Archive for the Misc. Category

Twitter sale is reminder that “value” of cards varies from person to person

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on January 23, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

For about a year I’ve had six 500-count boxes sitting on my card desk. The boxes contained partial baseball and football Topps sets from 1980-1985.

They were partial/starter sets I acquired with the intent to either 1) complete the sets, or 2) sell them to someone who needed them.

Well, they sat … and sat … and sat.

The mere sight of them often sent me into a tailspin as I could not muster the idea of spending an hour to determine what was there so I could post it on eBay with hopes that someone would take them off my hands. The resell value wasn’t nearly as good as I had hoped.

And then yesterday, after dropping off my kids at school, something clicked. Just get them out of the house, and reduce that stress.

So I spent 30 minutes counting the cards that we’re within and then offered the lots for sale on Twitter, which is sometimes hit and miss for sales on items that are not presently hot in our hobby.

For about 10 minutes the post sat. Then a follower of mine hit the DM and said he was interested.

This sale was confirmed and I was happy to hear the cards were going to a good home. What’s even better is the buyer advised they would essentially replace cards he lost in a flood some 30-plus years ago.

The economic value of the starter sets isn’t high — and the buyer understood that. The lots were void of the big star rookies and even the stars. But this also reset the notion of “value” for me a bit.

I had approached this the wrong way. I was looking at “value” based on what I saw on eBay, and the lack of “big payday” actually was hindering my process. Hell, at one point I was even regretting the purchase I made when I acquired these … because in some ways I had placed no value in the cards themselves because they no longer fit my collecting style.

But this transaction is a win-win for Scott (the buyer) and myself. Not only did I get the items out of my house and into a collector’s hands, but it was humbling and served a reminder that the value of our cards — while often tied to money — is often a personal experience.

One could look at these boxes as stacks of commons and donate them or toss them in the trash. Another could look at these partial sets and see potential, but then sit on then for years and gain stress from not moving them. And yet another person could look at the lot and see items representing a piece of their childhood.

The sale didn’t make me rich or even net me a profit; but it made me feel like I had made a giant sale as I had lightened my load and recouped a portion of what I spent on these cards and others.

Tom Brady: A constant reminder I quit football cards too early

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Tom Brady is headed back to the Super Bowl, and sadly I’ve still got nothing to show for it.

No rookie cards. No autographs. No relics.

Just some basic Brady cards that managed to find their way into my collection.

You see, I made a decision around 2002 to stop regularly buying football cards. Like many, there was a time I collected cards of the four major sports. But by the time I was nearing the legal drinking age I was in college and tried to focus on my passion of baseball cards and tinker less with football.  In my mind I had already reached the peak of that segment of the hobby with a very successful 1998 – I managed to pull both Randy Moss and Fred Taylor from the same box of SP Authentic, and then hit both Dan Marino and Joe Montana autographs from the same box of SPX Finite that year. That success then caused me to have feelings of doubling down in 1999 with that massive quarterback class, most of whom washed out of the league within a few seasons.  And by year 2000 I decided Peter Warrick was the second coming of Randy Moss and Jerry Rice, and Chad Pennington was definitely the new Joe Namath. I think you see I failed miserably.

Opening the 2001 season, Tom Brady was still just a backup to Drew Bledsoe. His rookie cards were mere commons. Hell, I owned one – 2000 Upper Deck Black Diamond – and I let it sit in a penny sleeve among a bunch of defensive player rookie cards.

Well, by 2001 I had become so jaded by miserable purchases of 1999 and 2000 that I pretty much decided I was done with the football segment of the hobby.  I purchased less football in 2001, and even less by 2002. And in 2003 I sold it all – save for the Brady Black Diamond rookie because I had already unloaded it for like $15 the moment its status as non-common changed. (side note, the Brady is like a $300-$600 Card now, the one shown about is a PSA 9 on COMC.) You see, while I was the only person in my college Sports Psychology class at San Jose State University to actually pick the Patriots over the Rams during that year’s Super Bowl, I still didn’t quite buy the notion of Bledsoe permanently being unseated as the Patriots signal caller.

Well, I was wrong.

Bledsoe was done in New England and Brady was just getting started, ushering in a whole new generation of Patriots fans, and creating new standards by which we measured quarterbacks.

Because of the way I collected cards, I know that if I had stayed with football cards, I likely would have obtained multiple Tom Brady rookies at some point. Maybe not the Holy Grail Rookie Contenders autograph, but I still would have had many, especially that 2000 Bowman Chrome card, which to me seems like a must-own for hobbyists.

