Saturday, February 22, 2020

Cleaning the Slate

It wasn't easy, nor was it a lot of fun... but I finally put the finishing touches on thirty-three care packages and shipped them out yesterday morning.

At one point, I had over thirty stacks of cards scattered across my office floor with these blue sticky notes attached to them.  I had this "by the numbers" blog post idea where I was going to calculate all of the cards in different categories, but that went out the window after sealing the first few envelopes without documenting what the contents were.

However, here are a few different numbers that are related to the care packages.  I've pair each number with a card I had sitting in a binder or a stack on my office desk.  None of these cards were part of the care packages shipped out.


1972 Topps #434 Johnny Bench

That's the number of days since I last shipped out a bunch of care packages.  Let's hope it doesn't take me another 14 months to take myself down to the post office.


1989 LJN Topps Baseball Talk #162 Lou Whitaker

Thirty padded envelopes and one PWE headed north of the border set me back $162.56Ten years ago, I would have been shocked by these shipping rates, but that's about what I expected to pay yesterdayKudos to guys like Rod, JohnnyDennis , and all the other bloggers who seem to ship out care packages on a regular basis.  Can't even begin to imagine how much you peeps spend each year at the post office.


1983 Donruss Action All-Stars #43 Carlton Fisk

This number represents the number of minutes I spent at the post office.  Only thirty seconds of that time was actually waiting in line.  The rest involved the gentleman scanning, printing, and inputing information.  If this was a restaurant, I would have hooked him up with a fat tip, because he was very patient and took the time to answer all of my shipping questions.


1980 Topps Super Gray Back #30 Gorman Thomas 

I couldn't believe it when I finally counted up all of the mailers and I saw thirty padded envelopes.  I think my previous record was seventeen back in 2015.


1970 Kellogg's #3 Cleon Jones

I only managed to put together three PWE's.  One was for a single card I had laying around for a retired blogger.  Another was a contest winner for a Mike Cramer minor league card.  And the last one was part of a trade that actually no longer needs to take place.


1968 Topps #2 AL Batting Leaders

The bulk of the care packages were sent to contiguous United States mailing addresses.  However two of them were sent to Canada.  I quickly discovered that I will no longer be shipping padded envelopes there.  However the PWE was surprisingly affordable ($1.20).


1959 Topps #1 Ford Frick

There was one lone package shipped out across the Pacific Ocean and it shouldn't be too surprising that it was the most expensive.  I forgot to ask the guy working, but I'm guessing PWE's are the way to go from this point moving forward if I send any more cards to Japan.  

So, who are this round's recipients of care packages?  Here's a list...

Woody @ CCW/SCF
Chris @ Nachos Grande
Julie @ A Cracked Bat
Chris @ The Collector
Ron @ Section 36

More than half of the packages were for people who sent me one or more care packages over the past 14 months.  A few were contest packages I owed.  And the rest were packages for bloggers who I had acquired cards for at one time or another.

If I somehow missed you and owe you care package, please comment down below and I'll try to fix the issue as soon as possible.  I know I still owe Brady and Mr. Haverkamp.  I'll be bringing them their cards the next time I see them at Serramonte.

By the way, is there a Rusty Greer super collector out there?  I also picked up a few Vida Blue and Mike Norris cards for someone, but can't remember who.  And who the heck collects the Portland Trail Blazers?  Please comment down below if you're the person who collects these players or team... or if you know who does.

As for moving forward, there are a few things I wanted to review in regards to care packages and this blog...

#1I don't trade.

I know that I've made a few small trades for specific cards over the past two months... and I'm even talking to Greg over at The Collective Mind about swapping some 2002 Donruss Estrellas singles... but in general I don't really have the time or desire to trade specific singles.  Plus my tradelists on my website are way, way, way outdated.

#2I'm cutting back.

Most of the cards that were shipped out this week came from COMC, card shows, or were part of large collections that I purchased over the years.  Plus there were a few singles I picked up specifically for people off of eBay.

Sadly... 2020 is the year that I'll be cutting back in hobby spending.  If I had to guess, I'd say my eBay purchases are down 80 to 90% since last year.  Plus I don't have any plans on adding any additional money to my COMC account.  And unless it's one of those "way too good of a deal to pass up" collections, I don't anticipate buying anymore of those anytime soon.

I also have zero plans to bust blasters anymore.  It's much more cost effective for me to purchase completed sets on eBay.

What does that mean?  It means that most of the cards I pick up for fellow bloggers will probably be purchased from dime boxes, quarter bins, and dollar deals I find at card shows and flea markets.  It also means that I don't anticipate having tons of goodies to ship out in the near future.

