Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dime Box Heroes: Mix 'n match

2002 Ultra #94 Mike Liebrathal

If I got paid to look through dime boxes, I'd probably be rich by now.

As many fellow dime box nuts know, a nice and thorough "dig" can be quite the time-consumer. I've spent a full hour at quite a few card show tables in my past travels.

Plus, I've learned that once I start searching through a dime box, it's almost impossible for me to stop. As soon as I commit to one, I'm pretty much hopeless. You'll never be able to drag me away.

Although you can try.

Because of this, quite a few factors go into deciding if a given dime box is really worth the time and effort.

The first question I ask myself is...

Am I going to find anything I really need here?

I once saw a gigantic table of at least a dozen different dime boxes at a show. I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was about that.

However, a couple quick peeks inside revealed nothing but newer rookie cards, something I've never had much interest in acquiring. While I probably could've found a few pieces I needed, I knew that it probably wasn't going to be worth it in the end.

So I moved on.

That kind of goes hand-in-hand with my next little tip.

Do I have time to look through all these cards?

I don't usually set a standard time limit for my dime box digs. If I do, they're often fairly lax.

Still, if I see that a show is filled to the brim with wonderful dime cards, I have to plan accordingly. I might not devote a whole lot of time to a box full of newer issues when I see a "little of everything" dime box looming in the next aisle.

So, while it might be hard for me to do so, I sometimes have to cut my dime box quests a little short in order to get the most out of my card show experience.

Thanks to the show I attended this past Saturday, I've been thinking about modifying my last dime box tip.

Is this a baseball-exlusive dime box?

Although I'm a steadfast baseball dime box kind of guy, I'm sure there are football, basketball, and hockey dime box lovers out there as well.

However, from what I've seen, very few collectors are interested in more than one or two different sports.

Some people don't even take the time to sort their dime boxes, just throwing cards of all different types together without much of a thought.

Honestly, I really don't think it's too much to ask for a vendor o separate their cards properly. It makes things quite a bit easier for the customer, something that is likely to attract more business.

In the end, I usually skip those types of boxes. It can be a bit of a pain to dig through stacks of football and basketball cards in search of those few baseball ones.

However, with the array of terrific finds I landed out of a "mixed" dime box a few days ago, I just may have to make these a part of my dime box repertoire. 

Although the "dig" consisted of only a single 3200-count box, I found more than 80 new additions to my collection, despite the fact that I had to sift through countless amounts of football and basketball cards in the process.

I didn't even show this awesome "post-play at the plate" Liebrathal in my "official" show report. 

That's how great it was.

In the future, it might not be a bad idea to at least give these "mix 'n match" boxes a look.

They certainly hold their share of diamonds in the rough.

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