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May 2, 2011 / care4cards

Money making… !?!

Yesterday, while driving to a shopping mall, my girlfriend dropped the question that kills about my cards : Do you make any money out of it ?

Every collector know that the short answer to that is NO but, after some math, I can fairly say that the real answer is NO…But I might !

I have several Excel Spreadsheet with my inventory, Ebay sales, box breaks, etc…etc… I know where I make money and I know where I ‘lose’ some by just piling cards that won’t resell for close to as much. The thing is, I’m a collector more than a retailer so I don’t mind being in the red in the long term, as long as I have some fun and pay the bills.

One thing I have noticed though is a trend that I like to call the ‘10% profit scheme’ when I buy and flip some singles. We all know that Ebay + Paypal = Fees so you have to factor those in when buying and selling. So when I do a spreadsheet, I try to put as much fees as possible on it so when I evaluate my success rate, I know straight up what is what. The 10% thing comes in after fees and, on average, this is what I make on cards when I don’t miss a beat on the price I pay for it. Problem is, a 10% profit margin is not anywhere close to an optimal deal for any businesses, let alone one that is done on my free time at home.

So why keep on doing it ?

For one, it is fun. I’d rather spend twice as much time to make 20$ than I do at my job but enjoy it even though the ‘scanning and listing’ part is not really that much fun. Two, I can do it all at home, which is perfect for me. I like being home and working while keeping an eye on a game or two. Three, being is own boss doing something you like is actually a great way to spend your time, even if it’s not cost efficient.

This formula applies for Group Break as well except that you don’t really do any money with them. In fact, I’m pretty sure the shipping part of my 2011 Bowman break on Blowout will be much higher than expected but you know what, I don’t mind. I pretty much break even on the group break but I lower my cost on the product I’m ordering at the same time for myself. Volume speaks and group break allows me to speak some volume with a distributor, which is always nice. I’m investing my time and the breakers, with their share, buys me some volume. Everybody wins !

All in all, I hate the question if whether or not I am making money. I like to compare myself to a starting small business : What ever money you make is returned back into the business for expanding. So, technically, you are penniless but the company is growing. That’s what I do, empty pockets but the monster boxes of cards are stacking high.

HIGH!

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