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  1. #1

    Looking to learn from you. Best tips?

    I used to collect cards about 20 years ago. As a kid, I never kept good care of my cards and I collected a bad set during a bad time (early 90s Pro-Set).

    I just recently decided to pick up card collecting again and I'm learning lots. I'm hoping to glean from everyone's wisdom here and I wanted to ask for some of your favourite tips (on anything--buying, selling, trading, collecting, storing) that you'd share with a new collector. Please help me so I don't make too many costly mistakes myself.

    ex. I just found out buying Hobby boxes instead of retail boxes have more insert cards (helpful tip)

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    It will help to know if you are going to collect to make money, or just for the hobby side of it.

    I am in the same situation as you, and even have the very same Pro-Set you mentioned - as well as many others from that era and before - but I always was into collecting because:

    1. I liked to build sets
    2. I liked the look of the cards
    3. player identity/team affiliation

    After having reacquainted my self, I have found that it is very overwhelming now, and the activity has really blown up in the past 20 years. I am finding the urge to keep pursuing it the way I was - which was not for profit - but for the fun of it, possibly hoping to get a good card or a sleeper along the way. It seems to me like you have to make a pretty big intial investment if you want to play the money game...but not so much if you just want to play the collecting game
    Hidden Content <- my wants
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    Always looking to add to these team collections: Toronto Maple Leafs; Pittsburgh Steelers; Cincinnati Reds; Notre Dame; Team Sweden Hockey

  3. #3
    I just started out again in April after collecting as a kid in the early 90s as well.

    I started out on Upper Deck boxes. It was something I was familiar with and I wanted a Stamkos Young Gun. For me it was like kind of the only brand I knew because I had never heard of ITG really and I thought Panini was still the company that just made stickers. One thing I find about Upper Deck in retail vs. hobby is if you want Young Guns, you might as well go retail. Same amount of YGs for 20-30 bucks less.

    Also big adjustment for me --> Don't go by book value. It means almost nothing these days. As a seller and trader, I live off of ebay completed sales. It's the best way to judge the current market. What a card is selling for, the average etc.
    I am collecting 13-14 Prizm Mike Kostka cards (9 of 14), 12-13 Black Diamond Quads (need #201). I will trade/buy/sell for any cool cards. Just ask!

  4. #4
    I suggest if you come back to the hobby keep it fun. Buying packs/boxes are fun but rarely do you get the value back on doing this.

    As for trading build up a reputation with smaller transaction first to get 20 feedback. Do deals with established trusted members and look at their feedback. Do deals only on sites where there is a good feedback system and Mods to deal with problems when they arrive.

    This hobby can be fun. It can also be expensive. Set a budget and stick to it. This is something I really regret not doing. Track how much you spend and record the price you paid for the cards. I wish I did so.

    I got back into the hobby really in the 2007/08 season. Wish I was 2 years earlier as the boxes then had the best value. Currently I'm stepping back from the hobby because I am going back to school and not working right now.
    I collect MATS SUNDIN & NIKOLAI KULEMIN! Hidden Content (UPDATING)
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by xpucksx View Post
    It will help to know if you are going to collect to make money, or just for the hobby side of it.
    Thanks for the response. I'm looking at this as fun AND an investment. I know the return on investment will be much lower than other ways I could invest my money but this is fun.

    I'll be building an Oilers collection for fun/enjoyment that I will keep for a long time and maybe pass down to my son. However, for doubles and all non-Oilers stuff I'll be looking to trade/sell. So retaining value and having cards that increase in value is important.
    Last edited by mrjgardiner; 01-02-2013 at 03:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by pinchmebnl View Post
    One thing I find about Upper Deck in retail vs. hobby is if you want Young Guns, you might as well go retail. Same amount of YGs for 20-30 bucks less.
    So are Hobby boxes the best way to get Jerseys/Autos then?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinchmebnl View Post
    Also big adjustment for me --> Don't go by book value. It means almost nothing these days. As a seller and trader, I live off of ebay completed sales. It's the best way to judge the current market. What a card is selling for, the average etc.
    As someone who doesn't plan on getting on ebay any time soon, if I were to buy singles from Card shops or at flea markets etc, is there a common percentage under the BV I should be looking to pay then?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MatsSundin13Rocks View Post
    As for trading build up a reputation with smaller transaction first to get 20 feedback. Do deals with established trusted members and look at their feedback. Do deals only on sites where there is a good feedback system and Mods to deal with problems when they arrive.
    Thanks. Just curious about the whole trading online thing. Keeping cards in mint condition are super important to me. Is it just assumed that everyone trading will have their cards in pristine condition unless noted or do you need to ask everyone what the condition is before trading?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjgardiner View Post
    So are Hobby boxes the best way to get Jerseys/Autos then?
    Yes, for something like UD, you can pull the jersey and auto cards. In most Upper Deck products, the hobby boxes guarantee 2 jersey cards where I don't think the retail guarantees anything but a chance to pull one. You'll also have a better chance of finding higher end inserts in hobby boxes. If you look at this year's product you can find inserts in both but the retail can be a much lower chance. You can find Day with the Cup inserts are 1 in 1000 packs hobby and 1 in 2500 retail. Or the rookie redemptions which are 1:517 hobby and 1:7232 retail
    I am collecting 13-14 Prizm Mike Kostka cards (9 of 14), 12-13 Black Diamond Quads (need #201). I will trade/buy/sell for any cool cards. Just ask!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjgardiner View Post
    Thanks. Just curious about the whole trading online thing. Keeping cards in mint condition are super important to me. Is it just assumed that everyone trading will have their cards in pristine condition unless noted or do you need to ask everyone what the condition is before trading?
    Most everyone now is concerned about condition. I keep my valuable cards in magnetic cases for the high value cards and my medium value cards are stored in toploaders/sleeves or 9 sheet pages/sleeves.

    Everyone trading should note any condition issues of their cards. You can also request scans of the cards. I find thicker patch cards tend to have some minor edge wear which I don't mind too much.

    Enjoy SCF. Best site there is to trade/buy/sell on! Most members are great to deal with and I've made friends online through this site.
    I collect MATS SUNDIN & NIKOLAI KULEMIN! Hidden Content (UPDATING)
    My Complete Kulemin Wantlist: Hidden Content
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  10. #10
    A couple of years ago I came back to the hobby after a 20 year hiatus as well. I would advise you to go slow, take a look around, and figure out what you like. It'll all be around next week, next month, or next year. It's very easy to start grabbing wax left and right, bust it, and then realize it's not what you ultimately want. I speak from first-hand experience. Of course over time your collecting tastes will change, but in retrospect I should have slowed down with wax purchases/group breaks when I first got back.

    Now that I know what I want and what I like, I have to remind myself at times that much of it will be around down the road. That can be challenging when a product is new, when print runs are very low, or a combination of both. I am working on one particular project that I continually tell myself will be a multi-year quest, but I still find myself jumping a bit quick at times at certain items.

    Have fun, and welcome back!
    Have you seen the other half??? Joe Sakic Captain-C 2/2
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