Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Comment On Extreme Price Jumps

Over the last few weeks, Joe Mauer has been the best hitter on the Twins and possibly in the league, after returning from his injured back. I never really expected to see Joe have a good season, but when you are batting over .400, you have ECLIPSED your homerun total from last year, and have played brilliantly behind the plate, it requires some sort of attaboy from me and others around the league. What's even better is that Morneau is having just as great of a season so far as well, more than I ever expected to see from him. Hitting behind Mauer helps quite a bit, but I will give credit when credit is due, these guys are having cloverfield sized seasons this early.

That’s not the issue I have, however. My biggest thing is now Mauer's cards are so fucking expensive that I cant afford them anymore. As recent as two months ago, you could get his cards for close to nothing, and I did. Now, the cards are triple what I was used to paying for them, and I am quickly being priced out of the market. So, what do I do now? I have so much Mauer stuff that I could easily sell for a small fortune, but as a die-hard fan, I don’t think I could do it! My bat I got last year is going for over 300 in regular auctions, and my Bowman RC Auto is back over $100 for the first time in a while. For the first time since Peterson's 296 yard record game, I am in a prospector's dream position - I bought low and can sell high, but should I?

If it were any other player but my favorite, the stuff would be on eBay as we speak. My two baseballs, my bat, my mini helmet, my 40 auto cards, everything. However, I did not buy this stuff to sell it. I bought it for my own enjoyment, so that’s where it will stay. My advice to the rest of you who may find yourself in this position one day is to really determine what the stuff means to you. If you have something you could live without, sell it. If you cant, then don’t, pretty simple stuff. That’s the rules I live by, and I encourage you to take advantage of good prices when you can/want to.

There is still another pressing question, one that I may not have the answer to. When, during an epic price run, should you sell? You don’t want to hold it for too long until the player cools off and you miss your chance, but you also don’t want to sell too early and miss out on higher prices still. I have always had a rule in gambling, and I think it should factor in here as well, because prospecting a price of a card is like gambling in this industry. If I ever sit down at a Black Jack table or something similar, I will never risk anything past doubling my money, the odds are never in your favor that you will do much better than that. So why not just take the money and run? Sure, you could win more, but its more likely that you will lose everything back. With cards, I would never hold something longer than a 75% rise in value (100 rising to 175 dollars and such) unless there is an extenuating circumstance like I have with Mauer and Peterson. In football, do it as soon as possible, maybe even at 50% or less because the season is shorter and injuries are more likely.

Listen, when you have a bird in hand, don’t wait for it to become the two birds in the bush. Just take it, risk is never good in a hobby like this one, especially with the economy where it is. Why even take the chance if its something you are willing to dump? 99% of the time, you will be able to rebuy what you sell at a lower price. Then again, with a hobby also full of wax breakers who risk hundreds weekly, its not surprising to see someone try to hold something for value. Remember, and I have said this a million times, cards are not and never will be a good investment.

With Mauer, I am going to stay put, the stuff I have is too important to me, and most of it is personally obtained. I would say the same stuff about my AD collection, though the rest I would sell in a second if the price jumped. There is no reason for me to think any other way as Tom Brady and Albert Pujols were once in a lifetime opportunities, and I am not disturbed by the fact that I missed out on both.


  1. Very interesting post since I'm in the same boat with Evan Longoria. The prices of his cards have gone through the roof with his hot start. Many of his best cards are now well out of my price range. However, I do own many cards that are now worth 2 or 3 times as much as I paid for them. The thought of selling my cards is tempting, but I am a huge fan of Longoria and I love my collection of his cards. So I'm not selling. If he continues to keep his spot as one of the best hitters in MLB, his cards should continue to rise in value over the years. Maybe I'll sell them years from now to put my kids through college...

  2. Man, I had the same sentiments about all my 1987 fleer cards! I still have the complete packaged sets in my old closet at my mom's house. My dad is still holding out hope...

  3. You should become a Craigslist Idiot and try selling them for $5000.

  4. I always look at it this way: chances are, the cards will go down in the offseason or the next year so I would sell anything I could get back at a lower price than I sold for. Of course, that is the poor man in me talking.

  5. Don't do Adam. I have every Santonio Holmes auto known to man including 1/1 auto logos of sp, ultimate, lcm etc. Guess what. Kept them after the Superbowl. Could have easily sold out. Didn't. Everything comes back to earth and you would kick yourself when they did.