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Thread: To all 1000+ player collectors

  1. #1
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     Kyouk20
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    To all 1000+ player collectors

    Question to all you player collectors who have over 1000 cards of your guy, with so many current players and retired superstars/hofers having thousands and thousands of cards to chase what do you go after and how do you go about it? Do you give yourself a sort of "allowance" to spend over a given period or is there anyone out there that actually has self control and just picks what they really like.
    With my Tim Wakefield collection slowing down, because there just isn't much left I don't have, I have spent more time, effort and money on my craig biggio collection. When I started I had the idea that I would go by year, not moving on until I had "most" of a year before going to the next. I'm approaching 800 cards with no more than 50ish of those after 2000. I'm only missing 100 or so up until 97. For me this has been a different way to go about things and I've found it fun, more challenge along the way rather than leaving those ridiculous ones all for the end.
    The bigger challenge for me is self control, I make a comfortable living and for the most part my wife doesn't hassle me over my hobby, but even still there are some purchases I make that I second guess if it was the best decision.
    So, before I get even longer winded, how do you go about your larger player collection?

  2. #2
    Junior Member EtherealSOC's Avatar
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    Personally I look for bargains. There's a limit to everything, but once I find a card I still need (which is no small task - there aren't many left) I consider the price that this card has been selling in recent years. If I can nab one for less than market value, I'll buy it. If I can't, I'll let it go. Sometimes though, I'll pay several times book for a card I haven't seen more than once or twice.

    Some examples: the 1993 Finest Refractor. I wanted this card for twenty years and had many chances to get it for over $100 but I passed every time. I had trades worked out that fell through, but I was persistent. A few years ago one was listed with a BIN of $75 and I bought it right away. Very happy to have crossed this off my wantlist, especially at that price.

    There are the buybacks that Leaf has started putting out - 1991 and 1992 Leaf cards that are signed and inserted into new product. They're usually very limited - /23, /5, /1, for instance, but they're still 1991 and 1992 Leaf which are just 10 cent cards. Even signed copies are only worth about five bucks, but put a silver stamp and serial number and they're suddenly $100. So, I don't go after those unless they are a crazy good price - I picked up the 1991 Leaf for $19.99 last year.

    On the other hand there are my white whales - cards that I never seem to see anywhere - that I would gladly over-pay for. These include the 1992 Star Ad card, 1995 Lykes, 1995 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 8x10, and the 1997 Durham Bulls to Braves. In each of these cases the card only books for between $1-$5 and I would gladly pay $25 to land any of them.

    So, ultimately, the choice is up to you. my advice is to find what you value and chase that, and try to be responsible with your spending. Definitely make and stick to a budget. Look for items that enhance your collection beyond just the money value - cards that make it more appealing and satisfying for you to have in your collection.

  3. #3
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    I gave up chasing the 2000+ years of Chipper Jones maybe 8 years ago. Sold a good % of those cards to a fellow collector that didn't have them (made his day). I focused on 90s only. When it got slow I started to submit some cards to PSA. I now have a near complete 90-94 PSA 10 set as well as my raw card collection that goes through 1999. Picking up oddballs and variations along the way helps fill the void of empty searches, but they aren't cards I need to have.

    Oh, hey, what's self control???

  4. #4
    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    I'd like to have everything but realistically, that's not gonna happen. A long while back I was after everything. Now that I have a nice chunk of it and the remaining cards I still need are pretty tough to find, I will buy them if they pop up but going after everything keeps the train rolling as it were. So while nothing older(pre 2006) that I need pops that often, or does at times but goes for higher than I'd like, I still have new releases to chase. In some cases that sucks because the newer stuff all tends to be rare. So it's all expensive. What I do is just buy what I can afford and what I know I won't see again and the rest I buy as I can. But I try not to worry about it.