#3Shipping is outrageous.

I think I'm going to give PWE's more of a shotPadded envelopes are nice for higher valued cards, but if I want to send one or two cheap relics or autographs, then I'm probably just going to use a plain white envelope.

#4No strings attached.

If you are the recipient of an unsolicited care package, please do not feel the need to send anything back.  I'm at the stage of my life where if I find something for someone, I'll pick it up for them.  I'm not looking for anything in return.

#5Hold the commons.

The days of me shipping out common base cards are in the past.  There are plenty of ladies and gentleman out there who still ship them, so this probably won't affect anyone too much.  As for sending me yours, I won't stop you.  But at this point, you should know that I typically pull out the oddballs, inserts, and parallels which go into a binder... and throw most of the common A's (and other teams I collect) base cards into a giant box that haven't been sorted in quite some time.

One day, I plan to build a really cool Frankenset for my favorite teams, but that's probably 10 to 12 years from now.

I'll wrap up this post with one more number related to my recent mass mailing...


Card Guard #NNO Ken Griffey Jr. 

The most shocking and impressive number related to this mass mailing is zero.  That's how many angry messages or reminders I received from people I owed.  I totally appreciate all of your patience.  There's really no excuse for making some of you wait over a year.

The goal is to send PWE's more regularly... while reserving the padded envelope shipments to early August and the February break.

Hope this update was informative and useful.  And once again, I apologize for the delay on shipping out these packages.  By the way, if any of you want tracking numbers, just email me and I'll hook you up.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


Dennis said...

Thanks for including me, buddy! I had a feeling this was coming since my Informed Delivery told me I had a package coming to me from San Jose. That's a huge mailing you did so I hope you give yourself a bit of a break. I've kind of naturally started doing some of the things you listed here over the last couple years and it's made life a bit easier.

gcrl said...

quite the mail day! thank you in advance. know that when i send you cards, there are no strings attached (i just sent a pwe last week in fact). also, i believe kerry at cards on cards collects the jail blazers.

Peter K Steinberg said...

I'm with you on no strings attached mailings. I never expect anything in return. Which is why I'm stunned and happy to see my name in the list of recipients. Thank you so much! Shipping prices are a bit much, and I think you'll keep the Post Office solvent for a while! You can PWE that T206 Honus Wagner to me any time.

acrackedbat said...

Fuji my friend, thank you. My care packages to you were sent simply to bring a smile to your face. A return package was never expected, certainly not necessary. I've moved to PWE shipping as well. It's more affordable. I can get 15-18 cards safely to their destination for $1.25! I'll still drop one on you now and then. You should check my Pick Pockets often. I'll start a stack for you. :)

P-town Tom said...

I wasn't anticipating a package, but will gladly accept. I'm pretty sure we were all squared away. Well, I'm hitting up my first card show of 2020 tomorrow. Yes, I read #4 about no strings attached... but, you know... Better to give than receive and what not.

The Lost Collector said...

Holy moly. Thanks for thinking of me. That is some serious mailing you did.

Nachos Grande said...

That's a lot of mailing! My goal for the year is 50 trades you practically did that in a single mailing, wow! I hope that you've received what I sent you though after reading this I'm guessing a bunch of the cards will end up in that big box of yours ;) Thanks for including me as well (though like many others, I didn't expect anything)!

CrazieJoe said...

Many thanks for thinking of me and the package you put together, wow! A lot of mailing indeed! Completely agree with the no strings mailings - I'mm just happy finding the cards a better home (and reducing my trade piles too).

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

I can't think of a better person to dump, I mean um forward those A's too.

SumoMenkoMan said...

Holy cow, thanks for thinking of me and including me....definitely unexpected. Appreciate all you do for the hobby and fellow collectors out there.

Josh D. said...

Were the Blazers for madding @ Cards on Cards?

Chris said...

That's quite a list! Santa Claus would be proud of that haul of packages, lol.

I'm falling behind on trades/return fire to mail. I'd better get it done quick before they start to pile up.

