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  1. #1

    Player collectors, why do you collect?

    Alright guys, need some help. I just started player collecting about 2 months ago. I am a packer fan, a high school football coach and I played safety in high school. I wanted to collect someone I could relate too, was not too expensive, and someone who didn't have a ton of cards. I choose Morgan Burnett, safety from the Packers. He was a rookie in 2010, has 157 cards, and has been a solid starter for 3 years. I currently have about 40/157 cards. I am now running into a dilemma.

    I'm fairly young, 25, and I teach/coach. I have a 16 month old daughter and the only real debt I have is student loans and a house loan. I have not spent a ton on the 47 cards that I have, maybe 75.00, but I don't have any real "rare" cards.

    I find myself somewhat "cringing" every time I buy a more rare card that maybe cost me 8-12 bucks. I get a rush when i win the card and the card comes, but then the cards sits with the rest of them. I feel like I am player collecting to just simply have something to do.

    I guess what I am saying is I don't know if I am really enjoying it. If you ever met me, I am someone who if they are going to do something, does it to the extreme. Of course I would like to collect and have every single card Morgan has, but I know that isn't possible, and there is a member on who also collect him who has a head start on me. I feel like why do it if I am never going to achieve my goal.

    I guess I am just looking for advice from some of you who collect. Even as I go I don't plan on spending any more that 200-300 total on his cards, which isn't a ton, but I can't help but always think that that money could go towards something for my daughter. I know I can always resell, I just know there won't ever be much demand for him. I have sent a modest monthly budget of 25.00 and I think staying to that will help me.

    Have you ever reached this point in collecting? What have you done?


  2. #2
    dude you will almost never get every card of any player lol. That's the fun of it. Yes the cards sit there, but with your case I would say maybe broaden your collection just a bit. On occasion get a nice card that isn't his. Just a card that you like looking at. $25 month isn't much in regards to what you spend on your little girl. Maybe pick up a few low end cards of Burnett then get a nice card of a different packer player. Something you really like the look of.

    its hard to just collect one player for many reasons. Chasing cards you don't have is part of the fun. Usually you need some variety or it does get boring. For instance, tell yourself you are a packers collector. Your main focus is on one guy, but if you see something that catches your eye then get it. I'm a Texans collector. I recently have found some really good deals on Brandon Harris cards. I have picked up several in the last 2 weeks between $2-$5. Now it looks like I'm collecting him because I have so many lol. Overall they have been a nice addition to my collection.

    collecting is all about what's fun for you to collect. I think the biggest problem is you are having an internal struggle cause you can't do it how you naturally would which is go crazy with it lol. Once you get to a point you will notice what things you do like and can focus more on that. When you start getting a little more money you can up the amount you spend each month.

    usually you need some kind of variety with collecting. So there is always something new and different to look and and go for. Most rarely ever collect everything of one player then stop. I'm sure your collection would look nice with an extra Rodgers, Jennings, Mathews, nelson peppered here and there. Even things such as jerseys refractors and other nice looking cards that don't cost a bunch. It sounds kind of stupid, but for having a budget set on it that will help you feel you are getting more out of it and will make nice added additions to what you already have. You don't have to collect every card of one player in a certain amount of time. You just have to be happy with what you have. It can seem more like work if you are just going after one guy and looking at the same cards over and over.

  3. #3
    also try and buy some on this site. Go in the buying/selling section and make a thread for x amount for Burnett and packers. You have to watch some people here, but most will give you a good deal. If you can find better on ebay the go that route. But usually $25 in PayPal here can get you a nice little lot with anything from base cards to autos. You might be surprised at what some will offer you for the money.

    if you don't have PayPal its simple to set up. Best suggestion would be get a prepaid card to put you $25 in every month. Then link that to your PayPal account and you are set. Plus with the lots you can buy here you will save tons on shipping. Ebay shipping will eat you alive.

  4. #4
    Oh boy powell, we sound like we have a lot in common lol. Just like you, I am a bit of an extremist and have a son on the way. Due in January! Over the years I used to go out and drink quite a bit, and even was a hardcore gamer for years. It seems no matter what I do, it always leads to the extreme side of the spectrum. This leads me to card collecting. Now that I am a bit older, I've quit drinking (saved a lot of money with this one) and gaming. (I'm looking at maybe getting into Madden but that hasn't been decided yet. lol) I used to collect in the 80s-early 90s, and decided to get back into it. My wife and I bought a home so I am decorating my office/baby room with Packer memorabilia. This lead me to collecting after awhile away. The big thing I've noticed is the variety and cost of the cards. Packs are expensive, boxes are expensive, and even buying the singles online can be expensive depending on card.

    Morgan Burnett is solid and I'm happy to hear that you are PCing him! Good luck with it! My favorite player is Aaron Rodgers and I soon realized I'll never have every card of his and will never have an auto rookie card. I've been trying to get some game used cards but found myself spending more money that I should have been on those cards collectively. The first time you realize you will never reach your goal can be discouraging, but don't let it stop you! If you truly enjoy the game and collecting, then there are other goals to work towards. That is the great thing about the hobby!