    I think both Topps and Panini have done wonderful and nightmarish things to player collectors. They've almost simultaneously created a way to over spend on cards that will assuredly be worthless in the near future or, at the least, be worth a hell of a lot less than you paid for it, while helping collectors get what they want. With them creating auto and patch cards of every player imaginable and not leaving any retired player alone, they've helped and hurt. I used to want an auto of every player I collected. Now I can have very nice and appealing autos of said players for a heck of a lot less than I ever imagined. HOF, current(although a bit pricier), or just fan favorite. Doesn't matter.

    What that has done for player collectors specifically is it's created a never ending(even if your guy retired) wheel of new releases, each trumping the next in both price and looks. And if you are dedicated, you'll buy the stuff that is rare and you won't see again. You say to yourself "Yes! I got it". Only to find out the next release has something even better. To the point of where you are wondering where it will finally stop. And for the basic autos or the stuff that is not low numbered to the point of absurdity, they are dropping in price fast. I've noticed this with several players. Including the guy I collect. I've also noticed it trickle to the older autos put out during playing years which used to carry a bit of a premium, especially if the guy didn't have too many autos to begin with. Not on all releases. But on quite a few.

    It's fun to "collect" right now. It's also easy to over spend. My opinion is just determine what you want to go after and head in that direction. There's not really a wrong answer.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

  5. #5
    Senior Member BiggioBrooks755's Avatar
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    I dont really like spending money and dont have alot of it to spend on cards anyway but I love going after year by year..I am down to about 20 or so to complete 1988-1997..but some of them I have never seen...so I go after what I can
    RoncalliJetsForever9096822
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  6. #6
    Junior Member westusmc's Avatar
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    I'm still in the growth phase of collecting Barry Larkin. I started the year with 300ish cards that I got back in the 90s and I'm up to about 1,060 now. I've been going for quantity over rarity but it's getting harder to find lots of cheap cards I don't have from 1 location so I'm starting to put myself on an allowance and am adding the $3-5 cards to my orders where I had only been getting the cards under $1. I'll reevaluate soon and I may start going after specific cards that I like the looks of. I agree with the previous poster about all the new stuff coming out. I do find all the new super rare cards coming out a little ridiculous. I haven't been sucked into buying any of them yet.
    On the lookout for Barry Larkin cards I don't have, specifically 1998 Topps Tek.
    Currently at 1,977 unique Barry Larkin cards.

  7. #7
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    When it comes to my Alex Rodriguez collection, [MENTION=1742]predatorkj[/MENTION] probably said it best, "I'd like to have everything but realistically, that's not gonna happen." I gave up collecting Alex's cards from years 2000 to present probably 10-12 years. It just got out of control. Too many cards were being printed to keep up. My player collection now consist of his cards from 1993-1999. I like to think I have a pretty decent collection of his cards from those concentrated years but the chances of getting everything seems to be impossible. So many different cards were printed in such limited quantities. Knowing I won't ever get everything from those years makes my buying decisions easier. I set my purchase price limit and once it has passed my philosophy changes from, "I really would like to own that card and cross it off my want list" to "I haven't owned it for 15-20 years already so why not wait a little longer".
    I NEED 1990s INSERTS AND PARALLELS OF A-ROD. THANKS
    My 1997 A-Rod most wanted
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    Any UNREDEEMED AUTO card from 1997

  8. #8
    Junior Member DonnieBaseball's Avatar
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    I pretty much collect mattingly cards through 2000. After that it got out of control with the number of cards and all of the low numbered ones.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Senior Member ASTROBURN's Avatar
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    I cant afford all the new stuff that comes out, and even if i could, there is still a bunch of older items i would rather have instead. While other collectors are nabbing up all this new product, i get excited over stuff from 2005, or when a parallel from a mid 2000s set shows up that i didnt know existed. I love His Playoff cards as well. So, for me, certain items get my attention, while a slew of others just go under my radar. Cant get em all.

  10. #10
    Member banjar's Avatar
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    What he said.

    Some new stuff is cool and I will chase after it, but mostly it's just a nonstop stream of expensive issues and parallels....for a player that retired 10 years ago. So I usually just get the lowest-priced card of a rainbow to have as an example in my PC. But it's different for cards during the playing career. I'll never have them all, but will keep trying. No rush though. When things come along that are too expensive, I am getting much better at letting them pass.

