The Gongshow Rules for hockey card investing.
These are the rules we've developed via thorough research and analysis of hockey card market data & secondary market sales trends. Plus, after losing our shorts repeatedly making stupid bets on players and cards.
Be wary of high population counts and run from high gem rates.
High population counts with a combined high gem rate for graded hockey cards create a formula for too many copies in the marketplace, which lowers the value of the card. Base Young Guns are especially susceptible to high population counts.
Never trust a great patch.
Fake patches and patch swapping has been far too prevalent in the hockey card hobby for a number of years. When considering buying a card that includes a premium patch, it's important to research other copies of the card in question, seek old images that match your serial number and seek the counsel of hobby experts.
Consistent goal scoring trumps almost everything else.
Defense may win championships, but goals drive hockey card values. The most consistent hobby chases are the ones that put the puck in the net most often, while the assist machines, even if they score lots of points are relegated to the second tier.
Age isn't just a number.
The allure of what could be; potential. This singular word may account for half of the total value of the hockey card market. The younger the player, the more perceived potential. A promising rookie season at 21 years old creates a hobby star, while the same rookie season at 24, is seen as too old for many investors and hurts hobby value.
Threes definitely a crowd. There's no room for three hobby stars on any team...and maybe not even two
Any given NHL team may have a certifiable star that's bankable in the hockey card hobby. Rarely are there two. Think how underappreciated players like Leon Draisaitl and Mitch Marner are from a hobby values perspective. Now, if you're thinking that third guy has huge breakout star potential...think again.
Remember at all times that base Young Guns are not rare...especially in the first 90 days after release.
It's understandably exciting when a new flagship series is released and tempting to overspend on a base Young Guns for a player you're chasing, but remember in almost all cases 2-3 months down the road these cards are significantly less expensive.