Tuesday, June 14, 2011

To Build or Not to Build

To build or not to build,that is the question.  Whether 'tis nobler to complete a set or trade/donate the cards away.  Of late, I have been struggling with this issue.  My household is preparing for a move to likely a smaller house, and given the fact my wife detests baseball cards, it is a forgone conclusion that the old collection needs a major thinning.

This was evident during my recent Donruss spring cleaning (Yes, all those who requested cards, you will receive them...eventually).  During that cleaning out process, I decided that I could complete 88, 89 and 90 Donruss because I needed less than 50 cards for each set.  But, did I really need to complete those sets?  Am I trying to complete them because I like them or because I was painfully close?

Which leads me to why I want your opinion.  Do you complete sets only because they are your favorite?  Do you ever complete a set because you already have 90% of it done, even though you never intended on building that particular set?  I am curious what sort of answers I get to those questions.

I guess all of this leads to the fact that I have had a painfully difficult time shedding cards from my life.  I have no problem trading them, or even giving them to someone who wants them, but to just get rid of them seems counter-intuitive.  I know that I started the whole 1,000,000 Cards for Kids blog, and I have set aside copious amounts of cards to donate, but truth be told, I haven't dropped them off yet.  It was/is much more difficult than I thought finding a place that would take them.  Apparently, old cardboard of players that kids today have never heard of is a big issue with places that accept donations for kids.  Plus, storage is a major issue for them as well.

I think my last resort will be to take them to Goodwill and let them sell the cards.  Some kid might end up with them, maybe.  Who knows, I even toyed with the idea of giving them away in bundles of a 100 for Halloween, which I may still do.

Anyways, I have gone on a tangential plane.  Back to the building sets issue, I used to have the mantra that if I had at least 50% of the set completed, I'd go ahead and finish the set.  I figured, at 50%, it'd be cheaper to collate it than to buy it whole (according to Buckett).  But really, do I need a 1990 Score complete set?  I think I'd be better off picking the Padres and HOFers out, and then making someone else's mother or wife deal with the clutter.

What do you think?


Don said...

Good questions. If I was close to 90% of a set I would be very tempted to try and complete it through trades, but that would only be if I really liked the set, or if it held some sort of link to a happier time. Most of these sets can be picked up really cheap if you want to go back and pick one up later.

I am all for handing out the cards at holloween. Some kids would really like you and seeing the smiles on their faces would be worth it. Maybe that Milt Cuyler card will cause them to look him up on Baseball Reference and learn some history, or he can play a game with those cards and have a good time.

dayf said...

If you love the set, build it even if you only have one card.
If you like the set and have most of it already, build it.
If the set is meh, but you're only missing a few cards, build it.
If you don't like the set, don't bother even if you're only missing one card.
If you hate the set, take the cards, throw them in the air and play 352 card pick up.

Captain Canuck said...

I like what dayf said....

this is a labour of love... and the commraderie of fellow collectors helping others complete their sets.
Why else would I pay to ship you just over 100 cards for your donruss sets, when i could've bought you two factory sets for that price?

It doesn't matter.... build them if you like them. It's all part of the fun.

Derek said...

I enjoy the trading as well. I really loved GQ and wanted to build that set, but I have asked myself the very same questions lately with Bowman. I was close so I decided to build it.

I also love what Dayf said

Brian said...

I collect a set because its there!
You can never have too many Baseball Cards! Or enough, as a matter of fact.

Analee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Analee said...

{rolling eyes at some of the above comments}
collections are a waste of space.

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