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eBay sent me one of those cheesy year in review emails yesterday... I think it says it all when I sold 3x as much as I bought. And I rarely sell things. And I have bought a few non-card items.
I have bought most of my stuff through a UK dealer (Paul at Umbrella Cards) who always looks after me and is very good at meeting my particular needs.
To be honest, with Bond cards on hiatus there is just less out there for me. The older gaps I want to fill scarcely come up for sale, or at too high a price to make me sit it out for the next one that may come up.
In terms of other interests, I pick up the odd card here and there but I am pretty selective these days. I picked up TWO of the Masterworks stamp relics from the 2016 release. I don't really need or want the others. I'm looking for a couple of the Trek TNG Juan Ortiz auto parallels but won't buy the ones on eBay at silly prices.
I haven't cracked sealed product in years - just don't see the value in it anymore.
I hope the hobby continues to grow but sometimes I think I am part of the problem: not putting much money in dealer/manufacturer pockets.
That said, so much of it is so repetitive, or lacking in some way, why bother?
Topps' Star Wars is the classic example. I have adored the original trilogy since my youth and yet I find the cards so easy to skip over. Little continuity of design between sets, ignoring of collector preference (too many stickers), boring parallels, mega short printing, reliance on bad art (sketch cards), and so on.
On the upside, the metric ****tonne of product out there means values on the best stuff have really come down: I still can't afford it but a $2,000 Harrison Ford auto sure sounds better than the $10,000 he used to be, the same applies all the way down. Plus, you really can weedle your way through it all and pick out those select few bits to craft an interesting collection. With such scope of product, there certainly is a lot of choice is you can stand not being a completest.
I'm in a bit of slump at the moment, but still content with what I've got an always keep my eyes peeled for something interesting.
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