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The Different Types of Traders

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Wherever you go, there will be groups of people who seem to act the same. Be it your work, your school, or your old-person’s home, you will notice a trend in how we act. On Sports Card Forum, I’ve noticed the exact same thing.
There are a few categories people on SCF are placed in. The first is,
[B]The Newbie[/B]
The newbie is quite an interesting collector. One way you can tell which category someone is in is how they check a bucket or photo album. When a newbie checks a bucket, often they have a list of cards that they like which happens to have almost every card in that members bucket. Newbies are often attracted to game used jersey and patch cards, as well as sticker autos. The concept of a piece of the athlete’s uniform in a card is unheard of to the newbie, causing them to buy off your junk game used for more than they are worth. Same with sticker autos. “Topps Certified Autograph” on a silver sticker creates an awe-aspiring appeal to the newbie collector. They usually don’t have many cards, so mostly these end up as sales. They are pretty much clueless on most of the aspects of card collecting, sending in plain white envelopes or cards unprotected by toploaders in a bubble mailer. They are very easy to convince that they are getting a good deal, for example, “No, no, no, back in the 1950s cards were massly overproduced. They’re worth nothing. In the 1980s, we all forgot about card collecting and just used them in our bike spokes. So since my cards are much more valuable, would you mind trading that 1957 Frank Robinson of yours for my ten cards from 1987 Donruss? You’re getting ten cards and I’m getting only one!” The newbies response; “Well, I am getting ten cards and you’re getting one and since mine isn’t worth anything anyway, I guess I will. Is it okay if I send in a plain white envelope?”
From my experience, the newbie trader always overvalues jersey and patch cards. Be it baseball, football, basketball or hockey, they always have a few bad purchases before they get their act together and figure out what’s going on.
[B]The Lowballer[/B]
Now that we are out of the newbie category, we come into a grouping of a much different type of traders. Lowballers often feast on the newbies, as you saw in my example above. They use several tactics to get good deals, often dishonest.
The most often used of this is eBay prices. Now, some people don’t know how to check previous prices on eBay, which is the case for the newbies. The lowballers can easily quote untruthful eBay prices and if the other trader doesn’t check them himself then they will just get ripped off. Other methods can be used as well. “This card is on eBay for $100 while yours just got $90 for it. So how about it?” What this lowballer is doing is quoting “Buy It Now” prices, usually inflated compared to actual purchase costs.
The lowballer will have lots of unresponded to private messages, as when an experienced trader gets lowballed they often don’t even reply. That is what makes this method unproductive, as you will end up with more enemies than cards.
[B]The Moneymaker[/B]
While not unlike the lowballer, who is trying to get a good deal, the moneymaker couldn’t care less about who the player on the card is, just the value. He’s in this hobby to make money and frequents eBay to sell and buy cards. He will only do high-end trades or trades worth the shipping. Anything that he doesn’t make money on is a waste, not worth his time. He uses many different web site for trading, buying and selling, to get the most value for what he has or doesn’t have. He isn’t afraid to spend money, often paying thousands of dollars for cards he thinks he can make a profit on.
[B]The Player/Set Collector[/B]
This type of trader is almost an exact opposite of the moneymaker. They are in this hobby to collect a player or set, not to make money. They might give much more valuable cards, for one of a certain year or athlete. Money is not an issue as you can see, as all that matter is they get some certain cards. The hardcore player and set collectors are always interested in trading for something of their favorite player or set, even if it is only one base card.
[B]Mr. Conservative[/B]
Mr. Conservative is an odd man, always unsure, never completing a trade. He will have a low amount of trades, as he is never sure if he should do one. He may back out of trades often, as well as reject almost any offer. He mostly just hangs onto his cards, not quite ready to trade them. He could still have some newbie in him, not knowing the value and unsure about it or he very well may be an old trader who just can’t give up a card. Mr. Conservative is very unproductive as a trader and has to change his ways for any success.
[B]Mr. Liberal[/B]
Just so you know, we aren’t talking about politics here, but the various types of traders. Mr. Liberal will basically figure out how to do any trade and will do it even if he loses value. He is a feedback hound and getting trades done is all that matters. His trade count will be high and his purchases may be high, because as he loses money he has to buy more. Being Mr. Liberal is great if you have an unlimited amount of money, but most of us need to preserve as much or our money as we can.
Many of us will fit into each of these classifications at certain times. Sometimes you may lowball, once in a while you might Mr. Liberal it and maybe you could be the Player/Set Collector or Moneymaker too. However, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this hobby together, for the love of sports and these little pieces of cardboard.


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    Sports Card Forum provides sports and non-sports card collectors a safe place to discuss, buy, sell and trade.

    SCF maintains tools that will allow collectors to manage their collections online, information about what is happening with the hobby, as well as providing robust data to send out for Autographs through the mail.

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