Who is this blog for?
I realize that there are about as many different types of collectors as there are parallels in Topps Chrome (too many and ever-expanding). However, the vast majority of collectors can be categorized within a few groups:
– Rippers & Flippers: These people enjoy the hobby, but are also focused on making a profit or at least breaking even with their hobby purchases. While they may miss out on some of the pure enjoyment of collecting due to their focus on profit margins, they serve a valuable function in the hobby by hosting group breaks and busting the wax that allows other collectors to the singles they desire so cheaply.
– Gamblers: These people are in the hobby solely to make a buck. Some utilize research methods that rival any Wall Street stockbroker. Others throw their money around with desperation akin to a drunk buying scratch-offs at a 7-11.
– Whales: These are the super rich collectors to whom the hobby is just another way to display their wealth. Many collected when they were young and truly love the hobby. Others see purchasing a perfect 10 Jordan XRC the same as purchasing a sports car or a bottle of rare wine. Regardless of their motivation, whales have needs and abilities far different from the average collector. (Though it can be quite fun to watch them bust twelve boxes of product looking for the case hit.)
– Addicts: For some people, collecting cards is just another area in their life in which they have lost control. They purchase cards they cannot afford, don’t need, or maybe even already have.
– Fans: These individuals are far more devoted to a team or player than to a brand. To them, collecting cards is just another means to display their loyalty along with their jerseys, helmets, ticket stubs, cable packages, and (often) tattoos. They like collecting, but they love their team.
– Purists: These collectors collect for no other reason than the enjoyment they get from hunting, trading, completing, organizing, and displaying their collections. They watch the games whenever they can, follow different players, and try to make sensible deals, but to them the hobby is neither a peripheral interest nor a profit mechanism – it’s just a hobby. And they love it.
– N00bs: Aside from those who began collecting prior to 1990, we’ve all been this collector at one point. This person is either just making their first foray into the hobby or (like me) rediscovering what they had once enjoyed as a child. These collectors are making an honest attempt to get their feet on the ground in a deceptively bewildering world. Things like PSA vs BGS, oncard vs sticker autos, shadowboxes, licensing wars, “event-worn” jerseys, and the realization that their thousands of 1990 Score cards are worthless can make their head spin. Their questions are often met with scorn on the message boards, but, with a little luck, they will meet more mature collectors who will show them the ins and outs of the hobby.
Now, with classifications out of the way, who is this blog for? What is its purpose? My goal is writing this blog is to provide resources and perspectives to ANY collector who wants to:
– Understand why they collect and why they collect what they do.
– Assemble a collection that they will always be proud to own and that their children, whether they collect or not, will recognize as something worth respecting.
– Assemble a collection that will have a lasting value beyond sentimentality. I dread the thought of someone spending thousands of dollars and countless hours putting together a collection that, twenty years later, they look at and realize that could now purchase the same cards for 1/100 the cost and effort – effectively negating all of the work they had put into it.
This is what I hope to accomplish with this blog. Understanding. Respectability. Value. A solid grasp of these three elements allows any collector to assemble a collection which they can guiltlessly show to their non-collecting friends and family without drawing the strange looks that often appear when someone discovers how much time and money we collectors often put into our collections.
– The Frenzy