30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Buyer's Remorse

1987 Topps was the first product I ever busted in bulk.  My mom would take me to Costco and I'd buy multiple boxes at a time.  If I were to guess, I'd say I opened ten to fifteen boxes of this stuff back in the day.

Inside of each pack, I would pull out one of these special offer cards:

Collectors could send in six of these "special offer" cards plus a check for $1 and pick one of the six different 10-card sets.  If you broke an entire box, you could send in all of your offer cards and a check for $6 and receive the entire 60 card set.

I may or may not have ordered these glossy sets back in the day, but I have owned a few singles over the years.  Recently I've been trying to get my hands on the Barry Bonds card, which is one of the hot prospects offered in the Set #3 and last week, I finally crossed it off of my list:

1987 Topps Glossy Send-Ins #30

I ended up winning the auction with a bid of $11.72.  However after shipping and taxes, this card set me back $16.58.  Obviously I paid a premium because the card received a gem mint grade from PSA.  However upon closer inspection, I noticed that this card is definitely off-centered... which made me wonder how this could have happened.

It doesn't look like this PSA case has been tampered with, so I'll assume whoever sent this card in was one of those "special" clients who tend to get "preferential" grading.  I've got nobody to blame except myself.  I should have looked at the auction's photo a little more closely.  Luckily this wasn't a high end purchase.

Seeing this card managed to bring back memories of my childhood, so that's worth something.  It's also a healthy reminder for me to buy the card and not the grade.

Okay, you know the routine.  It's your turn...

Have you regretted any hobby purchases in 2019?

Anyone out there ever order any of these Topps Send-In sets?

It looks like Topps started to produce these sets back in 1983 and continued to make them until 1990.  The 1983 to 1985 sets contained 40 cards, but in 1986 Topps increased the checklist to 60 cards which became the norm.

Maybe one day, I'll go out, purchase all 420 cards, and display them in 9-pocket pages.  Considering I'd only be willing to spend a few bucks per set, there's not a lot of room for regret if I did end up doing it.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. 1) Yes, several times. Dang near did it today, but I held up. Ever since Topps came out with their Holiday boxes, (at $14.98) I've always busted a few. I went today to get my fix, and dang....$80.00. I contemplated and then said ain't NO Way!

    2) I never "sent off" off for any of those "Send Ins", but I have collected most of them by now. Also the 40 card sets, and the 22 card sets.

  2. I sent away for a couple of 1988 and 1989 sets. Was like Christmas when they arrived. Still have a few singles.

  3. I bought a couple of packs of Series One Topps. I think I regret it because the set didn't really mean anything to me. However, conversely, I'm glad I bought it was able to send them out to people that did want them. I never sent in those cards for the glossies but I did acquire them as one offs here and there from shows or trades.

  4. The more I read about PSA lately the more I just shake my head.

  5. Those sets are pretty cool. I remember being frustrated as a Canadian since those mail in offers you'd get on cards in Topps packs could only be redeemed if you had a US address, so I could never avail myself of them.

    In Japan though Calbee used to do a similar offer. If you collected 3 randomly inserted "Lucky" cards you could cut a tab off of them, glue them to a postcard and send them in to Calbee and they'd send you a set of cards in return. In 2004 I was able to get two of the three sets they offered that year (one for each series, I fell one Lucky card short of being able to get the Series 3 one) and really loved that. Unfortunately they dropped the promo the next year I think and just started giving out these lousy albums instead, so that was the only year I got to do that. Lots of fun.

  6. 2007 Topps football. Everything was so bad from design to lousy draft class, It was "Why am I collecting this?" and took my losses selling entire base content of the box for $7. I haven't collected anything on football to this day.

    There was 2000 SAGE basketball. It was let's try this and got it cheap on Ebay. I was horrified on the design and blurry photography selection.

    2007-08 Fleer basketball. I paid $90 for hobby box trying chase big hit of randomly inserted Michael Jordan rookie card. It became the worst box break getting jersey card of player with short NBA career and autograph of next to last NBA draft pick. It was deflating.

  7. I bought a rack pack of Update the other day and got almost all doubles. Other than that kind of thing I don't think I really spend enough on cards to have remorse, for better or worse.

  8. No hobby regrets yet, but there are a few months left. A lot of people must have ordered the mail in sets back in the day. Everything was on fire it seems.

  9. I sure did send away for those glossies -- the very first ones in 1983. I've posted about them and am trying to complete the set.

