30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, July 29, 2021

So What's the Scenario?

Just a heads up... you'll be seeing a decline in the number of posts here on this blog over the next couple of weeks... possibly longer.  Even though I'm on my summer break, life is far from rest and relaxation.  Back at the start of summer, I didn't want to be bored... so I made sure to keep myself busy and right now I'm in the thick of things.

With that being said... my decision to scale things down on this blog isn't hobby related.  In fact, I'm sitting on tons of material ranging from card show purchases, box breaks, care packages, COMC fodder, and mystery pack purchases from the Online Dime Store.  There's even a Topps Magazine post I'm really looking forward to finishing and publishing eventually.

Unfortunately there just isn't enough time in the day.  And over the past week or so, I've realized that it's hard enough keeping up with my blogger reading list... which right now I'm prioritizing ahead of publishing my own posts.

When can you expect to see a regular three to four posts per week blogging schedule Not exactly sure.  The new school year is just around the corner, so we'll see how that impacts my free time.  For now... the goal is to publish at least once a week to keep me on your reading lists.

Okay... let's get to the actual card portion of the post.  On Monday, I wrote about my experience on the other side of the table at a card show and Jafronius left a comment about not picturing a scenario where he would sell a collectible, because he wouldn't buy it... if he didn't want it.

I totally see his point and understand where he's coming from.  In fact, I can't see myself selling most of the cards I've purchased over the years using his exact reasoning.

However it made me brainstorm a few scenarios where I'd be willing to sell something I purchased.  Each of these scenarios were based on my recent card show experience in one way or another...

#1One, Two, or Three is Enough

2007 UD Elements Clear Cut Elements #CCE-MC

I purchased this card on eBay back in September of 2010 for $21 (free shipping and tax free), because it was during a period of my life where I was buying up autographs of current superstars.  At the time I didn't mind that this was a sticker-graphDid I prefer on-card autographs at the time?  Sure, but I could also live with stickers.

Since then, I've acquired several on-card autographs of Miggy... which made this card expendable.

#2Clearing Some Room

2001 Upper Deck Retail Golf Box

2010 must have been a big year for purchases, because in addition to the Cabrera... I also picked up a 12 box case of golf cards from Pittsburgh Sports Wholesale (now Steel City Collectibles) for $119.95.  I opened up eight of those boxes and built several sets... then tucked away the remaining four boxes for a rainy day.

This isn't a new thing for me.  Over the years I've built a collection of boxes with plans to one day have a box busting party.  But something happened.  People began paying ridiculous prices for unopened product.  This box is a great example.  I sold one box of this stuff on Saturday and the sale nearly covered the cost of the entire case.

But the best part about this sale it freed up some space for new cards for my collection.

#3Too Good to Pass Up

2007-08 UD Premier Exclusivity Autograph #EX-KD

I don't have any online records of where or when I picked this card up... but I will say that there is no way I paid even a tenth of what I sold it for on Saturday.  It was by far the largest sale of the day.  Sometimes a deal is just too good to pass up.

The crazy part about this sale is that I actually sold it for less than the market value.  Had I waited until next season, I could have gotten several hundred dollars more.  However... I sold it at a discounted price to a Kevin Durant collectorHe got a deal.  I got a dealIt was a win/win situation.

#4Opening the Door for Future Bargains

2015 National Treasures Player's Choice Signature Die-Cuts #37

Jafronius doesn't buy things he doesn't want.  That makes sense to me.  Most of the time, I wouldn't either.  However after thinking about it, I did come up with one major exception to this rule: bargains.

One of my favorite online dealers was Jersey Coast Collectibles.  He shut down his website a few years ago, but not before hooking me up with hundreds of awesome bargains.  One of those was this gorgeous Mookie Betts bat relic autograph that I purchased for $14.49.

