Saturday, August 17, 2013

Decisions to Become a Budget Trading Card Collector:

2005 Topps Heritage Retail Pack
Somewhere in the past I had a very nice Baseball trading card collection.  So once upon a time having been a collector, naturally, people at various times would give me cards.  By 2004 I had accumulated a small stack of trading cards and was prompted to consider becoming a collector again or to just dispose of the cards.  The decision was made one day as I walked through a retail drug store and spotted a small display of packs of trading cards. 
It had been a long time since I had seen trading cards in other than Wal Mart or Target retail locations, so being intrigued, purchased a couple of packs.  As it is sometimes said, "The rest is history".

Unlike the previous time that I collected and when the crash of the house of trading cards of the early nineties soured my collecting taste, I decided to make decisions as to where I wanted my collection to go.
  • How large of budget was I to devote to collecting?  Answer: very small was all I can afford.
  • What would I collect?  Answer: Everything, make my collection as many items as possible on my small budget.
  • How would I store my collection?  Answer:  This required some thought.  The plethora of sets, inserts and parallels made boxing each seem like much more than I liked.  In the end I decided to store my cards in the order which they were cataloged in 3 ring binders and 9 pocket pages.
  • How would I record my catalog?  Answer:  The decision to store cards in the order which I cataloged them made the decision about cataloging software very important.  The software needed to do the sorting that I had decided not to physically do with the cards.  After testing various software titles, I decided to develop my own cataloging software.
  • What would I collect?  Answer:  Budget set the future of my collection.  With a frugal budget, I had to decide whether to collect a few choice cards or the most cards that I could get for the money.  I choose to collect as many cards as I could get with the little that I had to spend.
  • Where to obtain cards?  Answer:  I instantly realized that I could not collect in the manner which I had decided by purchasing expensive packs at retail.  Discount tables at card shops, yard sales and thrift stores are resources that fit my collecting style.
Not all collectors are happy not chasing the 1 off or the cut sig or the very rare insert that the card companies promise in their expensive packs.  But not all of us can afford to purchase those packs and rip them betting on that elusive insert.  Buying retail packs for the purpose of building sets is very difficult when that card companies put fewer and fewer cards in the packs plus make half the pack insert or parallel cards from a number of sets impossible to comprehend.  To collect all of those plus the "short prints" is not possible with anything less than multiple case breaks and that is not happening on my budget.  So I set my collection to be 2005 or older and started collecting what I could find backward thru the years of cards of the past.  Those that had ripped packs hunting those "rare cards" left a huge number of cards that a collector like myself can collect and be very happy collecting.

More about my collection and how it became what it is on future post when I will detail specific instances of budget collecting.  Happy Collecting

Jerry Yeager

Some Links That Could Be Useful

Trading Card Database  Very Nice site for creating online collection as well as resources for researching your collection and images for over half million cards so far.

SportLots  Sports Card Auction Site

The Card Collector High end Software for cataloging cards

Sports Card Collector Software better for budget with fewer features

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