Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Vintage Consignment- Early Results

As many of you know I have taken on a sizable vintage consignments for co-workers to sort and sell on eFee. I thought you might like to see some of the early returns.

1954 Topps Al Kaline RC Card #201 EX
Sale Price: $71.00

Sale Price: $65.00

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Tyler Colvin Watch- Cubs Prospect

When the Chicago Cubs leave their spring training home in Arizona and head to the Windy City, 24-year old outfielder Tyler will be making the trip with them. Today, Lou Pinella announced that Colvin has made the Opening Day roster after hitting an impressive .468 in 62 AB's, scoring 12 runs and driving in another 13.

There are currently a plethora of autographs from the recently released Topps Finest available on the secondary market. However, his first major autographs released in 2006's Bowman Sterling and 2007 Bowman. I went ahead and picked up a copy of the Bowman on-card auto, currently his only one. As is the case with all prospects straddling the line between being featured on a licensed trading card sans officially designated 'RC Logo", time will tell how the market reacts in determing what constitutes his "real" rookie card.

Good luck and congratulations on making the club!

Interview With Mint Condition Author Dave Jamieson

I am pleased to announce that this coming Friday, The Card Corner Radio Hour will be hosting as our guest, the author of the new book, Mint Condition- How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession, Dave Jamieson.

Be sure to join myself and Doug Cataldo for a Q&A with the author of this new, provactive, must read book about the hobby we love.

Card Corner Radio airs every Friday at 11pm CST and is also available on-demand. Visit our site at BlogTalkRadio for info.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Review- Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession

Confronted with the reality that his childhood baseball card collection is essentially worthless, author Dave Jamieson begins a historic journey into the evolution of the trading card market. Documenting the industry from its humble beginnings to the industry’s hey day that launched the speculative era of the late 80’s and early 90’s, to the modern day insert craze, Jamieson provides first person information from some of the industry’s major dignitaries including Marvin Miller, Sy Berger, Joe Orlando, Bill Mastro, Kevin Saucier, and Rob Lifson to provide a comprehensive overview of the industry side of The Hobby.

Unaware at the time that his childhood collection was spawned from products most collectors refer to today as “junk wax”, the author’s curiosity about the industry leads him down a road of un-intended adventure. Taking him to such places as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to view the comprehensive catalogue assembled by The Hobby’s first collector Jefferson Burdick to the suburbs of Chicago and the vintage treasures of Lionel Carter.

Jamieson assembles a detailed chronology of the influence of trading cards in the gum and candy market featuring all of the early players including Goudey, Fleer, Philadelphia, and Bowman. The sophisticated and planned strategy of the Topps monopoly is particularly interesting in light of recent events regarding current MLB licensing. As is the retold synopsis of the Upper Deck story as detailed in the book, Card Sharks.

Interesting to note is how the author utilizes the advent of the price guide, as created by Dr. James Beckett, to serve as the bridge that turned a childhood pursuit into an industry of high finance created by the advent of the full-time sports card dealer and the more prestigious auction business and it’s six-figure clientele. The author quotes outspoken hobbyist Lew Lipset to provide insight to the mind of a dealer, “Try to make a living in this hobby and you’ll learn about . . . deceit , unfair business practices, the lack of truth in advertising, price manipulation, collusion, restraint of trade, insider trading, patronage, extortion, payoffs and bribes, graft, plagiarism, and last but not least, hype.”

What starts as a rather encyclopedic, albeit interesting look at the early tobacco and gum trading cards that birthed The Hobby, takes a sinister turn two-thirds of the way through the book. Readers will be educated on some of the more controversial and less than ethical business practices employed in the market today as a resulting consequence of the increased demand for high-end vintage cards. From the subjective practice of card grading as detailed with a tour of PSA’s facility in California to a day spent with the mad scientist of trading cards, Kevin Saucier who provides the reader and author a look at the various methods employed in the highly unethical if not illegal deception of vintage card doctoring.

The later chapters reveal the loss of innocence from a once benign and gentile pastime and provide a primer with everything that is wrong with The Hobby today. Unfortunately, the author falls short of providing any real answers with an obvious idealistic understanding of the current state of affairs, as he laments with the notion that the manufacturers need to do more to bring kids back to The Hobby. This tired notion and lack of understanding of what interests 21st Century children and who constitutes the current card market is a simple-minded, short-sighted solution to a sincerely more complex problem.

A thoroughly compelling, entertaining and sometimes tragic read, will provide even veteran collectors with new insight to the hobby they love. Novice collectors will be thoroughly educated with deep background history of their new cardboard pursuits and everyone will be left aghast with some of the seedier aspects of The Industry.

Copies of the book, Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession
are available at online retailers and booksellers everywhere.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 3/20 - 3/26

Great content from around the web- Hobby happenings, TV, movies, muisc, comic books, video games, technology, social media, photography, and more!!

UpperDeckHockey It's not even National Hockey Card Day & we're giving away cards. Check out our facebook page to win a box of 09-10 NHL SPx!!! CC

AuctionBytes eBay Won't Change How Auctions Appear in Search (AuctionBytes Blog)

bbgeeks Ever wanted to have a conference call on your BlackBerry? BBGeeks shows you how

BreakingNews Tentative deal reached to rebuild World Trade Center site, N.Y. Port Authority announces

SI_Swimsuit Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2010 Bar Refaeli photographed by "Walter Iooss, Jr" in Dhigu, Maldives - http://su.pr/1pnFDy

PlanetXbox360 All-New Screenshots and Trailer for Modern Warfare 2 DLC
2:06 PM Mar 25th via twitterfeed
Reply Retweet
Gawkertv Everything You Need to Know About Gawker.TV

VOTC HUGE news for marketers using AdWords. Google officially unveils remarketing for AdWords :: BtoB Magazine http://bit.ly/bWWQnW

PlanetXbox360 Mafia II Coming to Xbox 360 in the US on August 24, 2010

VOTC Crap. PS3's motion gaming, looks like it will be W-A-Y better than XBOX. New video really slams MS http://tinyurl.com/yak4z2k

SI_24Seven NHL players' union approves new head shot ban - Blindside hits to the head are a thing of the past in the NHL.

CollectAuctions Collect.com Auctions has one of the nicest signed baseballs you'll ever find. Lot #1 with Ruth, Cobb, Foxx, Bender, Speaker...19 HOFers.

foxnews 'Game-changing': Read @fxnscitech's review of 3DTV's stunning debut

BeYourOwnFan RT @sportsnetworker Minor League Teams and Social Media

blowoutcards 2009 UD Prominent Cuts Checklist Released

GettyImagesEdit Global Sports Pictures of the Week - RT your favourites!

