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 (Toll Free)

Your Turn: How has the Web changed the hobby?

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

How has the Internet changed your hobby?

It’s a bit of a loaded question because there are countless possible answers — it might be better to ask whether there are ways it hasn’t changed collecting.

Better yet, though, we figured we’d just ask you — because there just might be many different answers for many different people. Dealers might sound different than collectors. Manufacturers might have differing answers, too. You’re all out there.

For the next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly, we’re going to explore some of the ways that the Internet has transformed collecting, the industry, the market. For one part of the issue, we’re planning to showcase your answers on this wide-ranging topic. Leave your comments — with a name and location — below and we’ll showcase the most notable ones in the magazine.

Also, be sure to take our polls asking you about the Internet’s influence after the jump.

Has the Internet been good or bad for the hobby?

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Has the Internet been good or bad for your collection?

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What do you like best about online collecting?

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Do you buy most of your wax online?

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Do you buy most of your single cards online?

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Have any other stuff you want to talk about on the topic? Tell us in the comments below.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

55 Comments

XstreamINsanity

Yeah, it is a loaded question. It has definitely hurt the hobby in terms of fewer LCSs. And it kind of hurts the hobby when people can spread more fakes because “the scan isn’t the best”. But at the same time, without the hobby (and this site in particular) I don’t think I’d have over 3,600 different Pistons cards. I’ve lived in GA for 9 years now and before moving to GA (from Michigan) I only had about 300 different Pistons cards. Most of the other 3,300 cards I’ve gotten have been through eBay, MarketPlace, COMC, trading, and gifts from the great members on here. So it has definitely helped my collection. I do with there were more LCSs around so I could go in and look around rather than staring at a screen, but the prices online are sometimes better, even for singles, but especially for was. I’m torn on it a little bit, but I’m leaning more towards good than bad.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

The influence of the Internet on The Hobby is exactly what brought me back to collecting after a decade away. The ability to connect with other like-minded collectors all over the world and discover new and interesting personalities refreshes my interest on a daily basis.
The Internet has also afforded me opportunities within The Hobby that I never dreamed possible. Being a collector has evolved from the dark confines of the LCS to the connected world-wide community of ‘The Hobby’

David Wright
Brantford, Ontario, Canada

Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

The internet has changed the hobby for the better, it has brought new life to a hobby that was dying, now I see more and more collectors at my local hobby shop and some of the comments I hear usually relate to the internet. In my case I like to have my private collection and sell the rest on Ebay. Topps has been essential to online collectors with their promotions such as the diamond giveaway. I hope the hobby grows to the levels it was 20 yrs ago.

Art Razo

Razorbouquet on Ebay

Posted March 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
Cory Furlong

I think the internet has been great for collectors. It allows us to network with fellow collectors. I also the internet has had a huge impact in the lost art of card trading, both physical and virtual. As a set collector it is much easier completing sets trading with fellow collectors via good ole fashion snail mail. Also last years “Topps Diamiond Giveaway” seemed to be a hit with code card sales on auction sites and being able to trade cards everyday via the giveaway site. Overall the internet has been good for collectors to trade, share and discuss cards.

Cory Furlong
Dubuque Iowa

Posted March 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
JeffNSU

It has led to too many self-important bloggers who think they are the “voice of the hobby”. They bash sites like Beckett because they are jealous of their traffic and really provide nothing of value to the hobby. They so desperately wish to be a real part of the industry, but they lack the fundamental skills to do so. coughscucough

Posted March 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
Rob

Overall I believe the advent of the internet drastically changed this hobby for the better. Think about the countless resources you have at the click of a mouse. Before, you would only interact with people in your town or go to trade shows once every so often to see the latest and greatest or just to do some trading for your collection. Now, you can find just about any card anywhere in the world practically. Since comming back to the hobby last year, i’ve done countless trades to build up my personal collection of baseball cards that I wouldn’t even concieve of obtaining at this stage of my life. Also, its a perfect mix of going to your brick and mortar store (LCS) to get the supplies you need, bust a few packs, and then go back home to search online to complete a set, offer to help someone a thousand miles away and hey, even sell that rare 1/1 card to someone whos willing.

