Archive for eBay

Are your card packages being received? A reminder for buyers and sellers.

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

A few weeks ago I had two eBay purchases arrive on the same day. As soon as I got notification via eBay that they were delivered I went straight home to retrieve them. When I arrived, I found them sitting on the porch, atop a box of Similac samples my relative had received.

These packages were pretty standard card packages — bubble mailers that could have been shoved into the secure mail slot in the garage door. However, the postal carrier decided to leave them on the step, in plain view of the street — available to any person who wanted to take the items.

Fortunately for me I got to the cards in time. But not less than a week later I received a message from a buyer who claimed that he did not receive a card I sold him last month.

The buyer told me that he never received his card, which he had purchased for more than $150. I promptly checked the delivery confirmation number and it showed that it had been delivered some 30 days before I received this message.

The buyer and I went back and forth, and the buyer opened a EBay case against me, which automatically tied up my PayPal account until the case was resolved.

I provided the buyer and eBay any documentation I had. And after calling eBay myself, the auction site took my side and agreed that I followed the right steps. I won the case and my PayPal account and funds were unlocked.

While I had come out on the positive end of both cases discussed above, it is unfortunate that things even had to get to this point. Mail theft is so rampant these days that it’s common for pieces to go missing, and sometimes the bad guys winds up with someone’s $150 Card.

But these examples prove that it’s a good time to share these precautionary tales with fellow collectors.

If you’re buying something, keep an eye out for mail. Use the tracking numbers, and if it’s expensive ask the seller to consider using a signature confirmation service — at YOUR expense. And do all you can to provide a secured area for a postal carrier to safely deliver your package.

And If you’re a seller, make sure you document your tracking numbers and keep your records (I.e. postal receipts and customs forms, etc) for several months. If you can show eBay that the item you sold was delivered to the confirmed address you should win your case should one be opened against you. Whether or not it actually was received by the buyer isn’t your problem.

Obviously this system would work better for everyone if thieves didn’t exist, but that’s not the case. And whichever side of the buyer-seller relationship you fall on, you have to do what you can to protect yourself.

Ben,

Former Beckett Baseball columnist.

———

Collector of Hall of Fame tobacco era and Rookie cards.

Collector of Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw.

You can reach me on Twitter and Instagram @cardboardicons. You can also e-mail me at cardboardicons@yahoo.com

This needs to be said about our hobby and card “values” in wake of Rousey loss

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I’m not an MMA fan per se. I don’t buy Pay Per Views, seek Online streaming of events or even care really about who’s the champ of their weight class in whatever promotion.

But unless you were living under a rock last night there was no chance you were going to avoid the hot topic: Ronda Rousey getting knocked out by Holly Holm with a kick to the neck and a succession of punches to the face and head to end the fight and Rousey’s reign as baddest woman on the planet.

You’ve all seen the video or still images. No need for me to go there.

I watched this madness unveil on Twitter via countless reactions and a seemingly endless barrage of bandwagon jumpers.

But what started to upset me, as a card collector, was when discussions started to center around how a Ronda Rousey 2012 Topps Finest autograph sold on eBay for $1,300 before the fight and how blazing hot Holly Holm’s rookie cards immediately after the fight.

   
Rovell is not a hobby guy.  He’s a sports business reporter, so he’s always looking for a numbers angle. I don’t fault him for that.

While what he tweeted is true if you believe what you see on eBay, the perception of actual worth of a card gets misconstrued before, during and after big events such as the Rousey-Holm fight.

The reaction to Rovell’s tweet included mostly discussion about how the Rousey card is seemingly worthless now and how dumb collectors are.

Additionally, this conversation about the Rousey card then leads to a discussion about Holm’s card(s).

During the minutes that made of the entire fight, Holm’s card went on eBay from just a few dollars to one hitting triple figures.

While this is all true, what you won’t hear from the mainstream media outlets or via their reporter’s Twitter streams is that many of the immediate high sales on eBay for cards of people involved in significant events often go unpaid and the “worth” or “value” ends of being incorrectly reported to the masses. 

True, Rousey cards lost value generally speaking and interest for Holm’s card increased based on the outcome of UFC 193. But they surely are not to the extreme that some would have you believe based on the immediate numbers shown on eBay.

Collectibles by nature are volatile and what’s important for everyone to understand is that the value of a card is determined in the exact moment a transaction is actually completed. And a deal it’s not actually complete until cash or goods are exchanged and the items is delivered.

  

A New Era of Trading

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on October 12, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

For the last dozen or so years, I’ve been trying to catch the trend of trading online. I’ve done it. I like it to an extent. But there is always one problem: How on earth do I get EVERYTHING organized in a way for people to view it.

