Saturday, May 28, 2022

Bigger Can Be Better

Finally got my motivation, mind, and scanner going all at the same time, so here are some interesting cards I got recently.  The majority of these are for player collections.

Picked up this batch from Cardfinders on eBay.  He's got tons of the online exclusives and 5x7 versions of regular Topps parallels and inserts.  Check him out.  This was the second round of purchases I made from him.  Actually messed up and have the 5x7 George Foster from the previous post coming separately since it was an offer auction and wasn't accepted until I had already paid for the others.  

This is the card that kicked off the shopping spree.  I'm trying to collect the entire rainbow of this one.  The one I got this time was the sparkly foilboard retail version serial numbered to 264.  That makes eight, including the regular base card.  Only twelve more parallels to go! 

 (Black (/69)  Father's Day blue (/50)  Foilboard Hobby (/229)
Gold Jumbo pack exclusive (more yellow)  Independence Day (/76) 
Meijer purple  Memorial Day camo (/25)  Mother's Day pink (/50) 
Sapphire  Vintage stock (/99)  Wal-Mart Blue (/299) 
Wal-Mart Orange (/99))

Two Carlton Fisk cards that are more special than the scans reveal.  The left one is the most recent rehash of the '87 design, but this one is the 2021 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup rainbow foil parallel.  There are several old designs resurrected again for these, but the images are incomplete, so it's tough to tell how many players drew the wooden border design and what the others were. 
The other card is the glossy Tiffany version of 1988 Fleer, by far the oldest card I got.

Kind of a throw-in, this green version of Topps Triple Threads Ron Guidry serial'ed out of 249.  It's from 2010. (I had to go back and look, I don't know these on sight at all.(  I only pick up these kind of cards when they're really cheap.  They're so thick they usually distort the plastic page pockets.

A pair of Palmer Platinum Players - plain and parallel - pending placement into plastic page pockets.  The left one is the regular and the right one is the blue flavor.  They were actually swapped in the auction listings, which threw me until just now.

I knew nothing of this one until I saw it for sale there.  It's Dusty Baker's card #66 from 2022 Topps X Aaron Judge set.  That's the newest card in this group.  I guess Topps doesn't pay anyone to come up with catchy names for these player-inspired sets, they just call them all "X" and run with it.  Creativity costs extra.  But it's a cool card all around otherwise.

Fuji is gonna like the next few even more than most of you.  They're from two different Topps Archives sets this past year (there are four total - the other two are Active/Retired autograph sets).  The Swingin A's is one of the Movie Poster cards that also exist as actual mini posters
The other is the Archive Snapshots base card of Gene Tenace who appears in both (and my player binder).  I will probably get another of the A's card since it would also fit in my Vida Blue section.

Speaking of which, he got four cards in this batch.  His other appearance in the Movie Poster cards, His regular Archives card (with the 50th logo from 2001 and not the 70th logo from 1991).  Bottom left is the 2021 T206 mini from Wave 8 of those.  And finally the noir flavor of 2021 A&G X (there's that "X" again).

Now we get to the big boys.  The rest of what I'll show next are all 5 x 7 online versions of recent Topps cards.  This one is the rarest and also from 2016.  Serial numbered 1 / 5 in the lower right corner.  Would have been nicer as orange, but I suppose red goes with many more of the other teams.

I'll be looking for all the other colors of Matusz.  I'm basically super-collecting him.  Here's a visual reference with some regular cards on the scanner. 


Figured I'd get at least one 5x7 of each of my player guys.  Many of whom have several to choose from.  This was the best looking Livan, and it's only numbered to 99.  From 2015.

I only have a couple Hall Of Famers in my PC ranks, and these are two of them.  Sutter's "Anthology" is numbered out of 499, while the '79 flavored Palmer is out of a tenth of that.  Believe it or not, both of these series are from way back in 2016.  The Anthology series is all rookie cards numbered by their original card numbers, while the Palmer is a parallel of the 2016 Archives regular set.  Makes sense that a rookie product would be made in ten times the quantity of a retired veteran set.  (Much to my chagrin, really). 

How many of these oddballs (sorry John Mangini - he hates that term.) had you seen before (or own?)  Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Quick Hitters

Just checking in with some short notes.  Mostly because they won't fill out a whole post themselves.

