Competition **Giveaway** How can we make the hobby better and attract new people post Covid boom?

Hornso

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The biggest advantage a forum has over Facebook and the like is a sense of community. It's more than just random buying and selling. This is the reason why I have very little interest in those cesspit marketplaces.

So how do we attract more members / activity on our boards? A few ideas:

*9.32556gFirstly, when you think about it, a forum/ community is very similar to a real life gathering. If you were to turn up to a gathering for the first time and no one is really talking to each other or there's very little happening, you're not likely to stick around too long or come back. On the other hand, if everyone is chatting, joking etc and you are welcomed, you're more likely to stick around and get involved. This is where it's up to us to be as involved and active on here as much our lives permit. Whether it's trading, sharing our wealth of knowledge or just having a joke and a laugh.

Also, I get the sense that there is a lot more box breaking on here than we think. If you are busting something, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, share it on the box breaking forum! Once again, it is another opportunity to create discussion.

Someone mentioned card shows and I think this is a major opportunity and competitive advantage for our forum compared to Facebook if we could leverage it. One thing I noticed recently with Ship my Cards is that whenever they are attending a card show, they give their members the opportunity to have cards sold on their behalf at the show. We have many long term, reliable members on here all over the country that could perhaps man an ozcardtrader table at these shows selling members cards, sharing their knowledge and promoting our forum. We could also have members donate cards for these shows that could be used to put together to sell Mystery Packs to kids. Members could also donate cards that could be sold for $1 - $3 each which would help fund the cost of the show. This helps promote the sense of community. How we could get this to work, i'm not entirely sure but I don't think it would be impossible.

A few thoughts on the card selling show idea:
  • Members pay all postage costs
  • Limited number of cards per member
  • The member gives an advertised sell price for each card as well as lowest possible price
  • Sales done direct through members' paypal
  • .....
There's a lot of generous/ wonderful members on here. The potential and future of this forum lies with us. Basically whatever effort we are prepared to give to the forum, the forum will eventually give back. We have to be bold and be prepared to step outside the boundaries or be stagnant.

Another thing... I'm sure we have email addresses for all accounts on here. Maybe it's an idea that we reach out to lapsed members who still have live accounts (not banned), and say something like. Hey, we've noticed we haven't seen you in a while. Whether you are still collecting or not, it would be wonderful to hear from you again. Feel free to drop in and say hi!

That's about all I've got for now...
Some great ideas in here.

I will watch/look at anyone open anything. As a singles buyer I love watching packs getting ripped, so if people filmed or posted their results on here they will definitely get my attention. I was surprised how much attention and feedback I got from posting the 90s packs I opened thanks to @GarnettFan4Life so it seems others would be interested too!
 

GarnettFan4Life

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Some great ideas in here.

I will watch/look at anyone open anything. As a singles buyer I love watching packs getting ripped, so if people filmed or posted their results on here they will definitely get my attention. I was surprised how much attention and feedback I got from posting the 90s packs I opened thanks to @GarnettFan4Life so it seems others would be interested too!

agreed! random packs found at the BigW - I'll check out anything!
 

GarnettFan4Life

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The biggest advantage a forum has over Facebook and the like is a sense of community. It's more than just random buying and selling. This is the reason why I have very little interest in those cesspit marketplaces.

So how do we attract more members / activity on our boards? A few ideas:

Firstly, when you think about it, a forum/ community is very similar to a real life gathering. If you were to turn up to a gathering for the first time and no one is really talking to each other or there's very little happening, you're not likely to stick around too long or come back. On the other hand, if everyone is chatting, joking etc and you are welcomed, you're more likely to stick around and get involved. This is where it's up to us to be as involved and active on here as much our lives permit. Whether it's trading, sharing our wealth of knowledge or just having a joke and a laugh.

Also, I get the sense that there is a lot more box breaking on here than we think. If you are busting something, no matter how insignificant you think it might be, share it on the box breaking forum! Once again, it is another opportunity to create discussion.

Someone mentioned card shows and I think this is a major opportunity and competitive advantage for our forum compared to Facebook if we could leverage it. One thing I noticed recently with Ship my Cards is that whenever they are attending a card show, they give their members the opportunity to have cards sold on their behalf at the show. We have many long term, reliable members on here all over the country that could perhaps man an ozcardtrader table at these shows selling members cards, sharing their knowledge and promoting our forum. We could also have members donate cards for these shows that could be used to put together to sell Mystery Packs to kids. Members could also donate cards that could be sold for $1 - $3 each which would help fund the cost of the show. This helps promote the sense of community. How we could get this to work, i'm not entirely sure but I don't think it would be impossible.

A few thoughts on the card selling show idea:
  • Members pay all postage costs
  • Limited number of cards per member
  • The member gives an advertised sell price for each card as well as lowest possible price
  • Sales done direct through members' paypal
  • .....
There's a lot of generous/ wonderful members on here. The potential and future of this forum lies with us. Basically whatever effort we are prepared to give to the forum, the forum will eventually give back. We have to be bold and be prepared to step outside the boundaries or be stagnant.

