Every collector has one to many "complaints" within the area they collect. Now I use quotations around the word "complaints" due to the fact many in the community find these as such rather than annoyances they could do without.
In no particular order, here is a list of the Top Five "Things That Bug The Common Collector";
#1: Products Being sold prior to the Official Release Date - This seems to be happening more and more frequently this year that years past. Now most of the ones we are seeing are pertaining to Retail being busted than Hobby, but this still is a pain. They seem to be busting cases of the new product and loading everything on eBay or other sites for very high prices. I've seen base cards for no less than $2.00 sometimes three days prior to the Hobby Release date, and for some reason people are buying them up. There is probably nothing to stop this from happening with the large amount of retailers out there and the time needed for the card companies to ship the product out to the main distributors. As a collector, we will need to look the other way when this happens or you can get caught up in the buying aspect of it prior to Release day.
#2: Sticker Autographs - Yes I know, this is the never ending topic of discussion among collectors and card companies. I understand from the card company side of things where they need to have product out on time in order to satisfy the customers (us), and it is hard to have players sign on-card autographs when they are busy with playing/training everyday in order to keep up with their profession. Topps has been getting much better with on-card autographs in the past couple of years with baseball and football. It use to be just higher-end products that would be the draw to the on-card auto, but now even the regular Topps base products are now showing up with on-card autographs. I think this is going in the right direction with more on-card than sticker autos, but the one thing I would love to see is that when a players card is a memorabilia with autograph that these start becoming more on-card than sticker. I know this would still become a challenge to obtain, but I think that these would draw more value in the community than the current lower than expected value that we see today. I might be one of the few collectors that wouldn't mind waiting for a redemption if it meant an on-card signature.
#3: Sellers with outrageous prices on parallel cards - Yes there are hard-core Parallel collectors out there that collect any and every parallel you can think of, but do you have to jack-up prices so much that the player or team collector can't/won't pay for cards they need for their collection? Parallel collectors are the ones that seem to pay more for these cards over the average collector because of the scarcity of the cards. Also they seem to hold a higher value for them over most in the community. Doesn't seem to be the player but more so the Parallel and the numbering for that card. So of course most flippers or sellers will raise the prices on these and will most times land one of the Parallel Collectors to pay that price. This of course leaves the average collector out of the market and struggling to find that card to finish their player or team set. For myself I wish sellers wouldn't have such crazy prices when it comes to those parallel's of 50 or less. They can be really out there on the value of the cards pricing them in the hundreds for the most common player. Again for myself I will refuse to pay such high prices even though my collection could suffer, but this is what I do to not give into paying more.
#4: Limited Stores carrying cards locally - I have heard of this issue a lot recently with card collecting increasing within the community. Seems harder to find a card shop around most people with the decline in shops opening or even staying open nowadays. The other problem is that the local Wal-Mart's of the world seem to have a selected number and variety of cards to select from depending on where you live. I know of us in Canada it is hard to find any Baseball or Football products in stores, but Hockey has a decent selection. Those Magic cards (or whatever they are called) seem to be everywhere. i wish those would be wiped out with some blasters I've had to cross the border to get a hold of. This is not the card companies fault though and more so the store managers. They decide on what sells best in their store and area and bring it in. Your best bet would to try and talk to them about bring some other selections in and you might get a good response. Just be prepared to hear the "It doesn't really sell well here" speech as sometimes managers aren't as receiving to customers of sports cards.
#5: Perception of a 1/1 card - Are one of one cards truly a thing of the past? It seems everyone has their own idea of what a one of one is. You see a different variation of them every place you look. You have the players number, 01 of the serial number, the last serial number of the parallel, I've even seen the year of the card in the serial number as a one of one. The problem with this is it gives the wrong perception to the value of these cards. Sure getting the players number within the serial number is cool to have but it's really not a one of one. This was a clever way to make more money on these cards and unfortunately it has stuck. I wish we could go back to the true one of one cards as the serial number dictates on it and forget about these other gimmicks.
This is Part 1 of a series I'll write about with further input from our Followers and the collecting community that we poll.
If you have an additional "Thing(s) that bug you" send me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org you just might be featured in our next segment