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What you need?

While it's a great song from the band INXS, today's topic will be applied to the Hobby itself.

I often hear the comment the hobby is too expensive or I can't afford to enjoy the hobby anymore, now as I always say opinions can't be argued but that doesn't mean they can't be discussed. Prices on wax boxes and packs are not cheap, I completely understand and it's one of the reasons I don't open current wax product at the rate the younger me did. Plus I enjoy vintage better. There's an opinion that I don't argue over lol.

So what do you need? Let's start with what you don't necessarily need. Hobby influencers social media, podcasts. Approximately 80% of the hobby doesn't use social media for hobby purposes, I've seen a stat where 70% of the hobby are not podcast listeners and frankly neither one is no worse for the wear for it. However some helpful information can come from those sources so don't necessarily disregard them completely and as a veteran podcaster I do try to use my platform as a resource and help fellow collectors when possible.

So what do you need? Some discretionary income is helpful but I've also seen people start their hobby journey frankly by someone giving them or donating all or part of their collection to them.  I understand that won't always occur for everyone but I do have to acknowledge it as a legit entry point. While I do agree the hobby can be pricy and is comparatively more expensive than it used to be, it still can be enjoyed nonetheless. First decide what will be enjoyable to you. A certain sport or sports? Non-sports? Player collecting? Opening wax? Buying into breaks? Trading with fellow hobbyists or a combination of some of the above? Whatever you decide there is usually an affordable way to participate in some form or fashion. Also remember no matter what pathway you decide on, you can always change and pivot anytime you choose to. Ultimately you choose your hobby direction. Occasionally I get asked what's the best way to get started in the hobby. Assuming you won't be given cards, some great entry points include going to a show and buying some cards of a player or team you like, hitting the bargain boxes are a great opportunity to acquire some starting inventory without breaking the bank. Another way is maybe purchasing a small lot or small collection from an auction site or marketplace. Local Facebook marketplace is a great place to find collections of someone who has decided to exit out of the hobby. Head to your local LCS buy a few packs or cards and don't forget many card shops offer bargain boxes of their own. Whatever you decide, know that you're a part of the greatest hobby there is. One with a wonderful community willing to welcome you and help you as well. 

One thing has been consistent since the origin of the hobby, it can be enjoyed at various budget levels. Happy collecting!


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