For Your Enjoyment – Sports Card Info’s Annual 2011 Blog Stats

Every year WordPress.com puts together a very well designed annual report based on Sports Card Info’s site statistics.  I found it fun to review and none of it would be possible without all you.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Should you be online? – By Terri Rehkop of Press Pass, Inc

This is an excellent article written by Terri Rehkop, who is the Director of Customer Relations at Press Pass, Inc.  It discusses how being online can really help your business, specifically within the trading card industry.

The trading card industry is fascinating. It’s one of the few industries left that is still resistant to the idea that change and new technology can make a business more efficient and effective. Granted, many advancements have made doing business more challenging, but I believe that’s because of how retailers and distributors are implementing these changes, not because the changes themselves are bad.

I have been asked more than once by people in the industry if they should be on the Internet. I have danced around the question in the past because of the negative implications of the question. However, if I were asked that today, I would answer yes. The key objective of any business is to reach its customers. If a big percentage of your customers are on the Internet, how can you justify not being there yourself? As a business, you have to make your decisions based on how you can make it easier for your customers to do business with you. Anything else is counterproductive.

Of course, the question of whether or not you should be on the Internet is driven by price. Early adopters in the trading card industry have made ripples because everything they do is driven by being the lowest cost option for customers. While this strategy can give a short-term bump to profits, over time it erodes both the product value (extremely important for everyone in the trading card industry) and the value your business provides to its customers.

By competing solely on price, you guarantee that your customer will look around before making a purchase. If they find a better deal elsewhere, they will buy elsewhere and you have lost a sale. However, if you look at the Internet and your overall business strategy as a way to build loyalty with your customers, you can go a long way toward ensuring that you keep the largest share of your customers’ trading card spending.

Everyone needs to take a hard look at their business and decide if they are doing everything they can to make their customers loyal to them. Are you talking to them on a regular basis? Are you tracking their preferences and what products they buy? Are you making sure it’s as easy as clicking a mouse to do business with you? All of these things are accomplished by an Internet presence. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated or fancy.

Just think about the companies you do business with. What do you like best? What do you not like? Take that information and apply it to your business. The trading card industry is definitely unique…running a customer-centric business is not.

I would challenge everyone in this industry to make their New Year’s resolution finding ways to make their businesses work harder for their customers instead of the other way around. The more you do for your customers, the more likely they are to resist spending their money elsewhere.

Sports Card Info Blog Stats for 2010

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how Sports Card Info did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

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The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 742 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 2,197 posts. There were 112 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 157mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.  This does not take into account all the photos uploaded to Photobucket.

The busiest day of the year was May 31st with 1,083 views. The most popular post that day was Panini Introduces The First Michael Jackson Memorabilia Cards.  Although I don’t think this product was released.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were sportscardsuncensored.com, freedomcardboard.com, bdj610scblogroll.blogspot.com, blowoutcards.com, and cardjunk.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for nsa sports cards, national sports card authenticators, holy grail, national sportscard authenticators, and nsa cards.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Panini Introduces The First Michael Jackson Memorabilia Cards May 2010
10 comments

2

National Sportscard Authenticators (NSA) October 2008
239 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

3

Wallpaper November 2008

4

NSA Reads Sports Card Info February 2010
16 comments

5

Michael Jackson Trading Cards June 2009
14 comments

Blog Bat Around: My $50,000 eBay Loot

Fifty-thousand dollars is a lot of money.  It could easily be spent on one card or a ton of cards.  If I had 50k to spend on eBay and only 15 minutes to use it I would make a few purchases, but I probably wouldn’t even come close to spending it all.  Instead I would use a portion to help better The Hobby by removing fake cards from circulation.

Lets begin with what I would purchase for my personal collection.  I would amass the most complete Harry Kalas collection anyone could ever obtain.  The first cards I would go after would be his 2004 & 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot autographs.  The base versions sell for around $90.00 a piece.  These would then be followed by all the various ink/stitch color variations Upper Deck came up with between the two Sweet Spot sets.  Kalas has a total of about 11 cards for collectors to find.  Besides some of the Sweet Spot autographs, his most rare autograph comes from 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game.  It would be the dual autograph of Schmidt and Kalas which is limited to only 25 copies.  I have never seen one up for sale, but if one did surface I’m sure it would hit $400.00+.  In addition to the Harry Kalas cards, I’d like to throw in an Alexander Cartwright cut signature too.  Specifically the one found in 2007 Donruss/Playoff National Treasures.