The last post I put up about COMC was my 666th.  I considered commemorating that with some heavy metal feature something or other, but there's enough crazy going on in real life so I passed.  Been rocking to Unleash The Archers lately.

Speaking of them, my inventory is now up to 40 cards for sale (look for loqtus) and I actually sold one!  My 2019 Update Gold Mike Trout sold for $8.60 via eBay.  Woo hoo!  There goes the shutout!

Only 200 more to get processed...

I've been making football trades on SCF.  Just pulled batches of Broncos and 49ers for different forum members.  Have a couple more in the works.

Also waiting on a SportLots order of mostly Fleer Team Action football and other gridiron wants.  About 200 cards total among two orders.  Just waiting for the second one to reach my "mailbox" at SpL and then they'll ship out.

Have an eBay order also on the way with several recent 5x7 online exclusive Topps cards and some player collection oddballs.  I'll try to post them before I put them all away.  I've been sent packages from Night Owl and a couple other traders that I piled all together and didn't scan first.  I really need to find the discipline to do that so my post numbers go up.

At some point this year I will get back to the classic automobile work and then get out to more shows.  Have a few things to do before I take either ride to the show so it doesn't look like I did absolutely nothing over the off season.

Stay safe & cool, keep trading and collecting and have fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Is It Me Or COMC?

I've never had good luck selling cards except for the occasional lot directly to a buyer.  I chronicled my futile attempt at a show table in 2017.  Didn't sell a single card.  But since online selling has grown so much and the prices have jumped, I decided to make another foray into it, this time online.  I gathered a selection of just under 250 cards to submit to COMC from my extras hoard and a few other places.  It's been a little strange.  Let me know if this is typical.

I picked out some star cards, some vintage, a bunch of different serial numbered items, and a big batch from the monster box of 2015 Score football including parallel inserts, and a bunch of the rookies that were listed at over a dollar each on the site.  A very eclectic mix.  A lot of dollar-ish cards and a few that I see were listed for decent money.

Instead of shipping that box across the whole country, I found that they were taking submissions at the next Chantilly show that I was going to anyway.  So I waited until then.  The show came around and the first thing I did was find their table (which took a couple laps and asking a dealer I knew).  Finally found them and I gave them the box.  It was a standard 300 count white box and I put the printout from their site inside and taped it shut.  I put my address on the outside with a couple stickers just to be safe.  When I handed them the box, I sort of expected to get some kind of receipt, or that they would put some kind of seal on the box to prevent tampering with the contents.  But neither happened.  They put it in a duffel bag and thanked me for my submission.  OK, not what I expected, but I wasn't that worried. 

So it took around two weeks for the submission to show up on their site.  It sat for another week or so at the 5% processing progress.  This wasn't unexpected, since they had come across country and they have had a backlog for a while as well.  

Then the progress meter jumped to 24% and the exact number of cards I submitted appeared on the listing.  Aha! so my box had started to be processed!  Yay!

The disturbing thing was that at the end of the listing they showed a Due Date and Est. Date of 8/11/2022!  Wait a's expected to take three months to process <250 cards? (I submitted in May).  I hope they are way overestimating that!  With the history of backlogs, it makes sense...

Two cards showed up on my inventory.  Alright!  They are on their way!  They should all be there by the end of the week, no?  You would imagine whoever was processing them would do the whole box at once, right?

They processed two cards and stopped.  There was a 75¢ store credit on my account when I started, but now it was in the negative.  I remembered seeing directions when I first got on the site (to buy) a long time ago that stated you had to buy "store credit" in order to submit cards to sell.  However, when I didn't see that statement on the pages that guided me to submit this batch, I figured they would process them and then bill me immediately.  

Nope.  I got emails that said you had to pay in so that you had enough store credit to get by the 50¢ per card fee in advance.  OK, you got me.  My bad.  It does say that in the Selling Rates page, about halfway down - after the prices for the different levels of service.  So I PayPal'ed $150 in store credit.  Kinda ouch, but I know that if everything sells eventually, it should be significantly over that amount.

