Monday, October 27, 2008

Census Results - Thank You To All Who Participated

On Friday, I wrote up a survey because I wanted to gauge a few questions I had about the makeup of the reader base of this site. I got exactly what I wanted, though the scale wasn’t as big as I wanted. Survey monkey only allowed 100 responders to each survey, with 10 questions per time, so it was a little tougher to do the census the way I had envisioned it. Ill list my possible errors below, but lets go over the results question by question (This will be a long post).

For pictures, click to enlarge.


The first question was a qualifying question, just seeing how big the collections were of people that read the site. I imagined a pretty big response for the biggest answer, which happened, and I think it says a lot about the collectors today. Im not going to throw the quality versus quantity argument out there, but I think that comes into play. We are guys, and sometimes we just want the biggest, not the best. However, I do think that it shows how much we have invested in our collections, so that is very refreshing and daunting at the same time. Infer what you would like, I am proud of your size.

The second question was another qualifying question, and I was surprised to see how many people were collecting 4 sports or more. That’s interesting, to say the least. I expected 1 and 2 to be the biggest thing, but the combined last two were just as much. I think this is very good because it means more people will be interested in posts about the stuff that I thought was worthless.

As for which sports are actually collected, Baseball was an overwhelming favorite, no surprise there. I think it also says a lot about what the rest of the survey tested, as many baseball collectors seem to fall into a reletively easy pattern to discern. Ill get to that. Surprise: 23 hockey collectors, 25 Basketball collectors, ha!

The money question is one that many readers have asked me personally, and I wanted to see what the spending habits were for the people that frequent this site. Im sure many of you often think, "Am I spending too much?" and here is your answer. Im not shocked to see that the higher end of the spectrum is a favorite of this second world blog you are reading, but I think that the overwhelming amount of collectors don’t actually spend that much per month. That’s why the base brands are so popular. You get the cards, and that’s it, its expected to not get anything. For that I say, why waste the money? Save up and buy something worthwhile.

The next question deals with where our collecting habits fall. I think the supermajority of bloggers are first worlders, and I am not shocked to see the number one answer. Though, with a huge amount of baseball collectors on this site, sets should be the collection of choice. Secondly, I think being a player collector is actually more prevelant in the normal hobby sliver of people because that is a main reason people join the hobby, "I like this player and I want an autograph I can trust, hmm, he has other cards too?" That’s how I got hooked.

Question 6 of part one was the most surprising question on the first half for me. 29 people said that when given the choice, their favorite type of card is base. It was the top response. Wow. Granted, more Baseball collectors would make this a more common answer, but to be at the top? That’s nuts. Personally I hate base cards, I have left them at the shop for kids up until I saw how many of you keep them to give away to the other bloggers. I cant imagine keeping a bunch of non rookie base cards in a box, taking up space in my closet, let alone marking them as my favorite. Wow indeed. Autos/Auto Jerseys were a platoon that I should not have split, but they are combined to be the favorite.

Next we have the manufacturer's ratings, which originally were designed as much more in depth. Survey monkey had other ideas, and this was the result. I think the results speak for themselves, and I think they are correct.

>The last question on part one was a SCU specific question, and I think its pretty much how I feel. 84% of the readers come to the site to read a rant or look for a cause. They like the other features, but I think deep down, they like reading the rants. The other percentage of the people hate me, hate this site, and just want to read the blog to fume. Good for them.

As we start part two, I am obliged to say that the number of you who do most of your wax shopping at target and walmart seriously need to reconsider your idea of spending money wisely. Even if you are a set collector, its time to buy from the right people. Retailers like Target and Walmart are NOT the right people. Exercize patience and order from online or ebay, or go to the local shop and support them. It will be a better investment in your collection, and a better use of your money. As for the results, the local shop route and blowout/DA route was the most popular, but I was still angry to see that 29 percent still buy retail, or as I put it, putting your money in a blender and hitting "puree."

Question two was a recent hot topic, and I think this is pretty definitive in saying that the majority of us either support the manufacturer sponsors, or really don’t give a shit. Interesting.

Should manufacturers have blogs? I say yes as long as they are not advertisements for crap. I don’t want to read about you hauking your shit, but I do want to get an inside look at how things work. I think most will agree.

Should Beckett have a blog? The answer should be no, but people like it. Eric was a nice guy, ill give him that. Im not saying anything else.

The next question was SCU specific, and its nice to see that 88 percent of the people who took the survey either don’t like the video breaks (correct answer) or don’t watch them (also fine). To the 12 percent of the people who do like them, I think it could be some of the things ill talk about below.