- Robert Mazetta
Jackson, NJ

Posted March 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
David Johnson

The good: Easier to find a rare card or the last card needed for a set.
The bad: Hard to tell condition of a card from a webpage image.
The ugly: Easier for scammers to take advantage of people.
The best: Brings together collectors that might never have met and allows them to trade and talk about their collections. Real time card values based on a global market.

David Johnson
Ocala, FL

Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
Matt

There used to be all kinds of card shops around, but
the Internet has pretty much killed that. The card shop used to be like a barber shop where you could talk face to face with other collectors. Don’t get me wrong you can do that online but there’s something about just sitting around in person with other collectors and just talking cards. If you’re into buying vintage wax you have to be really trusting of who you buy from because you can’t examine the wax yourself.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink
James

Without the internet I probably wouldn’t have very many good cards. There are no LCS’s around and I couldn’t picture myself getting very many good cards from Walmart/Target. If I didn’t have the internet there may be a good chance that I wouldn’t collect cards. I think the internet has contributed hugely to the hobby even still being around.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
Mike

The Internet has made it easier for the collectors of the “right now” generation to get what they’re looking for. That being said, it has killed the local market as dealers who owned shops have moved to online stores. I used to be able to drive for 5 minutes and be able to find more than one lcs in that time. I miss the camaraderie of hanging out at my old LCS and BS’ing with buddies about monster hits and cool collections long gone. I miss the face to face interaction of fellow collectors. The only thing I don’t miss is the pricing. Luckily there is a place about 35 minutes away that has a twice weekly show to provide a face to face forum for people like me. But I still miss my LCS. It was a home away from home…thanks a lot inter-web! For making it easier for me to make money to feed my habit and then taking away my LCS’es so I have to go to you in order to feed my habit.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
bonnev659

the internet change things on how to get rare items now. before you used to have to go to card shows and do lots of trips to the lcs but now you can sit at home and do all of it

i love the forums, where you can talk to other collectors and each try to help each other out. compare to trying to make a profit like some places now…

Posted March 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

As a collector my collection was only growing by whatever cards I could find in the retail stores and the one new card shop in my area. Once I found other collectors and trading sites online my collection has grown immensely and I’ve managed to access cards I otherwise never would have known existed let alone found and added to my collection. I designed my own website for trading and have dealt with close to 500 different traders in 49 different states and a dozen other countries in the nearly nine years since I launched my site. Through my online trading I have made many new friends. None of that would have happened if not for the internet.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink
Caleb Wilson, Gilbert AZ

The web has widely effected every area of sports collecting in terms of trading, selling, buying, showing collections, and encouraging talk about the hobby we all love! For me, Youtube and my account TheWilsonFive has become my greatest resource along with Blowoutcards forums and Beckett by giving me the opportunity to show off my cards, meet other card collectors, and easily sell, buy, and even trade online! Ebay has also transformed the industry completely to the point where anyone can win a card they have been searching for at the click of a winning bid at such a low price. Some websites even sell boxes at prices so low that card shops just can’t keep up. The internet has effected the hobby of sports card collecting in such a large way that I don’t think we can ever go back to the old ways….

-Caleb Wilson
Gilbert, AZ

Posted March 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
Tyson

The internet literally opened up the world of collecting to me again after over 15 years. I know of very few collector’s in my area even after a few years of being involved in the hobby. If not for trading sites and the like, I never would have started buying boxes or even caring about hockey cards.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
Darcy44

It is an easy question when you live in a more remote location. When your local area does not provide an abundence of collectors to trade, buy or sell cards, you can turn to the internet to find the items you need. A collector in another country, half way around the world may hold that one card you need and it is just a few clicks away. The internet has allowed me to find and collect exactly what interests me without having to sort through thousands of cards that just don’t cut it.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
Darcy44

It is an easy question when you live in a more remote location. When your local area does not provide an abundence of collectors to trade, buy or sell cards, you can turn to the internet to find the items you need. A collector in another country, half way around the world may hold that one card you need and it is just a few clicks away. The internet has allowed me to find and collect exactly what interests me without having to sort through thousands of cards that just don’t cut it.

