Im still here. Not a lot but i get on here and there. I do kinda miss the way it used to be. Was a time when you could make a topic and on the home page it was at the top of the list and 5 mins later it was gone already. Now sometimes you topic will stay up on the top list for a day or 2!
I do know several people got out of the hobby on here, so they also pretty much left the site as well. Some people left because it kept slowing down so they just jumped off the ship, and more that did it the slower it got and the more would leave.
Then you had the hack or whatever was going on for a while and what not. You also had where only Bob could allow new members on and there was a TON of people that tried to get on and just couldn't. And by the time someone else could do it those people were long gone.
Trading also slowed way down, not exactly sure why. I know some people stopped busting new stuff for one reason or another. Card company's losing contracts. Cost of products sky rocketing. Really bad high-end boxes. Lack of new ideas. The trashing of old good stuff that worked. Bad economy where people couldn't afford to collect as much or bust new stuff. Postage going up, so those tiny traded got to the point where it cost to much to do them. Other sites allowing rules to be broke (like paypal gift) so why would you do a deal here and pay fees, when the next site will let you avoid them.
I really see the whole card market honestly fading away. Not over night but I do see it coming. People are getting sick of the same stuff. And how many people can bust $100 packs and $500 boxes and get $20-$100 bucks back? And its not just a bad pack or 2 here and there. Like panini black. Even the big hits are not getting the cost back of a pack/box! And they put some players in there that made you scratch your head. The only way you come out ahead on a pack/box of this is if you pull a griffen or luck auto patch! Other wise it was a bust break. From all the breaks I watched on youtube and people listing there breaks on ebay. You also have the fakes market bigger then ever!! And not much to stop it. People swapping patches. People faking serial numbers. People faking graded cards. Fakes slipping by the company's that "authenticate" stuff. Fake autos on everything. So when you have a ton more fakes then real, its hard for people to spot the fakes. And if they are buying fakes for half the cost of a real, how can you sell the real one. Used to be a time you could spot 1-2 fakes in the mix of 100 real but now its hard to spot the real 1-2 in a 100 fakes.
Then you have online sellers now. Which has killed the local stores. Hard to sell something for $100 in your store, when you can go online and buy it for half as much and its comes right to your door. And with the online people are willing to all but give there stuff away, so you cant get much out of your stuff (if you have the same stuff). And you also now have more "flippers" or investors then actual collectors. They are buying boxes to bust just to resell the cards. Some of them don't even collect at all! I talked to a guy at a local card show they doesn't collect anything. He just buys and sells for a job. Which is fine if you have 1 here and 1 there, but there are to many people doing it. And you used to have people that collected there favorite team or players or sets. Now they only want the newest hottest thing out and only the top players. So unless you have those you cant get ride of much. And you get stuck with a ton of stuff you don't want and no one else does ether. And you are also getting the "false" idle that stuff is rare. Like 1/1's. Yes each is rare. But when there are 100 different 1/1's for each player in a set (like SPX moments) are they really that rare? The only difference in each one is the little moment in the card. And they are making 25 different versions of each card, like topps chrome has like 20 different refractors now. So even if each version is numbered to /25, you think those are rare, but when you have 20 different versions, there is 500 different cards for that one player. and when you have them /1 /10 /25 /50 /100 /250 /500 /1000 you can see they really are not as rare as you might believe. And you also have the people that only want and care about the "hits". Now days you cant really give away base, let alone sell them. Even the biggest players from the best products on bring a buck or 2. Used to be if you pulled a card /100 (that came 1 maybe 2 per box) that was a big hit and valuable now ever card in the box is /100. They have flooded the market with "rare" not so rare stuff. Now if it isn't rare people don't want it. And everything is centered around the newest group of rookies (3/4s of them will turn out to be bust or ok players) and all those cards will become pretty much junk. And when you end up with a closest full of those junk type cards that used to be hot stuff it makes you think back. If you love your cards then thats one thing. But its hard to sell and trade the stuff you don't want or collect anymore if it isn't worth anything. So its harder to get the stuff you do want unless you keep dumping money into it. Thats why trading is so hard now, unless you have the new best stuff.
There are just some many things going bad for the hobby as a whole. There are people making a killing doing nothing but scams with our hobby, you can only get burnt bad so many times before you just give up. You might be able to get burnt for $100 one or 2 times where what you bought is worthless, but can you 20-50 times? And how many bad boxes are you going to open at $100 each and get $20 back if your lucky. You have to win sometimes or you will stop!
So all that also plays a roll in these type of sites dieing down. I honestly think its the card market dieing more then the sites them self. And the site dieing is just one of the repercussions of the market dieing. No market, hard for the site thats dedicated to the market to survive. Just think of the pokemon market, and any sites they were just for that, I am sure 99% of them are toast. There card market pretty much died so did the sites for them (I don't know for sure, but I its not hard to see that being the case).
I don't want to sound negative but just saying what I see. I wish the site could revive and the hobby also but I don't honestly see it happening unless big change comes down the pipe line. If you ask me, I give the hobby 3-5 more years as we know it. Yes there will still be collectors and cards, but not like we know it now. Look at all the brands/company's that came alone and gone. Pacific, Collectors Edge, Fleer, Proset, Best, Action Packed, Pinnacle, and im sure there are some others. GONE. Well some are kinda other company's or there name like Fleer is owned by upperdeck. But upperdeck I think is on there last leg, losing licenses, law suites, stuff like that. And they only have so many college photos they can use (they didn't know this point would come) and people don't want to look at the same photo on ever card they have. And college stuff has never done really well like sage and press pass, hot when it come out, but dies ever year really fast once the other stuff comes out. They are always a half year hit at best. Some of the same for the other big players. The small guys will get crushed out. I could go on and on but I think I have way more then made to point.
Also graded cards I think are kinda dieing out. Because now most things are coming our near mint to mint or better most times. So everything is going to grade a 8 or 9 or better 9 out of 10 times. So the "desire" for a high grade is not like it used to be. And with all the cases for cards now, most are going to be in decent condition for a long time to come. Kinda why the old stuff in high grades brings so much money, they handled the cards back then, there was not really cases, off centering was a really common known thing in the hobby. Cards were in cheap tight packs and thin junk boxes so corners got beat up a lot before they ever came out of the packs or boxes. Now they come in boxes inside of boxes etc.
I give it 5 years and most of these big players will be gone. Not wishing that on them, but just where I see it going. It will come down to 1-2 company's left and they will be out of ideas so they will slowly die off as well. And most things having to do with them will goes as well.
But I do hope maybe the hobby and this site can make a comeback. I miss the old days on here.
Sorry if I made anyone who reads this feel down about our hobby.