Now that we have confirmed auctions of the Tiger Woods exquisite patch auto, many of our questions have been answered. Im actually very glad that this card has finally surfaced, as without it, UD has been in a pretty precarious situtation with the people who already had a hard on for the agony of the people over in Carlsbad.
Because we see that the card is not a 1/1 and is numbered 1/3, we can assume that all those handfuls of people who did their search for Tiger at the beginning of the release will maybe go case diving again. The reason I say this is because this card is the first card in the last few years that people have truly searched for. Usually a card is pulled within the first few weeks, everyone ooo's and aaaaah's, and that is that. With the Tiger, people (including myself) have gone so far as quiestioning the existence of the card. Gregg had confirmed that there were five, but many on the boards did not take that for granted.
Also, this may be one of the first Exquisite cards in a long time to break the 10K barrier. I have said for a long time that 10K is the modern ceiling with few exceptions, but this may come close to breaking that, maybe due to the length of time between release and pull. That is good for everyone, believe it or not, consider it a hobby stimulus package. Give some credibility back to the manufacturers, maybe get more people buying. Granted, this is a small blip on the radar, especially with the seller putting it so high, but it is something...
Lastly, on the question of Exquisite's box price going down in actual value because of 1 less Tiger, I disagree. I say the box price stays put, as people will want to try their luck again. Either way, Im sure this will bring a whirlwind of coverage. Chris Olds of Cosmo Beckett Seventeen and his ridiculous hats will maybe even stop covering solutions to teen erections in class to pester the seller until he lets Beckett sell his card. Watch, this is only the beginning.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Now that we have confirmed auctions of the Tiger Woods exquisite patch auto, many of our questions have been answered. Im actually very glad that this card has finally surfaced, as without it, UD has been in a pretty precarious situtation with the people who already had a hard on for the agony of the people over in Carlsbad.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Alright folks, I know that it seems like we are dwelling in 2007 Product because of my fascination with it having the best Viking rookie of all-time. While that fact is true (it containing the best Viking rookie player of all-time), the real reason that we continue to have 07 products is because it right now has the best prices in order for us to maximize the possibilities of people getting nice cards. 2008 is still at a high price and probably could remain there because of Flacco and Ryan. Well to make a long story short we are back with some 07 product, but as usual a product that also has autos/material cards of past star players in order to at least get some nice cards outside the now shrinking 07 Rookie Class.
We will continue the **Bonus** part of the break in order for everyone to get something out of the break. Here are the details of the product for this month.
(3) boxes of 2007 Upper Deck Premier Football (each box/pack containing 3 material and 3 autos).
***ADDED BONUS: Those teams owned that do not get a hit will get (1) pack of 2008 SP Authentic Football. I will do the same thing as last month in terms of assigning those packs and opening any unclaimed packs and passing along any hits to break teams as usual***
###- As a new feature I am trying something new for the randomization. On the night I am to do the randomization I will do the video tape but also take a screenshot of each of the three results. Then before posting the results of the video, I will post the time stamps for each step of the randomization and the first person from the break to post will choose which step of the random progression they want and that will be the assignments. Even though I know this has never been an issue I believe this is the best scenario for making something as transparent and trustworthy as possible -###
(1) (3) Boxes of 2007 Upper Deck Premier (w/added bonus of 08 SPA packs distributed as described above)
(2) $15 per slot
(3) Slot = 1 random team (assigned via video of random.org)
(4) Payments sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org (via paypal)---**Make sure to include address and handle/screenname**
(5) Until May 1st only those people listed below should send payment. On May 1st (or before if someone says they are passing) slots can be paid for on a first come, first served basis.
(6) Once break is completely full, teams will be assigned and can be traded the next two days between participants.
(7) Break as usual will be videotaped and posted on here and youtube (and as usual everything is done on camera from opening boxes to pack to showing cards)
1. thomas (paid)
2. wheeler (paid)
3. bobby (paid)
4. scubasteve (paid)
5. bearizona (paid)
6. bdavid (paid)
7. cardman312 (paid)
8. I Am Joe Collector (paid)
9. I Am Joe Collector (paid)
10. scubasteve (paid)
11. houstoncardcollector (paid)
12. Psad21 (paid)
13. Psad21 (paid)
14. matts (paid)
15. bobby (paid)
16. Groat (paid)
17. Groat (paid)
18. scubasteve (paid)
19. arfmax (paid)
20. arfmax (paid)
21. thomas (paid)
22. fatcat4262 (paid)
23. darkship (paid)
24. darkship (paid)
25. whitesoxcat (paid)
26. whitesoxcat (paid)
27. sonic (paid)
28. sonic (paid)
29. voluntarheel (paid)
30. voluntarheel (paid)
31. Holy Hitter (paid)
32. wheeler (paid)
Each year a new class comes to the front of the hobby, usually there are one or two that are in the stratosphere for pricing, a middle group of people who are expensive but not overly expensive, and lastly, the scrubs. In 2007 I was faced with a whole year of collecting that top level of rookie with Peterson, but last year, Booty was, in terms of value, a scrub. This year, Harvin will probably be a mid level guy, taking in 20-30 bucks for autos after the first few games of the season, my wallet is thanking me right now. The question remains, what if you are "stuck" with the top guy in the class, but don’t have the cash? Here are some solutions I have had to incoporate into my repetoir.
First, Chrome is your best friend. You can usually buy a box for less than 50 bucks, and you can get some of the best looking base RC cards out there. Although the autos of your top guy will be scarce, you probably wont need to spend more than 5 bucks for an amazing base card. The good thing is that collectors still value chrome, so it isnt one of those, "lets throw base RCs in here because we need to fill the set" type of things. Also, parallels for chrome will also still be well received, so that will work in your favor. Of all the parallels in the hobby, this and SPA are the only ones I support. The icing on the cake is that chrome comes out early, so you don’t have to wait to long to have a keeper. After all, you could get lucky in your box.
