Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Set of the Day- 2003 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Edition

2003 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Edition is one of my favorite products of all time. It combines two elements that I love in a trading card product; art and retired greats. 

The relatively small base set of (74) cards was augmented by an SP variation set of equal size. Changes in the art ranged from complete background changes to players missing a uniform patch.

The entire base set was all issued in a parallel refractor version. Both the refractors and variations were seeded 1 per pack. For the true master set builder, the SP variations were also issued as a refractor parallel at just 1 per box.

Topps Gallery had a product configuration of 5 cards per pack and 20 packs per box.

The set was accompanied by several requisite relic and autograph inserts but perhaps the coolest of all of them were the Currency Connection inserts seeded 1 per box. These cards paired a Hall of Fame Player with a coin from that player's era.

I am parting with a near set lot loaded with SP variations, refractors and more! Check it out.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Set of the Day- 2002 Fleer Greats FALL CLASSIC

The run of Fleer Greats of the Game products in the early part of the last decade, delivered some great tributes to retired players. The 2002 Fleer Fall Classic set consisted of (100) base cards with the first 90 featuring a single player and the remaining ten combining some of the best to ever play the game on a single card.

Inserts sets included Rival Faction, Hall of Fame Plaques, and Series of Champions.

The Rival Factions set while aptly named for the first several dozen cards out of the (43) that comprise the full set, the pairings then cross generations of great players from a single position, teammates, etc., creating a slightly more confusing context for the set name.

Hall of Fame Plaques deliver a reverse coloring from the traditional yellow and brown placards and are beautiful! pictures do not do them justice. The set consists of (30) all-time greats to play in the World Series.

Series Champions features (19) iconic players and a particular moment in their respective Fall Classic.

If you are interested in picking this set up and some great inserts, I have a deal for you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

eBay and Common Sense- TRS's Sound Off

I believe it was either Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde that said, "Common sense? It ain't so common."  As the looming deadline nears for eBay Top Rated Sellers to conform to the online marketplace's new guidelines to maintain their previously achieved benefits of Best Match search results and fee discounts, I am curious what TRS's will do. 

Basically, sellers of trading cards are most impacted by (2) changes.

1) One Day Handling- Not really a problem unless you sell something while you are sick, dying or out of town.

2) Return Policy of 14 Days- For trading cards?!?! Are you serious?!?! Seven days from receipt of product is more than fair and has been sufficient for years. What could possibly warrant a 14-Day return policy? 

My concern with this new policy is that it allows time for people to purchase something from you and relist it in an attempt to "flip" it and if they lose money can end their item listing and return it to me guaranteed a full refund.

So as a Top Rated Seller myself, I now have to decide do I want to to risk the potential hassle and headache for the sake of keeping my TRS benefits or will those potential hassles and headaches outweigh those benefits?

For you TRS's out there what say you?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

On-Demand Trading Cards- Your Thoughts?

If you could order the exact trading cards you wanted from every product released, direct from the manufacturer, would you spend more or less on cards than you currently do? 

Many collectors have abandoned box purchasing in favor of waiting for the cards they want to appear on the secondary market through a source like eBay or Check Out My Cards. While the manufacturers may have already made their money on the boxes purchased from whence these cards were pulled, are they leaving money on the table by not offering singles direct? Is it just the fact that fulfillment would be a logistical nightmare or are they afraid of loss of box sales in doing so? 

The formula for any given product consists of a ratio between big hits from star players to the worthless jerseys and scrub autos to produce enough boxes to meet a desired print run and therefore gross margin. However, what if manufactures in “hit” oriented products simply eliminated base cards, parallels and inserts and sold the hits direct to the collector? 

Manufacturing costs would drop in terms of labor, packaging and materials, albeit costs would potentially increase on customer service due to fulfillment but certainly not to the excess that you wouldn’t save any money in doing so. 

So the question is, could a manufacturer make enough money to meet their revenue goals on the hits alone to employee this model? I don’t know but I’d sure like to see someone give it a try. 

How nice would it be to look at a sell sheet and/or checklist identify the auto, patch, or other cards you want and purchase them direct with no waiting for their availability or middleman. I have no problem going from the concept that “this card is limited to just 10 copies” to “we will make this card for whoever wants it at x price”. 

I might be crazy but who knows. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

For Sale- Follow-up

Check the comments if you were interested in helping thin my collection. Anyone who called dibs or had a question that I have NOT communicated with via email, I have responded to specifics in the comments section per commentor so just look for your name. Don't leave me hanging guys :)

Anyway, I also wanted to address the fact that I am not abandoning cards entirely, just focusing a bit.

Thanks to Dean and nite owl for the deals we've made. I really appreciate it.