The Bench - what can we do to ramp up the activity?

cubman1941

Veteran
182
5.00 star(s)
It has been mentioned several times but I am an old, and I mean, old, Cub collector. I do not sell and love to trade. However, times have changed and people seem to not want to trade anymore for anything. This tells me most people are looking only for the newer, high priced (at the time) cards and do not do sets or teams anymore. Example, every year I buy a box of the new cards (this year a box of 2021 Topps Chrome) just to open packs. I found one Cub and a couple Red Sox and Brewers whom I put in albums for my grandkids. I listed the rest of them on all the sites, including this one, for trade. I did not get one response. Granted I bought these and listed these after the initial flurry of trading for 2021 Chrome was probably over but I still expected to get some response. I have noticed this trend the last couple years. I am not sure any site can do anything to fix this. I used to deal in antiques but the trend there changed several years ago so people were looking for a specific item and the true collectors of Fenton, Jewel Tea, furniture were gone. The same thing has happened to sports (and non-sports) cards. The true collector is vanishing and being replaced by the "I need only xxxx". I wish I had a magic answer to the question of how to increase activity on the site but I don't. I suspect this new type collectors are happy but they don't fill up activity on our site.
 

SymphonicMetal

Veteran
148
5.00 star(s)
I do not sell and love to trade. However, times have changed and people seem to not want to trade anymore for anything. This tells me most people are looking only for the newer, high priced (at the time) cards and do not do sets or teams anymore.

And because everyone is chasing the latest, hottest cards, I think the hobby is going to collapse again and I already see signs of this from multiple sources. Since "collectors" don't want 99% of sports cards, this is a trend that cannot be maintained for the overall health of the hobby. I do think postage costs hurt trading on this site especially for those who make a lot of trades. I've always tried to make my trades worth more than 10X the cost of postage for trades to make sense outside of doing favors for members to help them out.

Since a friend of mine opened a card shop in February of 2021, I rarely trade here anymore because I can pick up cards much cheaper though the LCS than via online trading. This year I have only made 3 trades, all with the same Bench member, and he is not worth a "Shig". LMAO!!

As a set collector I do have a suggestion on the little used One and Done thread in the baseball set collectors room. Why not put that same topic on each sports set collectors room (football, basketball, hockey and maybe some other rooms) and also let members start their own topics instead of having an unwieldly, many multi page thread where posts get buried and out dated?? I have tons of sets that are "one and dones" and would start topics with my needs in all 4 major sports rooms. I won't waste my time posting these on the long confusing thread that exists now. Even though I rarely trade here these days, I'd be more than glad helping out collectors in the same boat I am in.
 

brewerfan34

Veteran
368
5.00 star(s)
For me personally it is hard to find time for the hobby. My wife and I have 2 kids and that takes up a lot of time.

I am reluctant to start a thread because I know I don't have the time to reply to lots of responses. When I do start a thread all of the fun is gone because I've extended myself to far. Trying to mail everything and respond becomes a chore.

The problem isn't with any member or the site. In fact most members go out of their way to help set builders.

Thanks, Frank
 

cjay101

All-Star
676
5.00 star(s)
Staff member
For me personally it is hard to find time for the hobby. My wife and I have 2 kids and that takes up a lot of time.

I am reluctant to start a thread because I know I don't have the time to reply to lots of responses. When I do start a thread all of the fun is gone because I've extended myself to far. Trying to mail everything and respond becomes a chore.

The problem isn't with any member or the site. In fact most members go out of their way to help set builders.

Thanks, Frank
Agreed. I have two elementary age boys in about every sport possible and I work 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Time is a valuable thing that i have to prioritize.
 

