Toploaders keep baseball cards from getting wet, stained, or folded. They protect against dust, spills, and rubbing from other cards.
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What Are Toploaders Made Of?
Toploaders known are thin, flimsy sleeves of plastic that keep dust off cards but not much else. Most serious collectors might put cards in penny sleeves before placing them in something else.
Sturdier toploaders are made of thicker high-impact grade PVC that’s hard. They keep cards flat, protecting them from tearing, folding, wrinkling, scratching, and more. Higher quality toploaders are completely clear, so you can see the card and all of its details with ease.
Can Toploaders Damage Cards?
Toploaders do not damage baseball cards when used properly. The reason you may have heard they do cause damage is because of improper use and storage. Toploaders that aren’t stored correctly won’t protect baseball cards the way they’re supposed to.
Once you put a card in a toploader, keep it out of direct sunlight. Also, put all cards in toploaders into a storage bin, box, or upright pack.
Semi-rigid toploaders can be bent. If they’re not stored in something to keep them from bending when jostled around, you may end up with wrinkles, creases, or rubbing damage to your baseball cards.
Don’t mail cards in toploaders, either. Cards traveling through the mail get moved around a lot. That causes damage to the cards even if they’re inside a toploader. If you must mail a baseball card somewhere, send it in a card saver.
Should You Tape Toploaders?
Toploaders are open at the top. Once you slip your baseball card into the opening, it may be tempting to find a way of sealing up the top. People have used tape to close up the top of these protectors.
You should not tape up the top of toploaders. There’s a possibility of adhesive making contact with the card. You don’t want that. It can damage the card, causing the value to drop. You need a barrier between the card and the tape.
If you want to close up the top of your toploaders, use paper first. Take a small piece of paper and fold it over the top of the toploader. Then you can tape the paper in place. It eliminates the risk of damaging your card with tape adhesive.
Is It Bad to Store Cards in Binders?
It’s not bad for the cards to store them in binders. It’s just not very practical or economical for a serious collector.
The problem with binders is they’re bulky, so you’re storing fewer cards in more space. You’ll spend more money to store fewer cards, also.
Binders are good for organizing cards. If you have specific groups of cards you want to keep together, binders are ideal for that type of storage. They make it easy for you to show various collections you have.
Binders aren’t good for any of your high-grade cards. They don’t offer the level of protection you’ll want for high-grade cards that are more valuable.
Toploaders keep your baseball cards protected from dust, stains, moisture, and folding. However, they only do the job well if you store them properly. The more organized and deliberate you are about storing your top-loaded baseball cards, the better protected they will be.
Once your baseball cards are inserted into their toploaders, put them into something else for proper storage. You can stack them in storage bins, place them in slotted shoe boxes, or stand them upright in the storage box that comes with some packs. Binders work for this, too, though they’re not as practical or cost-effective.
Make sure you match the type of toploader to the value status of the card you’re trying to protect. In other words, don’t put a high-grade card in a penny sleeve. Also, it’s not worth it to put a dime-a-dozen card in a hard plastic toploader. If you’re going to collect baseball cards and hope they increase in value, keep them in the best condition possible with appropriate toploaders.