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A Complete Guide To Getting Free Sports Cards

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Who doesn’t love free stuff? Card collecting can be an expensive hobby, so the idea of getting sports cards for free is quite appealing. Unfortunately, that idea is not a very realistic one. While no consistent opportunities to get free sports cards exist, it is still possible to score some free sports cards with a bit of luck.

Ways to get free basketball, football and baseball cards

There are a few options for getting free baseball cards, although you’ll find they aren’t super reliable. These options can never replace outright buying cards but they are your best bet.

No purchase necessary offers

Perhaps the most reliable way to get free cards is through No Purchase Necessary or “NPN” offers that are offered by major card companies. Basically, these offers involve entering sweepstakes held by the company for each product they release.

If you win the sweepstakes, you will receive one card at hobby box odds. Companies have different requirements for entry, but they typically require you to have stamps, envelopes, and index cards to participate. For a full explanation of NPN offers, you can read more here.

At Topps, you will be able to get free baseball cards, whereas Upper Deck offers free hockey cards, and Panini offers you the chance of free basketball cards and free football cards.

Using this method will net you a low amount of cards, but it’s your best chance at getting quality cards for free. Additionally, it is pretty low effort and allows you to passively gain cards over time.

Checking classified ads for free baseball cards

If you’re lucky, somebody in your area may be wanting to get rid of their cards. This can be quite the opportunity for you to get some free sports cards. Unlike the NPN offers above, you’ll have to be persistent to get real results from this method.

Check websites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist regularly so you don’t miss out on any potential listings. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to this.

The most obvious one is that it’s possible nobody near you ever advertises their cards online. Another one is that you’ll most likely have to go and pick up the cards which can be a hassle.

This method will likely lead to getting a large number of low-quality cards, but it’s possible to get lucky and find some hidden gems.

Friends and Family

Do you know anybody who used to collect cards and has no use for their collection? Or maybe somebody dedicated to sports who happens to have some spare cards? Those people might be willing to part with their sports cards for free.

At your next family gathering, be sure to mention your interest in sports cards. The amount of people who have collected cards at some point is remarkably high, so you have good odds of finding somebody who used to collect. By doing this you might even be doing them a favor by helping them get rid of older cards.

assortment of sports cards

Sports Card Forums

Browsing forums and getting involved in the card-collecting community could lead to opportunities to get free baseball, basketball, football and hockey cards. Simply participating in conversations will build connections that might pay dividends down the line.

Additionally, some card forums host giveaways or allow members to do their own giveaways. For example, Blowout Forums has a giveaway section on their forums here.

Even if you don’t end up winning anything from this method, getting involved in the card-collecting community is still something worth doing if you’re passionate about the hobby.

Final thoughts on free basketball cards, football cards, baseball cards

The old adage “Nothing in life is free,” is extremely relevant to card collecting. Thanks to the nature of the hobby, collecting free sports cards is not an easy task.

Reliable methods of getting cards for free still require constant effort, and luck, to get real results. If you are patient and on the lookout, these tips will help you grow your collection without spending a dime.

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Important: When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.