Friday, May 23, 2008

This Is Beyond Ridiculous

I was reading through a few blogs today and I came across a post at The Baseball Card Blog that I thought was one of the most arrogant, non-collector friendly articles I have ever read on a sports card blog. His post titled "For The Love of Sitting Around and Flipping Through a Price Guide" took the stance that price guides are necessary to help keep the hobby in check, if not only so your local mom and pop card store wont go out of business competing with big bad eBay.

Let me reinterate what I have said countless numbers of times on this blog - BOOK VALUE IS FUCKING USELESS. We should be thankful to have a free enterprise marketplace on eBay that allows us to find the TRUE MARKET VALUE of any single card we want. Want to know what your 1/1 logo patch is worth? All you have to do is put it up and watch for 5 days.

My favorite paragraphs from the article (not altered):

"I'll admit, that's a dire read on today's hobby, but let's examine the situation. The hobby doesn't need price guides to exist, and yet would be chaotic without them. Beckett and FW Publications (publisher of Tuff Stuff) provide infrastructure for the secondary market. Dealers consult them when setting prices. You want to see a world without the consultation of book prices? Look no further than eBay.

With its low prices and open-source approach to assigning realistic value to cards and memorabilia, it's the new face of the hobby. It's slowly killing independent in-shop dealers. It's taken the bottom out of the value of game-used, relic, auto and other seemingly hard-to-find cards. That Poley Walnuts insert of the squirrel at Yankee Stadium from last year's Topps? Tuff Stuff has it at $40. Here are two eBay auctions: one's at $1.25, the other at $0.99."

Give me a motherfucking break. Chaotic without price guides? Youre worried about a squirrel card? I just threw up in my mouth, that is the dumbest thing I have ever fucking read. Listen buddy, I know your favorite store may not be able to hold up selling 1980-1990 rookie cards at full book, but that is the way of the world now. Other ebay competitive industries are adapting fine, and both of my local stores are doing fine selling what dealers should be selling - WAX. It sucks that you cant have a good ole half hour conversation with your ebay seller about the state of the hobby, but I am damn glad that I dont have to pay double what a card is ACTUALLY worth. Its a trade off I am glad to take.


  1. That article is all kinds of stupid. The idea of collecting cards is well over 90 years old. Price guides have only been around for 20 and for those 20 years, the hobby has gone to hell.

    So what exactly again is the benefit of these price guides? You can't even have a decent trade today without somebody taking out a guide and over analyzing the entire trade. Not to mention the fact that the guides are indeed useless.

  2. eBay *is* fickle though. You have to admit that. You could list something today and in 7 days it closes for $40 and one the very next day will sell for $85. It's all about who sees it. And with around 400k listings in cards at any given time... We can't see it all, we can't buy it all. And what about things you can't find on eBay past 30 days or present? I'm not advocating books at all, but I don't advocate eBay as a guide either. My guide? How much am I willing to pay and how much does it mean to ME. That's all that matters. That's all that should matter to anyone else if they consider themselves a "collector." I'll gladly trade you a patch auto if I need a hard to find oddball giveaway card from the 70s. I don't care how much the patch auto is "worth," what I care about is the card I don't have.

  3. You know, Andrew, you do make good points. I would often give up cards that are worth more for a card that isnt as long as I need the second more than the first. Buuuuuuut, thats only for collectors. For someone looking for a profit, eBay is the one and only guide.

  4. Flippers and profit seekers would be better off trying the stock market or lottery. Why? "What the heck, I spent $1,500 on a case and didn't make it back!" or "I spent $500 for a pack of cards and got a Charlie Frye patch! I can't make my money back!" Hello! This is a collectors market... You want to make money? Invest in vintage, at least you know it won't LOSE money. My opinion, of course.

  5. I agree with you there, 100% - not what this was about though.