I journal about collecting one of each card from all English-language base sets and expansions (with a few exceptions/conditions). I keep it short and sweet, and concentrate on observations and tales of adventure, not lists of what cards I got on a given day.
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The Cost of Collecting, Pt. I

Posted September 27th, 2010 at 7:51 PM by piecemeal

Updated the collection for Undaunted. Got some new cards off eBay. Sat for a while staring at my monitor wondering what it is going to cost me to complete this collection.

Sadly, collecting the rares is quite a bit more expensive than the C and U. I'm doing a good job keeping cost down, but over a 4100 card collection that will be over 40% rares, can it stay so low? Right now I'm running $0.31 a card across about 1300 cards. Definitely happy with that. However, most of those are C/U.

The following breakdown isn't encouraging from a cost POV. It's the number of cards from each rarity that make up the scope of my collection:

C: 1400
U: 938
R: 1793

The volume of the most expensive rarity to collect is 130% as big as the least expensive rarity, and 77% as big as the two less expensive rarities combined. I haven't kept cost records that account for rarity, but it stands to reason that cost will increase significantly as I hunt the rare ones. Another view:

Current % of collection by rarity compared to % of scope by rarity:

C: 54% of current collection; 34% of scope
U: 27% of current collection; 23% of scope
R: 19% of current collection; 43% of scope

So current cost is artificially low in the light of what else the collection will eventually contain.

I think the best way to approach this is to look at collecting as a fun thing to do that costs money just like anything else. It's going to take a long time and cost many thousands of dollars (hopefully less than five!). When I have money to burn and I feel like blowing it on Pokemon, just enjoy it. Don't collect at the cost of my own well-being and don't cling to ideas of completion. If cost takes the enjoyment out, then it's time to take a break. Remember that as collections/hobbies go, this is a relatively inexpensive one. Still, it's difficult to come to terms with it at times.
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