Something From Nothing

I’m trying to turn a massive pile of cards into something. Here’s what’s up:

I find myself usually turning nothing into something a lot as a journalist. 

Sometimes I’ll get an assignment that turns out to be ridiculously boring and uneventful to write about. However, it’s my job to make even the dullest of things into the most interesting things so that people can be interested in them, the subjects can be happy about themselves, and so that the company can make some money. 

Something from nothing. 

After dividing my entire baseball card collection into “keepers” and “non-keepers,” I have a big pile of “non-keepers” that are taking up space in my house. These are the cards I’m willing to part with for some money. 

I have a large metal filing box that I’ve kept cards in for many years. About 10 years ago, I stopped putting additional cards in that box, and simply piled new ones in “temporary” boxes until I could find time to sort and file. That time never came. I had the big metal box, and many smaller cardboard boxes. A few years ago, I repackaged those smaller boxes into multiple starter boxes and specialty boxes. One of the specialty boxes was a 4-row box of nothing but Hall of Fame base cards. 

About 3 years ago, a local thrift store received a humongous load of baseball cards that they didn’t have enough room to store. They wanted it gone ASAP. My friend Spencer informed me of this, and I went over there to give it a look. I threw out a number, $50, and hauled about 75,000 cards in my trunk to bring home and look over. I wound up flipping that pile, and since then have added a few more boxes to go over. 

I’ve got about 15,000 cards left within the original pile of “temporary boxes” to part with. I’m in the process of selling those now: 5,000 cards for a flat amount. After that, all I have left of my “non-keepers” are the cards that still are in my metal box. 

It’s important to note that while I still go to card shows throughout the state, those cards that I’m buying so into the “keeper” collection 98% of the time. 

I’m now trying to find a way to partition sets from that metal box and market it.

So, what’s in the metal box? Basically it’s a bunch of junk wax IN VARIOUS CONDITIONS. Remember: “something from nothing.” 

Each team’s cards at one time were filed in order by year and company. So I need to mix all of them up into a random stash. It’s difficult. I tried this once for one team. I had about 1,200 cards of that one team, and I attempted to “spray” them out along a table into 30 smaller piles. That hurt my wrist a lot! Then I took those 30 smaller piles and randomly bunched them together into one large pile to put back into the metal box. Between having to keep the 30 piles looking neat, it took me about 2 days per team. 

What I want is one of those indented card sorting boxes to make life easier.

After all of the teams are randomly sorted, then I can do the math to evenly assort the same number of cards per team into boxes of 5,000.

First, I need to create an even number of cards for every team. I have tens of more cards for certain teams than others. Say I have only 1,100 of one team, but a whopping 1,700 for another team. I’ll need to take 100 out of my pile of 1,100 and 700 out of my pile of 1,700 and create a “staggered mix” pile to sell independently from the 5,000-card box lots. 

Within the drawers for each team are a few oblong cards and several team logo sticker cards. I figure that I can make a pile of oblongs and a pile of sticker cards to sell independently. 

After doing the math, I can make probably six boxes of 5,000 out of those cards IN VARIOUS CONDITIONS. They would be a mix of cards from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, and include both commons and Hall of Famers. 

Why have I made “in various conditions” in all capital letters? Because they aren’t all 10s, or 9s, o 8s, or 7s. They’re a mix of 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, and 10s. I don’t want a potential buyer thinking that every card is a 9 or 10. Because it’s not. 

How am I going to sell them? Lately I’ve been using the Spring Cleaning groups on Facebook to sell to local people. I can at least deliver to these places when I’m traveling for work, or make a mini road trip out of it. My problem with shipping is that I’ll want the cost of shipping to be paid for by the purchaser, and that will increase the price of the boxes to a point to where they may no longer be interested in it. If I were to pay for shipping, I would not make as much money. 

I also have a near-complete set of 1993 Topps that’s missing the Derek Jeter rookie. I want to get a clean Jeter rookie for as cheap as I can possibly get it, and then sell the complete set. 

I plan to use whatever I earn from these sales toward achieving my Want List finds

(If you live near Sterling, Illinois and are interested in purchasing a box, shoot me a Facebook message and I’ll see what I can do.)