Debunking Book Value: A Success Story

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.
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61 Responses to “Debunking Book Value: A Success Story”

  1. Mission accomplished? You didnt get the cards. Ebay is ebay. Its like a pawn shop for broken hearted ex collectors, or greedy shop owners. Beckett takes what info it receives from ebay and other auctions. Thats how they get there sales info. I dont like valuing my cards on ebay sales, because you actually have no idea what shape the card is in untill you receive it. You cant base your pricing on what another person card me be worth ? It may have a dinged corner, or a slight scratch on the surface. Its also very stupid to base the value on cards in the state of our current economy. We we may wake up tomorrow morning and find out our collections are worth nothing. Refer to the first row in the beckett guide. This is the ebay row. The unpredictable row. The row that is any card other then mint.
    Thanks
    Jay

  2. That’s the reality of card collecting. That’s right, your cards may be worth nothing. Guess what, cards are just cardboard, which is actually only worth as much as how much the next person will buy it from you for. What is the easiest way to access cards these days? eBay. That’s the general consensus for how much cards of the same type will sell for. A magazine is dated because it takes way too long to compile the eBay statistics and then put into circulation. Until they come up with real time pricing based on actual data, book value is utterly worthless. Where else are you going to buy cards other than eBay? Your local card shop? Compare the prices, they aren’t even close to measuring up.

    Regardless, this is a good discussion. Anyone else want to chime in? Give me your input.

  3. O.K let me put it this way. I dont know what you paid for that Xfractor on ebay? Lets say you wake up tomorrow morning and it sold for half of what you just paid for. What value are you going to go by? Another thing. Look closely at the xfractor you just purchased. Do the boxes line up straight on the surface? How are the corners the Edges? The centering? These all have to do with the value of your Lincecum card. Thats why beckett has to rows of pricing. Also have you ever emailed a seller and asked him or her the condition of the card? S8 out of ten times they will reply with something like. Well its off centered a little. Or the corner is a litte bad. Then they refer to the Beckett pricing, and let you know thats the reason the card is 40.00 instead of 75.00. I trade cards a lot. I dont really buy off ebay anymore. To much B.S. What pisses me off is when im trading cards online and some asshole tries to pawn off that old ( Well this card just sold for 0.10 on ebay crap) I till them to go buy it then.

  4. Value is determined by the average of the past few sales, not just based on one fluke sale. But if I wake up the next day and a few are consistently selling for half the price, then half the price is what the value is. Value is determined by the market, it’s simple economics. Beckett isn’t going to tell you how they came up with their formula for their book value. Think about it, it’s completely unethical to get free boxes from companies like UD and Topps and the magazine is the one who determines the card value. Beckett gets free boxes and the companies get a good price for their cards. Overinflated prices in fact. Even with the rows of pricing, eBay is still a good indicator of pricing. A card with bent corners isn’t going to cell as one that’s mint. Yes there is a risk involved but I rather take that than trading with some person who I don’t even trust. At least with eBay, Paypal has fraud protection. If anything, eBay protects the buyer rather than the seller. From my experience, I’ve had great cards from eBay. The other two BC autos I got graded PSA 10 so everything is a risk if you buy/trade online. If you want to pay a substantial fee to buy the exact card that you’re looking for at a shop or in person, then that’s completely up to you.

  5. Im willing to bet you paid book for those cards Lol. If you did you just waisted a whole hour of my time. Just joking.
    Thanks Bailey
    The Mojo Hand

  6. Actually I’m curious then. You’re the one with the price guide so why don’t you tell me what those cards are worth in it? I doubt I paid book for the regular and refractor.

  7. The regular books for 120.00
    The refractor 180.00
    the xfractor 150.00/250.00 ( yours looks a little off centered/ surface?) 150.00?
    The blue 400.00
    the gold 800.00The super fractor ( yet to be pulled) Hmm maybee i will buy a hobby next week 67.00 Dacardworld.

  8. And that is exactly where book value fails: regular sells consistently for 70-80 dating back five months. I bought mine for 60 and it graded PSA 10. refractors have been selling consistently since december for 110-120. I bought mine for 90. It graded PSA 10. the xfractors are trickier since they don’t pop up that often but they are around 200 so im guessing book is closer to what theyre at. the blues have been selling for 330-350 but the last one sold for 400. You can find a BIN of 380. The last two gold’s sold for 762 and 725. I saw the scans and they looked perfect. Then there is the issue of how do you place value on graded cards? Are those considered the highest condition in the book?

    I think i consider myself an expert on the bowman chromes because I keep a running list of the sell price of every single Linecum card from this product under 2007.

    don’t keep your hope up for the superfractor because it’s already gone. Mario showed me a picture once of it.

  9. Yeah but psa is psa. Its not beckett. I have a card I sent to becket that came back 8.5. I cracked the case sent it to psa and it came back 10. True story. 60.00 for a Lincecum? I cant find one under 100.00 on ebay as we speak? Might want to recheck bailey. You cant rely on scans. How do you know its the actual card?
    Jay

  10. Closest one I can find is at 51.00 with three days left. Every graded card is selling for 150.00 and up. There is actually ( to prove my point) a 10 that is at 255.00 right now with 1 day left. Where are you at bro?
    Jay

  11. Yea and I trust PSA more so than beckett just based on past scandals and how they handle their cards. Yea of course you can’t find one for 60 anymore because I bought it last year. The last base auto sold for $64 on completed auctions, which is a steal. I don’t need to recheck because I have my facts. That’s how I buy it.

