Time to reload my COMC inventory

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on September 5, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

As I sit here and write this, I am in the midst of preparing my first shipment of cards to send to COMC, the consignment site I’ve been using for almost a decade now. I had been a frequently submitter of cards in the early years and as fees have increased, I had decreased the number of times I sent cards to the Washington company.

Part of my reasoning was the market was flooded so it had become harder to move inventory. Also, it hurt me to pay money to the company up front to sell cards I already owned.

But, in recently weeks I’ve been shifting my thinking. I had been selling some lower end items on eBay in the last two months, which is cool when the listings are free — eBay usually offers 100 free postings per month and frequently surprises seller with the option to list an addition 200 or 300 as well. But once you break that 100 free posting mark, you’re looking at a charge of at least $0.35 per listing …. so it’s pretty much on par with COMC prices. And if the cards are with COMC I don’t have to worry about the post office trips.

And so I am now preparing several hundred cards for submission of varying price levels, and the idea of moving the cards out of my house is exciting me.

If you’re so inclined you can book mark my port. I do have some items still posted for sale there, but others will show up at some point. When those items pop at COMC, I’ll post again here.

MojoMailday: Beating The Odds with Refractors

Posted in Mail Day with tags , , , , , , on September 4, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Every few weeks I like to participate in a break with MojoBreak and more times than not so look to grab a Dodgers spot because … I collect Clayton Kershaw.

Sometimes the break is priced so fairly that I can’t help but take a shot even if the odds are greatly against me. Such was the case last week when the site broke a mixer of 5 Topps MLB products. The assortment consisted of 2018 Bowman’s Best, and then 2019 editions of Bowman, Stadium Club, Topps Chrome and Five Star.

Well, I definitely beat the odds. First in the single box of Stadium Club there was a Sandy Koufax Chrome Orange Refractor /99. Then in Topps Chrome there was a gold Refractor Clayton Kershaw /50.

It’s true I probably could have gotten both Koufax and Kershaw for about the same price that I paid for the break spot, but then I wouldn’t have this fun story about beating the odds.

The kicker here is I also got a Walker Buehler Bowman’s Best Rookie Refractor, so that’s a trio of shiny Dodgers arms I have added to my collection.

The joy of a podcast

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on September 3, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

No, this is not an announcement. Cardboard Icons is not starting as podcast.

Rather this quick post is to point out that I’ve been appreciating recently the podcast that Dr. James Beckett, founder and former CEO of Beckett Publications, has been putting out for the last month or two.

I found Beckett’s podcast “Sports Card Insights” last week after getting current on the other card podcasts I listen to and let me tell you, I rather enjoy what Beckett brings to the table. His style is not flashy, his method of speech may not be for everyone, and his views may be a bit old school, but for my taste this is exactly what I needed at this time in my hobby life.

I enjoy the stories and insights, love the “origin story” episodes, and dig the knowledge that this man and his guests bring. I’ll reiterate this: I needed this right now as I am very much in another hobby funk, where I am questioning what I own, why I own it, how long I should own it, how much money I spend versus the enjoyment I get out of things, and really how I am coping with the new landscape of the hobby/business.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Beckett at the 2014 National in Cleveland. I was there as a freelancer for Beckett Media and I was walking the show floor with former editor Chris Olds at the time when Olds pointed him out. As it turned out, I had a reproduction copy of the first Beckett Baseball with me and three of the Topps All-Time Favorite cards in a box I was carrying. The hobby legend gave me a few moments of his day — he was going through a box buying for his collection so I appreciated the time — and he signed a few items for my collection.

In case you were wondering, I listen to two card-related podcasts at the moment, “About the Cards” and “The Hype” presented by MojoBreak. “About The Cards” is run by a few guys, two of whom I had been Twitter friends with for a few years — the third of which has become a guy I also enjoy quite a bit. Their podcast presents an enjoyable format for my tastes. And MojoBreak is one of the largest online breakers and seeing as how they are located about 10 minutes from my house I feel like I need to support them.

