Guide to Budget Hockey Card Collecting

Getting into hockey cards doesn’t need to break the bank. In fact, many hockey card collectors spend very little to create a collection of cards that they’ll cherish for years to come.

Here’s how to build your own hockey card collection on a budget:

Set Realistic Expectations

For starters, we need to set some realistic expectations. If you’re collecting hockey cards on a budget, you won’t be able to pick up the latest and greatest cards, unless you get lucky. And even then, it’s often better to focus your collection elsewhere

Collecting cards on a budget means that you’ll need to create a budget friendly deck. This involves choosing cards that may not have great value for resale, but that’ll make you happy and help you to enjoy the hobby nonetheless. The cards you choose to collect may be from last season, or even slightly older – you may choose to focus on a niche, team, or player that isn’t popular, and you may end up with mostly used cards.

But, just because your cards aren’t all new, in pristine condition, or even valuable doesn’t mean your collection is worse than anyone else’s. In fact, many card collectors look back at their budget collecting days with great fondness. They chose the cards that made them happy, and you should feel this way too!

Cards to Look For

While everyone’s preferences and collection will be different, there are a few general tips to keep in mind when looking for cards. For starters, you’ll want to consider used cards. Specifically, cards that aren’t in pristine condition, but are still good looking. They likely won’t be rated, but if they are, you’re looking for something around a 7.

Another tip is to collect cards from the 90s. It’s no secret that this was the boom of sports card collecting, and because of that, there was a ton of cards produced. This makes even rookie cards from top players worth as little as a couple bucks – a great pick if you don’t care about rarity/value!

Lastly, there are hobby boxes. Part of the allure of card collecting is the rush of excitement when you’re opening your packs of new cards. You never know what’s on the inside of each pack, and if you’re lucky it could be an extremely rare card! If you’re the type to say “Nothing beats opening a sealed pack of cards” than a hobby box is right for you. These will cost more upfront than buying individual packs, but they guarantee a few good picks and work out to be cheaper in the long run.


Remember, hockey card collecting should be about doing what makes you happy. Don’t focus too much on rarity and value and you’ll find it to be tons of fun, even when you’ve only got a small amount of money to spend on the hobby.