Sunday, May 13, 2012


This issue has been bugging me for a good couple of weeks now. I thought that I would help sift through my feelings/thoughts/vents by posting about it.

In a nutshell.....Honesty is the backbone of not just this hobby, but how we live our day-to-day lives.  At the end of the day when there's nobody else around and you are just looking at yourself in the mirror, can you look at yourself and say "I was honest about __________"?

For this post though, I will be talking about honesty from a hobby standpoint.

What makes a person "honest" in this hobby?  I think honesty comes into play when you start interacting with fellow hobbyists (be it collectors, buyers, dealers, or the fellow next to you at the show).  How you present yourself, what you say, how you act and how (if it gets to this point) you deal/trade with others have a direct impact on how you are perceived in terms of "honest/dishonest".

And that's the key word here........perceived.

We are somewhat at the mercy of having "blind faith" when dealing with others in the hobby.  Unless you've built a rapport with someone over time, you are left to decide in an instant "Do I trust this person".  You have to decide if they are honest or not.  Sometimes by just a few words they type in front of a computer screen.

And from what I've learned over the years, honesty can easily be hidden under sheets of deception.  People out there looking for an advantage or even worse - taking advantage.

Am I hesitant when I deal with people I don't know?  It depends.  How did I come to meet this person.  Was I introduced to them through a mutual collector friend?  Did I just bump into them at a show?  Am I tying a private message to them out of the blue?

That's a big one.  Dealing with people online.  This is where honesty (and dishonesty) really become amplified on both ends.

I could be a real jerk......and you wouldn't know it.  If I built up a wall of friendly, honest words for months at a time.....I could very easily define myself as something I'm not.  And vice versa.

The interesting thing is that a lot of people I've read via online blogs or comment boards are pretty much what I expected them to be when I have gotten to know them.  In some instances....their typed words amplify the person they are, but for the most part, I've gravitated to those I feel are good, honest people.

But at the end of the day......I don't know for sure.

I look at my own work and I can say that I am proud of how I have written my posts, how I have presented myself to the hobby and how I treat my fellow hobbyists/bloggers.  I try to be as honest as I can.

Am I perfect?  Nope.  I do my best......but there are times where I would love to hit the "re-do" button.  Do I expect others to be perfect?  Nope.  But I do prefer people looking in the mirror and coming to the realization themselves rather than having it bluntly pointed out to them - or worse....getting busted in a lie.

I'm fine with people making mistakes (I've made my fair share of them over the years) and actually appreciate when someone can be open and honest about it.  It's a breath of fresh air to hear someone say "I'm sorry...I made a mistake".  It shows me that you are responsible enough to admit and take ownership of the error.

And it can range from incorrectly accusing someone of doing something, misrepresenting themselves (having something they might not actually own), giving out incorrect information or even simply backing out of a trade.  And in order to be honest with your fellow first have to be honest to yourself.

Looking in the mirror and being honest with yourself ........that's the true way of getting ahead in this hobby......and in life.

Sorry for the long write.  I just have had a couple of experiences recently that has made me do a quick check on this.  Some people have called me naive or even a "sucker" in the past.  I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.....right off the bat.  Why?  Because in the brief time that I have dealt with them.....I've never been lied to (not that I know of at least).  So why wouldn't I trust them.

Maybe that's the wrong way to do things, but I hate looking at someone that I don't know and automatically paint them with a dishonest label.

To me, trust and honesty are two of the absolute biggest aspects of this hobby.....and I take them very seriously.  I do my best to gain those traits and I cherish the numerous relationships I have built in the hobby as a result.

Alright.....enough of my rambling.  I'll throw it to you.

Where does "honesty" sit on your list of traits when it comes to this hobby?  What are your thoughts on it?  How honest a hobbyist do you consider yourself?


  1. When I first started my blog I was excited and nervous at the same was my first real opportunity to make my opinions shown to others that enjoy my hobby. I also felt though that I was the rookie playing with a bunch of veterans. I didn't view this as a contest but instead just that I might not be taken seriously since I was a teenager and didn't have as deep as a wallet as some of you guys.

    So I'll come out and say it. I lied once on my blog when I was new. I'm not proud of it and I never did it again and will never be that immature again. But I might as well confess to it.

    Like I said when I started the blog I wasn't completely up to date in the "new" age of hockey cards. I had taken a couples years break and was happy to get back in it. But on one of my very first blog post I had mentioned that I got an IP auto from Daniel Sedin on a Topps Heritage card that had a facsimile auto on it. Looking back at it as a new blogger you guys must of thought I was pretty stupid. But that is what the lie was stupid just to try and fit in. Peer pressure eh? Even though most of you are like 10 to 30 years older than me :/

    Anyways I think I'm mature enough to look back on it and say I'm sorry, thats something I hope doesn't sit with you. I know I'm a fair and honest trader and I post pretty much EVERY card that comes in and out of my collection and I pride myself now on how straight up I am with you guys. I even post about my collection growth and keep you guys so up to date that it's impossible to be dishonest.

    Thought I'd share, and I hope that doesn't affect the relationship I have with a bunch of the guys on here. I hope you guys have grown to see that that isn't the real Michael.

    Oh and yes Brett...HONESTY IS KEY!!

    1. Hey Michael

      I've appreciated your enthusiasm towards the hobby and your proud display of Canucks colors.

      I remember feeling the same way when I started my blog. The thought of "what am I doing" came to mind many times. What got me through it (and still sits at the forefront today) is the mindset that I'm blogging for me first and foremost. I enjoy the readership, but I'm doing this for me. It helps my writing, keeps me a little more organized and allows me a vehicle to get my thoughts out "on paper".

      In all honesty, if you never would have mentioned the Sedin thing, I never would have known. But clearly it was seething that stayed with you all this time. But longer.


  2. I was going to say I don't really deal with people online about potential trades/acquisitions like you do....... until I realized that dealing with bloggers was online. Duh.
    I think blogging is different though. Once you're established, it's like a line of credit. And if something should happen where things sour (like a certain very well known blogger awhile ago) the blogging world turns on them like a pack of wild animals. So trust is easy in this world.

    In person it's always a feeling out process, no different than getting to know someone as friends. Easy peasy.

    Trust is very important to me in 'real life'. In the collecting world I guess I'm a little reserved. I only expect 95%... there's always a part of me that expects the other to take advantage or not live up to their part.
    I'm just cynical I guess....

  3. Capt'n, I really like what you said about those of us who blog having a sort of line of credit; I am MUCH more likely to deal with any number of the bloggers I follow than some random person who posts a comment on my blog or on a forum. Why? Because I feel like I've established a sort of connection with the blogging community and it'd take a special sort of sociopath to go through all the trouble of blogging for years only to dick people over in trades and stuff.

    However, I have dealt on forums before, just not for cards (film cameras and records) and have never been burned, although I am aware that the possibility is VERY real. Collectors (of anything) are always a special breed of people, ones that not always have the best manners or do the right thing.

    Interesting post, Brett. Don't get jaded and continue to have faith in your fellow collectors!

  4. This is an unbelievably well written blog post and I wish all collectors could read this. We need so many more people like you in this great hobby. Keep on keeping on!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I have enjoyed this hobby for a great number of years and I have equally enjoyed writing this blog for the last 3.

      The interaction with other hobbyists and people passionate about collecting, sports or whatever has made the enjoyment even more so.