    But this argument is going in circles. I obviously have my way of obtaining cards and you have yours. I believe my way is more cost efficient but with the risk of the card being in a condition that is unforeseen because it is bought online, but I am willing to take that risk because it hasn’t let me down in the past.

  12. Are you kidding? Check completed auctions, $73 on 02/18, $75 on 2/21. Mario freakin saw one sell with a BIN of $12 on 2/22. I know how to do my research when getting cards. You don’t throw that much money into a card that you know nothing about. I am pleased with it and that’s what matters.

  13. Lets hope ebay doesnt go bankrupt for your sake LoL.
    Do you have the print run for the base auto?
    Like I said ebay is for heartbroken ex collectors or greedy shop owners.
    Jay

  14. LOL eBay going bankrupt. Isn’t that a good thing for me? Then I get to sell all my cards at book value for exorbitant prices. Nope, no print run for the base autos.

  15. Im just joking here Ebailey you are a cool dude and your sight is fabulous.
    Listen though bro. Do you really support ebay pricing as your major source?
    I mean nothing is worse to me as a collector who busts his ass 7 days a week to see a card I own sell on ebay for pennies on the dollar. DO you actually think for one minute that im going to let you tell me that what some guy decides to sell his collection for due to whatever circumstances is what im going to base the value of my cards on. Wow man. Thats scary. I look at my collection as an investment. I want the stock to go up not down. As for buying on ebay. I like to rip packs. Thats where the fun is at.
    Thanks.
    Gotta sleep. Need to make more money to by cards. Looking forward to my 07 Bowman Chrome Hobby box pull friday.

  16. Thanks for the input Jay-money. Yes I do support ebay pricing as my major source. I think I can safely say that I’m not the only one around here. And thank you for finally listing your reason for why you don’t like ebay. This is the difference between you and me. You collect to invest. I collect because I love collecting as a hobby. You said it yourself that you’re in it for the money long run. I don’t intend to sell anytime.

  17. Bailey
    Your a good guy, and a fellow collector. To each his own. I hope you will reach the climax of your collecting before you get burn out ( Its happened to me a couple times). I look forward to helping you add to your collection, and will email you with the lincy box score every game.
    Thanks
    Jay

  18. Ok, Jay, first off, book value is a sham for every reason that I outlined on the site. Its influenced by ad purchases, through favoritism, and there is no way around that. Beckett has no responsibility to the collector to give a price that is actually based on reality. Why would they? What would they gain? Now, 20 years ago, before the advent of the net, there wasnt a free marketplace to see exactly what current pricing trends are minute to minute, which in turn allowed beckett to have undisputed reign over the prices of cards. I mean, who was going to disagree right? Even if they did, it was next to impossible to communicate the shortcomings to the public. Then, when ebay came around and the preferred method of selling became the net, there was no reason for a guide anymore, especially with the type of market place ebay provided.

    See, my father always said that something is only worth exactly what someone else would pay for it. If it sells for one thing one minute, and then half the price the next minute, its obvious that the price is solely based on need at that exact moment. No guide involved.

    The same thing goes for the stock market. It is volatile because value is always volatile. People use volatility as an excuse to use the book, despite the fact that it is the very reason why you shouldnt. Why use the month old book, when its obvious through ebay that price changes each time an auction ends? Plus, the prices never really change THAT much, maybe around only 5-10 bucks either way for higher end cards. If that kind of money matters to you, maybe its time to find a different hobby, because the love just aint there anymore.

    Now, when you bring condition into it, condition really isnt that much of a factor with the contrived scarcity that is out there. If there is only five of a card, it really doesnt matter if its bad condition or not, because of a lack of supply. If its not one of those cards, condition matters more, but again, its goes back to only being worth as much as someone is willing to pay.

    Compound all of those things into a monthly guide with widely skewed pricing that is affected by nothing other than the whims of disconnected douches in TX, and you have a major issue with determining value of anything. Go further and offer a free place to buy cards at EXACT market value, then why go anywhere else.

    Lastly, you talk about people using it to their advantage when possible, well… duh. Of course people will take advantage where they can – thats human nature. If you are smart enough to recognize that, its not an argument.

    Jay, if you need further schooling, feel free to stop by the site and wait for the bell to ring.

