Every time consuming large project needs a refresh. The goal for 2020 will be a refresh for the One Million Cubs Project as the focus slightly shifts from the hoarding chase of Cubs baseball cards.
Don’t worry: the One Million Cubs Project forges on, and the numerical goal for end of year is 500,000 Cubs baseball cards. The goal of 400,000 Cubs cards for 2019 was missed by a slim margin with the total count coming in at 395,098 cards.
Last year, I blogged about my disdain for generic New Year’s Resolutions, like “new year, new me,” or “lose weight,” or “be a better me,” etc. While those may work for some, most likely they will fail and fail quickly. Goals need to be smart. Or S.M.A.R.T. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
My hobby focus for 2020 in itself is not a S.M.A.R.T. goal, but I will break it down to somewhat meet the criteria. Purging the collection is the focus for the new year. When I began this project the genesis was essentially to turn my million-plus trading cards that I didn’t want into a million-plus Cubs cards – cards I did want. While I’ve been successful to a point, that million card total has turned into about two million cards in the past two years.
There were 335 trades (mostly via Twitter) in 2019, which is a great number. However, many of the trades were delayed on my part because it was filling specific needs for a trade partner, looking at lists, and digging through boxes. Unfortunately, the way my collection is “organized,” does not fit to timely search for specific cards. Much of my time was spent just picking through boxes finding cards, and it was a time kill.
Bulk Trades Will Be the Focus
For 2020, I will be focusing more on bulk trades, such as 300 or more cards at a time. I’ll accept smaller trades on a case-by-case basis, mostly if it’s a one-for-one team trade, or if someone sees a specific card I post online (or in my eBay Store). With that said, I do have a few trading partners that do not fit this criteria. Those trades will likely continue because we’ve established a relationship and I know what to look for when sorting, or digging through boxes at card shows.
To do this, I’ll be branching out more than just Twitter. Facebook groups and baseball card forums will also be targeted to capture new traders that can swap Cubs cards in bulk.
Visiting card shows ramped up in 2019, including my first-ever trip to the National Sports Collectors Convention. That, and the Chicago Sports Spectacular, has introduced me to some vendors that handle bulk and a couple large trades are in the works for 2020.
Essentially, I would like to make far less trades in 2020 that net more quantity in Cubs cards. I feel that by not accepting every trade I’ll have more time to focus on sorting for large trades and posting cards in my eBay Store.
Last March I purchased a Craigslist collection, and it was by far the best Craigslist/garage sale/auction/Facebook Marketplace collection I have purchased. This Craigslist sports memorabilia collection was filled with unique cards and other items and I continue to find neat items. The problem was I put most of it aside and let boxes and boxes sit that were filled with valuable cards.
Filling Up the eBay Store
This past month I turned my focus from trading for Cubs cards to listing inventory in my eBay Store. Many of the cards listed have sold within an hour of posting and I finished the month of December moving 153 cards. I was quite impressed by this amount of cards transactions as December is always the worst month for moving baseball cards. My focus is going to continue to stock my eBay Store with inventory that is sitting around. Currently, I have been filling it with vintage, oddballs, and junk era rookies. Once we approach Spring Training, I will add modern prospects and rookie cards.
Along with my eBay Store, as I flip through these boxes of cards I am setting aside star cards that are not “worthy” of listing on eBay due to fees. These cards are likely $0.50 to $1.00, but with fees and time it’s not feasible to list online. The next card show in Madison will be on January 26, and I am working feverishly by filling some monster boxes with these dollar cards for a number of quarter boxes. The Quarter Box will be introduced. This first show will likely feature two to three quarter boxes along with some random Wisconsin (Brewers, Packers, Bucks, Badgers) memorabilia, while in the future I’ll fill a table with nothing but quarter cards.
The Cubs collection is an absolute mess, and a goal that failed in 2019 was to be better organized by sorting an average of 1,000 Cubs cards per day. That goal fell short by a long shot. It was the equivalent of having a New Year’s Resolution of getting a gym membership and working out every day. You ended the year not stepping foot in the gym since January 15.
While needed, organizing the Cubs collection is just not a focus for 2020, but I will strive to keep my card room a little more organized than its current state. Trading Card Database will not be a focus either, which is something I wanted to get started on this past year. Without organization, it’s pretty difficult to utilize the database.
Looking forward to a new hobby year, and it should be a great one. The Cubs Convention arrives in a couple weeks. It will be my sixth convention. At the end of February I will be taking a one-week trip to Spring Training in Arizona. This will be my first time for Spring Training and I anxiously await six straight days of baseball in February and March. Then, in June my wife and I will be traveling to London (and Paris) to see the Cubs/Cardinals.
2020 Goals Recap
One Million Cubs Project Cubs Card Goal for 2020 – 500,000 cards
Focusing on large bulk team trades and turning down smaller specific trades
Increasing inventory in my eBay Store, and setting up The Quarter Box at local card shows