After that, I was looking forward to all my cards showing up and being ready to price and go active on the site -- again.  A couple days later, five more showed up.  Here we go!  The first few were the vintage football I sent.  The next ones were Mike Trout cards from a few years ago.  And then the three Patrick Mahomes base cards and one Michael Jordan insert came online.  I'm not sure if these were all at the end of the box, or that they are separating them by value or something and processing them separately.  I would love to know (and see) how it all works.  Wonder if there are YouTube videos or anything.  Let me know in the comments if you've seen anything.

My other question early on was - should I send an itemized list of what's in the box?  I know what all of them are, but is it not as easy for their processors?  (I thought I should send an inventory list just in case something doesn't show up after they do them all, but first timer mistake). 

So this is where I'm at today.  I have 11/244 cards listed.  Seems to be a much slower process than I thought it would be.  I don't expect everything to sell very quickly, and would not be surprised if I end up getting a good portion of them shipped back after the 90 days are up and they start charging for storage.  But hopefully that 90 days is calculated for each card after it's prices and actively for sale.  

I'm a month and a half in from the day I dropped off the box (April 2) to this post time (May 15).  Is this a typical experience for those of you that also sell on there?  I'd really appreciate any feedback you have.  

I'm not doubting my decision to sell with them (yet).  But there have been so many details that weren't what I expected, so I'm just curious if this is how it always goes.  They haven't done anything wrong, so don't take this post as a shot against them.  Hopefully they put up the rest of my stuff by the end of the month and the estimation is irrelevant.  Wish me (and them) luck!  Thanks for reading to the end!

Monday, May 09, 2022

Know Your Role

At the risk of appearing to be the old man shouting "Get off my lawn!" to the new crop of hobby influencers and investors that have come to the forefront in recent years, I just have a few concerns or complaints. 

First, I would say that there's room for all of us in the arena, but certain practices or extremes are detrimental to the hobby.  While ideally, I would like to see it all return to a pre-COVID state, it's not likely to do so.  But if we can all pursue our goals without infringing on someone else's then we can peacefully

The fact that there are a lot of people that are viewing sports cards as an investment doesn't bother me, there can be some truth to it.  This is America, and if you want to make a few bucks selling cards at reasonable prices, then go for it.  Regular dealers have been doing it for years.  You just have to follow some basic good business practices.  

Any card is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  The problem today is, somehow there are allegedly a lot of people who appear to be willing to pay 200 to several thousand percent over the numbers from a couple years ago.  I am not one of them.  I am familiar with the going rates on singles, star cards, retail packages and wax boxes from before COVID, and I don't see any reason to pay much more than that.  A retail blaster was $20.  Now they are three times that and up just because of the remote possibility of pulling a big card that has been inflated in value because of extreme overbidding or manipulation by elitists or corporations or whatever is causing serial numbered rookie cards to be priced like exotic automobiles.  If you're buying retail packages and selling them for close to the sticker price, then good for you.  If you're marking them up to double or more, then you're part of the problem.  You are depriving others access to cards by either wiping out the supply in the area or pricing collectors out of the market.

The card companies have been hyping rookies since the 80's.  Now they have help from the "influencers".  A lot of their content is about when to sell and what's hot and what's tanking in value.  It's almost always about the money.  Now like I said, there's nothing wrong with a little entrepreneurship, but to me that's sort of a shallow reason to be involved in the hobby.  Unless you are a fan of some player or team and have a personal collection that you either fund from your sales or keep from collections that you supply your business with, you have no more attachment to the product than someone investing in coal futures or pork bellies.  It's not that I think investing is "evil" per se, but it's kinda less...authentic maybe?

Now all the high dollar rookie cards I need to finish sets are priced out of reach.  Why?  Because a bunch of rich guys thought it would be fun to drive up prices?  Because there are all these new people that believe the hype?  I don't know.  But I'd rather do without then pay four digits or more for a Jim Brown or Alex Ovechkin that used to be a few hundred bucks.  I won't participate in this "new market".  I'll just look for other things instead.

But with all the hype around rookies, what is the future going to bring?  Will there even be base cards in the new sets by Fanatics?  Will there even be physical cards for that matter?  Maybe it's the end of a lot of the things I collect.  The product of this new era may turn out to be a finite limit on cards I want.  That's fine with me.  There are plenty of vintage sets, oddballs, junk wax, etc. that I can still seek out.  Will just have to ignore the big rookies in them all.  I'll be at the dime and dollar boxes....see you there?