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Collector Etiquette - What are the Unwritten Rules?

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Post by fisherboy7 Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:38 pm

One of the most enjoyable things about collecting vintage cards is the interaction with other collectors. Collecting is not a solitary activity, even though sometimes it might seem like it is. Whether you're buying/selling/trading, or just looking to learn more about an interesting set, it takes other collectors who are willing to negotiate, be flexible, be patient, share info, or even respond in a timely, friendly manner, for any real progress to be made. We've seen many collectors who have been extremely successful in these social/practical aspects of collecting, and others who haven't.

My questions to the board are as follows:

1. Is there a collector etiquette, or a series unwritten rules, that have helped guide you to engage successfully as a vintage hobbyist?

2. What sage advice can you impart upon those who are new to our little corner of the hobby?

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Post by rholmes Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:30 pm

This isn't anything specific (probably belongs under Sage Advice), but the one thing that comes to mind is to leave any kind of attitude behind. Got a chip on your shoulder or an ego that need to be stroked? Check it. I'm certainly not one of them, but this board and others has more than a few people who have been around the block and back and have seen just about everything. Great collections big or small will be admired, but not fawned over (well, there might be a card or two...Very Happy). Noise/noize seems to not be particularly well-tolerated, and the use of the royal 'we' is frowned upon. In all, I think it's just like life... be decent, give a little to get a little, include scans with your b/s/t listings, and you'll be alright.

Ray
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Post by sabrjay Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:43 pm

I would agree, the biggest one would be never look down on someone else's collection. What someone collects is a matter of personal choice and financial situation. You don't need a lot of money to build a nice collection or have an impact on the hobby.

I'm the perfect example. I am nowhere near as active as I was in the 1980s but in the past seven years I've managed to find five uncatalogued cards. You don't need a bank roll to buy lots of collections. You need knowledge to know what you are looking at and spot that difference that everyone else misses.

Never stop learning about cards, especially the ones that you love whether you collect them or not. You never know when you will walk into an antique store or garage sale and make that killer find.

Jay

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Post by Jim Rivera cfc1909 Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:14 pm

I think if you treat everyone as you would like to be treated we will have a great hobby. Collector Etiquette - What are the Unwritten Rules?  136179
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Post by bowlingshoeguy Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:51 pm

I second what Jim said, it should go for everything in life.

Lee
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Post by cccc Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:10 am

Jim Rivera cfc1909 wrote:I think if you treat everyone as you would like to be treated we will have a great hobby. Collector Etiquette - What are the Unwritten Rules?  136179

this about sums it up...too bad not everybody follow this mantra.

nothing too insightful here but since we're in a digital age and most of our b/s/t is through the mail and not f2f...i always try to overpack to insure the card's safe arrival and appreciate the same from sellers (i make sure to remind them on valuable raw cards).

also through the years i've learned not to "reach" for a card. another one or something else will catch your eyes...and money.
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Post by terjung Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:24 pm

"Bob"?
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Post by sabrjay Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:11 pm

That what Quan translates to in English

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Post by BigGuy219 Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:27 pm

Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

This has served me well for quite some time.
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Post by fisherboy7 Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:37 pm

In some situations when negotiating a sale/trade, it's best to hold your tongue. Like if someone makes you an offer that you consider to be a lowball. That can be infuriating sometimes, but instead of firing back a nasty email, it's better to take a deep breath and reply with a simple "no thanks". The nastiness doesn't get you anywhere and might burn bridges on future deals with that person.

Oh yeah - always email people back. Even if it's just to say that you're not interested. It's rude to not email a person back after they've taken the time to send you scans and/or answer questions about a particular item.

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Post by sabrjay Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:12 pm

Definitely agree with the email thing. Always reply, whether it is a yes or no. More than likely a person is waiting to hear from you before offering the piece to someone else. If you don't reply, they are sitting there possibly missing out on a sale before the first person they emailed didn't the courtesy to reply and say no.

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Post by BINatVCP Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:03 pm

When selling, there's really no such thing as too much description, even if it's graded. Especially when you're dealing in mid- to high-grade vintage, condition can make all the difference. There are some PSA 7s I wouldnt' touch with a ten-foot pole and some that I would pay more for than many PSA 8s if I was buying for my personal collection.

There's just no room for euphamisms and surprises when dealing in vintage over the Internet.

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