Trading Question for Set Collectors

Bigdog1206

Member
260
5.00 star(s)
Hi folks -

Trying to find some good in being quarantined by really digging and and getting organized to get back in the trading game.
But, I really could use some advice from any set collectors out there that have ever been faced with "thinning the herd"

Simpy put, I have too many cards.

I have a ton of complete sets both baseball and football, a good portion of which are from the "low value" years.
I have a ton of subsets many are interesting, many may not be.

My best guess is that all in right now I'm in the 175,000 - 200,000 range in total.

Have any of you guys ever successfully traded or sold the sets that you have built? How have you done it?
Is it worth it to trade or sell a set where often the published "value" of the set is equal to or often less than the "value" of the best card in the set?

There seems to be a much greater appetite to trade than purchase among the vast array of collectors that I know and speak to, not sure if that's the state of the economy, the state of the hobby or some degree of both.

I do envision a scenario where I could trade sets or partial sets in a fellow collectors favor, but I would only want to trade in to far fewer cards with more value that would make a future selling scenario more manageable.

I'm interested in any opinions or case studies that the group would like to share that have been successful for you. I have room for about 30,000 - 50,000 total, the rest are going to have to go. But I'm certainly not interested in giving them away.

Any insights or opinions would be appreciated. Good health and safety to all of you.
 

NEPatriotsFan

Member
77
4.90 star(s)
Hi folks -

Trying to find some good in being quarantined by really digging and and getting organized to get back in the trading game.
But, I really could use some advice from any set collectors out there that have ever been faced with "thinning the herd"

Simpy put, I have too many cards.

I have a ton of complete sets both baseball and football, a good portion of which are from the "low value" years.
I have a ton of subsets many are interesting, many may not be.

My best guess is that all in right now I'm in the 175,000 - 200,000 range in total.

Have any of you guys ever successfully traded or sold the sets that you have built? How have you done it?
Is it worth it to trade or sell a set where often the published "value" of the set is equal to or often less than the "value" of the best card in the set?

There seems to be a much greater appetite to trade than purchase among the vast array of collectors that I know and speak to, not sure if that's the state of the economy, the state of the hobby or some degree of both.

I do envision a scenario where I could trade sets or partial sets in a fellow collectors favor, but I would only want to trade in to far fewer cards with more value that would make a future selling scenario more manageable.

I'm interested in any opinions or case studies that the group would like to share that have been successful for you. I have room for about 30,000 - 50,000 total, the rest are going to have to go. But I'm certainly not interested in giving them away.

Any insights or opinions would be appreciated. Good health and safety to all of you.

I read your post and for the most part, that is me...Been out of trading for 6 years, and just started up again a couple months ago...my bookcase of cards had actually collapsed due to the weight of those high volume low book value sets of the 90's stored on the higher shelves...I had about 30 boxed sets taking up lots of space. I, like you, decided to thin the herd.

Mostly, I added them to my trade page, and have been moving them. The are still collectors out there that are looking for complete sets...I trade the set at full Beckett's book value. Of course, that may mean trading a $50 725 card baseball set for 3 or 4 insert starter lots. Not to mention the cost to ship. It is a bit painful at the post office, but I have managed to move so far about a quarter of my sets, while only adding 6 inserts sets to my collection. It solves the space issue and doesn't dilute my total collection value too much.

So where to do this? A lot of trade sites have disappeared lately, the most recent casualty for me was Trading Card Central where I had done about 200 trades. I tried to visit a couple weeks ago, and they were gone. The ones left seem to not be quite as active. The only ones I am aware that are still up and running are The Bench, Sports Card Forum, Hobby Insider, Sam's Trading Post, Trade Cards Now, and Beckett's. I tend to stay with the first two. Some are like the Wild West and I stay away from them.

Hope this helps...Rich
 

Bigdog1206

Member
260
5.00 star(s)
Really appreciate the response. It's quite a conundrum. I've gone the ebay route a lot recently with my memorabilia, which takes up 5x the space of my cards, and surprisingly on that side I've had a lot of success achieving reasonable prices for my stuff. The Bench is really the only site that I was every uber active on, especially in the set collector threads, but even though this is a great quality site, the volume of activity seems sparse compared to what I remember.

Again, appreciate the thoughtful response.
Be well.
 

cubsfan102003

Active member
376
5.00 star(s)
Once upon a time I was all about set building, I was trying to complete every single set made from 1952-today. I loved trading, mostly here on The Bench. I still would love to do so, but time, cost of postage, and lack of old school type set builders has pretty much done that in for me.

I was forced to downsize a couple times now. The first time in 2010 when I nearly lost my house. I had at least 500,000 cards. It was difficult for me to decide what went and what stayed. I started by listing 200,000 80's and 90's commons on craigslist for $50.00. Sold the whole pile, but took a few weeks to get an actual buyer. Those cards are tough to give away, let alone get anything for them. After I weeded out all the junk commons, then it got hard to decide. I tried selling a bunch of complete sets with little luck, except the more desired Topps sets at the time (Heritage, 2001 -2005 Topps, and the like). I was around 200,000 cards after that move.

I moved again in 2017 and needed to downsize further. I ended up going through all my 80's and 90's sets and pulling the star cards out and dumping the remainder of the commons for a few bucks to someone. I sold most of my 50's and 60's Topps partial sets off on ebay. Got down to around 100,000 this move.

