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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Setting a Strategic Plan

    There is are seemingly few simpler questions than "Why do you collect?" and "What do you collect?" However, in rethinking my collecting strategy, I figured there was no better place to start that asking this of myself and reflecting on some honest answers. I was able to fill an entire sheet of bullets outlining the different players/sets/inserts I was chasing. I had become quite ADD about by purchases, needing to buy at least one box of every release and engaging on eBay flights of fancy, doing broad searches and making impulse buys on what caught my eye at the moment.
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    The biggest challenge in smart collecting is to keep your focus and control. Constantly remind yourself what your collecting goals are and how to achieve them. Well-run businesses usually set strategic plans to serve as a decision-making barometer. While I used to mock most management-theory, this is one area that has served me well professionally. Decision-making can often be clouded by human emotion and it helps to have objective criteria upon which to weigh options.

    In setting a strategic plan, my first recommendation would be to list out your collecting goals. These should be limited to your top priorities and should challenge you to drop at least a few of your pet projects to make you more effective in your more prized pursuits. In my case, I limited myself to three:

    1) Continue to cultivate my Giants PC
    2) Obtain one (no more no less) quality autograph for each non-Giants
    player I like
    3) Collect unique patches (distant third)

    By whittling down my priority list, I instantly freed up significant portions of my collection for trade. Duplicate autos of non-Giants players and incomplete insert sets. Understanding your goals is useful, but maximizing your collecting performance requires developing the roadmap to accomplishing your objectives. This "how" element should strive to maximize the purchasing power of your resources (cash + trade). I came up with several rules I would live by. Many of these will be expanded upon in greater depth in future articles.

    1) Buy singles only - no box breaking

    2) Look for value - Purchase AUs or Patches of any mid- top-tier player if priced considerably below-market

    3) Use your own values in trading - BV and SV are nice references, but it is possible to be smarter than the market. You won't always be right, but as an informed fan you'd be surprised how you can eke out a slight advantage.

    4) Go against industry buying trends

    5) Trade in-favor of a lesser number of higher-value cards.

    6) Set, and stick to, maximum values you will pay for cards.

    7) Periodically reassess your performance by looking back at purchases and trades against current comparables to see where you gained and lost value.

    Admittedly, I am only in week one of adhering to my own plan, but have seen vast improvement. In considering over-50 purchases, I applied my strategic plan, making offers/bids any time the buy would fit within my plan and refusing when it did not. Ultimately, I ended up only purchasing two. However, instead of spending $140 on a box of contenders, I spent $80 combined for two very sick cards of top 2011 rookies. I also managed to trade up much of my earlier box pulls for a couple on nice, select PC items.

    Yes, I miss busting boxes and have been sneaking off to watch YouTube box breaks late at night...vicariously delighting in the rare Cam Newton pull, but relieved that the glut of Jordan Todman cards are finally not coming my way.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    I think I am kind of the opposite when spending money because I don't trade and don't sell, unless I have duplicates, and card collecting is more about the hunt for me

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    See lugnut12mcisaac's Items on eBay

    Great article.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Blog Entries
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    TCC (89)
    Cincinnati Bengals New York Rangers NULL

    So two years later - how's it coming along?

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