In fact, collecting within a budget has been a necessity... and that's why I've been a bargain bin collector since I returned to the hobby in the late 2000's.
On Monday, Night Owl wrote an interesting post detailing some cards he was able to acquire cheaply that have significantly risen in value. He titled his post, Steals of a Lifetime.
I've always enjoyed reading posts about collectors finding great deals on anything... but especially sports memorabilia.
Today, I thought I'd follow Night Owl's lead and share a few of mine. Now I'm not organized enough to dig up the greatest deals I've ever had. There are way too many flea market finds, card show hauls, and eBay/COMC purchases to sift through. So for the sake of this post, I decided to focus on graded rookie cards, because they are fairly easy to search up in my purchase history and will be easier to assess the current market value due to the third party grading. Now some of these cards have made appearances on this blog in the past, but hopefully there are a few surprises as well.
So without further ado, here are thirteen steals of a lifetime...
1990 Leaf #325
Purchase Price: $17.59 (4 Sharp Corners on 2/20/18)
Current Market Value: $135 to $152
Growth Percentage: 667% to 764%
I accidentally bought two of these a couple of years ago. The other one set me back $24. Actually I have multiples of a few cards in today's post. One day, I'll organize all of my duplicates and sell them at the same time.
1996-97 Hoops #281
Purchase Price: $32.55 (4 Sharp Corners on 2/23/19)
Current Market Value: $250 to $275
Growth Percentage: 668% to 744%
There are a few Kobe cards in this post... and obviously his accident back in January impacted his card values. I started picking up his graded rookie cards about a year ago, because he's my favorite player and I knew he'd be entering The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this upcoming summer. I also knew this would drive up his card prices... possibly out of my budget.
1990 Topps Tiffany #692
Purchase Price: $11.30 (4 Sharp Corners on 1/15/19)
Current Market Value: $90 to $120
Growth Percentage: 696% to 961%
I remember thinking to myself that this was a little underpriced while flipping through their inventory. But no way I could have ever predicted this. I can't wait to watch the documentary next month.
1997-98 Topps Chrome #115
Purchase Price: $103.55 + $7.85 shipping (eBay on 5/27/19)
Current Market Value: $875 to $1,000
Growth Percentage: 745% to 870%
This card was purchased less than a year ago and I've watched it slowly rise in value ever since. Then a few months ago, it made quite a leap. Then another leap. And another. I've wanted one of these rookie cards since they were hot in the 90's. It just shows that timing plays a huge role in securing deals.
2011 SP Authentic #27
Purchase Price: $10.50 (eBay on 12/16/18)
Current Market Value: $92 to $117
Growth Percentage: 776% to 1014%
This was one of those purchases where I bid on the item, because I had already won an item from the dealer... and he offered free shipping on anything else you won.
1995-96 Ultra #274
Purchase Price: $7.50 (COMC on 6/27/11)
Growth Percentage: 846% to 1566%
Okay... now we're getting to some of the older COMC purchases. Back in the early 2010's, dealers were blowing out their graded cards. I decided to stock up.
1985 Chong Modesto A's #17
Current Market Value: $85 to $130
Growth Percentage: 856% to 1362%
Yup. Another card impacted by a documentary.
1996-97 Bowman's Best #R23
Purchase Price: $46 + $3.88 (eBay on 3/4/19)
Current Market Value: $480 to $580
Growth Percentage: 862% to 1188%
Can you believe I picked up this card for under $50 a year ago? Crazy.
1996-97 Upper Deck #58
Purchase Price: $30 + $3.75 shipping (eBay on 4/15/19)
Current Market Value: $299 to $330
Growth Percentage: 896% to 1000%
Another crazy Kobe. Once again, I know that the values of Kobe's cards are inflated and will eventually settle, but there's no way this card ever goes back to what they were a year ago.
Purchase Price: $20.79 (4 Sharp Corners on 11/20/18)
Current Market Value: $274 to $350
Growth Percentage: 1222% to 1583%
Like the Sosa, this was a card that seemed to be priced too low, so I added it to the cart. In fact a few months later, they added another one to their inventory for less than a dollar more... so I grabbed it too.
1992-93 Hoops #442
Purchase Price: $3.36 (COMC on 7/10/11)
Growth Percentage: 2638% to 3769%
When I saw PSA 10 Shaquille O'neal rookie cards were listed for $3.36... I bought the seller's entire inventory. I flipped a few to cover my costs and the rest is gravy.
1992-93 Ultra #328
Purchase Price: $3.36 (COMC on 7/10/11)
Growth Percentage: 2905% to 4036%
The guy with the O'neal Hoops rookies also had Ultra rookies. Yup. Purchased all of these too.
1997 Bowman Chrome #182
Purchase Price: $5.38 (COMC on 7/10/11)
Growth Percentage: 3617% to 4360%
But the highlight of that COMC purchase was this Beltre rookie card that I've blogged about before. Unfortunately... the seller didn't have a stockpile of these. Otherwise, I'd be looking into picking up a 1956 Topps Mantle or 2011 Topps Update Trout right now.
Speaking of that Trout... that's one of the cards featured in Night Owl's Steals of a Lifetime post. So head over there and see some his steals. But before you do, don't forget to answer today's question of the day...
What are some of your steals of a lifetime?
Happy Thursday and sayonara!