I have also listened to Chris Harris in his one episode and would totally listen to more if they ever come. I have tried SportsCardRadio but I’ll be honest, it’s just not my taste — the focus is on a lot of the negative aspects. And while the information can be good, it also detracts from my ability to enjoy the hobby. It’s a personal taste. And occasionally I’ll peak in on “GoGTS Live” with Rob and Ivan, but it’s not a show I consume at this time, of course that’s not to say I never will.

FOMO almost got me today — Damn you and your clearance 2018 Topps products

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on August 26, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

After dropping off my kids at school this morning, I stopped for a second to take a deep breath and appreciate the first of my days off. Of course I made the cardinal sin of looking at Twitter during this process.

And there they were, just as they had been all weekend, more goddamn posts about marked-down 2018 Topps products showing up in Wal-Mart. People were posting multiple hanger boxes and value packs showing the Clearance sticker, and others posting images of the cards they pulled while chasing Ronald Acuna Jr super short print variations in 2018 Topps Series 2; and while busting all 2018 Topps Update in sight hunting for Ronald Acuna Jr rookie cards that have been in big demand recently with the youngster chasing the 40-homer, 40-steal milestone.

Now, the marked-down products have been seen at Wal-Mart stores across the country. And for me, the actual number of Wal-Mart locations in my area that actually carry cards has been reduced to ONE. Just one … and it’s like 12 miles from where I live. So if the proximity of said Wal-Mart was closer, my ass would likely be at the store looking for these products too, so I can’t say I’m being super strong here. But fact is I fought off the urge to make the drive — even if I had a friend with whom I was texting urging me to go.

But this is the world we live in.

We are GREATLY influenced by what we see on social media. We buy more stuff that we need; we shop more frequently even if it’s “just to see”; we are all looking to be that next guy who achieves hobby greatness by pulling a monster card “from a blaster at (insert store name here).”

Of course no one talks about the amount of time, the amount of gas, the amount of money spent on blasters, packs or whatever that don’t have cards that make us feel great about our purchase, or make us hobby legends — even if just for a day or so — in the eyes of our social media peers. And the cycle continues regardless of our results. We’ve created a card culture with real FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and a lot of it is generated on social media. We’ve created a chase for items that are not always rare. This is why so many of us often find an excuse to go to Target, Wal-Mart of whatever retail store sells cards. Three months ago we chased Bowman; two months ago it was Bowman Mega Boxes; and over the last month it’s been Topps Chrome and Allen & Ginter, and now these damn discounted 2018 Topps products.

I am guilty.

I buy stuff sometimes because I see others busting the products; I buy stuff because the hunt brings a short-term adrenaline rush. I am fucking guilty because I LOVE pulling something shiny and signed that makes others also want to own the card.

I am goddamn complicit in this cycle … and I am sorry.

I go through times of strengths and weakness in this hobby. I am not sure in what category I should place today’s feelings and actions. But it does feel good to write it out, instead of checking out with another stack of product I do not care about.

This is NOT to say I will not buy cards anymore. I truly do love them. But I am tired of allowing my FOMO take control of my thoughts and actions, especially when I have so much else to do.

Thanks for reading.

Collecting Kershaw: We have a trade! My nephew and I have struck a deal!

Posted in Collecting Kershaw, Misc. with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

National Baseball Card Day has come and gone. Both of my kids and my nephew have ripped their packs and between them have amassed some four Clayton Kershaw cards for 2019 NBCD.

Me?

Nope. Not I. None for the guy who actually collects Kershaw. Well, that is until now.

My nephew — a Giants fan — had a pair of them. I asked if he would trade one and he agreed. (Side note, I checked with his parents first and they were OK with it — I already told them I was going to purposely overpay in trade for the Kershaw.)

So I dug through my boxes and grabbed a handful of Giants. And when it came down to it, I offered him 12 cards for his one.

In exchange for his Kershaw Card, I sent him cards of Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Juan Marichal, Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Bruce Bochy, and Will Clark, whose shirt my nephew wore to school today.

