NBA Top Shot is a wonderful yet overwhelming place. The marketplace is 24/7/365 and can boast upwards of 10,000 individual buyers in a single day (and soon many more).

For newcomers, purchasing moments can be daunting. There are so many questions:

  • Who are the most popular players?
  • Why are some moments worth more or less than other?
  • Why do different moments feature the exact same play?
  • Should I spend big on 1 player or diversify?

The reality is that every collector will need a bit of time to learn the complexities of the game and eventually wrap their head around these concepts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get started!

Here are a few tips to help scratch the itch:

START WITH YOUR HEART

You’ll never forget your first time, and that’s why we recommend starting with one of your favourite players. Even better if your favourite in not named Lebron. Players like Zion, Giannis, Kawhi, Carmelo, Kyrie will typically be available as Base Common Moments in the $10-40 range. No matter the edition size or scarcity level, it’s a nice feeling to invest in a player you truly love.

INVEST IN SUPERSTARS

NBA Top Shot is not just a daily fantasy-style market; it’s also a popularity contest. A player’s performance on the court is not always reflected in the tastes of retail consumers, and that’s why players like Nikola Jokic and Bam Adebayo might be valued for less than you would expect. And why Alex Caruso might come at a premium.

But there is no going wrong with the superstars with established legacies. Players like Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry are a lock for the Hall of Fame AND to lead jersey sales for the next several years. They are excellent on the court and popular off of it. These Superstars will almost always hold value in NBA Top Shot, no matter the influx of new supply.

LOOK FOR AFFORDABLE ROOKIES

It’s very tempting to buy rookies on NBA Top Shot and likely a solid investment. However, the rules around what constitutes a rookie moment are changing, and it’s best to fully understand how these work before making a purchase.

Rookies have the ultimate potential: we never know who will be the next Giannis, KD, or this year’s Tyler Herro. And although the investment comes with a certain degree of risk (what if the player does not live up to the hype?), the upside of snagging a future star is very much worth it.

THE BIG TICKET VS DIVERSIFYING ASSETS

It’s easy to look at your NBA Top Shot collection like it’s a stock portfolio. And in many ways they are similar with one exception: scarcity level. You’ll quickly discover that certain moments can have as few as 25 or 50 total mints, and others can have over 15,000. This raises a very good investment question: diversify across multiple low cost assets, or go big into one item?

There is no right answer here. Some big ticket items, like a Lebron James legendary or rare moment, will hold value long term due to their scarcity. But a diversity of lower cost items, such as Common Moments of Devin Booker, Anthony Davis, and Jaylen Brown will offer more in terms of a broad asset class (since all players will perform differently on the marketplace).

The easy way out: Diversify and include a big ticket. Research the high value moments and zero in on the one you think is a long term hold. Then use the other half of your budget to pick as many horses as possible. This is collecting, after all.

CONSIDER A LOW SERIAL #

It’s true that in NBA Top Shot, low serial numbers typically command a premium over high ones. A #1 or jersey match is the best, but likely out of budget for $100. But two digit serial numbers are better than three, and three are better than four. Many of your first moments will likely have a total mint number in the thousands; so it’s best to grab a lower mint number even at the expense of a few extra dollars. Long-term, it will have a relatively higher resale value.

BUY AS MANY PACKS AS POSSIBLE

The best part of NBA Top Shot, besides having your moments occasionally 3x in market value, is opening fresh new packs of moments. There is no way to know exactly what moments will be inside, but the potential to score a low serial number and/or a superstar player are worth the risk. As often as possible, buy the pack drops, the base releases, and anything else that comes out.

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