Several years ago, there was a local card shop in my town that I would visit almost weekly. There was another regular at the show, who I naturally would bump into from time to time. One time he was telling a story about this guy he traded cards with. This guy was in Seattle, and had a use for mass quantities of Alex Rodriguez cards. (Yup, that’s how long ago this was.) Similarly, this regular at my card shop had a need for mass quantities of Nomar Garciaparra. So, they naturally traded back and forth with each other. It was the way they traded that stuck with me. They didn’t make an offer, and a counter offer. They didn’t discuss relative values of cards. It was just understood. Whenever Seattle guy collected a stack of Nomars, no matter which ones, he would ship them out. Likewise, whenever local guy got a stack of ARods large enough to make it worth the trip to the post office, he would. It was just assumed that it would all work out in the end. It was a perfect symbiotic relationship. Each was able to turn the other’s trash into treasure. I wondered just how a partnership like that got started.
Apparently, one way it can happen is through blogging. When I read various blogs, I see many of those types of partnerships. Whether it’s baseball cards, or other collectables. Maybe one person will send Brewers cards to another person for Rangers cards, or Cubs McFarlane figures for Marlins ones. It’s a pretty neat process, and everybody wins. I wanted to get involved, and was able to complete a few baseball card trades via other blogs using a similar trash for treasure mentality.
The first one I did was with Marie over at A Cardboard Problem. She was collecting Yankee Stadium Legacy cards, and I had a stack of them. Can you imagine anything that is trash more than cards celebrating every game played at the old stadium? So, I offered her all that I had. In exchange, she sent a stack of Red Sox cards my way. It was great. I didn’t care what she was sending me. It was better than what I had. We’ve had a couple more exchanges since then. Nothing discussed beforehand. When I got a bunch of cards I thought she’d like I sent them along. Likewise with her. Imagine…a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan helping each other out.
I made another outreach to Jim at the Phillies Room. In this case, the cards I had for him really were trash. To make room for the 2010 releases, I was throwing out my 2000 cards. (I only keep non-Red Sox, non-star cards for ten years) I offered him my Phillies, which he gladly accepted. Even though I didn’t ask for anything in return…remember, the cards were headed to the trash… Jim responded with a stack of Red Sox cards for me. We have also exchanged a couple shipments back and forth. And, once I amass a reasonable number of Phillies cards, they’ll be on their way down to Jim.
I was able to make another trade with Beardy currently of Mojo & Beardy's Fantastic Card Blog. I had gotten a slightly rare card of Aubrey Huff. It was disappointing, since I knew it was a special card…but not one that I cared even a little bit about. It also wasn’t exactly the type of thing I could sell. But, I figured an Orioles collector would enjoy it. At the time, Beardy was the only one I knew of. So, I offered it to him, along with whatever stack of O’s cards I had. He accepted, and sent along more Red Sox cards for me. Is this a great country or what?
The most recent swap I’ve made was with Adam over at Thoughts and Sox. Yup, another Red Sox fan. But, even two Red Sox fans can help each other out when you have duplicates. Adam had lamented on his blog that he never collected the Red Sox baseball cards Fleer put out about 10 years ago. I knew I had a slew of doubles from that set, and offered them to him. He agreed, and I was able to send him almost the whole set. In exchange? Yup, a whole box of his Red Sox doubles. It was amazing.
My favorite thing about these trades is that they were hassle free. No negotiating back and forth. Nobody needed to add one more card to make the book value add up. It was simply one collector helping out another. That’s a great way the internet can help with a collection. Both sides end up better than they were before, and get a deal in the process.
Imagine having an arrangement like that with someone from all 30 teams?