A few months into collecting again has been very eye opening. What I thought were decent goals at the beginning have been thrown by the way side. I’ve become a patient collector again, enjoying the process of scouring through bargain boxes at stores and tables at shows. Afterwards, slowly logging the cards, organizing them into binders and creating want lists.
Most of my time is trying to focus on the copyright date on the back or searching to the card number and name to figure out the release.
A local card shop has been very helpful at getting base at no more than .10 a card. Most vendors at the local card show, price their cards fairly. I’ve won a couple eBay auctions too, but those are far and few in between visits to shops and shows.
Some things never change, like the speculators. I stay away from that drama online. There’s the urge to watch it all unfold though, between the investors and the collectors. Sometimes I cannot tell who is who. I wouldn’t say the hobby is in turmoil, just the minds of the collectors/prospectors online who chase hit after hit and have strong opinions about how to collect and invest their money.
The PSA trimming scandal is something to keep on eye on though. I find it very strange how many new cards are sent in for grading. Reading how many cards have been found to be trimmed and graded is disturbing as well. If I ever buy vintage, a ruler is going to be involved.
What also never changes is the amount of cards available. I think our own nostalgia and strong attraction to over-valuing moments creates a false market that creates short term winners and long game losers.
True collectors, though, always seem to come out in winning in the end.
Cracking open packs and indulging in group breaks, I’m finding, isn’t really my thing. I admire the SABRcards writers as they examine cards and sets deeper. I wish something like that was around back in the day. I surely would have participated and probably had not stopped collecting. Maybe one of these days, inspiration will hit and I will dig deeper into a set or a certain player’s portfolio of cards.
As finding Dodgers base slows down, I’d like to start trying to build Topps sets starting with the 1975 set. I’m not ready to exactly jump into set building yet but if an opportunity arises, I might jump on it.
I started collecting again because I needed something else to balance out the vigor of life. I also play chess and take a lot of photos (street and documentary photography). Those other activities need other people and/or better weather. I can collect cards without having to rely on participation of others. Having said that, finding other patient collectors and traders on twitter has been a pleasant surprise.