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Ever wondered just how much it costs to complete a sticker album?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Well, it’s been worked out by a number of Statisticians – and it’s a lot more than you would have ever expected.
I’ll use myself as an example - I’ve just started collecting the UEFA Champions League 2014-2015 sticker album and it’s got a pretty decent total of 634 stickers to collect...
So when I open my first single pack of stickers (which contain five stickers) I have 100 percent chance of getting a useful sticker – that is a non ‘swap’ or a duplicate. But as I begin to fill more and more empty spaces in my album the odds of opening a pack of duplicate stickers increase.

When you take into account the diminishing probability of getting a non swap each time you add fill another empty space in the album – it works at me having to buy about 4700 stickers!

Fortunately, this isn’t a particularly realistic scenario since who ever buys stickers or trading cards, without doing just that - trading?
Sylvain Sardy and Yvan Velenik from the University of Geneva explain it:
“Swapping is the best strategy:
It is possible to buy boxes containing 500 different stickers, and it is also possible to buy direct from Panini up to 50 specified stickers - when swapping with 9 other people: 1) buy a box, 2) buy 40 additional packets and swap the duplicates until at most 50 stickers are missing from your collection, 3) order the missing stickers from Panini. This takes it down to 750 stickers!”
Paninimania: sticker rarity and cost-effective strategy
While this ‘swapping’ plan is an admittedly a massive saving over the first and unrealistic non swapping idea, it still ends up costing over a 100 stickers in swaps. A way to further reduce your swap count even further is to list them on the Sticker swapping and card trading website www.stickerpoints.com. Assuming you have multiple swaps from more than one album you can effectively sell your swaps using the in site currency known as ‘Stickerpoints’- this enables you to buy the remaining stickers from others who have listed theirs.
This system eliminates the problem of one-to-one swapping, where one person has to find an exact swapping partner – where you have sticker a user needs and they also have the sticker you require. This system effectively introduces third, forth… even a hundred parties into the mix – effectively taking the cost of filling an album to be barely over 100% of the album total.
It’s pretty much the perfect system.