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Old 11-21-2018, 11:22 AM
darkhorse9 darkhorse9 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Posts: 545
Default Need advice on trading my entire vintage card collection

Seeking thoughts from the realm here.

My card collection consists of complete sets. I have every Topps base set 1951-2019 (save for 52 high numbers), Bowman sets 1948-1955, plus other sets (Fleer, Post etc)

My plan has always been to leave these sets for my son when I die, but I have several concerns, not the least of which the difficulty that a non collector would have in selling the sets for the best dollar. A dealer would likely give just 60% of what a savvy person could sell them for on their own. Since my son is not a collector, selling to a dealer would be his best path.

Lately I've considered an alternative. I've thought about trading the sets I have now for a few key graded cards. Something like a PSA graded 1952 Topps Mantle, a PSA graded 1933 Goudey Ruth maybe a Gehrig or a Cobb somewhere and whatever else I can get for the collection. Basically I'd be turning my 100 set collection into about a dozen key cards.

Doing this would certainly make them lot easier to sell for my son. I can get a lot better deal for my collection now doing that as well. When he sells them he can get a lot better deal by selling them to collectors rather than dealers.

Would any of you consider trading away your lifetime collection for such an arrangement? As much as it would pain me to see my collection leave my hands while I'm still around it seems to be a prudent idea.
2018 Collecting goals...

Last edited by darkhorse9; 11-21-2018 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:39 AM
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Leon Leon is offline
peasant/forum owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: near Dallas
Posts: 26,543

There are a lot of factors to consider. Doing what you are thinking about will make it easier for an heir to take care of it after your demise. A long time ago I made the decision to collect more mid grade to accumulate more cards. You are just doing sort of the opposite. As long as you get enjoyment from what you are doing, why not? And then too, how attached are you to the sets you have built?
Leon Luckey
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:43 AM
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lutherlafy lutherlafy is offline
Glen R. Turner, Jr.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 125
Default Whole collection....

Sounds like a good plan. I am 69 years old and have been
contemplating doing the same thing. Just keep a few cards
out of my collection that means a lot to me which would
probably be a few thousand.
Good luck in your endeaver and decision.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:21 PM
stlcardsfan stlcardsfan is offline Jackso.n
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 505

Mark, since they are complete sets you might consider consigning them to someone like Greg Morris Cards on Ebay. He typically gets top dollar for set breaks and it might be a lot easier simply purchasing a card like a 52 Mantle as opposed to negotiating a trade for one.

Last edited by stlcardsfan; 11-21-2018 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:22 PM
AGuinness AGuinness is offline
Garth Guibord
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 474

That's a junction in the road that many, if not all, collectors will come to. And finding the right balance of keeping what you have collected and the consideration of what would be best for your heir can be tough.
It strikes me that maybe there is an answer in between trading everything or keeping it all. First, even if your son is not a collector, there may be a set you have that he may want to keep (your first, your favorite, his birth year, etc.). While inheriting 50+ sets can be a burden for a non-collector, having one set that was nearest and dearest might be a great keepsake. You could then trade the remainder for some key cards in the hobby that would be easier to sell.
In the end, getting on the same page with your son about your collection - whether that's giving him enough info to be able to sell it all when he inherits it or even understanding that he doesn't want to deal with it and it would be better for you to handle it before then - would be a very productive step in the process.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:28 PM
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JollyElm JollyElm is offline
D@rrΣn Hu.ghΣs
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,816

I like what Dan suggested. Not necessarily selling to Greg Morris (have no opinion either way), but the general theory. Have someone else do the legwork and you can walk away with a pretty decent penny, allowing you to purchase the big cards you seek. Trading is always a very tough row to hoe, and trying to trade very valuable things for other valuable things is probably going to turn into a nightmare, especially since your 'target audience' is going to be exceptionally thin.
Check out my bucket(s). Virtually everything is available for trade:

“I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice.”
Casey Stengel
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:45 AM
judgebuck judgebuck is offline
David Buckingham
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: western Kentucky
Posts: 107


I am 67 years old and have a collection much like yours. I've been trying to thin it out over the last few years by selling all sets after 1957. My son says it would be easier if he were left just several graded star cards.

I agree with the others that trading might not be wise. If you're trading with a dealer, the dealer will get the best of the deal. I agree with consigning to Greg Morris or PWCC and then taking the proceeds to buy graded vintage superstar cards.

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Old 11-22-2018, 02:00 PM
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Exhibitman Exhibitman is offline
Ad@m W@r$h@w
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Beautiful Downtown Burbank
Posts: 6,963

I'm only 53 but wanted to cut down the volume of my collection. What I decided to do was get rid of the bulk and replace it with cards I always liked and wanted to own. Not necessarily marquee cards, either. Start with a list of the cards you want. If you don't want to bust up the sets and do the eBay selling, which is where you will net the most, I'd say consign to LOTG. I did with much of my exhibit card sets. Al did very well by my sets. Then buy the cards you really want to own. To wit:

Having a more limited volume of cards is very liberating.
Please visit my web site:
So... move out of your studio apartment! And try speaking to a real live woman, and GROW THE HELL UP! I mean, it's just baseball cards dammit, IT'S JUST BASEBALL CARDS!
10% off any BIN in my eBay store (user name: exhibitman) for N54 members buying direct from me through this site instead, just PM me.

Last edited by Exhibitman; 11-22-2018 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:36 PM
Johnny630 Johnny630 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,242

Originally Posted by stlcardsfan View Post
Mark, since they are complete sets you might consider consigning them to someone like Greg Morris Cards on Ebay. He typically gets top dollar for set breaks and it might be a lot easier simply purchasing a card like a 52 Mantle as opposed to negotiating a trade for one.
I agree with this gentleman take your time buying a super nice key card. No need to rush.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:24 PM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 5,963

Adam— really like the Connors card. Great athlete. Remember reading about him discussing Branch Rickey, saying Mr Rickey had money and he had ballplayers, and did not like them being comingled
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