Hope this helps anyone getting into collecting. Also, if any of our veterans have anything to add, be sure to post it. Do Specify What You Want: Make sure you have a specific focus. Focus on only a couple of players, or a specific subset of cards (RCs of Titans in Titans uniforms). If you specify too big, you’ll end up with a hodgepodge of stuff. This is probably the hardest thing to do, but you must do it to have any focus. Collect Who/Want You Want: Don’t go through guys who you don’t care about. If you were a huge Tyrone Calico fan, go out there and corner the market, even though he is done. Sign up for NPNs: NPNs are basically contests that all the major card companies have to give out free cards, Upper Deck’s are online, all the others are through the mail. Details are on the back of cards usually. You may not get somebody you like, but you can use those cards to trade for stuff you like, or sell them on eBay for some quick cash. Plus, it doesn’t hurt. Make Friends With a Seller: On eBay, there are a good number of guys who sell large amounts of cards. If you can get in them tight with them, they might give you discounts, the first shot at cards, extras, etc. Same for card shop owners. Most of those guys love cards, and will be willing to cut a die hard a deal. Don’t Don’t Expect Card Collecting to Make You Money: Cards, like cars, tend to depreciate. Ask the guys who spent a ton on PacMan stuff. The depreciation is a major reason you collect what you want, you need the sentimental value to make it worth the money. Forget About Storage: You have to have some place to put all the top holders. I use 4 pocket pages in binders, but there’s ton of options. Just figure out what you want to use. Freak Out Over Condition: Ideally, the cards mean something to you because of the player on them, and not its condition. Fretting over the condition of cards will give you an ulcer, and ultimately ruin your awesome hobby. And ultimately, what difference does a corner nick make, unless you are trying to sell it. Be Afraid to Trade: This is especially true of you like to buy packs or boxes. Trading a sweet Cutler auto will get you a sweet VY auto plus a few others at this point. Sites like Beckett and TCC are great places to trade with collectors of football, baseball, basketball, hockey, etc.