Guest Blog Post: Women In Collecting

by Ashley Reyes

I am counting down the days until the NSCC. But, as a woman, I also dread certain aspects of it. Such as, will I hear comments that I don’t belong? Will I be assumed to be there just for the purpose of pushing my husband’s wheelchair. I take the high road and don’t tell them they’re wrong, but it bothers me that my gender still means so much to some. They say we are taking over “their sports,” by having professional levels of basketball, soccer, and limited forays into softball and football, but the truth is that they aren’t watched in the numbers that their male counterparts are. They say we are taking over “their hobby” by being involved. I know men who quilt, crochet and knit, and I couldn’t be prouder. But in a hobby that some say is dying, does it really matter? If people are buying cards and paying attention, I’m personally thrilled no matter what gender, color, or orientation a person is. No one should ever feel embarrassed by their choice of hobby. Personally, I play video games, collect cards, and yes; sew, knit, quilt and crochet. In a time where 85% of all purchases are decided by women, does it really make sense to see anything as male only anymore?

On the website listed below, they have some pretty interesting statistics as to viewership of sports and even merchandise purchasing. With women accounting for:

  • 47.2 % of major league soccer fans
  • 46.5% of MLB fans
  • 43.2% of NFL fans
  • 40.8% of fans at NHL games
  • 37% of NBA fans
  • Women purchase 46% of official NFL merchandise
  • Women spent 80% of all sport apparel dollars and controlled 60% of all money spent on men’s clothing
  • Women comprise about one-third (34%) of the adult audience for ESPN sport event programs

Why would collecting be any different? We make buying decisions, we care about the teams and players, and we like collecting too. My husband may laugh at some of the reasons I give for my decisions on whether or not to buy a product, but they have a purpose – if it’s not outstanding, I don’t want it. I don’t care for sets that look like they took last year’s failed idea and threw into production because they had nothing better; I want clean, crisp and thoughtfully designed cards.  I want something that looks like they cared enough to really think about how it would look, feel, and yes, smell; because nobody wants to get high off the boxes. What I look for most in a product is a common theme – that the insert set flows with the rest of the set. As much as I love butterflies, I don’t care  for them as inserts in my baseball card set. Yes, they look awesome, but I buy cards for autographs and patches. With swatches and patches, I want to see color, to know where in the jersey it came from.  I like acetate and acrylic as they give the clean and uncluttered appearance, but I’m not a big fan of metallics.  Any set with too many metallics, or too many refractors, and they no longer become special or unique.

So, yes, I’m a woman who collects cards. I’m also a woman who knows what I want and what to look for, and most importantly, I buy what I love.  I’m not asking for the cards to be designed differently, or even marketed differently, just for those in the industry to take us seriously and realize we watch, we buy, and yes – we collect. So the next time you are at your local card shop, or a show, don’t dismiss that woman or girl you see; see her as part of the next generation.

(Data from:

SCB Note: Ashley Reyes is a regular reader of the blog and wanted to contribute on her thoughts and experiences as a woman involved in card collecting. You can follow her on Twitter @cardgirlashley. I invite other women to share their thoughts on gender and collecting in the comments below.