I am always fascinated and interested to learn more about other people’s passion hobbies whether that hobby makes money or not as well as side hustles. For example, a colleague of mine has a hobby of taking improv classes, which I found so interesting. It is a creative outlet with no intention of turning this hobby into a side hustle. Totally fine and open minded about that.
Share your passion hobby or money making side hustle. I would love to learn more from you.
As for me, my primary passion hobby and side hustle is buying and selling sports cards. Think of baseball cards, basketball cards, football cards, and hockey cards. For some of you, you might remember back in the 80’s-90’s when you would open a pack of Topps trading cards. For others, the memories might go back to the 50’s and 60’s when you would get your baseball cards and put the cards in your bike spokes.
I have a problem though.
The money I spend on my hobby should be going towards paying off my student loan debt. The debt that I am paying for now because of the money moron moments I had in my 20s.
But it is so hard to stay away from deals too good to pass up.
And it is so hard for me to sell right away because I am a collector at heart. I do not churn and burn like most dealers in this hobby. A lot of times, I will keep a valuable card from the 90s because as a high school kid, these cards were impossible for me to obtain. Nostalgia is powerful….and expensive.
Speaking of dealers, I would never want to do this full time. The amount of work, stress, and travel required would take the fun out of this sports cards hobby.
Recently I came back from a 5 day vacation from Cleveland. Um, what, Cleveland? Yup.
I had an unbelievably good time.
There is an annual sports cards show and this year it happened to be in Cleveland. The show is called The National Sports Collectors Convention or simply “The National”. It is a massive show that some consider to be once in a lifetime. The National is a sports collectors haven or heaven or paradise. It is so massive that it is nearly impossible to thoroughly take in all of what The National has to offer in a day. The money exchanged at this show is mind boggling. Some of the cards you see will certainly be once in a lifetime. If you are a sports fan, then you have might have heard of the $3 million card sold by a former football player. This same exact card was at The National 2017 in Chicago in a showcase full of other 6 figure-7 figure cards.
This is not your father’s card show in which mass produced 80’s and 90’s cards were exchanged. The times have changed to the point that if you intend to get back into the hobby and you have stayed away from 10+ years, you will get overwhelmed and it will take several months to even catch up to how the card collecting hobby has changed.
You will see these storage cases (I have a couple myself) being rolled around by teenagers that contain $1,000+ cards. You will see those same teenagers wheeling and dealing like they are grizzled veterans of the hobby. You will see dealer tables full of $5,000-$50,000 Michael Jordan autograph cards and patches. You will see and experience the best and worst type of customer service.
You will also smell the worst BO.
All that said and looking back to my teenage self in the 90s, I have to thank my dad for introducing me to cards. My dad might have some regrets now. I remember one of my favorite Christmas gifts was receiving a gigantic variety pack that was sold at Sam’s Club back in the 90s.
Two of my favorite things about the sports cards hobby and community are the people I meet and how I am still learning about the hobby. Over the past year, I have learned more from 18-21 year olds than I have from the older generation. I have become so humbled as I have met more people and taken this hobby more seriously.
For the rest of 2018, I am looking to take this hobby more seriously to help accelerate my student loan debt.