SportsCollector 20 Dreams Inc Strikes Deal with NBC Sports: The parent company of Mounted Memories is taking its autographs and fa...

PlanetXbox360 Splinter Cell: Conviction Goes Gold and Is Ready for Release


SI_Swimsuit Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2010 @ZoeDuchesne photographed by Raphael Mazzucco in San Pedro de Atacama, Atacama, Chile - http://su.pr/1LoI67

GettyImagesEdit Check it out. Just don't get caught doing it.

Gawkertv Movie FAIL: The Blind Side's Most Obvious Mistakes

danicaracing "Five emerging IndyCar storylines as series shifts to U.S" (via SI.com)

sportscardinfo Check this out - http://autographmagazine.com/2010/03/jim-bellino-reality-tv-star-and-counterfeit-authenticator/

Ve3tro Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Map Pack Gameplay

Auctionreport New blog post: Auction Insider: Chicago Report; Company News

foxnews Not for rental: The real 'Schindler's List' goes on sale for $2.2 million http://fxn.ws/dbmm8e

Auctionreport New blog post: PSA Announces Custom Card Encapsulation Service

LIFE Hi, Rubik! Faces Behind the Brands http://su.pr/17ju5h

SportsCardNews More Baseball Trading Card Business Details Revealed: The Baseball Trading Card Business18. The baseball tra... http://tinyurl.com/yhmkksv

SportsCardNews Upper Deck's Defaults (Debts) Under Previous MLBPA Agrement: Thanks to Upper Deck's www.upperdeckawards.com ... http://tinyurl.com/ychsdw4

SportsCardNews UD Court Documents: Insight Into How Much Licensing Costs: Here is a little nugget of information that came ... http://tinyurl.com/yfwy7jx

SportsCardNews Upper Deck: No Evidence of Collector Confusion: Thanks to Upper Deck's www.upperdeckawards.com website re-d... http://tinyurl.com/ylqq2bk

tradercracks @waxwombat Baseball Card Exchange http://www.bbcexchange.com/default.aspx I think I'm in love.


SI_Swimsuit Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2010 @genevievemorton photographed by Walter Chin in Mojave Desert, California -

SportsCardNews Card Collector May Revolutionize Sports Betting Industry: A very interesting story about Jeremy Levine, a 23... http://tinyurl.com/yc6m3n8

nranews Brady Campaign Continues Slide Into Irrelevancy - http://bit.ly/a89vlb

danicaracing Photos of Danica from Saturday's "Celebrity Fight Night" are up on www.DanicaRacing.com Photo Finish Off-Track Gallery

ThunderTreats TIME TO VOTE: Cougar Madness enters the Sexy 16!! http://bit.ly/cPOWBD

Auctionreport New blog post: PSA/DNA Certifies Upper Deck "Prominent Cuts" Signatures

SportsCollector 20 Topps Invades India: Topps sees the booming Indian cricket league as fertile ground to launch new products. http://bit.ly/92SxEd

DailyGrommet RT @mashable 4 Ways Non-Profits Can Use Google Buzz -

SportsCenter If you didn't see Tiger Woods' interview on SportsCenter you can watch the entire video here... http://bit.ly/bTDjsf

GeekTyrant Warner Bros. to Shift Focus to DC Comics Properties and Plans 3D for ALL Tentpoles

DIVACANDICEM Go to GoDaddyGirls.com and check out my new blog!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

NCAA Tournament Quiz- Where is that school?

With all the upsets in this year's NCAA Tournament, have you ever wondered where some of these schools are from? If so, MentalFloss.com has a quiz just for you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hobby Happenings and Breaking News

A busy day in The Hobby with further shake-ups with regard to trading card licensing. SCU reported an as yet to be confirmed rumor that Upper Deck will be losing their NFL license due to unpaid licensing fees. You can read more about that here.

If this comes to fruition it could be a crushing blow and death knell for the once great manufacturer. Upper Deck has consistently delivered the most attractive trading cards across all sports but particularly with football and hockey.

Speaking of hockey, today, the NHL, its players union and Panini released a statement confirming the rumored granting of a license to the Arlington, TX based company. The license is non-exclusive (for now depending on the fate of Upper Deck). You can read the complete press release here.

This move by Panini shouldn't come as a surprise for two reasons. First, is the global reach of the Panini brand name which pairs well with the game's international influences, with NHL players from all over Europe currently on team rosters. Second, is the fact that Panini has been producing NHL sticker sets, meaning they already have a wealth of images to draw from for card production. This actually might work out well for everyone with Upper Deck being able to cater to the North American market with mid range and higher end products, allowing Panini to focus on their core of lower priced products.

As is always the case with business realignments like those announced today, only time will tell.

** Update ** Upper Deck responded to the rumor surrounding their NFL license on Twitter with this post- "We are unaware of any change to the decision the NFLPA and the NFL made back in November."

Autograph Authentication, Frauds, and Scams

Due to the popularity of the MILF television show, Real Houswives of Orange County, a recent article has been making the rounds in the sports collectibles industry. One of the best sources for up-to-date, FREE TTM addresses, Autograph Magazine , published an article written by renowned author of Operation Bullpen, Kevin Nelson, detailing one of the husbands on the show, Jim Bellino. Whose former company, Forensic Document Services, provided many of the COA's for millions of dollars worth of fraudulent memorabilia made famous by the aforementioned book that took down the Greg Marino "crime family".

Just looking at this picture of confiscated Babe Ruth baseballs, a picture really does speak a thousand words, as the sheer number and various signature styles, clearly illustrates the challenges collectors face in an industry dominated by greed, corruption, and unethical business practices.

Now "retired" from autograph authentication, The Hobby is far from safe. In another article, published just yesterday, columnist Steve Cyrkin calls Christopher Morales: The Autograph Forger’s Best Friend. Both articles provide a chilling account of the plethora of forged material on the market, causing even the most sophisticated and savviest collector to question the authenticity of their own items.

When I started my own collection of single signed balls from members of the original (pre-steroid era) 500 Home Run Club, I contacted an acquaintance of mine, Brian Marren, the former VP of acquisitions, for the now defunct MastroNet Auctions about the reliability of dealers I was looking at. I settled on one and asked him his opinion of the dealer's reputation and he assured me that the dealer was "above board". fast forward several years later and MastroNet auctions is the focus of an FBI investigation centering around the fraudulent auction activities of shill bidding and card doctoring and even I'm left wondering about the authenticity of my own collection.