Fuji said...

dennis - thanks for being patient bud! that's pretty cool that you have a service that informs you of incoming deliveries.

gcrl - thanks jim! always enjoy your pwe's. as for kerry, you might be right. lol. not 100% sure though. i'm so unorganized.

peter k steinberg - i grabbed a card for you at the card show a while back. plus a few other cards i had set aside for you. hope you can use them. and as soon as i find that t206 wagner, it's yours ;)

acrackedbat - thanks julie. i think we're both on the same page. always appreciate your kind notes and comments as much as the cool cards you send my way

p-town tom - your post from a few months ago actually inspired this post. as for the cards... they were just some things i had laying around for you. pretty sure they're doubles... but maybe not

the lost collector - of course. your bookmark reminded me that i owed you on a regular basis.

nachos grande - well... i'm trying to avoid using the term "trading". but i guess that's what i'm doing when i'm shipping cards to people to pay them back for cards shipped to me ;) i totally received your package. opened it up on friday and have a post scheduled for tomorrow. like i said about the big box, it'll come in hand 10 to 12 years from now when i build my frankenset. much appreciated chris!

craziejoe - thanks for being patient with the return care package. hope you can use the stuff i sent.

johnnys trading spot - i have a deep appreciation for every a's card you send my way and all of the money you spend on shipping those cards ;) hope you enjoy the stuff i sent. gotta be honest... my braves inventory is completely wiped out for now. gonna take some time to rebuild it. but whenever i see affordable inserts, relics, and autographs... i'll grab them for you.

sumomenkoman - of course homie. the bulk of the package is a very, very, very late christmas present

josh d - maybe. but i thought i grabbed them for a blogger that i owed and kerry wasn't on my list. but i guess if i can't figure it out, i can always send them to him :)

chris - i hope santa is. whatever you do... don't wait until you have 30+ packages to package and ship ;)

defgav said...

Woo.. nice to see my name on the list. I know it's been a while since I've sent you anything, though I do still have a couple decent cards set aside I was hoping to give you in person someday (bribing you into a meetup during one of your trips up to Portland).

Re: Rusty Greer supercollector, I believe Judson from My Cardboard Habit considers him a favorite player.

I suppose it's too late, but printing your own postage thru PayPal is a bit cheaper than going to the post office. Also, careful sending relics in PWEs, as they have a high chance of being damaged in the mail. (Plug for my Definitive Guide to Shipping Cheaply and Safely)

Adam Kaningher said...

I can't wait to start seeing everyone's posts for all these!

Zippy Zappy said...

Hmm, I feel guilty for being likely $5 (at least) of that $162.56. I'll make it up to you by sending you more cards.

In all seriousness I do appreciate you thinking of me even though all I was trying to do was move my own inventory lol. Also, next time you decide to send something to Japan (and if it's someone we both have a trade underway with like Ryan), I'm down to see if we can work something out and split a package so we only have to pay $11.50 each rather than end up sending two different $23.50+ packages.

Best of luck to your cost cutting measures. As someone who's currently trying (and failing) to do something similar I'd be great if I had a teacher to show me the way.

Matt said...

I think I missed sending you anytihng last year, one of my changes this year is to hit more bloggers up again!

Jon said...

PWE's are definitely the way to go. I sent out 14 this morning, including two to Canada, and total in stamps was something like $8 or $9.

Sean said...

Oh wow, thanks so much for including me too, I'll keep my eyes on the mailbox.

I'll repeat the no strings attached comments above, I was glad to be able to hook you up with a card on your wantlist!

The Angels In Order said...

Got mine, came at a really good time. I find joy in receiving mail. Thanks for thinking of me!

Collecting Cutch said...

I've been busy that past few days so I haven't had a chance to read or blog. Thanks for thinking of me. I got the package yesterday, but haven't opened it yet. Thanks buddy!

Jafronius said...

Kinda interested in seeing the giant box

Fuji said...

defgav - might be there for a few days this summer, so maybe we can meet up then. heck, maybe i'll try to plan my trip around one of the card show weekends. yeah, i've heard about paypal shipping. still gotta look into it. and if i do end up shipping a relic card in a pwe, it'll be a cheapo. i'm not going to give up padded mailers... just gonna do more pwe's to save trips to the post office

adam kaningher - me too. already forgot what i shipped out. lol

zippy - yeah... i was blown away by the international shipping. sean had even warned me about it. as for cutting back, i've had the ebay and comc's help. as a bargain hunter, paying taxes kinda makes the deals harder to find. as for a return package, don't feel like you need to send anything. i've owed you this care package for quite some time

sport card collectors - #nostringsattached :)

the angels, in order - glad it arrived safely. all of my checklists go to you ;)

collecting cutch - no worries. there are times when i don't get around to opening up a package for 2 weeks. enjoy buddy

jafronius - if it's the one i shipped to rod, it's actually one of those flat rate envelopes. i don't think i have enough sumo cards to fill up a large flat rate box.