    But on the other hand I still get a charge when I find some 2000's parallel, or 90's oddball that I never knew existed. Especially cheap ones like the 1997 Hershey's Orioles team card I found yesterday on Beckett for like $5. NEVER heard of that set, and even google has very little info about it. Almost broke my keyboard in my haste to buy that thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by ASTROBURN View Post
    I cant afford all the new stuff that comes out, and even if i could, there is still a bunch of older items i would rather have instead. While other collectors are nabbing up all this new product, i get excited over stuff from 2005, or when a parallel from a mid 2000s set shows up that i didnt know existed. I love His Playoff cards as well. So, for me, certain items get my attention, while a slew of others just go under my radar. Cant get em all.

  11. #11
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    I agree with astroburn. The older issues are much more appealing to me then the new releases. After 2007, Bonds didn't have any new releases again til last year when Panini began including him. I've picked up quite a few of his new releases but am much more excited to go for cards during his playing career. I know I can't get them all but I've been steadily collecting him since '98 so I've made a lot of progress! I still enjoy the chase just as much as I did back then. Keep plugging away!
    Barry Bonds PC 5,000+ different and counting! Check out my Barry Bonds Collection on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/weight333

  12. #12
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     bigdcardinals
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    I collect by years I try and sell a few cards to raise some money on eBay and then when I have some money in my PayPal I start with cards I need from his first year and on up. I try and buy the cheaper cards first and once in awhile if I see a must have card I just go and get it. I have each year in separate binders to make it easier to get thru

  13. #13
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    You have to pick certain years and go from there. Now with how many variations they make of the new sets I would not even want to think how I would collect a new player just way too many cards now. Collecting is supposed to be fun when they make 1000 cards per player just isn't fun. Then tack on all those 1 of 1's and all the other low number cards you have to be crazy rich to get every card now. Either way good luck in your collection.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hawk8's Avatar
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    Get it all!
    Want to buy anything Andre Dawson - Twitter @The8Hawk8
    159,911 Total Cards, 4,181 Different Cards, 1,098 Autographs, 355 1/1s, 174 RCs, 373 Graded, 187 Packs, 6 Buttons, 1,282 Mem Cards, 2,666 SN Cards
    28 Cameos, 206 Mentions, 337 Checklists
    Also collecting Drew Brees with my son

  15. #15
    Member bigunitcards's Avatar
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    Naturally, to each their own as we all have unique budgetary constraints & the players we collect have different hobby presences, but these are some things I (try) to go by as I approach 5,000 RJ cards:

    - decide what kind of cards of your player you like best & worst, and go after them according to that scale. So for me, I love tek/refractors, on card autos & 90s inserts. I detest buybacks, sticker autos & dumb stuff like '05 leaf exhibits. That's not to say I wouldn't buy any of those, I just wouldn't pay hardly anything. Put the cards you don't have into subgroups & focus on a handful of them, money-wise - pay up when you really want it & only pay if you know it's a steal when you don't. A lot of this has to do with knowing your market values, which most people who have 1000+ cards will have a solid grasp on.

    - don't let dry spells in your collecting make you buy stuff you wouldn't have otherwise. After 3 years back in the hobby I've done this too many times. When you have 80%+ of your guys cards, there will be weeks/months where nothing new pops up. I've fell into traps of buying bulk lots of common cards, hoarding rookie cards, buying wax/group breaks etc. It's so hard to learn to not do that. When your watchlist, bidding & purchased lists are all empty for 2 weeks straight you just gotta find a way to hold back & know a windfall of stuff you actually need is coming.

    - never buy newly released base & parallel cards that aren't super-rare the first week(s). If I go on COMC & look at last year's Triple Threads base & parallels, I can get 4 of them for under $1.00. No reason to pay $2 + $3shipping the first week just to have them - they'll be there in a few months on the cheap.
    Randy Johnson Collector!! 5,506 Unique Cards & Counting.
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