Monday, July 26, 2021

Musings on Free Card offerings

 Anyone miss all the Free Card Friday's and various flavors of that which were everywhere for a while?  I kind of do.  But this post isn't about trying to get anyone to start up on them again.  It's actually just me talking through things to understand why I stopped.  Because I still have the urge to do Free Card days.  But I don't.  Why??

I'm going to just spray out random thoughts of why someone (or me) might be discouraged from doing a free card thing.  In no particular order:

Reason 1 - You don't feel like you have anything others would want

This can be a valid concern, but it isn't really a big factor for me.  You aren't going to please everyone unless you are giving away some pretty great stuff.  And if nobody claims your offerings, well then you get to keep your cards.  No harm here.

And there are all kinds of collectors out there. I have found with my free card posts, that team collectors can be the most interested, even in cards that nobody else wants.  You don't have to offer Trouts and vintage treasures.  Just throw some Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox or whatever team out there and you will get takers.

Reason 2 - You don't want to give away your hard earned collection

Another valid concern.  If you feel this way, definitely don't do a free card thing.  But I have lots of cards I would love to give to someone that would appreciate them.

In fact, along those lines, since I have returned to the hobby, I have always wanted to have another blogger meet up with me and go through my boxes of non-keepers so they could pull out some free cards! In person would be awesome, and then the person on the receiving end wouldn't have to rely on me to choose the cards they would want the most!

Reason 3 - You don't want to pay the postage

OK, now we are hitting closer to where my mind lives.  I have pretty limited card funds as it is.  So if I were to do a free card post once a week, and say,  8 people claimed each time, I would spend about $16 on the postage for a given month.  A little more for the envelopes and supplies.  Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up.  Often I only have $20 a month to spend in a month, though recently I have had a little more.

Reason 4 - You don't want to take the time to mail stuff out.  Sort/envelope/secure cards/tape/stamp/address/return address/seal/trip to the mailbox

I think this is the biggest reason for me.  I work hard.  And it's high stress.  Because of that, I often find myself without the energy to do much at all once I get home.  I'm sure that is a big contributor to the large gaps between my blog posts.  And most of the time, the thought of packaging up a bunch of cards and getting them mailed out just doesn't appeal.

Reason 5 - You feel like you are being taken advantage of

OK, so I could see this affecting people once they have done a few free card giveaways.  There are a few factors at work here.  Free card posts always get more views.  Duh.  And that can make us feel like our other posts are not appreciated.  Do we put effort into our posts just so that people who rarely read them can swoop in and pick up the free stuff?  Not likely.  Also I think some of us have noticed that the same few people are the ones claiming cards.  And sometimes it feels like maybe those people should pay it forward or something.

Those are valid ways to look at it, but they don't give me any real pause.  If I am offering free stuff, then it is really free, no strings or expectations attached.


I'm sure there are lots of other reasons bloggers might have.  If you have any, feel free to leave them in the comments.  Or anything else you have to add!!  So that was at least a little therapeutic for me.  Not sure that anyone else will even care about this stuff.

I'm hoping that this exercise will prompt me to give free card giveaways another go sometime soon.  I do like sending cards to people who read!!  So stay tuned.  Hopefully. 


  1. I've done large give aways -- gave away 5 large flat rates a couple years ago. I'm sure there was some junk in there and some good stuff but overall I think the biggest deterent is the hassle for me. I also work 60+ hours a week so when I get some hobby time I try to sort or do something else.

  2. I do giveaways here and there but it's sporadic because it takes a lot of time to sort, pack and ship and I've gotten more and more lax about that. The money doesn't bother me. The prize hounds do a little.

  3. I'm one of those guilty people that always click on the giveaway posts. But otherwise I read through RSS... I don't know if my visits count. But I read almost every article. I definitely don't freeload on the giveaways but I'm also happy browsing through blogger wantlists and sending random needs in exchange for your writing.

  4. I've also done a fair number of giveaways over the years and I think all of your points are well taken. For me, it's a combination of wondering if I have what other people want and the cost of shipping the cards. I've been known to do small flat rate giveaways near the end of the year, that's kind of fun (and expensive) but I like the feeling of helping others/making others happy!

  5. For me it boils down to two things...

    1. Always have too much on my plate.
    2. Not a fan of scanning, so the last thing I want to do with free time is scan cards.

    I don't mind giving away stuff. When I end up finally doing a giveaway... it'll probably just be in the form of a contest with a handful of winners.

  6. I don't mind giving stuff away, I got a Upper Deck RAK for doing so 7 years ago, it's shipping costs. Every year my budget has gone more down and down, if I had someone to fund my shipping, I would giveaway a ton more that I know would be appreciated elsewhere. But, shipping costs is my biggest thing. Most of my trades right now are PWE because I can't afford to do a bubbler right now after my wife switched jobs with less pay.

  7. Good thoughts here. This is pretty much the order of my issues with Free card giveaways, though 4 might be more of a concern than 5. You could always qualify your giveaway by asking for one card in return, or only allowing previous commenters to claim.

    I've been blogging long enough to know who my "real" friends are but it was a learning experience for sure.

  8. It's a little bit of a fad that comes and goes. The last one I did, someone claimed a card, and never sent me their address (despite me following up). I thought that was weird.

  9. As a collector who collection is mostly peak junk wax era, I fall into Reason #1. Like you, I don't have a big monthly budget and I can see how doing a regular giveaway can add up. Otherwise, I'm not overly concerned about the other reasons.

  10. I don't like looking for lots of cards all at once, or scanning lots of cards all at once, or mailing lots of cards (in separate envelopes) all at once; hence my no longer doing Free Stuff Friday's. That being said, the smaller giveaway posts that I started a few months ago, right before my two-month hiatus, will be coming back soon, so hopefully those will appease a few peoples want for free stuff posts.