Second, pick your battles. There is no reason to be a super collector these days, as there is no possible way to get everything. That doesn’t mean you cant pick your favorites, however. Choose a set or two that you know will be amazing from the previews and years past, and save your shit for that release. If you like Contenders, don’t waste your money on buying card after card after card. I know one of my favorite sets of the year is Classics because I know that it is the first Post RC Premiere product. The autos are just the base cards in a parallel, so I know it wont be a crappy RC subset that was an afterthought. Plus, from the previews, it looks pretty good this year. Because of my feelings, I wouldn’t buy boxes of Elite, UD Draft, or Prestige because I am a bigger fan of the later sets. Funny enough, Draft actually looks pretty good this year, so I may jump on that boat despite my Classics target.
Third, know your personal structure of value. If you want a nice card of your top guy, and know that you will only have one or two shots at an auto with the money you have, it may be in your favor to just pick the highest up on the value structure. Usually the top of the pyramid are always nice cards, and I hope that continues. Here is my list of cards to consider:
1. Exquisite Auto Patch
2. SPA Auto Patch
3. National Treasures Auto Patch
4. Chrome Base RC Auto
5. Topps Rookie Premiere Auto
6. SPX Auto Jers
7. Contenders Auto Ticket
8. UD Premier Auto Jers
9. Limited Auto Jers
10. Gridiron Gear Double Patch Auto (the one without the EU Football)
Of course, if you just want a cheap auto option and just want it to look nice, there are quite a few early DLP products with tons of subset autos to choose from, along with UD heroes and UD Icons. They wont be worth a ton, but they will look nice. Plus I believe that most of the UD products this year will be on card, if not all, so that will be good if you want something similar to the on card bonanza that happens with the top end of the scale.
Really, I cant stress enough how important it is to save up your cheese for something you need, as there is always something else you want. If you chip away at the 400 you need to pay for a top level SPA patch auto all year by throwing a few dollars aside each time you want to make a worthless buy, you will have your cash when you need it. However, if you buy junk for a year and then wonder why you are short on cash, I have an "I told you so" cocked and ready to fire.
Lastly, it comes down to watiting versus jumping the line. If you have a QB as your top guy, and you cant possibly wait one second, fine. Otherwise, QBs usually don’t start their first season, and when they do, they usually suck. However, if you wait until this reality sweeps over the line jumpers, you can usually chop 20-30 bucks off the 100 the autos usually cost. For a RB, people are obsessed with buying as many as possible, just in case there is some miniscule chance that the guy turns into Peterson. Look at Felix Jones, Jonathan Stewart, Darren McFadden, and Rashard Mendenhall, all of whose prices were astronomical beofre the season thanks to the idiots who don’t know any better. Then, as they started to show that they were still rookies, prices fell with reckless abandon. McFadden was tops to start the year, and ended up near the middle of the value pack at the end. Mendehall bottomed out and almost became a scrub. Don’t make this mistake for yourself.
Also, here is the way value will even out as the years pass. Even though a WR may be the top guy now, history shows that in the long run they wont be:
Be smart, and for god's sake, don’t be that guy.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Well, Topps is closing the doors on its basketball division, and here is one of those shitty ass things that will happen along the way. See, in case you forgot, Topps went and produced a product that raided their stores of Basketball stickers, and called it signature editon. It was basically a poorly thrown together product, solely to use up all the extra stickers before they lose the license. Of course, this left a lot of cards without the proper supplies to be made. On top of all that, if they didn’t have the stuff back from the athletes, they werent going to try and fufill it, and here is the result.
I have gotten about 3 emails in the last 24 hours from people who have outstanding Topps B-ball redemptions. All have been cancelled. Instead you will receive a replacement from the underwhelming Topps product mentioned above, where your card will most likely be a crap auto numbered to 15,000. Im sorry, but if you put out the commitment to help your customers before you lost the license, it is STILL your responsibility to fufill it. You do not get a free pass because you have given up on your basketball division.
For all of you who have Topps stuff, and also those of you who broke the golden rule of purchasing Topps products that cost more than 100 dollars, please be sure to let me know what you get as your replacement. If you end up with a JameSon Curry signature edition numbered to eleventy billion, I want to hear your horror story (for the record, that name is not a typo, he actually has a fucking captial letter halfway through his name for no reason).
Nice job Topps, glad to see that customer service is not your focus.
H/T Matt, Jerry, Shawn
Monday, April 27, 2009
I thought now was as good a time as any to go over this, mainly because I have a feeling that many of you are wondering. For each draft class we all pick our people. We go over the rounds and decide on a guy based on team, college, style whatever. I also know that many of you want to see an auto before you decide. Or, as I put it, whether or not the guy passes or fails your version of the Wonderlic Autograph Test (The Autolic Test). For those of you who are not familiar, the Wonderlic is a test given to all prospects at the combine to test a number of different things about their intelligence, football intelligence, etc. The Autolic test is one performed by many collectors to determine if the autograph has merit or is subject to the Morency quotient.
This year, I think we are ridiculously lucky as long as none of the players decide to pull a press pass and sign better when there are few cards to sign, and give up when there are many. Top QB autos have been very good the last few years, and Stafford is no exception. The guy is great, he should be hailed for his detail and penmanship. Nice job. Same goes for Beanie Wells, who has a great auto for his cards. Sanchez has a loopy swoopy graph, that I don’t mind, and Moreno's isnt bad either. Harvin and Crabtree have a nice visual appeal to theirs, as well, as both should do pretty amazing when you see them on better cards.
On the other hand, Josh Freeman is a jumbled mess. If I gave you this pic and told you to pick his out, you would really have to go through a few deductions in your head before pointing the finger in his direction. Heyward-bey isnt horrible, but it is boring to me for some reason, mainly because you could practically draw a line through his sig and hit every stroke of every letter. Like I said, not horrible, just boring.
You may think that I put too much thought into this, but I will give this fact as the reason for my use of the Autolic test. I hate give up autos, and I hate weird looking autos. If the player puts no effort into it, I will not keep any of their cards. I did not buy a single Chris Johnson card last year, mainly for that exact reason.
Im sure as the card season progresses, we will see numbers added and all sorts of changes as the cards transfer from on card to sticker and back on card. However, as of now, this class' graphs pass the test with flying colors.
