Grand Cards: Cold Turkey and Belt Tightening

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cold Turkey and Belt Tightening

Boxes 2 and 3 of the Group Break will go up this evening, after I take a few photos for the post.

A few weeks ago, I announced that I would be on spending hiatus until the end of February and maybe longer. This was a response to what I recognized as the first signs of eBay addiction and trying to cut that slippery slope off at the pass. Of course, I then went and bought 3 blasters of Topps "Black", but I orchestrated it as a box break to make it revenue-neutral while still getting in my fix for new cards. There have been two small (see: under $3 w/shipping) slip-ups the day before and day after those boxes were purchased, and the second slip-up is what prompted this post.

I tried going Cold Turkey on cards and it is hard. Like, really hard. I like searching for things, finding them and winning them. I like adding new cards to my collection, photographing and cataloging them, and yes, sharing them on this blog. Cold Turkey was too much, especially with the start of baseball season and the release of all sorts of new cards. I'm sure that I can't stick to it. However, even a strategy of "only bid when you find a bargain" can lead down a path of excessive spending, and I fear for my own ability to restrain myself.

So, it is now time to tighten my belt. In case you missed it, my wife and I will be buying our first home together. We are currently under contract and watching our pennies until we close at the end of April. Because of this, I will be dramatically cutting my card spending until then. That's not to say that I won't be buying anything at all, but rather that I will now ONLY be using funds in my paypal account to pay for them. Since I only accumulate funds through selling cards, this stands to be another revenue neutral operation for me. The benefits are threefold:

1. All of my card spending is limited to money that is directly related to card sales, avoiding the temptation to dip into money that is more easily accessible for activities of daily living.
2. I will be forced to liquidate cards that I don't care about, thereby streamlining my collection and making my move to a new house lighter and easier.
3. I will be placing a much heavier emphasis on trading, especially to fill older set needs.

One exception to the rule: I give myself the right to purchase one pack of cards per paycheck, if I feel the need to. This will serve primarily as trade fodder and to get my "fix" in. This is actually much more than I purchase currently, so I don't expect myself to go through with it--it is just a safety net to keep myself from getting the card-buying jones.

So there we go! Through these new rules, I can slowly and steadily continue to build my Tigers and Granderson collections and feel more comfortable with where my money is going prior to closing on my new house in April. A lot of this depends on trading, so drop me a line if you end up with some Granderson's you can't use.


  1. I love the new 2009 Topps Cold Turkey release. It has that old 'throwback' look. Sort of Mayo, sort of Old Judge, but definitely unique.

    Maybe that's what I should call my fictitious cards... Cold Turkey. I can produce them whenever I want, just to get a fix.

    Congrats on the house. We're in our third and have just started the process to refinance (lower our interest rate).

    You'll get through this. Good job on the links.

  2. Good luck with everything - I'll keep an eye out for any Granderson's I come across.

  3. I've gone through something similar. I've pretty much quit eBay cold turkey. It's lasted longer than I've thought.

    I find trading with bloggers works quite well, both financially, and it's a much more enjoyable way of collecting cards.