Another thing... I'm sure we have email addresses for all accounts on here. Maybe it's an idea that we reach out to lapsed members who still have live accounts (not banned), and say something like. Hey, we've noticed we haven't seen you in a while. Whether you are still collecting or not, it would be wonderful to hear from you again. Feel free to drop in and say hi!

That's about all I've got for now...

great points here- got to start and keep conversations going as much as we can and I'll look to start another All-Time NBA Draft soon - those are fun but we couldn't get enough to run it mid last year
 

hackadeandre

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So anyone who’s been a member of forums for a while will remember the bustling place this used to be. As fast as you could list things for sale or trade you would get a PM with interest. Great, long discussion threads were a regular occurrence and we ran some great comps (for fun with prizes and also no prizes).

facebook groups have created their own niche as there are so many users on there a lot anyway.

the Covid boom was crazy - box prices way up, heaps more RC speculation and all time sales highs for every card. Then as people could get out a bit more a lot dropped off and found other things.

I love the forum style. How can we bring people back and/or swing the momentum back from Facebook groups?

throw out some ideas. The best post as at 1 September will get a $100 value prize. My discretion. I think that’s the fairest way. I don’t think most likes is going to work. Unless I see someone get 30 friends to join up and like their post. But then again , that’s a good thing too!
I couldn't agree more. Forum style is where it's at for me, I'm probably the most anti social media person in the world haha. There's so many downfalls with social media, however it continues to rule. It's actually been great for me never signing up to facebook etc as I think I would have spent way too much money on cards with even more options out there. I stick to OZCT, eBay (unfortunately) and COMC.

This is where my idea comes in. It's completely absurd and 'out there', however not impossible. We have to offer the people something that's not on the social media pages. There's not many collectors I know that haven't bought or sold on COMC. There is nothing like COMC in Australia (that I'm aware of) and this is where the opportunity is. Where do Aussies go to get bulk cards of their favourite teams or players or complete their sets from the comfort of their keyboard? I don't collect Aussie sports cards however I'm sure there's a huge amount of Aussie sports collectors out there that wish there was a site they could complete their set etc in one transaction.

Full disclosure, I have absolutely no idea on the viability or profitability of COMC, however they have been around for a very long time so they must have a business model that works. I can safely say if I had thousands of low to mid end cards to sell I'd prefer the COMC model over listing individually on eBay. Selling anything less than $20 on eBay is a complete waste of time and energy in my opinion. Maybe crowdfunding a storage facility and a couple of employees would work if the profit is there? If there was a COMC-like site only accessed on OZCT I'm sure the traffic on this site would go bonkers! I told you it was crazy...
 

TAB1980

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I think it's all about being the centre of attention for anything card collecting. Having an active presence in as many collector events as possible. Market ourselves as the place to talk about anything sportscards.

The home of collecting in Australia!
 

GarnettFan4Life

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I couldn't agree more. Forum style is where it's at for me, I'm probably the most anti social media person in the world haha. There's so many downfalls with social media, however it continues to rule. It's actually been great for me never signing up to facebook etc as I think I would have spent way too much money on cards with even more options out there. I stick to OZCT, eBay (unfortunately) and COMC.

This is where my idea comes in. It's completely absurd and 'out there', however not impossible. We have to offer the people something that's not on the social media pages. There's not many collectors I know that haven't bought or sold on COMC. There is nothing like COMC in Australia (that I'm aware of) and this is where the opportunity is. Where do Aussies go to get bulk cards of their favourite teams or players or complete their sets from the comfort of their keyboard? I don't collect Aussie sports cards however I'm sure there's a huge amount of Aussie sports collectors out there that wish there was a site they could complete their set etc in one transaction.

Full disclosure, I have absolutely no idea on the viability or profitability of COMC, however they have been around for a very long time so they must have a business model that works. I can safely say if I had thousands of low to mid end cards to sell I'd prefer the COMC model over listing individually on eBay. Selling anything less than $20 on eBay is a complete waste of time and energy in my opinion. Maybe crowdfunding a storage facility and a couple of employees would work if the profit is there? If there was a COMC-like site only accessed on OZCT I'm sure the traffic on this site would go bonkers! I told you it was crazy...

I hate facebook and don't really use insta other than to see what the hot ladies are up to these days - seeing some silly shake the butt trend or something usually or ----- wait , where was I ?? oh yeah - cardboard - you used to go in heaps of breaks did you or open heaps of personal boxes? you just wanted to collect and had no need for a great ROI correct?
 

hackadeandre

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I hate facebook and don't really use insta other than to see what the hot ladies are up to these days - seeing some silly shake the butt trend or something usually or ----- wait , where was I ?? oh yeah - cardboard - you used to go in heaps of breaks did you or open heaps of personal boxes? you just wanted to collect and had no need for a great ROI correct?
Correct, but busting boxes is a tiny bit different than running a card processing operation with people investing thousands of dollars into it. It would have to be run as a legitimate business with a facility, employees, insurances, workers comp, tax obligations etc. I personally would invest into something like that without expecting any profit as long as I knew I wasn't going to lose said money either. But I'm not sure if there's going to be a few hundred K lying around members on OZCT who would go for that. Unfortunately whilst OZCT is my go to for everything cards, sentiment isn't going to bring the crowds in, there needs to be a reason for people to come to the site. It's like asking people to use Internet Explorer again just because it's been around longer.
 

