When I returned to the hobby in 2016, there were two lessons I learned real quick.
1) Gone were the days of $20 wax boxes
2) Hobby shops no longer stocked monster boxes of organized base and insert singles to help set builders to fill their needs.
Both of those lessons shaped my approach to the hobby. It’s an approach which has served me well over these last 7 years, and it is one I love to share with the hope that it can help others as well.
When I collected as a kid, I bought packs and boxes to build my collection. If I wanted to collect the same way when I returned, I realized I was going to have to do something different. I wasn’t going to be able to afford to just buy box after box from my regular income. I decided to try and offset some of the cost of collecting by selling off some of my doubles and other cards I was not as interested in.
Set collecting was also my primary way to hobby. Since my LCS didn’t stock base cards, I had to find another source for the cards I needed to fill my sets. And since my LCS was not interested in buying my extra base and inserts, I needed to find a place I could sell all my extras. After scouring the hobby message boards, I found my way to Sportlots and COMC. Both of those sites were the answer to my hobby prayers. Not only could I find the cards I needed to complete my sets, but I could also use the sites to sell my doubles. I could even use the store credit from my sales to cover the cost of my purchases.
I could collect for free!
The idea of a self-sustaining hobby was born.
It wasn’t long after that, I purchased my first collection. A big chunk of it went into my pc, and I was able make enough by selling the rest to cover the cost of the collection. I realized buying collections was going to be another great way to build my PC and my resale inventory. The reason it was such a good fit for me is because there was this general perception in the hobby that base and inserts were pretty much worthless. Many collectors were focusing on the big hits, and they were overlooking the stable population of set collectors who were still passionately filling their sets.
This meant, I could buy bulk lots of these cards for next to nothing. Many times, I would buy these lots for a penny or less per card. Then I’d turn around and sell them for .18-.25 a piece, clearing hundreds of dollars per month. Not only was I building my collection for free, I was actually generating a profit!
I knew there had to be more collectors out there who were like me. Collectors who could benefit from these lessons I had learned since returning to the hobby. That’s why I started WaxPackHero.com. It started as a blog where I could share what sets I was building and some of the strategies I was using to build my self-sustaining hobby. I reviewed the sites I was using, I shared my approach to shipping in a Plain White Envelope (PWE), and I highlighted other websites and podcasts which helped make me a better collector.
A couple years later, I started the WaxPackHero Sport Card Minute Podcast. I was having fun with the written content, but decided I wanted to expand into an audio show as well. Since then, I’ve added a YouTube channel, TikTok, and Instagram.
Now, 7 years into this new era of collecting, I am building a personal collection which brings me joy, I operate a part time physical LCS, I sell on a variety of online platforms, and I’m having a ton of fun making content to share with the hobby community.
If anything about my story interests you, I’d love to connect!