Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Value Idiots: Message Board Edition

Thanks to Bad Wax for this idea.

For the record, I do not trade on message boards anymore, its just too frustrating. I encourage you to do the same. The number of douchebags and idiots vastly outnumber the nice people who actually want to trade. Of those nice people many of them still idiotically trade by book value rather than actual value, so that leaves me with such a miniscule amount of people trade with, I just don’t do it anymore. Despite my rules, sometimes I get random PMs from people who have found old cards or lists on sites and figure I am worth a chance. Not often do I respond, but when I do, sometimes its just to have some fun with people who are stupid beyond belief. This is one of those stories.

Two days ago I get a PM from someone who was interested in card I posted a long time ago on a message board I never go to anymore. It was one I still had, and he actually had some stuff I was somewhat interested in. I PM him back and say that I was interested, and then it starts:

Book Value Idiot: So, what does your card book?

Me: Considering that I havent bought a Beckett in years, I have no idea.

BVI: Well, ill see if I can find out and let you know.

(at this point I know I am just going to continue the conversation to fuck with this guy)

Me: Okay, let me know when you find out.

BVI: It books at 155 or something like that, mine books at 250, do you have anything else to trade?

Me: Here is the link to my photobucket, help yourself

I found some other stuff, but the combined BV comes to 230, can you throw in 20 bucks to get this done?

Me: What other stuff did you find?

BVI: I liked the Mauer, the Peterson RC, the Garnett RC and maybe one other card. Those BVs come to 230 total with the other card, so 20 bucks should cover the rest of it.

Me: Well, considering that your card books at 250, but sells at less than 100 on numerous occasions, here, here, and here, I think that we should ditch the book value conversation all together. The card you Pmed me about sells at About 90 give or take, and the other cards you want bring the actual price to about 70 bucks over what yours sells for. How about we just do a 2 for one, you pick which one of the cards you want from the others you picked

BVI: Sorry, I don’t go by sell value. eBay is too crazy when it comes to pricing. I would like to work this out via BV.

Me: Well, if you look back over the three month listings, your card hasn’t fluctuated THAT much. Maybe 5-10 bucks here or there.

BVI: Yeah, but the card has an up arrow in the new Beckett. And is on their hot list. I cant let this go unless I get a good deal or at least equal BV.

Me: Okay, so if we were to figure it out where things were even, minus five bucks on your end, you wouldn’t do it, even though you searched back 6 months on the forum to find me with this card?

BVI: Sorry, it needs to be exactly even, otherwise you get the better deal.

Me: I just showed you that in terms of actual value, you would be taking me to the cleaners. Is that fair?

BVI: Book value is the way we price on this board, it makes things even. So yes, its fair.

Me: I always say that something is only worth as much as someone else will pay for it. As crazy as you may think that sounds, no one will pay the prices you want for your card - as I showed you. It only shows how ridiculously arbitrary the prices are in your bible.

BVI: I have traded and collected for 20 years. You are an idiot if you think that BV doesn’t mean anything.

Me: 20 years ago it may have, but that was before the internet, before people could actually communicate at the drop of a hat. Now, we can find out how much something is actually worth for free. Its called eBay. The price guide is obsolete.

BVI: Well everyone else on here seems to think you are wrong.

Me: I see that, and that is why I havent posted here for a long, long, looooooooooooong time. This place is filled with people like you who think they know everything about value, when in reality they cant seem to fathom that a price guide makes no sense - IN ANY HOBBY. See, this trade should be like this. I have a card you desperately want. You have a card that I want. I want your card more than I want my card. They are similar in value. I will trade you.

BVI: People like you just try to rip people like me off. I see it all the time.

Me: YOU CONTACTED ME FROM A SIX MONTH OLD POST! Why would I try to rip you off? In fact, I showed you how I was NOT ripping you off via actual value. Its not my fault you want to use arbitrarily selected prices deemed "appropriate" by some harem of douchebags in texas who know nothing about cards.

BVI: F off, go somewhere that accept trolls like you for who you are - idiots.

Me: I love how you think I am the idiot. Have fun trying to find this card again, I havent seen it anywhere since I got it.

BVI: I will.

(end of PMs)

I loved every minute of this conversation, looking back, he said some of the craziest things I have ever seen. Up arrows? This guy was amazing! It really sucks that stupid people are EVERYWHERE and it is beyond frustrating to work with them when you need to. I swear to god, this hobby would be a better place without the price guide around. 20 years ago it was advertised as a tool to help people avoid getting ripped off by dealers who had the ability to set their own prices. In reality, it probably just furthered the fa├žade they were displaying, because then they had widely accepted price justification to sell cards at what they wanted.

Now, since the advent of the internet and ebay, price has become a completely different ballgame now that people can communicate world wide. The privilege of information is no longer something you have to be on the inside to have. You can get it FOR FREE pretty much anywhere. Hell, most of the time you can get Beckett pricing without paying just by asking someone. Regardless, the line stands: "something is only worth as much as someone else will pay for it." If you arent living by this in the hobby, you and I will never get to tradin', because you are lighting fire with sticks and I am walking around with a lighter. Its that simple.


