Friday, June 13, 2008

Book Value Is The Bane Of My Universe

I really hate to devote more time to something like my crusade against "book value," but I am so angry over something that just happened, that I can barely function.

I was trading online with a guy that had a card I have been looking for FOREVER, when the unthinkable happened. I had a card he desperately wanted, as well, something that I know was not going to surface on TWGM anytime soon. Both cards are relatively valuable to everyone, but more so to us, due to the people we like. I thought a straight up deal would be great considering how rare both of the cards were, but I had no idea that he had something heinous in his repetoir. When he dropped the idiot bomb, the trade floundered and I almost did a Family Guy puke. BOOM, the I-bomb takes out my dream of owning this card.

Actual text from our conversation - SCU will be me, IBOMB will be him:

SCU - So you ready to go on this? I am so happy I found someone who was willing to trade for the card!
IBOMB - Yeah, no shit, I have been looking for this since 2 years ago. Yo, just one last thing though. My card books at $100, yours is only at $50, is there any way we could even this out?
SCU - Why, they both sell for about the same on eBay, what is the problem?
IBOMB - I trade by BV
SCU - Besides the fact that this is completely ridiculous, considering how much we both need the other's cards, go ahead and see if there is anything else I can add.
IBOMB - I don’t really see anything I need, can you throw in some paypal?
SCU - Sorry, money is tight right now, cant do it.
IBOMB - Ok, well, thanks for trying, I think Ill pass.
SCU - You are going to give up on a card you want because some book told you that yours is worth more, despite the obvious fact that it sells at similar price?
IBOMB - If I wanted to go by SV I would go on eBay
SCU - eBay is the true price guide anyway
IBOMB - whatever, it changes daily.
SCU - Yes, but the prices are still relatively similar. Its not like a 50 dollar sale turns into 600 the next day, it may go to 53 or 47, but those are still ball park.
IBOMB - Sorry, people screw each other using eBay values to trade
SCU - You know, im done with you, congrats on trashing a good trade. I hope one day you stop being such a fundamentalist. You may actually realize that eBay is the only value you should worry about.

SCU Signed off 10:16pm

Let me reinterate a few different things here. First being that book value is the worst possible way to determine the true value of a card. Last time I went over all the ways that BV is wrong, and it still pisses me off when people quote it like the bible. The general collecting public is the most asshat filled group in the history of man, only because they refuse to understand that the ways of the old are out of date. In a day where magazines and newspapers are on their way out, people still think Beckett is the end all and be all of card pricing, even though there is a free place to look where money is no good. I cant believe this douche let the card he wanted go because some guide created by people who enjoy skinning puppies told him it was worth more than it was. I even played along! I fed in to this guy's insanity!

I just wanted to tell him that creating a price guide as a monthly publication for a volitile product is like putting a price guide on stocks as a monthly publication. I mean, much like eBay is the TWGM for cards, the stock market is a similar place for the companies that are traded. Would you go by a book's value of the stocks or the true market value? I swear, don’t say eBay is fickle and it changes - that’s common for a lot of products. Smart people know that steady value of any commodity is a myth, so shove that crap up your Beckett loving ass.

Another common thing on the pulse these days is people complaining that Beckett has changed their format. Instead of once per month, they now publish bi-monthly with less info on cards. Like it fucking matters how often Tracy "Bratz" Hackler takes out his pricing hat and draws out the book values for the month. Yet, for some reason, people are pissed because they cant see how much their card is worth to some cock-spackler with a buzzcut every month. Whats even worse is that with the online price guide, Beckett actually has the tools to circulate an eBay based price guide. But, like the magazine, the OPG is only updated monthly, and it costs more money to subscribe to. Plus, those assholes are too self absorbed to even entertain the fact that they may be the idiots that we know they are.

Now, I found my trader on a message board of seemingly informed people, yet he still is one of those ass spelunkers who trades by BV instead of SV or even just need for the card. Need is all that was important to me, but the money grubber had his own monetary interests in his side. How shitty is that? Ill be sure to cite book value as one of the main reasons I stopped collecting, if and when that happens.


  1. Book value means absolutely nothing to me. I haven't looked at a Beckett for price guides in close to a year. So much so, I don't even know what my cards are worth when I have to make a trade.

  2. Yeah, I wish card trading would function more on need than value - alas the world we live in.

  3. The voice of reason in a collecting world gone insane.

    I used to go to "trade-days" at a local shop but quit because all the pukes their would ONLY trade by BV.

    The sad thing is most collectors don't realize Book Value equates to value sold at retail which includes the inherent overhead mark-up for rent, utilities, payrolls, etc. Just because 1 of Beckett's "trusted pricing sources" sells a card to some schmo for $25 doesn't mean its worth $25 when anyone arount the country can purchase the same card off ebay for $3.00. Thus $3.00 is the value of your card.

    Book value pukes make me wanna hurl

  4. I have hurled and will hurl again.


    Too late.

  5. I hope I don't get lumped in with the rest of the ass spelunkers, but there have been a couple of oocassions where BV has allowed me to pick up a card for much less than what it sells for on eBay.

    However, in general I do agree. It really pisses me off when I spend the time to go to a card show, find a card I really want, and the asshat behind the table starts quoting BV, when I know it usually sells for a lot less.

    Does that hypocrisy make my ass look fat??

  6. I hate that. I would always find cards I want at shows and then see that they were priced AT book value. I go to the guys and ask them what they would lower it to, and they say, "I could MAYBE go 3/4s book."

    My second question is always how much they have into the card, they say, "oh about (insert ebay price here)."

    Which prompts me to say, "So you got this at eBay price, and now I have to pay book? Thats stupid."

    I actually had one guy say, "not AT eBay price, ON eBay. Search a little before coming here. I sell at book." Little did he know how sore his crotch would be in the next few minutes.

  7. That whole conversation screams FAKE to me. This is probably how it really went down:

    SCU - So you ready to go on this? I've been waiting for fucking ever!

    IBOMB - Yeah, no shit, I have been looking for this since 2 years ago. Yo, just one last thing though. My card books at $100, yours is only at $50, is there any way we could even this out?

    SCU - Sure. How about I sign the card. That way the card is easily worth $200.

    IBOMB - How so?

    SCU - Well considering I write for a pretty popular blog. You have to factor in how famous I am. Plus I wrote my own price guide that tells me I'm the shit.

    IBOMB - Uh, can't I just get some other cards with this one unsigned?

    SCU - Not if you want to live.

  8. 200? Pishaw! My fake autos go for 200 - the PSA authenticated ones go for much more.

  9. This is exactly why I won't buy at shops anymore. I spend 200 a month on average on my collection but the shops don't get shit unless I need supplies. Why would I buy the same damn card I can get on ebay for ten bucks for 80.00? Doesn't fucking common sense play here? Everytime I offer what the card is really worth they just scoff at me and say no way. It's not like i'm a dick either. I know they probably bought it on ebay themselves, so I even figure in a little more for the convience and overhead. These fuckin' morons try to make living off stupid Moms, trying just to help their kids with a hobby. They alienate their core customer when they find out what these are really worth later. I love it when they have the dollar pack box there full of late eighties and nineties wax. Making a killing off packs worth a nickle. Assholes.