Saturday, March 30, 2013

I have an eBay rival!!

A while back, I wrote a post on the mysterious price swings of certain '13 Topps parallels.  Several theories were offered up to explain why the lower serial numbered cards were going for less than those numbered higher.  I admitted that the whole thing was making me anxious.  Then I did a little more research to really get to the root of the issue.  What did I find out??  I have a rival on ebay!  One with pockets much deeper than mine.  This person is obviously also trying to put together the Braves rainbow, no matter how high the cost.  Hence, the inflated "Buy it Now" prices on some of these cards was caused by the false demand created by my competitor.  Speaking of which, those cards have mostly gone unsold and have been re-listed at the regular .99 starting price.

So what did I do next?  I went back over all the parallel auctions to figure out which cards this person has already won.  In effect I have a pretty good idea of exactly what they're looking for on the bay.  They're a bit ahead of me, which is good.  Creeper much?  I'll own up to that.  I just want to complete this f%$*ing rainbow.

With this new information in hand I tweaked my strategy.  As soon as my new friend enters into an auction I peace out of it because I know I won't win.  (Slipping in at the last second doesn't work here, they always have a high max bid).  Also, since I know which cards they've already won, I now can safely bid on the same cards and assume that I won't exceed my previously stated maximums.  How has that panned out for me, you ask?  I've won 3 black cards in the last week for under 5 bucks each.

#116 15/62

#46 26/62
I'm especially proud of this one

#257 12/62

I also won the Freddie Freeman pink card, for a decent price.  My rival is fan of the Braves so I guess they can't be that bad.

I have a few trades packages to write about, so if you've sent something you should see it up here soon!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Trades with Wax Captain and Fantastic Catch!

The trade packages keep rolling in!  At this rate I might be able to finish off the non-serial numbered cards in the rainbow before Series 2 is released.  Let's have a look.

First, Victoriano over at Waxcaptain's Dugout sent some much needed 2013 Topps:

#222 Target red

I'm really starting to dig the red cards.  They look good put together in the page.

CH-31 & CH-35 Base
CH-26 Silver Holofoil

I still don't understand the point of all these variations but I only need a few more to be finished with them.

Next, I received a stack of cards from Superduperman99 at Fantastic Catch.  I sent a stack of rookie cards from the 2013 Topps flagship that hopefully will help with a neat project that he is working on.  I got a generous helping of mid-nineties goodness in return.

'94 SP 19, 48, 50, 51, 55
Lots of shine.  I collected this set back in the day, but never finished.  I haven't posted a want list, but actually needed all four cards that he sent!

'94 Flair.  Infield Power #5

I LOVED this product as a kid.  The base cards are very busy and very 90s.  Back then the Hot Glove inserts were all the rage.  I couldn't afford to buy packs but I somehow cobbled together a good chunk of the team set.  The inserts are another story.  I will definitely be figuring out what I need and get the want list updated.  Thanks again for the trades!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Heritage: It all has to go

This is just a quick post.  I bought a jumbo pack of 2013 Heritage at Target today.  I have no intentions of doing anything with this set, but just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I'm not posting pictures since we all know what they look like.  Everything here is available for trades.

30, 47, 57, 75, 83, 84, 162, 141, 205, 295, 311, 318, 339, 341, 346, 391, 408, 422

BF-SK (Sandy Koufax)

HC46 387/564 Chrome Refractor

The scanner didn't really pick up the shiny refractoriness  There must be a Boston fan out there that would give this thing a good home.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trade with The Sandlot

A couple days ago I received a trade package from Joe over at The Sandlot.  I sent him several of the Mets that he needed from the 2013 Topps base and insert sets.  I won't bore you with all the flagship cards that he sent other than this one:

#115 Target red.

I might get fancy and put some kind of tracker in the sidebar to keep score of my progress on this rainbow thing.

Joe also sent a stack of cards that I'm largely unfamiliar with.  Most come from the years that I was out of the hobby.  However these beauties come from the '96 Pacific Crown Collection, a brand that I sometimes collected as a teen:

#s 1, 2, 15, 16, 17

Honestly, I don't remember this set but I'm really liking what I see.  Joe may have gathered from previous posts that I absolutely love cards with full bleed pictures.  The Braves occupy cards 1-18 in the set, probably a tribute to their '95 World Series victory.  I love sets that keep teams together AND in alphabetical order  I'm definitely interested in pursuing the rest of these.  Now you see how easily I am swayed.  Thanks for the trade Joe!!

