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Staying in my lane

The past year has forced me to expand my means of obtaining baseball cards. While purchasing cards at the store or on COMC has vastly decreased, buying on ebay and Sportlots has increased.
Consider it a trend for 2020. There have been many other hobby-related card trends this year (check out my end-of-the-year post for those), some of which I've participated in a little. But one of the blog crazes of late -- trading on Trading Card Database -- I've avoided so far.
Unlike hoarding toilet paper or plundering card aisles, I'm down with trading on TCDB if that's what you want. It makes sense for certain traders. But I'm not one of them. Yet.
First, to trade successfully on TCDB, you have to upload your collection on the site. I'm sure you don't have to upload the whole thing, but the thought of listing out even one-seventh of my 100,000-plus cards makes me want to crawl into a corner.

Second, I like to keep my trading outlets to one or two avenues. If I start trading on multiple platforms -- the blogs, Twitter, Facebook, TCDB -- I'm going to be even more scattered than I usually am and will probably neglect day-to-day responsibilities not related to the hobby. That will cause me to enjoy the hobby less. There is nothing quite as distressing as having the feeling you owe multiple people on multiple platforms. I am having a difficult enough time catching up with blogging trades.

Third, I'm doing quite well with trading through the blog. I hope it always stays that way. I'm probably fortunate in that my blog is well-read and that I have a lot of card interests, which makes it easier for people to find stuff. (I think anyway. I'm sure there have been collectors who have fumed after looking at my want lists: "I can't FIND anything for this guy!").

As an example, I recently received two separate envelopes from bloggers Jeff of Wax Pack Wonders and Kerry of Cards On Cards that addressed my 1980s Fleer want lists.

Posting about those Fleer lists has led to much overdue progress in that area. The cards from Jeff and Kerry spurred me on to ordering several Fleer needs online -- another 2020 development is finding a cheap online option for so-called worthless cards like '80s Fleer.

Jeff sent a handful of 1983 Fleer needs, including the Bobby Grich at the top of the post. I still say this is a set that has never interested me much, but because just about all of the subjects are players from my younger rooting days, I am required to have all of them.

Jeff also sent a couple of insert needs from 1989 Fleer because I've been dutifully (well, dutiful in the most neglectful way possible) accumulating '89 Fleer needs since Johnny's Trading Spot mailed me a box of the stuff about a year-and-half ago.

This is what I really like to see though: 1982 Fleer.

This is a set that I wanted to complete in 2020. I thought it would be very easy to do when I was listing out objectives at the start of the year. But like a lot in 2020, 1982 Fleer was pushed into the background amid all of the chaos.

Kerry also sent a couple of '80s Fleer needs. Viewing these two together makes me realize how I've mistakenly called 1983 Fleer "gray" all these years. It's really more brown, isn't it?

Hey, look! 2020 cards!

"Hopefully, card shows and cards at retail will be a thing again someday," Kerry wrote in his note with the cards.

Yes, that would be nice. My stock of available trade bait is dwindling and all that's left are cards for the Marlins, A's and Mariners fans who will never, ever come.

Those who are new to TCDB trading have praised the site's ability to rid them of unwanted cards and that does sound appealing. Might there be Marlins fans on TCDB?

But I have to remind myself I'm still doing OK on the blogs in that department, too.

This card arrived from Daniel of It's Like Having My Own Card Shop.

He sent it after I shipped him 30 or 40 Barry Bonds cards to help in his quest to land 700-plus different Bonds cards. I was able to rid myself of a bunch of icky Bonds cards for one beautiful Cody Bellinger Archive parallel.

This card shows you how wonderful the 2002 Topps set could have been with a different color choice (or even better, a team-color-focused border for each team).

I'll be staying in my own trading lane for the time being. It's still productive and it keeps me sane. But you never know. If blog trading dwindles to nothing, I guess I'll start uploading my inventory onto TCDB. ... Give me about six years to be ready to trade there.


Josh D. said…
You wouldn't have to enter your whole collection. To trade successfully you would need to enter:
1) Your wantlist
2) Your cards available for trade

If your wantlist is very specific, that would be a much shorter process than entering what you already have (although you could do that if you wanted to).
Josh D. said…
Still no Marlins fans on there, either. :-)
Nachos Grande said…
I entered about half of my want list on TCDB and some trade bait from (mostly) 2019-2020 and I've found good success so far. I plan to keep dabbling with the site, one bit at a time.
Fuji said…
In a perfect world, I'd snap my fingers and my collection would be uploaded to TCDB and I could swap extras for cards I need. But...

A. I hate starting a project I know I can't finish within a reasonable amount of time. And I can only estimate that it would take months, maybe even a year to do and that's not a project I'm ready to commit to yet.

B. Even if my collection was uploaded... I lost that passion for trading specific cards for specific cards a few years ago. These days I don't mind helping people with sets when I can, but care packages are more of my cup of tea.

P.S. 1982 Fleer is kind of a boring design, but that Eck is a cool card. Just shows how a nice photograph can make any card look good.
night owl said…
@Josh D. ~

Yeah, that still sounds pretty exhausting.
Mark Hoyle said…
As someone who has zero of his collection documented this would really stress me out
GCA said…
I've only made a couple trades on the Database, but I just link my wants website and go from there. I'll never try to upload everything I have either ('cuz I have 250K). Maybe just player collections or certain set chunks. But I do kill the occasional afternoon adding scans of stuff I have that they're missing pictures of.
Nick Vossbrink said…
It's hard enough to keep rack of what I'm collecting. I can't imagine keeping track of all my duplicates for trading.
Kevin said…
1983 fleet is still’s warm gray vs 1989’s cool gray...I do some level of interior design for my job, so this makes sense to me
Nick Vossbrink said…
Adding to the warm vs cool grey comment. This accurately tracks with the color grey that everything else was. 1970s and early 80s, warm greys were king. By the late 80s, we wanted our greys to be cooler.

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