As I approach the third year of my second stint at collecting, I think it's time that I set some goals for myself as a collector. One thing that I've learned about myself in the past year since I started this blog (wow, that went by fast!) is that I tend to get distracted really easily when it comes to collecting cards. I tend to be a great starter and planner, with grand ideas, who loses interest and has trouble crossing the finish line. Here's what typically happens that prevents me from focusing my collection on any one particular thing:
- A great looking set is released (or I discover a set that I'd never heard of but love)
- I instantly deem the set the best looking bunch of cards I've ever seen, and resolve to collect the entire set
- I buy some of the product, sometimes quite a bit, sometimes just a few cards
- My interest starts to peter out as I run into hard to find short prints or am unable to locate some of the cards I need, or...
- Another great set is released, and the cycle continues...
1. Finish Some Sets! - I need to get my Want List updated, start looking through other's Have lists, and hit the web and local card shop to finish some sets. I want to complete at least one large baseball set and 2 hockey sets in 2009.
2. Make a Decision on the 1953 Topps Project - The one major goal that I set for myself when I started collecting cards again was to finish a PSA-graded 1953 Topps baseball set. When I set this goal, I had just gotten back into collecting and was really only focusing on purchasing graded vintage baseball cards. Well, I've learned a lot in 2 years. I'm not as big a fan of graded cards anymore, and I've discovered so many other things that I want to collect as well. I have made some pretty good progress, I have about 25% of the set and have picked up a few of the expensive cards, like Warren Spahn, Phil Rizzuto, and Satchell Paige. I need to decide whether I want to:
- Stick with the plan. This is my favorite baseball set of all time, even if I'm 60 before it's finished it will all be worth it.
- Can the whole idea. Can I really see myself finishing this thing when the Mantle, Mays and Robinson cards are going to add up to about $4,000 alone? Should a full grown adult even spend $4,000 on 3 baseball cards? Do I ever see myself dropping over $100 on a no-namer just because he's one of the 50+ short printed high series cards when I could buy two hobby boxes of the latest hockey releases for the same price?
- Stick with the plan, but modify things. Keep the graded stars and Red Sox cards I've purchased but sell the rest. Use the money to buy some "loved" or "gently used" un-graded 1953 Topps cards at a much more reasonable price. I've gotta say, I'm not too proud to admit when I've set my sights a little too high, and I'm leaning towards this option.
4. Organize What I'm Keeping - I've got stacks and boxes of cards everywhere in my spare room. Once I determine which cards I actually do want to keep, I want to get things organized to the point where I can locate any card I own with a minute or so. I keep digital scans of all of my cards to use for blogging and for reference when I don't feel like digging out boxes, so I'd like to get every card that I own scanned in as well. I use Excel spreadsheets to keep track of what I have and need, but I would love to find a better database solution with a nice graphical front end. I've checked out Beckett's online organizer (thanks for the tip Steve) as well as some other third-party applications, but still haven't found what I want. Anyone have any suggestions?
Considering I have a habit of planning things that I don't follow through on, I'm going to cut it at just those 4 items. If I can complete those 4 I'll be a long way towards the collection that I envision. What are your card collecting New Year's resolutions?