Steelers8873

Veteran
283
5.00 star(s)
To be honest I think the biggest problem of this site is ownership I have rarely seen the owner on the site let alone do anything to improve it I believe auctions would definitely improve the site the trial runs we did was ok but they actually need an interface sort of similar to Sportlots.
 

mm1sub

HOF
3,114
5.00 star(s)
Staff member
I have read some very interesting responses so far. I hope that some good things will come from this. But I think we need to be realistic and realize that the hobby that most of us grew up with is long gone. This is no longer a kids hobby and has not been for a very long time. No matter how much we wish we could go back to 1985 and just trade cards for the sake of trading, I feel this is not going to happen. There are a lot of people who trade on here now who have very specific wants. There is nothing wrong with that. You should collect what you like. Everyone needs to understand that. I really wish I could trade a bunch of cards that I do not want for my 1960 Topps needs. But I know this is not going to happen. Also, investing in cards is nothing new no matter how anybody feels about it. I can recall people buying up 1987 Topps and thinking they were going to put their kids through college with all the rookies that were in those cards from that era. I also remember people paying large sums for 1990 Leaf. I do not think I need to tell people how that worked out. These things come and they go. I know that I will never stop collecting. I get too much fun out of it. And that is one of the key issues in my opinion. If this site is not fun for you then maybe you should find something else to do. If this hobby just leads to aggravation then maybe you should ask yourself if it is really worth it. This is the only site I trade on. It has given me more enjoyment than any other site I have ever been on. I for one will never go anywhere else. I enjoy TheBench too much. I would like to thank the owner of this site for giving us this forum for free so I can do what I truly enjoy.

Here's to many more years and many more trades.

Thanks,

Bryon
 

KCLJ520

Veteran
214
5.00 star(s)
It's not more contests or talking about you favorite card....the activety is more trading folks. Best regards, David
Those things at least get people checking the Bench more frequently and scrolling through the forums, and get them checking other threads. That potentially leads to more trading!

Blessings,

Kevin
 

K.C._Royals!

MVP
1,458
5.00 star(s)
I used to be an extremely active trader on the Bench for many years.
However, I lost interest in both the hobby and in online trading after the site crashed several years ago. I'm just now getting back into it.
I wanted to comment about how much I love all of the improvements made to this site. You guys have done a lot of work re-hauling things and making this site so much easier to interface with. Good work!
 

shig

Pro
52
5.00 star(s)
Since a friend of mine opened a card shop in February of 2021, I rarely trade here anymore because I can pick up cards much cheaper though the LCS than via online trading. This year I have only made 3 trades, all with the same Bench member, and he is not worth a "Shig". LMAO!!
AND YET YOU KEEP GOING BACK FOR MORE??!
 

PRosefan1

Veteran
322
5.00 star(s)
I would love to be more active in trading here. For the last year and a half my routine has been up at 3:40 AM and get home from work at 7:00 PM In bed by 9:00. No time to make lists or get to the post office. Ive been at my wifes mercy for sending what trades that I have made. I try not to have her run to the post office on her lunch breaks cuz thats not fair to her.

It seems that alot of people here all collect the same group of players. That also makes trading a little tougher because of the stiff competition when a good Trout, Tatis, Acuna, Soto, Ohtani, Judge, Betts card comes up.

In the old days we had stuff like the Benchies that seemed popular at the time but when mentioned to bring back maybe three people showed interest. Winners of past benchies all lost their trophy badges years ago so its like they never existed.

Didnt we used to have bench bucks that were used to "purchase" donated game used and auto cards. It be cool to trade cards for bench bucks that in turn could be used to get a really cool card. You could also sell cards here for bench bucks. In turn using bench bucks to buy a card that somebody else is selling.
 

pac_rat_76

MVP
1,482
5.00 star(s)
If you could somehow get the PO to reduce shipping costs (like cut them in half).. that would entice me to start trading again!
 

tribefan

MVP
1,337
5.00 star(s)
Hi Guys,
I was very active on this site from about 2009-2016... averaging around 25-30 trades per month.

This site had fairly significant functionality changes over the past five years and, quite frankly, this site is now very difficult to use. Navigation is a mystery, posting trades is very clunky, and I'm mostly discouraged when I log in to see if there's anything happening.

