How Do You Collect and Store Your Cards?

Before we can talk about how to store your collection it is important to know what you want to collect. You need to ask yourself, "what is most important to me"? It seems there are two types of card collectors out there: player or team collectors, and set collectors. Anyone that has been following my blog knows that I'm a Topps set collector.

You need to set realistic goals. You can't set a goal of collecting every Mickey Mantle card that exists because that's not realistic. There are too many oddball issues that are out there and are too numerous to count (not to mention expensive!). The goal I have set for myself is to have a complete set of Topps cards from 1951 to present. While this may seem unrealistic for most, for me, it is and has been a lifelong goal. It seemed very unrealistic 25 years ago when I started this huge undertaking but I have been getting closer and closer and maybe by the time I'm 50 years old (I'm 40 right now), I'll complete this. You can check out my progress at MY WANT LIST

And the last thing to remember, which is most important, is to HAVE FUN! I enjoy how cards capture baseball history and can't wait for my four month old son to grow up do I can share my passion for sports and sportscards with him.

Storing and organizing cards. I don't recommend storing cards by value because values change over time. If you are a player collector it might be best to sort them by year so that the rookie cards are on top. If you are a set collector like me, just store them in numerical order. Now that you have organized your cards you will now need to store them. There are many people that have suggestions on storing. What works for me, might not work for you. I store all of my sets in Univenture binders. The ones I use are 1.5 inches wide and I use two of these for most sets. Here is a picture:

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These binders close completely so that it keeps the dust out. They also provide a tight fit so they do not warp from being stored upright. For me, I like the "encyclopedia" look and the protection the binders provide. I bought 200 of these binders at less than $2 each. I use Ultra Pro PVC free nine pocket sheets for my cards and these usually run about $15-$18 for a 100 count box.

Why do I use binders instead of storage boxes? Well, if you don't want to look at your collection, I recommend 800 count storage boxes. However, for me that is not fun. I like to look at my sets from time to time. I find some of the uniforms and hairstyles quite humorous. Just look at the 1976 Topps Traded card of Oscar Gamble. Talk about a classic!

As far as tracking my collection, I don't use any special software. I use my web site to track my want list and I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep up with my inventory.

I hope this little blog helpful. You can always reach me at parker94ttu@gmail.com if I can be of further help.

Happy card collecting!

Craig from Texas



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4 Responses to How Do You Collect and Store Your Cards?

  1. Hans says:

    Just wondering where you bought those case binders you mentioned for $2 a pop? I can’t seem to find anything similar on Amazon or EBay. I’m fairly new to card collecting and I use a combination of 800 count boxes for my singles and the 3inch sports card binders (the ones that say either Football Cards or Baseball Cards). I have to store my binders flat to prevent the warping you mentioned. I love the way your collection looks and would love to get my hands on some of those binders.

    • cparker94 says:

      I got about 200 of them from Univenture.com about a year ago or so. They are perfect for my collection. The only downside is that a complete set of 792 cards will only fit in two binders instead of one but I don’t mind it at all. I just label mine 1 of 2 and 2 of 2. Here is a link that has a little bit more info: http://forums.collectors.com/messageview.cfm?catid=11&threadid=832945&STARTPAGE=3

      You may try calling univenture.com to see of they are about to run another special or give you a quantity discount. For me, it’s been worth every penny. :)

      Thanks for reading and sharing on my blog!

      Craig from Texas

      • Hans says:

        Hey Craig,

        I appreciate the quick reply and I was able to find the binders on Univenture for about $4 a pop, I’ll probably purchase a few and if I like it I’ll end up making a big purchase.

        Awesome site by the way! Ever since I got back into collecting cards I can’t seem to stop browsing card collector blog sites, I’m looking at starting my own in the future, got your site bookmarked since its an enjoyable read!

        Hans

        • cparker94 says:

          Hans,

          Thank you for the kind comments! I think you will like the binders. For years I have wanted something that will keep the dust out, make my collection display well a la “encyclopedia style”, yet be relatively inexpensive. There are more expensive options out there. I remember Roop binders (Roop is now out of business) having the best quality for archival storage but I couldn’t afford the $30-$40 per binder. One thing I would like to offer you and all of my readers is a free template that I use to create my binder labels. If anyone wants it, just drop me an email at parker94ttu@gmail.com. Thanks again!

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