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Doing things the right way may not be worth it

smapdi

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
4,272
A resolution I made this year was not to go into debt to purchase cards. For decades now I've been thinking "Buy first, pay later," thinking if I make a significant purchase I would then sell some of the dross in my collection to pay for it. That rarely happened. I'd buy something, then only sometimes would I get around to listing a few things that might sell or might not, and come nowhere near the price I paid, anyway. So I would accumulate debt and eventually pay it off after lots of interest charges accrued.

This year, I vowed to limit what I buy to what I really, really wanted. No more impulsive $5, $10, $20 cards that are neat but wouldn't really fit into a larger whole, something that the hobby allows me to feel. Further, and more importantly for this story, I'm not buying anything I'd have to put on credit unless I sold stuff first. This worked find for the first 29 days of the year. There was a card I've been really, really wanting sitting on ebay for $1000, closer to $100 with shipping and tax. It was a 1/1, which I knew made waiting risky, but it had been there for a little while already, maybe no one wanted it. I hunkered down at my scanner and started listing stuff. I accepted offers I had previously rejected. By the end of this weekend's listings, I'll be up to almost $800. So close. But this morning I looked at MyEbay and saw the object of my affection had been sold.

This sucks. It was the first thing I've been really excited about in this hobby in quite a while, the idea that this thing could be mine if I'd just gone ahead and broken my resolve. I am irritated with myself for not being weak and going into debt for even a month or two until my sales caught up. It is backwards. This hobby screws you up.

But now I have a decent chunk for whatever my next obsession is, or was. I've got 2 cases of Heritage coming, which I preordered on credit a couple months ago, so this will help pay for that, and I've got a little rhythm with the listings so I can hopefully finally start using my hobby to subsidize my hobby like I used to rather than just letting things accumulate.

But dammit I wanted that card.
 

tpeichel

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2008
15,519
A resolution I made this year was not to go into debt to purchase cards. For decades now I've been thinking "Buy first, pay later," thinking if I make a significant purchase I would then sell some of the dross in my collection to pay for it. That rarely happened. I'd buy something, then only sometimes would I get around to listing a few things that might sell or might not, and come nowhere near the price I paid, anyway. So I would accumulate debt and eventually pay it off after lots of interest charges accrued.

This year, I vowed to limit what I buy to what I really, really wanted. No more impulsive $5, $10, $20 cards that are neat but wouldn't really fit into a larger whole, something that the hobby allows me to feel. Further, and more importantly for this story, I'm not buying anything I'd have to put on credit unless I sold stuff first. This worked find for the first 29 days of the year. There was a card I've been really, really wanting sitting on ebay for $1000, closer to $100 with shipping and tax. It was a 1/1, which I knew made waiting risky, but it had been there for a little while already, maybe no one wanted it. I hunkered down at my scanner and started listing stuff. I accepted offers I had previously rejected. By the end of this weekend's listings, I'll be up to almost $800. So close. But this morning I looked at MyEbay and saw the object of my affection had been sold.

This sucks. It was the first thing I've been really excited about in this hobby in quite a while, the idea that this thing could be mine if I'd just gone ahead and broken my resolve. I am irritated with myself for not being weak and going into debt for even a month or two until my sales caught up. It is backwards. This hobby screws you up.

But now I have a decent chunk for whatever my next obsession is, or was. I've got 2 cases of Heritage coming, which I preordered on credit a couple months ago, so this will help pay for that, and I've got a little rhythm with the listings so I can hopefully finally start using my hobby to subsidize my hobby like I used to rather than just letting things accumulate.

But dammit I wanted that card.
Good discipline.
 

nevermore

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
3,208
New York
Sorry man that sucks. Your discipline will be rewarding in other ways. But it's very hard to see stuff slip through your fingers.

I've kept a habit of funding my hobby purchases through sales as well so I've had to be patient with bigger purchases. Seeing the prices go up year after year makes me regret it sometimes. Vintage Yankees and some higher end autographs.
 

WCTYSON

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2014
7,219
A resolution I made this year was not to go into debt to purchase cards. For decades now I've been thinking "Buy first, pay later," thinking if I make a significant purchase I would then sell some of the dross in my collection to pay for it. So I would accumulate debt and eventually pay it off after lots of interest charges accrued.

I am irritated with myself for not being weak and going into debt for even a month or two until my sales caught up. It is backwards. This hobby screws you up.

But now I have a decent chunk for whatever my next obsession is, or was. I've got 2 cases of Heritage coming, which I preordered on credit a couple months ago, so this will help pay for that, and I've got a little rhythm with the listings so I can hopefully finally start using my hobby to subsidize my hobby ...........

In all my years of collecting, never once have I purchased a single card on credit. I think it has served me well in the long term. There have been a lot of times that I have missed out on purchases because I had not done enough sales to subsidize the cost and like you it motivates me to go through my collection and evaluate what I want to hold, then decide what to sale. If the item I was going after is no longer available after I have made my sales, at least I have already decided what I can remove from my collection. There will always be another direction I move my collection and another card to chase. What I have never had to do and never want to do, is get rid of a card in my collection that I want to keep but need to move to pay debt.

Good luck with your cases and consider them a jumping off point to have your hobby subsidize your hobby. You can't lose.
 

gt2590

Super Moderator
Aug 17, 2008
35,026
Near Philly
No problem buying cards, especially if it’s a biggie, once-a-decade type acquisition using credit.

A year and a half ago a pretty tough card I’ve wanted for years finally popped up at a great price, less than half of current BINs. About $250, instead of the usually $600-700.

But it was the same week I was getting a new place to live so I didn’t pull the trigger. Haven’t seen one even close to that price since.

IMO, if the card is that important up you, especially if the price is really good, grab it and then use that same discipline to pay for it as quickly as possible...
 

Benbabs

New member
Oct 29, 2020
19
Don’t buy stuff on credit unless you pay off same month. My lord they need to teach finance in high schools. We are talking about baseball cards, not essentials. Yes, we are in a bubble right now if this is occurring regularly.
 

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