Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Com(c) before the storm

It's been a while since I've posted here so this may be a long one. Please bear with me...

I've had no new sports card news to report, and the historic World Series win by the Chicago Cubs has been covered pretty thoroughly on the baseball blogosphere. Additionally, the election sucked 

away all my time and energy, and when it was over I was so crushed that I didn't want to get out bed, much less write a blog post. I'm not going to get into details here, but if you read my personal blog you'll know that I'm a progressive Democrat and my in-laws are all hard-line Republicans. And they did not hesitate to act like sore winners four days later on my wife's birthday - which was to be expected. At one point my wife tried to halt the political chatter and was forcefully vetoed by her mother. Good times.

What does this have to do with cards? Well, after the entire ordeal of the campain season, the election night(mare), and the unpleasantness of the in-laws...I helped myself to some retail therapy. When I last posted here there were nine cards remaining on my hockey card checklist:
  • 2003-04 Topps Pristine #31 Ed Belfour
  • 2003-04 Topps Pristine #49 Felix Potvin
  • 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Guns #210 Patrick Kane (BGS 9.5)
  • 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Guns #227 Carey Price (BGS 9.5)
  • 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Guns #462 Jonathan Toews (BGS 9.5)
  • 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee #741 Dany Sabourin
  • 2009-10 Upper Deck Young Guns #201 John Tavares (BGS 9.5)
  • 2010-11 Upper Deck Young Guns #219 Taylor Hall (BGS 9.5)
  • 2011-12 Upper Deck Young Guns #214 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (BGS 9.5)

I found the Sabourin on the Beckett marketplace, and the seller offered free shipping for orders of $10 or more. All I had to do was find another $9.75 worth of cards - andso I picked out a bunch of Red Sox and Devils base commons that I didn't have. Not exactly a priority, but the price was right (nearly all of them were 25-50 cents each). The Sabourin (and a few other cards) had a couple iffy corners, which was a bit disappointing.... but I was finally able to put the 08-09 OPC set to rest.
You get what you pay for. I paid a quarter.

The Potvin Pristine had been on eBay/Beckett for a while, but the seller wanted $5 each (he had four) plus $0.79 shipping. I really wasn't eager to shell out that much for an unnumbered base card of a non-Devil... but then all but one copy sold, and I had a tough decision to make. I had already lost out on the Potvin (and Belfour) last year when I was too cheap to buy them on COMC (at about $5 for both, if I remember right). If I passed again, who knows when I'd get another chance at it. After the post-election birthday "party" I decided to grab it.

My favourite hockey set evour.

But that's not all. While I was watching the Potvin, I noticed that a different seller had one of the BGS-graded Young Guns I've needed for a while. Kane, Price, and Toews are way out of my budget (someday I'll discuss just how often I've broken up and re-started the 07-08 Upper Deck hockey set) and Nugent-Hopkins is still too overpriced in high grade. 

However, I was able to find a reasonably-priced John Tavares YG to complete my 09-10 Upper Deck set (and my post-election retail therapy session).

incoming from Canada. ETA:Monday

And then there were six...
  • 2003-04 Topps Pristine #31 Ed Belfour
  • 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Guns #210 Patrick Kane (BGS 9.5)
  • 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Guns #227 Carey Price (BGS 9.5)
  • 2007-08 Upper Deck Young Guns #462 Jonathan Toews (BGS 9.5)
  • 2010-11 Upper Deck Young Guns #219 Taylor Hall (BGS 9.5)
  • 2011-12 Upper Deck Young Guns #214 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (BGS 9.5)

I don't expect to find any of these on COMC, but I'll keep my eyes open during the Black Friday sales.

Speaking of which, I've been preparing for COMC's Black Friday spectacular for quite some time... and yet I remain woefully unprepared. Just before Labor Day I sent a box of 300 cards to COMC, which I expected would be uploaded to the site by now. There was just one problem.

I sent them to myself.

No idea how I managed to put the address labels in the wrong place; I must have been really tired that day. And things were hectic at home and at work so I didn't get to mail them out again for a while (tbh, I was in no hurry to pay another $12 to ship the same box twice.) That mental mistake cost me valuable time, and now my cards wont be completely uploaded until Dec. 9.

That's...a problem. Especially since I have a grand total of 25 cards in my port as of today. The good news is, COMC's free seller promotions are usually 'choose one' but this year you can choose the Black Friday preview week and Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday.

The bad news? That means the cards I'm keeping an eye on could be snatched up as soon as this Monday morning - and COMC still hasn't uploaded a single one of my cards -- but they've marked 101 of them as damaged/declined -- including, I might add, the Nikola Vucevic Innovation View (pictured top-right) that I purchased from COMC.

Now I admit, I don't always examine each card thoroughly before submitting them to COMC - but usually that results in 15 or 20 returns, not a third of my order. Luckily, I had a backup plan. I listed a few things on eBay which will end on Tuesday and supply me with a backup source of funds in case my 25 cards don't set the site on fire. Unluckily, the COMC sales will be well underway by the time the buyers pay me... and I have a feeling those upload fees will hit me all at once, and at the worst possible time. 

Still, Black Friday is like Christmas for me. I've started a tradition of building a watch list weeks in advance, and then waking/staying up at 3am Eastern Time to see which cards 'pop' at a deep discount. Last year was vintage-heavy; this year my watch list is loaded with team and player faves. And I took Monday off so I can be there when the fun starts. I just hope I have some money by then...

Do you plan to buy/sell during Black Friday weekend, either at COMC or another sports card site? Leave a comment and let me know!




  1. I still haven't really looked at buying from a site at all..

    I definitely understand the frustration about the election. Of course I'm of the mindset they're all lying assclowns that have their own interests in mind and see the normal person as an annoyance or a source of income.. But I understand it lol

    1. You haven't bought from a site? I recommend it, especially COMC. That said, buying online is a necessity for me since the nearest card shop is at least 40 miles away.

      You're right on, politicians are (nearly) all the same. Some may be slightly better, some slightly worse. But they're pretty much how you described. I felt bad for HRC, but I'm more concerned about issues/causes and less about the individuals running for office.