Weigh-In #58: Mo Cardboard Mo Problems

It’s been 6 months since I’ve done one of these weigh-in posts, so I’ll quickly run everybody through what’s going on…

One of the long-term goals I’ve had through the 6+ years of this blog is to streamline my collection.  There are a tremendous number of cards which sit in boxes;  those boxes sit in stacks.  At one point, I could not even lay my hands on my 1987 Topps set, because I had no idea of where it was.

I find that posting updates on the organizing and streamlining of my collection gives me a look at the big picture, keeps me honest and helps with motivation and – very appropriate this time around – guilt.

I know there are some people who are interested in other people’s state-of-the-collection posts.  For the rest of you, you can just look at the cards (which were obtained over the past year or so) and move on.

Here’s one of those cards right now!

A new bit of information I’m going to include going forward:  The amount of money I spent on cards in 2017.  I started to track this two years ago, but I don’t think I’d ever published my expenditures before.

…So here we go starting with….

Changes since the last weigh-in (7/5/17 to 1/13/18):
Net change in the collection: +993 (1072 added, 79 removed)
Net change to the # of cards in the house: +1663 (2298 in, 635 out)

I’ve been very bad over the past 6 months, and in 2017 in general. Plenty of acquisitions, not enough organizing (and organizing leads to letting go of cards I don’t really want or need). Part of my shame is that I never got around to getting rid of cards in two of my usual methods: Sending a box of cards to COMC, and donating a box to Goodwill. All of the cards going out of the house were either mailed out in trades or given to kids on Halloween.

Totals since I started tracking on 10/16/2011:
Total # of cards purged from the collection, to date: 12,321
Net change to the collection, to date: +1,942
Total # of cards which have left the house, to date: 49,690
Net change to the number of cards in the house, to date: -23,619

The last two categories are what keeps me going. It astounds me that nearly 50,000 cards have been sent out of the house in one way or another, and I’m very happy that overall there are over 23,000 fewer cards in my house than there were six years ago. For the time being, I’m going to ignore the 25,000 difference in “outbound cards” and “net change”.

Size of the collection:
Number of individual cards tracked in my Access database: 56,451
Number of cards that make up the sets flagged as completed in my Access database: 16,890
…which means I’ve got at least 73,341 cards in my collection

Money spent in 2017 – this does not count money spent on postage for trade packages

  • $5 at a “Local” Card Shop (“Local” is in quotes because said shop is not terribly local to me)
  • $161 spent at two shows (one of which was the “collectibles” show where the only thing I bought was a $25 Hobby box of 2004 Topps Total)
  • $358 in retail stores
  • Total for the year:  $524

I’m sure Target is happy that I spent several hundred dollars on retail card purchases, but I’m not.  This isn’t to say that the money was wasted, but rather that some of it really should’ve been directed towards buying (for example) a wax box rather than numerous blasters of 2017 products.  Part of the issue for me was that there wasn’t much in terms of 2017 product I had enough excitement for that I would buy a wax box.  Maybe 2017 Topps Bunt, as packs disappeared from store shelves before I was finished buying packs.

Size of the database:
This needs a little explaining… I used to track my collection through purchased PC software… The Card Collector (my first version was DOS-based!!!) and later WinCards. My copies of the software are old enough that when I got a laptop which ran on Windows 7, I couldn’t get either package to run.  As a result, I was forced to use other means, so I created a MS Access database and began importing data from those software packages (which currently are running on a fairly old netbook running Win95) as well as from information downloaded from Topps, Panini and tradingcardDB.com.

Mainly to satisfy my own curiosity, I decided to find out how much set and card information is currently in my database.

My database contains 756 set definitions and 189,268 card definitions.  It’s important to point out that this is merely the number of sets and cards which are represented within my database;  for example, although I have no cards from 1949 Bowman, it represents 1 set definition and 240 card definitions.

New Year’s Resolutions Which I Didn’t Intend To Make Until I Was Halfway Through Writing This Post:

    • Get more serious about keeping only those cards I love… A while ago I was flipping through a book on reducing household clutter, and one phrase which resonated with me was one about keeping only the things which you love.  I’ve been trying to embrace that more and more as I go along.  “Do I love this?  Will I miss it if it’s gone?”
    • Go on a low-parallel diet.  Lately I’ve been wondering how much “value” I’m adding to my collection through parallels.  Don’t get me wrong, some parallels are really cool… but if they’re that cool maybe I should keep the parallels and ditch the base versions.  More and more I get the feeling “I’ve got this card already, just with a different border”.
    • Be better about sending cards to COMC to replenish the stock in my “store”… and getting cards out of the house.
    • Give more thought about what I should and shouldn’t collect.  At one point I had a goal of collecting every card made of anyone who had played for the Mets.  I’d cut that goal back a few years ago, but I’ve discovered that, for example, I have a crap-ton of Nolan Ryan cards when I really wouldn’t collect him otherwise.  Ryan is HOFer and I have all kinds of respect for him and his accomplishments… but would I miss that 1990 Fleer tribute to Nolan Ryan’s many no-hitters?  Not likely.
    • Take efforts to “increase throughput”… Or “Fish or cut bait”… however you care to phrase it.  A lot of times, especially with packs and repacks, I’ll get cards (usually common inserts) that I’m not sure whether or not I want to collect them… and then they end up in my “in box” lost in the clutter with other cards which I’m also undecided about.  I need to be better about determining up front whether I’m going to keep the cards and dispatch them if I decide not to (and not feel any regret if I change my mind later).
    • Post these weigh-in posts quarterly, without fail.

2 thoughts on “Weigh-In #58: Mo Cardboard Mo Problems

  1. Although I’ll never be organized enough to do the whole “weigh-in” thing… I am trying to document my cardboard budget better. I’m also thinking about utilizing COMC like you do. I keep telling myself… one of these days. Best of luck on your resolutions!

  2. Just wanted to drop a quick note, even though I wasn’t posting on my blog I would still check out this one from time to time. Glad you are still around! I made a resolution to finally get my collection in order and organized. I have cards stashed all through the house, in closets, under the bed, drawers, you name it and you’ll probably find cards there. I have gotten the blog bug back and will start posting some of my additions and customs I plan on working on in 2018. Keep up the good work.

    Jason

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