  19. Wow – great job, Bailey! Jay obviously has a lot to learn about today’s hobby…

  20. First of all mr Gellman I dont need schooling on the value of cards. As far as Dave above me here with what looks like a rays jersey on ( wow so many rays fans these days) I dont need to know more about todays hobby ether. Im 38 years old I have been collecting before Ebay was around, and im sure I will be collecting far after it is gone. Im sure the way the economy is going you should be able to get just about any card you want for a cheap. Then a year later the poor guy who sold it will be kicking himself in the ass because he only got 20.00 for his 2003 Hanley Ramerez Bowman Best Auto. Please dont disrespect me however. THe fact you say I need schooling. Or I have a lot to learn is nonsense. If you saw my collection you shit your pants.
    Ill just leave it at that. By the way dave Langoria is on the cover of Beckett this month. I guess thats bad advertising right.
    Jay

  21. Is this guy for real? Is he really trying to argue that what a card is selling for is not it’s worth? Isn’t that the definition of the word? If something sells for $5 it is then worth $5. Let’s say you sell an ounce of silver today at $13 an ounce. Next year you sell another for $20. That doesn’t make the silver you sell today worth $20, it’s worth what you can sell it for. Last I checked eBay was an auction site, that means whatever a card sells for is the highest dollar amount that that card could fetch. In other words it is what the card is worth, regardless if the seller is a heartbroken ex-collector. I still say if you are buying baseball cards as an investment you have to be blind to history and have a lot to learn financially. Name me one card from 20 years ago that is “worth” more now than it was 19 years ago. Can’t do it can ya?

  22. First of all mr Gellman I dont need schooling on the value of cards.

    Umm, based on the comments you have left, I disagree.

    I dont need to know more about todays hobby ether. Im 38 years old I have been collecting before Ebay was around, and im sure I will be collecting far after it is gone.

    Whoa, this hobby will be long gone before eBay takes a dive, that is a sure thing. Regardless, this point has nothing to do with the argument at hand.

    Im sure the way the economy is going you should be able to get just about any card you want for a cheap. Then a year later the poor guy who sold it will be kicking himself in the ass because he only got 20.00 for his 2003 Hanley Ramerez Bowman Best Auto.

    Thats why there is a saying that says “Buy low, sell high.” Despite that tested and true way of doing things, it doesnt stop people. However, it only adds to my argument. If a card sells for 100 dollars one day, its worth 100 dollars. If it sells for 50 dollars a year later, it was still worth 100 dollars then, but value has decreased to 50 dollars where the value is now. If a dumbass buys at 100 and sells at 50, that only shows his loss in value. It does not speak for value as a concept.

    Please dont disrespect me however. THe fact you say I need schooling. Or I have a lot to learn is nonsense. If you saw my collection you shit your pants.

    To me, the way you think about the hobby makes you seem like you got nothing upstairs when it comes to assigning value. I dont doubt that you have a good collection, but why whip out your dick if this isnt a pissing match? How does your collection have anything to do with this argument? You telling me that you have been collecting for 38 years, is that supposed to awe me into agreeing that Book value means anything? No.

    See Jay, this is what always happens on the net. No one is willing to argue based on points of contention. You failed to address even one of the reasons I stated for BV being a sham. Instead you decided to take it that I was attacking you as a collector rather than attacking your notions of value. Now, you obviously are arrogant enough to think that you dont need to learn anything more because you have been around for so long, so let me offer you this nugget:

    If you think eBay is not the way to price a cards worth, the only person you will hurt is yourself. By assigning value from a guide rather than ACTUAL MARKET TRENDS, you will not get a true idea of what you are looking for. Have fun.

  23. I have some reinforcements on the way. Your right I have nothing upstairs, and I whip my dick out all the time. Very proud of that actually. So if you can take your mouth off ebays cock ill explain something to you. I dont follow ebay trends. To me ebay is just a flea market on the web. Its currently being boycotted by thousands of individuals, and A majority of the greedy sellers have moved to sportsbuy because of lower rates. Its existance is actually in jeopardy, because the amount of revenue its brining in isnt exactly paying the bills. A card is worth what its book value is. Ebay does not have a book last time I checked. I dont think ebay is affiliated with baseball cards other then what retards like yourselves affiliate them with it. Mr Gellman last time I checked there are alot of people like myself who like Beckett. The cool thing about Beckett is its beckett. Its not a person who is hard up, or a greedy shop owner who is trying to rip motherfuckers off. Its a magazine. That actually makes me the Majority, and you the minority. So if the way I think of THE HOBBY is strange to you. Well im sorry to inform you, but there thousands of people just like myself who whip their dicks out, and piss all day. I hope your leg didnt get in the way.
    Jay

  24. I’ve made close to 100 transactions on theBay and the only time one was ever in question was a BCCG 7 of a Tim McCarver RC that is nothing close to a seven. But hey, that’s Beckett for ya! Here, look……..
    http://project1962.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/this-is-a-seven/

    I still can’t believe what this guy believes. The current eBay trend is the actual value of what the card is, end of story. There is no argument to be had. If it sells for $5, there is no way it is worth $20, its got nothing to do with how hard up you are. The greedy shop owners are the ones who swear by Beckett. And honestly shop owners barely get by, it’s hard to be greedy when so many are disappearing. And what the fuck is “the cool thing about Beckett is it’s Beckett.” Do you wear a fucking helmet, because that is the most retarded shit I have ever heard? Dude if you think Beckett is gospel, I have a shit load of ’08 stuff to sell you! I’ll even sell at low book value. Let me know!