Visually, the box I am typing in right now gives me a headache... white text-on-black.
I'm unable to see and read the blue-on-black and white-on-bright orange print in the forums so I end up not clicking on things. The email uses light grey-on-dark grey and also blue-on-gray. I can't even see who's sending messages or whether it's a cold message or a response to something I sent previously.

Can we simplify the visuals?

(Where the frick is the "send" button?!)


Michael
 

Steelers8873

Veteran
283
5.00 star(s)
Why is site one dimensional (baseball) about 80-85% need to promote other sports I can go elsewhere and trade other sports but I don't want to go elsewhere to trade other sports I want to be able to trade other sports right here on the BENCH!
I literally started collecting baseball for the sole purpose of being able to get a trade on the bench. I did collect only football but trying to find a trade partner was futile so I went into a store and bought a couple boxes of baseball cards and now I am almost exclusively collecting baseball my football collection has now become an afterthought.
 

anglinomics

All-Star
772
5.00 star(s)
Hi Guys,
I was very active on this site from about 2009-2016... averaging around 25-30 trades per month.

This site had fairly significant functionality changes over the past five years and, quite frankly, this site is now very difficult to use. Navigation is a mystery, posting trades is very clunky, and I'm mostly discouraged when I log in to see if there's anything happening.

Visually, the box I am typing in right now gives me a headache... white text-on-black.
I'm unable to see and read the blue-on-black and white-on-bright orange print in the forums so I end up not clicking on things. The email uses light grey-on-dark grey and also blue-on-gray. I can't even see who's sending messages or whether it's a cold message or a response to something I sent previously.

Can we simplify the visuals?

(Where the frick is the "send" button?!)


Michael
I see black print on a white background. There used to be a setting at the bottom of the home page, but I don't know where it went to. You should be able to change your color scheme, but I don't know how. Someone must have the answer for this issue.

I think the main issue for people leaving the hobby is money. When I first started on The Bench in 2004, I could mail a lot of 25 cards for around $1.00. And the cost of buying new product has exploded. The last time I bought a hobby box was the spring of 2020. And I used to by a pack of cards most of the time when I went to Walmart. I've stopped looking for them.
 
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dragonslayer913

Legend
5,776
5.00 star(s)
Postage is the main problem I had no problems mailing large trades when postage was reasonable now its not --I use PayPal shipping which is about $1.00
cheaper than through the post office-Each month I sit aside $25 for large trades sometimes it goes quick and sometimes it lasts --I now prefer to send PWE
type trades most of the time.
 

anglinomics

All-Star
772
5.00 star(s)
The costs associated with eBay and Paypal have become prohibitive. The eBay fee to sell a card is around 13%, maybe more. And Paypal updates their user agreement every 60 days; it seems. The have raised prices twice in the past year or two. On a rediculous note, I bought 2000 1989 Topps cards a few days ago. At $25 I couldn't resist. But I really don't want to keep them, so I might try to sell them at a similar price. Unfortunately, that will label me as a flipper in some people's eyes. I had mentioned boycotting Topps because of the price hike. A few people may be doing this, because they don't want to pay double the price they paid 5-10 years ago. I'm sorry that I don't have the answer.
 

katester44

MVP
1,388
5.00 star(s)
Staff member
Hi Guys,
I was very active on this site from about 2009-2016... averaging around 25-30 trades per month.

This site had fairly significant functionality changes over the past five years and, quite frankly, this site is now very difficult to use. Navigation is a mystery, posting trades is very clunky, and I'm mostly discouraged when I log in to see if there's anything happening.

Visually, the box I am typing in right now gives me a headache... white text-on-black.
I'm unable to see and read the blue-on-black and white-on-bright orange print in the forums so I end up not clicking on things. The email uses light grey-on-dark grey and also blue-on-gray. I can't even see who's sending messages or whether it's a cold message or a response to something I sent previously.

Can we simplify the visuals?

(Where the frick is the "send" button?!)


Michael

Go to preferences and click the "style" drop down - it should give you options for color schemes
 
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