  1. My favorite responses:

    "People like you just try to rip people like me off. I see it all the time."

    and my all time favorite is this:

    "F off, go somewhere that accepts trolls like you for who you are- idiots."

    The first line about ripping off is hilarious because in all actuality he knows he is the one trying to rip you off. I have seen this a bunch people try and go by arbitrary book value when it benefits them but then sell value on ebay when it doesn't.

    I loved the comment about the troll because he contacted you and you hadn't posted on the board in over 6 months. Trolls on boards are always on and always trying to discredit something, but he contacted you.

    I was surprised Gellman that you held such a nice tone in the conversation. I was expecting the smack to come down like on here, but alas you are a civil person in conversations. Kudos to you.

  2. I didnt want to get banned for threats. I was perfectly capable of doing so, but I consciously held back. Didnt work regardless though.

  3. This was very entertaining to read. It really amazes me that anyone with a brain would still use "book value".

  4. Wow I'm speechless at this guys reasoning. Which there is no reason no arguement no point. Keep beating them up it's fun reading! Grant

  5. I don't particularly care if folks want to use a measure to trade (ebay, book, whatever) but what is very apparent and what does piss me off is he is someone who uses book value to get a trade that most wouldn't do by just looking at the cards. You can tell because he wants the Petersons, Mauer types that sell well. He also tries to turn it into some cash, which even book value collectors don't do to make a trade even. Most of them accept it's not real money values. I get these guys all the time since I collect HOF players and certain players that may not sell like others. This past season I had a guy offer me an Earl Campbell and Lance Parrish auto cards for my Matt Ryan SP Authentic auto. He says it's close in book value. I don't have a book, but even if they were, if it was reverse no way that guy gives me his Ryan for those cards, because we all know Matt Ryan hair clippings sell for more than those two.

  6. What bothers me most about BV is that people don't understand that high book is retail and low book is almost eBay. Until they understand that there will always be idiots in this world.

    THanks for the Shout out!

  7. Low book is "almost eBay?" Sorry dude, that is a bad comparison.

  8. I trade alot on SCF - some want to trade at SV, others at BV - its dumb but ill do it to a point but what I absolutley cant stand is people like the dumbass I dealt with today wanting BV for their cards and scouring Ebay and trying to beat me up over the lowest SV they can find for the cards they want from me.

  9. You should have offered him 300 cards that book at a buck each. He would have made out like a bandit!

  10. I don't even bother with BV or SV anymore. If you've got something I want I'll either offer something that seems about right or just ask what you would like in exchange. If it works out, great. If not, I move on. Research SV and BV is way to much work.

  11. You almost had me, dude. I was buying it until the "up arrow" comment. You made that whole thing up. Didn't you? You had to have. No way this giant bag of douche exists.

    "I'll take the Peterson and the Mauer if you throw in 20 bucks?" For real?


    Just, wow.

  12. Actually, this guy was full of shit from the get-go. The first thing he asked you is what your card books for.

    There is absolutely no chance in hell that he didn't know EXACTLY what the BV was before he PM'd (or BM'd) you. None whatsoever.

    He knows he's full of shit. He was just hoping for an idiot.

  13. Dude, I wish this guy was made up. I wish. The world would be a better place without him. Even now looking back, the conversation STILL shocks me. Im sure chem feels the same way about the craigslist guys.

  14. Ha ha... "up arrow"... what a clown. I mean, obviously he was an idiot from the beginning, but the up arrow comment is hilarious. If he'd read his beloved Beckett (I'm assuming) he'd realize that arrows don't mean a card is "going up" or "gowing down"... You should've sent him 15,000 $.02 commons. I think we all would've chipped in!

  15. You'll have to send me a link to his profile and I'll place him in The Douche Baggery next to my two idiots!

  16. awesome. As if the additional cards weren't enough, a crisp $20 bill will get you there. How in the world do you reconcile those 2 numbers? Book value is the only way to trade, yet I will take cash as well?

    I don't like to trade that way, but if people do, that's fine. I don't have to deal with them. What irks me is when people have hostile signatures on SCF. For example: "I trade by book value. If you trade by sell value then sell it and buy what you want!" In other words, "I ignore all reason. If you want to be reasonable, take it somewhere else."

  17. People like this idiot outta be put to sleep. If you can't follow the logic that actual, real-life value trumps arbitrary book value, you might as well have no brain.

    What was this he was saying about the forum using BV? Were there rules in that particular forum about how the value of cards would be determined?

  18. I think he was referring to the fact the people on the message board generally use BV. He is right.

  19. Should have told him to go sell his card for book value, and then he could buy your cards at their $230 book value.

  20. Okay, so if people on that board generally trade by book value, this guy isn't an asshat, he's just doing what he's used to doing. Besides, I really think Gellman made this whole thing up. I read this site only for the contrived views that Gellman posts as truths. At least at Chemgod over at badwax is always able to actually link to his Craigslist Idiots. In my mind, Gellman is a joke. I also like how over at Wax Heaven Mario really did take a swipe at Gellman for being negative about everything. When was the last positive post about anything here?