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  #1  
Old 01-05-2012, 05:21 PM
tcdyess tcdyess is offline
Tim Caravella
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Default How do you build your sets, single or all in?

For those of you that have multiple sets you have been or will be collecting, do you find it better to focus on one set unitil you complete it, or do you multitask and try and pick up cards as you see them? My thought is financially and time wise it might be better to focus on one, but I hate to see cards that I will eventually need slip by. I wish I had unlimited resources, but as most, have to keep it relatively under control.

Obviously it is tougher to get the older sets, and most of the time the cost is higher on them anyway.

I know there are a lot of you that have ultra experience with this, so I am looking forward to hearing some opinions.

After finishing the "first five" I finally figured out what my "master plan" would be, one set per decade (Yankees only):

First Five (completed)
T206 NY Americans (finally completed)
1923 W515-2
1933 Goudey
1941 Play Ball
1952 Topps
1968 Topps (year I was born)
1979 Topps (just love the cards)
1980 and beyond (who knows???)

Thanks,

Tim
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2012, 05:30 PM
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Ken McMillan
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Multitasker here. You never know when you will see the right card.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2012, 05:37 PM
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ditto on the multi-tasker. I have primary sets with cracker jacks, n28s and an craze; secondary sets with t200s, 1940 play ball, e120s, 2nd 34 goudey set/upgrade current one; and tiertiary sets w/ t202, t205s, 38 goudeys, 49 bowman...in the end its about priorities on a budget. Cracker Jacks beat everything, i value lower grade fan craze and the tougher n28 next and so on. Id be bored just focusingon the cjs as its been since 11-16 since my last purchase...the shakes are full-blwn at this time. Then again, i very rarely buy a card on the lower priority list.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2012, 05:42 PM
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Brian J0hns0n
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I have BCADD (Baseball Card Attention Deficit Disorder). Been collecting for over 25 years and still have not completed a vintage set. I buy a card I need whenever I come across a good deal. Last week it was a T206 Keeler, this week a 1970 Topps Johnny Bench. I will be giving up and selling off a couple in-progress sets in order to finally finish a set or two. Hopefully going to complete 34-36 Diamond Stars and 57 Topps this year.
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunst View Post
I have BCADD (Baseball Card Attention Deficit Disorder).
How many different started/uncompleted sets do you need to get this diagnosis?
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:29 PM
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It's no fun buying a complete set. The thrill is in the hunt and finding that last card to complete the set, even when you are working on multiples like most addicts on this board are. Put me down for a few cards at a time and time to enjoy each purchase.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2012, 08:12 PM
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Definite multi-tasker here but I build very few prewar sets.
My Topps run from '53 up still has a few holes in several of the sets bc of my tendency to lose focus, find something else and then pick it back up at a later date. I made a post over on the postwar side in '56 Topps thread about this. I bought a partial/near complete set (-23) in 1989, put it in the closet and then finished it at my first National in 2001. In the 12 years in between I added not one card.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:28 PM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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I do both. I work on sets that I think are interesting one card at a time but will buy complete sets if the opportunity presents itself, I can afford it, and I am not at least half way to completing it. If in the end your goal is to have complete sets, it is often a cheaper route to buy sets than building them one card at a time but agree it's not as fun.

I always work on multiple sets at a time so I don't get impatient/frustrated and start overpaying for the cards I still need. I've been focused on "completing" my vintage football for about 5 years now but have recently gotten bored with it since there are so few cards left to acquire so I've been slowly transitioning over to work on my vintage baseball collection.

Jeff
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2012, 05:15 AM
tcdyess tcdyess is offline
Tim Caravella
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As Joe states above, I just can't see buying and entire set, for me it is too much fun buying the invdividuals. Also I feel I learn a heck of a lot more about the set, and player hunting down the cards. From what I see so far, looks like most have the all in approach of mulitasking. Looks like Bunst takes the total scrambled eggs approach. As usual, I guess there is no right answer, boils down to your individual "plan", and of course, resources available.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:03 AM
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I think the answer depends on which set (or sets) you are collecting. For me I am collecting T206 and only that set. There are other sets that I love and will collect some day, i.e. Cracker Jack, T3, T205, etc.

But with T206, it is a big set and they are readily available. I am approaching 300 cards and if I started dabbling in the other sets, I would get side-tracked with T206. I think that if you are collecting a set (or sets) that are rather rare, you may not see a card you need come up for sale too often, so then I could see where you may start collecting other sets that you like.

