I've been planning to write this post for a few days and now I finally have time to do so, so I'm no longer feeling left out as most of you have already done so!
First, I'd like to take a look back at the year of collecting that was 2012. Let's see how I did with my resolutions:
2. Post more trade bait: I definitely achieved this, at least for a little while. I don't think it resulted in me making all that many trades, but the page was there when I needed it. Ultimately I dumped most of my useful stuff to COMC, which ended up paying off big-time. Success
3. Comment more on blogs I read: I know there's always room for improvement, but nary a day went by where I didn't comment on at least one post. I realize how important it is to get that feeling people are reading your work, plus these can often lead to trades, so this is something that remains high on my list for this year as well. Success
4. Respond to comments I receive: I can honestly say that I responded to nearly every comment I received, both in the Comments section and via email when possible (I still definitely prefer when people leave comments while signed in to an account linked to their email so the latter is possible). I appreciate every single one I get, even if it's just someone making a funny remark about what I posted. Success
5. Manage two blogs: This got a little tricky at times because twice the work can often lead to burnout, and there were definitely some weeks where I slacked on posting on one or both of the blogs. Still, I managed to get up 120 posts on this one and more than 150 over on TMM, which meant I increased my total posting from 2011 by around 50. More importantly, I think, I managed to separate out my Michigan-centric stuff from the rest of my collecting so the two blogs would be more enjoyable to their target audiences. That's something I'm going to continue as long as it makes sense. Success
6. Post quality content: Sure, anybody can throw up some trade package features and show off their other purchases and PC items, but that's only part of what a collecting blog should entail. What I should try to focus on more is why I collect what I do, my likes and dislikes, and other such original content. One feature I do like to do from time to time, though, which seems to be somewhat successful, is showing off and discussing my completed sets. I don't do so often because they get scan-intensive, and that can take a lot of time and effort. Still, it's something I'll try to do more of this year, along with hopefully some other interesting, original stuff. That and I'll have to see if I can come up with some sort of feature unique to this blog so I can stand apart like some of you do. Failure
7. Group breaks: For one thing, I had hoped to run at least one more group break myself, but in my opinion there literally hasn't been anything worthwhile that would have made sense for such a project. The products from my three previous breaks--2010 EEE and 2008 Razor Letterman--have shot up in price and out of the realm of what would make sense value-wise.
I had also intended on participating in more group breaks run by others last year, but after joining one run by the Dimwit, I just realized that there wasn't much value or fun in it for me, because I'm not nearly the team collector most of you are, and I rarely end up with anything good out of them anyway. I'm just very picky about what I want out of such a venture and understand now that for the most part, group breaks aren't for me, so this is one resolution that definitely won't be on this year's list. Failure
8. Spend less on useless crap: This here is one goal that will now be a permanent part of my collecting strategy. My two biggest sources of waste in the past were hobby and retail boxes and packs. Well for starters, I'm pretty sure I didn't pick up any hobby boxes this year at the few shows I attended, and definitely not online. Retail was a slightly different story, but I still made major strides. I did pick up a bunch of 2010 Press Pass PE blisters (on sale!) for about $80, and I soon regretted that decision considering how I did. Later in the year I went a bit overboard with 2012 Topps Football retail racks and blasters, totaling around $150, which is definitely more than I needed to spend there. That's more than $200 I could have used elsewhere, but that's still a huge improvement over my past junk spending habits. Success
9. Complete some more sets: My baseball and football set wantlists have shrunk so much I barely even recognize them anymore. I combined purchases from COMC, SportLots, Blowout and eBay to knock out a large chunk of my wants in 2012. But better yet, I got an amazing amount of help from many bloggers and readers last year, and I can't stress enough how much of a difference this made. That'll be a bit more difficult this year due to the fact I won't need as many cards, plus I've drastically cut down on my set-collecting, but it's wonderful to know I have such a great source for getting help with one of the most enjoyable and pure pursuits of the hobby. Thanks again, everyone! Success
10. Get more organized and get rid of unwanted stuff: I've gone on quite a bit already so I'll make this brief. First, I got a lot more stuff scanned, and in some cases with player PCs, checklisted. I also made major headway in getting things into storage in a way that makes sense. Finally, besides the usual purging I've done with unwanted stuff in trades, I recovered a ton of space thanks to the success of my fall cleaning lots, a project I plan to continue as space becomes necessary. Who doesn't like free stuff? Success
11. 400/100/50 and beyond: In short, I wanted to surpass 400 unique Michigan sports hits (I was just under at that point), 100 baseball hits, and to reach the 50-hit mark for at least one player. Those of you who follow TMM probably already know, but I recently went over 800 total Michigan sports PC hits, including 600 in football. Baseball stands at 152, so that definitely happened. And Jake Long (57, with more left to post) and Rich Hill (61, ditto) gave me double the fun of the 50+ club, with more pending my COMC haul posts! Success
2. Set a budget this time: Thus far, I've never given myself an exact budget, but I hadn't kept track of my spending until last year. The proved extremely useful, and I'll get to that later. For now, I'll just say that my plan is not to exceed an average of $200/month, or $2400 for the year, and no single month should go higher than $300. I don't anticipate bringing in nearly the same amount of money thanks to selling as I did last year, so being a bit more restrained should be a goal of mine.
3. 350 posts between the two blogs: It's about time I tried to increase my output, though I want it to still meet my standards from #1 in terms of quality. This doesn't exactly have to be an even split, but I want to see both quantity and quality this year!
4. Keep on keeping on with the set wantlists: I have nine baseball sets (three others are complete sets) on my baseball list and 11 on the football list. My goal this year will be to complete more than half of those.
5. Don't forget your non-Michigan PCs!: While I might not go as far as I did with my Michigan baseball player collections last year, I'd like to scan albums for several other players I like to collect, starting with Tigers Justin Verlander, Curtis Granderson (again, Tigers only), and Kirk Gibson, and then maybe moving on to Ripken, Griffey, Gwynn and Maddux, and even other Tigers as well, depending on how things go. Because I'm not supercollecting them, I don't plan on creating Google Drive spreadsheets listing everything I have, but scanned albums will make it easier to get an idea of what I have while also showing them off.
6. MOAR TRADING: I'm going to set an arbitrary goal of 100 trades between the two blogs because that's something I'll seek to do more as I try to spend less. That would be more than double what I did last year, but I think I'm up to it. Any improvement over last year's activity would be a plus.
7. Michigan sports PCs goals: I'd like to surpass the following totals:
- Baseball: 200
- Football: 750
- Unique football PC subjects: 100
- Hockey: 75
- Overall: 1100
Since I had a good amount of success improving things last year, this year I'm gonna attempt fewer goals, but put more effort into doing so.
Tune in tomorrow when I look back on my spending and consider changes I want to make to my buying habits in 2013!