Alas, here I am some 15-plus years later reminiscing about what could have been — the prices of his standard rookie cards are insane — and the only thing I have to show for it is a blog post about a card I used to own.

 

Why I’m sometimes scared to tell people what I collect

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on January 18, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I was listening to/watching About The Cards (link) the other night and one of the topics that came up is one that really hit home with me.

The guys were telling stories about how sometimes they are seemingly pressured into making deals with people for items solely because the other person — who initiated the deal — invested time to separate, sort and sometimes transport or ship cards for a potential deal, even if the perimeters of the deal had not been set.

Surely we’ve all experienced such things. You tell someone you collect a certain player or set, and suddenly they’ve amassed a lot of several dozens or hundreds of cards after a few days and they expect the world in return, sometimes cash or cards of top players. And if you tell them you that you already have those cards or for whatever reason don’t want the cards there are some hurt feelings and sometimes some pressure solely because they’re making you feel guilty.

This is why I am sometimes scared to tell people I collect certain players. I mean it’s no secret now that I collect Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw, I do have that posted on some of my feeds. But for a time I kept that information out of the spotlight because I didn’t want to deal with these situations where people are offering me 400 Clemens cards, all from 1988-1991 and expecting that I will trade them all of my Mike Trouts, Bryce Harpers, rookies of hot players, etc. Even now that my PC guys are posted, I try not to engage in discussions where it’s an open-ended trade unless I’m feeling OK with the deal (i.e., me trading a few commons to a set collector for my PC guys). Sometimes I’ll do such deals to help someone else out.

So I have the following five general tips I offer and use myself when trading:

  1. If you’re setting cards aside to make a trade, understand that any time and effort you invest is solely on you. Do not put pressure on the trading partner to compensate you for the time and effort. If you pulled 500 cards and all I need is 50, don’t expect me to take all 500 solely because you spent two weeks putting them together — unless that was part of the agreement.
  2. If sending bulk lot(s) in exchange for someone else’s bulk lot(s), expect that the incoming lot(s) will be valued at less than what you’re sending. This will temper your expectations and possible feelings of being “ripped off.”
  3. Don’t trade high-end items with someone you don’t know or have a history with. Pretty obvious.
  4. Come to an agreement on shipping method. Plain white envelope (PWE) works for some people and in some cases. But know that using such low quality shipping can result in damaged cards. Some collectors want no part of receiving cards in PWEs, so if you’re doing anything less than a bubble mailer, that should be worked out before hand.
  5. If you initiate contact with someone who collects a certain player or team and you want to send them stuff under the guise of “just send me something later,” either 1) expect nothing in return, 2) expect that the return may not be of equal “value.” If those aren’t things you accept, then don’t send anything unless a proper structured deal is in place.

I promise to pay …

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 16, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Folks, when you make an offer on a Buy It Now item on eBay, there is kind of an unwritten agreement that you’re going to pay for that item in a fair amount of time … Still coming up with excuses three weeks later is not the right way to do it.

About two weeks ago I wrote (Link) about the non-paying buyer issue that has been hitting me in recent months. Toward the end of that piece I documented the sale of a pair of cards for $200 just before the new year, but a week later I had not received payment.

Well, here we are almost three weeks after the sale and … all I’ve got is a promise that the buyer will pay.

Here’s the skinny:

I sent three reminders to the buyer and on that third one, the buyer advised that he was waiting for others to pay for items that were purchased from him so that he could pay for my items. He promised to pay me soon.

So I waited three more days … and send another reminder, which went unanswered.

I then sent a fifth reminder on Jan 15, almost 20 days after the purchase agreement was made, and the buyer responds, advising that he promises to pay me at some point in the next few weeks.

No, We’re done. A case has been opened.

This practice is unacceptable. If you do not have the ability to buy an item, DO NOT BUY THE ITEM. No seller should reasonably wait more than a few days unless some other agreement has been made BEFORE THE OFFER WAS ACCEPTED. And if some circumstance arises where you cannot pay, then YOU should be contacting the seller and not wait to be hounded about the issue.

San Francisco TRISTAR 2019 show appears to be postponed

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , on January 15, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

For more than two decades, collectors in the San Francisco Bay Area have had the opportunity to head to the Cow Palace in San Francisco for the annual TRISTAR Productions show, a three-day show typically held in April which is chock full of card and memorabilia dealers, and a slew of athletes signing autographs.

