One of the things that was a staple of collecting sports cards as a kid was trading. I would have an album of cards that came with me to school, summer camp, when I went to hang out with friends, whenever -- and I was always ready to trade dupes for cards I needed.
When collecting hit the internet age, trading came with it -- but there were always bumps in the road. How trustworthy was this stranger? What if the item wasn't as nice as they said it was? It took way more research than just trading a Mattingly for a Hernandez with the kid who hated the Mets and lived around the corner.
As I re-entered the autograph realm, I've been posting my successes and scans over at StarTiger (the best subscription site I've seen for this hobby); and out of the blue had a trade offer in my inbox this week. I arrived home from work tonight to find a couple of autographs in my mailbox. One of them was this nearly 40-year-old issue of Hockey Illustrated signed by Guy LaFleur, and it may be one of the coolest ever additions to my collection. Not only does it have a clear, crisp signature on the front; it's chock full of stories and ads that are just fun to read in hindsight.
So, no, trading isn't dead -- it just takes a little more legwork than it used to; unless you have a Met-hating neighbor around the corner who happens to collect autographs.