  25. Flipperphil Says:

    Well Jay you pretty much covered all my thoughts, re-emphizing them would just be redundant on my part, but point was well taken in regard to e-bay being just a flea market on the web, a pawn shop for broken hearted ex collectors, or greedy shop owners. Just because a seller decides to sell his collection for what ever reason, or due to whatever circumstances, IS NOT what I’m going to base the value of my cards on.
    Ill go for a Beckett anyday.
    Anyway’s since you guy’s are in a heated discussion, give me your opinion on the pricing of rookie cards. I think it’s absurb that a rookie card is going for more than a proven veteran star. Probably 90% ( or to be fairer, the majority) of todays rookies either never make it in the pros, or are sent back to the minors. To make their cards insanely pricy when they haven’t even played in the majors yet is crazy!!! To buy a RC is so risky that I’d never buy one, if I pulled one I may keep it, but probably would sell it while it’s “hot” because the probability is that it’s going to be worthless next year, or even more likely early in the baseball season. Your thought’s ?? In hind sight I would have kept all Pujols that I might have pulled though! LOL

  26. By the way I just looked up 10 random sellers from your made up list and all 10 had 100% positive feedback. Nice try!

  27. Holy god dude, you say im sucking on ebay’s cock? Try pulling beckett’s out of your ass! I heard you sent an email to chris olds, douchebag extraordinaire, good for you. I think its funny that you actually need reinforcements – especially when its from the actual people I am debunking. I am more than happy to slap you across your face with my giant inter-wang all by myself.

    I am done with fighting with you here, you have absolutely nothing of worth to disprove anything anyone has said. All you spout is useless info about stuff that has no gravity with the discussion. I mean, if we are arguing about apples, why bring up spaghetti huh? It doesnt make sense and all you do is make yourself look dumber.

  28. Its not a made up list. Ass gritz. Its from the The Ebay sucks Websight. I say you check it out.
    Later.
    By the way are you the cheesmo who lights his 80’s cards on fire?
    Jay

  29. Gellman
    Is that you on you tube.
    Jesus look at yourself. Your head takes up the whole monitor. My god dude im so sorry for all the bad things I said to you. Please dont eat me.
    LoL GO BECKETT!!!!

  30. Okay so you have the audacity to poke fun at Gellman’s looks now? Have you taken a look at your friend Chris Olds? Do you secretly make fun of his head too? No more parting shots. This thread has turned from a debate topic to just petty name calling so if further comments have no relevancy to the topic at hand then don’t bother posting. They will be deleted anyway.

  31. Your right. I appologize/ Just remember though I didnt start this name calling crap. Gillmans first response was quite insulting. You can read it above. Followed by gritz obscenity. Thats O.K. Hey Im starting a blog with the help of some friends. You are all invited. By the way I pulled a Tim Lincecum Turkey Red 09 Topps insert. If you want it hit me up.
    Peace.
    Jay

  32. I cant wait to see this. I literally cannot wait. I will make it my mission to make sure that everyone comes to see you in all your idiot glory. You have my word on that.

    Besides, Im sure once you start blogging you will see how impossible it is to keep up the support the biggest bunch of retards in the business. So far, I think they have done a great job coming here to show you their support. I mean, considering that all Chris Olds does is steal from other blogs, that doesnt surprise me.

    Listen, since we all have a good idea of your wonderful and entertaining writing style, make sure to post a link so that I can be sure to come and get my good laugh for the day. If those YouTube comments are any indicator of what is to come, im sure we are all in for a treat! Yay!

  33. Whoa, what a coversation!

    Suffice to say that I was one like Jay (I’m sure many of us were). However, once I woke up to myself, I realised how totally inaccurate Beckett is – and how it aids people in ripping others off. As has been stated a number of times, a card (or really pretty much any good) is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I mean, a card having a book value of $150 is all good and well – but until you sell the card this value is a paper value only, with little or no meaning. The card’s value is only determined by what people are willing to buy it for. And if people are only willing to pay $40 to $65 for the card, the that is all it is worth.

    You don’t see magazines being published which has the “book” price of stocks. Why? Because it is the market that determines what the value of stocks are (this isn’t my own analogy, so for those of you who have previously said this, credit goes to you). It’s the same with cards. And what is the biggest marketplace for cards? Ebay by far. Yes, some buyers may be going to sportsbuy, but have you seen the number of and variety of cards on there? Sorry, it just pales into insignificance compared to ebay. As for hobby shops, many are going out of business all the time. Many of those that aren’t are in that position because they supplement there sales online, through ebay!

    One question for Jay though – if ebay is somehow going out of business and as such one soon won’t be able to use their sale prices as a gauge, how is Beckett going to be able to determine their prices? Because hobby shops are going to go out of business way before ebay does – ask most people who collect and they will tell you the number of hobby shops are declining every week.

    Truth be told though, hobby shops closing won’t affect how Beckett determines their prices. Why? BECAUSE BECKETT PRICES AREN’T BASED ON REAL SALES. Beckett prices aren’t based on real sale prices in hobby shops, in fact it’s the opposite – unscrupulous hobby shops base their prices on what Beckett tells them. In fact many hobby shops won’t actually start selling singles until they have a Beckett price on which to base their price around. Doesn’t this strike you as odd? It should, because it puts sword to the idea that beckett bases their prices on hobby sales – beckett sets prices for those unscrupulous dealers (or those in the dark ages) that bare no resemblance to reality. Again, the reality is ebay – there are more sales of single cards there everyday then there are in probably all the card shops in the world. And 90% of the time the prices are way below what beckett lists them for.