But over the weekend I caught wind from Tim Shepler (@bigshep79), a fellow collector in California and current co-host of podcast “About The Cards” (watch/listen on iTunes and YouTube, it’s good times), that dealers at a Sacramento card show over the weekend were saying the TRISTAR show may not be happening this year.

And so I asked TRISTAR via Twitter DM.  The response confirmed that there will not be a TRISTAR show here in April.

“The San Francisco Bay Area, one of the country’s premier collectible markets, has been an annual stop on the TRISTAR show circuit for the past 22 years and is a market where we have produced tremendous collector shows,” The Direct Message stated. “In recent years, TRISTAR’s annual Bay Area show has occurred in the month of April. TRISTAR will not be producing a show in the Bay Area market in April 2019.”

The response continued, “While we do not have definitive dates set for our next Bay Area TRISTAR show, we continue to believe that this is a tremendous sports card / memorabilia market and look forward to returning to the San Francisco Bay Area.”

This is a bummer for me personally.  This show is the one regional show I really got geared up for, routinely taking the Friday off work so I can be at the show when the doors opened to the public on the first day.  And this year, I was hoping to take my 8-year-old son who just started collecting.

While TRISTAR did not provide a reason for the changed in plan, it also did not explicitly rule out a return to the area during a different time of the year.

In 2012 this show was the source of many great scores for me personally, including a pair of Mike Trout Bowman Chrome Rookie refractors for 50 cents each. Those are documented here in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

Project Organize: Big Problem With Small Cards

Posted in Misc., Project Organize with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

As mentioned recently, the only real hobby goal I have for 2019 is to be more organized.  What that will eventually look like is somewhat unknown.  But my initial plan was to move a lot of cards out of boxes and into binder pages.

I set the ground work for this on Black Friday when I purchased a box of 100 BCW 15-pocket pages from Blowout Cards to house tobacco size cards. (side note, I prefer Ultra Pro Products but a sale is a sale.) Up to this point I had a few hundred already in a binder, but I had several hundred more just sitting in other boxes.  The odd size makes them fun, but also presents storage challenges.

So Wednesday night while watching the Golden State Warriors take down the New York Knicks I decided to get cracking on this “small” problem.

I located two plastic boxes that housed my Gypsy Queen, Allen & Ginter, Golden Age minis … and then I located even more in another box. And as I kept looking I kept finding these little cards mixed in all over the place. It was akin to when you visit someone with a pet – suddenly you start finding cat and dog hair everywhere.

So I culled them (at least what I was finding in front of me) and placed them on my ottoman. Then I located my binder of minis and realized I have a HUGE problem with these little cards: I freaking love them … but do I love them all? Like do I love them all enough to keep them all?

Am I the only one with this problem?

I know of at least one other guy, (what’s up, Olds?) who also enjoys the minis, but does anyone else actually collect them, or are they merely piling up because they feel special and you can’t get rid of them?

Personally, I really enjoy the Ginter minis, but I’ve yet to really find a focus with them. And while I am building a 2014 Gypsy Queen mini set (I’ll post a need list later), a lot of the stuff – including dupes — just sits there.

If you’re in search of anything from 2010-present with minis let me know, I’ve probably got something you need.

When your friend says he brought you two balls…

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

“Hey, I placed two balls in your mailbox.”

That’s an actual quote from a co-worker.  Fortunately the co-workers is a good friend, and the balls were in fact baseballs, not something else.

This friend is a guy whom I’ve written about before. He has an extensive game-used NFL jersey collection, and sometimes dabbles in game-used baseball items.  I assist him occasionally in photo matching items and he sometimes randomly surprises me with gifts.

Today was one of those days. The gifts included two baseballs, both of which he wanted me to guess the signature before he told me.

The first ball was inside a red Rawlings brand cardboard box. I opened the box and instantly recognized the poorly faded chicken scratch as that of Red Sox legend Jim Rice. What’s cool is the ball is inscribed with “MVP 78.”  The ball is authenticated by Celebz Direct, which is a company from which I have purchased before, they contract with players to do signing, and from time to time sell collections acquired from the player.

The second ball stumped me initially, but I was able to figure it out with the assistance of the Internet.  Not only is the ball signed, it apparently is the ball that Cleveland Indians closer Michael Jackson used to shut down the Detroit Tigers on July 25, 1998. It was Jackson’s 25th save of the season. The signature is again authenticated by the aforementioned Celebz Direct.

Neither of the balls would fetch big money on the open market, but neither of them are intended for the market – they’re heading into my show case to go with other signed and game-used baseballs I’ve acquired over the years.

Thanks for the baseballs, friend.  Can’t wait to see the new loot you picked up.