Over the past few days, I decided to go through the laborious task of cataloging every baseball card I own into a Word document, and saving it on a flash drive. Since I've been back in the hobby, I've been buying and selling so much product that I really don't know what I have, exactly. It is time-consuming, to say the least, and it won't get any easier with my 2011 Bowman box coming today. Add another 192 or so cards to the list.
What I'm finding, though, is depressing - I have a lot of "junk". Junk as in many, many commons. I'm taking a guess that when I'm done with this project that I will have somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 cards. Not much by some standards, but enough. And a good majority of those are crap. Almost-complete sets of 1987 and 1988 Topps. 2007 and 2010 Topps Updates. 2008 SP Authentic. Even my vintage years are mostly commons.
I've tried selling cards as large lots, as "U-pick" lots, and as team lots, and nothing is working. It seems everybody is in the market for autographs, serial numbered, rainbows, etc. Which is fine, except that I'm stuck with a lot of flotsam that I can't move.
I have my 1974 Topps set that I'm working on that holds a special place, as it was the first year I really started collecting cards (I was 9). I have my Phillies cards, some going back as far as 1957. That's special because of my fan-dom. And I have my PC's to keep me interested. But the other stuff is just that - stuff.
I can't sell it (because it won't), but I can't just throw it all way, either...as worthless as it is, I find throwing baseball cards away to be sacreligous.
Maybe it's just that I put too much value on the cards. I had my entire 1976 collection up on eBay a few weeks back, $29.99 for 176 cards, and got no takers. That's 17 cents per card - maybe that's too high a price, I don't know. There were a lot of Hall-of-Famers in that lot, too.
Nevertheless, I'm working my way through the inventory and will hopefully come up with a way to consolidate my collection to the things I really care about, without just dumping cards.