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Re-Focusing Collection


Devilsguy

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I decided to start a new thread for this as I didn't see another that is exactly like this and interested to see what other people think and have done.

I have been collecting hockey jerseys in general for about 10 years and started collecting gamers about 5-6 years ago. Went strictly to gamers about 2 years ago and have been doing that since. I am bringing this up as since I started collecting gamers this is the first time I have done a fairly major re-focusing on what I collect and wanted to get other people's thoughts and their own experiences.

At first I didn't really have much of a focus other than being affordable and Devils. Then after a little bit I found a basic focus of where I concentrated on Devils players I had a personal connection to as well as unique or specialty night jerseys. Lately, I have found myself being unsatisfied with this focus, especially on the specialty night jersey portion and have decided to now just focus on Devils players who have either won a cup as a Devils, Devils jerseys with a unique story, or outright steal of a jersey.

I have found this focus to be a lot more satisfying as a collector as no longer will I paying through the nose for scrub players for a silly patch or design. A couple of months ago I was all in to going up to $1K for a Marty Night jersey, but now I don't even want to touch them with a 10 ft pole as I dread paying $800+ for a Schlemko 1-game wonder with a patch. My recent acquisitions like my new John Madden 1st NHL game and point jersey, my Ryan Carter 3/19/12 Rangers blood brawl jersey, and even my 08-09 Salvador that I got for $125 shipped gives me a lot more satisfaction than my Carter Niedermayer night patched jersey.

So has anyone else had major re-focusing(s)? What were the reasons for it? How many times have you done it as I see some people never changing their focus and some seemingly change every week. Always interested to hear these stories.

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Focus, I admit, is hard to keep sometimes. When I first started collecting I bought a lot of stupid jerseys...it clearly got out of hand.

The one main focus for me however, is Canadian born players. That's what I stick to 100%.

My main focus for jerseys are Team Canada 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic jerseys. Whenever I see one I don't have, I buy it. Scored a red AL MacInnis a couple weeks ago for $125...that made my day for sure!

It's getting harder to find these jerseys these days though, which makes it very rewarding when I do indeed find one.

The black 3rd alternate jersey is my unicorn...never seen one but I know they exist. It will be a joyful high once I eventually find one, but a sad day at the same time because the hunt will be over.

Since Team Canada jerseys don't pop up all the often, I keep my fix by trying to find jerseys for players I watched and admired as I was growing up playing hockey.

Mario, Stevie Y, Killer, Shanny, Wendel Clark, Andreychuk, MacInnis, Sakic, Messier, Bourque, Stevens, Belfour, Joseph, Brodeur and a couple Roy...

I do collect some current stuff as well. This forum is a bad influence! Lol. You guys have got me on the 2.0's now. I'm keeping the numbers small at the moment but it keeps me going. Especially with rare vintage stuff being so hard to find.

Like I said, focus is hard to keep...especially when I'm bored at work and browsing ebay...it's deadly!

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A big part of the fun for me is the variety of designs, so "focused" isn't a word that will likely ever describe my collection. As much as I love the Hawks, I have no desire to own a bunch of a single version.

I might occasionally get rid of a piece that doesn't interest me as much anymore, but I don't have many ohmygodineedthatrightnowinstantremorse jerseys left in the closet.

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I re-focus my collection every couple of months. Or weeks. Maybe days.

It's dangerous because you may change your mind. But, if you have the ability to never look back, it is a good thing to do.

Now I'm focused solely on Devils Ultrafils, which are not impossible to find but are sufficiently rare that I'm not buying jerseys every week. Good for the budget, plus there's a joy in "the hunt" that I miss out on when I'm constantly in buy mode.

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I have seen collectors whose focus is buying 1 of each team design (so one home, one away, alternates, etc) from every team in the league. Although broad, that is a focus to me. I have seen other collectors who just buy everything in sight and that usually leaves a budget that easily gets into trouble. I know of a Devils collector who always bids on every single auction they do, so she has a jersey from pretty much every retro night and so on. I was a little bit like this but I found myself competing more and more against the general public and overpaying for a jersey design I already have with a player who is a scrub.

I have seen other collectors whose focus is pretty narrow such as specific players and even specific years from a specific team. I think having a focus is especially important for game worn and authentic jersey collectors as without one you can end up in financial ruin very quickly.

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Focus of my collection is either New York Rangers or All-Star jerseys.

For the Rangers I am aiming to collect one of every styleworn from 92 onwards with the exception of Liberty jerseys (navy and white) and trying to minimize duplication of styles. For example - Starter Home and Road jerseys are essentially the same as the CCM versions but, I prefer the Starter mesh.

Current collection contains TBTC, Starter White, Starter Blue with laces, Starter Blue without laces, Proplayer white, Vintage Blue and White (2003-2004 vintage program), Blank uncrested blue CCM jersey to be made into 9-11 New York jersey, Blueshirt - Edge, White - Edge, Winter Classic, Heritage, Stadium Series.