D Campbell
Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
Robert Braxton

I don’t have a strong feel for its affect so far, BUT … I expect (on-going), collectors will organize their collection with some piece of software, then upload it (like here, preferably), and then we can all deal much cleaner & quicker – making the whole process increasingly efficient over the coming years.
(I’m almost done organizing my PC to Excel, and I look forward to uploading that info to a website that can effectively dispense to queries made by any neo-end-user.)

Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
Robert Braxton

P.s. I don’t miss the LCS’s.
I like having ONE I guess, but I could do without the pressure to buy something to support a dying business.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
Dan

I don’t appreciate finding that rare card anymore. Finding just about anything is too easy (affording it on the other hand…). There’s no thrill in pulling a card of my favorite player anymore.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

I think the internet has done wonders for buying and selling cards. It’s much easier to find what you want and get a good price. It’s also much easier to find someone that wants what you have to sell.

Message boards and social networking hasn’t been all that great for the hobby. More than a place for people meet and share their love of cardboard it seems to breed people meeting to complain and feed of each others negativity.

There are many folks online that love the hobby and keep it on the up tip but you have to work to avoid the downers.

Kevin

Virginia

Posted March 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink
Bobby Currier

I believe the web has amplified the hobby. Digital organization, trading, buying/selling, and the trading community has flourished due to the web presence. Most folks would have to depend on in-person trades, card shows, and local card shops to attain their collecting needs. With the aid of the web a collector can has so many avenues of which they can seek cards or players they want to collect.

Local card shops may have died off in the store front, however, there are more card sellers today then there was 20 years ago. With auction sites, this Beckett community, and other card sites the industry is exploding with potential. It’s my belief that the web is used for more good than it is for bad intentions in the card industry. You will always have your bad sellers/traders no matter what the method of marketing will be. Card sellers used to have to pay rent in a card shop to their landlord. Now you can take that money from the landlord and put it in your own account since you no longer need all that high overhead to sell/buy your hobby needs.

I have personally seen my 20 year old Ken Griffey Jr collection swell from 6,000 heavily duplicated cards in 2009 to over 10,000 cards by March 2012. Using the web, to my advantage, has allowed me to nearly double my collection in only 3 years and post over 2,550 unique Griffeys. The web is now my preferred method of obtaining cards. The web has enabled me to become a super collector, it has become easier to find what I want, and I have met many wonderful traders who encourage and assist me with my collecting goals.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

Joshua Palmer (jpleazme805)
Santa Barbara, Ca (hometown)
San Diego, Ca (current city)
United States Navy Reservist
http://photobucket.com/jpleazme
http://photobucket.com/farmar

There used to be ton of local card shops & card shows. I remember as a kid (early 90′s) going to tons of shops to check out their displays, chat with the owners & older collectors. Used to save my lunch money to buy cards. I grew up in Santa Barbara, Ca. There used to be 8-9 shops, plus swapmeet on Sundays, & card shows every few months. Today, there is one card shop left & he is packing up & closing…. the owner has been in business for over 25 years.. he is trying to sell the shop, but don’t think anybody will buy it. Now, I live in San Diego.. still a lot of shops, but their selection of cards & wax is very slim.. even the huge card shop in down town San Diego. I’m a basketball fan, so it’s hard to find boxes of cards at local shops. If I do, they are overly priced. Why would I buy a box of cards for $20-40 extra, when I can plug in my laptop & search hundreds of online dealers or ebay & pick up a ton of wax for a fraction of the cost I’d pay at the LCS…. ?? In today’s economy, including worldwide collectors/sellers… it is a buyer’s market.

Pros about buying online..
You are connected to a worldwide market. I can find scarce cards very easily, if somebody throws them up on ebay or even search google & find them in the many sports forums out there. I enjoy checking out other collectors collections.. the forums & photobucket make it very easily to find other collectors that have the same interests as you. The online world lets collectors brag about the cardboard collections.. +1

Even in San Diego card shops are hard to find. One or two pop up here or there, but usually they don’t last 12 months. Most of their sells are online. The ones that have stayed over the years have their regular customers that spends hundreds of dollars a month. Customers even advertise for them on youtube, which I see a lot of collectors posting their breaks online.. it feels like I am at the card shop or at their house watching them bust wax right along with them. Helps me get a feel for the different products out there. One part I do not like about the internet is sellers selling wax, busting it on youtube, then shipping the cards to the buyer. Why would anybody pay for somebody else to open their boxes?? That’s not right!!

