Archive for February, 2009

Error card or rare SP?

Posted in blogosphere news, Collecting, Tim Lincecum with tags , , , on February 27, 2009 by aybayz

Fellow reader Jay has come across this SP #166 1995 throwback design auto of Tim Lincecum from 2007 SP Rookie Edition. I cannot remember a point when I saw this card on eBay, but in my opinion, that is because this product doesn’t get much coverage at all. He thinks since the population sightings have been zero thus far (he said that it has come up once in three years), he has reason to believe that this is an “error” card. IMO, it’s just a regular SP with a sticker auto slapped on. I think a true error card would be 2007 Bowman’s best where Timmy’s weight is listed as 420 lbs. and his height is listed as 6’10”. So I leave it up to you, the readers to say if this is an error card or just a rare SP.

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We are also debating the value of this card. Based on past sales of similar cards (the regular base, albeit not an SP), I appraise this card at a maximum of $80-100. I really don’t think it’s worth any more than that based on the set it comes from and the sticker auto. That is my opinion, everyone else is entitled to their own. How much do you think this card is worth? How much would you pay for it? Leave your comments below.

Here is also an incentive for you guys. Jay is offering the first person to come up with evidence of a sale of this card a 2008 TCHC blue refractor #’d 34 of 200 Tim Lincecum.

More Xfractor Love!

Posted in Collecting, eBay, mailday, Tim Lincecum with tags , , , on February 27, 2009 by aybayz

YES! It’s finally here. I spent a pretty penny on this one, but it was worth it because now I have 3 out of the 7 parallels. Not that I’ll get all of them, but I love this product and I love the refractor parallels that go along with it. You don’t see these very often anymore on eBay either. I basically traded the value of my five Allen & Ginter silk cards for this one card. This takes over the refractor as my most centerpiece card of the collection now. I’m also up to 108 cards in the collection. The other base and refractor parallel are graded, but I think I’m going to keep this as is in a toploader. Here’s a look:

Debunking Book Value: A Success Story

Posted in blogosphere news, Collecting, eBay, Rant with tags , on February 27, 2009 by aybayz

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of e-mails regarding the value of certain Lincecum cards. I am quite flattered that I’ve been regarded as the foremost Lincecum card expert in the blogosphere and many people who have questions pertaining to the value of his card has come to me or has been referred to me. But one thing has really irked me concerning these conversations about his card value and that is the dreaded topic of book value. For the most part, I have avoided this controversial topic because I have strayed away from forum and message boards full of brain-washed zombies who view book value as scripture. I love how many times, these people view book value as a double standard. Basically, they would love to sell you their card for book value, which in reality is an insanely overpriced product (99% of the time anyway), but at the same time, they would also love to buy cards from you at half book value. They never deal with you if you want to sell your own card to them at book value. But as we all know, if you go to a card shop, a lot of times the owners will also try to sell cards to you at half book value. In many cases, this is still a rip off because those cards you can get for pennies.

When tackling this issue, I take the Bad Wax approach of being kind and informative before calling them an idiot and bashing their blind faith. I absolutely love Chemgod’s posts on calling out Craigslist idiots for trying to sell 80s and 90s crap at exorbitant prices.  I would like to do the same with anyone who e-mails me about book value. Fortunately, I have a great success story and hopefully a convert of book value.

First, let me get my opinions on book value out in the open. Let me be very clear in saying that book value is essentially an arbitrary number assigned to a card and currently holds no value whatsoever in today’s market. But, I am an open-minded person so let’s play devil’s advocate. When is the only time book value is actually accurate? Find me a person willing to pay book value for an overpriced card and I will gladly sell it to them. The main reason that book value is now defunct is because of market value. Market prices and trends set the value of a card. This is mainly determined on the global marketplace known as eBay. It has changed the face of sports card collecting, for better or for worse, but it is here to stay. This has come at the expense of companies like Beckett and Tuff Stuff. This is not to bash on them because some articles in their magazines are good, but the truth remains that book value is irrelevant today. I used to actually value cards by book value at one time believe it or not. Not sports cards, but rather Magic cards. For those of you who remember, the Scrye, it is the longest running periodical to place value CCG cards. I gave that up when I stopped collecting Magic cards. What has become of The Scrye these days? It is still in publication actually, but according to Wikipedia, they intend to cease publication in April 2009, which is in a few months. Folding in tough economic times or the irrelevance of book value? Maybe a little bit of both.