I moved again in 2018 and really trying to thin the piles now. I've thrown away 20,000 to 30,000 cards because I couldn't sell them for even a few bucks. These were 2000 and newer base commons. I'm only keeping pre-1980 stuff and post 1980 cards that have a BV of $1.00 or more. Although I want to get rid of all of the post 1980 too, just not going to give or throw them away just yet. I have 4 - 5,000 ct. boxes of 2001-2006 Topps Heritage base commons I want to get rid of, but can't bring myself to just give them away for $40 or $50. I'm now down to between 40,000 and 50,000 cards remaining and hoping to get to 20,000 or less.

It's not an easy thing to do when you have so much time and money invested in a hobby, but there just don't seem to be enough old school collectors around anymore. It's all about the "big hit" and "bling" or whatever term they use for cards these days. It's all kind of spoiled the hobby for me, and coupled with a busier life than 10+ years ago it's all fading away for me.

Good luck with your process, it won't be easy until you get to a certain point.

Tom
 

Bigdog1206

Member
260
5.00 star(s)
Much appreciated. I'm sitting here going through these boxes and simply don't remember where a lot of this stuff came from. Later in my collecting I was more diligent about sorting and labeling by year and set - but I'm finding out in a hurry that early on, when collecting with my boys that diligence didn't exist. I just pulled the lid off of a 5,000 count and the first stack I pulled out was about 75 UD Tiger Woods cards. No idea we ever did golf, but I think I'm going to crack a beer now because this exercise may get interesting. Again, appreciate response and thanks for sharing. Not sure how I'm going to go about it when I figure it out, but I guess I will figure it out. Be well
 

David K.

Well-known member
10,930
5.00 star(s)
From the start was pulling together a lot of inserts and sets together. However, it was starting to glow out of control.....so narrowed it down to set and inserts that I like...if I did not like it...it was gone by trading.....so that's why I do a lot of trading of my base and inserts to other collectors. Best regards, David PS from 250,000 to less than 15,000
 
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SymphonicMetal

Well-known member
136
5.00 star(s)
Much appreciated. I'm sitting here going through these boxes and simply don't remember where a lot of this stuff came from. Later in my collecting I was more diligent about sorting and labeling by year and set - but I'm finding out in a hurry that early on, when collecting with my boys that diligence didn't exist. I just pulled the lid off of a 5,000 count and the first stack I pulled out was about 75 UD Tiger Woods cards. No idea we ever did golf, but I think I'm going to crack a beer now because this exercise may get interesting. Again, appreciate response and thanks for sharing. Not sure how I'm going to go about it when I figure it out, but I guess I will figure it out. Be well

The fun you are having now going though these old boxes is the same fun I have when I buy a collection. There are always hidden gems in these boxes which are fun to find.

I'm an old school set builder who describes myself as an opportunistic set builder. If I have a high percentage of cards from any set, I will attempt to put it together even if I have the set already. It seems to be the only way to keep my dups under some semblance of control.

I have dumped large quantities of junk sets in one fell swoop on several occasions. Sometimes I've sold them for a song and other times I have traded them for some really nice cards such as a nice 1953 Bowman Color Stan Musial. But I don't see how you'll be able to trade them away online since postage will be a LOT more than many of the sets are worth. Those sets you are going to have to dump locally and in person.

You might want to try to sell them at a garage sale. That would be one way of thinning the herd. You'll have to keep in mind it is a buyer's market these days and is REALLY going to be a buyer's market with current developments in the economy.

Good luck and have fun in your searching through the boxes.
 

Chavezforprez

Active member
1,530
5.00 star(s)
Back in the day, when I decided to quit collecting football, I'd fill a large flat rate boxes with as many sets as I could and sell them for postage, plus a few bucks per set. The buyers got a great deal and I got a great deal of needed space back and needed sanity, lol.

Billy
 

mm1sub

Active member
2,751
5.00 star(s)
Staff member
I have unloaded a lot of extra stuff on Facebook Markeplace. I decided a while back that all my "tradeables" were not actually tradeable at all. I have done this at least three times in the last few years. I pick up a lot of items at auction but it usually comes in bulk so you have to take the good with the bad. I sold about 75,000 cards for 60.00 to a guy who was getting them for his son (or so he says). I sold another lot of close to 150,000 to a guy and his son who was about 10 years old. He said they love going through stuff and building sets so it was nice to see that some one was getting some good enjoyment out of them. In cases like that I do not mind unloading stuff for pennies on the dollar. I am hoping that a young collector like that man's son will carry that passion into adulthood. Because it seems that the days of kids collecting cards are long gone and have been gone for quite a while. As a hobby we need young collectors to become old collectors so this hobby will continue. Everyone knows that this is an adult hobby now. If anybody does not think so just go to a card shop (if you can find one) and look at the price of packs. I just think that Topps could do a better job of promoting the hobby. But because they are the only game in town now maybe they feel that they do not have to. A lot of other companies have thought like that in the past and a lot of times that has not worked out very well.
 

David K.

Well-known member
10,930
5.00 star(s)
I'm a insert collector........I sold my 1998 Finest The Man refractor serial to 75 of about 20 players......sold them separately and make quite a bit from them......still working on my 2003 Timeless Treasures gold inserts.....serial to only #10!! 100 player insert.....I have about 75 of the 100.....just spot a white whale on ebay....Best regards, David
 
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