I remember sports card super fan Keith Olbermann talking to a fellow collector outside of a hospital where his son was about to undergo a serious procedure. The dad was desperate to sell his whole collection, pennies on the dollar if he had to, so he could pay for the operation.
Please put aside the politics and assumptions; we don’t know these people. What we do know is it was the absolute worst time for the man to have to sell the collection he’d been working on since childhood. It was necessary for him to take time away from his son’s hospital bed so he could go through the pressure of liquidating the cards to pay medical bills.
This is an extreme example of the kind of tensions and immediacies that can await you if you haven’t thought that next step through ahead of time. Naturally, NSU doesn’t want to see anybody leave the card fan community.
Being proud of something you spent years building usually puts you in the mindset that “these will be worth something someday.” And like your cards, you’ll hold onto that thought for years as well. So, the image of Scrooge McDuck’s vault burns into your brain and you are on your way to a real letdown.
We’re tackling this head-on in the Non-Sport University page of our very soon-to-be-released June/July issue. The idea of breaking up your treasures and using the right avenue to give them a new home can help keep you focused long before you’re up against that wall. Might as well make it a part of your collecting strategy because you’re already using the skills you need:
1) Know what you’ve got
2) Know what the most desirable ones are
3) Know who collects what you collect
Break that down further, and you’re reminded the most important thing in the value of used cards is the condition. Have you researched your cards lately to see which ones are selling better nowadays? Don’t blather an itemized inventory when someone asks casually what you’re selling; you should be able to give a tantalizing description in a couple of sentences, because that’s what they’ll need to remember when casually passing it on to their own friends.
In the stock market, you don’t sell your stock when it’s low, you cling tightly to it so it’s worth more when the market is stronger. The other truism is you don’t make a profit when you sell, you make it when you buy while the market is down. Timing, and playing the long game, will help you get the most out of it. Then later, when your kid asks about those cards you had, you can say, “Well, your mother and I took them to this really nice card farm upstate, where it’s nice and beautiful, and they’ll have plenty of other cards to play with.”
See you in the upcoming issue!