Monday, September 21, 2009

Wouldn't It Have Been Cool If This Idea Had Actually Worked?

Trading cards are not stocks. They aren't even realistic investment tools unless you are talking vintage graded cards with low population reports, chances are they are they will never be a substitute for solid financial planning, a 401K, a pension (yeah right) or prudent investing.

However, there have been companies that continue to try. Interestingly enough, for a company that doesn't even have a Facebook FanPage, both of them were originated by Topps. The beleaugered eTopps is one such forum and more true to the real stock exchange, The Pit, is another.

When I re-entered the hobby in 2000, the game used memorabilia and autograph market were still very much on the upswing. It was a time when, with several products, you could "flip" the hits for enough to buy another box. Ebay listing fees were low and it seemed every collector had turned into a mini-dealer making enough return to "re-invest" in their Hobby passions.

It wasn't long after that when both eTopps and The Pit were formed. Being a bit of a born-again newbie, I bought it hook line and sinker. Let me tell you, any thoughts of making money on cards like stocks soon evaporated as I quickly realized the error of my ways and that the only one making money on either venture was Topps and in the case of The Pit, maybe not even them as that property was soon, sold off and acquired by Naxcom, better known today as SportsBuy.

All these years later, both are still going strong, however I'm willing to bet that much like the real stock market those that stayed in, have seen their "portfolio" take a beating. Unlike the stock market their is little chance of recovery.
Remember folks, it's a hobby not an investment tool. Yeah, you'll occasionally make a few bucks, which gets quickly allocated to the never ending pursuit of more sports cards but never foll yourself into believeing that you are doing this to make money.

12 comments:

James said...

I remember the Pitt and friends of mine talking about diving in by investing in players/cards.

I agree, keep your card obby and your investments separated. Plenty of people retire on their 401(k) savings, but how many people do you know who have retired on their sports cards investing? There may be a few who Mr. Mint paid handsomly, but not many.

Anonymous said...

Fuck eTopps.

Anonymous said...

Ken Austrawski (sanders), Steve Brock (Stevo47) and Harish Ganesan (oaktownraiders) are tools- and faggots. I hope you enjoyed your box of shit, Ken.

Todd Uncommon said...

It is very interesting that eTopps has lasted this long. Starting in 2000, it's almost unbelievable that it's been continuing, uninterrupted, for almost 10 years. This is taking into account lost sport licenses (NHL, NBA), changes in ownership, and the usual ups and downs of the hobby.

eTopps started as a pretend-play copy of a stock day-trading lifestyle that, in the days of "irrational exuberance", seemed even plausible.

Sure, eTopps still uses words like "portfolio", "IPO", and "marketplace", but those are really just empty legacy labels and names that no longer really relate to anything financial.

If anything, eTopps is best described these days as an online-exclusive "targeted buy environment" for certain Topps sports cards.

The only difference from buying packs is that there is no random ambiguity about what you are getting, and that there is a per-card premium you pay based on that and some relatively limited quantity.

Anonymous said...

Stick it up your ass, bashed214.

VoiceOfTheHobby said...

First, I love this great hobby! I also get a kick out of self-centered,know it all crybabies who live in cave(real or e version) and blame their own dumb mistakes on others, oh..and the Anon's who leave such worthwhile comments.."Your a penis" "You suck" giggle giggle. No wonder you hate something that takes research and a CC with an available balance.

[b]NO modern CARD releases ARE ever WORTH MONEY across the entire set, NONE![/b]

Even the registry "Low Pop" vintage chase cards come down to pennies on the dollar of the original sale price, because it was usually created by a bidding war, (IE 2-3 bidders or registry people who wanted to get a higher GPA-set rating than their rivals) and there's a lot of unopened material, or very solid raw collections which contain cards that will eventually get graded.

Exquisite, Bowman chrome, Rc auto's(on card or stickers) those rare game or event used, blah, blah, blah...99% drop in value, every year! Compare sales data, you'll see! Those that hit a Pujol's, Woods or Lebron..have also lost on 10x as many duds. I see the term re-sell value used when describing box breaks, 1 of 50 releases get higher than a 20% rating? and not sure why, but most everytime I've tried the sure thing releases I've hit a snag... bad box, poor timing but that's life.

Even Pre-war, or vintage.
Unless your lucky enough to find a box of 19th century..n-28's, old judge's, or t-cards, caramel's, delongs, goudey's, the list is long see standard catalog for near complete list ..or box of early 50's in your attic, you'll probably loose money buying on the seconadary(there are more exceptions here, but still alot of losers!)

But wait...You set your collection up just right, FULL OF can't miss HOF Rc's of HR Kings, 300 win pitcher's...Steroids??...Pennies on the dollar, missed again.

It's a hobby..they're cards of players who commit crimes, get hurt, or just age, all causing less demand. Again, the hits...you can't take them to a store and trade them for daily use nescessities. Heck you can't even take them to a hobby shop, or sell online without taking a "operational cost OR fee-bath" it's a hobby.

I know, I'm leaving out true(or close to true) investment cards like Mantle Rc's, Pre 65 food issues, pre-60 HOF Rc's that 98% of the hobby world can't afford, plus if you can afford to speculate, or just buy and hold $2-300 or $1,000 Rc's you just might know how to really make money in this world. Have you ever really looked at how many solid cards etopps has put out? It may surprise you..positively!

Whew..
I'm off to scour ebay, or the countless trade boards for some set needs, and maybe bust a box to see if I can't relax a bit.

Anonymous said...

Hey VoiceOfTheHobby, don't rag on my ass, because I agree with you. Don't be such a bitch. Oh, and fuck Carlos Amaya, aka carlosmath, too.

Anonymous said...

Rick Nye (draelyn) does unthinkable acts with his "rescue" ferrets. I would be ashamed to be one of the shelters he "volunteers" (stalks) at.
The animals have had enough in their lives. Without having to be inserted though a PVC pipe into a dark, wide, unfamiliar place. I guess swamille brought some KY to make it more pleasurable!

AVOID this ebay seller at all costs
http://myworld.ebay.com/swami-lee/

Anonymous said...

for all your beastiality needs please visit www.swamilee.com use promo code draelyn to get an extra 50% in.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Anonymous is Ken Austrawski, a "gentleman" who was arrested for hitting a lightpost while driving drunk.

The negative comments he is making about ebay sellers and other individuals should be removed from this site.

And swamilee.com does not sell anything as that page has been under construction for years according to the owner of the site with whom I spoke earlier.

So Ken Austrawski, next time you get arrested, I hope you get gang raped in jail by a guy named Rochelle.

Here is a link:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08045/857087-57.stm


"Kenneth Austrawski, 27, of Pittsburgh, was charged Saturday with suspected driving under the influence of alcohol after his vehicle struck a pole on Hodgson Avenue."

In the future Mr. Austrawski, if you are going to libel someone, you shouldn't live in a glass house being that you were arrested and I bet convicted of a crime and could have killed someone.

Anonymous said...

I checked out the seller you claim is dishonest and he has 100% feedback.

I guess he rips people off but doesn't get any negatives?

That's odd considering all a buyer has to do is complain and he gets his money back.

Wow, the world of free speech, what a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

If you would like a good blowjob, contact Ken Austrawski.

You can go to his bordello at

1321 ARNOLD ST
PITTSBURGH
PA 15220 4702

Bring friends. Ken likes 3-4 guys at once.

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