I also won these on ebay:

46, 126, 201, 257 Walmart blue

I previously said I wouldn't be buying any retail parallels but I couldn't resist the price.  I got these four for less than $2.  That includes shipping.  I'm now half-way finished with the blues.  Want lists have been updated accordingly.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pink Hudson

This came in the mail today:

#115 2/50

I'm still waiting for the pink to grow on me.  Probably won't happen.  It kinda clashes with Hudson's red jersey and the logo at the bottom.  Either way, I got it for a decent price on ebay.  It's a good thing there aren't any other pink cards up for auction because I need a break.  For those keeping score I now have two black and two pink bordered cards.  St. Patrick's Day is a beast here in Savannah, so I'm getting ready to bunker down for the weekend.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

'94 Collector's Choice

#325 Silver Signature

In going through cards from my younger collecting days, I rediscovered my second all-time favorite set.  1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice.  This set was geared towards the younger collector.  My 13 year-old self was very happy with it.  Packs were foily and inexpensive.  They featured both David Justice and Deion Sanders.  As a kid I could never wrap my mind around the fact that Sanders played for both the Falcons AND the Braves.  But I totally loved him for it.  I also loved Justice.  Can you imagine how excited I was to pull the above card from a pack?!?  I can still remember how lucky I felt to actually get the card that was featured on the packs.  To this day it still one the my favorite cards in my collection.

The set is pretty straight forward.  There is a base set of 670 cards that was paralleled in two versions: Silver and Gold Signatures.  I think there was one silver per pack and one gold per box.  Inserts were minimal, highlighted by some scratch-off mail-in thing that I don't really remember.  The Braves were generously represented with 25 cards.


I love team checklists.  They keep things straight in my head.  There are two rookie cards (649 & 663),  the other Justice checklist (325), a Justice "Up Close and Personal"(636) and a Glavine "Leaders" card that aren't listed on this checklist.

The set also featured this:


I didn't really care that Jordan was playing baseball, but I think my friends were high on this card.    I'm pretty sure that I traded my copy away.

I actually came very close to finishing the base team set. I only need five cards to finish it off.  The parallels, of course, are a different story.  I put up a list of what I'm looking for.  Please indulge me by checking it out!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Please help me understand

There's something about my rainbow quest that is confusing me, so I'm turning to the blogosphere for help.

My strategy for completing the 2013 Topps rainbow is pretty simple.  Pursue the "rarest" cards first through ebay etc. and the more common parallels through busting packs and making trades.  For those keeping score that means I'm most actively hunting down the pink cards (something I never thought I would ever type) #ed/50, followed by the black #ed/62 etc.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the mysterious purple cards.  It seems as though no one is really doing anything with those, but I digress.

I don't plan on buying many new cards until Series 2 comes out, so I have some spare dollars to spend on ebay.  My mobile app dutifully informs me every time something of interest is posted.  I've mainly watched the activity from the outside just to get a feel for the market.  Based on auction history I came up with reasonable expectations for how much I'm willing to spend on these cards.  I don't want to spend more than 10 bucks on a single card.  So far I've won two pink and two black cards without going over the limit.  Actually I've stayed well below.  Up until now I've felt pretty good about my little strategy.  Then this happened, which probably led to this:

#222 85/99

Here's my problem.  I won the black version of this card for around $7.  The most recent pink auction?  Went for $20.49.  So why did this card that is supposedly less rare (and much uglier) than the other two, sell for 36 bucks?

But wait a minute there was also this, this and this:

#46 46/50

Now granted this card has a tiny imperfection, but come on it still went for $15.50.  The camo went for $25, and black for $31??  The prices are all screwed up!!  This mystifies me.

It also makes me anxious.  I'm usually not down for the serial number thing and I try not to be affected by it.  However, the last thing I'm looking for right now is an empty space on a page.  There is no way that I can drop $40 on a single card.  That is unless I run into the perfect storm of drunkenness and aggression whilst one of these being auctioned.  Please pray that doesn't happen.

So what's the deal here?  Is this just artificial price inflation?  Are other collectors jumping the gun to prevent that dreaded empty space?  Should I give up the quest while I'm ahead??  (That's not going to happen.)

In other news, I recently received an envelope from Nick at Dime Boxes:

#105 Target red
Still missing the base...

