Business Card Collecting Hints


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Where To Find Cards

Old or Historial Cards
Antique stores or dealers often have cards in their inventories. Just ask them for "calling cards" or " trade cards." Another good source for old cards is flea markets and garage sales, and here you can get a reasonable deal for some old cards. Estate sales are another source. Also, don't overlook your own old boxes of family papers.
Some of the Internet auction sites are great sources for older cards and trade cards, particularly
eBay, but these cards will not necessarily be a bargain. The trick with auctions is to be firm with yourself and set a reasonable maximum bid that is not inflated. Bargains can be found, but the increasing popularity of these sites has also increased bidding competition.
You might want to advertise for old cards in collectors' magazines. Your advertisement should ask people to send cards to you for a quote. When you receive the cards, look them over and give the person a quote. When you both agree on a price, you send the money; if not, you return the cards. It costs money for the advertisement, but the advantages of getting some "mint" old cards at a reasonable price is worth it.
Specific Categories of Cards
If you are searching for particular types of cards, the best way to obtain them is to trade with other business card collectors. This is usually done through the mail. For merely the price of postage you can trade a specified number of cards per exchange (usually 20 cards because this number will travel on one first-class stamp, but some traders like to exchange as many as 500 cards at a time). A request for your preferences will help you and the people you trade with build your collections. If you are an IBCC member, post your requests to the mailing list so that traders will be looking for your special subjects. If you are an ABCC member, try putting a free ad in the newsletter, "Card Talk."
General Collecting Tips
Modern cards are easy to find. Wherever you see them displayed, take a couple (one to keep and one to trade). The best source is people -- your friends, relatives, and co-workers. Remember to give your card out wherever you go -- the special card that says you are a business card collector. Swap cards, and when you have someone's interest ask him to pick up cards for you. If a friend or relative mentions a planned vacation or special trip, ask for some cards as your souvenir.
Some companies go out of business or change their names, creating an opportunity for us to get a large number of cards. Talk to the owners of these companies and ask for their leftover cards.
Many collectors write to companies and request their cards. It is always a good idea to enclose a SASE, as this seems to increase your chances of receiving a card. One member of the IBCC has a card from the governor of each of the 50 states, received by writing requests!
Other good sources of cards are shopping malls, art shows, auto dealers, craft shows, any type of large shows with dealers, grand openings, fairs, print shops for over-runs or mistakes, and just about any business.
Sometimes other collectors stop collecting certain items, and you can buy an entire business card collection.
Some Chambers of Commerce feature large wall displays of their member businesses' cards. It is a good idea to check the COC in any new towns you happen to visit.
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Trading Etiquette

How to Be a Good Business Card Trader
One way to keep adding to your collection is to make sure you are a good trader to others, and of course everyone wants to get mint cards to enhance their collections. Here are a few suggestions:
Don't send dirty or smudged cards, with ink or pencil marks.
Unless you have an agreement with your trader, do not trade cards with any type of writing on them.
Cards with holes, staples, pin or thumb tack tracks are not tradable.
Paper clip-marked cards are a no-no.
Torn, bent, or worn cards are not fit for trading.
Store your boring black-and-white cards away--most traders do not want them. The exception would be odd towns, humorous names, or some particular aspect of the card that makes it interesting.
IF YOU TRADE MINT, YOU GET MINT !
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Helpful Links

Celebrity Addresses Online

The publishers of the quarterly 1999 Deluxe Celebrity Address List, which contains over 12,000 current and accurate addresses of movie, television, music, and sports stars, as well as politicians, models, authors, directors, artists, world leaders, religious figures, fashion designers, reporters, scientists, adult film stars, Olympians, Nobel Prize Winners, and many more public figures.
They claim to be the ONLY source in the world that offers exclusive Celebrity Address Lists LIVE on the Internet:
 
"Where other sites post addresses that are years old, ours are updated daily, in real time!  We utilize a network of researchers all over the globe who continually update our databases.   Using this vast network, we are able to bring you addresses that WORK!"


 

Chip's Celebrity Home and E-Mail Addresses
Includes a sample celebrity letter request, autograph hints, autograph-related sites, and several other helpful items as well as actual celebrity addresses.

 
Victorian Trade Cards
Interesting site that includes a brief history of Victorian trade cards, pictures of interesting cards, links to other trade card sites, and some cards for sale.

 
eBay Online Auction Site
Search for keywords such as "business cards," "business card," and "trade cards."

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