Friday, November 13, 2020

A PSA On The Plight Of PSC

I have a testimonial, a confession if you will. I need to bring to light an issue that affects hundreds of card collectors every year. It is my hope that by sharing my story, I can break the stigma and let my fellow collectors know that you are not alone. You no longer need to be embarrassed.

My name is Matt, and I suffer from PSC.

Premature Set Completion (PSC) is no laughing matter. That high you get knowing you've completed a set is replaced by despair and panic at the discovery of a missing card. It's the nightmare of seeing the finishing line, touching it, but unable to break through.

My story began last month. I had made a trade that crossed off the last cards I needed to complete the 1989 Fleer set. I was excited to put this one to bed, cross it off my So Close page, and move on to something new. As I was putting those last few cards away in their proper chronological order, I noticed a gap in the numerical sequence. Card #25, Bob Welch, was not there. Images of the card filled my head. I knew I had it! I checked to see if it was stuck to another card. I searched the entire set making sure it was not just misfiled. The card wasn't there. I searched the box containing my doubles - not there either. I checked my collection on the TCDB, looking at the history and trying to get an idea of where it might be based on when I added it. No luck. Where did it go? I remembered seeing it, and recently too! It just disappeared...

Fortunately my story had a happy ending. I found the card. It was exactly where it was supposed to be - in my Time Travel Trading box! It turns out I never really had a copy for my set, just the one that was traded to me as part of this side project. I guess when I entered it into the TCDB, I mistakenly put it in my main collection instead of the separate collection I keep for the project. Easy enough to fix, and now I can safely say after multiple verifications that this set is well and truly done!
There are many stories like mine. That missing card mocks you, laughs at you, dares you to remember where it went. Did you trade it? Did it fall behind a desk? Did you ever really possess it? Now it is the time my brothers and sisters to come out of the shadows, to own your truth. Share your PSC stories, and know I feel your pain. We will get through this together!


  1. PSC panic is real. I feel like it happens to me with 50% of the sets I build. As soon as I complete it... I always go back and double check "one more time" just to make sure... and I feel like there's always a card that I miss.

  2. Yes, that's happened to me many times.

  3. it's quite real. i dislike it most when a missing card is near the front of the binder. I hate unpaging so many cards to fill in a spot. Grrr...

  4. Thank you for calling attention to this serious affliction. I, too, have suffered from PSC. It causes me to triple-check each card by hand whenever I acquire new set fillers. TCDB isn't enough, any checklist can fall victim to simple human error. Make sure you check every card by hand! :-)

    Good to see you did infact have the Welch in your possession.

  5. I'm pretty sure that it's happened to every set collector at least once.

  6. Like Fuji, I always double-check every card once I think the set is complete. And more than once I've discovered a missing card or two. Thankfully, they've been common cards that have been easy to pick up. Regardless, it sure is nice when you finally do have that last card in hand.