Hey everyone, it's been a while. Today marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of Cards from the Quarry. Although, I don't know if it is fair to really call it an anniversary. That would be like a married getting separated, but not divorced after 4 years and then celebrating a 10th anniversary. Kinda weird, huh? I know some of you from back then have gone right along and kept churning out really good stories and talk about cards and baseball in general. I have kept the blog going technically as I have been constantly updating my want lists for the Rockies, but I have done so quietly. Nevertheless, I felt like today I should check in with something that was a big part of my life for several years and just say hello if nothing else.
I'll start with what I have been up since my last real post in June 2015. I have maintained my presence in the hobby. In fact, I have experienced nearly all aspects of the hobby which I will go into for anyone curious. I was part of a Breakers community for over a year. I was a "big hit" eBay seller in that time as well. I was also part of the Beckett trading community for a while, but only with basketball. More recently, I have been a Sportlots buyer/seller for the past 2+ years. I have also recently gotten back into the blogging community via the great group breaks at Cardboard Collections and Nachos Grande. Let's take a look into my opinion of the pluses and minuses in each of those parts of hobby.
I spent a lot of late night time in 2016 and 2017 on the Breakers.tv website, specifically a break room called Card Collective. I was drawn to it because it's a fairly small break room that focused more on the lower end and mid range stuff as opposed to most break rooms which would shut down without ridiculously overpriced like National Treasures or the rest of the high end stuff was unavailable. But CC always had a nice mix of cards including non-sport stuff that I even started liking a bit. He did hit drafts, team auctions where you bid on teams and could get stuff on the cheap, and stuff like division breaks where you got all the teams in a division for a set price. I stopped going there because I was basically losing a lot more money than I realized. It was fun, but it was not the same fun as here.
Pluses - Lots of cards to see and acquire. I got a lot of really nice cards there that I would have never seen otherwise. Lots of time to chat about cards and sports in between breaks. Very diverse when it comes to collectors and cards, some very good people. I learned a lot about hockey, football, racing, non-sports, and other parts of the hobby that I had ignored completely.
Minuses - Can get sneakily expensive. It was very easy to overspend there. Most collectors there weren't collectors at all. They were the mojo buyers that didn't care one iota about the cards, just the value. Even the people I liked were more into the money side of things than I was.
Everyone knows what eBay is, so I am not going to bore you with a description of the site. My time spent as a "big hit" seller sort of coupled with my time as a breaker. On Breakers, I focused on the Rockies for myself, but I also got a lot of other stuff that just didn't fit with my collection, so I just did what came natural. After I started selling on eBay, I tried buying groupings of cards (such as a lot of 50 parallels from a set) and selling them individually as well. Which worked fairly well. I stopped selling on eBay around the same time as leaving Breakers mainly because eBay stopped supporting the listing tool I was using and it became far less user-friendly for me.
Pluses - Large audience. Very secure money and shipping. You really can make a lot of money there. Could be fun at times such as searching for the lots. I would keep the ones I wanted and sell the rest and usually make a decent profit.
Minuses - I ended up with a lot of cards that didn't sell and I didn't particularly want to keep. I still have a lot of them to this day as well. Not a very interactive side of the hobby. I like talking cards as much as collecting them and when you sell to an anonymous person, it's just not there.
I have noticed that one of the most divisive words in the hobby that can really set some people off is the word "Beckett." Some people love it, but some people think it is one of the worst things about the hobby. I am somewhat in the middle. I do not care about Beckett's "book value" of cards at all, but their trading community was surprisingly nice. I joined the Beckett trading community several years before I even joined Blogger, but I left once they started forcing you to buy price guides in order to trade there. I did rejoin in late 2017 with the intent of trading away my inventory from my Breakers/eBay stay. Although I only ended up getting my basketball stuff on there, I did make quite a few trades.
Pluses - Practically every card ever made in all genres is on their database. You can't ask for much more than that. It was very easy to find both owners of cards I wanted and more importantly people that desired the cards I had. It was also easy to find team/player collectors to trade away not only the "good stuff,: but the common cards as well.
Minuses - The cost is the biggest minus. You have to buy a price guide subscription in order to trade there. As large as the community was, it wasn't really that active. Most trades I completed were ones I asked about. Very few offers came toward me. I enjoyed finding the right home for a card I had as much as getting something for myself. I just didn't feel that many people shared that vision.
Since 2018, I have found a home with Sportlots under the name "zebuflew" which is a portmanteau of my eBay ID "Richmond Zebu" and my ID everywhere else of "hiflew." I have been regularly selling there for over two years and have built up a decent amount of credibility and a few regular customers there. It started relatively slow maybe selling enough to buy a couple of blasters or few trips to COMC a month, but once the pandemic hit, my sales skyrocketed. I don't want to get into the numbers, but let's just say this summer I was selling a lot of expensive cards. The rookie card boom and my selling coincided very nicely. As a collector I hate the rookie card boom, but it really helped me as a seller. It has since leveled off somewhat mainly due to my inventory of big rookies being depleted, but I am still pulling in decent sales specifically with basketball cards right now. They are just super hot.
Pluses (as a seller) - A great place to unload unwanted cards in turnkey fashion. I basically check the site once a day and if I have no orders move on. If I have orders, I print, package, and am usually done in 10 minutes or so. You get paid altogether by the site at the beginning of the month, so the amount is greater than expected most of time and I can buy bigger things without having to save for myself (something I have never been good at).
Minuses (as a seller) - Only getting paid at the beginning of the month means you need to keep a small bankroll to pay for shipping the cards because you don't see that money until the beginning of the month as well. It takes a long time to inventory all your cards. In fact, I have most of my basketball listed, but baseball is limited to 2012-2019 right now. Eventually I plan to list everything I have, but it takes time.
So I have been a very diverse collector over the past 5+ years. I have also been a regular commenter on several sports and card websites under various names. The one thing that has not changed is my Rockies collection is still thriving. I am currently around 24,000 unique Rockies and my personal inventory database is nearly complete. I have everything catalogued except multiplayer Rockies cards. I have 23,033 plus an estimated 800 multiplayer cards right now. I also have a bunch sitting in my COMC mailbox since April, but the less said about that, the better for now. I should pass the 25,000 mark somewhere around March. Considering when I started this blog, my Rockies collection was around 250, I should thank a lot of you for helping me get to the current insanely high number.
I may decide to post regularly again. The reason I stopped was a crippling case of writer's block and by the time I finally got over that, I just didn't think anyone really missed me that much. I'm not "pity-partying" here, I just didn't feel what I was doing really mattered that much to people. But I digress. I have ideas, both old ones that went unfinished and new ones that I have not seen done anywhere. So I may come back to explore them along with showing off my collection and maybe trading some as well. I don't want to promise, because I don't know for sure right now, but I really do want to catch the writing bug again.
Anyway, thanks for reading if you are around. I know my number of followers remained around the same so I assume I was just hanging out at the bottom of most of your blogrolls for a long time. Either way, thanks for reading and maybe we can talk again later.