For those of you who purchase autographs through a dealer, who do you trust and why?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cardboard Gods - Book Review

If you are reading this article or a regular visitor to the site, you will, in all likelihood identify with Josh Wilker and the esoteric musings contained within his book Cardboard Gods. An introspective autobiography that goes beyond the typical oratorical deliberations of a self-promoting book of this nature, instead Wilker uses the memories of his childhood baseball card collection to weave an, at times, convoluted look back at his, anything but normal upbringing.

In all honesty, I would never read an autobiography about someone I don’t know, have never met, and in all likelihood, never will. However, this is far from an autobiography and despite being unfamiliar with the author prior to reading this manuscript, I feel a connection to Wilker that transcends the normal confines of traditional human interaction. You see, Josh is one of us, a collector and blogger- one that you, in fact, may be familiar with through his writing at http://www.cardboardgods.net/. He is a brilliant orator who has the capability of spinning a complete narrative from a single baseball card.

Taking his blog to the next level was a natural progression for his entertaining writing talents. Published by Seven Footer Press and available nationwide next month. The book reads much like a blog with short anecdotal chapters focused on a specific card, from a specific year equating to a particular memory from Wilker’s childhood. The back cover defines the book brilliantly with this quote, “Cardboard Gods is more than just the story of a man who can’t let go of his past, it’s proof that- to paraphrase Jim Bouton (former MLB pitcher and author of the controversial title, Ball Four)- as children we grow up holding baseball cards but in the end we realize that it’s really the other way around.” These words ring true for me today more than 30 years since opening my first pack of baseball cards. Cardboard memories of simpler times when pick-up games of sandlot ball, Slurpees, the park district swimming pool and baseball cards defined not only summer, but childhood.

A life-long, die-hard Red Sox fan, Wilker and his brother share a bond with millions of fans from Red Sox Nation. From childhood hero Carl Yastrzemski to vanquished Billy Buckner and to the triumphant titles of the last decade, Wilker intertwines his cardboard tales with yarns about life as a Boston fan and Yankees hater. However, readers need not worry that the book’s cardboard focus is weighted with any team biased or player collector slant.

What really impressed me about this book is something in my own collecting habits I have, at times, taken for granted. Wilker’s careful attention to detail is thoroughly conveyed by the unique revelations of the often over-looked photo backgrounds, statistical and biographic data on the card’s back.

Far from being a “can’t put it down page-turner”, Cardboard Gods is best read in doses, allowing, the often times, thought provoking revelations to permeate your subconscious. In so doing, you will find your mind exercising its memory recall with your own cardboard and childhood memories. Unlike most books that simply end, the story continues every day for Wilker and his followers, online, at http://www.cardboardgods.net/.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Look at Autograph Authentication Tools & Technology

Busted Bracketology

Mulligan! That's all I can say about an NCAA Tournament that had more double digit seed upsets than any other in recent history. To those who you with a fighting chance still in your office pool, congrats. Next year, I'm letting my 4 year old do my picks.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

An Unsatisfying Box Break

I rarely buy boxes anymore. Combine less disposal income (having 2 kids under 4) with an often times lack of value in terms of return to retail price and I have been more content picking off singles for my personal collections and the occasional lots or blaster to make sets (Goodwin Champions, etc).

I was reminded why this week. My local card shop owner GAVE me a 250 count, de-duped lot of UD 20th Anniversary cards (more on that project later), Having some extra money from the ongoing vintage consignment project I decided to buy a box of what has always been one of my favorite products, Sweet Spot. This particular box was from 2008.

Don't get me wrong, I really do love busting product and am fortunate enough through my long time involvement with Card Corner Club to be able to satiate my cravings. I also love busting product with a hit per pack and so Sweet Spot was a natural choice.

These are scans of the results.

So am I too picky? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Should I be complaining about this break at all?

Regardless, any of these are for trade for similar Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, Bears, Ripken, or Ryan.

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 3/12 - 3/19

Great content from around the the web- Movies, video games, TV, music, comic books, The Hobby, news, photography, hotties, sports and more!!

SportsCardNews Award Winning Wikipedia Contributor Deletes Beckett Media Page: A veteran Wikipedia member, Atama, who has g... http://tinyurl.com/yeop2bu

blowoutcards loving prominent cuts!!!!!!!! case break http://tinyurl.com/ycmzz7t

LIFE At War: Photographers' Best Shots http://su.pr/2Mp48L

youtube What's at stake in our case with Viacom http://bit.ly/aKlHIA

SI_Swimsuit Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2010 @Chrissyteigen photographed by "Walter Iooss, Jr" in Dhigu, Maldives - http://su.pr/1OW40s #SISwim

sk88z Best part about March Madness season: Cheerleader of the Year Tournament http://tinyurl.com/y9d3ooy

toppscards If you missed this yesterday, ESPN ran a feature about our UFC products. http://bit.ly/96Sq7F

blowoutcards 5 boxes of 09 ultimate baseball...Ultimate has to be one of the best products made.. http://tinyurl.com/yazffd3

Ve3tro Splinter Cell: Conviction Demo Released http://tinyurl.com/y9omjck #gaming gaming

LIFESportsNews The Best Nicknames in Sports http://bit.ly/catP7F

SportsCollector 20 Sellers Giving Amazon a Go: Need a new sales outlet? Try another online giant. http://bit.ly/aWwOM2

SportsCollector 20 Champ’s Hockey Runs Gamut: Upper Deck's quirky Champ's set returns with history, pre-history and even a little ... http://bit.ly/cg0Ogy

SteinerSports Fill out our sweepstakes, become a fan of us on Facebook & input your picks! There are lots of great prizes! http://bit.ly/b2kAci

GeekTyrant THE HOBBIT Starts Production in June! http://tr.im/SgwK

ThunderTreats New Treat: Cougar Madness East and South Preview http://bit.ly/9zjKyr

toppscards Have some time to kill? We now have an online version of our Topps Attax game. http://bit.ly/ayjPyw

