Thursday, September 13, 2012
My cardboard paycheck
Within the last couple weeks, trading has pretty much been on the back burner for me.
This isn't the first time it's happened. It's nothing new, and especially common during the start of the school year. Nothing to worry about.
After all, I know that I'll never lose my love for swapping cardboard.
Sometimes, I like to take a step back and see just how much trading has impacted my collection as a whole.
I still believe that had it not been for the advent of online trading, I would've given up collecting baseball cards a long time ago.
Without trading, my main source for the card "fix" would be a pack or two from Target, with an occasional trip to the flea market or card show.
For the last seven years, I was content with whatever online trading forums were out there. Quick, easy book value-for-book value deals were what I'd grown used to as a collector.
However, I added the title of "blogger" to my list of cardboard accolades about nine months ago.
Everything changed after that.
Because of the awesomeness of the blogosphere, I haven't been that active on my trading forums in the last few months. I can't go back to the "book value" world on a regular basis anymore.
One thing I've loved about the blog-style way of trading is that it's definitely a more personal experience. We look out for each other.
I honestly couldn't tell you what most of the people on my forum collect. They ask for stuff, I find stuff I need from them, we trade. End of story.
But here, I already have a couple bloggers in mind when I pull some cool new Dodgers card. I've been setting aside Blue Jays and Padres stuff for the last few months, because I know of a few collectors who enjoy that sort of thing.
In a lot of ways, it's comforting to know that at least a few other bloggers are doing the same for me. I've received loads of simple, "cool" cards during my time as a blogger, ones that I probably would've never known about otherwise.
Look no further than that awesome '93 Upper Deck Shawon Dunston for evidence of that.
I started this blog for a few reasons.
Oddly enough, trading was never one of them.
When I write, all I can hope to accomplish is that I make it as interesting as possible, hopefully interesting enough that at least a few people might get some enjoyment out of it on a daily basis. That was pretty much why I decided to start writing.
Nothing more, nothing less.
It's a big reason why I've stayed away from allowing ads on this blog.
I've never thought of blogging as a way to make money. Simply writing is enough of a "reward" for me.
It's funny, though.
The great number of blogosphere trades I've made thus far are like my "paycheck", in a way. Actually, they're more like a "bonus".
I've never had a full-time job, so I wouldn't exactly know the feeling of what a "payday" actually feels like.
To the collector, I'll bet it parallels finding a great lot of baseball cards waiting in your mailbox, such as the great lot of Obaks I received as a part of one of my first blog trades.
It's a special feeling.
In "paycheck" terms, how would one describe this amazing and unexpected gift from a fellow blogger?
I don't know if there's a word for it.
As if I haven't made it obvious enough already, I'll always be in debt to all of the great bloggers who have showed me the right way to swap cardboard.
If I've learned anything during my time as a blogger, it's that no form of trading is better than the way we do things here.