Online trading forums have a long history and over the next few blog posts I figured I would highlight a few.
One of the earliest that I have read about is OBC, see www.oldbaseball.com, a group with its beginnings on the Prodigy message boards of the early 1990s. The front page of their website indicates they are "celebrating 18 years of excellence". And indeed this group represents to me the gold standard of what an online trading group can be all about.
The focus of the group is collecting older baseball cards - the parameters are a little vague but I would say that most of the cards that get swapped are pre-1980 baseball.
The groups directory of members lists about 120 current members. The activities of the group are overseen by an advisory board which sets policy and rules of conduct. There is an application process. Quoting from their website:
All new applicants must be recommended by a current OBC member who has been a member for a minimum of 2 years. This Member or another Member will be assigned to serve as his mentor for a period of six months. The new applicants must also have two additional sponsors from current OBC members who have been members for a minimum of 2 years(OBCAC 5/00) (Revised AC 8/27/08). Each of the above 3 sponsors must provide a written recommendation for the applicant. At that time go to the application page and fill out the application. It normally takes 2 to 3 weeks for approval.
As compared to other trading venues online this may seem to be not worth the bother. But from my own experience with the Canadian Sports Card Traders (I will highlight the CSCT in a future post) the trust and friendship that can result from a group like this is well worth the effort.
I have developed quite an interest in pre 1980 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards and I hope to join this fine group in the near future. I will let everyone know how I make out. Till next time.