Now onto my story:

A week ago, a reader named Andy e-mailed me asking me if I wanted to purchase a couple Lincecum autograph cards since I’m such a big collector. He said he would rather have it in the hands of a collector that could appreciate the cards. Here is his e-mail when I was interested:

Hi Bailey,
I have never sold any of my cards before either, but I am trying to pare down my collection to just the few players that I collect: Jeter, Mattingly, Bernie Williams and Joba.  I use Tuff Stuff for pricing, although I know most collector’s use Beckett. ($10 for the magazine, pfft!!)  The Tuff Stuff book on those 2 cards is $150, not sure what the Beckett is.  I’m willing to sell them for $125, which would include the postage and handling as well as the cards in the screwdown holders.  I would ship them in a padded envelope UPS so you can track them.  The cards are in mint condition because as soon as I pulled them they went into the screwdowns.  I could scan them for you, if you’d like.  I would take a personal check or money order mailed to me.
Let me know if there is any more info you need and if the price seems fair to you.  I won’t be able to do anything until the middle of next week as I am going out of town on Friday morning for the weekend.  I’m not trying to scam you, I just can tell that you’re a big Lincecum fan and these cards are sweet.  You’ll definitely enjoy them in your collection more than I will.  Also, could you send me the link to your blog?  I found it at work and can’t seem to get back to it.  Let me know if you have any questions.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Andy

Andy is very nice and cordial throughout the exchange and this is not to bash at all on his price offer. It’s not outrageously off, but it’s off by about $40 or so based on eBay completed auctions. Here is my response e-mail:

Hi Andy,

I don’t really want to sound condescending so please don’t take offense to what I’m about to say. The assessment of card value has changed dramatically in the past few years. Ever since eBay came to the forefront of internet auctions, book value has become meaningless because it is such an arbitrary price that people at Beckett or Tuff Stuff come up with that has no merit how what a card’s true value holds. That being said, the best way of assessing a card’s value is through completed auctions on eBay. That way, you can get a sense of a card’s true market value, which may shift from time to time throughout the year. That’s one of the main reasons so many card shops are going out of business – mainly due to the fact that eBay is selling the same cards for cheaper and also the fact that they religiously abide by book value, which looses them more customers to eBay. Adam Gellman is a huge proponent against book value as is many of the other card bloggers in the card blogging world. I strongly encourage you to read the history and facts behind book value vs. sell value (eBay auctions) on his blog. You can find many of the articles at this link:

http://www.sportscardsuncensored.com/search/label/Book%20Value

That is not to say that those two cards are highly valued, but I’m pretty sure they will sell for under $125. As of right now, I can’t afford those two cards at that price since I am waiting and saving up to buy a card I’ve been after for a while on eBay. This is not to say that that your price is outrageously unfair, but I just hope to shed some light on the issue. I hope you can keep an open mind and be informed and not get ripped off yourself by other people who strictly abide by book value in the future. By the way my blog is here: https://thenennthinning.wordpress.com

-Bailey

I really appreciate people who are open minded about these things. Did I make a convert out of Andy?

Thanks for the information, Bailey.  I have bought some stuff on eBay over the years and I realize that some stuff on there is much cheaper.  I had even looked for both of those cards on eBay and didn’t find them.  I had no other guide to go by other than Tuff Stuff.  I like the guides because they give me an idea of card rarity, popularity, etc.  I realize that their prices are not gospel, I just like to have an idea.
I don’t know what it is, but I have been buying ’07 stuff from Dacardworld.com and I seem to be getting Tim Lincecum stuff.  No offense, but I’d rather have the Jeter stuff!!  That being said, I have decided to hold onto the masterpieces card as on card autos are becoming rarer and rarer, plus it’s such a cool looking card.  Maybe I will try to be a seller on eBay, although I have never done that before.
Thanks for the info.
Andy
Mission accomplished. While the population reports are nice, magazines such as Tuff Stuff and Beckett should have no control over appraising card value due to conflict of interest in terms of the companies scratching each other’s back. Andy is not the only person who has e-mailed me this week about book value of Lincecum cards, but many many others. I’m not sure why I was suddenly bombarded with these e-mails all of a sudden, but I’m glad they happened because now I have material to write about. This is also an issue I feel strongly about because it prevents people from getting ripped off, especially if they’re just returning to the hobby only to find out it has changed drastically (for the better) for the buyer/collector.

Some more 2008 parallels

Posted in mailday, Tim Lincecum with tags , , on February 23, 2009 by aybayz

I’m adding three more cards to the collection to raise my total to 107 total cards. Today, I received two cards from Eric over at The Pettitte Pursuit, a 2008 Topps Stadium Club (regular version) and a 2008 Goudey, blue back mini, which apparently is quite rare. I guess it goes red back, blue back, green back, and black back with the last two being serial numbered. Anyway, it’s always nice to a parallel set. The other package comes from Lonestarr who delivered on his promise of a serial numbered green parallel from Baseball Heroes. Again, I mention that I hate how many parallels that this product has, but I am one step closer to getting all of them, which is nuts. They will be receiving the last of the contest hits, which came to an end after I hit 10,000 a few days ago. The pile of cards will be divided among those two and Dayf, who said he sent in a Stars of the Game insert card from ’09 Upper Deck. Thank you everyone for these cards that I would otherwise probably not come to have in my possession. I have basically given up buying single base/insert cards on eBay just because shipping is ridiculous when people charge you $3 in addition to the price of the card. I am only buying up autographs now. Here’s a look at the trio of cards received today:

Why Bother?