Now I love Mookie, but the fact is I already have another autograph of his:

2014 Five Star Autographs #FSA-MBE

This autographed rookie card was purchased the same day as the other Mookie, but for a few more bucks ($17.65).  Do I need two Mookie Betts autographs?  If I was a Red Sox or Dodger fan, maybe.  But I'm not... so the National Treasures card became nonessential.

By the way, I actually didn't sell the bat relic autograph at the show.  I sold it to my buddy on Tuesday when I returned the two display cases he loaned me.

Ultimately... I'm a bargain hunter at heart and when I hit the flea market or occasional card show... I'm always looking for deals even if they don't necessarily fit my collection.  And if the right situation presents itself... I have no problem getting rid of that bargain in exchange for money that will allow me to purchase more bargains down the road.

I'm sure there are other scenarios where I'd be willing to sell something I purchased in the past, but these are the ones that relate to my recent card show experience.

Thank you Jafronius for being the inspiration for the blog post.  That's why I love reading all of the comments people leave on my posts.

Feel free to comment on any of these scenarios or write about your own personal scenarios down below.  Maybe it'll inspire my next blog post.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

By the way... here's the song that inspired the title of this post.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Day in the Life of a Card Show Dealer

Sometimes you don't appreciate the work that goes into something until you do the job yourself.  I have obviously been to numerous card shows over the past four decades.  There have been a handful of times that I helped my buddy sell cards at shows and conventions.  I've even sold cards while working at two different card shops and setting up at the local flea market.

But I've never set up and sold my own stuff at a card show... until this past weekend.  And I've gotta say... it's a lot of work.

I probably spent five hours going through boxes and pulling out cards that didn't fit any of my PC's that I thought might draw interest from other collectors.  I'd say 95% were sticker-graphs of hall of famers or fan favorites I've hoarded over the years.  The other 5% were graded cards I could live without.

After hand picking cards I was willing to part with... I started surfing eBay and PWCC's Market Price Research to get an idea of what these singles were worth and labeling them.  That took a couple of hours each day over a three day period.  Thank goodness I'm on summer break.  No way I could do this during the school year without burning myself out.

My collection is pretty much stored in either boxes, binders, or top loadersMagnetics are too bulky, so I figured I'd clean out my excess card supplies.  I started digging through them and pulling out every reasonably clean one-touch magnetic holder I could find as well as a small stack of brand new magnetics I had.  The process might sound simple, but it took at least two or three hours.

Last, but not least... I started going through storage boxes to see if there were any unopened wax boxes I might be willing to part with.  After an hour or so, I found four boxes that seemed interesting and worth the table space.  Sadly... I only sold one of them.

Inventory selection was only the first step in the process.  The next step was the show itself.  The show was from 9am to 5pm, but I was up at 5am loading the car and on the road by 5:30.  I stopped along the way to pick up my friend who helped me.  After picking up some coffee and snacks, we were off to the South San Francisco Convention Center.  I think we arrived a little after 6:30am.

The two of us unloaded the car and brought everything inside to our table... which we spent the next hour or so setting up.  My helper isn't a collector... so I gave her a quick introduction to card collecting and before we knew it... people started filtering in.

The next eight hours sort of flew by (at least for me).  I had a lot of fun talking about cards and every now and then selling a single or some supplies.

In the end, here is a summary of sales from Saturday:
  • Used Magnetics (x16)
  • New Magnetics (x9)
  • New Toploaders Package of 25 (x2)
  • Graded Rookie Cards of Derek Jeter, Shohei Ohtani, and Kobe Bryant
  • Autographs of Magic Johnson, Vince Carter, Will Clark, Ozzie Smith, Chipper Jones, George Gervin, Dennis Rodman, John Stockton, Kevin Durant, Bob Gibson, Dwayne Wade, Yao Ming, Monta Ellis, Baron Davis, Brandon Crawford, Madison Bumgarner, Max Scherzer, and Miguel Cabrera
  • Unopened Retail Box of 2001 Upper Deck Golf
We started cleaning up about 15 minutes before the doors closed and were walking to the car by 5:15.  It was a pretty tiring experience, but I'd definitely classify it as a success.  It was nice to see things from a dealer's perspective.