Internet has helped a lot of collectors that are from small towns continue to or start to collect Sports Cards. I think this is the biggest plus for any collectors.

With the internet, should bring a bigger sports card market, but I have not seen it. It seems like there are less & less collectors out there. I wish there was a more mainstream advertisement about collecting sports cards. TV Commercials, ect… internet advertisement does wonders, but how many collectors started collecting, because they seen an internet advertisement.. I do not think many…

You can put together challenging collections very easily with the use of the internet. For example. I am chasing both years Chronology & Elite Black Box base & Lakers autos. I am 5 cards away from completing Elite Black Box base, with a print run of /99 & 2 cards each year away from completing Chronology Basketball. I could not do this without the use of the internet & online sellers.

Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
Mike Fleagle

Short and sweet; I have had the opportunity to purchase some really nice items via the web. Most of these are items I would have never known existed had it not been for the hobby’s presence on the internet. On top of it all, social media has allowed me to share these finds with my friends and other collectors. Everything you could ever ask for is just a click away!

Mike F.
Martinsburg WV

Posted March 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

Folkert Leffring, Dutch, living in Valencia, Spain –

As a collector based in Europe the internet has been crucial for me for getting back to the hobby. In the 90′s, when I lived in The Netherlands, cards were widely available at book and stationery shops and in dedicated sports shops. That ended towards the end of that decade, which is also when I stopped collecting.

Nowadays in The Netherlands and Spain it’s virtually impossible to get any trading cards in brick&mortars except for what Panini Europe decides to put out for the European market, which is basically one low-end base-only set for the season aimed mostly at kids. And for the record: this season we don’t even get anything.

Being able to pick up boxes and singles over the internet has in this respect been the only way I could have ever gone back to the hobby.

As a European collector, the internet has also allowed me to get in contact with collectors in the United States, where obviously there is more experience and knowledge regarding the hobby. In this respect the internet has not only enhanced my knowledge of collecting, but also enabled me to share my joys and frustrations with fellow collectors.

Being able to interact with people at such a long distance to share, foster and enhance our mutual collections and to discuss the hobby is a true blessing.

Posted March 9, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

It gives collectors instant access to their collecting needs, singles, boxes or memorabilia. For Sports Cards Plus of San Antonio, it is an economical means to advertise and let people know about us. We have had people tell us they decided to vacation in San Antonio because of the Sports Cards Plus website. We often have visitors from all over the United States, Mexico, Canada and even as far away as Norway and Japan.

Posted March 9, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink
JessEm

I enjoyed these responses but I would’ve liked to see these answers prefaced by stating whether they started collecting before, or after the web…

Personally, I’m a bit of a romantic. I miss the days of dusty card shops, the atmosphere at shows and meeting other collectors, and rifling through endless boxes of cards. Ok, maybe not rifling through endless boxes. That was more a labor of love and is archaic.

Posted March 9, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink
David Hall

There used to be trading card clubs where collectors could get together to trade with each other and share their latest trading cards. That is all done online nowadays as there are a variety of online communities where collectors share their great pulls and trade with each other on various forums. And how awesome is that to see the internet bring like-minded collectors together to experience the hobby on a whole new level no matter if they live in Topeka, Kansas or Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. Fans of sports cards today use these communities to learn the hobby which may be a reason why you don’t see sports cards in bike spokes anymore. People realize sports cards are collectible.

Another major change is how sports cards are priced. While I enjoy reading printed sports card publications, most do not put a lot of merit in the traditional price guide anymore. These days if you have an eBay account you can just peruse completed auctions for a card you wonder about the value of and get a very accurate appraisal on the value. And if your item is super rare, people often just put it up on eBay with a ridiculous “Buy It Now” price to get a better feel for what someone would pay.