If you’re counting,that’s just 11 names. Who was the 12Th? I actually offered him a Clayton Kershaw Card in the trade — so he could have another one. And in true Giants fashion, he handed it back and said he didn’t need another one.

Absolute comedy.

I sent a message to his parents letting them know a deal had been consummated. His mom (my sister) replied: “All of that for ONE? … You really wanted it.”

I told her that I could buy these Kershaws all day for like a quarter each, but I wanted to see his smile. Also, trading cards with my nephew is absolutely priceless.

The unexpected: Tatis Jr. auto pulled from NBCD Week 2 packs

Posted in Collecting With Kids, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on August 19, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

If you follow me on Twitter then you’ve probably already seen a tweet about this. But seeing as how this blog is sort of doubles as my collecting diary, I shall document it here as well.

This weekend marked the second half of The National Baseball Card Day promotion from Topps, and as such card shops across the country were giving out packs (if there were any left over) and a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. promo card to customers who made purchases.

I had the kids last weekend, and because of my work schedule and the co-parenting schedule I have with my ex, my kids were with their mother this weekend.

I was able to take the kids to South Bay Sports Cards (Sunnyvale, Calif) on Aug. 10 for the first day of the promotion, which I wrote about last week. And this week I asked her to take the kids, which she agreed to do — hey we’re on good terms, and she knows my kids are into collecting.

The kids made their purchase and got some free Topps NBCD packs and the Vlad Card given away this week. The shop gave the kids two packs each, and unbeknownst to me, they also gave them packs to give to me as well.

I got the kiddos back from their mom on Sunday evening and after getting them, my son told me they had two unopened NBCD packs for me, which damn near brought a tear to my eye. I was totally surprised.

He showed me what he and his sister got in their packs — including a Clayton Kershaw I still don’t have — and then I opened mine, hoping to nail the aforementioned Kershaw card for my collection.

Well, no Kershaw for me, but something crazy happened — I hit an auto of one of the top rookies this year, Fernando Tatis Jr.!

Absolute insanity.

This is the second time in four years that my family has pulled an autograph from NBCD packs, and as you probably know, that’s not a simple task. In 2016 my daughter hit a Greg Bird while wearing her fancy dress, a moment that aided in my family being in an advertorial from Blowout Cards discussing the excitement about National Baseball Card Day.

While I was excited and surprised to have pulled an auto from the packs, I wish my son was the one who pulled the card seeing as how he has taken a liking to this hobby. But he was excited for me, for us, nonetheless. Rest assured that the Tatis Card, serial numbered 110/150 is off the market — the card goes into the Forever Collection, which consists of rare/good cards pulled by my kids or by me while creating hobby memories with them, and other things I’ve pulled and decided to never part with.

The most annoying question in our hobby: How much is this card worth?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Raise your hand if your seen this before:

Guy buys into a break or opens a box of cards. Hits something they know is desirable. Then … they hit social media with some variation of the following:

“I just got this badboy. Anyone know how much it’s worth?”

It happens all day, every day, and with more frequency as folks blindly buy into breaks just hoping to pull the next winning lottery ticket. And as such, when someone hits a big card, their immediate thought isn’t that it’s a good addition to their collection. The question is, how much can I sell it for?!

I understand that the current state of our hobby has an emphasis on ripping and flipping, but it’s complete nonsense to see time and time again the question about how much a card will fetch on the secondary market. I seriously question how many collectors there are compared to the number of enthusiasts who are just here playing the shell game, constantly looking to move one big hit for another chance at hobby greatness, ultimately finding themselves on the short end of the stick because nothing will smooth that itch.

Additionally, anyone who is currently in the hobby knows they can find the value of their card, or get a fairly reasonable idea, by going straight to eBay and checking for themselves. The only reason you’re really asking the question on social media is because you’re looking to show off your card. And that’s OK.

So next time you feel the need to ask “How much is this sick hit worth?” first ask yourself why you’re posting that question when it can be answered fairly easily on your own. If you want people to know you pulled the card, don’t pussyfoot around it. Just show the damn thing off.