GeekTyrant First Look: Behind The Scenes of TRON LEGACY http://bit.ly/9bhuIz

LIFESportsNews Never-Seen: Pelé's 1966 World Cup http://bit.ly/90ofcS

JimmyPSHayes REALLY EXCITED!!!----BATMAN BEYOND returns in June http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2010/03/17/batman-beyond-returns-in-june/

mental_floss Ohio St. has produced so many Olympians that if the school were a country, its 77 medals would rank 31st. #NCAAFacts

blowoutcards 12 Boxes of 2009 Ultimate Baseball from Case... http://tinyurl.com/yk3b8bl

sportscardhaven Check out our March 2009 Newsletter - some great stuff in there! http://bit.ly/9eKN5f

BaseballCards_ Inside Sports Business: Baseball card market changing - http://alturl.com/frry

GeekTyrant AVATAR Blu-ray and DVD Details Revealed http://tr.im/Saci

Marvel The Votes Are In! The next Hasbro Marvel U action figure to be offered exclusively to Digital Comics subscribers is... http://is.gd/aKZxG

ESPNChiHawks Blackhawks blog: Video: Melrose thinks Hawks will be fine http://bit.ly/aYZ2jU

blowoutcards BLOWOUT CARDS 2010 NCAA "March Madness"Basketball Promo for Bloggers & Websites. Slots have been posted ! http://tinyurl.com/y9syecz

GettyImagesEdit Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Iggy Pop, Genesis and ABBA http://bit.ly/cGuVTg

CollectAuctions Sports & Americana Auction No. 4 goes live on March 22. Lot 1: Amazing Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Tris... http://bit.ly/9nqbC2

fwmedia RT @HOWbrand 5 Steps To Find The Perfect Stock Image: This useful blog post lays out a 5 step system for finding ... http://bit.ly/aCtU6Z

SportsCollector 20 Are Card Shops a Recession Barometer?: It's all about discretionary income. http://bit.ly/aLSXtZ

Auctionreport New blog post: SALE!! JustCollectCards Offers 3,500+ PSA Cards For Below $20 And 1,200+ Cards For ... http://www.auctionreport.com/?p=4059

LIFESportsNews Unbreakable Baseball Records http://bit.ly/9YRnyi

youtube Pizza box that breaks down easily & turns into plates, leftover container: http://youtu.be/_uCWu-N1dCw

PlanetXbox360 Medal of Honor Extended Trailer Viewable in High-Definition http://bit.ly/aNpv9G

SI_Swimsuit Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2010 Irina Shayk photographed by Raphael Mazzucco in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile - http://su.pr/1zFTKX

SportsCardNews Mickey Mantle 2009 Triple Threads Bat Knob 1/1: The baseball card that is getting the most attention on eBay... http://tinyurl.com/y8fh9mb

SI_24Seven VIDEO: @sethdavishoops' 2010 NCAA Tournament biggest snubs - http://su.pr/1xxiOQ #NCAA #MarchMadness

Auctionreport New blog post: "Collectors Corner” - A Look At The Topps’ Million Card Giveaway http://www.auctionreport.com/?p=4043

NHLBlackhawks Check out video of artist Elliot From painting the Blackhawks' Indian Head logo in one rendition of "Chelsea Dagger." http://wp.me/pM19Z-ec

SportsCollector 20 Deadbeat Bidders: eBay Automating Process: eBay is hoping to make the non-paying bidder experience a little le... http://bit.ly/9b8rVR

SportsCollector 20 Collectors Abroad: Web, Shows Forge Friendships: Living in Germany and being a card collector is a lot easier ... http://bit.ly/aVPEXX

gawkertv Christopher Walken and Jack Nicholson in Willy Wonka Is Awesome http://gawker.tv/5493232/ #impersonations #movies

baseballzoch shared a post titled "Fantasy Baseball Drafts" on Gather http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978103995

GeekWeekOnline Review: Batman and Robin #10 - The Return of Bruce Wayne Begins Here - GeekWeek - http://tinyurl.com/ygor4hq

versustv Don’t miss the 1st ever #UFC Event on Versus! Live at 9p EST on Sun 3/21, presented by Harley-Davidson! http://ow.ly/1irN0 #ufc109

Ve3tro Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package Map Details http://tinyurl.com/ybv76p2 #gaming gaming

FrankandSons Chris Nolan Talks BATMAN 3 & SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL http://bit.ly/9CEnIy

Card Corner Radio Update

Many of you know I got my start at this sports trading card content producing thing through Card Corner Club in 2003 and one of the things I most enjoyed was doing radio, be it at live events like the National or podcasts. The advent of Web 2.0 has created new opportunities in this medium and I very proud to be co-hosting a regular show on Fridays at 11pm CST on Blog Talk Radio.

We had our trial run tonight to get used to the navigation, switchboard, etc. It was great talking to former public relations frontman at Upper Deck Justin, Ryan from Sports Card News and Marie from A Cardboard Problem. My co-host and co-founder of Card Corner, Doug Cataldo L-O-V-E-S giving stuff away so for those of you who need an incentive, FREE schwag is available. The show will run for an hour and then be available on demand. The first episode is available here.
So join us every Friday to talk about The Hobby. http://blogtalkradio.com/card-corner-club1

Friday, March 19, 2010

Card Corner Club Radio Show Returns!!

Card Corner Club Radio will be conducting a trial run at 11pm CST TONIGHT! Call in number will be posted at that time. Come join me, Rob Bertrand (the VOTC) and the one and only Doug Cataldo, as we launch the re-debut of The Hobby's first regularly scheduled radio podcast and bring it to you live via Blog Talk Radio and a National audience.

Stop by and say hi!

Yes, there will be prizes.

Product Review: Champs Hockey is BEYOND Old School

Guest Review

The “tobacco” style cards, the potential to get dinosaur bones, the aged look of the cardboard, all make 2009-10 Upper Deck Champs Hockey a fun product to break. There are 20 packs per box, 5 cards per pack, and every 2-3 cards per pack are mini's and rookies are falling at a rate of 1 per pack.

My fist big card was a mini auto of Islanders all-world defenseman, Mark Streit. Once again this blueliner is having a terrific year but he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he’s playing on a team that’s not very successful and doesn’t get as much press coverage as the Rangers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mint Condition- How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession

I had the pleasure of being contacted by Dave Jamieson, author of the new book, Mint Condition- How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession, asking me if I would be interested in receiving a copy of the book to review. I gladly accepted and today received a package from Atlantic Monthly Press. Quite fittingly the book was accompanied by an unopened wax pack of 1987 Topps which made me chuckle.

Currently available on
Amazon for $16.50 which is a 34% savings off the list price of $25.00.

I am really looking forward to reading this book and I will provide my take and review in a few weeks but for now, this is what others are saying.

