After hearing such great feedback about Tony L.’s article last week, we asked our Twitter followers for some hot tips for card collectors. Our followers weighed in on everything from card shows to eBay selling/buying tips and we’re eager to share their insight about the hobby. Below are some of the best tips we received on card collecting:
Selling on eBay:
Are you one of the thousands of people who visit our site and wonder what to do with the cards you’ve found in your basement? First, you’re not alone. Second, we suggest using Card Mavin to search for the value of the cards (it’s free and easy). If you do happen to have some cards with some market value, you may be able to sell those online.
But before you start, one Twitter user suggested doing some research before getting started:
Brandon M. of BMillerSports tweeted: Don’t jump into an eBay store right away. Get your feet wet first. An eBay store may seem like a good idea but it adds a $15/month expense to your overhead. Make sure you plan and research first.
If you do decide you’re ready to open up an eBay store, there are some best practices that our followers recommended for new sellers:
From our friends at Collectosaurus: Don’t charge $2.50 for shipping for a plain white envelope and use painters tape to secure the toploader of the card.
More generally, make sure that you are very careful with all of the packages you ship and charge fairly for the logistics. Not only will it guarantee the transaction goes smoothly, you’ll likely get a positive eBay review from the customer. Which brings us to our next tweet:
Brandon M.: Ship in a timely manner, leave feedback, communicate, and treat your customers right. Try to build relationships with your customers so they feel comfortable buying from you again.
Last but not least, it is important to list like a pro. A common pitfall of novice eBay sellers is that they are aggressive in their use of extra search terms, flashy punctuation, and all capital letters. Not only is this annoying to collectors who are scanning pages everyday, it is an easy giveaway that you are new to the hobby.
Brandon M. added: Don’t fall into the trap of buying extras to make your listing stand out. If you list it right, buyers will find your listing.
Buying on eBay:
As avid collectors know, buying eBay always comes with risks. Most commonly, people get ripped off every single day. Although the majority of hobby enthusiasts aren’t looking to scam you, there are sellers out there who are just in it for the profit. Quite a few users had some advice on this topic:
Collectosaurus tweeted: Don’t buy autographs unless they are publisher or PSA/DNA certified or its a gamble – If it looks fake, it probably is.
Another follower, Kirk Keith, had a similar message: If it ain’t PSA/DNA then throw it away.
You know what they say, if it rhymes then it must be true.
But in all seriousness, it is important that buyers beware when they’re getting started in collecting. That is one benefit of shopping at card shows as opposed to online, you are able to examine the card more closely. However, as our Twitter followers have mentioned, as long as you are cautious and check out the reviews of eBay sellers you are usually going to avoid being scammed on a buy.
Glenn Ziegler suggested that new collectors need to find an honest card guy (or girl) to ask questions. If you are just starting out in the hobby, it may be comforting to know that there are plenty of collectors out there who are willing to lend you their knowledge. If you’re looking into a card or have any questions, Twitter users Collectosaurus and The Loot Locker were happy to offer their expertise.
Several of our followers were eager to share their collecting philosophy. As last week’s blog post made clear, there is no wrong way to collect cards (or anything for that matter) as long as you are having fun and excited about the hobby. Our followers on Twitter echoed this belief:
Our trivia-loving follower, Drew’s Cards, tweeted: #1 tip: collect what you love, not what others love. #2 Never one up another collector. #3 Have fun.
Brandon M. added: My advice would be to collect whatever sport, movie, tv show, etc. that you love.
In short, don’t feel pressured to collect certain cards just because they’re known for being hits. Make your own lists and build your own sets. In fact, we like to encourage quirkiness in our collections – it makes the hobby more fun to discuss. And as Brandon noted, this philosophy is not just limited to cards.
As with any collection, it is easy to get carried away quickly as you’re working through your lists and building your sets. With that in mind, it’s easy to get caught up in bidding wars and spending large sums of money on wax. Twitter user Moneylone Cards had some “#SageAdvice” for collectors: The biggest advice I could give… create a card budget and live within it.
On Card Shows:
Tony L. followed up with us and recommended a few card shows in the Atlanta area. More broadly, he recommended looking on Facebook for card events in your area. For example, he pointed collectors to a collectibles show in Atlanta that has an active Facebook presence.
Card shows can be a great way to meet other collectors as well as see a wide variety of cards up close and personal. Often, vendors will be selling more than just cards so there is always interesting memorabilia that sports fans can appreciate – if not collect.
There was a lot of great advice offered up by our Twitter followers, and if nothing else, we hope that this demonstrated to you the welcoming community of card collectors on Twitter. There are thousands of collectors who are tweeting daily about the hobby and are eager to talk about their cards. They’re posting pictures, streaming videos of box breaks, and helping each other find cards to complete their sets. We highly recommend following all of the users mentioned in this post and reaching out to them if you ever have any questions. Thank you to all of our followers who participated in our conversation online!
Do you have more tips? Share them in the comments below!