Monday, February 5, 2018

The Low Budget Collector Part 2:Reuse And Recycle

My budget for card collecting the last couple of years has been so stingy, it's basically enough money to cover shipping prizes and mail days. That's it.

In my town it's best to recycle as much as you can. The more trash you have, the more they charge you to dispose of it. So I take the time to break down boxes and stack them, all of my plastics are sorted, and every can of soup I open or can of soda gets their own bins as well. Any way you can save money, you should do it.

I have to take these to the dump on a weekly basis
So when it comes to the hobby how do you save money on supplies for your collection? You reuse and recycle as well.

Anytime I get a card or cards in the mail, I take them apart and save each piece. The team bags, the penny sleeves,the top loaders, the bubblers (if saveable) and each get placed in this box

Most of my cards are stored in boxes and pages. Some are stored in toploaders and penny sleeves, but I end up with so many of them there is an overflow. So I reuse them to ship out trades, contests, surprises, etc. Nothing in my house goes to waste.

Not even empty card boxes and card wrappers. I use those to "decorate" the front of my binders. Makes them look pretty snazzy and it's sometimes a fun trip down memory lane with some of the wrappers over the years.

Speaking of binders and pages, some people go haywire on spending for those as they need specific or high end binders and Ultra Pro Platinum pages. For me, I don't need fancy, I just need something that helps keep my collection safe.

Binder Pages: I recycle from yard sales when I find them or from antique/thrift stores. Much cheaper and comes in bigger lots. But, there are some pages I simply won't use if I don't feel they are safe for storage. Instead I use them to ship PWE (I will touch base on how to do this later on in this series) and I don't feel bad about cutting them up.

Binders: I find these at yard sales, most people are just looking to unload them. Also you can find them at antique/thrift stores. Walmart sells 3inch ones I use for around $4 not the $10 you would pay for a Ultra Pro one and works just as well. My father recently taught me that banks just toss theirs in the trash when they are done and that's where he gets his binders from and costs him nothing except a minute to ask about them.

Sometimes even the little things like card supplies you may not always think of are the biggest things that can help you in the long run. Take my advice, save when and where you can and you can have a happy collecting life.

I hope Part 2 of this will help you in some way today to keep on collecting no matter the circumstance. This is the point of these posts and even though some may be obvious like this one, it will hopefully still get you in the right direction without wanting to quit the hobby. I am also hoping it may give you a new way to save money and collect.

12 comments:

  1. I’m not someone overly beating the “save the earth” drum, but I reuse bubble mailers. I just think of how many are thrown away after one use and it’s disturbing. It’s actually more work and I’m not even sure how much money it saves, but I do feel a little better about myself for doing it.

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    1. I wished I could reuse them more. Most of mine I rip too far down when removing the sticker than I worry about using them to ship

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  2. I totally agree, especially with reusing bubble mailers! I love when the labels are just taped on, and underneath is a pristine, ready-to-rock bubble mailer. The sticker labels don’t always peel off well, but i usually cut those mailers up to use as extra padding for shipping.

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    1. I always enjoy opening up your packages with those extras. Cards always shipped well

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    2. I tend to just tape the new label ontop of an old label after I black everythign out with a marker.

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  3. Yeah, I don't think I ever bought new bubble mailers in my life. I only reuse ones that get sent to me, or I just cut an old cereal box, turn it inside out and tape it up, and ship with that. I'm sure that saves a lot of money in the long run, not to mention better for the environment.

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    1. I think your shipping is unique like that and it works really well. I need to figure out the cereal box one

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  4. I try to re-use the bubble mailers as much as possible. I have a 5-gallon bucket jammed with decent ones right now.
    Binders. If I can find a binder on the cheap I snag it! They are so overpriced at the office stores!

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    1. Totally agree on the binders. Another buddy of mine buys them.there and I think he is crazy

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  5. Kudos to you. I try to reuse my bubble mailers, but a lot of my stuff gets recycled. There was a time when I saved almost every card supply I got... but I just didn't have the room to store it anymore, so I gave most of it away to a friend.

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    1. As for binders and pages... I'm that crazy OCD guy. I like my binders to match... and I pretty much only use new pages in my binders.

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    2. I have bad hobby ocd as well, but binders don't seem to bother me. Yet haha

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