    First, sure, this is money that could be spent for your daughter, but that goes for everything. You could limit your driving to cut down on gas costs to use for your daughter. You could cut down on food to put that money towards your daughter... I could go on. We are all human and need our own time and hobbies. It is what makes us unique and gives us some stability in the world. Even mothers need some quiet down time to focus on themselves. It is human nature. So if you enjoy collecting, and keep in it moderation, I wouldn't feel too bad about it. Now if you are using money to buy rare cards instead of paying the rent/mortgage, well, that could be a problem. :)

    Find other goals. This is what I have done. According to this site, Rodgers has over 2,200 cards. I will never ever be able to afford his auto rare rookie cards and even some of his game used jersey cards are pricey. That is why I made a smaller goal of just collecting his rookie cards. For the most part, these can be had for a cheap price ungraded. They also still have value and could increase over time. Maybe just focus on Burnett's rookie cards for now.

    Another option is to make your hobby something you and your daughter can enjoy together. What about collecting sets? This is something I've turned to. Instead of buying an unending amount of singles off EBay, I focused my energy into a smaller goal. I was born in 1976 so I am putting a set of Topps together from 1976. For the price of a good game used Rodgers cards I got a lot of 350 base cards for my 1976 card set. I have another son that was born in 2005 and am putting a set of Topps Bazooka together for him. My unborn son is due in January, and I will most likely put together some kind of set for him when the time comes. That way I can hand them down one day when they are old enough to enjoy it. I look forward to showing them the players from the year they were born. It would bring back some memories!

    Anyway, I encourage you to make smaller goals of maybe just rookie cards. Perhaps put a set together or a team set, such as the Packers from a specific year. The thing that makes this hobby great is there is not a set path to go down. You have freedom to put together anything you want. There is something for every price range. Just make sure you enjoy it!

  5. #5
    Some people have more fun chasing their goal than actually getting there. Nobody is realistically going to get every card of a person made unless they have a ton of money and the player has a small amount of cards. You collect to have fun because the chase is enjoyable. If not then don't do it.

    The problem with money might be because you are a Packers fan. There are a ton of Packers fans and they have deep pockets. If you were a collector of an unpopular team like the Jaguars you could probably snag great cards for less than you are paying for your player. In baseball Yankees stuff is ridiculously high but for a comparable player on a lesser team it is much much much less.
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  6. #6
    I know what you are going through. But if you say you are going to do something and do it to the extreme, then do so - but within reason.

    I wanted to collect Ichiro, but there are a couple of HUGE Ichiro supercollectors out there and hundreds more when I wanted to start collecting him in 2008. Yeah, that's pretty late. But I jumped in with both fists-a-blazin'! My tiny Ichiro collecton consists of a signed Mizuno bat, a signed baseball, his BBM Japanese rookie card, his Fleer rookie card, and an autographed card. Small collection, but I am happy with it. Each piece means something. If I had a bulk of his cards, quite a few would get lost in the shuffle. Think big and go for it! Maybe you just need to start off with a signed or game-used helmet of your player and see what happens after that. Sure, it might cost more than cards, but it would make a nice unique piece.

  7. #7
    When I got back into the hobby, I went nuts buying as many MJD's that I could find. After realizing I was a broke college student, I turned to two other players that I had liked, Colt Brennan and Ryan Moats. I'm in the same boat, I saw the big number and thought I needed to have 100% of the cards. I soon realized, the fun part of the hobby is working towards a goal, and finding those hard to get, but low end cards that add to your collection. I've also realized that I can't afford the higher end, low numbered patches and autos, or any autos really of MJD. However, for the same price as a real nice MJD, I can get 4-5 Ryan Moats that include autos, patches, or other cards.

    Others have suggested it, break your collection down to make it more enjoyable. You'll likely never have all of the cards, but you can still have fun collecting after you realize that. You're a Packer guy, so you're going to have a ton of competition for cards. Maybe go after a specific set of say blue refractors from 2011 of Packers players, or try to make a rainbow of a Packer player. Maybe you really liked LeRoy Butler, try to start a small PC of your favorite past Packer player. I'm a diehard Packers fan myself, but I know that if I started collecting a player and they left, I'd be frustrated. I have two very small PCs of Matt Flynn and Bryan Bulaga just so I have a Packer in my PC.

    This has turned out to a big ramble session, and I apologize. I was in the same boat as you with MJD. Knowing I couldn't afford or get all of his cards, I've since expanded to a few PCs. Moats and Brennan as mentioned before, Bulaga, Flynn (no longer collecting him), Kevin Walter (favorite PC to get additions for), Doug Baldwin, Matt Moore, Bernard Pierce, Ron Dayne and Tim Couch (both only if I need to beef of a deal or something). I've also begun the process of putting together the 1986 Topps set, year I was born. Very fun going back and looking at players I remember watching is a young child and hearing stories about others.