Question 6 was SCU specific as well, and I think I phrased it wrong. Beckett itself is, whether I like it or not, still relevant in the hobby. Their grading business, not service, is a major part of things, despite not being used in any important major auctions or hobby centric ways, and they do still have a reader base for the magazine. So the reality is that although their box breaks and price guide are the bane of this hobby, their overall presence is still relevant, much to my chagrin. Book value is beyond idiotic, but I think people are still interested in what they have to say - stupidly.

The next one was just a fun question to see what people thought. I gave them the choice of multiple answers, as to not skew the results too much. I will disregard the fact that my blog was the most identifiable with, because I was the one who created the survey, but you can judge for yourself on the rest. I am sorry to those I forgot, I did this quickly.

Box break info from blogs was cool to see on the next question, but I was more surprised to see that YouTube was the third answer! Wow, the winds of change are in the air. Maybe people are as annoyed as I am.

The book value question was expected, as only 12 percent still use Beckett if they read the blogs. For non blog readers I assume its more 50/50. Even though error is present, I think the percentage of idiots who still use book value is going down. Keep that in mind, douchebags.

The last question speaks for itself.

Reasons For Error

There is an amount of intrinsic error in this, as I think there are some obvious problems with the way this survey was collected.

First and most importantly, I think due to the annonymity, its easy to not take this seriously, or use it as a way to joke around. As anonymous, I would be more inclined to take this survey and give all the answers I know you wouldn’t want me to give just so you cant make your point. I don’t think that a high percentage of people did this, but it is a possibility.

I also think there is error in this being hosted by me instead of as a joint venture in the blogosphere. My readers are more likely to give answers I agree with. That’s expected. Next time, we should have a 'shpere-wide survey that we can all create.

Lastly, I think that some people took this survey with a vested interest in answering against public perception. I know that the manufacturers read this blog, and I know that Beckett reads this blog. That would skew results if more than a few of them took the survey.

In terms of the general process, thank you to everyone who took the survey. Its cool to see that we can get 100 responses in less than 3 days.


  1. If you were just doing a survey just to get an idea on your readers, then pretty much the answers went down the line the way you should expect. I agree that if a survey like this is to be done, it should be shared among at least 15 to 20 different bloggers with 15 to 20 different viewpoints to get a better idea about what kind of collector reads the Hobby blogs.

    Just a thought the next time you do one.


    JayBee Anama

  2. It would be close to impossible to do this correctly. Just think how tough that would be to get everyone involved.

  3. Plus, who the hell likes to fill out a census? Once a decade is fine by me!

    Glad you got 100 participants, though.

  4. Well, im sorry. I was just curious. Ill call it a survey next time, if there is a next time.

  5. Yeah, remember I am a "Jose Collector". Our people don't like forms. ;)

  6. "Should Beckett have a blog? The answer should be no, but people like it. "

    I disagree with this. Beckett SHOULD have a blog. It should explain how they do their pricing, what transactions have affected pricing, grading facts and considerations, website usage, etc. Possibly some announcements of product releases.

    Even if you disagree with them on their practices, understanding process may make them more acceptable or allow constructive criticism.

    But what they currently do should NOT be the topic of their blog

  7. Hey, Gellman? If you don't like base, I'll gladly take all your base of the guys I collect. ;)

    And I'll send you any APs I've got that you don't (which won't be many, probably).

    Oh, and we're gonna beat you guys next week, if that's okay. :D

  8. All your base are belong...oh, never mind.

  9. I missed an earlier post. Why are we morons for buying retail?

  10. I missed an earlier post. Why are we morons for buying retail?

  11. Search for retail at the top, and youll get a plethora of posts. Basically, there is no plausible reason to buy an inferior product, regardless of the price. At the price point for retail - usually very close to hobby, you will get nothing but a bunch of crap. At least with hobby, you can have a chance at something good.

  12. If you define base cards as worthless crap, then buying retail really will only get you worthless crap. The problem is, your survey said that a lot of us don't consider base cards to be trash, but instead value them as the components to the sets we collect. So if we're looking for base to complete our sets, then retail makes sense because it leaves out all the other stuff that we don't always want to pay for.

  13. But see thats the thing, you are really paying the same price or more because of where you are buying it. If you like base cards, there are base cards in hobby too. Also, there are usually MORE base cards in a hobby pack, and the hits are icing on the cake.

    Retail is worthless for what you pay for.

  14. Next time you do a survey, check out Zoomerang - just as easy as Survey Monkey but much more secure and powerful!