You have got to admire the set collectors, not just your Topps 1980 or the latest Allen+Ginter release. I mean the sets that you really have to search for. What did people do before the conception of e-bay or even pre-that , the Internet? Or maybe e-bay has brought to the world a newer type of collector?
I love this blog: (Red Heart Dog Food)
As the writer pursues , what looks to be a very rare baseball set that was obtained through 'dog food'. Not only is it a lovely looking set but you have to admire the dedication to the collection. I have to wonder how often do these cards come up for sale?
On the same theme - a fellow participant on the Sports card UK forum, Warren, is collecting the 07-08 Ultimate Collection Basketball Signatures Cards. He currently has 35 of the 52 card set. Again dedication to this particular set is amazing and it has cost him a penny or two. (Link)
Warren and collectors like myself rely heavily on e-bay, in particular ebay US, for our set building. There are no card shops that sell baseball, basketball, hockey or gridiron cards in the UK. If there is an importer, we have yet to find them. We are sometimes lucky when a person in the UK visits the USofA and then sells what they bought on e-bay. There are a couple of American sports card sellers on e-bay UK, maybe one or two baseball sellers and very rarely packs of cards. It is usually game used, relics, autographs or rare super refactor xfactor short prints, which doesn't help the set builders or team collectors like myself.
I have picked up a few older cards from the 50's, 60's and 70's from a seller called 'Aljo'. He, like a magician from the magic circle, keeps his secrets and will not divulge where his supply of cards come from.
This is why I have enjoyed trading with collectors in the USofA. I have been able to refine my collection to just BoSox, while hopefully helping others build their sets of other teams.
Long may it continue.