In this new, limited blog series, “20 Ways to Collect While Stuck at Home,” we offer ideas for enjoying your collection at times when a standard hobby experience is not possible. Illness, financial constraints, or any number of factors might temporarily keep collectors from participating as they normally would, but that does not mean that their hobby needs to be put on hold.
Through the mail (TTM) autograph collecting is one of the simplest and greatest joys of our hobby. Sending trading cards to be autographed TTM is something that many of us did as kids and young fans, and the same excitement we had back then when signed cards arrived in our mailboxes remains just as pleasurable today. When you are stuck at home and looking for things to do, writing TTM letters is a great way to pass the time while still potentially building your collection.
How to Collect Autographs Through The Mail
We have posted detailed TTM articles in the past that walk you through the entire process, but here is a list of items that you will definitely need to begin collecting autographs through the mail:
- Items to be signed – cards, index cards, etc.
- Stationary and envelopes
- Proper postage
- A source for addresses. I prefer SportsCollectors.Net, but there are other sites as well as Facebook groups dedicated to TTM collecting
- Patience- You never truly know if or when a request will be fulfilled, so be sure to adjust your expectations accordingly
A Note on TTM Collecting
Remember that one of the main tenants of TTM autographs is never to send something that you will be heartbroken to lose. Any number of situations might cause your item to not be returned to you, so you want to be very strategic about what you are sending out for signatures.
Trading cards are the easiest in terms of the shipping process and they can be inexpensive, depending on what you want to send. But, if you are looking to send pricier cards or other items, you may want to purchase a membership to SportsCollectors.Net, where you can get access to information about the signing habits of different individuals. Knowledge is the key to success, and the information you will receive from this site is well worth the $14.95 investment.