Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Trading Card Database (i.e., Being Organized)

As collectors, I think we enjoy being organized (or at least we enjoy the idea of being organized). Knowing what we have; knowing where things reside; sorting things by number, by team, by player; separating our collection into smaller collections.

Arranging our things in certain ways just comes with the territory, no matter what we might collect. 

When I rediscovered my trading card collection just a few years ago, it was somewhat organized. Sets were in binders that were labeled. Other cards were in storage boxes that were mostly labeled. And some cards were in shoeboxes that weren't labeled. All in all, not bad for teenage me. But aside from a few need lists, nothing was catalogued on paper or on a spreadsheet. So I didn't really know exactly what I had. That's where The Trading Card Database has come in very handy.

I signed up in December, and began entering all my cards into the system. It's been interesting to view the stats so far. You can sort by year, by team, by player, by set, or by brand, and see how much of each you have. For example:

After entering the bulk of my cards, the data revealed more clearly that my collection was made up of complete sets, a few hundred singles (rookie cards, etc.), and some unopened material (wax packs, racks, and cellos). I'm not much of a team collector or player collector.

The data also helped me recognize that my collection included a lot of duplicates. And partial sets that I really had no intention to complete. And random cards. And other cards that I'd just rather send to collectors who need them. So, all those cards are now part of a separate list.

That's a lot of cards to trade!

And here's a great feature of the site's Transactions page: Once a trade is confirmed as a Transaction and both parties mail out their packages, the cards you send out are automatically removed from your collection. And once you confirm that you've received the cards you traded for, those cards are automatically added to your collection. No sorting through spreadsheets to update your collection column by column, cell by cell, card by card (this is especially convenient if you make a large trade). 

But the best feature I've found so far? This one:

Looking for a particular card for your collection? TCDB will generate a list of members who have that card available for trade/sale. 

Have some cards to trade or sell? TCDB will generate a list of members who are looking for those specific cards.

This really expedites the process. And there's even more to the site that I haven't explored yet.

I'm sure some of you already knew this information. But if you've made a firm resolve to better organize your collection and don't currently use any software or spreadsheets, I think The Trading Card Database is an excellent option. (By the way, it's free to use.)

If you're currently a TCDB member and would like to make a trade, there's a link to my collection toward the top of the toolbar on the right side of this blog. Feel free to look through my available cards, and maybe we'll be able to set something up.

And as always, thanks for reading.


  1. I'm loving my experience on TCDB. It's funny to see your post. I have a TCDB post drafted and ready to go. If you see it in the next day or two, please don't think I copy-catted you, 9P. I don't have a trade list available yet but am looking forward to many trades up the road.

    1. No problem, Julie! Seems like it's the time of year where card bloggers want to get their collections organized. I'll look for your post, and maybe we'll make some trades.

  2. Hey Greg! I just discovered your blog and I'm catching up on some "back issues." I'm on TCDB, too. What's your handle on there?

    1. Thanks very much for the comment, Trevor, and for reading some "back issues"! Hope you've enjoyed them so far. My TCDB handle is Thick McRunfast. There's also a link to my TCDB page toward the top-right corner of this blog.