I know I am not alone. Lots of collectors are frustrated by the tiresome process of listing or scanning cards — many of which likely will be passed up by other collectors because they, too, are usually looking to upgrade their own more common cards.

When I started online trading in 1997, I was astonished to think I could agree to make a trade with someone I’d never really met or spoken too and then send the cards through the mail. One of my first online trades was through the America On Line message forums. I swapped a bunch of Emmitt Smith cards for a 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn rookie. Big win for me. I disliked Emmitt and needed the Gwynn for my then-blossoming rookie card collection.

Over the years many more trades were made, but the process was still the issue.

And then it hit me a few years later: The most effective method of trading is actually selling on eBay. I might not get card for card what I would have liked, but it was an effective means to lump a bunch of cards together in an auction and then take the proceeds of that sale to buy something else I liked.

I’m not breaking news to anyone here. There are hundreds of collectors who are in the same boat. And there are probably as many or even more who still enjoy the process of a trade.

What’s funny is that two or three times a year I actually do a more traditional online trade through one of the good trading sites like The Bench, Sports Card Fun, etc. But that fun only lasts so long for me. I simply do not have my cards stored in a fashion where they can be listed or scanned with great ease. Besides, I’ve changed my collecting habits. No longer am I chasing cards for sets. I like to buy/trade for singles for the aforementioned rookie card collection.

 

Dear eBay tool, I hate you!

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on August 13, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Did some eBay cruising this evening and ran across a deal that looked awesome … and of course it was too good to be true. This jackass has a 2001 SP Authentic Ichiro PSA 10 rookie up with a $9.99 Buy It Now … but he wants $190 shipping. What an asshole.

Obama & Jackie Robinson 1/1 auto on eBay raises questions

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

So I peeked at the Beckett Blog today — I do this a few times a week — and noticed that Chris posted a LINK to the 2008 Topps American Heritage Barack Obama and Jackie Robinson 1/1 cut auto that is on eBay. The card is at $3,000 with 15 bids as of Monday morning. But as I looked at the auction, something really pissed me off about this card. If you’ve yet to do so, go read the auction description. The seller notes that the card was yanked off eBay in January so that Topps could switch out the Obama autograph with one CERTIFIED BY PSA. Compare the first auction with the second, the Obama autos are different, although both could be — and likely are — real. Does this strike anyone else as despicable. I mean I guess we should be thrilled that Topps wanted to make sure that the future owner of the card got a real Obama autograph. But I find this act troubling because if there was any question as to the authenticity of the first Obama autograph, then that 1/1 should have never even been placed into the packs. Kudos to Topps for the secondary move, but truthfully it should have never gotten to that point.

Discounted eBay listing fees make me do the darndest things

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but right now eBay has a promotion that offers 50 percent off basic auction listing fees for most items. The deal has been running all month and ends on Saturday, and as usual, I waited until the last minute to get my crap together.

I usually wait all year for a deal like this. Sure, we’re talking about saving less than a dime per post — depending on the starting bid amount — but when listing in quantity, these nickles and pennies certainly add up.

What’s amusing to me is how much time an energy is sucked into these tedious auction posts, and how little the actual revenue can be. I’ve spent about five hours (I’m not done yet) over the last two days — partially the reason for the lack of posts here — taking photos and writing auction descriptions just to unload some cards that I no longer want in my collection. And not only do I have to do said activities, but I also have to wait for an advantageous time to post said auctions that way this effort does not go to waist.

In the end I’ll probably end up with a net “profit” of $10, all of which will be sunk right back into my hobby. You’re probably asking yourself if said activities are even worth the effort. I think this at times, too. But in the end I always end up answering this question in the affirmative because this is the way I’ve always “made money” for my hobby: Hard work. When I was younger my friends and I would spend all day collecting cans and bottles, ultimately ending up with $3 or $4 each. Our reward: A few packs of 1989 Topps. Maybe here I’ll put the money toward 2009 Topps. How fitting, the activites are 20 years apart.

Card of the Day: 1961 Post Hank Aaron un-cut Panel

Posted in Card of the Day, Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

cbi1961posthankaaronsheetGot a quick hitter here. Today I present a very special collectible, one I picked up about a year ago for the bargain price of $15. Here we’ve got an uncut sheet/panel of 1961 Post baseball cards, featuring Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. It’s value? Unknown due to its rarity.

I knew when I saw this panel that I had to have it. The price tag was a bit steep — considering the odd pricing structure this particular thrift store uses and my penchant for being stingy at times — but the uniqueness of the piece made it a must have. Continue reading