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Old 01-29-2014, 12:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newbie: Do's & Dont's for a new collector

New guy here, but looking forward to learning the ropes of collecting baseball cards. I collected some as a kid by getting the entire 2001 Topps series, picking up random retail packs, and inheriting some cards from family (92 Topps uncut sheets & a couple decent late 80s cards). Nowadays I've seen that the card game has evolved to another level. I've made a couple purchases this month off eBay for some good prices compared to Beckett. Anyways feel free to offer me some major do's and don'ts so I don't stub my toe too much along the way. I'm gonna ask a couple questions as well…

Better to buy individual cards, lots, or buy hobby/jumbo boxes?

I'm only interested in really collecting prospects, Reds players, and Braves players so would it be smart to try and flip cards I'm not necessarily interested in if I can get them at a low price?

Are card shows good places to get deals? Haven't been to one in over a decade.

If I were to get a card signed in person would it have diminished value? I know that companies issue certain auto cards, but I think it'd be easy to head over to a local minor league park and get some prospect autos pretty easily.

If I wanted to sell some of my own cards is my best bet eBay or another outlet? Also, what is the most cost efficient way to go about shipping cards out? I've read bubble mailers in toploaders, but am open to see what some of you guys have done.

Lastly, how do you guys store your collections? I have a couple binders filled with the 9 card pocket sheets, but have gotten a couple nicer cards this month and not sure the best way to store them.

Thanks in advance guys.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome back to the hobby!!! The most popular opinion on here is that beckett is not a good place to get a value and ebay is the best price indicator. If you have not got the monkey of busting on your back I would stick to buying singles. Hobby is usually the way to get guaranteed hits where retail has less odds for cheaper, either way it's a gamble. As for storage most prefer a card sleeve and top-loader. When you want to sell you will have to familiarize yourself with available markets (ebay COMC LCS etc) and where your best chance of getting maximum potential each has their short comings. Lastly I used to live in the Spartanburg/Greenville area and there is a card shop at the flea market off Highway 101 3 minutes off the highway the opposite direction from GSP. I hope this helps
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Better to buy individual cards, lots, or buy hobby/jumbo boxes?
i personally enjoy individual but the real thrill is in boxes
I'm only interested in really collecting prospects, Reds players, and Braves players so would it be smart to try and flip cards I'm not necessarily interested in if I can get them at a low price? yes if you are not attached to a player but can make money on them .

Are card shows good places to get deals? Haven't been to one in over a decade. every card show i have been to has never been as cheap as ebay

If I were to get a card signed in person would it have diminished value? I know that companies issue certain auto cards, but I think it'd be easy to head over to a local minor league park and get some prospect autos pretty easily. there is no money in in person autos in my personal opinion if you were thinking about that , i do it as a hobby .

If I wanted to sell some of my own cards is my best bet eBay or another outlet? Also, what is the most cost efficient way to go about shipping cards out? I've read bubble mailers in toploaders, but am open to see what some of you guys have done. ebay and the buy sell trade forum are good places , bubble mailers,toploader and team bag is my preference when shipping

Lastly, how do you guys store your collections? I have a couple binders filled with the 9 card pocket sheets, but have gotten a couple nicer cards this month and not sure the best way to store them.
i have 9 pocket pages for base but most will say grade the cards that are worth money , hope this helps some
Thanks in advance guys.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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don't get high on your own supply
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgerider View Post
Lastly I used to live in the Spartanburg/Greenville area and there is a card shop at the flea market off Highway 101 3 minutes off the highway the opposite direction from GSP. I hope this helps
I'm literally 10 minutes away from this Flea Market. Probably will head over there Saturday morning. Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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welcome back.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRyno View Post
don't get high on your own supply
Winner for best quote of the day

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The shop is in an enclosed booth and the owner's name is Steve and he has good prices on wax and you can pick up singles or move singles there. I used to spend hours there talking to the regulars and busting wax. The owners a great guy after I got to know him I used to go to his house to buy wax during the week to get my fix. Have fun!
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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DON'T think you need to spend tons of money to have fun. There are a lot of ways to enjoy cards without breaking the bank. Trust me, it might seem like the more cards and boxes you buy the more fun you'll have, but there are definitely diminishing returns on fun if you spend more than you're comfortable with.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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DO: collect whatever the heck tickles your fancy

DON'T: try to make money from the hobby
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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DON'T: try to make money from the hobby
Best advice EVER!
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Buying singles is the most cost effective method, busting boxes is the most fun IMO. I personally do both as well as group breaks.

Since you're into specific teams, you might want to get into group case breaks where you can just buy your team and you'll get all their cards for however many cases the break is. There's always good ones here by members and especially by Houdini. There's also some non BO websites that do 'em. I'm personally not a fan of any of the non BO break sites with the exception of cardsmithbreaks.com. Although I think my favorite thing about him is he's near me so I get my cards lightning quick.

Me personally, I like to store all my notable cards in sleeves / toploaders. Not a page / binder guy unless I'm displaying a base set. Although if you're a team collector and you want to display your Reds / Braves base cards then binders are a great idea.

