Monday, November 07, 2016

How Do You Collect a Set? By the Box? Buying Singles? Trading? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

I'm curious.  If you wanted to collect a set - how do you go about doing so?  Do you buy the set in one fell swoop from a card shop (or, more likely for most of us, eBay)?  Do you simply buy all of the singles that you are missing?  Do you rely entirely on trading?  Do you buy boxes or packs and hope for the best?

Inquiring minds want to know!

I'm curious because I am currently working on the 1997 Fleer Sports Illustrated box (along with a whole bunch of other sets).  For the SI set, I decided to take a risk and buy a full hobby box and hope for the best.  To date, I've been doing alright I think - I won't update my full want list until I have the entire box busted but it sure feels like I'm making good progress.  Of course, I won't know for certain until the box is completely ripped - so let's get another pack done today.

Pack 18:
19.  Dante Powell
67.  Manny Ramirez
135.  Juan Guzman

140.  Tim Naehring
152.  Jeff Cirillo

Great Shots:  Albert Belle

After all that talk about me doing fairly well with this box, I hit a pack where I only get one new card (the Guzman).  I guess not every pack will be awesome.  However, I must say that the one card that I needed IS pretty great - that's a spectacular spring training shot!


arpsmith said...

I typically buy packs/boxes then supplement the needs through trades or purchases from Sportlots and/or Just Commons. Although this year I recognized a shift in my approach. I should have a post up about this fairly soon.

Matt Stupienski said...

I vastly prefer buying sealed product and then building the set through trading. The problem is that this only really works for newer sets. Anything you try to chase from the past (read: 2007 Flags or Emperors) is going to be extremely difficult to come across via trades. COMC/EBay it is!

Brett Alan said...

I bought 3 blasters of Opening Day this year, and I'd like to try to complete the base set. I'm 30 cards short. Would love to find a trading partner. I haven't found any singles at card shows. I know I could buy them all online, but that doesn't seem as much fun. If I could narrow the list in person and buy the last 10 or so online, I'd feel good about it.

Trevor P said...

I start with a box and supplement with trades and COMC/Sportlots. I've also been contemplating a change, though, and I'm not sure what direction my collection will take next year.

CaptKirk42 said...

For me since the advent of the internet it has been mostly by large lots, individual cards and some trading. Mostly the purchases since I'm not a frequent trader and am sort of just a batch trader now-days. (Team for team, or a bunch of one set for a team or another set). Sometimes I just bite the bullet and try to find the whole set in one fell swoop. Unfortunately with all the vintage sets I need to complete getting the whole set in one is expensive and for many older sets impossible as hardly anyone has complete sets available and those who do usually want way more than I am willing to pay (even if it is the going rate for that set). I don't buy boxes often because now-days the correlation in the boxes/packs are poor, plus it tends to take several boxes just to get enough of a count of base cards with all the inserts and parallel variants now-days.

GCA said...

I start with boxes of new stuff, or starter lots of older (vintage from ebay, or starters from trades - been doing that a lot in the last couple years.) Then add them to my wantlist page and see who I can trade for them with. Now and then I'll start a newer set with retail only but will quit when I start to get more dupes than needed cards. Upside of building a second base set is that I can usually trade it for a starter of something else down the line.

Billy Kingsley said...

I prefer to buy a hobby box and then a blaster, then hunt for whatever is missing. I prefer the large, base sets and I chase them. I don't chase high-end sets, although if I had more money to spend, I would. For the high end sets I basically limit myself to one card, whatever i can find cheapest on eBay or COMC or one of the Facebook card groups. I build most of my collection by buying the 500 cards for $10 that local card shops do, but now the closest card shop that offers them is in Connecticut and I get there about once every other year. I don't have to have a set completed as soon as it comes out, if it takes years, that's fine with me.

RAZ said...

If I think I can get a full set out of a box, I will often buy a box and fill in whatever I need through purchases. I much prefer purchases over trading, but I will trade if necessary. If I don't think I can get a set from a box, I will usually just purchase a base set from eBay and supplement that with single inserts/hits for players I collect.

Brian said...

New stuff I will buy a box, then try to supplement with trades, card shows, COMC, and ebay.
Vintage I've always started with a lot purchased at a show or on eBay, then picked away with singles and a rare trade here and there.
I purchased a few full sets outright already complete (87 Topps, 91 Topps, 1989 Upper Deck) but only because they were really cheap.

P-town Tom said...

A hobby box and some packs to supplement... then I make trades within the cardsphere until options dry up... afterwards I head to my LCS to finish it off... lastly, if I'm still missing cards I turn to Sportlots.
It's a fun process and one I really look forward to. The problem is finding an affordable set that catches my eye that I think many around the blogs are going to try to collect. Flagship is usually pretty popular, but I haven't liked the flagship design since 2011. Sigh...

The Baseball Card Snob said...

Primarily boxes, usually Hobby, except for Update. That's Jumbo. Will occasionaly pick up a blaster or hanger, especially if I have a coupon (usually Modell's). Try to finish via trades, there are a lot of trading sites that can help. When I get stuck, Sportslots.

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