  34. Wow
    You see he expressed his view without insulting me. I like this guy. You have alot of excellent views, and I agree Beckett can be way off as far as pricing is concerned. Hey when it comes down to it a card is only worth as much as the collector cherishes it. I have some oder cards from the eighties that arent worth $$ , but they are worth a lot of great memories. I dont sell my cards, or buy them off auctions. Im in it for the ripping, and trading. Im in a club where we get together every week and break boxes drink beer. Then we bring the Old beckett out in hopes that the cards that were pulled at least make up for the $$ we spent. I mean its a lot more comforting to know that the crapy bill hall jersey you pulled ( the only hit) Is at least worth 10.00 ( compared to 0.50 on ebay lol)
    As far as trading goes well Beckett is pretty much the only way to go. I mean the cards that I trade for go towards completing sets. Its alot easier to go by B.V then to check ebay for the last 10 sells of the card.
    I mean cards are bought sold every day, and yes there are some great deals on ebay I prefer to not value my cards based on them. Times are just to tough right know. I know what its like to have to sell my cards When time are tough, Its sucks, I never got what I thought they were worth, but hey I guess you guys here think I did. I prefer to get my pricing from written publications, its just a preference nothing more.
    Thanks
    Jay

  35. Dude, you are so text book internet that I cant help but laugh. See this happens every single time. You argue a ridiculous point and then you get shit on. Then, someone who actually knows what the hell they are talking about comes along and shows you who daddy is. You start throwing insults and they defend themselves. Meanwhile no points have been argued because the ridiculous point has no way to argue in the first place. Then, once you realize that you have been totally made a fool of, you find the one last thing that you think can save you, complimenting another poster for making points without insulting you. The problem is, thats what originally happened in the first place, and you decided to start a fire rather than explain why the point was ridiculous.

    As for your whole trading tirade, it could be the dumbest thing you have said since the arugment started.

    Then we bring the Old beckett out in hopes that the cards that were pulled at least make up for the $$ we spent.

    I love this line because it is totally retarded. So, if a magazine with off base prices tells you that you made your money back, you think you actually have? Try getting that money back exactly the way Beckett says. I dare you to try. I guarantee you wont get shit.

    As far as trading goes well Beckett is pretty much the only way to go. I mean the cards that I trade for go towards completing sets. Its alot easier to go by B.V then to check ebay for the last 10 sells of the card.

    This one is almost equally as wonderful because you are totally missing the point of collecting. If you are collecting sets that consist of minor dollar cards, why even go by any value at all? Wouldnt you just want the cards you need for your set? If its a few dollars here or there, who gives a shit? Is two dollars going to make you or break you? Jesus!

    Do you even listen to yourself? I mean you dont make any sense! It seems like to you, value is some fantastical number that you can make up in your head. So take your value dragon that only exists in Jay-world and have a boatload of fun with your “buddies” who bust boxes and drink beer. Ill be waiting here in the real world when you get back.

  36. Oh and this:

    I mean its a lot more comforting to know that the crapy bill hall jersey you pulled ( the only hit) Is at least worth 10.00 ( compared to 0.50 on ebay lol)

    Wow. So Beckett is your security blanket that helps you sleep at night? Absolutely amazing. You continue to shock me with your ridiculous way of thinking.

  37. baseballbasemant Says:

    First, I would like to say, I appreciate that someone else shares my passion with baseball cards and has used their time, money and abilities to assist others in their shared interests. I have been a subscriber of Beckett Magazines / Price Guides for many years now. I love to read each article in order to gain more information about the hobby I love so much. To this end, Beckett has been a great resource of information. They offer pictures of many cards, that otherwise, I would never see. They have reviews of new products including interviews with card company executives that discuss what the manufacturers are doing next. There is a running tally on what cards are currently “hot” in the market. They print reader’s letters, questions and comments about everything to do with the hobby and the game, list where the next card show will be, and even give us a history lesson in not only baseball cards but the game of baseball and all of it’s attributes. For all of these things and more, I say thank you!