THE 2008 AUTOLIC TEST CAN BE FOUND HERE
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Sunday, April 26, 2009
As we enter into the football-less wasteland of summer, the draft is what will have to sustain us until the pre-season starts in august. Overall, I think the draft was pretty fun to watch this whole time, and the first round had me glued to the TV now that teams were forced to pick a little quicker and because ESPN (no NFL Network access at my house) didnt miss any picks this year.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Im not going to comment on much more about the other stuff that happened in the 1st round, other than Al Davis being one of the biggest fucking idiots I have ever seen. He passed on Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, among other receivers for Darrius Heyward-Bey, solely based on 40 time from what I can tell. Wow, I had a Ted Ginn shiver run up my back after that.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Sometimes you get boxes that make you wish you didn't obsess over pieces of cardboard. These boxes are 2 of those in my opinion. Granted there are some nice cards, but the overall break could have been much better in my opinion. Win some you lose some I guess.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I had to order some supplies from blowoutcards to make sure that I had the right toploaders for the 2 Boxes of National Treasures we will be busting Friday evening (coming from AtlantaSportsCards) and so I decided to throw in 2 Tins of 2007 Sweet Spot which were on special for $45 a tin. I really like the Sweet Spot helmet autos and was hoping to get an AP. Well I decided to video it Thursday afternoon and scan the highlights and give a review of the 2 boxes. Here you go!
Overall, I have to be very happy with the 2 tins I got. I have seen some brutal tins and so to have Peyton Manning in one tin and Brady Quinn in the other is very nice. The way I figure it I probably got my money's worth in actual value on this break. I am guessing I could make almost my money back in sale values on the Manning and Quinn and then the other might push me to even or slightly over. The Inflated Book Value's of the Manning and Quinn are $100 and $120 (High Prices) respectively so in those terms it would be a great return, but we all know that isn't happening. Either way this is the first Peyton Manning auto I have every pulled for myself (I have one other Manning Auto from 2001 Upper Deck that I bought last spring the day of the draft that is one of my favorite cards) and also my first Quinn auto for myself so I am very happy.
A few months ago, two Peterson Viking head exquisites were up on ebay at once, one was real per UD's brand manager, the other was fake with proof.
Some idiot bought it, probably found out it was fake, had it raw reviewed by Beckett for looks, and put it back up. Its a private listing so people cant email the high bidders, and this watery turd of a person is lucky that nothing has happened to him so far. Man, if I were buying a card THAT expensive, I may want to do some research. I am guessing some JC is at home with a drool covered keyboard, mumbling "PETERSON-JO, PETERSON-JO, PETERSON-JO" to himself over and over again as he hits the one click bid button. Unbelievable.
I am emailing UD, hopefully they will save some idiot lot of heartache.
(H/T Reader Jeff)
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
***VIDEO AND SCREENSHOT W/FINAL LIST IS BELOW***
After I get home tonight from a meeting, I will be taping the slot randomization. I will input the names to random.org just as listed below and then random the list (3) times. The number slot each name ends up with is the "hit" slot that they will receive. Wheeler was only in if it ended up being a case break and so I will be paying for those two slots and taking them. If anyone wants to trade slots that can be done after tonight until Friday at 5 p.m. Boxes arrive Friday and I will be recording the break and posting it to youtube and here along with scans later in the evening (somewhere around 10 p.m. central time it should be up). Best of luck to everyone tonight.
1. Holy Hitter (paid)
2. Holy Hitter (paid)
3. voluntarheel (paid)
4. voluntarheel (paid)
5. rcarr (paid)
6. cardman312 (paid)
7. Holy Hitter (paid)
8. Holy Hitter (paid)
9. bobby (paid)
10. bobby (paid)
11. whitesoxcat (paid)
12. whitesoxcat (paid)
Wow, guys, it has literally been the craziest week ever. That is no excuse for missing my appointment at cardboard corner, but other stuff in my life was hitting the fan. Im not sure if many of you know, but last Friday, my wife was laid off from her job. It was a piece of shit, especially for all the bills we are now left without money to pay. On Sunday, the whole day, we spent organizing our finances and trying to get everything in order for the upcoming shit storm. Trust me, its coming. Luckily we have a lot of support from family and friends, so I know we wont be out on the street.
Either way, on Sunday, I had a standing engagement to help out the Cardboard Corner, and I blew it. Amongst the chaos of the weekend, it slipped my mind. I even had reminders all over the house, but unfortunately, I was like a chicken running around with my head cut off (sadly, I did not land on "bailout").
So, with that, I am so sorry to everyone over at Crackin Wax. If there is another time we can do this, let me know.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I want to write about something here that I have spent a lot of time covering on this blog, mainly the aspects of the industry that I cant stand. Rather than going into long winded rants about why these things suck, I think its about time to discuss why they exist in the first place. If you have further insight, please let me know, I am in the business of learning here, and you can help.
Event Used Jersey Cards
Man, if there is one thing I hate, its these cards. Basically paying the players to come by and do a try on session with about 1000 jerseys, some of them not even they're own. Most of the time, collectors don’t seem to mind and still pay through the nose for the logos and everything like it, but have any of us really thought about why they exist?
When it comes down to it, I want jersey cards of my favorite players, and so does most of the hobby. The problem is, with most companies wanting to produce the jersey cards AD NAUSEAM, there just isnt enough material to go around. If you conceive a plan for the jersey cards produced in a year, there are in upwards of 200 per player. Many of those cards are numbered as high as 1500, meaning that there is a shitload of material needed. With each rookie only playing in 16 games if they are lucky, we can expect that few jerseys will be available, if any. Add in that there are 3 companies competing for them, as well as collectors with deep pockets, and you see where I am going. In reality, without event used cards, we may get 5 cards per player, and Exquisite and NT would not be possible. That is not acceptable to me, so my anger about them is a little misplaced, maybe. Does this mean I will go and mortgage the house to buy the lot of them? No, but as long as the event used footballs disappear, maybe I will be less focused on it.
We all hate sticker autos, we just do. Its been around since the earlier part of the decade, and it has become a staple of getting a product out. Its become so bad that Topps hasn’t produced an on card high end set for 2 years (material signed cards don’t count).
