Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Investment Update!

I just made my biggest single-card purchase of the year (which you'll see at the end of this post) and since it's a red-hot rookie card it got me thinking about some other cards I purchased as investments. Some I sold way too soon, some (not many) sold at the right time, while others are still in my collection - appreciating (or depreciating) in value.

On the rare occasions when I sell cards it's almost always to raise money for other cards. COMC 'flipping' is much easier than eBay and since the big Black Friday sale is coming up I thought it would be a good time to revisit some of my hits and misses in flipping cards on the site.

Let's start with my first year as a regular user of the site, 2014...

I hadn't started using the site frequently until July, and I only flipped four cards that year. Here they are:

The Madbum was a win, coming right after the Giants' third World Series title in five years. That was negated by selling too soon on the Hater and Altuve - which lists for $17+ on the site today.

In 2015 I sold 2,790 cards on COMC - far more than every other year combined. 50 of those cards were flips. Here are three of the more notable ones:

Yup, sold that one way too soon. The hype may have died down on Aaron Judge, but I'd gladly pay $70 to have that card back. 

Back in my prospecting days I grabbed a few Bobby Bradley cards, including this low #d parallel. I'll know in a year or so if this was a hit or miss; Bradley got called up to Cleveland this past season.

I picked up this Leon Draisaitl parallel when the Oilers were unsure if he was NHL ready. There was no indication he'd develop into a 50-goal, 100-point scorer, but that's exactly what happened. Now this rookie year card lists for $48.75 - nearly ten times more than I sold it for. Oops.

Moving on from the horror show of 2015 into 2016..(like that wasn't an awful year, too) 64 of the 389 cards I sold that year were flips. I ventured into vintage this time..

Why on Earth would I not bring home this high-grade Fergie? At least I kept his Fleer Greats auto. 

This Tommy Henrich was beat. But if Shane had started his 1950 Bowman set build back then, I would have brought it home and sent it to him. Sorry, Shane! :/

At least Fuji benefited from my poor judgement. (Note to self: stop selling Yankee cards!)

In 2017 I sold slightly more singles - 419 - and made twice as much cash/credit. Was I finally starting to figure out this whole flipping thing? You decide..

Dammit Chris, what did I tell you about selling Yankee cards? I should have brought that sucker home and had it graded. Oh well, at least I made a decent profit. 

You're going the wrong way! It's sad that Cory Schneider wasted his best years on a bad Devils team and now that they're.. still bad but kind of promising.. he's no longer an NHL-caliber goalie. 

Here's another instance where keeping the card would have been much more valuable than the meager profit I made. The cheapest copy on COMC today is $13.25, and the one I had was much cleaner. I mean, look at this beauty:

Let's just move on to last year, shall we? I stopped sending cards to COMC by 2018, and so all but four of my 28 single-card sales were flips. I think I finally got it right:

I had to charge a balance on my credit card to pay for this gem. I'm just glad COMC didn't hold up the transfer of funds for 45 minutes. That's happened to me before, thankfully not when I had my eyes on a flippable card.

These Thunder Clap gold medallions are so rare that I probably could have asked for more - but I didn't want to be greedy. Since I'll never "own" one again (they're all sold out on COMC) let's take a closer look at this Carter card:

Here's a pair of memorabilia cards #d to 99 that I bought/sold for about the same price:

One more from last year's batch:

I bought it before Hunt was suspended for beating a woman and I was happy to get rid of it afterward. 

In 2019 I have flipped a grand total of five cards. That might become six after this weekend, though I would be happy to bring that card home. We'll see how it goes.

Now, for my latest investment.. this was a card I considered buying during one of COMC's previous sales. I can't remember if it was Black Friday or Spring Cleaning 2019, all I know is that it was listed at around $20 and I passed. 

Cut to this month, when I had to sell my 1962 Topps Hank Aaron card and pay $20 to secure a graded copy because they were selling so freakin' fast! So basically I gave away the Aaron because I didn't buy this when I should have. 

All's well that ends well, as I'm now the proud owner of a Luka Doncic Panini Prizm rookie card:

Doncic has been dominating in his second year with the Mavs. He's averaging nearly a triple-double per night and he's second in the NBA in both points and assists. And he's only 20 years old! I can't imagine how much better Doncic could get.. but it's possible he hasn't hit his ceiling yet. (And as Michael Jordan once said.. the ceiling is the roof.)

When I bought this card, Luka had just dropped 35 on the Warriors in a blowout victory. In the time it took for the seller to ship it and the Post Office to deliver it, he scored 30 against the Cavaliers and then out-dueled the league's leading scorer James Harden with 41 against the Rockets. 

Doncic and Dallas face Kawhi and the Clippers tonight. We'll see if I've now cursed the kid or if he can continue his wicked hot streak. 

And with that, I'm going to take a bit of a blogging break until December 1 or so. I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and more importantly (ok, not quite) I hope you all find some great deals on COMC or wherever you do your Black Friday shopping. 

Thanks for reading!



  1. Good post. I was into buying and flipping on COMC for a while, but got eventually too tired of holding a large inventory on there and marked everything way down and sold it all.

    I liked what you were doing with some cards that go for a few bucks. Most of mine were like $.10-->$.25 flips.

  2. I'm horrible at flipping cards on COMC. I eventually gave up on it altogether because it seemed like every time I bought a copy to flip, the site was suddenly flooded with people selling it cheaper. I remember one Kobe I tried to flip. I set my price (it was the lowest at the time) for about a $1 profit. After about two months, there were probably 30 cards coming in lower than my original purchase price. It's still in my inventory, priced for $2-$3 less my purchase price, but still not even the cheapest on the site. That's how too many of my flips have gone.

  3. I think I'd probably be terrible at this kind of thing, so I stay away from it, lol. Thanks for sharing your experience, and enjoy the break!

  4. I'm not very good at the flipping, although it would probably be different if I paid any attention to current happenings, but I just can't keep up with who's hot, and who's not anymore. I'm kind of surprised too, to see that the Clemente relic sold for so much, I mean I know it's Clemente and all, but that's an awful lot to pay for some material of dubious origins.

  5. Huh, flipping kind of sounds like playing the stock market. I'm not very good at that so I think I'll stay away from it on COMC.

  6. Wow you've done fairly well I'd say! I have never picked up a card on COMC with the intent of flipping it personally.

    My favorites in this post were the '50 Bowman (of course) as well as the Whitey Ford and that fantastic Bernie Parent!

    Will be fun to watch Doncic accumulate the stats with that graded RC in hand.

  7. There's a lot of gambling involved in flipping cards for profit, but that doesn't mean I'm opposed to it myself. That said, I don't know how I'd react if one didn't go as planned and the card soared in value after I sold it.

    The Doncic Prizm rookie is a fantastic pickup. His stock is pretty high right now, but he's the type of player to keep on going.

  8. I've never flipped any cards on ComC, but I have thought about it.

  9. Wow. There's another Fuji out there, because that isn't me. My COMC name is sanjosefuji (all lowercase). Anyways... I know some of these you could have held onto a little longer for more money, but I look at the bottom line. You made money on almost all of these sales. Congratulations!

    1. That wasn't you? All this time I thought it was. Bummer!