America has always had a fascination with Sports cards. Baseball, football, and basketball cards capture visions of superstars throughout their careers, and chronicle history. I always wished to have a huge collection I could be proud of. Over the years, and with a limited budget, I have learned that you can accomplish this goal. At age 9 or 99 you can acquire a collection that anybody would take pride in, make a little money on the side, and help out some less fortunate kids in the process. Here is how you do it.
Step one is to scope out all of your local card shops. Visit each of them on a regular basis, and ask if they have any “bulk” commons that they might like to unload to you for a cheap price. They invariably will have several 5000 count boxes that they will blow out to you for next to nothing. I have picked up as many as 150,000 cards for as litlle as $100.00. The deals like this are there, you just have to be sure to put your name out there, and follow through when they call you with deals. Over time, you will be getting deals as often as you would like. At this point you can become a bit more selective about the deals you take or not.
Step two is to go through the cards you purchased and sort them by what they are. This will wildly vary from dealer to dealer and from deal to deal. Not every dealer considers the same players to be commons. I have known dealers to put Barry Bonds in his commons for example. Other dealers will only pull out the top rookies, and autographs and leave the rest. It depends on the dealer, and most have a very short memory. They will buy a collection, turn the big dollar cards for profit, and blow out the rest. Invariably, this will leave behind some good cards. In some cases, it leaves behind some fantastic material. For example, I once pulled out three Peyton Manning 98 spx finite rookie cards out of a box I purchased for $20.00. The point is, go through the collection carefully. Sort the cards into three piles at first. Pile one should be the cards you wish to keep for your own collection. It should be players you like, or teams you like. These will be your cards to keep. The second pile will be ALL rookies, inserts, parallels, and superstars that you didn’t pull for yourself. It doesn’t matter if the rookie is a star or not. If you hold onto these, later you will find some gems that bloomed a bit late. Finally, the third pile, you will take to the local orphanage, and give them to the kids there. The gratification you get during this step will be worth the entire process.
Step three of the process is to store away all of the cards from the second pile, and enjoy the ones pulled for yourself. Date all the boxes you stored with that day’s date on the outside of the box. In two years, pull down the box from storage, and cull through it again. You will find great cards of players who have matured, and new favorites you may have yourself. You will most certainly find some cards that have attained value, and are now “hot”.
Step four is to sell the cards that you didn’t want for yourself, and have culled from the boxes. You can do this online, or at a trusted shop if you hunt hard enough. Keep in mind that the hotter the cards the better the price. The possibilities to sell the cards are endless, and you will become very prolific at doing this.
Step five is to invest the proceeds from your sorting to rebuy a new collection, and start over with that at step one.
I have done this system for over 25 years, and believe me when I say, it works. It takes time to perfect the steps, and build your resources, but if you love the hobby, and don’t have a lot of money, this is the easiest and cheapest way to do it. Happy Hunting and hope you find the Honus Wagner.