    It started as a “Price Guide” for a hobby that was lacking in information for the masses and has evolved into a beautiful publication. From cheap newspaper print in the beginning to full glossy eye catching front covers that are almost as collectible as the items it covers, Beckett Baseball has emerged as a hobby cornerstone. I originally purchased the publication to get an “idea” of what my collection was worth and what I should expect to be asked to pay when I finally find a card that I want or need for my collection. I was lead to believe that this publication was “only a guide” and not the “baseball card price bible” that many have touted it as. Basically, it was to inform you as to the national average price paid for any one card or set. For example: If you lived in New York and wanted to buy a 1984 Fleer Don Mattingly RC, you would expect to pay more than “guide” price in New York as compared to buying it while on vacation in Florida, because Don Mattingly was an All-Star player for the New York Yankees. The idea of regional pricing was easily understood and the publication itself made sure to notify each reader that this was only a guide and the market itself determines a real value for each card. Despite this same information being printed in each of their publications, most collectors use the Beckett Baseball magazine as “the true value for how they calculate the price of their cards for sale”. Most dealers and card shops ask for what they perceive as a regional price for what they have to offer based on the Beckett “Price Guide”. If someone asks for more than what the guide lists, most collectors see it as “price gouging” or an attempt to rip-off an uninformed buyer but if they ask for less than “guide price” they are seen as a discounter in the industry and collectors are more likely to continue to shop and buy from them first and foremost. This is all based on the Beckett Baseball publication. If Beckett prints an article on Jon Papelbon with a positive spin, the collectors take notice and the majority of Jon Papelbon’s cards will sell and many will draw an increase in the previous months “price”. If next year he gets injured and his cards stop selling at a premium, they will print that in one form or another and his card sale prices will plummet downward even further. This is evidence that Becket Baseball magazine has a “biblical effect” on the entire marketplace of baseball cards. Evidence is provided everyday in our court system, as to whether it is accepted by the jury or judge depends on their judgement at that given time and in the context in which they were to determine whether it was true or false. My evidence is my determination and interpretation of what I have seen and experienced. I say all of this to make this statement: If Beckett Baseball prints that a Jonathan Papelbon and Craig Breslow 2006 Topps Co-Signers Dual Autograph card is currently “valued” at $50 and I can get one on EBAY for $40, then I made a good purchase, because the card “books” for $50. The perceived “value” for me, based on the magazine is still $50! If everyone decides that this is a card that they too would want to get at a discount, that does not mean that the value of the card has been lowered, just that people want to spend as little as possible to get what they want and seeing a higher value in that item is a major factor in their purchasing decision. That is why Wal Mart is a giant in retail. People want to get a “deal”! I do not expect a baseball card to depreciate like an automobile, because I am going to protect it and not wear it out causing it to be in worse condition than I bought it in. It is an investment that I expect to keep it’s value or grow as long as the player pictured on it keeps doing well, stays off of the scandal pages, stays away from steroids and doesn’t shun baseball fans at every turn(Barry Bonds). All of this perceived value has many other factors to calculate into the equation: How much were the unwrapped cards selling for when they first hit the market? Despite the manufacturer’s “Suggested Retail Price” per pack, how much is the public actually paying to get it? How much product was produced? How well was the product received by the public? How available was the product to the public, as in was it a HOBBY ONLY EDITION or was it available at retail stores too? Were many of the original sales of “raw” product done by stores that offer a discount in order to get traffic and stay in business? I know that there are some hobby stores that sell the boxes of product at a very minor profit, (as little as $5 per box) just to try and compete for the business that bigger companies are able to generate with their ability to buy direct from the manufacturer and offer discounts in order to keep from having their money sit on shelves. How much are some stores asking for their product and not selling until they get it? If it doesn’t sell right now, then Beckett doesn’t use that asking price in the equation. I might have bought a card for only $25 but if I will not sell it unless someone offers me at least $60, doesn’t that value need to be calculated into the “market price”? If someone is selling one or is willing to let it go for $45, that doesn’t mean it is worth that to everyone. No, I am not saying that Beckett Baseball is claiming that the prices published are the “set in stone price or value”, I am stating that they have a lot of power to wield with their publication and if they say jump, the majority of the hobby will. They need to be more forthcoming with where they are getting their information. I know they have a link with EBAY, to scan all of the baseball card sales that occur on any given day. They do not claim that they also search through the EBAY Stores listings, nor any other web based retailer as to what a real Internet retailer is willing to sell their products for. They claim to have key retailers in the industry, hobby shops, that supply them with pricing information, but they do not say who they are, so the general public has no ability to scrutinize their “evidence” in order to see if it is accurate in their eyes or not. You can tell me all day long that the person you get the information from is an expert, but with no real credentials out for all to see, it is like putting David Hasselhoff in as a judge of talent in a talent show contest. Many restaurants have the kitchen clearly visible for the guests to see them prepare the meals and so that guest can witness that their dinner was prepared without mucous and or saliva from their cook or waiter.

    So, if you want to try and wade through all of this and publish a price “guide”, based on an open to the public to scrutinize policy, then I think you are using your powers properly. Without all of these determining factors in the calculation, you end up with really outrageous information. For instance, if 2006 Fleer is available at Wal Mart for $1 per pack and has more cards than 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter which sells for $2.99 per pack, how can a common card from Fleer be valued at $ .40 per card and Topps’s A & G commons are currently de-valued at $ .20 per card? All I want, is the “industry giant” to put some actual value in a market that they helped create. If you are trying to tell me that there were too many cards produced in the 80’s making the market “flooded” then you need to recognize exactly how many cards are actually printed today and by only 2 companies. Well, I feel a little better getting it out, hopefully you feel informed and perhaps a little outraged too.

  38. baseballbasemant Says:

    Dude
    This Gilmann guy just cant stop.
    Whats up Bailey?

  39. Jay,

    First, stock price has no bearing on whether a company stays or goes. Penny stock companies are some of the most profitable.

    Second, do you have any idea what Beckett actually basis their “prices” on?