But for me, I need to stay focused on T206 and when I finish it it (520), then I will start another set.......probably about 5 years away from that goal.

Phil
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:38 AM
Zach Wheat Zach Wheat is offline
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Default Set Building

I am an opportunistic buyer and therefore do not concentrate exclusively on one set when I am trying to complete a set. I agree with Phil that it also depends upon which set you are trying to complete. T206's are abundant and therefore I try to pick up blocks of cards to save on shipping. This means, of course, that I end up with a lot of duplicates.

ZWheat
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:47 AM
BleedinBlue BleedinBlue is offline
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Default Financially Driven

For me it's a financial equation. I always have a number of projects going on at any one time but the time and money is usually focused on one set. For instance, I will always be collecting and upgrading my 1941 Goudey Master set. Whenever these cards come up I am in the market. A couple of years ago I started a T206 set and this was my primary focus but I was still looking for 1941 Goudey's. Because of the easy availability of the T206 cards and the significant size of the set I could not financially justify any other projects. Now that I have reached the 500 card number on the T206 set, finding new cards is more challenging. So, I continue to look for the 1941 Goudey's, I continue to look for the missing T206's but I have started picking up cards for my next project.

I think it depends on what you collect though. If you are working on a T206 set, there are so many cards that I needed to stay focused on small subsets in order to get some occasional gratification from completing a project. The problem was not availability of cards but funds. If I was collecting something scarce like T5's, I would make sure to go after each one because the next one may not come up again for quite a while.

Most of your sets are readily available. The issue isn't going to be finding the cards (generally) but rather finding the funds to pay for them. In this case I would prefer to go after the cards set by set until I neared completion on one. I would then start going after the next on the list until I was through with the project.

Last edited by BleedinBlue; 01-06-2012 at 07:52 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:08 AM
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M!ke S@il£r
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I admire anyone that can stick with collecting the same set for years. I am personally 0-12 in trying to complete a vintage set. I generally get a 15-20 cards into it before I find greener pastures.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2012, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagecpa View Post
I admire anyone that can stick with collecting the same set for years. I am personally 0-12 in trying to complete a vintage set. I generally get a 15-20 cards into it before I find greener pastures.
Same here. My hats off to those who stick with building a set but I am so impatient at times that I find it is easier for me to stick to collecting some favorite players and other stars of the 1960's (the era I enjoy collecting most).

With all that being said, I did put together two vintage football card sets from the 1960's but had a lot of help to start one of them.
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2012, 01:57 PM
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Tim Kindler Tim Kindler is offline
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Default The Thrill of the Hunt

I'm a singles guy. I love the thrill of the hunt. I have put my E98 set together 1 card at a time and it is almost done. It is such a rush when I get a new card for my set!

Of course, I have no choice but to build my sets 1 card at a time! I would never be able to affordall the cards at one time!!!
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  #16  
Old 01-06-2012, 03:00 PM
HANKCADDY HANKCADDY is offline
H@nk Smolen
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I usually have 3 or 4 sets going at any one time, and buy in small lots or singles for budget reasons....when the budget is tighter i work on my raw cheaper sets... when budget is a little stronger i go back to a graded set

right now focus is on
1974 topps in PSA 9 (about 91% complete)
R312 SGC 20-50 range (about 52% complete some raw)
T205 in SGC 20 or so (12%,just starting with HOF for now)
1948 bowman in PSA 4 better (33% now)
1989 topps in PSA 10 (AT 80% or so)
2004 SPX in PSA (also at about 80%)

when i get a little bored with one i move back to another, or if there is not much out there i look at something else.
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2012, 05:57 AM
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I prefer knocking off a big chunk of a set at one time, preferably for cheap, then filling in the rest. I rarely collect sets, though. I just don't care to spend money on commons. Exhibits are my only set-making endeavors in baseball cards. I finished the Salutations last year and need about half a dozen to do the PC back set.
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  #18  
Old 01-07-2012, 10:11 AM
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Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Kindler View Post
I'm a singles guy. I love the thrill of the hunt. I have put my E98 set together 1 card at a time and it is almost done. It is such a rush when I get a new card for my set!

Of course, I have no choice but to build my sets 1 card at a time! I would never be able to affordall the cards at one time!!!
Generally I'm exactly the same, Tim. Though I've found that small groups of cards go a long way to help the journey go by faster (and more affordably) the level of appreciation for the individual cards gets lost when they all come in together.

The same thing happened for me when I was collecting multiple things (e.g. T207, E-cards, Pirates), even with only one card at a time. I needed a singular focus to keep the appreciation and interest.

