If you collect cards you may find it hard to keep them in good shape. This can be especially true when they are a trading card game such as “Pokemon” or “Magic: The Gathering”, however there are a few things you should do to keep your cards protected and keep them from losing their value. It wont cost that much and will allow you to play with your cards longer then if they were unprotected.
If you collect cards that are not played with, or if you plan to not play with your cards, but sell or trade them, you will want to look for what are referred to as penny sleeves. These sleeves are clear and not acidic plastic sleeves, and will go over your cards. These sleeves are much cheaper then the ones that can be played with. You may be tempted to buy these and play with them, however if you do, you will find that the cards will be too slippery to shuffle and keep together in a stack. So only put your cards in theses sleeves if you do not plan to play with them for a while.
Playable sleeves can cost a lot more, especially if you plan to buy ones with special printed backs that dress your cards up. These sleeves may be expensive, but they are necessary if you want to play your cards. Only use these card sleeves with playing card decks that you are planning to play. So remember to construct your deck before you begin putting them in sleeves.
Another way you can keep your cards safe is the use of trade binders. These binders hold several cards per leaf and can either be purchased or made. Another convenience of these trade binders is that they keep all of the collectable cards in one place. This can be handy since you can organize them and simply flip through your collection like pages in a book instead of opening a box picking up the cards and going through them one by one.
Remember to handle your cards with care, never crease them or draw on them to make proxy cards. Cards that you think are completely worthless now, may become very rare or very useful in the future. However, if you ever wear out a card, do not feel bad. As these cards are toys, and if they are not played with, then they might as well not exist.