I've been wanting to write a post like this for a long time now, probably ever since I started this card blog last year. I feel like getting your name out there and building a strong online presence of your collection is a massive tool to utilize and (in my opinion) not that many collectors are putting their collections 'out there' enough on the interwebs.
Sure, you can rely on eBay searches every day, which can help you acquire many cards for your player collections, but there are many other valuable avenues to spend your time on if you want to make a quality player collection. If you make yourself a collector who's easy to find, the payoff is definitely worth it.
I'm going to rundown some of the tips that I've taken (and continue to do so today) in order to get my name out there as the collector who collects Jhonas Enroth cards and how I get my collection out there online.
Here's a few of my tips:
1). Join Online Forums
If there's a hockey card forum to be apart of, chances are I'm on it. Though some are not as active as others, I've found that joining multiple hobby forums has increased the reach of my collection just enough to land me some new cards. I think every forum I've joined has led to at least 1 addition that I wouldn't have otherwise come across if I hadn't signed up for that site.
While CloutsnChara was the first forum I ever joined back in 2011 and is sadly on the way out, there are plenty of other forums active that I use every week. The two biggest forums for hockey are SportsCardForum and HobbyInsider. There is also BlowOut Cards, which has a small hockey card section that has been steadily growing over the past little while.
Feel free to connect with me on any of those Forums (Username: creasecollector). I love receiving messages from other collectors!
I even joined a Finnish card forum Korttifriikit to locate a Enroth card I needed, which turned out to be a unique misprint/error card that I had never seen before.
On a more recent note, when Enroth moved overseas to join Dinamo Minsk the KHL, I signed up for a website called LastSticker which has turned out to be a fantastic resource for European cards (and NO, I do not speak Russian, the Google Chrome translator is my friend!), which then eventually led to me to sign up for a European social media platform called VK (which is a Russian version of Facebook) in order to contact collectors in Minsk, Belarus to try and find information on Enroth cards I needed and to add some cards to my collection.
To some this may seem overkill, which I totally understand, especially when I sit here at my computer physically typing this out, but the rewards speak for themselves.
2). Make a Website to Showcase Your Collection
This one may seem obvious, seeing as how I created a website for my own collection and so I may seem a little bias, but I do strongly encourage player collectors to create their own space online as not only a way to showcase their collection in a neat and detailed manner, but to also share their current want list in order to let other collectors know what they need at the same time.
Sure, we could copy & paste a massive want list in a thread, as you should, but I find having my own space that has everything together in one place has been very effective. The internet is massive, and having my place on the web has led to other card collectors stumbling upon my website from a random google search, which is pretty cool.
An important thing to also mention is that just because you have a website, doesn't mean people will always visit it, so you also need to share your website in order for this to work. Put a link in your signature, share your website URL with other collectors when applicable, start a blog, do anything that you can in order to get collectors to your site. All you need is that one collector who has one of your wants to visit the site and a new PC addition could be in the mail before you know it!
(Author's Note: I recently acquired one of my 'White Whales' a few months ago through a collector who contacted me through this site! Check it out in my blog post here)
3). Try Social Media
While not traditionally an avenue for card hobbyists in years past, as niche forums typically held the online space in this regard, social media is (whether you like it or not) becoming one of the places to be to deal the cards that we all know and love.
I'll be honest, this one has been a tough one for me. Not that I don't appreciate the value of social media, I absolutely do, I just prefer to keep those personal and hobby lives separate more often than not, so reaching out to collectors through these personal channels like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter has been harder for me to update as often as I should be I think, but I'm always getting better. I have acquired some great pieces on social media via card groups, but I feel like it's something I need to do more of as time goes on.
When it comes to hockey cards and social media, the new kid on the block is r/hockeycards on Reddit. While I don't post as much content within that community, the collectors on there are usually fairly new to the hobby or collectors who have been out of the game for a bit and I love seeing their experiences. It reminds me a lot of when I started this hobby back in 2005.
4). Stick With it and be Patient
As is with a lot of things, patience is key when getting your name out there. Remember, there are a lot of collectors out there, and some collectors will collect the same thing as you or their collection will overlap with yours, creating some tough competition. Cards will not come rolling in overnight and you need to build up that presence online to let others collectors know you're the person to go to with these types of cards, and this can take awhile.
My best advise with this is to have fun along the way. Create a website if you wish, post on a forum or two and talk hobby with some like-minded individuals who share the same passion for the hobby as you do, post some pictures of your collection that you love online for all to see and make these experiences your own. Picking up new or elusive cards are part of the fun no doubt, but remember to share and appreciate what you have first and enjoy what follows. That is the key with any hobby I think.
After all, It's your collection, so why not share it with others?
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I will be updating this post if I think of new tips to add. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below!
- Aaron / creasecollector
Author - Aaron
I've been collecting Hockey cards since the late 90's. Mainly the goalies since 2005. I also Co-Host a Hockey Card Podcast.
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Send me a message to get your collection or website showcased here
Beyond The Crease: A Hockey Card Blog