Vault Collectors: What's it like to not have your cards in your possession?

You arent alone. I need to have it with me to get a sense of ownership and owning is a big part of what I collect. If I just wanted to see them and didnt care about ownership then I would look at scans, a digital pictureframe loaded with all cardarts is way way cheaper than what Ive spent. I thought about the vault but I dont really sell cards so Im not overly concerned about the savings and I want to be able to view them physically at any time I feel like it. Whip them out as a party trick (tada) or display as I see fit.
But I will say it is tempting because of how much space it would save.


I love using vaults.

They offer a lot of perks to me:

  • Sales tax benefits
  • Insurance
  • Near-perfect environmental conditions
  • Ease of purchase, sale, or transfer
  • HD scans
  • Quick shipping

Collections can become expensive, and vaults remove some of the liability and worry when it comes to insuring and storing your cards. I enjoy viewing the HD scans and zooming past the ability of the human eye. I find comfort knowing that they are kept safe, but also made available reasonably soon.

TL;DR: I save money and time by using vaults. I can access my cards when I need to. They also offer peace of mind, which is worth a lot to me.


It’s pretty cool to forget about cards and rediscover them later. With PWCC, I’d pick up random cards each week for years. PWCC would misprice them or not add an error to the title. So you scroll through and find cards you forgot about, and they’re cards you’re super stoked about. Old you was looking out for future you. It’s an awesome feeling I don’t know any other way to describe.


pfm taking cards out of the vault like a dad taking the kids for a weekend visit


Bro what :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Nothing sadder than the look on a PSA 9’s face when you say you won’t be going fishing that weekend after all. “Some other time,” you say. That’s what you always say…


As someone who is international (in New Zealand), it realistically is the only way for me to buy things without paying ludicrous shipping. That being said vaults are ok, but living internationally is depressing.

What’s it like?

It sucks on days where you want to look at some specific card(s) but can’t.
So it sucks around 10-20 days a year.
The rest of the time, you feel good that your cards are safely stored away.

For me, I think its reasonable to have 20 sucky days in exchange for 300+ feelgood ones.


This is fair.

Personally I don’t get it. I only collect because I want to hold the cards and enjoy them.

If it got to a point where I was having to vault stuff because I either couldn’t store it anymore or I was getting concerned about security/theft etc. then I just wouldn’t collect anymore. I prefer the lightness of not having to manage any of this stuff and also not having to maintain, curate, and secure material possessions (myself or via a Vault service).

To me it’s similar to having no desire if owning something like an Audi RS6 if I could afford to do so. All of the stress of having it stolen, being followed, having my home broken into for the keys (very common with modern, steal-to-order performance/luxury cars), and investing in heaps of deterrents such as wheel clamps and specialist immobiliser systems…what is the point? I know people who have had their house broken into and decided to just get rid of the car because it isn’t worth the safety of their family being compromised. I also know somebody who had an Audi RS4 stolen from them while they were at a wedding venue.

I’d rather drive a junker or what I do now - an older BMW which is a desirable model but only amongst those in the know and not worth stealing in terms of monetary value. I get to scratch my petrolhead itch and not be looking over my shoulder all the time. I equate this to how I prefer NM-LP binder sets and enjoy the cards but not worry about securing thousands of pounds worth of slabs or uber-rare cards.

No doubt somebody will try and pick holes in my car comparison but that’s just how I personally see it.

Absolutely NOTHING against those that collect the high end stuff and utilise vault services. This isn’t an attack or a criticism of anybody because everybody’s thoughts and circumstances are different. This is just the personal stance of somebody who always wants to own LESS stuff and be more free without having stuff in storage either.


I just want to iterate that this is my stance as well. “Why are people different from me?” are usually the worst kinds of threads and I don’t usually make them. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that this is some sort of veiled call out topic.

It’s an aspect of the hobby that provides a tremendous amount of value to certain kinds of collectors, but not without sacrificing what I consider the fundamental appeal of collection - the personal possession. I think that’s interesting. I want to hear about the experience and how people’s relationships to their collections do or do not change based on that.


Given my recent theft which wouldn’t have happened had I left things in my vault… I’m totally fine knowing they are secure somewhere else. The scans are fine to look at for me.


Worst nightmare stuff. :frowning:

I don’t have a vault, but I’m in a similar boat as @joponnes, where everything I buy outside of the European Union will go to my US middleman. I usually ship one big package twice a year to my place. So although I do eventually get all the cards and other stuff I’ve ordered, and won’t cross them off my checklist until I actually have them in my hands, I do take them of my wanted list and know I will eventually get them (about 1-1.5 months after I decide to let my middleman ship everything towards me).

It can sometimes be annoying if you want to share a set of something, and the last piece is at your middleman. But at the same time, it’s a lot of fun to open one big package of A LOT of stuff at once, once every while.
And for me, it likely saves ~500-1000 USD, if not more, each year on shipping + import fees… So yeah, I don’t mind being patience halve a year longer for my stuff. :wink: Not to mention that a lot of stuff I buy from the US only has domestic shipping enabled to begin with.

If an off-site vault would have been an option for me and I would never have it in hands however, it would only be for items I bought to eventually sell again (which I do close to never tbh). Stuff for my personal collection, I do eventually want to actually own in person, so I defintely would not be a ‘vault collector’ even if it was an option.



If you have your cards in a vault, you don’t have cards, you have NFTs.


Dumb question but could one go see the vault in person if they wanted to see their cards. Like could i go to a physical place and look at them and leave?
Edit: I should clarify. I think it would put my mind at ease if i could do that literally once. Kind of like checking on your kids at daycare

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Reading the cope in this thread is delicious as I roll around like smaug on the cards in my physical possession


I don’t know if PWCC would allow something like that unless you are taking them out of the vault completely and just picking them up, but I know in person pick up is a possibility

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Pwcc doesn’t do that. I think it’s a safety precaution against theft


In person pick up settles me a little bit. The thought of never even seeing a building kind of stresses me out. I know they are safe there and its a me problem but yall get it.

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