    2019 hobby regret: the last two blasters of 2019 Archives that I've bought in which every 1975 themed card is in my collection already. Yet Judge and Ohtani and Soto are still out there because you can't tell me Topps doesn't stealth short-print the so-called "desirable" players. Stupid Topps.

    1. Amen brother. Judge, Ohtani, Soto, Trout, Harper, and Jeter. Can get multiples of some guys but none of those, even in inserts.

  10. My only "hobby regret", though minor, is spending some of my hobby funds years ago on unopened packs and boxes that I wasn't really getting that much enjoyment out of busting like I used to when I was a kid. I kinda realized I had changed, and the hobby had changed, and it's just not my favorite way to collect anymore. I pretty much all but eliminated those types of purchases from my budget and chase singles and lots that are a direct hit for my collection instead. Smooth sailing ever since!

    Great post Fuji!

  11. I've always liked the glossy send-ins, although I never ordered any at the time. That would be a fun set to someday complete though!

    My only hobby regret so far this year was trying out a pack of Bowman Platinum. I loved last year's design, but this year was much worse by comparison.

  12. I never sent away for any of those sets back then, as I thought the design was too plain and looked more like a photo than a baseball card. But it might be cool to have one of the complete sets now.

  13. 2019 purchase regrets? That 1974 lot that turned out to be such a dud. But I learned to ask more questions and not assume anything.

    I didn't send off for any of those sets. The closest I can come is signing up for the Topps Stadium Club early and getting the "Members Only" versions back in 1991 or so. I have to give Topps credit...the Stadium Club idea was ahead of its time.

  14. No real regrets...I am choosing to focus on cards from my childhood...which happens to be around the same time as yours I think. Mostly from 1985-1992. 1987 topps was the main cards I opened as well with lots of Donruss thrown in. Fleer was pretty rare for me. Cards from the junk wax era are pretty affordable and it makes collecting easier and more enjoyable...especially when you remove grading from the equation.

    The thing that threw me off this year was the trimming scandals as well as the stories of preferential treatment that you alluded to in your previous post. How can a grader get 10 BGS 10 Pristines in a row...just ruined the hobby. Also that some of the larger sellers on COMC are trimmers...made me want to trash all the cards I bought from COMC and them this year. Sad.


  15. Back in the 80s if I could send away for cards I would!!!glossy ,granola, Kellogg’s etc!!!

    As for buyers remorse, only when I buy cards to fill set or mini collection needs without my checklist and bring home duplicates.. grrrr

  16. johnnys trading spot - i'm jealous that you found those topps holiday blasters. i would have bought a few too.

    jason presley - that's cool. i wish i would have kept more of the cards i owned from the 80's.

    peter k steinberg - that's kind of the beauty of cards. whatever you don't want, there's usually someone out there who will take them off of your hands.

    p-town tom - yeah, it's a dark era for graded card companies and the collectors who enjoy collecting them

    sean - those calbee send in cards sounds really cool. i wonder if there's a demand for those uncut "lucky" cards.

    rebel coyote - i missed the 2007 football crop, since i wasn't really back in the hobby yet. well maybe i was, but i was focused more on basketball (and i don't think i opened the 2007-08 fleer). but i'm pretty sure i did buy some 2000 sage. in fact, back in the day i bought a lot of sage products b/c i wanted the autographs

    nick - i like that philosophy. i guess i should cut back on my spending even more

    sumomenkoman - yeah, can't imagine any of those 80's Topps mail-in sets are considered rare. some might be harder to find than others (if they didn't have any desirable players in the series)

    night owl - good luck with that set. i hope to one day add it to my collection as well. as for the conspiracy theory... i can go for that. it wouldn't surprise me

    shoeboxlegends - i do enjoy opening packs and boxes, but i understand your stance and agree. i think i only bought a handful of blasters this year... which is much less than i've purchased in the past.

    matt - if and when i complete the project, i'll definitely write up a post and show off the binder. i've started looking for set lots on ebay. hopefully i can grab an affordable starter set to get the ball rolling. as for bowman platinum... i liked it in the past, but over the years i've liked it less and less

    gregory - you make a good point. when i was a kid, i'm sure i thought these were way too plain looking.

    commishbob - i totally joined that club too. i remember that nolan ryan metal card and the key chain

    jared - hadn't hear the story of comc sellers being trimmers, but i can totally see it. it's sad that there are people who don't use their moral compass

    baltmoss68 - i hear ya on buying dupes. i just did that a few weeks ago for my 2019 chrome set

  17. I don't regret anything so far but have seen Daniel Jones cards dip some so I wished I had waited a little bit on some of those.