GarnettFan4Life

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Correct, but busting boxes is a tiny bit different than running a card processing operation with people investing thousands of dollars into it. It would have to be run as a legitimate business with a facility, employees, insurances, workers comp, tax obligations etc. I personally would invest into something like that without expecting any profit as long as I knew I wasn't going to lose said money either. But I'm not sure if there's going to be a few hundred K lying around members on OZCT who would go for that. Unfortunately whilst OZCT is my go to for everything cards, sentiment isn't going to bring the crowds in, there needs to be a reason for people to come to the site. It's like asking people to use Internet Explorer again just because it's been around longer.

I wasn't criticising or implying anything - just curious where people start out and go to in the hobby, what mediums they use and what they like/don't like.

I remember hearing of big breakers with Cherry when I was in a bunch of their breaks a while back but now I'm not in I'm curious to see how the hobby is doing given the box prices atm etc

Maybe some people have only been alive during the facebook era and hence gravitate towards that medium only and don't get to access forums now a few have disappeared? It's so weird.
 

hackadeandre

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All good man, it's actually heartbreaking for me (and probably most of the old school peeps like yourself) to see where the hobby is at in 2022. I was luckily one of those 'big breakers' in the early days and loved every minute of it. Felt so lucky that I could afford to buy a 'med-high end $200 box' and if I got $20 worth of cards in it, I really didn't care. Just wanted the cards to add to the collection. Now with collectors getting absolutely reamed with the prices of boxes these days, even I can't justify buying that same box for 10 times the amount it used to be only to end up with $40 worth of cards. A $180 loss is tolerable (and fun with the right attitude), a $1960 loss is just outright stupidity. You have to draw the line somewhere. Lost in all of this is the fact that we actually engage in what was a 'kids hobby', which is why many of us who are on here are more than likely in the 40-45 year age group. We enjoy it because it brings back awesome memories of the golden age of collecting and we love the game. There's no way now I would encourage my kids into collecting and it's the saddest thing ever. They can't enjoy what we used to. Anyway, I'm happy to put my money where my mouth is and contribute to an Australian version of COMC but I'm thinking that it would need $300K easy to get a storage area that is suitable for cards plus all the other costs mentioned above. Only problem is I wouldn't know the first thing about how they scan so many cards so fast LOL
 

Andrew111

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Completely agree with @hackadeandre Setting something like that up would take quite a bit of investment. I visited Burbank Sportscards a few years ago to buy a few blasters (back then they were $30 AUD!) and they gave me a tour. It was insane. Singles from floor to ceiling all numbered, catalogued, barcodes on the boxes etc. And thats just the stuff they are selling. Their goal is to keep 1 of every sports card ever printed. It was a pretty full on operation. The thing with cards is they are so damn small if you aren't organised you will never find a card again. And considering how much some can cost, thats scary.

In terms of where the hobby is going its all supply and demand. Panini started cranking out garbage retail with no autos and patches that are not actually associated with any player, people started losing interest and now theres cards left on the shelves in some shops.
 

Scooterboy

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Do Oz cards try there own breaks high risk strategy and who funds it?....Australia's card Market has stagnated, we don't have leverage like USA and only produce 2 or 3 different products in our National football codes. No Soccer, No netball very little in Women's sports. This doesn't help to garner interest in the card market I don't use Facebook and can't remember last time used eBay, however plenty do or have moved into American breaks market for those that can afford it. It become a quasi share market for cards and the true hobbyists is the loser!...your thoughts?
 

Scooterboy

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I think it's all about being the centre of attention for anything card collecting. Having an active presence in as many collector events as possible. Market ourselves as the place to talk about anything sportscards.

The home of collecting in Australia!
Like the idea, and maybe Ozcarders could share the experience at different venues and take turns to bring limited top A grade cards for sale as well as general banter make it more about interaction depends how we cover venue entry costs
 

TAB1980

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Like the idea, and maybe Ozcarders could share the experience at different venues and take turns to bring limited top A grade cards for sale as well as general banter make it more about interaction depends how we cover venue entry costs

Covering the venue entry costs would be easy. As I suggested in my previous post in this thread, members could donate cards that could be sold at the show for $1 - $3 each. Cheap stuff that is not easy to move on our site but sells really easily at shows.

We could also make up cheap mystery packs from these cards aimed towards kids.
 

TAB1980

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From what I can see people are using facebook more because this site doesn't allow auctions and razzes.

I've never been much of a facebook user but half the stuff written on those pages I don't have a clue what they're saying!

Not a fan of the idea of Razzes either and besides some of those razzes could be breaking state gaming rules and regulations.
 
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