Where to Find Business Cards
Some people collect indiscriminately. Others, like myself, collect certain categories, e.g. illustrations of sailing ships; horse-drawn vehicles; BCís from exclusive restaurants, hotels, etc.
Some collect BCís by states and have them stored in that manner.
You decide what is fun to collect. Donít be in a hurry to pick too many categories. Collect general subjects at first and then decide what you want to specialize in. Donít be afraid to add and delete categories as your interests change.
You can use business card boxes or other such containers. Personally, I use plastic sheets (use only archival-type polypropylene sheets -- NOT vinyl) specifically designed for 20 business cards (10 on each side). I put them in loose-leaf binders. In this manner I can look through my collection easily and can add or subtract cards with ease. I buy these sheets at business supply stores.
Donít trade off that oversized business card just because it doesnít fit in the regular sheet. If you like it, mount it on heavy bond paper using photo corners. The transparent ones are the best. Then, when you have both sides of the page mounted, stick it inside a sheet protector (again, archival quality with no PVCs) which can be bought at an office supply store.
Join business card collectorsí groups and mailing lists (IBCC, BBCC, ABCC). Visit the IBCC Tradersí Page for a large list of traders and their preferences. Write a potential trader and send a few cards as samples, or post a message to the IBCC mailing list to reach the maximum number of potential traders. Ask if they want to trade, and specify the number you wish to trade and any other preferences (some only want cards with city and state, others want only logos, etc.). You can mail 20 business cards with one first-class stamp. Look in Card Talk (ABCC newsletter) for ads in which collectors state their desire to trade.
I use Zip-loc bags (qt. size). On them I write the traderís name and his/her categories with a Marks-A-Lot pen.
Once I have a pile of cards Ė either from other traders or from other sources Ė which I cannot use for my categories, I take all these bags out. I put them side by side and begin to sort the pile of business cards on the bags of each collector according to his/her categories. In this manner, I have been able to keep each traderís bag filled with 50 or more business cards. When it is time to trade with someone, I simply take out their bag and remove the number I need.
A word of caution is in order. If you do not sort out your extras immediately, tag those from the different collectors so that you donít send theirs right back to them. This tagging can be accomplished by wrapping and taping a small strip of paper around each stack and putting the collectorís name on the paper. Also, Iíve kept the cards in the envelopes in which they came until Iím ready to sort them.
Finally, I store the bags of business cards, and the letters I must answer, in separate plastic storage containers. I use the smaller containers for the letter and the large sweater/shoe plastic boxes for the bags of business cards.
This is the most important hint of all. The above guidelines are simply hints,
my style. Develop your own style and enjoy the hobby.
Ken Dupuy is a business card collector in Maurice, Louisiana. His specialized collection of cards (many obtained by written request) is devoted to famous personalities, business tycoons, and others who are well-known in their respective fields.
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