"It's a form of megalomania, of course, one famous card collector once said of his hobby—and, as Jamieson explains, there are plenty of people willing to cash in on collectors' obsessions; the secondary market for baseball cards may be as much as a half-billion dollars annually. It used to be even stronger: Jamieson got interested in the history of baseball cards when he rediscovered his own adolescent stash only to find that its value had plummeted in the mid-1990s. His loss is our gain as he tracks the evolution of the card from its first appearance in cigarette packs in the late 19th century through the introduction of bubble gum and up to the present. The historical narrative is livened by several interviews, including conversations with the two men who launched Topps (for decades the first name in cards) and a collector who's dealt in million-dollar cards. Jamieson also digresses neatly into curiosities like the Horrors of War card set, the legendary Mars Attacks, and a profanity-laced card featuring Cal Ripken's little brother. It's a fun read, but it also shows just how much serious work went into sustaining this one corner of pop culture ephemera."

- Publisher's Weekly April 2010

"This very satisfying account of the development of baseball cards and our attitudes toward them is highly recommended even for those casually interested in sports or collectibles."
- Library Journal

"This is a fascinating history that encompasses not only the nuances of serious collecting but also the business machinations of card marketing strategies that contributed significantly to the rise of the cigarette and gum industries. Superbly informative and entertaining."
- Booklist

Video Box Break Highlights- 2009/10 UD Trilogy Hockey

Product Review: 2010 Upper Deck Series 1 Baseball- Baseball Like It Oughta Be

Guest Review: Russ Cohen

This release is a high quality product, with a lot of hits, for a reasonable price of $65. The photography is top-notch, and there are a plethora of inserts to go along with the newly designed “Star Rookie” cards.

I didn’t get any signed 1990 buybacks but I did get a patch card of Rangers slugger Michael Young.

I’ve never pulled such a rare card in Series 1 baseball. This was a first. The card looked sharp and it was numbered to just 25! That was a great start.

Read the rest.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Speak With Representatives From Topps and Upper Deck EVERYDAY

Social Media and how it is changing The Hobby.

Engagement. If you could use only one word to describe the 21st Century relationship between a company, in this case trading card manufacturers, and their customers, us as collectors, it would be engagement. Seizing upon the opportunities provided by social media, both Upper Deck and, more recently, Topps have begun to capitalize on this idea of audience engagement through the use of Twitter.

Far from being strictly a broadcasting tool, Twitter has created an opportunity for collectors to directly interact with manufacturers on a previously inconceivable level. From questions about product to feedback on new and pending releases, the dialogue that takes place everyday creates a sense of community, fosters customer loyalty and provides real-time feedback on a variety of issues relevant to both collector and manufacturer alike. As I have mentioned in a previous post ranking the card manufacturers use of social media, Upper Deck has been ahead of the curve. Topps is playing catch up but has recently begun to engage collectors in direct dialogue and Q&A that surpasses Upper Deck.

If you are a collector and have questions, ideas, and/or feedback relevant to trading cards, you really need to be. Topps and Upper Deck are there ready to listen and more importantly engage.

So try it out for a month and let me know your thoughts before and after your experience. Oh, and be sure to "follow" me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TTM Hoops Collectors Will LOVE This!

For those of you not familiar with The Autograph Card, you need to check them out. They have a variety of inexpensive, custom trading cards perfect for TTM and in-person signatures.

New to their arsenal for basketball collectors are Floorboard cards. I love the innovation of this simple company as it was clearly started by a passionate collector, so I have no problem with promoting them with a shameless plug. I received this press release from them yesterday.

"Many basketball fans who collect autographed parquet floor tiles are finding it difficult to locate tiles as many retailers and manufacturers are no longer stocking them. In response to many email requests asking for an alternative, The Autograph Card has come up with our newest item – The Floorboard Signature Card!

This new card measures 6" x 6" and is professionally printed on a heavy 16-pt. card stock. Sharpies, Staedtlers, and even ballpoint pens sign great on them! One side features a full parquet tile. The other side has one panel of a parquet tile. It is up to you as to which side you get signed.

This pre-order offer is only available to our current customers through this email for a limited time. To purchase The Floorboard Signature Card click on the button below to go directly to our Order Form page.
100-Card Pack $50
This offer is good through March 19, 2010. Orders will ship on approximately April 1, 2010.

For more information and to view our entire line of cards, visit www.TheAutographCard.com."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gimmick or Great Marketing

What do Alex Gordon, Geroge W Bush, Mickey Mantle have in common? They have all been featured in recent years by Topps as a "short-printed" chase element.

It should come as no surprise then, that this year's Topps flagship baseball set contains another quirk. As revealed late last week, there exist variations of Chicago Cubs players' cards with the likes of none other than Honest Abe himself, 16th President of the United States of America.

If you have been living under a rock, the are card #'s:

#135 Ryan Dempster
#306 Milton Bradley
#326 Tyler Colvin
#123 Jeff Samardzija

In all likelihood being from more downstate, Abraham Lincoln would have been a St. Louis Cardinals fan, so Topps obliged and crafted a variant of card #90 Roger Hornsby.

You can see all of the cards and the ridiculous prices they are realizing on the secondary market here.

So my question then is, are these cards gimmicks or simply a hobby worth PR stunt? I am a bit undecided myself. Some may question why I included the Alex Gordon card from 2006 (Topps #297). The answer is simple- because I don't believe for a minute that the printing and pack-out of that card was an error. No, instead it was a carefully crafted marketing ploy to increase demand for Topps 2006 Series 1.

So gimmick or not?

Your thoughts . . .

Saturday, March 13, 2010

For the Love of Cardboard

While it's easy to provide opinionated commentary about the things we deplore in The Hobby, it's important to remember that this is done not to spit out mindless vitriol but to provide a a voice and forum for those whose opinions run contrary to the status quo, all the while providing a method of brainstorming new ideas and innovations to enhance The Hobby and the products that feed it.

There is much more that I love about this hobby than I detest and although it will always be the negative that some people focus on, I find it therapeutic and a bit of a public service to detail some of the things that drive my personal passions when it comes to the cardboard chase.

I love the anxious anticipation that comes when first removing the shrink wrap of a new product. Be it a blaster or Hobby box, the mystery of things yet revealed is like a drug. My hands sometimes shake with excitement, a small bead of sweat forming on my forehead, a slight increase in heartbeat and breathing rate as the experience commences.