Got a couple cheap CT Whale and Wolfpack jerseys but, not sure if I want to start down the minor league path.

Re: Patches - Only Rangers jersey with patch on the chest instead of the shoulders. Additionally, I try to customize jerseys with players that had some sort of meaningful impact in said jerseys (ie - captain, selected as all-star representative, lead the team in scoring, played in the Olympics that year, won an award, etc).

Other part of my collection is devoted to All-Star jerseys. Guidelines for all-star jerseys are a) not looking to duplicate styles of a given jersey, B) player had some sort of significance (ie - captain/ alternate captain, selected as MVP for game, GWG, won an award, voted as starter), c) - played for Rangers when he wore the jersey is preferred but, will also collect jerseys of players that played for Rangers at some point.

Current NHL All-Star collection: 94, 99, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 - East, 2004 - West, 2009, 2012 - Red, 2012 - Blue, 2015

Only other self-imposed restrictions are to limit total # of jersey < 20 but, I think I may have to reestablish the limit at 25. Sometimes I feel like trying to align all the different guidelines gives me a headache and has held me back from sending jerseys out for customization. Hoping to finalize list soon and send out a massive order.

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HA! Not that I WAS the right person to comment on this (I've since reigned in the ridiculous jersey addiction bug) but finding the true focus of any type of collection is a rewarding feeling. I would buy anything I deemed a deal, like 95% of us I'm sure. However, after years of "I really want this because x,y,and z" followed by "I have to sell that because I need money for this jersey that I have to own" leads to a never ending process, a lot of money, a lot of USPS priority boxes, and a headache. Once I finally narrowed it down to Flyers and Hershey Bears I was set. Now I have more than enough funds to acquire the things I truly want. I actually have a reserve account waiting just for the things I want, whenever I might find them. So the hunt, or the unknown, is more exciting then receiving a jersey I don't want, like, or need just because it had a "buy-it-now" of $55. Glad I finally focused in on something other then an endless cycle of buying and selling.

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Everyone goes through this. When you first start out collecting, you want it all. It doesn't matter what. You just want anything and everything. That is where most fly-by-nighters burn themselves out and get sick of it all. But the true collectors eventually power through that stage and figure it all out. Hell, I was the same way about ten years ago. I just bought whatever I saw on eBay and elsewhere. 1997 red Panthers? Gotta have it. 2002 Vancouver Canucks? I'll take two. Orange Nike Flyers? HA! Not quite. Crazy, not stupid!

But then, you start to realize that all the other crap out there does absolutely nothing for you and you want what you REALLY want. I remember exactly what I had gotten when I figured it out. It was a team Canada jersey. I opened the box and literally said to myself, "What the hell am I doing with this crap?" That's when I sold off everything that wasn't near and dear to me and just stuck to the essentials. USA, Rangers, Blues and Nords. Stick with what you love. You'll be much happier and spend less money in the long run.

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Everyone goes through this. When you first start out collecting, you want it all. It doesn't matter what. You just want anything and everything. That is where most fly-by-nighters burn themselves out and get sick of it all. But the true collectors eventually power through that stage and figure it all out. Hell, I was the same way about ten years ago. I just bought whatever I saw on eBay and elsewhere. 1997 red Panthers? Gotta have it. 2002 Vancouver Canucks? I'll take two. Orange Nike Flyers? HA! Not quite. Crazy, not stupid!

But then, you start to realize that all the other crap out there does absolutely nothing for you and you want what you REALLY want. I remember exactly what I had gotten when I figured it out. It was a team Canada jersey. I opened the box and literally said to myself, "What the hell am I doing with this crap?" That's when I sold off everything that wasn't near and dear to me and just stuck to the essentials. USA, Rangers, Blues and Nords. Stick with what you love. You'll be much happier and spend less money in the long run.

Ummm...still got that Team Canada jersey? ;)

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And then watching this one too

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h4g7v_VuSo8

You forgot the best one!

https://youtu.be/svkK4JVtpTE

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HA! Not that I WAS the right person to comment on this (I've since reigned in the ridiculous jersey addiction bug) but finding the true focus of any type of collection is a rewarding feeling. I would buy anything I deemed a deal, like 95% of us I'm sure. However, after years of "I really want this because x,y,and z" followed by "I have to sell that because I need money for this jersey that I have to own" leads to a never ending process, a lot of money, a lot of USPS priority boxes, and a headache. Once I finally narrowed it down to Flyers and Hershey Bears I was set. Now I have more than enough funds to acquire the things I truly want. I actually have a reserve account waiting just for the things I want, whenever I might find them. So the hunt, or the unknown, is more exciting then receiving a jersey I don't want, like, or need just because it had a "buy-it-now" of $55. Glad I finally focused in on something other then an endless cycle of buying and selling.