Quick takeaways:
  • I didn't sell a single football card.  I don't even remember anyone asking to see one.
  • My buddy had mostly $5 and under cards at his table and he did really well.
  • There was a lot of interest in San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors cards.
  • Wrestling and MMA were popular, but I didn't sell any of my autographs.
  • Evan Longoria stopped by my table, but didn't buy anything.
  • I didn't sell a single hockey card, but one guy looked at my stuff.
  • Nobody purchased my box of 1994/95 Emotion Basketball, but it drew a lot of attention.
Would I do it again?  Definitely.  It's not something I plan on doing on a regular basis, but if my buddy continues to promote shows... I'll support him by setting up.  The key is making sure I have a friend there to help watch the table and keep me company.

That's why I want to give a huge shoutout to my friend Michelle.  For someone who had zero interest in the hobby entering the day, she sacrificed a full day out of her busy schedule to help me out.  She made several sales on her own and even took the time to document every sale we made.

If that weren't enough, she's offered to help out at the toy show my buddy is promoting in two weeksThank you Michelle!  You're awesome!

I also want to thank two of my homies: Ben and MikeBen was originally going to set up with me, but couldn't.  However he loaned me both of his display cases and Mike hooked me up with the table.

By the way... if you're wondering if this is my first step towards leaving the hobby, I assure you... it isn't.  I love collecting and can't imagine walking away from the hobby again.  That being said... I've gotten to the point where I've literally run out of storage space and need to move stuff that doesn't fit my collection in order to make room for new stuff.

I also want to clarify that I don't flip items sent to me in care packages.  Actually, that's not completely trueSix of those new magnetics were part of a contest package I won last year.  And there's a chance some of those used magnetics came in a care package at some point.  However none of the cards I took to the show were gifts.

Well that my card show recap as a dealer.

If you have any questions about this experience, feel free to leave them in the comment section.

Until then... 

Happy Monday and sayonara!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Clown Prince

Over the weekend, one of my friends texted me the news that Biz Markie passed away at the age of 57 due to complications from Type 2 diabetes.  He's most famous for his song Just a Friend, which was huge back in the late 80's.  To this day... I have to sing along with it whenever it comes on.  Can't help it.  It's just one of those songs.

That being said... I don't want to make it seem like I was the president of his fan clubJust a Friend is the only song I could name a few days ago.  But after hearing the news, I did listen and add a few songs of his to my classroom playlist.

I might not own any albums of his, but I own a few of his trading cards...

The first one captures him throwing out the first pitch at the Oakland A's game versus the Houston Astros back on July 23rd, 2014:

2015 Topps First Pitch #FP-05

This is a pretty cool insert.  I like how Topps actually did the research and documented the actual date of the event.

On the back, they even break down his approach to the mound and the actual pitch... which you can see here.

Next up is an awesome card that captures why he was nicknamed The Clown Prince of Hip Hop:

1991-92 Pro Set Super Stars MusiCards #112

The back of the card mentions his comic rhymes which is exactly Just a Friend is composed of.

The final card of his in my collection is this sticker autograph I purchased off of COMC right after I added the Topps First Pitch card to my collection:

2015 Panini Americana Signatures #S-BIZ

Panini doesn't waste any time mentioning his hit song, but they also write about his guest appearances on In Living Color as well as his work with my favorite group... The Beastie Boys.

If you're interested, here are songs he did with them:  The Biz vs. The Nuge, Intergalactic, and the cover of Elton John and Bernie Taupin's Benny and the Jets.

Rest in peace Biz!  I hope you're in a better place and you're up there hanging out with MCA, entertaining and making everyone around you smile... like you did for millions of people over the years.

Happy Thursday and sayonara!