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Old 03-02-2010, 08:41 AM
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Default Internet experience with respect to collecting?

I was interviewed yesterday for an upcoming article in a hobby publication. That, along with the other thread about how long we have been collecting (and I am a mere pup at 14 yrs), got me to thinking what the internet has done to advance the collectability of cards? Also how has it affected collecting, and more specifically, how has it affected the amount of collecting that can be done in a certain period of time. So, in today's internet era how much is one year of (addicted) collecting vs how much was a year of (addicted) collecting 30-40 yrs ago? I would offer that we have information so many times faster today that my 14 yrs of addiction is about 150 yrs of collecting from 30 yrs ago.

Two questions....how has it affected collecting and what time acceleration is there in today's collecting vs yesteryear (pre-internet)?
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:02 AM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Default The internet

Made it so much easier to collect cards. Especially after EBay got popular; all it took was a click to purchase (or even see) many of those cards you might never have seen in a local market (or even through SCD ads)

In addition, the internet has changed many of our traditional dealer/collector roles. Used to be, dealers needed to be the ones to parcel out cards to collectors who needed them. Now, many collectors (especially the more savvy ones) do that themselves. I would say that many of those collectors/dealers are like the "vest-pocket" dealers of the pre-internet age.

The internet certainly gave third-party grading a major boost. After all, if I see a card is a PSA or BVG 7 or SGC 84; I have a pretty good idea of the condition of that card. The old days of everyone grading their own cards was a bit wild west. YOUR NM is very different from MY NM.

And the internet has shown "true" rarity of cards. Many modern cards; even with low print runs of 25 or less, sell for pennies on the dollar because there are even less collectors for them. Older cards which are difficult, have held their value better as they are "real" collectibles

I have stated this in the past; but another very important difference with the internet is "instant" expertise. I know, I learned from my mistakes and experience and now, a smart person won't make the same mistakes I did, just because they can research and find out just about anything. I suppose the down side of that, is that "printed" materials do not sell nearly as well as they used to. The downside of that is printed materials can always be read and at your fingertips. I do believe there should be a place for printed materials as well.

Regards
Rich

PS And Leon, your 14 years of collecting is about as long as the internet has been an active player. The Beckett Message Boards began in December, 1996. And I Know that Beckett had been an pioneer in internet activity going back to the 1994-95 era.

Last edited by Rich Klein; 03-02-2010 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:07 AM
Rob D. Rob D. is offline
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It's an interesting question and a topic I was thinking about just recently. I'm not sure what kind of formula you could use to arrive at an answer, but I still find it amazing that transactions that used to take weeks to complete can now be done in 2-3 days. And research that previously took months can be done with just a few keystrokes.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:10 AM
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I think the internet has made it easier to learn about cards from different sets that you may have otherwise not been aware of. There have been several times I've seen cards in the pickup threads from sets that I had never heard of. With all of the knowledgeable collectors on this board anytime you want to find out info on something all you have to do is ask and someone will usually come through and point you in the right direction.

Last edited by Doug; 03-02-2010 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:07 AM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
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The internet has certainly made many collectibles that once seemed rare not so rare anymore. There are auctions 365 days a year, 24/7 so most anything you want is available at any time.

I was also interviewed yesterday for that article and I was asked if the internet has changed our perception of which cards are rare. I had trouble answering that one as I am not sure. There are a few cards today that were known twenty years ago that probably didn't have the stature they do now. In particular I thought of the 1914 Baltimore News Ruth and the T210 Jackson. If you had one of these in 1985 or 1990, they really didn't sell for that much. But did the internet affect our different ideas about them? I don't know.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:08 AM
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I echo Doug's post, and I add

1) Online Auctions - I would have never have been able to accumulate my collection without them.
2) Collector Forums - The knowledge I have gained and the friends I have made allow me to keep permanent interest in the hobby. If one collecting project ends there is always another one that can get started.
3) Other Resources - Baseball Reference, Old Cardboard, etc... Again, knowledge is power...
4) The ability to share your collection via websites...

Last edited by Robextend; 03-02-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:23 AM
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I wouldn't call it the age of enlightenment but it kind of is. It's nice to talk to people all over the place and see what they are collecting. This forum has brought a lot of great collectors and info together. The crazy part is that in reality the hobby is still in it's infancy phase, so it's tough to predict what the future holds but will be fun to see. The internet gives a chance to get many items that previously you had no chance of getting unless you lived in certain markets that had shows or dealers with great inventory, and growing up in the midwest that wasn't an option.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:35 AM
drdduet drdduet is offline
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I know without the internet it would have taken me much longer to complete the Monster. With that being said I may have not attempted the set at all if it were not for the internet.

Sloate brings up an interesting, thought provoking issue, what cards have taken center stage due to the internet?

T210 Jackson and the 1914 Ruth are certainly on the list, but I'd say the whole caramel boom is due mostly in part of the availability and exposure via the internet.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:39 AM
Hot Springs Bathers Hot Springs Bathers is offline
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Leon I think there are two very easy answers for me. When I was led to Ebay it meant that I could find things in a week that used to take months or years. Back in the mid-70s if you were collecting E-90s you might see three offered in a six moth period in any of the magazines.

You might buy three an hour now. Even when I found great people who had vintage cards in their inventory you might still have a 4-6 week turn around on a transaction. I used to send Gar Miller a check for $25.00 and then wait two weeks for a package full of cards I had never seen. There were not many people as honorable as Gar on the quality of their cards so that brings me to the second real plus of the net. We can now see what we are buying, there a still a few surprises but not many.

The net still can offer you a little bit of a persons personality too. We form friendships that can last a long time. After saying that I have to also add that one of the reasons that I quit collecting around 1990 was that I really did not like going into that new wave of card shops that sprang up over night it seemed. Very few of those dealers knew what a T206 card was and most could not even name the teams in the major leagues.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:43 PM
erstevens erstevens is offline
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The internet makes so much information available to anyone. Back in the late 80s/early 90s, as a fairly isolated collector, I had three places to look for information on vintage cards. One was a major price guide. Beckett was the standard, but I had an early SCD version. This wasn't much of a read. The second option was the latest issue of SCD. While SCD did have ads for pre-WWII material, at that time most of SCD seemed to focus on the prices of 52 Topps high numbers. The third option was Larry Fritsch's one-of-a-kind catalog. That thing included sets that weren't in the price guides and seemed to never appear in SCD ads. I thought the prices were high, but I really wasn't informed enough to know the market.

Today, eBay alone has far more information that all those sources combined. Just look at the current auctions, BINs, and completed transactions. Throw in the websites that people have put together, and even a casual collector has more information than a typical dealer did back in the day.
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