I love the banter of opinion and commentary that this era of social media provides. Whether it be spur of the moment pack breaks on Twitter, YouTube box breaks, or the comments of a new blog post, sharing of the aforementioned experience is something that provides a needed collector connection that has become hard to find outside of the virtual world with the closing of many a card shop.

I love the generosity and fellowship shared by collectors who connect via social media. A connection that transcends the "book value" mentality that is so prevalent at the brick and mortar shops that still exist. This unfortunate truth may be limited to my own back yard, which I hope is the case. I witness on a daily basis collectors offering to GIVE their social media buddies unwanted cards from their own breaks to help further the player collection of someone they have never met.

I love the buzz that surrounds the first live days of a new release; the flurry of traffic that ensues as collectors flood message board forums, the blogsphere, Twitter and Facebook with the revelations of newly discovered product content in all its glory.

I love that I collect in an era that has a secondary market not dependent on old school, Hobby shop curmudgeons willing to pay me 30% of "book value". While sellers gripe about rising fees, unfair feedback and search policies on eBay, the fact remains the existent of such venues provides collectors an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on their cardboard finds.

This is just a small sampling of the things that fuel my passion. What are yours?

What do you LOVE about The Hobby, your hobby, my hobby, OUR HOBBY?

TWOT- This Week On Twitter 3/5 - 3/12

Great content from around the web- The Hobby, news, TV, movies, tech, gadgets, video, comic books, music, and more.

nranews What part of the Second Amendment don't you understand? - http://bit.ly/9YN8xv

FrankandSons New TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON video http://bit.ly/b144cc

LIFESportsNews Cars: Vintage Beauties Up-Close http://bit.ly/dqGrEB

SI_Swimsuit Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2010 Bethany Dempsey photographed in by Yu Tsai in New York, New York - http://su.pr/17Zxf7 #MLS #FIFA #WorldCup

AP AP Interactive: The HBO miniseries "The Pacific" follows a long line of movies about wars in Southeast Asia: http://bit.ly/dhzUs7 -EC

SportsCardNews Elliott Museum Is Baseball Memorabilia Heaven: Located in Stuart, Florida, the Elliott Museum has over 1,400... http://tinyurl.com/yc4azsa

gawkertv The Video Game Consoles and Peripherals That Time Forgot http://gawker.tv/5491179//gallery/ #videogames #commercials

SportsCollector 20 ‘10 Key Questions’ to Kick off Industry Summit: A 'summit' of hobby business people is set for next month in L... http://bit.ly/bVdo4c

SportsCollector 20 Beyond Mantle: 10 Top 1950s Cards: While the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle might be the top prize in the Million Ca... http://bit.ly/bzV97Y

cardtechie @tradercracks They did make some changes with the platform. Here are some details they posted to their blog earlier today http://ow.ly/1hJU0

IGNcom EA's Medal of Honor moves into modern times and we have your preview http://go.ign.com/90nBtm

Comic_Con Aspen Comics, Boom! Studios, IDW Publishing, Lucas Licensing, Nickelodeon and Walt Disney Animation Studios http://bit.ly/9qyUw6 #wondercon

MLBONFOX 9 reasons baseball is better than football http://j.mp/9mVWn1 #MLB

GeekWeekOnline Iann Robinson on why Converse's new "punk rock" shoe line is the antithesis of punk rock... http://tinyurl.com/ybmjqjh

JimmyTraina Jessica Simpson says Romo has cute butt, dumped her on her bday; Great Onion video, baseball fight: Thur AM Hot Clicks http://bit.ly/9Nf7uH

BeYourOwnFan Read Josh Leventhal's article in @baseballamerica Social Networks Changing How Teams Market http://bit.ly/akxxMA

espn Sidney Crosby's Olympic gold-medal stick, glove found - http://tinyurl.com/yzzml8b

baseballzoch Join swag bucks and get free stuff, even trading cards or Target gift cards for blasters... http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/BXBombers

AP Ever wonder how to create a political cartoon? The Chicago Tribune's Scott Stantis will show you. http://bit.ly/cEGUYG -AS

si_vault SI Vault Photo (1989): The greatest two-sport athletes of our generation - http://su.pr/250M0u

GeekTyrant Christopher Nolan Talks about the SUPERMAN Reboot and BATMAN 3 for the first time http://su.pr/2BjTvg

BreakingNews Long overdue recognition as Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, receive Congressional Gold Medal for WWII service - AP

GeekWeekOnline MODERN WARFARE 2 DLC Coming March 30th... http://tinyurl.com/y9ln4kl

GeekWeekOnline Unbelievable Footage Of Massive OK Tornado http://bit.ly/cgX2nX

GeekTyrant ESPN Films Casts Robert De Niro as Vince Lombardi http://bit.ly/94cmRG

blowoutcards UD Wins one..Court Rejects Patents for Memorabilia Cards http://tinyurl.com/yjk79et

GeekTyrant Will TRANSFORMERS 3 Take us to Cybertron? Here's some Concept Art... http://su.pr/27vVbw

tcrowntom I'll drink to that.. rt @explorechicago Time lapse photography of dyeing the Chicago River Green for St Patrick's Day http://bit.ly/bvjAs0

VOTC Video tribute to the WWE's all-time classiest and most beautiful Diva @MariaKanellis http://tinyurl.com/ya5qurw * http://mariakanellis.net

SI_24Seven PHOTOS: Rare Topps Baseball Cards - http://su.pr/7Qqk2Z/ via @si_photos #MLB

RipkenBaseball Check out www.facebook.com/RipkenBaseball to see Cal's interview this morning on Mike and Mike

VersusIndyCar Who wants a virtual lap? Here's Sao Paulo! http://bit.ly/bFz8dg #IZODIndyCar #IndyCar

SteinerSports Make sure to follow @SSM_Autohandler for all an inside look at our athlete signings
LIFE Out of Sight: Famous Recluses http://su.pr/6qp48V

GeekWeekOnline Misdeal: Live TV Poker Tournament Interrupted By Gunmen - GeekWeek - http://tinyurl.com/yh5up3z

GeekTyrant The TRON LEGACY Trailer Has Been Unleashed in all its Glory! http://bit.ly/bCYZLY

GeekTyrant Are you ready to see The Bible in 3D? Adam and Eve are going to be popping out in your face. http://su.pr/2tjrp9

GeekTyrant Plot Synopsis revealed for Marvel's THOR http://su.pr/2uVNBg

darrenrovell1 In honor of Kathy Ireland, here, once again is a link to my SI Swimsuit doc to watch online http://bit.ly/alMZXL