Arguably the biggest change from before the internet era was how cards are bought and sold. Instead of walking down to your local hobby shop, today you can buy or sell trading cards with a few clicks of the mouse. Unfortunately with internet sales of collectible items come unscrupulous buyers and sellers looking to make a quick buck by taking advantage unsuspecting collectors.

Posted March 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink
Bobby

Ebay Ebay Ebay. Need I say more?

Posted March 9, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Let’s also not forget that what the card companies make has also been dramatically offered by the changes to the landscape caused by eBay.

Posted March 9, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink
David

I think the internet and mainly Ebay has hurt the hobby. There are less Card Shows and when you do set up at a show all you hear is I can get this off ebay for less… People give cards away on the internet and in my opinon that is what is causeing more shops to close up no so much the bad economy ( although the economy isn’t helping). For example people sell sets on line for less than 20.00 per set and at shows they sell for 25.00 and up and people always say I can get that off line cheaper. Card shops have a lot more than 20.00 in each set why it takes a Jumbo box to put a set together. Well I better stop because I could go on for a very long time.

Posted March 9, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

It’s cheaper online… power sellers can can undersell any card shop, sometimes, they work out of their house or rent a storage locker.. they can work in their spare time.. while card shop owners have rent to pay & in most cases paying a middleman to get their wax.. they don’t sell too many singles today, because everybody knows they can get the same card for about 1/3 or 1/2 what BV might be.. Nobody wants to pay anywhere close to BV these days.

Even when it comes to trading/selling to other collectors through sports forums, nobody wants to do an even trade. Everybody wants a deal. I had a few high dollar cards (i.e. Lebron James Exquisite 08-09 box auto set) that I could not sell. everybody wanted it for under a $1,000… while an exquisite box costs $650-800 at the time.. box had three Lebron Autos that usually sale for $500-700 each.. why would I sell it for under a $1k….

The internet has made it harder to find local collectors in big cities… you don’t run into them too often. I used to go to my favorite local card shop every other week, spend about 45 minutes there chatting with the owner, maybe buy a box, if he had any basketball… which there are not too many bkb collectors in San Diego, at least South bay. I ran into 4 other basketball collectors in a year… that is how sad collecting cardboard is these days… even searching for other local collectors online.. they are scarce…

most people jump from one sports forum to the next, looking for a quick sell, where they don’t have to pay ebay fees.. even Beckett has their own selling fees, which collectors do not like… therefore they have left Beckett… I for one, Love Beckett & have been a fan since the early 90′s. I don’t buy the magazine anymore, because it is too expensive to buy the “all sports Beckett” & “basketball magazine”… along with the OPG (basketball, since that’s the only thing I collect).. to expensive to buy every sport.. so I stick with my love for the court, instead of the field.

Besides the internet, Card manufacturer companies have also driven a lot of collectors away from the Hobby!!!!

Price per boxes have gone up dramatically over the past decade. Not too many collectors want to buy low end products, because the “hits” are not worth the return in money. Even Hoops 2011-12 was supposed to be a low end product, which it still is.. but, card shops want to sell them for $80-90 a box, when I can pick them up online for $65-70… Where do you think I will spend my money? Other high dollar products, Exquisite, Chronology, Triple Threads, Limited, Timeless, National Treasures, (now) Certified… cost way too much…

Hard to imagine, National Treasures Basketball sold for about $400-450, now a box costs over $800 a pop… OUCH!! What made it go up so much?? Is Panini the one making costs go up, by holding out on availability & demand? Or are these Internet Sellers the ones holding onto cases to sell at a later time & double their money???

Posted March 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
Pat Adair

Ebay took the card store and card show away from the collector but also completely made Beckett as a price guide completely irrelevant, which is a good thing for the collector. Ebay became the real-time global price guide.

