Inside the Pack: What to Do if You’re Not Going to The National

I love going to the National, and I wish that I could go every year. Unfortunately, work and life prevent me from being able to make the trek every year, and some years, like this year, I have to make the tough decision to skip out. If, like me, you won’t be attending this year, there are plenty of other card-related things you can do.

Scour eBay for good deals. The common thinking has long been that card sales are slower on eBay during the National because a large chunk of buyers are preoccupied and spending money at the show. I don’t buy that, because everyone is tethered to their phone, where they can still make purchases. Instead, I have found over the years that sales slow the Wednesday and Thursday before and Sunday and Monday after the show, when everyone is traveling, because it’s much harder to check your phone when you’re driving or flying. So, keep an eye out for auctions ending on those days.

Attend the “Twitter National.” Designed for card collectors on Twitter who can’t attend the National in person, the Twitter National features 75 of the biggest Twitter sellers over two days of digital deal-making. To join, check out #TwitterNational2 on Twitter.

Have a friend who is attending the National look out for you. If you know someone going, ask if they would be willing to take a wantlist from you, or have them call or video chat with you when they see something you may be interested in. It’s not the same as being there in person, but it’s close.

Make plans for next year. I’m already looking at lodging for next year’s National in Rosemont and figuring out other travel arrangements. If you can swing it in 2023, start planning now!

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