I am not the average collector. The only time I am going to rip into a box of cards is with the intention of giving the cards away. While that puts me in the minority in terms of collecting, it doesn't mean I wouldn't spend some money to build my own personal collection. I've bought hundreds of single
Over the years I've enjoyed buying and selling on websites like The Pit and Etopps. While The Pit is a small community of collectors, the premise behind the website is pure gold. Topps used to own The Pit. They overpaid when they bought the site and lost millions of dollars when they sold it to Naxcom. Which will more then likely prevent them from doing something like it again.
I go and look over at Sports Card Forum, and the trade sections on the site are home to the most popular threads.
It could be done a number of different ways. The easiest would be to try and team up with the people who are already doing it the best. Find creative partnerships with the forums, and blogs from around the web. It also wouldn't hurt to knock on ebay's door every once in a while to see if you can get a slice of their pie- like Topps did with Etopps. There was/is a site on the web where you could buy and sell 'shares' of expensive cards just like shares of stocks on a stock exchange. Meaning I could own a piece of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle without having to buy the entire card. I would create a website where the shareholders could vote to cash out and sell the card (perhaps on ebay), so that shareholders could take swift advantage if they wanted to scoop a profit.
Most of the card companies are now saying they are going to go after children to try and revitalize the hobby. That could prove to be very difficult. Check out this Voice of the Collector blog to see why. Kids are a difficult market to reach. If it were me, I would focus on the collecting base that is already there. I would try and find ways to make the collecting experience more dynamic (stock exchange), and also more interactive (by connecting with collectors on the web). If I were working for Topps, UD, or Panini I would be on the popular forums and blogs everyday trying to get a feel for what collectors wanted to see. Maybe they do participate in that manner, but I haven't seen it.
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