Sunday, 30 November 2008

Trading on 'Sports Card Forums'

Brad, the Reds collector from Hawaii, suggested that I try some of the trading card forums to perhaps get trades going. I was still struggling to find a trade partner for a couple of teams (Are there any Seattle Mariners Fans?) So I signed up to three forums, Hobby Kings, Sports Card Forum and The Bench. I must say I have very, VERY mixed results.

Firstly Hobby Kings. This is where I had the least amount of joy. A simple message introducing myself , about wanting to set up trades and lets take it from there. About 50 views, no bites. I sent personal messages (PM) to about 5 members. Three answers: Don't collect them anymore, Won't trade with the UK and What relic, game used, autos do you have? I sent a list and I can only presume they didn't fit the bill as there was no return reply.

Secondly Sports Card Forum. This is the friendliest place on Earth. To join you must view the 'new members' page, which lists a number of rules about etiquette, setting up trades and general ways to talk on the forums, no bad language, no slagging off other members cards and if you don't abide by the rules- heaven help you. My introduction message was answered 15-20 times. All very polite and friendly. They welcomed me to the forum, I've been to the UK, What do you collect?, etc, etc. Again a simple message of intention on the general baseball forum page; live in the UK, setting up trades, my team for yours, 30-50 cards. A few views, some questions: What game used, relics, autos? PM me a list of what you have. I've been down this road before. I sent personal messages to a few more collectors, about 8 this time. Four answers: PLMK what you have? I had to ask what it meant. Common sense would have told me but when I received the explanation, there was the sudden dawning Ohhhh, you idiot. I replied, but obviously this member does't trade with idiots, no answer. Then success ! A very positive 'Yes lets do it' 50+ Pirates for 50+ Red Sox'. Edward didn't ask for a list, or for what game used relic refractors there was. And there it was! A trade arranged. He was even kind enough to walk me through the trade process. Write that here, fill in the details here, sign on this line, initial next to this, get this bit witnessed by someone you have known for 5 years. After that it was simple. Being new I had to send the cards first, so off they went. Ed sent an email on the 27th November to say '...just to lyk (let you know) the cards arrived Ed'. Great! Cannot wait to see what is sent back. That was it for Sports Card Forum but there were other replies such as ~ LMK what you have, I have just completed a trade for Red Sox and I collect only Mickey Mantle cards. I listed the cards that they asked for but no further trades were arranged, so I'm guessing that the cards were not to their liking.

Thirdly The Bench. I had heard about The Bench, through their collecting of the Yankee Stadium Legacy cards. This had a different feel to the others. Third time an introduction and statement of intent, to set up trades. I had no bites, a couple of welcome aboard messages and that was it. There is a section on The Bench that lists player, team and set collectors, so I sent a PM to just about everyone who collected the teams I had to trade. I was thinking law of averages here. I sent 25 messages saying Hello I'm John from the UK, I would like to set up a trade of Boston Red Sox for your team. I have about 30 -50 cards. I had a banter by now. Honest and straight to the point. The law of averages worked.. sort of. I had 5 replies which led to 3 trades being arranged. Cross the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants from the list of trading partners. The other two, the Colorado Rockies, only wanted Todd Helton cards (may have been the same collector) and the Seattle Mariners, only wanted Randy Johnson cards. I listed what I had but no reply. I was new , so the cards have to be sent by me first, which is what I prefer anyway. The Minnesota Twins/ Red Sox is now complete. I received some Baseball Heroes cards which I will review in the next post.

My conclusion from what Steve at 'White Sox cards' calls blind trading, if I'm honest positive. I had set out to trade my baseball cards, which I succeeded in doing. I arranged 4 trades for teams that I didn't have a trading partners for. If anything else I learnt some new lingo LMK, PLMK, LYK, PM, in my bucket, WTTF. I also learnt that there are a million and one Boston Red Sox collectors, all after the same cards and just as many Yankees collectors. Maybe I should have picked another team to collect.

Using some pointless figures below I came to the conclusion that Hobby Kings is predominately a Basketball trading site, Sports Card Forum a predominately Football trading site and The Bench a Baseball trading site.

Some pointless facts about the Forums:
Registered members
Hobby Kings 2 182
Sports Card Forum 20 688
The Bench 7 165

Highest numbers of users at one time
Hobby Kings 105
Sports card Forum 1 262
The Bench 398

Baseball Posts
Hobby Kings 9 466
Sports card Forum 1 015 780
The Bench 97 264
Basketball Posts
Hobby Kings 357 837
Sports Card Forum 551 414
The Bench 2 667
Football Posts
Hobby Kings 15 795
Sports Card Forum 1 389 639
The Bench 14 165
Hockey Posts
Hobby Kings 4 489
Sports Card Forum 61 194
The Bench 618


Spiff said...

Add me to The Bench list John. If you hadn't found my blog I am sure we would have worked something through there. Very interesting post with a nice write-up of each forum.

Wax Heaven said...

Been checking out your, you are a trade machine. Just wanted to say thanks for the 3rd package in a row you sent.

No more until I send something back! :)