How to Tell If a Football Card Is a Reprint

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If you collect football cards, it is important to know how to tell if they are originals or reprints. There is a big difference in the value of an original versus a reprint or a counterfeit card, and there are ways to find out. It is more and more difficult as technology allows for counterfeiters to do a better job of copying the original. However, there are some sure signs to look for. Continue reading to learn how to tell if a football card is a reprint.

Compare the Card to an Original Card

If you have an original card or can find a good image online, you can compare the card in question. You will want to find a duplicate of this card or find another card from the same issue. When they make the cards, there are certain features that all of the cards share. You should notice significant differences if the card is a reprint. You might notice that the cardboard is different, or you might notice that the print is different.

Comparing cards works especially well if the card in question was printed in recent years. They do not have access to the materials that were used to make cards many decades ago. Examine both cards, and if you see obvious differences, the card is likely either a reprint or counterfeit.

Investigate the Seller and the Card

People often sell football cards online. They might have pictures and tell you that the card is an original card, but you will want to be sure. If you are looking at a third-party site, you might check the seller’s profile. Check the feedback to make sure that this seller has good ratings and no history of selling reprints or counterfeit cards. If the seller has done this in the past, people will leave negative feedback.

Next, you can take the pictures of the card and search them online. You can copy and paste the picture in Google search, and you will see others. If you find an identical picture out there, you should be suspicious. If the seller has an original card, he or she will take photos of that card to post online. They also might trim the edges of the card to hide wording that tells you it is a reprint.

Take it to a Professional

One of the best ways to find out if your football card is a reprint is to take it to a professional who knows. There are experts who know how to authenticate football cards, and they will be able to give you a lot of information about the type of card it is and what it is worth. This is the easiest way to find out if you have an original card or a reprint.

If you enjoy collecting original and authentic football cards, it is important to learn how to know if they are originals, reprints, or counterfeits. The value changes drastically within these categories. It is difficult to reproduce a card from the 1960s because the materials they used aren’t as readily available today. If you have the card in your possession, you can compare it to other cards from that series or take the card to a professional who specializes in football cards.

If you do not have the card in your possession and are looking for it online or in person, you will need to do some detective work. First of all, make sure that you are purchasing the card from a trusted seller. The seller should have nearly perfect feedback, and there should not be any feedback that says the seller sold reprints or counterfeits and passed them off as originals. If the seller has his or her feedback private, this is a cause for concern. Check the card itself against online images, and make sure that it is not pulled off the Internet.

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2 Comments

  1. I sold my Namath Rookie card graded and certified years ago. I am now looking to purchase a replacement on e-bay but am really worried about the like new cards is see without mentioning “reprint”. Some reprints clearly heve verbage on the bottom of the reverse indicating reprint. But others do not. The are clearly not trimmed. Some of the sellers have replied to me that it was handed down to them and they have no way of telling (like getting it authenticated!). I guess my question is do reprints have any markings to differentiate it from an original.

  2. My cards came from a older gentleman that collected them and took very good care of them and a couple shops thought they were reprints because they are in such good condition. I would appreciate your to hear back from you.

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