UD Volunteer Alliance Members Share How to Collect
Posted On 19 Jan 2012 / 0 Comment
For new collectors coming into the hobby, it can be a little overwhelming to learn things most savvy collectors are well versed on like how to list a card on eBay or how to make the most of attending a trading card show. Luckily for those collectors who are still a little green, Upper Deck’s Volunteer Alliance has come up with some great tips on how to become an expert on several key aspects of the hobby. Take a look to learn if you are new or for a refresher if you are a seasoned pro.
How to Have a Good Time at a Trading Card Show
Wear Comfortable Shoes – I can't stress this enough. If you're going for any decent amount of time make sure your feet and knees are covered. Cement floors can be brutal on your feet and knees.
Don't Use the "E" word –Nothing makes a dealer more upset than saying, "It only sells for $X on ebay". If you don't like their price, counter offer with something your comfortable with, offer a trade or just move one. You're less likely to upset dealers that way. Most are willing to work with you anyways.
Redeem Yourself – We all buy boxes, but how often do we get free cards with them? If you're debating on buying a box a week before the show, you might be better off waiting until the show to get your freebie from the card manufacturers. They routinely offer special items for purchasing boxes at some of the bigger shows so make sure you check out their websites or blogs before to see what they are offering and when.
Mingle – Be sure to say hi to new and old friends. It's a great opportunity to talk about the sport and hobby with others that share your interest. Make lots of friends, you never know when they might pull that key card you've been hunting. Also, if a card manufacturer is in attendance, make sure to talk with the folks there. If you ever have an issue with their products it is good to know someone on the inside.
Sunday Bargains – Not all dealers, but a lot are desperate to move cards or product on the last day of the show. If a dealer was asking too much on Friday, you might want to hit him up on Sunday. I've been lucky at quite a few Expo trips with dealers that were more willing to deal after a card sat in their case an entire weekend.
Cash is King – Make sure you bring plenty of cash with you as most dealers do not take credit cards and you don't want to be stuck in the ATM line paying extra fees.
Want Lists, Pen and Paper – You will find lots of dealers with thousands of cards. Nothing's more frustrating than seeing a card and not being able to remember if you need it or not. Or worse yet, buying it and realizing you already had it when you got home. Also, make notes on what table had what card in case you want to revisit the dealer after checking out other tables.
Bag or Backpack – Even if you are not planning on buying a lot, make sure you plan to have something to carry items with in case you see some things you just have to have. You’ll want to bring something that allows you to carry any pickups comfortably.
Trade Bait – Depending on what a dealer's interests are, you can sometimes work out great deals for your personal collection by having items you are willing to trade. Make sure to bring items of the home teams for the market you are in as dealers can flip those pretty quickly at the show so they are desirable to them.
Eat & Relieve Yourself Elsewhere – Trading card shows are notorious for having terrible food and getting indigestion (or worse) is not conducive for walking the floor. Plan on grabbing something to eat before and after you hit the show instead of at it. You’ll thank me. Additionally, next to the terrible food are the terrible restroom facilities you will normally find at shows. Make sure you go to the bathroom before or after you hit the show. You’ll definitely thank me for that!
How to List a Card on e-Bay
Listing a card on e-Bay can be a little intimidating. But take a little time to get set up with an account on e-Bay and PayPal and you will be ready to turn your unwanted cards into cash for new boxes. Just follow these tips:
Why I Collect
Every collector is different and it is important to ask yourself what your goals are for your collection. Check out what this collector has to say about why he collects:
How to Display Your Collectibles
Once you have your cards, what do you do with them? Our friends at UltraPRO have some great tips, but check out how this collector does it:
How to be an Upstanding Member of an Online Sports Card Community
Collecting nowadays is great because the internet helps bring the community aspect of collecting anywhere you go with a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. However you cannot just join a community and expect to immediately be embraced by all the collectors. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of being a part of an online community:
Make an Introduction – Most online forums will have a section dedicated to just introduction posts. Tell them your name, where you're from, what your favorite teams are, who you collect and throw in one or two interesting facts about yourself. This will make people interested in who you are as a person and not just as a collector.
Personalize Your Posts – Make a banner to put in your personalized signature and add an avatar. These are pretty easy to create and can add a lot of character to your online persona. People see this every time you make a post, so make sure it is a decent representative of who you are. You can generally find a decent avatar just from a quick Google search and there are usually several members of an online community that make banners for people, just ask around.
Make a Trade List/Want List – People want to know what you collect and more importantly, what cards you possess they might need. Scan everything. A description of a card won't entice people into making a deal with nearly as much as a clear photo of the card itself. Scans just look nicer than photos.
Contribute – There are almost always sections that are dedicated just to talk about the actual sports and what's going on there. Tell people what you think of a particular topic. Give a strong opinion and do it often. Contribution to discussion is what really makes a website into a community.
Trade, Sell and Buy – Get involved in all aspects of the business with your community. Instead of having to pay fees through e-Bay or other auction sites, you can save money by dealing directly with other collectors who are willing to trade, sell or buy at a fair price.
Understand Values – Beckett prices are a reference. Many people are fed up with how they price cards and will likely look at other sources to tell what a card is worth. E-Bay prices are traditionally the lowest the card will go for because most often the sellers are looking to get money quick and not exactly what the card is worth. Ask members of the community if you have a question about what something is worth.
Make Quality Posts – Make sure your posts are worthwhile. Nobody wants to see you post "Nice card!" on every single post. As long as your post has meaningful content, your contribution will be appreciated and you will blossom into a successful member of the community. Re-read what you are about to post before you submit it. Even though you didn’t mean it to, some posts can come off as rude and that is a sure way to get in hot water with a community. Be courteous, even if others are not doing the same. Kill them with kindness and others will come to your aid.
Ship Shape – Shipping is key! Make sure your cards are always in penny sleeves, top loader and team bag. Don't use tape, this ruins the holder. Don't use envelopes. Padded or bubbled mailers are a must!
Do Onto Others – Try and help other people out instead of just looking for what you can get from the community. Perhaps it is helping a member find a card they are looking for or helping to make them a banner, always try to do something to give back. Also if you are having trouble with a member or are unsure of something, ask someone! Most members are happy to help other members.
Knowledge is Power – READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE! Not knowing the rules is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and can get you banned from the website very quickly. Know what is and what is not allowed. I didn’t know is not a good excuse.