Like most of us in the hobby we collect certain players, teams or cities. The problem with this is we aren't allow, there are multiple people collecting the same across the community. You can't have everything of one player or team but if you really wanted you could pay the high prices and take everything in stock. Most of us don't have the money to spend a ton of cash on certain players cards, especially those 1/1 Refractors, Printing Plates or Autographs. We just hope that sometimes we get lucky with an auction or spot a card at a decent price at a show and scoop them up.
But what is the best way to build your collection without spending a lot of money on cards? Well there are a few tips that you could use and have proven to help me in my collecting as well as others in their collection needs.
#1. Try not to buy when your player/team is hot - This is the time old story of everyone on the planet jacking up their prices because the player is on a hitting streak, breaks a record, or wins a championship. Without a doubt this will happen all the time. The amount of cards that come out of the woodwork after an MVP season or a team championship is amazing. Those 1/1's you've been looking for, well someone was just waiting for that player to win an MVP to put them on the block and sell at a premium.Now this is a hard thing to hold back on as well, since so many cards are surfacing you might find ones that you really need and haven't seen in years. The best thing to try and do is maybe speak with the seller and see if they are able to work out a deal with you. Chances are they will since they want to sell, just watch out for the price. Having patience and waiting can be challenging but a must need in order to stay within your limits and not giving in.
#2. Slumps or Injuries are your collections best friend - Of course since you root for you favorite player or team you never want them to loose 100 games a season or get hurt. Your collection on the other hand loves this. It is the best time to buy anything of your player or team when this happens. Everyone is dumping what they have and you can get some really good deals on items. Anything from Autographs, Patch cards and low serial numbered cards will be out there to buy at cheap prices. And in addition this is when you can put in some low offers and will get that price or close to it. This might be the worst time for your player or team but it is a really good time for you and your collection. Great examples are Arod and Robinson Cano, both are going through the worst slumps of their careers. Both of their cards aren't going to drop down to rock bottom prices because they are Yankees, but you can bet they will be cheaper in the next little while.
#3. Always be on the lookout - The one day or week you don't check listings of your player is the day those big cards might have been gobbled up. It's a challenging hobby to keep on top of your game in collecting your player. You need to continue to search and look for cards all the time. You never know when that listing of a players wrong name is listed on a hard to find card, or they are in a huge lot and not mentioned in the listing. This is mainly searching online within forums and auction sites, but again you can never really stop or take a break from searching out your player for cards.
#4. Off-Seasons and Strikes - During the off-season people still list their cards and try to make some money on some new releases that came out either at the end of a season or in the off-season. When this happens there isn't a lot of people on looking for cards so it is a good time to check out some cards in supply and get some deals or buy in bulk. Another time is during a strike or work stoppage in a sport. This is currently happening with the NHL but that hasn't stopped card companies from making cards or people from selling them. This is a really bad time for the sport but an excellent time to get cards at rock bottom prices. Since no one is playing nobody if splaying nobody is hot or leading a scoring title. This makes everyone on the same playing field no matter superstar or not. Also a lot of sellers are trying to get whatever they can for cards and will sell cheaper than if the season was in full swing.
Utilizing these four tips can improve your buying of your collection and keep money in your pocket for more cards down the road. The cost it took to put your collection together and the value increase that you have gained can be a satisfying feeling, and when you can look back and see the amount of deals you made for some of those tough cards by following a smart and patience system can be well worth it.