The 5 RULES of Sports Card Collecting (Do These If You Want To Be GREAT)
April 29, 20216 min read
We all want to have the most positive experience collecting sports cards. No one wants to be miserable or stressed out. Collecting what you love and buying within your budget are no brainers. But here are 5 things you MUST do to have the best time of your life collecting cards.
#5 You MUST Give Freely of What You Know
At some point in the hobby another collector helped you. Whether that was a tip on a player or a specific card, or helped you avoid a buying mistake.
Maybe they helped you inspect your cards on your 1st ever grading submission or picked up some retail product for you at Target.
You haven’t gotten to where you are right now without help. None of us have.
Now that you have gained some experience in the hobby you MUST share that knowledge freely with others. I’m not talking about giving away all your secrets. However, if you see a new collector coming into the hobby asking the same type of questions you did when you were new, it is your DUTY to help them. You don’t need to help everyone, but when you have the opportunity to, I would suggest that you do.
This is one of the main reasons I created this YouTube channel as a way for me to freely share the knowledge I have gained.
When you share knowledge without any strings attached, a sense of purpose and connection to others appears out of nowhere. You will be amazed how much your life and experience in the hobby improves when you do that. It is that connection that continues to make the sports card hobby stronger every day.
#4 You MUST Be Positive on Social Media
No one likes a negative Nancy. How many times have you seen someone ask a legit but silly question they didn’t know the answer to, only to get ridiculed by others? ALL THE TIME. Or someone asks in your favorite Facebook group “how do I find a value for this card?” Then everyone at once gets angry because they all know the answer, eBay.
How do you think that person feels when they get bombarded with all that negativity? Will that make them want to ask another question? Will that make them want to stay in the hobby? Probably not.
The old saying is truer now than ever since everyone can see what you post. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.” It is quite amazing to see grown adults arguing on social media about sports cards in a negative way and calling each other names. Why would people choose to spend their time doing that?
Have you ever noticed the people that are the most popular in these groups are the ones that provide the most value to others? Whether that be deals on cards or knowledge about the hobby. People flock to that person or always tag them if a question comes up that no one knows the answer to. Be that person. The one that is positive and actually provides value to the hobby, not one that sucks all the energy out of the room. After all, being negative is extremely physically and mentally tiring. Being positive and helpful is a lot less work. Think of all the time you will save by not wasting energy on negative things in the hobby.
#3 Your Collection MUST Do Good For Others
Having an awesome sports card collection and not sharing the benefits of it with anyone else but yourself really limits the impact your collection can have on you and others.
Let me give you a quick example.
Your Mom is having a procedure done at the hospital and can’t afford the medical bill of $2,000. She really needs to have this done but is reluctant to due to the cost and is afraid to ask for financial help from family. How many of us have a parent just like this? The last thing a parent wants to do is ask for money from their child.
You have a $2,000 card in your collection that can be sold today and pay for your Mom’s procedure. What do you do? I would suggest selling the card to pay for that procedure.
Sports cards come and go and most likely at some point you can buy that card again. You will be amazed at the amount of positivity that will flow into your life when you do what you know is right, even if it is a hard decision.
In my life, I have been in situations where I thought I was giving up a ton to help someone, only to finally see all the benefits that came my way years later and realizing I actually came out way ahead. I’m not talking about financially, but in improved relationships and spiritually.
Selling that $2,000 card to help your Mom will do WAY MORE for you and your family than keeping it in your collection. You may not see all the benefits immediately, but they will be plentiful down the road.
#2 You MUST Take a Break From The Hobby Every Once in a While
This doesn’t have to be a long break, could be a few weeks to a month or even a year. Taking a break from the hobby gives your brain a break. Thinking about who’s going to be the next hot prospect, what cards are undervalued, what will be the next hot set to take off, this can all be very exhausting.
When I take a break from anything in my life and come back to it later, I have a new found perspective and appreciation for it.
Let me give you a quick example.
I remember I use to train in Olympic weightlifting. Still do, just not competitively. I would train 5 days a week for up to 3 hours in a session. Snatch, clean and jerk, squats, presses. Mostly compound movements that put a huge strain on my body.
Every 6 months or so we would take an entire week off from training. At first, you are sort of pissed because you think you aren’t getting better by not training. Quite the opposite happens.
Not only does your body get a chance to recover, but mentally you get a break from constantly thinking about weightlifting.
During that week, mental clarity becomes clearer, the body finally feels “normal” again. When I would come back to training, I had a new found excitement about the future of my training. I felt reenergized and ready to train at 100%. That break was just what I needed to continue the process of getting as strong as possible. The body doesn’t get stronger while training, only in the recovery phase does long term strength actually occur.
Taking a break from sports cards will give you a new perspective on your collection, maybe give you insight on something you never thought of. It will also reenergize you to continue collecting. Everyone needs breaks, there is no shame in admitting that or taking one.
#1 You MUST Support a Local Card Shop
Running any business is tough. Especially in the internet age when almost anything can be found online. Sports card shops have had their ups and downs in the past decade. Many have closed, however, some are finding a resurgence and have become very successful.
When I was a kid, one of the highlights was going down to the local card shop. I remember riding my bike down there in the summer time as fast as I could with my buddies. I could not wait to get inside right when they opened to check out the latest Beckett and see what my cards were worth, hoping one day a card would be worth $10. Do some trading with other kids. Maybe scrounging up a couple bucks at the house to pick up a pack or two. We would spend hours there if our parents let us.
Don’t you want other kids to have that same experience? I know I do. That’s why it is so important to support a local card shop if you are lucky enough to have one in your area. You don’t have to go in and buy expensive hobby boxes, maybe buy some supplies or some singles. You don’t even to buy anything. Just share with your social media followers that there is a local card shop in your area, help spread the word. Everyone can do something to support them.
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