Posted in Collecting, eBay, Rant with tags , , on February 22, 2009 by aybayz

With all the recent high end products coming out for baseball, the cost is unbelievably high to get an amazing hit. People are buying the boxes such as ’08 Prime Cuts to get autographs of old timers who are either hard to get autographs from or who are dead. Dave made a great point last night with his post at Fielder’s Choice Blog on buying the Joe DiMaggio on card autograph from Pinnacle from DA Card World over trying to come up with the ’08 Prime Cuts hit that cuts the card apart, puts that in another card and then slabs the whole thing in plastic. Why chase, when you can get the real deal (and the original) for a cheaper price? Is it for the thrill of opening a box without knowing what it holds? The thrill lasts a few seconds, maybe a few minutes. Getting a card that you can actually appreciate lasts a lifetime (or until you decide you want to flip it years later).

Since pulling that Cal Ripken Jr. card from Elements a few weeks ago, I think I would love to expand my PC to Hall of Famers and legends of the game. I have since sold that card because despite it being a nice card, I didn’t like the sticker auto or the chipping on the edges of the jersey window. I will be on the lookout mainly for on card autos of baseball greats and the like. Speaking of which, I wanted to see the risk/reward aspect of 2008 Topps Sterling. This product has garnered a lot of criticism and is comparable to that of Triple Threads (or Triple Suck as it has become to be known). Completed listings on eBay show that the average price for a box lands anywhere from $170-190 in price. Tack on shipping and the box is nearly $200. What you get inside is a player themed box with one hit and three base cards with one mystery card that is usually worthless (I have never seen anythign cool come from that mystery pack). What would I be looking for in a product like this that would tickly my fancy? Ruth, Mantle, Cobb, DiMaggio, Gehrig, Robinson, Williams, Wagner. Those are some pretty big names in baseball. Granted, I would only truly be happy if I got a cut signature or something of that nature from these players to be happy from a product like this. If I got something like a baseball relic like bat or jersey, I would be pretty satisfied. Anything else and this product is a complete waste of money. The other players who signed are still alive and all their autographs are on those damn holographic stickers. The last Mantle 5 piece Jersey card sold on eBay for…$124.50. Who is the biggest name in this product? IMO, it’s Babe Ruth. His last 5 piece memorabilia card sold for $205.49 and a triple bat piece came in at $164.26. There are currently two auctions ending in a few hours today that are quad bat pieces that are both under $200 right now. Why pay the price of a box when you can get the card you want for so much less? Okay, so these cards aren’t as great as those booklets or bat barrel cards, but they’re a helluva lot better than cards of those other players on the checklist. The only people who can afford these are people who are buying to flip for a profit or doing it for the money (and that’s okay too, not to bash on them). I have not seen a single blogger on my blogroll bust a high end box like this. Why bother when you can just go out and buy the card you want without the risk?

$10 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Head-to-Head League

Posted in blogosphere news, Off-topic with tags on February 20, 2009 by aybayz

So things didn’t really work out with the other money league because I just missed out on the last spot so hopefully we can get this one filled pretty good. I will keep a running list of people interested and hopefully we can fill this by March and do the draft at the height of Spring Training. $10 buy in with prizes for first and second place (broken down by value at $100 and $20. Again, leave a comment here if you would like to join:

1. The Nennth Inning blog
2. HarryBerry32
3. gritz76 from Project ’62
4. milwaukeeb
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10,000!

Posted in blogosphere news, Off-topic with tags , on February 20, 2009 by aybayz

Wow, I didn’t even notice I hit 10,000 hits, which occured sometime between yesterday and today. I guess it’s taken me a lot longer than some other blogs, but it’s an achievement nonetheless. I didn’t realize how difficult it is sometimes to maintain a blog and also readership. Back to October and November, the average hits to the site were over a hundred daily, but once I stopped writing regularly in December, visits to the blog took a huge hit and never really recovered. Sometimes, it’s so hard to think of topics to cover and I guess quality of content has dropped since I use mailday cards as filler here and there. I hope to pick up more material to work with once baseball season rolls around, until then I will try to be as creative and thoughtful as possible with any posts.

On another note, I am very excited about playing fantasy baseball. I’ve played every year, but in the past couple years, there’s been a drop in interest after a month or two into the season in the leagues that I’ve been in. I truly hope that’s not the case this year because I’m joining leagues with fellow bloggers. I’m in the one that PunkRockPaint started and I plan to pay and join the one that the girls at A Cardboard Problem set up as well. The latter league is a money league with prizes for the first two finishers. It sounds exciting and I hope that entices people to be more competitive. The problem is that I’m used to head-to-head leagues on Yahoo because you play a different person each week, which is accompanied with fun smack talk. I also like head-to-head format because there’s a playoff system. I would love to start a league of my own (no cinematic reference intended) that’s also a money league but in a head-to-head format with playoffs and all the like on Yahoo. I think it would be fun to throw in $10 from each person then the winner gets $100 for a box of wax and second place gets $20 for their troubles. What do you guys think? If I can generate interest from 11 other people, I will start it and we can do a live draft after we figure out rules and such. Leave a comment if you would like to joina nd are interested in $10, head-to-head format fantasy baseball on Yahoo.