Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 year-in-review and a look ahead to 2014: my turn!

Happy 2014, everybody!  As everyone else is doing today, I'm going to take a look back at my year of collecting in 2013 and lay out some expectations for this year (as I watch the day's slate of bowl games, which should end after today, period--screw this "next Monday" title game noise!).

First, let's see how I did in 2013:


1.  Post quality content, dammit!  Meh, not so much.  I came up with a few somewhat original things, but most of my posts were of the "show-off cards" variety.  I'll try to mix it up a bit more this year!

2.  Set a budget this time.  I give myself an "A" for this one.  After a net spending of about $2400 in 2012, that was my 2013 goal, and I stuck to that with zero problems!  This worked out so well I'll be sticking to it again in 2014.  More on that and other spending data in a bit.

3.  350 posts between the two blogs.  Yeah, not so much.  I had a decent pace going for maybe half the year, but there were plenty of periods where I was just unmotivated.  I think the stress of having to produce this much got to me, so as others have said, to keep things fun enough to keep going, I'm not imposing such a quota this year.  By the way, my final two-blog post tally:  112 (TMV) + 146 (TMM) = 258.

4.  Keep on keeping on with the set wantlists.  And how!  I'm not gonna do the work to figure out just how many sets I completed, but the results speak for themselves when you gander at my baseball and football lists (and lack of hockey).  As I focus on new projects, I'm proud of how much effort I put into putting a TON of sets to bed!

5.  Don't forget your non-Michigan PCs.  I'd say I did fine here.  In my resolutions post I singled out some Tigers and stars (Ripken/Griffey/Gwynn/Maddux) I collect, and while I can't say I added a ton of big stuff for any of them, I did score some cool pickups, and many of those I traded with were generous enough to include them as well in packages.  Despite other pursuits, I didn't leave these guys out!

6.  MOAR TRADING.  I specifically hoped to end up with at least 100 trade posts between the two blogs, and I count 34 on TMV with another 25 by way of TMM.  That's barely more than half (with plenty of overlap), and it's not for lack of trying on YOUR part, but pretty much my laziness.  I have less trade bait to work with (mostly procuring things through COMC now) and just don't have the energy some of you guys do when it comes to trading.  That said, without shooting for a specific number this time, I'm really going to try to maintain a focus on trading this year.

7.  Michigan sports PCs goals.  I'll go into more depth in a TMM post, but briefly here's what I wanted to achieve in 2013 (with actual totals as of today in parentheses, as I have a TON left to post):

  • Baseball:  200 (243)
  • Football:  750 (759)
  • Unique football PC subjects:  100 (124)
  • Hockey:  75 (112)
  • Overall:  1100 (1139)
As you can see, I easily met all of those goals, and that doesn't take into account all my 2013 purchases I still haven't posted!

So overall, I'd call it another successful year of collecting.


I didn't do this last year, but it seems like a good idea to highlight some of the cool things I was able to do over the course of the year for my collection and sports fandom.  Those feats include:

Alison Brie, because obviously

  • Completing several PCs.  Matt Miller's is the only one that's officially done right now, but I did purchase and/or receive cards that will finish off a couple others.  This will go a long way towards motivating me to keep at it this year

  • Completing some nameplates, namely these three:  Mike Hart (2008 SP Threads Lettermen), plus Zach Putnam 2008 Razor Letterman unnumbered and /20.  These are tons of fun to piece together and I'll be on the trail of a few others this year, just watch!


As I mentioned, I tried to stick to a $2400 net spending budget, so an average of $200/month, while trying not to exceed $300 in a given month.  Here's how that worked out:
I exceeded $300 just once, in January ($311.40) mainly due to a huge COMC haul.  A dip down to $61.44 in February (the only month in which I spent less than $139) evened things out for a bit, and other than some extremes in March (another huge COMC pickup) and November (mostly COMC and eBay), I was pretty good about my spending.  Things picked up in December because I had some money to burn, then made a couple late sales to furnish a few other pickups.  My gross spending was actually about $2450, but I made up for that with a little more than $50 in sales, putting me right around (and slightly under) the $2400 mark for net spending.  In the end I was happy with how well this worked out as I never felt limited, but actually thought I was much more responsible than I could have been!

Here's a quick breakdown on where I spent my money while I'm at it:
Big surprise--the majority of that pie goes to COMC and eBay.  Counting groups of SportLots and COMC items as one purchase each, I made 110 buys in 2013, and 79 of those came from eBay, while eight were monthly COMC packages.  I attended fewer shows, so my spending there dipped, and I also made a massive cut on how much I spent at retail (a major positive development, for sure) compared to 2012, with Blowout also taking a bit of a hit.  A lot of that money went towards SportLots and new source JustCommons, both of which will surely get more of it this year!

So, what does 2014 have in store?

No resolutions this year--I'm in this thing to have fun, not make rules!  Here's some of what I'm planning, though:
  • Stick to the $2400 yearly/$200 monthly budget.  If it ain't broke...
  • Keep up the player-collecting.  Though most of them are Michigan-related, I'm going to get stuff up about them here to in an effort to bolster acquisitions.
  • Do some original posting.  I once again have a few ideas, not to mention some holdovers from last year.  I'm especially thinking of opinion pieces on card design.
  • Get some trades done.  I'm not gonna set a number this time, but let's get to work on those!  For now, your best bet to deal with me is to let me know what you have, then expect me to ask you to pick some stuff out from COMC!
  • I dunno what else, we'll figure it out when we get there.
Thanks as always to everyone who helped make 2013 a great year, and here's to another!

Bonus content:  favorite entry search terms:

As many of you know, I like taking a peek at my stats from time to time.  Here are some of my favorite search terms that have led people to this here blog:

"ups girl"

"yo dawg template"

"respek knuckles"

"nickelback sucks"

Happy New Year, everybody!


  1. I'm with you on the "no resolutions" in 2014. It's all about having fun and if I get bored and need some inspiration, then I'll turn to some of the goals I set for myself in 2013. I really like your budget idea. I attempted it two years ago, but struggled when I stumbled across cards I really wanted that didn't fit my budget. Maybe I'll give it another shot this year. Although... I just picked up a card I have wanted since the early 90's earlier in the day. And it would probably be close to 60% of my monthly cardboard budget... if I actually created a budget. Maybe I can count this purchase as my final 2013 pickup ;-)

    Happy New Year Dennis!

    1. Yessir, if it's not fun, what's the point? In my case I went with a budget not because I was buying more than I could afford, but I had a feeling my card spending was getting pretty crazy and couldn't quantify it without keeping track. But I know what you mean, sometimes there's a card that busts that budget! I came somewhat close a couple times last year to landing a big card I really wanted, but was actually relieved when I didn't since it would have eaten up at least on month's spending!

      Thanks as always for reading, and have an awesome year yourself!

  2. My budget is basically whatever pocket change I can come up with.

    1. Time to sell some crap to fuel your obsession/hobby!