    There are plenty of things to do with the card collecting hobby, and it doesn't always have to be about cards. Game used items, auto'd photos, college memorabilia, and even action figures. Enjoy it, and don't be discouraged if you can't get all of his cards.

  8. #8
    My story is a bit like yours (played and coached football and collecting the player I idolized from the Packers) and as a Reggie White collector (going at it off and on for almost 10 years) on a budget I feel your pain spending big money on cards with a family, life etc. I'd love to have all the high end Reggie White autos and 1/1 cards, but at up to 200-300 bucks a card it ain't gonna happen. Even now, my collection is starting to slow down as what's left in my super collection is the rarer (and really expensive) cards, I still love the chase and searching ebay for missing cards for my collection. If you love collecting Burnett cards, give it your all! It doesn't matter if you have the most expensive collection, as long as you love it, it all that matters! I also from time to time just buy Packers base cards (from ebay and sellers here) and have them organized by player as a running team history which adds some enjoyment to my collecting. Collecting is supposed to be fun so do what makes it fun ... and good luck with your Burnett collection!

  9. #9
    You asked us why we collect who we collect but you didn't really tell us why you collect Burnett. Sounds to me like part of the reason you picked him was because he fit a couple of your categories for the cards but that's it. Not too many cards and not too expensive. That is not why you chose that player that is why you chose his cards (yeah you played safety so you can relate to that but why Burnett?) I only collect Packers (any Packers and only Packers) so I don't quite understand the player appeal to the fullest extent but the few non Packers players I would even consider collecting (Tim Brown, Chris Warren, Billy Simms, Curtis Martin, Edgerin James, Walter Payton, Larry Csonka) have nothing to do with their cards. Not the number of cards or the expense nor the availability. They are just players that I liked or respected for their activities on and/or off the field. The cards are just extensions of them. Kind of my way of paying tribute to them if you will. I know I'm not making myself clear but if you focus on the cards, either the expense or the volume or the likelihood of getting them all it takes the focus off the player. Once that happens you are not player collecting you are card collecting. I think that is why you get the feeling that you collect just to have something to do because in essence that is what you are doing. You have no real connection with the player. You more or less chose a player at random because he fit a few of your needs but you don't really have a reason to collect him. Is Morgan Burnett your favorite player? If so I really can't explain your feelings other than to say you may agree with me that spending a lot of money (a different amount for everyone but for me its more than a couple of bucks) is a waste and that is why you feel guilty. If he is not your favorite player why would you collect him? Just because he has fewer cards and they are cheaper? That makes no sense. If that is the case you are collecting just for to have something to do. So what if your favorite player has more cards than you could ever hope to get. So what if a lot of his cards are expensive. First of all if he is your favorite player it won't hurt nearly as bad when you spend that 8-12 bucks on him. Second of all if he is your favorite player it won't, or at least it shouldn't, matter if most of your cards of him are low end. You have to set your priorities and if spending 10 bucks on a card makes you cringe you are probably either spending out of your budget or spending outside your priorities. Those could be life's priorities (your daughter for example) or they could be hobby priorities (not your favorite player) Either way I'd suggest you take a careful look at why you are buying Morgan Burnett cards. Notice I didn't say why you collect cards because like I said, the right player may not cause you to have those feelings.

    Lastly, The sooner you realize that your goal of having every card of Burnett (or almost any player nowadays) is totally unrealistic the sooner you will start to enjoy the hobby more. The advent of the 1/1s or extremely low numbered cards is a large part of why I got out of the hobby back in the late 90's. My goal when I started was to own one of every Packers card made. I knew it was a very impractical goal but probably not impossible. With all the 1/1s and expensive low numbered cards I decided if I couldn't reach my goal what was the point. I quite for a while. After about 10 years I decided I missed collecting, I missed the Packers cards and I missed the camaraderie of the collecting scene. I refocused my attentions and I don't regret it one bit. That is not to say you still can't have that as your ultimate goal. In theory it is attainable (look at jaderock's Mark Brunell collection on trading card central, not every card but pretty darn close) but it is unrealistic. Focus on and be happy with the cards you can get and let the rest for someone else with more time, more money, fewer priorities and no life (that last part is a joke)

  10. #10
    I made the fortunate mistake of collecting my favorite quarterback, Troy Aikman, which I started when he was new. I was in and out of the hobby over the years and when I got back in he suddenly has over 5000 cards now. I kept collecting though because I could get lots of his cards cheap and as my collection and finances grew I would buy more and more expensive cards. I would say that I've probably now put $5000 to $7500 into my collection.

    Once I got to the point where it's rare to find his cheaper cards I found myself adding another couple collections (Ty Detmer and Jay Novacek) and now collect all three. They have come much easier and I already have at least half of their cards after only a few months of collecting.

    Finances really do dictate what you do and I think it's great some of these not as well known players are getting collected.

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