Since I started re-focusing a bit about 6-8 weeks ago, I have noticed this too. This paid off as in that time there were at least 2 Devils auctions going on for 1-game wonder specialty jerseys that I would have overpaid for. Instead I held my money close and I was able to get that Madden 1st gamer that was offered to me and I just got 2 more jerseys of players I have been looking to get and fit my focus a lot better. I wouldn't have gotten those if I went after those auctions

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Everyone goes through this. When you first start out collecting, you want it all. It doesn't matter what. You just want anything and everything. That is where most fly-by-nighters burn themselves out and get sick of it all. But the true collectors eventually power through that stage and figure it all out. Hell, I was the same way about ten years ago. I just bought whatever I saw on eBay and elsewhere. 1997 red Panthers? Gotta have it. 2002 Vancouver Canucks? I'll take two. Orange Nike Flyers? HA! Not quite. Crazy, not stupid!

But then, you start to realize that all the other crap out there does absolutely nothing for you and you want what you REALLY want. I remember exactly what I had gotten when I figured it out. It was a team Canada jersey. I opened the box and literally said to myself, "What the hell am I doing with this crap?" That's when I sold off everything that wasn't near and dear to me and just stuck to the essentials. USA, Rangers, Blues and Nords. Stick with what you love. You'll be much happier and spend less money in the long run.

This is a big one too. I know of a family of Devils gamer collectors who a few years back dropped over $20K on gamers and then basically when the bill came in, dropped off the face of the Earth. This is another reason why I think a focus is important as it also helps to pace yourself and avoid something like this.

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Since I started re-focusing a bit about 6-8 weeks ago, I have noticed this too. This paid off as in that time there were at least 2 Devils auctions going on for 1-game wonder specialty jerseys that I would have overpaid for. Instead I held my money close and I was able to get that Madden 1st gamer that was offered to me and I just got 2 more jerseys of players I have been looking to get and fit my focus a lot better. I wouldn't have gotten those if I went after those auctions

Even as recent as a year ago I wouldn't have been able to understand that. It all came to a head for me in August-September. With the hockey season approaching it made me want to go through my collection and I just realized I have too many things that don't mean anything at all to me. Problem is, all jerseys are nice. So it's a tough process to narrow it down but it feels amazing in the end. I never had unlimited resources to buy anything or afford anything for that matter, but buying less is truly buying more. Before I'd buy 1-2 jerseys a week at $75-125, over the course of a month that could be $500 or more. Now, I buy maybe one to two jerseys a month but the quality far outshines the quantity. Mike said it best though, everyone goes through it in the beginning stages. I was different in the fact that I'd sell it on eBay or on here the day it arrived because the remorse was far worse then the 5 second joy of opening the box. Hell, I've purchased jerseys where I was dreading their arrival because I truly didn't know why I acquired it. Glad that's behind me (fingers crossed haha).

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My focus at the minute is London Knights mainly those that progress onto the Leafs, Toronto Maple Leafs, Manchester Phoenix and Leo Komarov.

I don't know what would happen if Komarov moved sides, I'd like to see how he does but probably wouldn't collect him post Leafs.

I'd also like to venture into British born NHL'ers. Steve Thomas and Perlini over in Arizona.

As for the jerseys themselves, gamers if the price is right, if not an authentic is good enough, one of my favourite jerseys is a London Knights Premier as it looks fly as .

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Mike you nailed it. I think I just got past the "buy-everything before-someone-else-does-omg -I'm- never-gonna-see-this jersey-for-sale-again-what-a-steal". (Hence the reduced prices on jerseys I am selling... But I digest)

Focusing my collection hopefully will help me prioritize. Currently I own most of the jerseys I want but they either have incorrect player or are blank. Will send out a large order to EPS soon and that should keep me satisfied for a while... Until the 2017 winter classic between Leafs and Rangers.

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This would be a good topic for the members of several Facebook groups. The rate at which some of these guys sell jerseys tells me that there's a lot of unfocused collections out there.

I have gamers in my collection where the previous owners had it in their collection for only a couple of weeks. There are collectors who just seem to be constantly turning over their jerseys and kinda makes me think of an addict they just needs their next high to keep going.

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I have gamers in my collection where the previous owners had it in their collection for only a couple of weeks. There are collectors who just seem to be constantly turning over their jerseys and kinda makes me think of an addict they just needs their next high to keep going.

Noooo, don't know anyone like that!

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Haha I have to admit this hobby can be very addicting, but it can also empty your wallet pretty quickly.

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I went through the buy buy buy stage in collecting and just sit back and wait for what you want. I've sold items that I impulses bought but basically all but one of my jerseys is connected to my time as a season ticket holder. 2007 to the present.

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