Why do they exist? Well, planning and means tend to be the answer, and here is why. In order to get cards signed, you need to have the cards, period. Most sets arent produced early enough to be signed by the players, and that means that they need a backup plan. Think about it this way, do you think a player has time to sign his cards during the season? Probably not as much. For baseball this leaves a minimal time to get things signed, and football a little more. You also need to have a rep at each signing, or at least someone to witness all the sigs. Yes, this is what it has come to. If you combine both of these things, you can understand how hectic it may get. Add in the economy, and all of a sudden SPA and Exquisite become much more impressive, and NT becomes less of an issue.
Another of the big evils of the industry. Most of the time these cards are filled, but more often then not, it takes a ridiculously long time to do so.
We all pretty much understand why redemptions happen, but maybe our hatred should be focused towards the athletes AND the manufacturer rather than just the manufacturer. Now, UD has taken a lot of flack for their redemption process, but at least they have done a ten fold better job then topps when things get fucked up. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is that most people don’t really understand how far in advance the cards have to go out. It’s a long ass time, and if you consider the time frame that the season runs through, it becomes ridiculous. Really, as with stickers, planning usually takes things to the next level, which I applaud UD for taking control and really getting their shit done.
Maybe one of the things we need is a more updated way of getting the info. Instead of "Athlete committed to signing soon," give us a time frame for the signing - if there is one. If the player hasn’t scheduled one, let us know. Transparency is the gift of the gods, lets use it.
Oh my god, what I would give to have an online patch database. Company A could scan each patch to be available for all collectors to avoid fakes. DLP has taken a step to institute marking the cards, but you cant see that before you buy on eBay.
In reality, even getting this done for Exquisite is next to impossible due to the way the product is manufactured and packed out. The people who would scan the cards are in a different state than the people who make the cards, which makes it very hard to get it sorted out. Add in that with some sets, scanning 400,000 different cards can be crippling to any workforce. It should just be a practice of those in the know to educate as much as possible about fakes, and pass along this mantra: "IF ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT USUALLY IS." Plus with eBay having multiple versions of each card usually available, you are pretty much guaranteed that an acceptable one will come along eventually.
One of the biggest complaints of most collectors is a lack of customer service. Things don’t get fixed when they should be, and when they do it takes a long time.
Customer Service for any company is usually a focus, but most of the companies who succeed are gigantic. People like Disney, Google, and Apple, the leaders in customer service, have hundreds of thousands of employees. Companies like UD and DLP do not have enough manpower or money to invest tons of time and resources into customer service from what I imagine. My company has probably a quarter of the base that UD has for their customers, and yet our customer service takes up a whole building. Add in the growing number of problems from the secondary market, and you can imagine how a lack of people and resources will take its toll. Im guessing there is 25 people who work in customer service pre-drop, and now much less. We will just have to understand that it’s a tough time for everyone, and to give them a chance.
You guys all must be wondering why I decided to take the sides of the people who have shown continually that money is the only interest they have, but in reality I am starting to realize that my rage may have been pointed in the wrong direction on some of these issues, not all, but some. Besides, I wouldn’t say I am not any less angry about any of these things, just a little more open minded. Maybe having the ability to take on the question in your mind is a good enough start.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Recently, there was an SPA auto RC card that was posted on eBay and sold for a ton. It is special because the card had not been posted before, and may have been a ridiculous short print due to a number of reasons. Not surprisingly, the card went for multiple times what Beckett said it was worth, and the argument was born:
However I will agree Beckett is somewhat in the dark on real value as compared to Book Value. I use Beckett pricing for trading and a starting point in regards to selling."
Collectors are intrinsically stupid.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
****We will be going ahead with just 2 boxes of National Treasures. I will post up the randomization tomorrow night and am waiting to find out about when the boxes would arrive....break will be either Friday evening or Monday evening. I will keep you all up to date****
Well we are going to give one more go round on a case break. This time however we are going to do something new. Instead of doing a random team break we are going to try a random "hit" slot break. There are 36 "Hits" (at least 18 autos) total in the 6 box case. Here is how it will go down. 1 slot = 1 hit (Material Card or Auto). Once the break is full, I will input everyone's name in on random.org and videotape it being randomed 3 times. The number that is next to each name is the order of the cards coming out. For instance if I end up with slot 1 then the first "hit" card pulled from the box would go to me, and so on and so forth. Here are all the details.
(1) 1 Case of 2007 National Treasures (6 boxes = 36 "Hits")
(2) 1 Slot = 1 Hit
(3) 1 Slot = $42, 2 Slots = $80
(4) Slots are reserved after payment is received
(5) Payments can be sent via paypal to: email@example.com
(6) Slots #'s will be randomly assigned via video as explained above
(7) People can trade slot numbers if they so choose (we all know that in most collation issues slot #6 in a box is usually a rookie material auto and so if someone wanted to trade 2 slots with someone who has one of those slots they could).
(8) Break will be videotaped and posted here and youtube w/scans of highlights also posted here.
I am going to give this until the 24th to fill up if it doesn't then money will be refunded and we will officially end the attempts at case breaks and just stick to boxes and the box break club.
1. Holy Hitter (paid)
2. Holy Hitter (paid)
3. voluntarheel (paid)
4. voluntarheel (paid)
5. rcarr (paid)
6. cardman312 (paid)
9. bobby (paid)
10. bobby (paid)
11. whitesoxcat (paid)
12. whitesoxcat (paid)
Friday, April 17, 2009
I have said on many occasions that the design of the card can make or break a product, more-so to me than any other element of the card. To me, it could be a 1/1 NFL logo Adrian Peterson autograph, and I would pass if it looked like a piece of shit. Personally, I think card design has become a lost art, and that companies, especially Topps, have focused more on how they will pack more autos into a set than more well designed cards.
Look at Triple Threads, my all time most hated product. It is packed with cards literally packed with jerseys and autos, and I think it is the worst possible thing you can invest in. I have not bought a single Triple Threads single in the last few years, and most of it stems from the ridiculous designs and color schemes. To me, the sole purpose of the set is to give us as many low numbered cards with as many pieces of jerseys and autos as humanly possible. This means that things like design and photos of the players take a back seat to make the douchebags who don’t know any better jizz in their pants. Because of the jam packed set up of the cards, the product HAS to be considered high end, despite the fact that none of these cards are appealing to 90% of privileged portion of collectors who take pride in the way they look at the hobby. Those other 10% are die hard player collectors who live by a different creedo.
