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Book Title: The Sports Card Collectors Guide to Trading on the Internet

CONTENTS
(Book cover)

Chapter 1 - Now that’s progress!
Chapter 2 -
Tools required
Chapter 3 - How to trade
Chapter 4 - Packing and shipping
Chapter 5 - After the trade: the good, the bad and the…gulp…ugly.
Chapter 6 - Upgrade and MAKE $MONEY$
Chapter 7 - The BIG LIST of “Smart trader tips”
Sports card resources


Chapter 2: Tools required

This is a book about sports cards so the technical jargon will be minimized. Since this is a book about trading sports cards online, it is likely you have access to a computer.  You therefore have at least some basic computer skills, which are really all you will need to trade sports cards on line. A computer and software are all that you need to begin online baseball card trading.
 

Hardware
Get a good computer.
Just as you would want a good car and service plan, you will want the same in a computer. Make the investment to get something reliable. There is nothing more frustrating than having productive trades going and your computer crashes in the midst of them all. Computers are not as expensive as they were, but you will have to spend at least a few hundred dollars to get started.

Scanner
A scanner will allow you to display the sports cards that you have for trade to the people who might be interested in them. Collectors will frequently not want to trade for a card that they can’t see a picture of a head of time; this is especially true with the more expensive cards.
 

Software
You will need a few key pieces of software most of which comes pre-loaded onto your computer.

Email program
There are several email programs available including Outlook and Eudora. Most of the big Internet service providers also have some form of email program for you as well. Many email programs let you go to a web site to check your email when you are either away from your home computer or your main computer is broken. This feature comes in handy for sports card traders.

Junk email filter
Unfortunately, with email comes unwanted email. If you do not have a good junk email filter, you will not have a lot of fun using email. Most service providers offer junk email filtering. The better junk filters get smarter the more you use them and become adept at learning what it is that you consider junk and what you do not. As of this writing, the Eudora Pro email program has a fantastic spam filter.

Tool Tip!
As you are in the process of training your junk email filter, make sure you do not accidentally filter out email messages that you want. Junk email is usually put into a separate file. It will take you just a few seconds a day to scan junk messages to make sure that there is nothing there that you want, like a message from a sports card trader!

Email address Tip!
Don’t post your email address on message boards unless you want to get a substantial increase in junk email. Most good trading sites are built in such a way that you don’t have to post your email address publicly, but can hook-up with your fellow collectors via an internal email system after you’ve posted your trade messages on the board.

Browser
A browser is the software that lets you explore the Internet. Currently, the most common browsers available are Internet Explorer, AOL, Netscape, and FireFox. It is important to keep your browser updated to get the most out of your Internet surfing experience.  

Instant Messengers (IM)
Some sports card traders like to use instant messaging when negotiating a trade. An instant messenger is a small software program that allows people to communicate with each other. If both parties have an instant messenger, they can type to each other in real time. These have quite become popular for trading, so don’t be surprised when someone asks you to hook-up via “IM”.

AntiVirus Software
THIS IS CRITICAL! Unfortunately, there are nasty people who create computer viruses just to cause problems for computer users.  You will eventually encounter a computer virus while you are happily trading your baseball cards. Spare no expense and get some good anti virus software for your computer. As of this writing, the two most popular anti-virus software programs are Norton and Mcafee. Whichever one you get you should update it frequently. Most anti-virus software allows you to update them for a small subscription fee. You should subscribe to get the updates and do it weekly. Viruses are often sent via email messages. It is important for you to realize that most people have no idea they are sending you a virus. Viruses are tricky and attach themselves to email messages and web browsers. That is how they spread so quickly. If you are trading with someone who sets off your anti-virus software alert system, do not assume that he or she is trying to attack you. That is a great way to destroy a potentially good sports card trading relationship. Instead, do your good deed for the day and let them know that they need to scan their computer for a virus and/or update their anti-virus software.

Tool Tip!
Many viruses will come to you in the form of an email attachment. Make it a rule to NEVER open any email attachments unless you are absolutely sure what it is that you are opening. When in doubt, contact the sender of the email message to confirm that you have been sent an attachment and what it contains.

Internet Connection
Get the fastest connection that you can afford. There are several different types of connections available:

            1.         Dial-up connections. These use your telephone line. Dial up connections are usually the least expensive and generally work fairly well. They are the slowest of the three connection types. Most tie up your telephone line while you are using them and can take a minute or so for them to connect to the Internet.

            2.         DSL connections. These also use your telephone line and are a lot faster than dial-up connections. DSL does not tie up your telephone line while you are using them. DSL lines are always connected to the Internet, so that as soon as you click you are on-line.

            3.         Cable connections. These do not use your telephone line. They are fast, reliable, and like DSL, are on all of the time.

Generally, the faster connections are more enjoyable.

Web page
Although this is not a requirement when you are just starting out, eventually you are going to want to have your own web site to list the sports cards that you have for trade and the card that you want. It is common for sports card traders to send each other a link to their web site to make trading easier. Do not let this intimidate you if you do not already have one. Building a simple web site to list your cards on is very easy to do. Sportscardfun.com offers a free web site to all of its members as do other trading sites. These free web sites are simple to build and take mere seconds to update. You can also use a free web page service offered by sites such as Yahoo.com, MSN, or many Internet service providers.

Okay, enough about the technical aspect of online trading. If you would like to learn more about this topic, there are many resources available for you to learn more about it.  Let’s move on to trading baseball cards and other sports cards!
 

Where to trade

Sportscardfun.com
The best place for you to trade is Sportscardfun.com, of course, the site that I founded almost 10 years ago. The site was custom built from the ground up to meet the needs of the online sports card trader.

Sportscardfun.com requires a small temporary membership fee. It lessens trading problems. It does seem that those who are willing to pay a fee for the quality service that we provide are for the most part a more reliable sports card trader.

Sportscardfun.com is purely for trading, there is no buying or selling allowed. We offer trading groups for all sports. To help foster trust in the Sportscardfun.com trading community members can reward each other for a trade well done. When two traders complete a trade they can exchange Sportscardfun.com Good Trader Points and add them to their total for other members to see. Traders can only leave one point for each person with whom they trade. Earn 10 points and your membership is Free For Life. Once you have earned 100 points you are listed in our “Hall Of Fame”.

Additional membership benefits include:

            1.         Round the clock access to other traders.

            2.         Educational resources for effective online trading

            3.         The ability to build your own web page to list cards available for trade.

            4.         The Sports Card Trade Tracker system (an online tool that helps each trader stay organized.)

            5.         Personal assistance with mediating and/or helping with trade problems.

Other Trading Sites
There is no shortage of sites on which to trade. Some of these sites are free, some offer various membership levels, and some are definitely better than others. Try a few different sites and then decide which of them works best for you. I hope that you will decide that Sportscardfun.com is where you would like to call “home” for all of your Internet trading.  Check the sports card resources at the end of this guide for a list of some of the other trading sites.

 

Chapter 3 - How to trade

 

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