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August Self-Sufficiency Summary

August 29, 2012

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Though my hobby is definitely a major focus of my day-to-day life, August reminded me very much of the article I posted last summer about how I felt disconnected from it and uninterested in it.

A vacation that ran from the last couple of days of July through the August long weekend got the month off to an incredibly slow start and it pretty much snowballed from there.

My desk is a disaster, as are my card boxes.  I was scrambling to get blog articles written and posted on time (this one included).  I made purchases that, although they technically fit my investment project, were probably unnecessary given the current state of complete disorganization that I find myself in.  I’ve only listed about 100 cards since eBay started its free listing promotion, far below where I had intended to be.  Sales stagnated somewhat.

Surprisingly, at the time of writing this article I am only slightly in the red for the month, which is definitely a good sign given my lack of effort when it comes to sales. 

But even that little bit in the red adds to the tally that already exists for the year, pushing me farther away from achieving my goal of a self-sufficient hobby.

But there’s good news!  Both Upper Deck and Panini have released their first products for the 2012-13 season, my first real signal that it’s time to get excited about hockey and hockey cards again.

So as we wait to see if Gary Bettman is willing to ruin yet another season of hockey for the fans he claims the game is all about, here’s a look at how I did with the 15 goals and objectives I have set for myself for 2012:


  • No Blue Jays cards added.  LCS now around the corner, likely paying a visit this weekend in search of some stuff, hope to find more Jays. my 2006-2010 Toronto Blue Jays project.
  • Once again, I didn’t finish any more sets as part of Collecting Goal #2 this month, but with that goal already complete for 2012 it’s not a big deal.  I did add a set to my want lists in the form of 2010-11 Pinnacle after finding a whole bunch packs on sale for a dollar, some of which I have already knocked off the lists from a trade that was just completed.
  • It was another slow month in terms of what I personally added to player collections (4 cards), but a huge month in terms of what my dad added (67 cards).  Look for a full recap in next week’s Want List Wednesday/Project Progress Report Combo.  Of those 71 cards, there are 2 of Lemieux, 1 of Roenick, 2 of Samsonov, and 1 of Yzerman that are more than 10 years old.  That brings the 2012 totals to 2 Lemieuxs, 2 Roenicks, 11 Samsonovs, 5 Thorntons, and 6 Yzermans.  That’s a combined total of 26.  My goal at the beginning of the year was 25 of each guy!  Quite a mountain left to climb in order to achieve Collecting Goal #3!
  • The purge of duplication has finally begun, with more and more cards that had been hidden away in boxes containing my permanent collection making their way into the “for sale” boxes.  Some have even sold already, which I’m especially happy with.
  • Eight months into 2012 and I remain on track to complete Collecting Goal #5, wrapping up another trade just yesterday.  At the time of this posting I managed to complete one August trade, with a couple more days for cards involved in another deal to arrive.  Got 24 cards from my recently added 10-11 Pinnacle set.


  • As I said in last month’s summer, a very strong second half of the year will be necessary if I hope to achieve “Business” Goal #1 of a 10% increase in both volume of items sold and revenue.  July provided returns that were another step in the right direction, especially for it being the NHL off-season.  If the usual increase in sales happens come the start of the 2012-13 season, this goal might just be achievable.  Without it, I’ll be looking at two years in a row of failing to meet this objective.
  • I have basically come to the conclusion that “Business” Goal #2 is all but out of reach as a result of eBay’s free listing promotion in the Sports Mem, Card and Fan Shop Category for the remainder of the year.  The hockey card portion of the category has swollen to over 652,000 items listed at the time of writing this article, meaning I have to add nearly 4,300 listings to my current inventory of just over 2,200.  I’ll do my best to do that, but it will require listing an average of almost 35 cards a day, every day, for the rest of the year.  And that’s assuming the category doesn’t grow any further.  That’s something I simply can’t foresee being even remotely possible at this stage of the game.
  • I’ll be posting the Kijiji and Craigslist ads I mentioned last month in an effort to generate off-eBay revenue in pursuit of “Business” Goal #3.
  • “Business” Goal #4, my investment project, saw expenses of just over $90 this month, but no sales made.  This leaves the project at an account balance of $259.16 and 172 cards.  That’s just barely $9 above my starting point for the year, but with many of those cards not yet posted on eBay I still have a great opportunity to come out ahead by year’s end. 
  • Once again I pretty much ignored my website this month.  I’m realizing that I need to come up with a more concrete plan as to how I’m going to move forward with it, in conjunction with this blog.  Again, ideas percolating, but no action on those ideas in recent months.


  • Some articles this month were nice and short, others not so much.  Seems to be the trend for 2012 on this blog.  Still, compared to having all of my posts being lengthy ones in the past, it still leaves me feeling as though I’ve made progress on Writing Goal #1 of refining my writing to reduce the length of these articles.
  • It was another good range of topics covered in August, including some (what I feel were) useful eBay-related updates, a pack break review, and the return of my From the World of “Why?” series among others.
  • There was a bit of a decline in comments and likes being submitted for my articles in July, which stands to reason given that this month will have the lowest level of readership for 2012.  I’m not overly concerned though.  Given that this is generally a hockey related blog and it’s the middle of the summer, a bit of a dip was to be expected.
  • As usual, I tried to include some useful resources, pointing readers in the direction of important information from eBay, along with a couple of the blogs that I follow myself.
  • My eBay Store Monthly Newsletter will be going out on Friday, so consider this your couple of days notice to become a subscriber and qualify for exclusive discounts and specials!

And there you have it for the month of August.  Not the most productive of the year, but there was still some progress being made.

Also, remember to use the RSS feed or click the link or the “Sign Me Up!” button in the right column of the page to subscribe to this blog and receive instant updates each and every Wednesday and Sunday when new content is posted.

And of course, if you have questions, comments or feedback for me, always feel free to get in touch.  Comment on an article, connect on Facebook and Twitter, or email me at

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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