Monday, February 6, 2017

No One To Blame But Myself

I know everyone's talking about the Super game which was (shockingly) won by the Boston Americans..

But I really don't want to discuss that. Someday I'll explain how I can love the Red Sox but hate the Patriots. Maybe in the fall, while both teams are playing. Right now I want to vent about some sports-card specific frustration, which is making me very anxious.

For the past two months I have been setting aside COMC credit, Paypal cash, and actual paper money to make two major sports card purchases: multiple boxes of 2017 Topps Heritage Baseball, and one last PSA grading order before my subscription expires in April. 

The Heritage set is scheduled for release at the beginning of March, and I had listed plenty of cards to sell on both COMC and eBay with the goal of accumulating about $300 - which would have covered 4 boxes of cards, a box of 9-pocket pages, and a new baseball card album for my new cards. I even thought that maybe possibly I could afford a case of Heritage if everything went right for me.

Nothing has gone right for me.

Let's start with the PSA BS. I have a stack of 19-20 cards I want to submit for grading. Half of them are for my 1956 Topps Baseball project while some of the others are commons and/or have enough flaws that grading them might not be worthwhile. This was PSA's set registry special for January:

Collectors Club Special #1:
$6.00 per Card – 25 Card Minimum Quantity Required

  • For cards from 1956-present valued under $100 each
  • Sport and non-sport cards
  • Regular size, thick/patch, Tallboy, and Coins/Pins cards are accepted
  • Excluding T3's, Supersized, and Dual Service Cards
  • For Collectors Club members only
  • Turnaround time approximately 50 business days/varies with demand
  • Click here for Full Details!

The same 25 card minimum was required for pre-1956 cards. So not only would I have to find ten more cards to grade, I'd have to hold off on grading these four cards:

until PSA offered a special with no minimum. I was hoping that would be this month, but once again I'm SOL because February's specials are the exact same as January's.

As for "Project Heritage"...that's not going so well, either. In order for me to earn a $250 gift coupon for Blowout Cards I need to sell $290 worth of cards on COMC. That should not have been a problem, since I have about $1,000 worth of inventory and have been posting sales at least once a week. But it seems like no matter what I try, it doesn't work. 50% off a reasonable market price, 90% off a jacked-up price, 20% of a rock-bottom price. Even a port sale didn't fetch more than a couple lowball offers. 

I managed to climb all the way up to $153 in COMC cash - and I would have come close to $220 if I hadn't spent nearly $75 on 38 cards over the last 2 months. Some of those were bought with the intention to 'flip', and I always try to buy cards that would fit my collection in case I can't flip them. Others were low-end cards of Martin Brodeur and Dustin Pedroia that I couldn't pass up (I did manage to pass up a patch/auto of Pedroia that sold for $20, mostly because it was a sticker auto) It doesn't seem like much at the time - It's only $1.50. I can make that back through COMC challenges - but it adds up.

After my last sale I was up around $130, still well short of my goal. That's when I checked Blowout Cards and noticed that the price of 2017 Topps Heritage had gone up by $5 a box. Now I'd need another $30 in COMC credit to cover the price increase.

I was going backwards, and the goalposts were moving farther away. I felt like the Atlanta Falcons. Andso I decided that if I couldn't accomplish my main goal, then I at least needed to try and accomplish my secondary goal.

I bought another ten cards for my 1956 Topps set and two more 'backup' vintage cards in case there are some hidden flaws that render two of them ungradeable. Which means I'm down to $100 after spending $4 on shipping to get these cards by the end of Febtober

Not that I need to rush, since PSA will probably have the same special in Smarch.

COMC is a buyer's market, and it's just as difficult to make decent money selling decent cards as it is to resist buying more cards. I know I'll feel a bit better in two weeks when my cards arrive, but it's so freaking frustrating. When the new batch arrives I'll scan 'em up and discuss, but for now I'll share some more cards in my "to be graded' pile (these were from my last COMC order)

Also I have updated my 1956 Topps tab, and I'm working on a tradelist but I'm only halfway through listing all my hockey traders and I'm already exhausted. It might be easier if y'all just tell me what you collect and drop me an e-mail (sutherlandct @ gmail .com) to get things started. I've tried to reach out to a few of you on possible trades but haven't found any contact info. Perhaps my next entry will be another "trading post".



  1. What's your COMC ID? I can't promise I'll buy anything but I'll be happy to take a look! You should also throw a link to your port in your sidebar.

    1. I'm hockeydude94 on COMC. If you see anything you like, offer me 50% and I'll accept. Don't feel obligated though.

      I'll look into adding a link on my sidebar. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Same as Dennis, let me know. Also your comment about trading is right at the top of my inbox I've just been slammin busy, I'll email you tonight!

    1. Here's a link to my port Prices are still high from my last sale, but if you see anything you like let me know. (Got your e-mail & replied)

  3. You already know what the vintage cards are. Put the money you'd be spending to have some self-proclaimed experts tell you something you already know towards your boxes/case of Heritage. Problem solved!

    1. That is very tempting. I'm weighing the pros and cons of each.

  4. I have some stuff I've been thinking about selling through COMC.. I'm at a loss on how to do so though..

    1. There's a video instruction on the site which shows you the best way to pack & ship (they have a Canadian warehouse you can ship to) My suggestions would be: don't send too many cards and don't send cards that are overpopulated. Also, check your modern cards for corner damage cause they're picky and they'll send your cards back if there are flaws.

  5. I'm not a big graded card fan so I would lean towards Billy and Jon's suggestion. With that being said it is your collection and you need to do what makes you happy.

    Like the other guys I'll take a look at your COMC store.

    1. I love graded stuff, especially vintage. I probably wont renew my PSA membership, but it's been a lot of fun to find 'raw' singles and see how high they grade. I'll probably write about my successes/failures sometime in April.

      Oh, and I sold my port today. I got an offer that was close enough to my asking price. So now I'll be able to afford 5 boxes of Heritage. Want me to set aside the Pirates for you?