If it was up to me, I would always want better designs over more content. I love awesome looking cards, regardless of what company makes them. There are certain criteria I need to be true, like how I hate college jersey in the picture cards, but most of the time I base my want on how the card is put together. If a company uses sticker autos, but they are well done and well placed, it doesn’t matter to me. Look at SP Rookie Threads from this year, another set designed to pack as much into a product as possible. The difference between Triple Threads 2008 and SP Rookie Threads 2008 is that one set is well put together, nicely done with a cool theme, while the other focuses on all the wrong things, including printing plates with no player names and tiny player pictures.
SP Rookie Threads was designed around the look of a jersey. All the cards look like they have been sewn together like the numbers and tackle twill on a normal jersey, and I really appreciate the cool theme and idea for the set. Hell, they even made a set based on the NFL logo part of the jersey, which I thought was awesome. I bought the Peterson.
Look at Exquisite for this year, its done in an ornate and almost regal design, and the whole set follows suit in its picturesque glory. Exquisite also features more Jersey than Triple Threads in their RC Autos, and they still managed to fit in a large picture and a signature. Hell, the duals and triples were even done in a way that makes the Triple Threads ones look shameful. Large player picures and no die cut swatches to confusingly spell shit out. I love it.
If you want less high end examples, look at the way DLP did Classics the last few years, or even better, the way UD does SP Authentic EVERY year. For 100 dollars a box, UD has made Triple Threads and other poorly designed sets irrelevant. One other thing about sets like Classics and SP Rookie Threads is that they use sticker autos, but use them in a way that makes them not as noticible. Topps thinks they need to destroy the look of every card with GIANT foil stickers, or even the transparent, but not transparent foil stickers. Yes, they still stick out even when they are supposed to be clear.
Recently, Topps has put out a product that was solely designed to dump their entire store room of basketball stickers into a set before Panini takes over. This means that the set was actually somewhat necessary to utilize thousands of ugly foil stickers in the stockroom, but it is no excuse for the result. Now, we all know how much I fucking despise Topps' design moves over the last few years, and this set is no exception. Because it was so quickly put together, you can expect that the design would suffer, but jesus, the set is fugly as hell. Add in the fact that each card is numbered to 9000, and you have a donkey turd on your hands.
The one thing that the nostalgic focused modern haters have right is that design used to be better. I agree 100%. However, I do think you can have the content that each product MUST have to survive and also the design to appease the people like me. I have seen the custom card designs out there, so I know it isnt impossible to design a nice set. Hopefully the manufacturers wont save the good stuff for the expensive sets exclusively, and will let it trickle down to the low end stuff too. When cards are designed with care, everyone wins. Take notice quickly, Topps.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
So, I was doing my usual eBay digging that I do when I get bored, and I stumbled across two separate phenomena that I deem absolutely fucking ridonkulous.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I just wanted to make a quick comment after some emails I have gotten about my recent post regarding card shows. The general sentiment is that eBay has ruined the hobby and has put beloved shops out of business, blah blah blah.
See people, I don’t think you guys get the point here. If anything, eBay has done everything except kill the hobby, in fact, I would think that the hobby is what it is today because of eBay's prominence. Let me explain a little.
First, eBay has provided us with up to date value on just about every single card produced, and can provide value for any unpriced card at any time. It not only showed how ridiculous price guide prices really are, but it has also given us expectations when purchasing and selling cards. We now know exactly what the true value of just about any card is, because of the free bidding system that ebay provides. Anyone with a computer can bid on your cards for free, which means that when done in auction or BIN format, you can see exactly what someone else will pay for your card. On the flip side, it usually provides the bidder with a cheap way to accumulate the cards they want, as they can now bid and buy with only shipping costs as the fee.
What this leads to is cheaper prices on cards, mainly because they are usually not being sold by someone who needs to support themselves on the money they make from the sale. This means that its going to be tough for stores to compete without adopting new ways to function. Like I said before, stores exist to make money for their owners, not to provide a free marketplace for their customers. With that, if the only goal of the seller is to make profit over original investment, the customer is going to have to pay more than the item is actually worth to provide that.
This is why I don’t get why people are so adamant that eBay is the devil. Not only does it provide you with the cheapest possible way to buy your cards, but you don’t have to go anywhere to do it. That means minimal opportunity cost as well as minimal monetary cost. Why would anyone hate that? Oh, right, because they have a relationship with the people who own the stores, right?
Well, have you ever thought that your relationship with the shop owners is conditionally based on the money you spend at the store? Probably not. If you hadnt gone in there to spend money and support them, you probably wouldn’t have a relationship. If the actual collector interaction is the important part of your relationship, a storefront shouldn’t stand in your way.
What I am trying to say is that there is no reason to hate eBay unless you are talking about the people who spoil the bunch with their bad apple auctions. That’s a little different. But to say that providing the best possible price for the cheapest opportunity cost has killed the hobby is ridiculous. In fact, here is a list of things that eBay does better than anyone else:
1. Cost of product
3. Opportunity cost
4. Sales are based on true value of the product
5. No overhead that a buyer is forced to pay
6. Competition among sellers
7. Set information
8. Pricing info
9. Market info
10. Trend info
Lets face it people, eBay has brought more people to collecting than any single entity in history. More users buy and sell on ebay every day than some states do in a whole year for cards, and that is a great way to expand the world for people who don’t necessarily have access to a metropolitan area. It has also brought collecting to an international audience, something that has always been tough to do. Now, there are trade offs, of course, but many of them are inconsequential if you know how to watch your ass. When it comes down to it, eBay made this hobby a better place, unlike the scuzzy dealers at the show who want to give you 1/3 in trade for something you could get 100% value for online. No longer are we a captive customer with no where else to go, we have a place where all of us are equals. Each person has the same potential to sell and buy in any cost bracket, and there is no person there to bully us into buying, selling, or trading something that we don’t want to. Some card shops and shows may go under, but only the ones who are unable to adapt to the modern ways of the hobby.
