Time to open up the mail bag and answer a couple of questions from a follower of this blog!
"I have really enjoyed reading about your collection on your website. Congrats on an over the top achievement! It's quite an accomplishment! I too have a lifetime collection similar to yours. Mine is 1955 to date, and the 1973-2013 sets are complete (most are factory sets). I also have a complete run of the Traded sets from 1973-2000. I am actively trying to fill in my partial sets, but a limited budget holds me back. As an aside, I'm also working on a 1959 Topps Baseball Master Set. I'm only a few cards away.
I have a couple of questions for you, if you don't mind:
1. For insurance purposes, how much would you say your collection is worth?
2. How do you store your cards?
I keep my sets in 5-Row Monster Boxes, protected in penny sleeves. I thought about storing them in albums, but they take up an enormous amount of room, and the thought of sliding some of the rarer cards into pages makes me think of instant damage to the cards, even if a person is extra careful.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts, and any tips or general collecting info would be greatly appreciated."
Well, Dave, when insuring your collection, it is important to consider a few factors. One, do not evaluate your collection based on a price guide’s value. If you do that, you will be paying too much insurance. Base the dollar amount of your collection on “replacement value”. In other words, if your collection goes up in flames, you need to ask yourself how much would it cost to have my collection replaced? It is important to have an insurance agent that fully understands your collection. My agent checks in with me annually and I update him on my acquisitions by providing him with a spreadsheet which shows my entire inventory along with replacement value. I won’t share with you what that value is but I am sure you can pretty much estimate what a complete Topps set run is worth. I keep my collection in a climate controlled location and access it a few times a month.
To answer your second question, people have different ways that they like to store their cards. I have my own method and it seems to work just fine for me. First of all, I store all of my extra cards in 5,000 count monster boxes. I have a stack of these that are taller than I am and I am 6’ 6’’. I would estimate that I have about 100,000 cards stored in this manner. I am one of the few people out there that believe in storing Topps sets in albums. For years I had them stored away in your typical 800 count boxes. I would make sure that these boxes were carefully secured to prevent cards from slipping and sliding to prevent against damage. This worked for a while and then I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t easily view my cards when I wanted to. I then experimented with three ring binders. Everyone that I talked to told me that I should not do this and to keep my cards stored away in 800 count boxes. People said that over time the cards would stick to the plastic sheets and ruin them. They also said that the cards would bend if kept in the sheets while the binders were stored vertically. One person I talked to said that he keeps his cards in binders but the binders are laid flat to prevent the cards from warping. After learning what I could about card storage, I decided that the best approach for me was to find a binder that would fit my cards snugly without allowing them to bend over time. I use plastic sheets that are PVC free so that the cards will not stick to the plastic. I ended up finding a great deal on 200 binders that are 1.5 inches wide. These binders seem to fit the cards and sheets perfectly. I store them vertically as seen here:
Whenever I want, I can access them, flip the pages, and view the cards much easier than when I had them stored in boxes. I even created some things to go with the binder to give it more of a nostalgic feel as seen here:
Some people may cringe at seeing my 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle in my binder. However, when I handle my cards, I am extremely careful while turning the pages as to not damage any of the cards.
For the record, I store all of my Topps sets from 1955 to 2014 in the 1.5 inch binders. Each year is housed in two binders with the exception of 1955 and 1956. The sets for 1955 and 1956 have 206 and 340 cards in each set so they can fit in one binder. All other years have more cards so they require two binders. The sets I'm working on for 1951 to 1954 are kept in PSA storage boxes as seen here:
My goal is to have every card from 1951 to 1954 PSA graded. To see my progress on my sets, please visit my web site at:
Thanks again for your email, Dave. I hope that by sharing this information with the collecting public, one will now be able to decide for themselves what is best for their collection. If anyone has any questions for my Follower’s Q&A, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig from Texas