Hello, it's contrarian night owl here, telling another tale about how obsessed we are with saving our cash.
I can tell you're shocked already.
Saving is a good thing, right? It's the American way. Getting the cheapest possible deal on whatever you're interested in purchasing gets you a little gold star or check mark somewhere, correct?
Actually, I don't think that's the way it works. Which is why I haven't been much for trying to find the cheapest way to buy cards. I've addressed this before. I see the point if you're on a strict budget or your job status is shaky or you're paying tuition for three kids in college. But saving for saving's sake I just don't get.
Sure, I get excited when I find a deal on ebay. And I pat myself on the back when I discover a shirt I bought that I like was on clearance. But it's never the point of the sale for me. The point is: did I get what I want?
Recently, I think I found another point, when it comes to purchasing cards, that I value more than savings. It has to do with waiting.
I decided to try the box feature with sportlots. As a relative sportlots newbie (I started making purchases some time in 2018), all of my card purchases from the site arrived directly from the seller.
That worked for me. I'd usually wait a couple weeks, sometimes less, and a bunch of PWEs from all different areas of the country would start floating into my mailbox. I did notice that I was paying a fair amount for shipping with that method but I was willing to overlook it.
Then Nachos Grande made a blog post about his experience with sportlots and how he was paying way too much for shipping. It really bothered him. And because of that, I thought, well, maybe it should bother me.
He tried the sportlots box feature and he was a lot happier with that, it saved him quite a bit on shipping. Just about everyone in the comments agreed that was the smarter way to go, too. Well, except for me, I didn't really get it. There's that contrarian streak.
But I figured, OK, I should at least try it. Everyone seems to think it's the more sensible way.
So, the second week of December I placed a sportlots order using the box feature for the first time. For those who don't know, the box feature allows you to order from multiple dealers still, but instead of them shipping the cards directly to you, they ship them to your box. When all of your orders have arrived in the box, you pay the reduced shipping charge and they send the cards to you.
That's what I did. My shipping ended up being cut in half. So yay! Savings!
And I also waited.
I waited for each dealer's order to make its way to the box, bit by achingly slow bit.
The normal two weeks or so I used to wait for sportslots envelopes to show up came and went. Then another two weeks came and went.
It took so long that I ended up canceling the last card that hadn't reached the box because the card wasn't worth waiting for any longer.
The box arrived at my house on Saturday. Thirty-four days after I placed the order.
Now, that actually isn't a long time when you think about it. This is someone who used to wait 6-to-8 weeks to get some junky thing off a cereal box back in the '70s.
But I didn't like it.
I know this might be an extreme example because of the time I placed the order. It was Christmas time. And post offices were backed up like never before. Mail was delayed everywhere (I'm still waiting for an envelope from Pennsylvania to show up). Sportlots box orders probably don't usually take a month to appear I'm guessing.
But the point I'm making here is sometimes when you save, you pay.
I often pay extra not because I like paying extra money but because I want the job done right.
There is a plumbing and heating business in town that gets all my business. Sometimes when people I know hear that we went to this particular place to get something fixed, they'll say the same thing, "Oh, they're so expensive."
Yeah, OK. Well, I've tried other places that were actually cheaper. One time I couldn't get an appointment with the normal place because it was a busy time. I went with someone else. Someone cheaper. It was a disaster. I thought he was going to kill every pipe in the house. You're paying for more than the product. You're paying for service, too.
People, I find, get addicted to deals. And sometimes that's good. It's not a bad thing to want to save money. Most of the time it's a good thing. You've seen me display my goodies from the online dime box store, right? I do like cheap cards.
But sometimes, I don't know. I just don't get it. Sometimes you miss out on stuff because you're looking for a couple of dollars off. Is that smart? It's not like you have to fill out a report to someone if you got a card for $6.25 but you could have gotten it for $3.95. At least I hope there isn't.
Anyway, I'll try the box order again some time, when it's less hectic. Because I think that kind of wait wasn't normal. If it is normal, I'll just pay my extra 5 bucks or whatever it is and get all those individual envelopes floating into my mail box again.
All of the above cards came from that box order (plus a few others that are for other posts or trades).
The two 1975 Topps buybacks are the first ones I've bought since last February! I'm hearing COMC is starting to get back to normal, maybe I'll finally order shipment of a few more soon.
As with collecting, people can approach spending any way they like. If they're not going over their budget than it's entirely their business. Even if they are going over their budget, it's their business if no one is dependent on them.
I never feel guilty if I'm not saving at every opportunity because I know the funds are there. But then there are those moments where someone says something and, I don't know, I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I'd just prefer not to be lectured by the grocery store clerk when I didn't buy the sale item (and, yup, that's happened). I probably shouldn't let it bother me. I get too flustered by what people say sometimes. It's not any of their business.
We always have our reasons for why we do what we do.
And sometimes that reason is: do I want to save or do I want to wait?
RIP, Don Sutton.
I am at a loss.