Fuck, maybe now shops and dealers will finally be forced to bring their prices down to where they should be instead of basing them on a guide that is DESIGNED to help them make money. See, a lot of us fail to make the connection that Beckett prices may have been set high for no other reason than to help the people who were selling cards in their shops or at shows. Of course, now that ACCURATE information is readily available to anyone for free, more people are starting to see what a sham the guide really is. Other than appeasing the people who pay for the ads, or the people who support them by selling their magazines in their stores, there is no reason to have the vastly inflated prices in the price guide.
Who do high guide prices help, for fuck's sake? Definitely not us, as we have had to buy based on those inflated prices. Does it help the producers of the products? Without a doubt! If the guide says your cards are worth a ton, people will pay more for your products and in larger quantities. Does it help the store owners? It sure does. If they buy at 1/3 book (closer to actual value), and sell at book, they make more money.
Its pretty simple:
Ebay is and will be our best friend for as long as it is around. It shows us everything that we couldn’t find out on our own pre-internet, and provides a selection that is unrivaled by any shop or show. You cant fucking beat that with a stick if you tried. You think eBay killed the hobby? You are wrong.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Ahh the card show, a place where every card collector can go to be with their brethren. According to Mario, they are dying because sports card sales are declining, but I don’t think that could be farther from the truth. I think the real reason has to do with a number of things that are mostly stemming from the rise of eBay's prowess in the hobby, as well as a decline in the number of people who could benefit from going. I want to go into this a little further because I think it’s a topic that many of us think about every time we walk into that stale air filled ballroom.
Card Show Pros: Why Its Still Good To Go To Or Sell At Shows
1. It’s a place with a lot of collectors, its something to do
Lets face it, we have all become accustomed to faceless dealings on message boards devoted to gathering like minded people. Instead of actual interaction with actual people, we have all decided to go anonymous and spend hours fighting over who is the gayest in an argument. At a show, you get to be around collectors and actually watch the hobby in action. Its fun to have people to discuss things with, and though I think this is an overrated plus to the overwhelming amount of minuses, its still something that would draw me to a show.
2. People Who Arent Looking For Expensive Cards
Im not talking about people who want to buy a few 10 dollar singles, im talking about the people who will spend the time to go through bin after bin of 4 for a quarter cards to complete their set, or people who are looking to spend very little and get a lot. The shows are filled with tables who use this as a way to pay for their spot, which means there are tons of places for you to scavenge.
3. Sellers Who Do It As A Hobby Rather Than A Source Of Income
A lot of sellers still think there is lots of money to be made at shows. There probably is some, but only in VERY specific situations. Those are the people who will populate my list of why not to go to shows. Every once in a while you find a guy who sets up at a show to make connections, or find new customers to his shop. This is the guy who goes to shows as a hobby rather than a career. The shop is the career, not the show. This is the guy who will chat you up, give you what you need, be a nice person. He isnt there to make money, and will more than likely have all the things mentioned in number 2. Because there are a captive audience of people, it’s a good place to advertise your shop for those of us without a regular money pit. However, this could be dangerous if you are already in the red for your business.
4. People Who Want To Trade And Not Buy
When I say trade, I mean trade with other people there, and not with the dealers. There is no reason to go and trade at shows unless you are okay with taking a bath on the cards you are giving away. However, if you deal in inexpensive cards, it may be worth your while to trade with the dealers to get the stuff for the people in number 1. For the rest of us, there are a lot of people there who will be available to trade, and those are the best people to make friends with. Its basically message board trading without the mail, which is a great situation.
5. To Watch or Window Shop
It is great place to go just to see what's out there. Until I went to a show in Minnesota, I had never seen an Exquisite card in real life, it was always on a site or youtube. There are going to be a lot of amazing pieces at these shows, though at highway robbery prices, but its still worth seeing what they are like in real life. Think the Triple Threads XXIV Relic cards look amazing online (shame on you!)? Try seeing them in person, it’s a true eye sore. Also, if you like watching case and box breaks on the tube, this is your chance to see them in person. If you do breaks on message boards, you can avoid the douches who post pack by pack and scream like 12 year olds whenever they pull a jersey card. OMG! BARRY-JO!!!! Fuck you.
6. You Get To See What You Buy Before You Buy
But you will pay through the nose to do so. Yes this is a good thing, but with high quality scanners today, its becoming less of an issue.
7. No fees, no chargebacks, no scams
We all know what feebay is capable of, and we definitely know what the sellers and buyers are capable of. At a show, what you see is what you get. That means, if you want the card on the table, it will be the card on the table and not a similar card or a completely unrelated item. All of those have happened to me online.
Card Show Cons: Why The Above Stuff Means Absolutely Nothing
1. You Have To Pay To Get In
See, everyone is out to make a buck, including the people who run the show. Want to do any of the things I just talked about? You will be forced to pay to get in, most of the time. Guess what? Ebay is free, and has four thousand times the number of cards you will see at the show. It also has a money back guarantee on paypal, which can USUALLY work to your advantage, and you don’t have to drive anywhere. I cant tell you how liberating it is to buy cards in your draws.
2. You Have To Live In Beckett's World
Yup, just about every single dealer will still be living in 1992. They will pull out a Beckett every time you want to trade, and they will pull out a Beckett every time you want to buy. You will be forced to buy on percentages of BV, and we all know what a fucking joke that is. The best thing? You have to lie through your teeth to support them or they may not give you as good of a price. Oh yeah, I love Beckett and think the book is the bible of cards. Right.
3. You Have To Pay More Than A Card Is Worth
This will kind of feed into just about every other thing on the cons list, but basically you will have to be prepared to pay more than you should for a card, mainly because of number 2, but also because you are a captive customer. On eBay, you have the choice of what price to pay, and you can avoid the whole book value thing unless the guy is a clueless tool. See, on eBay, most of the cards are posted thousands of times, and you will only pay exactly what the card is worth, as long as you can use auction format. Even with BINs, most of the time you will be able to negotiate TO market value, unless, again, the guy is a clueless tool.
