Thursday, November 21, 2019

When Your Hobby Interest Shifts

This post has been in the making for quite some time. Perhaps about two years. I feel like I've been constantly talking myself down off the proverbial ledge during that time, but now I'm finally going to take the leap:

Outside of the occasional good ol' PWE for PWE swap, I'm done with trading. 
Please, no more yellow padded mailers or flat rate boxes. 

Many things have changed in the hobby since I returned in 2009, perhaps more than any prior decade. For insatnce, Topps became the only MLB license holding company and Twitter really took off. Also, YouTube channels are en vogue and big money breaks are here to stay.

I'm not adverse to change in the hobby, but my tastes have slowly grown in a different direction.

Here's where I'm at with the hobby, in bullet point fashion for easy reading:

  • I still very much enjoy reading the blogs and I try to comment on at least one blog everyday. 
    • We have some excellent writers in our community, many of whom I feel have I have become friends with.  
    • I appreciate reading the "takes" of others, even if they're aren't in line with mine. Added bonus: the content is free!
  • Blogging has become a "process" for me and it's no longer as enjoyable as it once was.
    • I'm not going to shut down the blog, but who knows when the next post will come.
    • I won't be doing the "Favorite Card of the Year" contest, as I've done the last three years. I'm content with allowing it to die unless someone else wants to pick it up.
  • I still purchase cards, but they're for my specific collections:
    • The current set I'm working on will always have my attention.
      • There will always be a set to build and I love the chase!
      • FYI, right now it's 1982 Topps, but I'm not posting a want list. 
    • Vogelmonster cards. (Well, duh.)
    • Cards to upgrade my HOF Binder.  
    • Cards for my Folder of Fun, which I haven't shown on the blog. It is akin to Dimebox Nick's superb FrankenSet, but with categorized themes.  
    • I'm contemplating following Wrigley Wax's model of buying Cubs team sets from Ebay sellers or a local card show.
  • Why I'm no longer looking to be a catch-all for Cubs cards:
    • My trade bait is nonexistent, because I haven't purchased any modern day product in years. 
    • I can't recall the last time I shipped out a return package where I didn't specifically shop for the other person on Ebay, Sportlots, or a card show. It shouldn't be that way. The coffers truly are bare.
That's pretty much it. I've returned to my set building roots and at this point in time I prefer sets which are 35+ years old. Not the best way to build up a cache of trade fodder. LOL 

The latest Vogelmonster addition, numbered 14/25.  Awesome!
Side Note: I'm actually in the midst of designing plans for an end table which will double as shelves for card binders. That'll be fun for sure. I love making saw dust and I think blogging about that will be something I'll want to do down the road.

In summary, if you have a stack of Cubs cards and were planning on sending them way . . . well, please don't. May I suggest Beau, from the One Million Cubs Project? He's a most excellent trader and I'd love to see him reach his goal someday. 

Thanks for reading, all the past trades, and your support.   #CollectYourWay


  1. Tom, It has been a pleasure. Don't stray too far. Keep it fun. Don't have us "waiting til next year" for another post. I had to throw that in there. best wishes going forward.

  2. All valid and good stuff, Coach. You're feelings are shared by many. Enjoy the hobby the way you want to do it!

  3. You mean I can finally burn all my Cubs cards?!?!?!?! About damn time.

  4. I hear you, I am in a similar place.

  5. Sorry to hear you're stepping back, Tom! You've long been a favorite blogger of mine to read and receive comments from.

    I'm got a stack of '82 Topps dupes I'd love to thin out and have plenty of 80s/90s stuff on my wantlist, so feel free to get in touch about a little trade.

  6. Welcome to my world! I used to feel guilty for not being an active trader, but I could never justify buying cards that I didn't want or need. Online sites make it so easy to just get what you want. I'm over the guilt. Hobbies are supposed to be fun... glad to see that you're doing what you enjoy.

  7. I've felt this way recently, and I think a lot of us have. Priorities change, tastes and opinions change, it's understandable. I hope you'll stick around the blogs in some capacity, and I always appreciate your comments and generous gifts of cardboard. I'll be sure to send you something soon, though it wont be a mailer or flat rate box. ;)

  8. You're right, you have to go about the hobby as it pleases you. Though I'll miss so many of my prime wants being fulfilled, it really was above and beyond for you to do that.
    I might still send you stuff, since I have so much to move. Don't be a stranger!

  9. I can't recall the last time I shipped out a return package where I didn't specifically shop for the other person on Ebay, Sportlots, or a card show. It shouldn't be that way. The coffers truly are bare.

    I hear ya buddy. I've been dealing with this for quite some time now. The good news is I just picked up a few collections, so I have some base and low-end inserts to ship to people. But in regards to memorabilia cards and autographs... they've been long gone.

  10. It kind of sucks that you'll be scaling back, but at least you're not leaving us entirely. Your Folder of Fun sounds like it would be similar to some of Brian's arbitrary collections, if so, you should really think about showing some of it at some point, it'd probably make for some "fun" and easy posts to write.

  11. I always hate to see this but you made some valid points. I see that with a lot of my trading friends now that they don't have trade bait especially for me who collects football so they have to go out and buy stuff to make it a trade.

  12. Sad to hear you'll be taking a breather, Tom! Yours has long been one of my favorite blogs. Feel free to reach out if you're planning on going to any Orland shows in the near future. I try to head down there at least a couple times a year.

    I get where you're coming from on all this -- especially the trading part. I've been so horrible at mailing stuff out this year, mostly thanks to a simple lack of time and energy. It can get overwhelming -- which is not how trading should feel.

  13. I look forward to helping you with those 35+ year old strings attached :)

  14. Bravo, Tom. I'm in the exact same position with trade bait. I have none. I'm glad that you'll keep the blog open as I love seeing what you get and I'd love to see the end table, too. I have your PC spreadsheets bookmarked for when I do go out to shows and shops... just in case.

  15. Bummer, man. I really enjoy reading your posts. However, I do know where you're coming from. I have taken numerous breaks from the hobby since I was a kid in the junk era. Thanks for the shout out!