Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cardboard Security: I'll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours

Do you ever worry about your collection?  I never really did as frankly it’s not really worth all that much and would be incredibly unwieldy to take let alone convert to cash.  And yet here we are trading addresses and showing off our collections online.

I would think someone who broke into my house would probably prefer my TV or my somewhat ancient laptop to a bunch of cardboard.  In fact there’s not much in the house that I couldn’t stand to lose or that could be sold very easily apart from a substantial jar of change in my office.  The house is pretty organized, though, so if someone was looking for something specific it wouldn't be too hard to find.

Anyhoo, here’s a little info about how I’ve kept my collection secure (as well as the reason I’m bringing it up in the first place):

All the good cards are locked in a safe deposit box in a bank vault along with a few irreplaceables and my ’89 Upper Deck pack pull.  I’ve taken scans of them in case I need to reference them on the blog, so they’re never at the house.  No worries there.

Obviously burglars prefer an empty house, but I’m lucky in that respect for two reasons: first, I have a wife that does shift work, so someone is pretty much always home.  Second, I have a dog.  She is scrappy and quick; and while she is very friendly I’ve seen her react to unknown people snooping near the house (most recently the meter-reader guy), and she was downright vicious.  It scared the bejeezus out of me at the time, but it also allayed my fears that she would run up to a burglar and lick his hand.

I also live on the same street as five cops and a massive population of old retired couples.  My next door neighbor is a retired gentleman who is also smoker, so he is usually outside keeping an eye on our ‘hood.  He is always filling us in on the goings-on in the area, and he recently spotted that my license plate sticker was expired.  Dude is observant.  Well done, neighborino.

So, why am I bringing up security anyway?  Well, last night I was at Office Depot buying an ink pad for a rubber stamp (you’ll see why soon enough), and I found a perfectly-sized locking steel cabinet on clearance.  I’ve wanted to consolidate things for a while, but here was a way to do just that and add a substantial level of security I never really considered needing.  It cost a little money, but as a storage tool and last line of defense I’m super happy with it.  Plus it makes my card room feel like a bank:

It feels great to have everything in one place and under lock and key.  And I'm also happy to report that since I got everything nice and centralized, I'm able to get tasks done a lot quicker.  I've even been able to trade more often as I'm not moving all around the house to finish one task.  I have a stack of PWE's going out tomorrow.  Cabinet!

There are a few other security-related elements at work that I won’t mention here (cough, lasers).  I was just curious about how others approach this aspect of having a big card collection, or if they do at all.

I hope I didn’t just make you paranoid.


  1. Very cool. I wish I was as organized as you.

    I have "memorabilia" listed in my renter's insurance. I'm not sure what the would cover if I ever did get robbed, but it makes me feel a little better.

    I don't really have anything so valuable I need to keep it at the bank. I would be bummed to lose all or most of it, but in terms of actual value and needing to keep them outside of the house, I don't have that sort of collection.

  2. I protect my cards by storing them in a haphazard manner, in unwieldy stacks all over various tabletops and shelves. If someone were to try to steal some cards, chances are good that they would grab a fat pile of 1990 Topps or 2013 Archives base cards. It wouldn't turn out great for them, but it would save me the work of sorting and collating a couple hundred cards. If I can't find my nice cards there is really no chance of a thief making off with them.

  3. I keep my monster boxes of 1987-1990 Topps on the frontline. No thief can (or probably wants to) get past that level of security.