4. You Have To Associate With People Whose Only Goal Is To Make Money
You may say that ebay is the same thing, but it is and it isnt. People's goal on eBay is to make money, but most of the time its very hard to make more than you should. At a show, you live in a Beckett world, so the dealers have the ability to charge more. Its kind of like a shop. Never buy singles from either because prices are always adjusted for the fact that the storefront is not free. At a show you also will get nothing in terms of trade, because they will need money on their side to make it worth it. Even if the market value is exactly the same, they will not accept the trade because it doesn’t make them any money. Ebay provides all of the ways to buy cards at or below market value, and message boards usually provide a good way to do trades without having to put up with the 66% rule of how much ill give you for your card. That is, unless you are dealing with a clueless tool who has no idea that Beckett Value is about as relevant to the hobby as a Model T is to cars.
5. You May Get To See The Cards, But Do You?
Yes, you can see the cards in person, but the presentation is controlled by the seller. That means they decide what cases they use, how you see it, and what you can do with the card. Want to take it out of the holder? Its up to them. With eBay, you get the same kind of presentation, but you usually have quite a few cards to choose from. Plus, most people place hi-res photos on their auctions which are almost as good as picking it up. Don’t think they are representing the card correctly? You are the sought after customer, so most of the time they will give you what you want. At a show, you are there for them, not the other way around. On eBay sellers usually want to sell at the best price, so they are there for you. Most of the time.
6. Personalities Are Always On Display
This can be a good thing and a bad thing. At a show, its usually the latter. Again, number 4, so they are usually scrot-astic douches who think you are just another sheep in the herd. Because most of the dealers at a show know when they have something they want, you have to gravel to them, where on eBay, its different. 90% of the sales I have done have been 100% communicationless, and yet I am still satisfied because I got what I want. Whether you are talking to them or just handing them your hard earned money, you will get a good idea who they are, and them you. Its usually quite off putting to give a douchebag your money regardless of what you get. Although douches are all over eBay, most of the time you don’t have to deal with them face to face.
7. On Ebay People Are Specifically Looking For The Stuff You Are Selling
Which means that you don’t have to cater your presentation to anyone other than the people you want to sell to. At a show, its every type of person and then some. On eBay its one card at a time if that’s the way you want it. That means your steelers auction can be filled with steelers shit rather than just putting it on display for everyone, including the cowboys fans. You may have to pay the fees on eBay, but there is a bigger guarantee that your stuff will sell if it’s a desirable piece. Even if its not, it will probably still sell, and it wont have to take up space on your table. At a show, you have to sell only your a-list stuff if you want to make any sales. Go up with a bunch of 1990 Hoops Basketball cards and people will pass you by. Not usually so on eBay if catered correctly.
When it comes down to it, would I care THAT much if shows or shops went the way of the dodo? Not really, as long as the internet was still running strong with sales. I also know for sure that it is all the reasons above as to why shows are going bye-bye rather than a nebulous decline in sales. If anything, its not the sales themselves that have gone down, but rather the ways the sales are completed.
In the end, its going to be eBay or the highway, and really, im okay with that.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Oh my god, Wheeler, thank you for sending this to me.
So, lets get you the run down on this auction:
Graded 1/1 - Check
Graded NFL Shield Card - Check
Non-gem grade - Check
Complete and Utter Idiot - Check
Population report published in the auction - WTF?
Not only do you have a guy who has ridiculously graded his NFL shield Felix Jones card from NT, but he has also published a population report in his auction. Why? If the card is a 1/1 is there really a need to show where all the cards have fallen? No, as there is only one. Duh. See, the practice of grading cards like this is fucking stupid to begin with, but to show the bidders where it stands among its non-existant counterparts is borderline mentally disabled.
Again, what will grading this card serve? Nothing. Also, what will adding the pop report to the auction serve? Nothing, but it will show that you are a clueless douche. Congrats my nizzle, you are one with the brain.
Sometimes you just know things are not going to turn out well. When the economy hit the fan, I knew that the card industry was in trouble. Some industries have the clout to power through it, like video games or porn, but card collecting doesn’t seem like enough of a money maker to continue at its pace before the drop. Im also not convinced it was all the fault of the economy, as it seems as though the industry was getting way too far ahead of itself with what it was delivering. Players are now wanting more money than ever for their participation, and I dont think many people thought about what that would do when the going got tough.
That isnt the only large problem in our midst, however, as the mindset of the consumer may have adjusted to prices TOO much to give back enough to get it where it was before. What I mean is this. As of now, singles are at their lowest prices ever, and there is much to be had for the collector that still has disposable income. I mean, I just got a Peterson auto for like 50 bucks, and it wasn’t a bad one. Considering that I had 50 bucks in ad revenue from the site, this was a freebie that I couldn’t pass up. The scary thing is, what happens when the economy comes back around? Do we go back to the before prices or will people think, "Man, I saw this card go for fifty bucks a few months ago, I am not going to pay 150 for it right now." Even though the pre-drop value may have been at 150 bucks, and would be able to sustain that with a now returned economy, the completed auction page may prevent it from going back to normal.
Of course, super high end cards should be back to normal, and I am not talking about cards that are $250-1000, I am talking higher. Mainly the ones that really never drop in value, but just fluctuate a little here and there. You know, the Jordan RCs, the Mantle cards and other vintage, and a lot of the cards that people will ALWAYS want. But, BUT, does a rise in super high end translate to a snap back for cards below that? Im not really sure, and I am beginning to think that if one of the big three dies out, Upper Deck being the front runner for some reason, they wont snap back. Then, when you have stocked up on cards that you knew to be WAY below their pre-drop values, where does it leave you? Not in a good place, right?
Now, I am not saying to avoid pulling the trigger on those deals out there, because some of them are just too good to pass up. However, before you go nuts, you might want to think about your own mindset once things go back to normal. Would you be willing to shell out twice what you are paying for the card at this moment once things change in your discretionary funds? Hell, for the first time in decades, Americans are saving money for fear of what is to come. Who's to say that they wont continue to do so? If this type of recession happened once, what's saying it wont happen again? All of these things will contribute to the value of your collection, so make sure to keep your head on a swivel while you are buying, IF you are buying.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
When Exquisite was first produced in 03-04, people had two reactions. They either shit their pants with excitement, or they shit their pants wondering why something like it was ever considered. Personally, I wasnt really into collecting at that point, but I still heard rumblings, and I was a little of column A and a little of column B.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Man, Wolverine24 has decided that he wants to be enscribed in the book of douche. Many of you may know him from his ridiculous auctions (ridiculous good), however many of you may also know him from the constant speculation of his practices and their legit-ness. Well, he threw all that speculation into a gas drum and lit it on fire for warmth.