Posted March 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
Sam

I have pros and cons takes on the subject at hand. Although the internet allows me to find cards I want at a click of a mouse, but it looses the excitement of owning these cards. Before the internet, I used to go conventions, LCSs, and traveled miles to other card shops to fulfill my collection. The journey was not so exciting but finding these cards were the most exhilarating feeling of all. Its like finding a diamond in the middle of the ocean. I remember bringing the cards home and stared at them for hours. Called all the friends over just to look and talk about it. *sigh* …but with the internet, I make the purchase and wait for the mail. Once the card arrived, I check real quick for the serial number and straight into the box. *Blah*

Posted March 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink
david jones

the internet has changed the landscape of collecting in many ways but the way that i think it has affected it the most is the way that we view whats rare. could you imagine in the 80′s and 90′s thinking that a card #’d out of 200 wasnt rare or super rare? i also think that along with how we view rareity and the value that we associate with it which has helped bring down prices because it is easier now to find them now. in a way this is a good thing because it has allowed collectors to buy more cool unique items with out spending an arm and a leg to put together collections that with out the internet may have never been able to put together in a lifetime.

david jones
lima ohio

Posted March 10, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink
steve-o

so Chris……am I to assume-you don’t care for eBay and what its done to the overall hobby ?

Posted March 10, 2012 at 2:09 am | Permalink
steve-o

I started “real” collecting in 1992 (so…..pre internet; but only by a few years) and at that time there were four or five shops in a region with roughly 140,000 people, depending on where the population lines were drawn, and there was still “corrupt” individuals in the small collecting community-but not like the vast volume the internet has brought out….but the bigger window of choices that are available has made it a much easier task to fill sets for the small collector like myself and in my opinion, it wasn’t just the internet that has led to the change in our hobby….it is just like almost everything these days-first it is a change in the hobby that was natural (what goes up…..MUST come down) and going to happen, with or without the internet and second; GREED !! the lure of quick easy money, has led to several people ……JUST IN IT FOR THE QUICK EASY $$$$$$$$$. then there are people with good business savy and know when & where to buy and sell items that can make the profit margins they are looking for (I love the ones where tape, and even “time licking the envelope” are included in what the buyer is being charged for !! dont get me wrong, in my area alone-bubble mailers went up 60% in a year, I know its spendy selling stuff & eBays fees are ludicrous….but I learned in business classes- its called THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS SOMETIMES !!!!!). With time, one learns who the good sellers are and for all you wanting the high end stuff…..at cheap prices-several stores in NY area, no names. plus there are several on the marketplace on here……shop around !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted March 10, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink
CJ

Most importantly the internet has changed the hobby because it brought in more people who are more interested in selling than collecting – its made the hobby more business-like, which I think is bad. Its no wonder the local card shops are gone!

On the other hand the internet has clearly made it possible to add cards to one’s collection like never before.

Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Steve-o: You can assume whatever you want, but nothing is said (nor implied) by me there. Card companies have reacted to a changed environment — because they have to.

Posted March 10, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
LAZER-A

I collected Shaq cards from 92-96 (kinda before inernet and ebay) and then sold everything. Then last year I got back into it and started up my shaq collection again. Ebay has made it very easy to find the cards that I need. I now have 2000+ different Shaq’s and counting. That being said, what used to be “rare” locally, before the internet, turns out to not be so “rare” after all. And it also shows you what really is rare. A one per box parallel of your favorite player seemed impossible back in the day, but is pretty easy to find online. A card that only shows up on ebay ever 6 months or so is typically a pretty “rare” card. I buy singles online and buy wax from my lcs and walmart. Whether or not the internet has been good or bad for the hobby overall, I think only time will tell. Being out of the hobbey for 15 years and coming back into it, it seems like a whole different world. It has definitely changed it. For better or worse, I think is a personal opinion.

Posted March 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
LAZER-A

I think the way the card companies present cards is different because of the internet. A rare parallel that is the same as the base card sells for hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars just for a serial number and a different color foil or background. I hate all the different parallels. I wish there were different insert sets like back in the day where it is actually a different card (with a different picture)from the base card. I think thats why the late 90′s stuff is so popular. No one really like the new stuff thats out.

Posted March 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
steve-o

hey Chris……I wasn’t talking about card companies in main part of my comment referring to the internet, and like anyone who posts on here-its peoples different opinions

Posted March 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
taffster74

It definitely is a loaded question. I voted that net has been good for the hobby – even though a lot of people tend to use ebay – an online auction house – as a price guide which is wrong as it is an auction house and you can find multiple listing at multiple prices on most cards. for me personally, living in Australia’s capital the web/net has been good for my collecting as there are minimal stores here that actually sell basketball cards (only one of the two is in easy walking distance) and they have a limited stock because of the AU$ crash in 2001. With AU$ being so strong these days, I am finding myself buying more boxes online than i would have imagined a year ago and I’m getting more variety also.

Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

taffster: Beckett’s published price ranges include ebay sales — but not *only* ebay sales.

Posted March 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink
Greg Matuszynski

The web has changed the hobby of collecting dramatically. In the 80’s through 90’s era the only way to buy sports cards or supplies is to drive to a card is to drive to a card shop. In today’s era buying or selling a card is as easy as clicking a keypad. Usually if people want to sell or show of their collections they just make eBay or YouTube accounts. If you were to ask me I would tell you that the web hasn’t just made collecting easier, but more fun!
Greg M.
Ohio

Posted March 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
Greg Matuszynski

The web has changed the hobby of collecting dramatically. In the 80’s through 90’s era the only way to buy sports cards or supplies is to drive to a card shop. In today’s era buying or selling a card is as easy as clicking a keypad. Usually if people want to sell or show of their collections they just make eBay or YouTube accounts. If you were to ask me I would tell you that the web hasn’t just made collecting easier, but more fun!
Greg Matuszynski
Ohio

Posted March 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
MICHAEL RUNYON

It has helped the collector a lot. We have more opportunitys to obtain cards that we would have never seen. We learn of parrallels that if we had not pulled one we would never knew existed.

The internet has become the local card shop. It has become where I meet with friends and other racing nuts. Where I may have stopped in my local shop once a week or so i now check in every day throughout the day.

I get the choice of shops and yet I still need more. There are things that I still need to get from a brick and mortar store. The thing I have also noticed is the more successfull stores seem to incoroporate the best of both worlds.

They are there for their local customers and a place to meet other collectors. However they also have laptops or desktop computers in shop to help find that elusive card for one of their regulars. They can also help a customer unload their finds if a local collector doesnt need them.

When product doesnt sell locall, they can find a customer somewhere.

This maxmizes their business. Something I have noticed the last couple of years is more shops need to use the internet. I am not talking opening an online store or sell everything on ebay.

I am saying get a webpage. Even if its just a one page site that list your shop, hours nice items you have for sale. We were traveling for our annual family vacton to PCB. We always stop in columbus georgia for one night. I looked in the phone book [something i never use at home] and found out that their were two card shops.

I checked online to find information about them and couldnt. If either of these shops had a web page I could have looked at it from my hotel room. That way I would know if they sold what I was interested in and could take the chance on stopping by before we left town. Since their ads mentioned no details we didnt want to waste the time trying to find the store.

If I had more time I might have anyway, in florida i had found an ad in the phone book and decided to take a shot. When I arrived the place had closed. Shop owners invest in a site. You can get someone to make one cheap.

Most travelers now carry a laptop, tablet or smart phone. A google search pulls up your shop directions etc and you may get a lot more walk in traffic. I was mentioning this to the family and my niece said not everyone knows how to use a computer. My response is, if you have a business you cant afford to not know how to use one.

The internet has also allowed the card companies to communicate with the collectors. Well the smart ones do anyway. Who better to ask what to make than the customers who are buying or not buying the product.

One slight drawback to this. Collectors wanted more race used autographs per box, Companies gave us that then the collectors were mad the cards were not worth as much anymore.

I remember when the first issue of beckett racing was created. We were estatic. It gave us a real magazine just like the stick and ball sports. We had many card companies, a couple of diecast companie and life is good. Well then companies started dissapearing and there was only one. The magazine dissapeard. We can not fault beckett for it because the advertising was not there.

I still feel there is room for a magazine but probably not an print price guide. It would need to be more of a hobby magazine. more on cards collectors etc than prices. maybe even an emagainze. articles pictures etc just electronic form that you can buy off itunes. No printing cost but all the benefits otherwise. It would be cheaper to produce for beckett and cheaper to buy for the consumer. Who knows.

I do know this we are all in this together and if the hobby is to survive we all need to listen to each other.