Ebay, COMC, blowout (for boxes especially) and the what have yous are the cheapest usually, but if you have an LCS run by nice people like I do, then there's nothing wrong with paying a little extra from time to time to support a local business.

Ignore Becket prices.

At the end of the day, everything I just typed up is how I like to do it. Suggestions and nothing more. Try different things, find out what works best for you and have fun.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YouTheManNick View Post
Buying singles is the most cost effective method, busting boxes is the most fun IMO. I personally do both as well as group breaks.

Since you're into specific teams, you might want to get into group case breaks where you can just buy your team and you'll get all their cards for however many cases the break is. There's always good ones here by members and especially by Houdini. There's also some non BO websites that do 'em. I'm personally not a fan of any of the non BO break sites with the exception of cardsmithbreaks.com. Although I think my favorite thing about him is he's near me so I get my cards lightning quick.

Me personally, I like to store all my notable cards in sleeves / toploaders. Not a page / binder guy unless I'm displaying a base set. Although if you're a team collector and you want to display your Reds / Braves base cards then binders are a great idea.

Ebay, COMC, blowout (for boxes especially) and the what have yous are the cheapest usually, but if you have an LCS run by nice people like I do, then there's nothing wrong with paying a little extra from time to time to support a local business.

Ignore Becket prices.

At the end of the day, everything I just typed up is how I like to do it. Suggestions and nothing more. Try different things, find out what works best for you and have fun.
Got some nice PC cards from his breaks
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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DO: Learn to use Google.

DON'T: Post in every collectors forum on the web, "Is this a Tiffany card?" See above.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Don't redeem your redemptions unless you're 100% positive you want the card.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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-Only buy boxes (or cases, packs, blasters, etc.) if you like the base product. That way, even if you pull the lesser hits (or don't pull one at all), you've still got something of value. Staring at a bunch of torn foil and five empty blasters with nothing to show for your $100 but a stack of base cards you have no interest in is a bad feeling.

-Buy supplies in bulk. It's cheaper and more convenient. If you're just starting, I'd get on Amazon and buy a case of toploaders, penny sleeves, and a monster box. You can reorganize later, but a three or four row box wil give you a safe place to put your cards initially, and anything for your private collection or that you even think you might want to sell should go immediately in a penny sleeve and toploader.

-If you're planning on selling, right up front I'd also buy some bubble mailers, a roll of bubble wrap, tape, and team bags. Once something sells, you need to ship it more or less immediately, which is easier to do when you've got everything you need organized and on hand. Card goes in a penny sleeve, then a toploader, which then gets sealed in the team bag, and into the bubble mailer. For higher end cards or multiple cards, the bubble wrap may be appropriate.

-Again, if you're going to sell on eBay, familiarize yourself with the process and how to purchase/print shipping labels. I even use a small postal scale (cheap on Amazon) to ensure I've got the right postage on there.

-If you get cards graded, it can help the resale value. But realize that there's an inherent randomness to the grades. If you're buying older cards, there's generally a PSA minimum you'll be comfortable with, and you can generally feel safe that a PSA 7 or 8 or 9 will be in a certain condition. I feel like that was the initial intent of grading. PSA gave you confidence that when you bought a card off eBay, you'd have some idea of the condition instead of having to rely solely on a photo and the seller's comments. With newer cards that go straight from the pack to BGS, the grades are far more random- and to some extent, unneccessary. And sometime it's outright BS (like the Bowman Puig Super that got a 9.5 despite the obvious centering issues).
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Probably been said but avoid retail or just buy sparingly! I started back up collecting a couple of years ago and probably spent over $2000 bucks on retail b/t then and Nov '13 and my only "hits" were a Harper BC green ref, a few jersey relic cards and a few mid-end prospect autos. Sure, I hit some colored and numbered refractors as well but for the amount I spent to get them I def overpaid! Stopped buying retail back in November and my PC has never been better.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies so far guys
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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DON'T
- Use Beckett as a price comparison
- Get on ebay and pick up everything cool you see
- Buy retail
- Expect to make any money at all
- Buy those "100 cards for $5" lots on ebay
- Get into a stupid argument with Chris Olds on twitter

DO:
- Check ebay for value
- Choose a player, team, or set to collect and try to stick to that
- Try to find something you like but other people don't, it will make buying much easier
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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DON'T buy "hot packs" on ebay that have "guaranteed hits"
especially when they fancy up the listing with pictures of auto cards of derek jeter and such.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Don't trust anything you read on a message board...
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRyno View Post
don't get high on your own supply
JohnRyno is Prop Joe, and we know how that ended.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:09 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Collect what you enjoy. Know what you are buying.

Don't buy something just because everyone else is buying it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:12 PM   #24 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=CCtiger91;6575043]...

Lastly, how do you guys store your collections? I have a couple binders filled with the 9 card pocket sheets, but have gotten a couple nicer cards this month and not sure the best way to store them.

...QUOTE]

Personally, I can't stand binders.

880 or 660-count boxes are best as far as I am concerned.

Binders are OK if you plan to show of sets/lots to friends.

Best cards should be protected in card holders.
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