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  1. #1

    Do you put cards in toploaders? A couple of other newbie questions...

    Just getting started with this, I helped my seven year old send off some letters the other day (to Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte) and we want to send out some more cards to request signatures on...

    1. Do you put cards in plastic toploaders when you send them out for signature or just stick them in an envelope without protection?
    2. Should we type or handwrite letters? Or does it even matter?
    3. What would you say is the average response rate from what you send out?
    4. Any tips to help us get a better response rate?

    Any help is appreciated, thanks!

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  2. #2
    1. Do you put cards in plastic toploaders when you send them out for signature or just stick them in an envelope without protection?

    No. Out of hundreds of cards back, only two or three have been seriously creased. You'll get some slightly dinged corners, but nothing noticeable. Cards are surprisingly stout when it comes to USPS abuse. Plus, I'm not getting sigs for profit, so I'd rather risk a slightly damaged but cool collectible instead of an autographed toploader.

    2. Should we type or handwrite letters? Or does it even matter?

    Definitely hand write. I've seen better success with hand written letters, plus it shows you care enough to take the time to write a letter.

    3. What would you say is the average response rate from what you send out?

    Good question. Not great, but enough to keep doing it. Also depends on if you're sending to the Harpers and Trouts of the world or low-level minor leaguers. The guys you would figure are getting slammed with mail and don't have time to respond, won't have time to respond. The unknown prospects in Bowman Draft are much more likely to respond. This is just my preference, but I focus primarily on minor leaguers with a few slam dunk major league and retired players. Better success, and you can sometimes get major stars before they stop signing.

    4. Any tips to help us get a better response rate?

    Have your seven year old write the letters. Translate on the back if necessary. Players are more likely to sign for kids - I know some of my best successes came many years ago when I was a youngster writing letters. Lots of Hall of Famers (Chipper Jones, Paul Molitor, Mariano Rivera, Greg Maddux, to name a few) that didn't have great success rates.

    Good luck!

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    Collecting all Topps Chrome base sets and Cleveland Indians
    Looking for 1998 Topps Tek Indians (Alomar, Thome, Lofton, Ramirez) - All 90 variations of each
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbluesd View Post
    Just getting started with this, I helped my seven year old send off some letters the other day (to Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte) and we want to send out some more cards to request signatures on...

    1. Do you put cards in plastic toploaders when you send them out for signature or just stick them in an envelope without protection?

    I personally don't, but I usually use penny sleeves. Keeps the card safe, and only a few guys will accidently sign the sleeve. If you use the TTM manager, I usually read through recent successes from the player. If they noted he signed the sleeve, then I don't use one.
    2. Should we type or handwrite letters? Or does it even matter?

    I always write my letters, it just shows that you really care.

    3. What would you say is the average response rate from what you send out?

    I usually receive about 80%, but I usually only send to guys who are proven signers. If you are like me, and do guys with a reputation, it will be good. If you are trying for big names, the success rate it REEEEALLY low.


    4. Any tips to help us get a better response rate?

    Just keep sending. Do research in the TTM manager, and you will live and learn.
    Any help is appreciated, thanks!

    If you want any help, just PM me.

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  4. Check out the deals at Bear Ridge Collectibles eBay Store
  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbluesd View Post
    Just getting started with this, I helped my seven year old send off some letters the other day (to Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte) and we want to send out some more cards to request signatures on...

    1. Do you put cards in plastic toploaders when you send them out for signature or just stick them in an envelope without protection?
    2. Should we type or handwrite letters? Or does it even matter?
    3. What would you say is the average response rate from what you send out?
    4. Any tips to help us get a better response rate?

    Any help is appreciated, thanks!
    Hi, good luck to you and your son. In answer to #1, no, I never put my cards in toploaders or penny sleeves, I take two 4x6 notecards, and tape one side of the notecards together, and put the trading cards in between them. This offers a modicum of protection, and every once in awhile, someone will sign the cards and a notecards or two as a bonus.

    For #2, this is one of the great debates in the TTM hobby. I handwrite every request I have ever sent, others type. I think handwritten is better, especially for the retired players, but I don't think there is a set rule.

    For #3, I have been tracking TTMs that I send out since 2007, and here are my stats:
    Requests Successes Failures Waiting Percentage
    BASEBALL TOTALS 1137 624 251 262 54%
    BASKETBALL TOTALS 291 185 76 30 63%
    FOOTBALL TOTALS 529 342 117 70 64%
    HOCKEY TOTALS 129 80 35 14 62%
    OTHER SPORTS TOTALS 89 68 7 14 76%
    Grand Total:
    ALL REQUESTS 2175 1299 486 390 59%

    This includes 'sure-things' and 'long-shots', retired players and current players, majors and minors, etc.

    For #4, I would start with some of the players that you can see in the TTMM are currently signing. I'm not saying to send to everyone who is signing, but rather those you and your son are fans of. Try to stick with lower-tier players instead of superstars.

    Good luck!

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    Working on autographed 1987 Topps Baseball set:
    Total Cards in Set:792/Total Autographable: 760 (6 Checklists, 26 Team Leaders)
    Total Autographed:605!
    Currently Sent (Outstanding):71
    Percent Complete:79.6

  6. #5
    Great answers, thanks for the help! Do you guys get long winded with your letters or do you basically cut to the chase and say "Hey, I'm Joe, I collect signatures, would you mind signing a couple of cards for me?"?

    - Blue

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  7. #6
    No more than half a page. Usually two or three sentences saying why you enjoy watching the player and the team, one line asking for a signature, one line thanking him for taking the time to sign.

    Occasionally I'll go longer if I met the player and he was cool or if he's a long-time member of my favorite team, etc., but typically, a shorter note is better in my mind.

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  8. #7
    with my letters I usually do 3 short paragraphs which never totals more than 1 page. usually an introductory paragraph thanking them for taking the time to read the letter, the 2nd paragraph I usually talk about being a fan or congratulating them on something that recently happened (breaking a record, getting drafted, big game, winning an award, etc) and the last paragraph I wrap it all up asking them if they would please sign the items I sent adding that they may personalize them if they like. I also add in a thank you in advance for signing the items and then sign it.

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