    Third, there are legitimate businesses selling cards on Ebay, not neccesarily bankrupt shops or broken hearted collectors. Some are however.

    Fourth, there a millions upon millions of sellers on ebay. It would not surprise me if .1% are fraudulent. I have been ripped of 8 times in 10 years. Not bad considering I make 30-100 purchases a month.

    Fifth, nobody here would crap their pants are your collection. I can buy any card in existence with the exception of perhaps 50-100 ever made, but I choose not to. Personally, I care not whether you own logomen, 1/1’s, or a PSA 8 Mantle. If you enjoy them, then good for you, if not then you are collecting for th e wrong reason.

  40. BTW, jay is a troll, nothing more nothing less.

  41. No Jay that would be me assigning value to the over produced crap from the 80’s and 90’s by burning them. Pick any card from 87 to 92, find the “value” in your precious price guide and then find one place anywhere online where the real price is equal to the Beckett (Sucks) Value.

    All to often collectors like yourself overvalue their collection based on the prices arbitrarily set by Beckett (Sucks). The only correlation that exists to put a monthly price on a card product is directly proportional to the amount of advertising that products manufacturer spent in said issue.

    If you can’t see the obvious manufacturer collusion, conflict of interest in grading and auctions there is no point even arguing the point. You are going to believe what you want to believe because you have been spoon-fed the Beckett (Sucks) kool-aid for the majority of your collecting life.

    Also the honorable Dr. James Beckett has been so far removed from this publication for years prior to his death that it doesn’t even make sense to reference him.

    In all actuality your collection is only worth about 30-40% of what you think its worth and that is something you CAN NOT and WILL NOT accept becasue it would shatter the fragile sense of reality you have created for yourself by putting an arbitrary overvaluation on your collection.

    Also it has only been recently that they have incorporated auction pricing into their supposed value equation. Typically and for several years after the creation of a peer to peer secondary market system called the Internet, Beckett (Sucks) relied on a couple of dozen pricing “contributors” from around the country. These contributors ,to a man, were all hobby shop owners and ther card sales reflected the inherant mark-up associated with any retail venture, cards being no different.

    So what is your card worth?

    What Beckett (Sucks) says it is or what you can sell it for at any given moment you choose to sell it?

  42. baseballbasemant Says:

    BTW Lamjoe has a crapy blog. I have never typed there, but it looks like a cheesy page. I mean a man of your knowledge and thats the best you could come up with?
    Your right i am a troll. I also whip my dick out and have nothing upstairs.
    Later

  43. baseballbasemant Says:

    What card Guido. You got an email address? Ill share with YA.
    Ill tell you what I aint gonna let you grill with them.
    Jay

  44. Jay

    Thank you for never “typing” on my blog. What’s a LamJoe. Did you mean Lame Joe? Did you screw up your insult? Please stay away from my blog, in fact, if you will give me your IP address i will be more than happy to block it. I don’t need your traffic.

    Jay is still a troll. He knows he will get a lot of attention from his inane rants that defy logic. Don’t feed the troll.

  45. bigmike Says:

    I have to say jay has been pretty entertaining. Even if his way of valuing cards is out of touch. I have read this whole page from top to bottom, and I must say its one sided. Does because a person has a different way of thinking or collecting really make him an idiot? I think a majority of you that have your own bloggs may be A little more sensitive as to how people collect, and value there cards. I know I do.
    bbmikecolinc

  46. Why is it that all the arguments that kind of take Jay’s side, bigmike and baseballbasement have the same IP address? Seems coincidental.

  47. First of all Bailey, this is friggin hilarious! Made my morning, seriously.

    This guy has got to be just jerking you guys around for fun. I refuse to believe someone this naive actually exists.

    Ususally the best way to completely defuse one of these Beckett thumping idiots is this:

    Jay, I have approximately 12,000 cards from 2007-2008 releases of Topps and Upper Deck. I also have 50-60 game used and autograph cards that I normally save for trades. I am willing to sell you every single one of these cards for 25% of Beckett value. Please contact me asap as you will never find a deal this good again. Even though I am heartbroken to have to let go of all these “valuable” cards, times being what they are I’ve decided to make an exception.

    Jay, thank you for showing me the way. Now my cards actually have some “value”. I became so disheartened before when I saw that I couldn’t get what I knew my cards were “worth” on that stupid, up to the second, realistic, peer to peer, worldwide market known to all the “stupid” collectors as eBay.

    I’ll be anxiously awaiting your reply.

  48. “Why is it that all the arguments that kind of take Jay’s side, bigmike and baseballbasement have the same IP address? Seems coincidental.”

    The most pathetic display of sock puppetry on the web is what it is.

    I probably buy 90% of my cards off theBay and I have hardly had any problems. If the cards are 1990’s or later and the seller lists them as NM-MT and he/she has 100% feedback, chances are you’re getting a good to great card for a nice price. I bought a Donruss Signature Pujols rookie auto off eBay a few years ago and it graded a PSA 10. It’s when you get into the 1950’s to 1980’s stuff that it gets tricky. But most sellers are smart enough to include large scans of the cards so that you can observe every detail. Ebay is the way to go. Only suckers pay full Beckett “value” (or more) at a card shop.