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I’m not that big of a vintage collector.  I usually prefer some of the more modern stuff.  With that being said, I would purchase some vintage cards.  I would like to add a Connie Mack 1887-90 Old Judge card to my collection.  Old Judge tobacco cards were some of the first mass produced baseball cards in history.  Being able to own any Old Judge card can be a cornerstone to a collection, but finding one of a HOF player is even better.  Depending on the condition, they can easily reach into the thousands.  Some of the other rare vintage cards I would add to my collection include a Cap Anson 1888 Goodwin Champions #2 and a Mike “King” Kelly 1887 Allen & Ginter tobacco insert.

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If I had the 50k today, I’d probably just stick with baseball stuff.  I might pick up a Jake Scott 2002 Topps Ring of Honor autograph though.  All in all, I’m estimating my loot would cost around $30,000 to $35,0000.  That means I could possibly have $15,000 to $20,000 let over.  Do you want to know what I’d do with that money?  I would purchase as many counterfeit cards I could find on eBay just to take them out of circulation.  I know handing money over to a forger sounds terrible, but at least the cards would be destroyed where no other uneducated collector find out down the road that great card they bought isn’t real.  It would even be better if an organization could be formed after this to help remove all fakes from the marketplace.  Perhaps after obtaining each counterfeit card, that seller could be banned from eBay for life.

The Upper Deck Awards!

Upper Deck is really embracing social media and the blogosphere by holding the first Upper Deck Awards.  Its your turn to nominate your favorite blog, forum,  product, collector, etc….

The winner of “Best Blog” will receive a trophy, variety of unopened product, and a 2009 NFL Rookie Photo Shoot signed football.  I think this shows how powerful blogging has become and its a great idea.  Be sure to vote for Sports Card Info!!!  You can submit your nomination on Upper Deck’s Facebook Fan Page.  Nominations are this week and voting starts next week.

Do not submit your nomination/vote via Twitter.  The @upperdeckawards Twitter account was a fake.

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This would look nice sitting on my shelf 🙂

Schlotzsky’s Comes Through

If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen this last night, but earlier this year I was contacted by a marketing firm asking if I’d like to be part of a promotional campaign for the Schlotzsky’s Restaurant chain.  After I agreed, they sent me a bat holder & three trading cards that you would normally acquire after purchasing a meal at Schlotzsky’s.  All I had to do was send in a creative picture of the cards and in return receive a personalized mini bat.  Yesturday the UPS man dropped off a package from The Cooperstown Bat Company and inside was the inscribed bat.  I was expecting this little skinny thing you normally would see at a souvenir shop, but thats far from what it is.  Its actually about the size of a billy club and looks really cool.

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This is the picture I used for the promotion.  These bobbleheads talk to me and tell me what products to buy 🙂  It might sound crazy, but its true.  Don’t yours do the same?

Why Do I Blog?

I never thought I would be operating a blog.  It just wasn’t something that I thought would be entertaining to do.  The first time I wrote anything about sports cards would have to be when eBay started allowing users to write their own guides on certain subjects they knew a lot about.  The first one I wrote was titled How To Spot Fake Sports Cards That Are Up For Sale.  Within the first day it had received 21 helpfulness votes and gained much popularity.  You probably have seen a link to it on the left sidebar while browsing the sports card category.  After my success with the first guide I went on to write more and more about cards.  In late 2007 I decided to start my own blog, only posting a few times a week about counterfeit cards and scams.  I found myself wanting to blog more than just the few times and week, and thats how Sports Card Info came to be where it is today.  I enjoy writing about the hobby and interacting with other collectors.  A lot of collectors see other blogs as competition, but thats not what I think at all.  Its great if your the first blog to break the news on a hot story, but we all know that can’t happen all the time especially when your in college and not at the computer a lot.  The blogosphere would be very boring if every blog reported on the same subject.  Blogging helps you learn more and share information about the sports card industry.  Thats why I do it.

Probably my favorite posts are the ones when I catch a scammer, discover a fake card, or figure out a new way that people could potentially scam other collectors.  My best catch was when I caught a seller trying to sell a Yogi Berra 1952 Bowman graded a PSA Mint 9 with a starting price of $10,000.00.  The picture they provided cut off the grade and PSA serial number.  When asking for the number, they kept giving me fake ones that didn’t match-up.  I was able to get the auction kicked-off eBay.  Another favorite thing I like to post about would be pictures from shows, autograph signings, and sporting events.

I would like to turn this whole blogging thing into a career somehow, but I’m not too sure how thats going to play out yet.  Thanks for reading!