Thursday, October 28, 2010


I went to my local card store last week for 'Trader's Night'. I had a great time talking with other collectors, opening some packs, playing pack wars, chowing down on some 'za and making a couple trades.

It's the last one that has been weighing on my mind for the past few days. Hence my post.

Have you ever agreed to a trade where you ended up having 'trader's remorse'? I think that's what I have (just a bit).

Now, before I go any further, I'd just like to say that the cards I traded for are ones that I wanted. I instigated the trade and in the end made the decision to say 'yea' to the trade.

There was nothing sticky about the trade at all. NONE.

I got home that night and took a look at my cards. I then opened up my trade list and took the cards off that I traded away. That's when it began.

Just for some context, here are the cards I traded for...

I was really drawn to this card. The signature is an ugly odd.

Now I'm assuming this was the most expensive card in the lot (that'd be my first problem.....I didn't know the 'value' of the cards I was looking to get. Nor what I was trading for that matter).

This is a nice Brodeur rookie mask closeup card. It'll go nicely in my masks collection.

Not a high end insert, but not a throwaway either.

This Potvin Masked Men insert goes into my set I'm collecting. Another nice card, but the price on these have been getting lower by the year.

I've always liked the looks of these cards, but never started the set....until now I guess. I figured I'd add it in to the pile of cards I was looking for.

note: I didn't notice it until I saw the scan just now, but it is a 3-color jersey piece. How did I miss that? (again, something I need to pay more attention to as a trader).

There was one other card in the trade, a Matthew Lombardi jersey card. Again, not a super high end card. One that I actually assumed would only be a few bucks worth at best.

Again, all the cards in the trade are ones I am happy with, but I traded away a few nice cards.

Looking back, I wonder if I should have revised the trade. Too late now obviously, but I can't help thinking about it.

What really gets me is that I am asking myself - why is the 'value' of the cards of utmost importance? Why do I feel like I got the shorter end of the deal?

I got cards I wanted....I got rid of cards that had been taking up space in my trade box for a while. Makes sense that the trade would be a success.

So what if I got rid of cards that add up to more than what I got back. A card that never gets traded isn't worth anything really.

I'm really on the fence on this one. I like what I why mention it? I mention it because this trade left me feeling different than it normally does.

What are your thoughts when it comes to trades? What is a 'fair trade' in your eyes?

On the flip side....what is an unfair trade?

This past experience has not made me question trading in the least. At the end of the day, I'm not losing sleep over it. It's just an observation that I've made over the last week.

I look forward to doing a lot more trading in the future. Getting stuff for my collections and projects.

Having fun!


  1. Only you know what the "true" value of your cards are and this value shouldn't be determined only by monetary value.

    You place a high premium on Trevor Linden cards. We place a high premium on Patrice Bergeron cards. Someone else might value Carey Price cards. What's the saying? One man's junk (no slight intended toward anyone) is another man's treasure.

    Look back on that Dustin Tokarski jersey card you gave to Colin. If memory serves, you were unfamiliar with the young goalie. To Colin, though, it meant the world to him for his buddy Dustin to sign it.

    Your price for the Tokarski card? "Pay it forward." We have, giving a much-younger hockey fan a few autographed cards after he and his father missed out on players signing, and will continue to do so.

    The "value" of seeing a little boy and his father's face was far greater than any dollar amount that anyone could give to any cards -- signed or not.

    I'm sure you know what I mean.

  2. Great insight and I completely agree.

    I think there are times where I put 'potential value' on things. For example, I buy a magazine but don't read through the whole thing. There are a couple good articles I'd like to hang on to and such and as a result, I can't find myself just throwing it out. I'd be willing to sell it, but to recylce it or give it away feels like I have 'lost out' on the initial purchase.

    I think with the cards I traded away, I had a higher 'potential value' on them. I don't feel like I got my money's worth out of them (even though they were just sitting in a box....untouched all this time).

    I think that's my 'keep everything' mentality speaking (it creeps up every so often).

    When I look on the flip side of the trade, it makes me feel better. Knowing that I helped out a fellow collector and he has cards that he wanted does make me feel good.

  3. I think the only unfair trade is when someone knowingly takes advantage of you.

    Card value is also subjective - you can buy cards on Ebay for a fraction of their 'listed' price.

    The hobby has become increasingly 'monetized' over the past decade - it is refreshing to hear that people are willing to trade cards for the joy of collecting rather than for investment/speculation purposes.

  4. Very true. Card value is very subjective.

    Part of the reason why I am a little on the fence.

    What should one base trade value on? When is a trade too 'one sided'? Especially when the cards favor the other person. (Not that this was the case with me....just posing the questions).

    Thanks for the comments!