This particular auction is especially funny, as this dual "logo" looks like he just split it down the middle and gave half to each window. Nice job there. Premium workmanship. He even spits out the patch faker motto in the description:
"CHECK OUT OUR OTHER 1/1 NFL LOGO PATCHES !!!" Nice dude, three exclamation points. The card becomes more valuable with each.
See, the funniest thing is that these type of cards really dont go for that much anymore because so many people have caught on. So much for creativity in your ass backwards sense of ethics.
h/t freedom card board
Thursday, April 9, 2009
So slowly the results are trickling in. There should be 4 hits out there to those who received the random Threads packs for slots that did not get anything from the National Treasures.
So far 3 have been reported. Meaning there is 1 more out there (unless it was a hot box and that means there could be more).
Here are the results so far:
HCC- Curtis Lofton Auto /299
Voluntarheel- Danny White GU Jersey (Century Legends)
and Bdavid got this beauty:
One more hit is out there.
****UPDATE**** I think we had a hot box folks. So far here are the results
After constantly reading about the sadness surrounding Adenhart's death, this was quite the pick-me-up.
For those of you who dont know, Fire Joe Morgan is the best baseball blog ever. Its not even a contest. I base a lot of my humor on theirs, and you see how lame it is. Imagine if it was actually good! Thats what FJM is. Go read through the archives and laugh your ass off. You wont ever read a sports article the same again.
Joe Posnanski interviewed Michael Schur, AKA Ken Tremendous on his blog and SI.com, and I must say, I am now excited for Parks and Recreation. It will be amazing just because these guys are behind it. Also, the line about Marlins fans is HOF worthy.
The mystery cuts checklist from UD was pretty impressive with some of the ones they had found. Jimi Hendrix, the Marx Brothers, Presidents, etc. They also managed to get a card in there that I think is awesome in concept.
Take a look:
Bruce Lee has had a number of cards thanks to Allen and Ginter, and this card adds to it. Too bad there is no pic of Lee on the card, which is what made the Ginter one so cool. The Ginter card did not contain an auto, so this is much much more valuable. The seller wants a car for it, and probably couldnt get more than 1-2K, but its still worth posting.
This cut has a bold and beautiful signature, and I want to go find a cheaper version for my own collection. How cool would it be to have this type of thing as a part of your display. I guarantee everyone who saw it would feel as good as you do for having it. Too bad it will cost so much.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
From UD's facebook page:
At this point, I think base Topps is completely worthless in this hobby, mainly with Chrome now at a ridiculously low price tag, and the fact that low end football doesnt have the same following as low end baseball. Add in that Chrome usually comes out a week or two later, and there is no reason to even think this will be a good buy.
With that, Topps has decided to make it a little bit more interesting by adding, you guessed it, manufactured letter autos of the RCs. Lets hope they dont end up like the disasters that were Topps Lettermen Letters. They also added dual autos and some extra gimmicks. Wow, didnt see that coming.
Ill wait for Chrome, but regardless, the design isnt great in my opinion, baseball OR football.
h/t Freedom Card Board
Many of us are wondering what would have been if Tom Brady or Peyton Manning had logo cards when they were rookies. What about LT? How about Albert Pujols or Michael Jordan? What would those be worth? A lot.
Well, for hockey fans, Sidney Crosby, one of the top money grabbers in the hobby does have a logo rookie card, and it is on eBay right now with more than 6 days to go. Price? Over $16,000 with 42 bids. So, its either a Honda Accord or this card, and there is still a lot of time left.
I have long mentioned the 10K cap on modern cards, and how tough it is to break that mark, but this card crossed that line and crapped on it. Personally, I dont really like the look of this card, but it is one of THE Crosby cards to own if you have the bank, or for that matter, own the bank. His RC card from the Cup sells for thousands, and that is pretty crazy by itself, but 16K+ for something like this is shocking.
A while ago Gregg Kohn, brand manager for UD Football offered to answer your questions in the first Q and A that we have done on SCU. As can be imagined with the release of Exquisite, and the general day to day operations of the company, Gregg hasnt been able to get to the questions until now.
1. FanofReds - This sounds like a great opportunity. I think it would be interesting to know what "management" THINKS collectors like and want to buy. In other words, what type of things/gimmicks are done to appeal to each of the different collecting demographics that Upper Deck has indentified.
Gregg UD: We try to be as versatile as possible when creating new products. There are more football releases then any other sport so I think it is imperative to have a few that do not center around just Rookies, Signatures and game used. Icons and Heroes may not appeal to the more traditional collector, but they do bring new people into the hobby.
2. Voluntarheel - Because I just experienced this, I will ask it. How do collation issues occur? I recently bought 4 boxes of SP Authentic with a friend of mine and 2 of them didn't have the auto/patch of any kind (rookie of veteran etc.).
While I realize that the scale of which yall are packing products is massive, it's still an issue that frustrates collectors to no end. Not only because of the let-down, but also because of the hurdles that lay ahead to get it rectified. And even then, you know you aren't going to get one of the top guys in return.
Part of the alluring charm that is opening wax is the chance at pulling a big card. Well, if that chance is taken away by the fact that you are shorted, it is also taken away by the fact that you know in return you are probably getting a Lorenzo Booker.
To get specific, please take us through the process of how an SP Authentic Patch (or any product you choose) goes into packs and then those packs into boxes and cases. It better help us understand how in every product, there are the same collation and shortage problems from manufactures.
Thanks you for your attention to your customers.
Gregg UD: We have a company that handles collation based on information provided by us. There are times when the feeders they use or the program has a few issues and situations like yours occur. There are times when the company enters in wrong collation information and it throws off the entire mix. We are trying to fix these issues (SPA was an example) because I can understand the frustration of not getting what you are supposed to or getting way too many dupes.
3. Mikechops - Do you, or have you collected? If so, what is the "gem" of your collection you'll always hold on to?