Chasing History CH-36

The one without all the foil and refractoriness.

Thanks for the trade Nick!  I added more stuff to my want list, check it out!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Trade with The Daily Dimwit

I received another trade envelope today.  This time from Sam at The Daily Dimwit.  Here's what he sent:


One of my favorite players.


Hope McCann turns it around this year.




Sam also sent #201, which turned out to be a double but I can never have too many Braves here.

I don't know what it says about me that I now have the numbers memorized for the eight Brave cards in Series 1.  I've been scrounging around for these cards for so long that I have them down pat.  For the record I'm only missing Freddie Freeman #105 in the base set.

So far I've done a good job of resisting Heritage.  I'll probably pick up a blaster or two, to have stuff to trade to those crazy enough to chase that set.  That right there is a rainbow that I don't understand.  I'm not interested in wading into that murky situation.  I have however been bidding on pink parallels on Ebay.  That's a post for another day...

Thanks again Sam!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trade with 2x3 Heroes!!

Today, I received the results of one of the first trades negotiated since starting this blog.  Jeff over at 2 by 3 Heroes quickly claimed the Konerko gold parallel, that I posted here.  I also sent him some base cards that he needed.  Not only did he knock a card of my current want list, but he sent some cards that make me ponder what I'll chase next.   Thanks for that Jeff!  Let's have a look at some of the cards.

2013 Topps #201

Thanks to Jeff, I'm one third of the way through the Venters rainbow.  I already have the tough pink and black parallels.  Progress.

2012 Topps Chrome Refractor #19

It took me a minute to figure out what this was.  I love shine.  I love Freddie.  I love this.

2012 Topps Update #US211 1138/2012

If I ever make it through the mess that is the Topps 2013 rainbow, I will most likely next turn to the 2012 set.  Jeff also sent the Walmart Blue bordered version of this card as well as a few other parallels from 2012.  I was completely out of the hobby that year so these cards are brand new to me.  Thanks for the great trade!!

There should be a few more trade posts in the coming days.  I've updated my want list with a few random sets, so please check that out!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Want/Have Lists

I've made tabs for what I have to trade and my want list.  It's pretty slim at the moment.  I'll try to update it with new stuff soon.  Once I receive the cards from pending trades I will only need one more base card to finish that part of the Series 1 team set.  Thanks for checking out my lists!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Braving Toys 'R Us

All my friends say that I'm really good with kids.  And kids seem to like me.  Maybe it's because I talk to them like I do everyone else.  Or maybe it's because I swear a lot.  I actually have a low tolerance for children especially those that are behaving badly.  Taking that into account, I ventured into the big toy store to look for a gift.  I generally have a one track mind, so I wasn't really thinking about cards until I saw the Topps display.  Then I remembered.  Purple.

I bought a cereal box and told myself that this was it for buying Series 1.  Once again I pulled no base Braves.  I did get this though:


I'm very ok with this.  I didn't realize that these inserts had their own rainbow thing going on.  I guess I'll go ahead and say I'm going to track down the rest of these.  But not too rigorously.

#14 1833/2013

A card for someone else's rainbow.

I didn't get any of the purple cards.  I suppose that was because of this:


I dunno, but I think I would've preferred to see some purple.

I'll soon be posting all the cards that are available for trades.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Big Box with Red Cards

Spring cleaning is coming early to my apartment this year.  I had to make a trip to the dreaded local Target to pick up cleaning supplies.  I usually avoid the store, with its horribly designed parking lot, but it is very convenient to my place. So far this year I've had pretty bad luck with pulling Braves but I couldn't resist picking up a Jumbo pack of 2013 Topps.  Overall I'm pretty pleased with what I got:


I'm not actively pursuing the Braves inserts but I'll definitely take them where I can.  And come on it's Spahn!!


These inserts are really well done.  I have the Jeter as well.  They're both fair game for trading.

I also got the expected red cards and various inserts.  I won't put up the pictures because we've pretty much seen them all.  Plus I'm lazy.  I did unlock a code for the Million Dollar Chase.  I don't really understand what the deal is with that thing but I got Freddie Freeman for what it's worth. Glad to have a hometown boy.

Also, this came in the mail:

#201 84/62

This makes me happy.

I will post the beginning of a want list at some point this weekend.  I will also be putting up a list of what I have available to trade.  Once the clean up is finished I might dive into the scary boxes of cards in my closet. Might.