The One Million Cubs Project began in December 2017. An idea to turn one million unwanted trading cards into one million Chicago Cubs baseball cards started just before Christmas that year. By Christmas week, a new Twitter account was created, web domains purchased, and a Wix website launched.
In the beginning, my Cubs card count was somewhere in the 50,000 range. The records are fuzzy early on in this project, and I didn’t even have an accurate count until several months in.
Nearly three years later the project is still pumping and I am having more fun than ever. It’s also a nice distraction while spending all of this time at home during a pandemic.
As of September 21, 2020, with an additional three packages that arrived in the mail my Cubs baseball card count surpassed the 499,000 mark (499,051 Cubs baseball cards to be exact). Having the 500,000 Cubs baseball card count so close gives me a bit of pause to reflect.
While it is a great milestone to reach…it’s the HALFWAY point. Nearly three years into the project I am only halfway home? One million is a lot. It takes a lot of card inventory to provide in trades, it takes a lot of money to pay for postage, and it takes a lot of time. This year my average mailday has hovered around 350 cards per day. Let’s break that number down in terms of the scale of this project.
I pulled 350 Cubs baseball cards and placed them in a standard storage box and weighed it. The total weight came out to 1 pound, 11 ounces, which has to go Priority Mail as it is above 16 ounces. Using PayPal shipping I entered the package details of 1 pound, 11 ounces and the size of the 400-count storage box (8″ x 4″ x 3″). Then, I used a midwest shipping address in my USPS zone (which will give me the lowest rate of any other zone). The postage amount comes out to be $7.64. If I were shipping to the west coast it would be about 50 cents higher and then the most economical option would be to place the box into a padded flat rate bubble mailer that runs at a cost of $7.75. For this exercise I’ll use the base rate of $7.64.
My average mailday includes Sunday as I just take the total amount of Cubs baseball cards over the course of the year and divide by the number of days. Over the course of one year (we’ll use 365 days even though 2020 will have 366 days), there will be a total of 127,750 Cubs baseball cards arrive. Using the base postage cost of $7.64 and 365 days that comes up to $2,788.60 in postage alone. Let’s extrapolate that out to one million total cards and it comes out to $21,828.57 in postage assuming every package contains 350 cards and the shipping cost is $7.64.
I feel that is a good base to use for calculation purposes because it’s a nice average. Many packages are medium flat boxes (2,000 to 2,500 cards) for $13.80 or large flat rate boxes (about 4,000 cards) for just under $20. On the other side, many trades consist of maybe 10 to 50 cards for $3.50 in postage.
Even if you don’t have Cubs baseball cards to offer up in trade, you can do your part by offsetting some of these costs by picking up some great baseball cards at great prices in my eBay Store. If you buy three or more cards you’ll receive an automatic 10% discount at check out.