AP Real Hurt Lockers in Iraq: Specialists explain they're not like the film's arrogant, adrenaline-junkie hero. http://bit.ly/aIhH2R -AS

JimmyPSHayes MacGyver DVD news: Announcement for MacGyver - The TV Movies TVShowsOnDVD.com http://is.gd/9Xv1t

VOTC "Major League Baseball 2K Sports Dangles $1 Million In Game Contest" for the 1st Player to throw an in game no-hitter http://bit.ly/c5HRfj

VOTC Great story on how the founder of Pandora, a true entreprenuer, finally found success. One of my fav mobile apps http://tinyurl.com/yzgcnys

SI_Swimsuit Swimsuit Photo of the Day: 2010 @annevyalitsyna photographed by Stewart Shining in Lisbon, Portugal - http://su.pr/1Ekt8G

darrenrovell1 My interview with the guys who funded The Blind Side http://bit.ly/97q2sc

MLBNetwork Latest @MLBNetwork Spring Training game schedule available here: http://bit.ly/I5pmG

IGNcom God of War III: Reviewed - http://go.ign.com/cbhB51 Enjoy - @chris_roper

MLBNetwork We're one week in with "30 Clubs in 30 Days." Check out our complete episode schedule here: http://bit.ly/c4cylw

blowoutcards Famous Fabrics 100 Box Master Case Results...$9000-$10,000 Case Break...http://tinyurl.com/ybwofvh

gawkertv The 10 Most Memorable Moments from the Oscars http://tv.gawker.com/5487923

BeYourOwnFan I just registered for the Sports Industry Summit! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/3G5Tqp

AmazonAssociate Start Making Money with Amazon Associates on Google Blogger http://bit.ly/9Ir1PS

gawkertv Apple Debuts iPad Commercial During the Academy Awards http://gawker.tv/5487843/ #ipad #tv

LIFESportsNews Sports Prodigies & Young Champions http://bit.ly/9TomQo

Sportlots Sportlots has just added a new "Sportlots User's Guide" for both buyers and sellers. Check it out from the navigation bar on the left side.

cardboardicons Your chance to win a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle/Hank Aaron!: http://wp.me/pdyny-1nj

sportscardhaven The card we picked for the winner of our Facebook contest is AWESOME!! You are going to want to win this contest,... http://bit.ly/cOF7ws

MariaLKanellis Just finished shooting!! And then I looked online and my WEBSITE is up!!!! mariakanellis.net Check it out!

youtube Polls are open in Iraq. Videos from citizens, news orgs., army give picture of situation inside the country. http://bit.ly/cyCHiY

BreakingNews Japan's new government to release secret Cold War nuclear, military pacts with the US - Times of India http://bit.ly/amN2U7

mental_floss Here's a look at this week’s most popular mentalfloss.com stories -- http://bit.ly/bcnBdO

IGNcom It's @EricIGN with another example of the wacky TV biz, as we learn there's a chance 24 may move to NBC http://go.ign.com/91sGlA #24

benhenry Great poster show: http://greatestmomentsinsports.blogspot.com/

SportsCardRadio The Sports Card Show Podcast #45 - Upper Deck & MLB Settlement, 09/10

Panini Studio Preview, Game-Used Collectibles www.sportscardradio.com

LIFE Would these intense World War II propaganda posters have convinced you to support the war? - http://bit.ly/EzLDC

baseballzoch Check out Swidget 1.0 on #Widgetbox http://wbx.me/w/47fjmi

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Product Review- 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Baseball

If you like Team USA Baseball, 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars is an affordable product you’ll love. If you don’t, don’t buy it, plain and simple. Knowing what has transpired over the last several weeks with MLB properties and Upper Deck with regards to UD losing their baseball licensing, coupled with Topps landing the exclusive for Team USA, I’m pretty sure Signature Stars was intended to be a well crafted raw material dump in the form of USA Baseball player autographs and memorabilia.

You might be mistaken to think that a product titled Signature Stars, would be loaded with content that would include just that; star players, and autographs. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Promising to deliver (4) memorabilia or autographs per box, you are almost assured of the majority of those hits being non-MLB players. For prospectors who believe that regardless of the current rules defining a rookie card, this is definitely in your wheelhouse. For a current retail price of about $60 per box, it’s a relatively inexpensive gamble to chase autos from the likes of Bryce Harper, Michael Saunders, Chris Tillman, Josh Reddick, Mat Latos, Sean O'Sullivan and Chinese pitcher Fu-Te-Ni! Also find signed cards of Rick Porcello, Matt Laporta, and Matt Wieters. Adding a further element of chase, collectors should look for 2008 USA Baseball Buybacks including signed on memorabilia cards of Andy Laroche, Evan Longoria and Colby Rasmus.

With a pack-out configuration of 20 packs per box and only 5 cards per pack assembling the 100-card base set can be completed with a 2-box purchase as my box yielded 80% of the set. The base set breaks down as such:

Base Set 100 Cards
- Top Prospects-20 Cards
- Base Card High Series Signatures- 65 Cards
- Rookie Signatures- 25 Cards

While inserts and parallels exist in the product make-up they are too lacking to provide any additional element of fun to the pack-ripping experience.

- Base Set Blue Platinum parallel- numbered to 170
- Signature Skills-1:25
- Signed Sealed and Delivered-1:25
- Trophy Winners-1:50

With only one pack remaining in the break, I had already pulled the promised (4) hits. All of which were players from USA Baseball. I got lucky in the last pack with an extra hit. Lo and behold it was an autograph of an actual MLB player- Ramon Hernandez of the Cincinnati Reds. So while being grateful for the extra hit, I still wouldn’t say it made up for the other ‘hits”. So the box contents all told, revealed 92 cards। 80 of the 100-card base set, including 3 RC’s, 7 inserts, and the 5 hits with 0 doubles.

Gerardo Parra, Gordon Beckham, Brad Bergesen

Trophy Winners- Chipper Jones
Signed Sealed & Delivered- Cliff Lee
USA Star Prospects- AJ Vanegas, Christain Colon, Manny Machado, Tony Walters, Yasmani Grandal

Autograph- Ramon Hernandez (Reds)

Auto/Memorabilia- USA Future Watch Kolten Wong #772/799

Memorabilia- USA Star Prospects- Ladson Montgomery, Casey McGrew

Premier Materials- Gerrit Cole Cap Flag Patch #1/4

Come Play NCAA Bracketology!

