Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you are busting wax, you're probably wasting your money

The blogosphere is full of collectors complaining that big-ticket products like Topps Triple Threads and Bowman Sterling are ripe for disappointing buyers. What gets less attention is the fact that low-end products are just as much a poor way to spend your money, no matter what you're hoping to get out of them.

Let's discuss the reasons why people bust a box:

1. Game-Used and Autographed Cards.
2. Hot Rookies.
3. Set Collectors.

For every one of those reasons, you can get what you want, guaranteed, for cheaper on eBay any day of the week.

For the purpose of this discussion, let's use 2010 Topps Series 1. According to Topps, each Hobby Box contains 1 Autograph or Relic Card and each Jumbo Hobby Box contains 1 Autograph and 2 Relic Cards. On March 11, a Topps 2010 Series 1 Hobby Box was selling for $68.90 while a 2010 Topps Jumbo Hobby Box was selling for $107.99 on

Let's consider how valuable those Autograph and Relic Cards are. Over the past few weeks I have been assembling a collection of 2010 Topps Peak Performance Relics cards of my favorite Boston Red Sox players. Here is what I paid for them on eBay, including shipping.

2010 Topps Peak Performance Jersey (Red) Jonathan Papelbon: $3.18
2010 Topps Peak Performance Jersey (Red) David Ortiz: $4.50
2010 Topps Peak Performance Bat Kevin Youkilis: $4.34
2010 Topps Peak Performance Bat Dustin Pedroia: $4.24
2010 Topps Peak Performance Autograph Daniel Bard: $8.25

As you can see, for a mere $24.51 I have assembled almost as many "Hits" as could be expected from buying two boxes of 2010 Topps Jumbo Hobby Boxes for $215.98. And better than that, I got to choose the team and players that I like most.

"Okay, okay," you say, "We get it, you can get the "relics" and autographs we want for a song on eBay, but what about the rookies, we want rookies."

Let us look at the price of 2010 Topps Rookie Cards then. As of 7:21 P.M. EST on March 11, 2010 you can Buy It Now:

#2 Buster Posey RC, 1.50 or best offer, free shipping.
#64 Drew Stubbs RC, 1.00, free shipping.
#105 Madison Bumgarner RC $1.00, free shipping.
#196 Ian Desmond RC $1.00, free shipping.
#292 Tommy Manzella $1.00, free shipping.
#312 Tyler Flowers $1.00, free shipping.

"But," you say, "I am a set builder and I want the whole set." Fine then, be like me and buy the entire Topps Series 1 330-card set from twcbjr on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $19.90, including shipping.

Moral of the Story: Don't be a schmoe, let some other sucker bust the wax and just sit back and scoop up the cards that you really want on eBay for a fraction of the cost. This is the Pessimist Card Collector Zone, Because I'm Definitely Looking Out for You!

Update: I have added to my Red Sox Peak Performance Game-Used Collection with a Kevin Youkilis Game Work Blue Jersey for $3.99. Here it is...

1 comment:

  1. I don't have an Ebay account. I only buy wax. Some ones got to do it. Or those singles your wasting your money on wouldn't be there for purchase lol. Listen everyone hast there own way of doing things, but what I don't understand is Ebay only collectors. Ebay is a cheap way to get cards I understand that, but don't you like the feeling of pulling a card once in a while? There's so much more to collecting then just buying a single. Thats like going to the movies, and already knowing the outcome. Isn't that boring?

    To each his own I guess.