  49. Those are my roomates Bailey. Do you want a picture of out asses to prove it? I can arrange that. Mike is actually with you guys. Hes an ebay cocksucker as well. Keep your cards there Andre. Lord knows the hall Of Fame doesnt want them. Sac Fly Ebay is like a big rectum, and you are the terd coming out of it. I thought I smelt shit when I came to this comment section. I DONT BUY CARDS OFF EBAY> I DONT BUY CARDS PERIOD> HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY THIS> CAN YOU GUYS NOT READ? I RIP PACKS AND BUY HOBBY BOXES ONLY!! WHAT I DONT COLLECT I GIVE AWAY TO FRIENDS. I USE BECKETT AS A REFERENCE TO GET AN IDEA OF WHAT MY CARDS ARE WORTH THATS ALL> IF YOU WANT TO USE EBAY THATS YOUR PREFERENCE> JESUS CHRIST> YOU GUYS ARE LIKE A GROUP OF SIMPLE MINDED FUCKS WHO CANT ACCEPT HOW ANOTHER PERSON PRICES OR COLLECTS HIS CARDS.

    THANK YOU

  50. Jay –

    Nice rant, dude. Just keep digging that hole deeper. I’ll keep an eye out for your upcoming blog. I’m sure your posts will be real gems of wisdom with that 5th Grade spelling you got going there. Please promise me all of your posts won’t be in all-caps. BTW, it’s “turd,” not “terd.” I like to bust boxes too, but sometimes I get sick of getting the same Jamaal Charles auto over and over again. That’s when I head over to Ebay and see if they have any of the players’ cards I actually collect. No harm in that. In fact, that’s what everybody does. If you don’t like it, cool, keep doing your own thing.

  51. Oh, also-

    You don’t have roomates, dude. Everyone can tell that those comments were written by you. For instance, why would “baseballbasement” sign Jay at the bottom? Pretty sloppy, man. Also, what 38 year old still has roomates? Are they your parents? LOL!

  52. YOU GUYS ARE LIKE A GROUP OF SIMPLE MINDED FUCKS WHO CANT ACCEPT HOW ANOTHER PERSON PRICES OR COLLECTS HIS CARDS.

    We are just in shock of how someone like you can still think the way you do without some sort of mental trauma. Yeah, I am beginning to think this is some kind of joke. The type of troll that jay is doesnt usually exist on the blogs, they stick to the message boards with other people who are as clueless as they are.

  53. Your right I dont have roomates, There my imaginary friends who like to Troll blogs, and make up for the lack of intelligence and passion, then that asshole jay.
    I mean I got cornered on a one sided blog I had no choice!!! It tried my best to fit in I created bigmike to agree with you guys, but he is such a friendly loving guy that he blew my cover!!! SO I reached out to Baseballbasement in hopes that his intelligence and love for collecting would help make things better, but his post was long and made sense so nobody read it. SO i was left with no other choice, but Jay the asshole that nobody likes who speaks his mind ( although there is really nothing up there) whips his dick out, pisses on things, and insults fat guys with high screetchy voices. Please forgive me you guys as you can see that I am mentally fucked up, and need serious help. I also collect cards and love to trade and give away shit. If you get to know me im not that bad.
    Thanks
    Jay, Bigmike, and the baseballbasement.

  54. Yeah, this is just plain weird now.

  55. And now things may be getting serious.

    Jay, if you “mentally fucked up” and having problems, please seek assistance. I am not saying this as an insult – I am someone who has his own share of mental health issues. If you truly are in a bad way, please seek medical assistance and/or the support of family and friends. If you would like to talk with someone, leave a contact email address on here and I will contact you.

    Gellman, as I have said numerous times I like your blog. However it seems you may be out of line and over the top here. Going back and reading the comments, it is quite clear that you started making things personal in your slanging match with Jay when you said “Jay, if you need further schooling, feel free to stop by the site and wait for the bell to ring.” Sometimes you need to just restrain yourself a bit – particularly when you censor people who get personal with you on your own blog. This makes you come off as a hypocrite.

    I may not agree with the way Jay uses Beckett, but I think we all need to calm down a bit and refrain from the over the top personal attacks. Remember this is a hobby, it should be fun.

  56. Bailey has every right to censor me. I am not denying that I am hypocritical on these points, but sometimes personal shit gets in the way of following stupid protocol.

    Im done here, Jay can do what he wants with his mind because I aint revisiting this. Color me bored now.

  57. Hey Im in the wrong here man.
    I didnt intend for this to get out of hand. Personal attacks fuel more attacks and so on and so on. If I am responsible for that I will take the burden. Alex dont worry brother Im O.K. Im just revisiting some of the previous comments made by Gellman, and Co. I accept your concern however and hope you are not offended by what may be seen as a mockery of mental illness. If so I apologize for that as well. To each his own. Some people use Beckett some use sales. Who cares right. I hope we can put this behind us and continue to enjoy what it all seems we do best. Collect cards.
    Thanks
    Jay

  58. lonestarr Says:

    I… nevermind. *walks away shaking his head in disbelief*

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