With the NCAA College Basketball Tournament starting a week from tomorrow (sorry the play in game doesn't count) I though it might be fun to have a Bloggers Bracket Pool. It's free to play. JOIN NOW. The password is, what else, votc.

2007 SP Legendary Cuts Case Break HURRY!!

Trying to find 20 people interested in breaking a case of SP Legendary Cuts from '07. Slots would be $45 and would cover the case and all shipping. Leave a comment if interested. This is through a special Blowout Cards is having which ends at 3pm EST.

Configuration: 16 boxes per case. 12 packs per box. 4 cards per pack.

* Two cut signatures per case, on average!

* Hobby First - Look for one Reel History card every 3 cases; the 1 of 1 cards will feature a frame from a vintage filmstrip starring baseball greats Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig!
* Find one numbered autograph or memorabilia card per box!
* Find cut signatures with memorabilia, dual and quad cut signatures, themed cuts, and historical cuts!

Cut Signature Cards - Falling TWO per case, on average!
* Legendary Cuts - Varied numbering
* Inside the Numbers Cuts - Varied numbering
* Hall of Fame Cuts - Varied numbering
* Quotation Cuts - Varied numbering
* Legendary Team Cuts - #'d to 1
* Material Cuts - #'d to 5
* Material Signatures - #'d to 10
* Legendary Dual Cuts - #'d to 1
* Legendary Quad Cuts -#'d to 1
* Historical Cuts - #'d to 1
* Signature Cuts - #'d to 1

Memorabilia and Signature Cards - Combining to fall one per box, on average!
* Legendary Materials and Parallels - Numbered to 299 or less!
* When it Was a Game Memorabilia
* A Stitch in Time
* Masterful Material
* Legendary Signatures - #'d to 99 or less

Regular Card and Inserts
* Base Set(100)
* Legendary Lineage - #'d to 550
* Legendary Americana - #'d to 550

High End Chase
* Reel History - Authentic vintage film strips featuring Yankee legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quick Hits and Random Thoughts from My Brilliantly Mad Mind

1) TNA officially "jumped the shark" last night. With all dues respect to Ms. Dixie Carter, Rick Flair and Hulk Hogan? Really? So by moving from Thursday to Monday nights to compete head-to-head, you thought this match up of geriatric has beens would be more compelling than Shamus vs Triple H, Randy Orton or Batista vs anybody? Also, is this why you brought back Hulk Hogan? To embarrass and deface a legend that helped put your "sport" on the map?

2) Upper Deck Signature Stars is a pretty weak and worthless product. With four hits per box, I don't mind one or two being Team USA inserts but all four?!?! No thanks. Even if one is a flag patch #'d to 4 and there was an extra auto of an actual MLB player, the lack of inserts, parallels and disproportionate amount of Team USA players as hits makes this product a bust in my book.

3) Court Kings looks impressive. While the price point might offend some collectors, I like the fact that this product is bringing Diamond Kings to the hardwood and relying on (primarily) on-card autographs, great design and artwork instead of memorabilia to justify its price point making it the anti-Exquisite.

4) If you have never watched hockey, you really need to. Period. Plain and simple. Speed, hard hitting checks, acrobatic-like play making, fast paced end-to-end action and the occasional fist-a-cuffs. What's not to like?

5) eBay has added a widget/gadget gallery for sellers. Has anyone tried them yet?

6) Indy car racing returns! The 2010 season opens on one of the most technically challenging courses on the circuit in beautiful Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Take the vitrual lap through 11 corners reaching speeds in excess of 190 MPH.

7) The game-used letter patches coming out of Famous Fabrics are great.
But they seem to be the only thing worth acquiring.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Court Kings Makes Incredible First Impression

These cards look beautiful. The artwork is top notch and the product looks packed with content. A bit on the pricey side with an 11-card pack for $100 but with the chance to pull one of 120 redemptions for a 16"x20" Kobe Bryant signed lithograph, I'm sure plenty of hoops fans will be eating this product up.

For more details, click here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

eBay Trials and Tribulations

Selling on eBay obviously has its inherent benefits with a turnkey online sales platform and tailor made audience for sports cards, memorabilia, and collectibles. However it is not without its pitfalls as well. From ever increasing fees to non-paying buyers.

In the span of 1-day, I had two incidents occur that I thought were interesting. One much more of a hassle than the other.

First, after listing a 2010 Topps Ricky Henderson Peak Performance Game Used Bat Card, I was contacted by a potential buyer asking if I would accept a money order. Of course, was the obvious answer. Upon completion of the sale (for a whopping $1.80) he sent me this email:

"I will mail payment sometime next week. I will send $5 cash. The sales total was $4.65. Please send back 1 0r 2 quarters. (My sons can use them for laundry).

In addition, please do not tape the container. ( I am assuming he means top-loader) If you have to tape the container please put a piece of paper around the card first as I will be displaying the card in the container about arrival."

Fine, whatever. But first, why would I send you 2 quarters? I'll send you a quarter and a dime. Or hell, I'll send you 35 pennies if I want to. I am the one that accommodated you by taking what you said would be a money order.

Second, what is the deal with the tape? Just weird.

The second issue involved a NM condition 1969 Topps Nolan Ryan. In all honesty I should have had the card graded first but the consignor didn't want to. I listed all noticeable condition attributes and listed PSA's grading standards in the listing. Now the seller is is saying their is a crease, when I said there weren't.

This is the email from him:

"It appears that you did NOT look very closely at the card. It looked fine at first look and I was excited to have such a nice card. Corners were nice....BUT, when I removed it from the top loader (still in penny sleeve) I instantly noticed the CREASE located at Nolan's right knee...slightly above where the knee cap would be. In relatiuon to the card, it would be on the left side of the card. If you blow up you scan to 200% and look at the area, you can see a fine white line in the photo....I missed it when looking at the listing....just saw where you stated Nice edges, NO creases, etc.

Anyway....look at the scan and see if you notice the crease.....I still like the card, but I overpaid pricewise for the card's condition....Look at the scan and let me know if you see the marking. "

Ok, if I made a mistake fine. But based on what is acceptable for a PSA NM grade, this clearly falls within those guidelines. Here is a picture of the card magnified 200% and link to the listing.

So I replied back asking what he thought was a reasonable solution despite disputing whether this surface mark constitutes being a crease and still falling in the grade listed regardless. I'll make it right for the buyer but this is a clear example of the benefits of grading, particularly when it comes to vintage.