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  1. #1

    Is there really anything wrong?

    Every few weeks I see a post on this board about the problems with this hobby. I usually read the posts and draw my own conclusions without posting. Well yesterday the topic came up in a conversation at the local card store and after I left I thought about it for a while.

    How is this hobby in trouble? It isn't!

    I think a lot of people confuse the hobby part of trading cards with the investing part of trading cards. Yes, you can be a mix of both, but if you are into the hobby part and you feel there is a problem with this hobby, then the problem is probably within you. You can either be 1 of 3 things when it comes to trading cards:

    1) A collector
    2) An Investor
    3) Both

    Here is the definition of hobby taken from dictionary.com.

    hob·by1 ( P )
    n. pl. hob·bies
    An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

    Pleasure in trading cards =P.......So if you aren't enjoying this hobby, either you have a problem, or the investor side of you is pissed off. You have to then decide if you are investing in your collection, or you are collecting your collection.

    I saw someone say in a previous post that the eBay is killing this hobby for card shops. That again is untrue, eBay is killing the investment of trading cards for card shops. While some card shop owners may collect cards, all they care about is getting and moving product. They want to make as much money from you as they can, as long as they sell you packs or singles then all is good. If a shop owner can't compete with eBay then they need to change or go out of business. Like any other business you have to change or be crushed.

    Now I can understand that when people trade they want to trade for equal book value of something. What I can't understand is people basing their trades on what eBay is selling for. I think eBay is a great place to buy stuff, but not a great place to compare. eBay is one marketplace, and to base the value of something off of that can be foolish. It is like going into Circuit City and buying the first TV you see without comparing it with other places. Example:

    My Jason Kidd Jersey has a book value of $10
    Your Kevin Garnett jersey has a book value $10

    But on eBay the Kidd only sells for $1.50 while the Garnett sells for $3 so now I have to throw in an extra $1.50 in cards to make up the difference, why?

    So then why don't you sell your Garnett jersey on eBay and then buy 2 Kidd jerseys? Doesn't make sense.

    Ok so Beckett is only a guide, but they are the top guide on the planet for cards. So why not base your trades on the best source. I personally could sell a $10 Kidd jersey for $15 because I live in NJ and am less then 5 miles from the arena. But if I could trade it for something I collect, I will let it go in a trade because the collector side of me wants to get the cards I want.

    I can understand a collector being upset with the high end prices of packs, but then again no one is telling you to buy those high priced ones. That is where eBay can be a gem, you can pick up cards from $50 packs and only spend $5. I notice a lot of player collectors doing that and they seem to be loving it.

    If you are an investor in trading cards and you are having problems dealing with high priced items and losing money to eBay, then you have to change your investment strategy.

    I do collect and I do invest, I collect sets and everything else I get is either up for sale or for trade. Occasionally I will buy a box or a few packs of things that I know are hot and can use as trade bait or that I can make a few bucks off of, but this in no way effects my hobby. I have learned to seperate the collector and investor sides of me. I can take players on the Nets, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Islanders and Devils and sell them between 10-50% of their value when I go to flea markets, that doesn't mean that I should put that value on the cards when I trade with someone in California.

    Bottom line is, if you aren't having fun collecting cards then stop collecting. No one is telling you to buy those expensive packs. Or you can stop eating $6 meals at fast food places and buy packs (someone said that yesterday at the store). This hobby is supposed to be enjoyable, so enjoy it.

    Dengar

    ALF

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  3. #2
    FYI: Beckett is anything but the best source. I don't think there's even a decent price guide out there.

    And yes, IMO, the hobby is in trouble. I don't have time to go into it but ever since jersey and autographed cards have become the base card the 'hobby' has changed drastically. There's very few people who view it as a hobby moreso than somewhat of a business these days.

  4. #3
    I love eBay for card collecting and selling. If it wasn`t for eBay, I`d have a bunch of cards here that I could only sell to a store owner for 1/10th. of the actual value, where as eBay can get me between 30-50% depending on what card/set it is. I also like beckett because wether you like it or not, most people use them as THE guide to pricing. Tuff Stuff is always months behind and their magazine stinks imo. But that is just my opinion.

    As far as my hobby collecting goes, everything is for sale. I also realize that timing in selling certain cards is key. There is no one player/team/set I collect. I just like to buy and sell to keep my interest going for now. I did enjoy set building for awhile but the hobby has expanded so much with all the parallel cards it isn`t feasible to do anymore so I just buy and sell it all. Losing money for the most part, but it`s basically cardboard with pictures(and some material and signatures on them), so they really aren`t "worth" anything. As long as there are other people out there who are willing to pay for these cards, I`ll keep playing with them for now.

  5. #4
    i agree also..it is all about competition..if you can't compete with the big boys get out!! the only gripe i have with ebay is(well one of the only see in my post lol ) is if i bring some carfds to my shop to sell,, the owner automatically goes to the computer and say's lets see what they are selling at..right then and there i say to my self..i am already at 25 to 35% of book now..after he checks ebay..it plummetts like a diving jet!!! and i do agree about one more thing a hobby is to be fun not frustrating..i guess some of us forget that from time to time...

  6. #5
    from a buyers perspective ebay is awesome...

    especially when using sniper services. wow, those things save even more $

    but ebay stinks for selling cards. the fees are too high and people wait til the last second.

    being a collector ebay has really helped my interest/involvment in the hobby grow. i wasnt doing much before ebay....

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dengar
    ...How is this hobby in trouble? It isn't!

    I think a lot of people confuse the hobby part of trading cards with the investing part of trading cards...

    ...I saw someone say in a previous post that the eBay is killing this hobby for card shops. That again is untrue, eBay is killing the investment of trading cards for card shops...

    ...Bottom line is, if you aren't having fun collecting cards then stop collecting. No one is telling you to buy those expensive packs. Or you can stop eating $6 meals at fast food places and buy packs (someone said that yesterday at the store). This hobby is supposed to be enjoyable, so enjoy it.

    Dengar

    ALF
    So true, so true, so true. So what if the investors/dealers wise up, find that sportscards aren't making money for them and go away? Then they'lly stop telling us that the hobby is in trouble. They stop buying sportscards and stop selling them to collectors for more than what they paid for them. Or they keep buying sportscards because they are now collectors. The card companies will keep producing product and collectors will keep buying the product. In other words, the hobby is not dependent on investors for its survival.

    Of course the reality is that we'll continue to see "the hobby is in trouble" posts and investors/dealers won't really go away. There's always a bunch of new kids on the block that think they have figured out how to profit from the hobby--most fail but very few actually succeed and have the cash in hand to prove it. I say good for them because I'm sure it takes conserable time and more than a little effort to succeed.

    Andy

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