-- Mike
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2012, 10:42 AM
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I collect my favorite cards from many sets, working my way down to lower-priced cards until there's nothing else that interests me in the set. Some sets only have a few cards that interest me, like E90-1, while T206 and OJ have a lot. I can't imagine trying to complete a complete set of anything, other than something small like E95/E96.
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2012, 08:40 AM
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Default From the mouths of babes

This past summer I took my 7-year-old son to his first card show. It was amazing and the dealers treated him great. He was fascinated by the early 70s basketball cards because of the big hair and great uniforms.

He used his money (with some help from his Dad) to purchase about a dozen 1971-72 Topps basketball. We've since gone to a couple more shows and for Christmas I bought him a nice lot of 30 cards from the set, mid-grade, mixed with stars and commons.

We are going to a show today and he asked me how I do my sets. I told him that I've done it both ways over the years, but with some of my expensive sets I have no choice but to do it piece by piece.

He said he wants to finish his set a few cards at a time because, "I can't wait to go to the next card show with you and find a few more cards for my set."

Made me realize that for him it's the process, but that the time we share is the most important part.

BTW - he refers to the 71-72s as the "George Peeples" set because that's the first card he bought. Crazy kid.
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  #21  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcdyess View Post
..........do you find it better to focus on one set unitil you complete it, or do you multitask and try and pick up cards as you see them? ....................
Generally I concentrate on one set at a time. When the "frenzy stage" ends and the cards I need for a set are fewer and farther between, I start trying to determine my next set project, but I still look for the cards I need to finish the sets I start. So in truth I usually have a primary set focus, but when the shopping slows down I find another focus but still multi-task to finish the sets I start.


Right now: Primary focus is pre-war type cards, but still trying to settle on my personal definition of what constitutes "a set"

Multi-tasking to finish: t206, t205 hofers, e120 hofers, 33 goudey hofers, late-40's/50's hofer type set, a couple of modern projects.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tcdyess View Post
..........After finishing the "first five" ..........
Tim, what do you mean by "first five"
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  #22  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradH View Post
This past summer I took my 7-year-old son to his first card show. It was amazing and the dealers treated him great. He was fascinated by the early 70s basketball cards because of the big hair and great uniforms.

He used his money (with some help from his Dad) to purchase about a dozen 1971-72 Topps basketball. We've since gone to a couple more shows and for Christmas I bought him a nice lot of 30 cards from the set, mid-grade, mixed with stars and commons.

We are going to a show today and he asked me how I do my sets. I told him that I've done it both ways over the years, but with some of my expensive sets I have no choice but to do it piece by piece.

He said he wants to finish his set a few cards at a time because, "I can't wait to go to the next card show with you and find a few more cards for my set."

Made me realize that for him it's the process, but that the time we share is the most important part.

BTW - he refers to the 71-72s as the "George Peeples" set because that's the first card he bought. Crazy kid.

Congratulations, you are very lucky......I hope you can continue to nuture that common interest as he grows older.
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:41 AM
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I'm generally working on several sets at one time. I like to buy large lots of the commons to fill out the sets, but I purchase the high dollar cards individually as I like to get them graded. I have found that when looking for nicely centered quality cards at reasonable prices it can take some time to get "the card". Buying this way, I'd have too much down-time between purchases if I was not working on mutiple sets or other interests.

I have to say that as I've completed several sets, I'm finding it more unpalatable to spend my cash on the high cost commons. Once I finish my latest sets, I think I'll start moving more towards individual cards of interest instead of complete sets. Of course I'll probably change my mid tomorrow!

Last edited by brob28; 01-09-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2012, 10:44 AM
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Multitasker here as well. Been working on T206 and W512. Down to needing 1 for the W512 and around 40 T206s. I briefly started a 34 Goudey set, but quickly lost interest about 10-15 cards into it. Along the way I've also picked up a couple of Old Judges, T210 Series 2, Obak and T213s when I've come across good deals thinking perhaps one day I'll take a stronger interest in them.

With my W512 set nearly complete, I'm trying to decide whether or not to soley focus on T206 given the last 40 or cards I need contain a lot of the expensive ones (Cobb, Johnson, Young, O'Hara, Demmit, etc) or start on something else at the same time.

If I listen to my wife, I'd focus on saving up for a bigger home or selling my cards as a downpayment. My argument is if we had a bigger home, it would be more expensive to maintain, thus giving me a much reduced card buying budget. I've found a quick trip to Tiffany or Gucci gets her mind off this for at least a few months.
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