30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Buyer Beware

Thanks to three of my students, I had $105 worth of Amazon gift cards that needed to be spent.  I place orders on Amazon at least five or six times a month ordering everything from snacks to kitchen appliances to blu-rays.

But I wanted to buy something special with these gift cards since they were presents from my generous students.  It didn't take me long to decide to spend them on cards.  The problem is 99% of the baseball cards on the site is overpriced.

Eventually I settled on a 2001 Topps Limited baseball factory set, which Charm City Cards had listed for $99.99 (+ $5.99 shipping).

According to BaseballCardPedia.com, the set is suppose to be a throwback to the Tiffany sets of the 80's.  Each card was printed on thicker 20pt. cardstock and contained a "limited edition" gold foil stamp that appeared above the player's name.

Google Image

The sets were sold only in hobby shops and are housed in a fancy wooden box.  They had a suggested retail price of $173 and production was limited to 3,905 sets.

The key card in this set is the Ichiro Suzuki rookie card:

2001 Topps Limited #726

I was pretty excited about this purchase... especially since it only set me back 98¢ after I applied the gift cards.

Google Image

Unfortunately... they should label these sets with a huge buyer beware label.  

Topps applied a special glossy coating (similar to early 90's Stadium Club cards) to each card, which makes the cards look really good.

However... over the course of 17 years, these cards have started to stick together and when you try to pull them apart... the majority of the cards are left with severe chipping issues.

My scanner did an unbelievable job of making my Ichiro look like it's in amazing condition.  Sadly... it suffered like most of the other cards in my set.

So if any of you are thinking about purchasing this set... buyer beware.  At least you now understand the risks.  I actually read on someone's blog that putting the cards into the freezer before attempting to take the cards apart helps.

It's too late for me.  But the next time I stumble across sticky cards... I'll give it a shot.

What about you guys...

Do you have any tricks to help pull apart cards that have fused together over the years?

By the way... thank you for all of the warm wishes left on my last post.  My mom's surgery hasn't been rescheduled yet, but it should be taking place in three to four weeks.

Well that's it for today.  Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. That’s such a bummer! Still a very cool set though.

  2. Worth the risk, Topps Employee set(s) of the same year, produced for 150 Topps employees as a bonus, have the same issue leading to condition sensitivity when submitted for grading. As is, snow and all, I think your Ichiro Limited is worth grading as I imagine most sets were exposed to moisture and temperature change. I've purchased a number of Topps/Bowman sets/boxes of the era and have had varying degrees of success pulling apart cards. I'll try the freezer trick next time as my LCS has a case of 2001 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects for $20 apiece. If you're interested in moving any of the Limited cards I'd be interested in trading or buying despite any damage.

  3. I might have to try that freezer trick.

    I usually slightly bend them one way, then back the other. It works 50/50

  4. When I find "bricked" cards, I can usually get them apart with minimal issues on apx. 20-30 cards. I break them into 2" chunks, then twist the heck out of them from every side/angle I can before actually gently popping the cards apart. 2001 Topps regular set has the same problem with their coating too. I see more bricked 01's than anything else 10 fold.

  5. Oh that's too bad about the card conditions especially since the box was such a high price

  6. Since it's Amazon try returning it and getting a replacement then try freezer trick? May be worth the effort and they probably have a replacement!

  7. Man, that stinks! Yeah, that seems like a replacement purchase since the cards aren’t as advertised. It would be like a box of chocolates that are all melted, but you can’t see inside.

  8. That sucks about the cards sticking together. Hopefully you can try and get it replaced.

  9. This is good information. I have my eye on a couple of commons for the ivy background from this set.

  10. Sorry man. Maybe you should look into returning them.

  11. The Lost Collector - Yeah. I've thought about putting it in a binder, so the chipping is less noticeable.

    xavier higgins - Oh man. I have one of those 2001 Bowman DPP sets. Didn't realize they have the same problem. I'm probably keeping the set together, but if I do move any... I'll let you know.

    Sport Card Collectors - Lol. I usually use the bend technique, but I'll try the freezer technique next time.

    John Miller - Maybe I should have tried the twist. Didn't realize that even the 2001 Topps flagship had the same issue. Good to know.

    Zippy Zappy - Pure awesomeness! Against the might Red Sox too.

    ketchupman36 - I know. I guess the best case scenario is a collector bought one of these back in 2001 and took the cards out and placed them in a binder.

    Dion's IP Autos only, SumoMenkoMan, Collecting Cutch, & Hackenbush - I bought the last one. They're out of stock. If I had paid with my own money, I would have contacted them to see if they could work with me. But since 99% of it was paid with gift cards, I just rolled with it and kept it. It's still a cool set.

    Once a Cub - Figured it might help others looking into picking up a set.