Hobby Outposts From the North – What to do with base cards

Hobby Outposts From the North – What to do with base cards – It’s a quandary we all face at one point or another. Perhaps its when we’re searching for space to put our latest box break or when our forgiving spouses tell us to “clean up the damn cards!”

As much as we love cards from every product we bust, there inevitably are stacks that we don’t feel the need to keep. At times, it’s because we gave up on putting together the set, players were traded and we’d rather forget about them, or for any other myriad of reasons, these “extra” cards are taking up space in our hobby domains.

Many collectors will turn to the likes of eBay or trading groups on Facebook, but it’s hard to list “random cards from XYZ”. We could list some of the standout stars individually and try to make some bank back on the original break, but that can often be cumbersome; and arranging by team or player is likely to give you blisters by the time you’re done sorting and listing.

So what do you do instead? There are a few options available to you, but I’m going to spotlight one that has been very successful for me – the Buy Nothing Project.

Hobby Outposts From the North - What to do with base cardsIf you haven’t heard of Buy Nothing though, you’re not alone – it’s a relatively new phenomenon. As stated on its website, “The Buy Nothing Project began when two friends, Rebecca Rockefeller and Liesl Clark, created an experimental hyper-local gift economy on Bainbridge Island, WA, in July, 2013. Since then, it has become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 30 nations.”

So how local is “hyperlocal“? Each neighbourhood has a group, and even if your community plays nicely with adjacent regions, their residents aren’t permitted to join.

Now at first this can sound a bit intimidating, but when you join up in a group, you quickly discover that, not only are there a lot of things you can “shop” for on your own, but throw up your first couple listings and you’ll quickly see how many of your neighbours are interested in your swag.

At first when I joined, my family was looking for some toys like Shopkins for our daughter or some extras for our house. We’ve found everything from books to a rain barrel, just to give you an idea of the variety available.

What I didn’t see, despite my best wishes to find a couple hockey pucks or baseballs, were sports memorabilia. With a big part of my collection from the 1990s sitting dormant, I decided to put up a couple listings as a test to see if anyone would bite on the primarily overproduced relics of yesteryear. I was stunned at the reaction – people wanted my inexpensive cards! Some wanted for themselves, their kids or even their grandkids. I started to hear stories of how “my boyfriend used to collect” or “my son and I will drive down to check out what you have” as I packed up more shoeboxes (because shoeboxes have that retro cool feel to them).

Since I first posted in my Buy Nothing group about a year ago, I’ve parted with a dozen or so boxes. Even better – none have been re-listed. I also have had some families send messages days or weeks after original pickup to thank me for the cards.

To see if your community has a group, you can check out the Buy Nothing Project’s website here. If there isn’t a group in your neighbourhood, there’s a form you can fill out on the site too.

Hobby Outposts From the North – What to do with base cards
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