Posted March 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink
Adam Bell

The fact we’re online responding to this question says a lot already. Clearly, the internet has become a large part of the hobby. As someone who has recently returned to the hobby, I would have to say that without the internet, it would have been hard to do it. There are so few local card shops anymore, that a new collector would have nothing more than Topps low $ sets to collect because that’s the only thing that you can get at your Walmart or Target. Forget vintage cards or high end products because there is nowhere for Topps to sell these products.

The internet has definitely been a good thing because it now opens up the hobby to everyone, not just those lucky enough to have a LCS or the ability and time to travel 100s of miles to get to one.

Posted March 11, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink
Doug

The internet has displayed that “most dealers” in this industry have ZERO business sense. Is there another industry where you will regularly see individuals sell the “hit” out of a $$$ box for $.99? The internet has completely turned this business into an online casino. I can go on and on and on about this but I will leave it at that.
Doug

Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink
RJ

I think the internet has been an amazing tool for the hobby. Growing up, in the 80s, usually we were limited to trading and buying with the LCS and our friends. The internet has made it a worldwide market, for everyone. Sure it is saturated, but for people who have collections of a certain player, a certain team, or even a certain serial number, it has been an amazing tool. I couldn’t think of collecting Ndamukong Suh cards numbered to 25 or less without the internet.

I personally use Ebay to see what common cards of a certain set look like, before I purchase. It is so much easier to compare picture quality and design prior to purchasing a box or a case. Yes, the hits are nice, but you can capture pictures of them anywhere. If I purchase two or three boxes of a certain product, I like to know that I would enjoy even the base cards and their design.

Card values and selling aside, Twitter and Facebook, have made being a fan a lot more fun. Athletes have taken to Twitter, and some even offer autographs for trivia, or milestones. The hobby in my opinion, (a very small insignificant one) has benifited hand over fist from the internet. Granted there are some people that are unpleasant to deal with, but that is true at Card Shows, Shops, and other places.

Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink
Cincyscott

I think the internet has saved me time and money and money time.

Posted March 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
Keith

First of all I think that the web has been a great thing for collecting. It makes cards available to you that never would have been without it. Ebay has been a great way for a true supply and demand value to be assigned to cards, not just a price guide telling you what they are worth that is usually outdated and not able to be maintained for the quantity of cards that are out there, or a local dealer who assigns value according to him. Beckett’s web site has been a huge plus in getting information out to collectors. Trading sites are fabulous for allowing a set collector to complete sets while trading away duplicates.

None of this was possible without the web.

There are some bad experiences such as eTopps closing debacles, hype of short prints, cards not being what they are advertised to be and not being able to be returned because of being bought online from someone you don’t know. But there is always good and bad with everthing.

Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink
Scott

I live in an isolated area and my nearest card shop is 550km away. I rely on the internet to buy, sell and trade as well as to gain and give valuable collecting info. Living in Canada also makes it difficult to find basketball cards, its about 90% hockey here. I love the players from the Jordan era so its impossible to find rookies of Jordan, Bird, Magic, Ewing, DrJ, Barkley etc locally but a breeze online.

I still love to collect vintage opc hockey , it reminds me of being a kid in the 70′s. However it seems the internet is mostly people who collect modern shinny cards. It sucks for vintage collectors. I also find that the internet has put a negative spin on the hobby. The hobby is now more about money than collecting and the love of sharing and learning about our favorite players, teams and cards. Most people don’t even look at the cards and certainly don’t read the back of the cards like we did. As kids we didn’t have access to all the information that kids do today. We used the backs of the cards to learn valuable information about the players.

Posted March 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

The internet made me into a “supercollector”…without it, card collecting wasn’t even a serious hobby for me.

Posted March 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
LivingDedMan

With the much larger market of the online world we now know what the value of a card really is by watching what they sell for on auction sites.

Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink
CardCrazy

The internet has affected the hobby in many ways. Sure, it makes collecting easier, but when you go to sell your cards, you can hardly make a dime with sites like eBay making card finding easier. To make a real profit, you have to beat out all the competitors with the cheapest price, or sell it at a card shop. Obviously, there is not very many card shops around any more.

Posted October 15, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

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