Monday, March 22, 2010

I actually bit this time, and I need your response.

I found myself acting out what I have read so many times on the blogs. The impulse purchase of cards on the flimsy excuse to be in the ultra-expensive cardshop at all anyway.

Well, My excuse wasn't too flimsy. I had an eye exam in the same mall (twas the first shopping mall in the city of Richmond, now it has like a jersey shop, gold-takers and awful dresses. Oh, and a really expensive card shop. It was a place I would buy wax back in the days of overspending when I didn't want to wait for shipping from ebay or the web. Those days are long gone, and I have only been there three times in the last year, purchasing exactly nothing once, some toploaders and penny sleeves another and then there was today.

I had realized that I never did ask him (I will not describe, it's impolite) if he had any vintage cards laying around. He sells almost exclusively Trading Cards:Not Baseball, at least that's how I see all the other gunk in the store. Sure I've bought a few packs of Star-related material (both Wars and Trek), but he has alot of "adult cards"...I love women, just not in a trading-card way, Know what I mean? I digress. Today I looked through his shyte vintage binder of a bunch of miscuts and OCs and overpriced RCs (blyleven, Jenkins, Carlton). There were a few cards that caught my eye, and I talked him into what I feel was a fair (not good) price.

The point of this post? I need to know what you would pay.

Statistics are a soft-spot for me, and I really need the research. 40 people came through here the other day, and I know someone will have something to say.

So I offer a prize.
I will post a smattering of GU cards in my next post. The person who gives me the most insightful information regarding something you have mostlikely done, yourself, wins their pick of the litter.
Look at the cards. Leave a comment. Tell me something.
(notice I have said nothing about the cards except that we haggled, and I chose these two from about 40. Tryin' to keep it unbiased, here)
color-registration on Brooks' is off
black ink on Frank is thin


  1. OK, I'm cheap, but if I were a guy to drop on some good looking vintage, I'd personally go as high as $12. But again, I'm on a tight budget and real cheap.

    The '73 looks to be in GREAT shape, and without knowing what it books for I do know high #'s for that set run about $3 per in a lot of places. Guessing at least $7.

    The '68 is another awesome card but has some corner wear. I'm sure the dude would want more, but I'd go $5.

  2. Well, there are a variety of factors. Part of your player collection? How much money do you have burning a hole in your billfold? How forgiving is the significant other? How much do you really want these cards. Yes, I know that you're tryin' to keep it unbiased, but too many factors.

    But this isn't about you. You've asked your readers to answer as to what they would do.

    So, I'll take a stab. You've got yourself a 1973 Topps Frank Robinson. The card looks good. It appears that the photo was taken the year before when he was with the Dodgers. Towards the end of his career when he was bouncing from team to team. But it is a nice horizontal shot. He's watching it go over the fence.

    If I was collecting Frank and didn't have this card and came across it in the manner that you did, I'd probably have done some homework and knew that I could pluck it from the bay for about $4 to $8 delivered, more graded.

    The second card, 1967 Topps card #1. Card looks good except for the color registration (is that what it is called? Slangon talked about this a few posts ago). The plates didn't quite line up or something. Decreases the value in my eyes, but it does have 2 Robinsons. Twice the value.

    Again, if I were collecting Frank, I'd know that it could be in my mailbox for about $5 on the low end.

    If the dealer only had about 40 cards in the binder, that's only 5 pages. Not a lot to choose from. He's paying rent in the mall. That jacks the price up a bit.

    So, the sweet spot is somewhere between what he wants and what I'm willing to pay.

    In my wallet is generally about three bills. A twenty and two ones. So, I wouldn't pay more than $20. I'm not talking taxes here. If they were in my hand and spare cash was in my pocket, I'd probably offer $12 for the pair, but be willing to go up to $16.

    Then I'd realize that I should have changed the 20 for three 5s and five 1s. Good to show him the cash up front. But, if I wave a 20 around, he knows I've got a bit higher to go.

    So, bottom line, no more than $16, but I'd try to go lower.

    I don't always know the going rate for cards that I'm interested in, but I try to set some guidelines (such as keeping my HoF relic/auto collection to under $5 per card).

    An informed collector is a smart collector.

    And, yes, I ignore the Beckett NM prices from their guide.

  3. two comments and we are ON FIRE! I love what I am seeing people. keep it coming. Leaderboard will be posted later tonight. So far, Mark by a nose.

  4. That's a difficult question my friend. What I would pay would be far less than others as I have no interest in Mr Robinson, or the Orioles. Soooo... we'll look at it from a set collectors viewpoint, which I am.
    If I'm trying to complete these sets and i come across these cards, I jump on them. The '73 looks nice in the pic, but it is a '73. Not exactly rare. So $3-$4 from me. I know I'll find another one in nice shape if it slips away.
    The multi player card is really for Oriole collectors, like a multi signed ball, it will never be "worth" as much as a single. So depite it's age, the poorer condition and subject matter bring it down to $3-$4 again. This card from this set will never be as sought after as the regular Brooks or Frank, so I know I can get a deal on this card somewhere.

    With ebay, Sportslots, COMC, BG Sports, etc... etc... there are way too many online sources that you can get a great deal on any card at any time of day. The cardshop purchase is often inflated because you're there, you need to buy something...

    that being said, there's always that rare instance where you find "that guy". The one with the '71 Topps in the quarter box. The one where cards are priced fair, cheap even. And when we find, "that guy" we buy from him, all the cash on hand, and still wish we had gone back for more.

    I miss that guy.

  5. '73 great card love the photo, i would have paid at least 5 bucks for it... but no more than that now on to the 1967 Topps card i totally love the card the names on top sound like a law frim Robinson, Bauer and Robinson and the pictures show that the team was together at that time...i would have paid up to 15 bucks for that card, and now i want to go and look for that card to add to my collection... Great cards dude!! Keep up the great work!

  6. Ok, I'm trying to do this WITHOUT reading the other guy's responses. I love vintage cards and condition isn't my #1 factor. That said, I do want the cards to be in the best condition possible and will take condition into consideration when I decide on how much I'll pay.

    The top card looks like it's in nice condition. I don't care what Beckett says, I'm going with the real marketplace value (if I have access to it when I'm looking at the cards) like Ebay, COMC, etc. Card in hand is worth something because I don't have to wait for shipping and I get to hold it and experience it at the moment. I'll pay a slight premium for that because I'm not patient. Without access to those real time values, I'm thinking somewhere around $7-$10 on the '73 Robinson (I've never seen that card before so thanks for posting it). I really like the card with both Robinsons. The condition doesn't look as good as the other so probably a range of $4-$8 depending on how it looks in person. I might try an offer of $10-$12, but go as high as $15. Again I might offer a little more than the $15 if I really want the cards...holding them before I purchase them really "motivates" me to buy. That vintage cardboard feels so good in my hand, it gives the cards more of a "must buy" factor than looking at pics on Ebay.

  7. So it sounds like this guy may be the true definition of "Comic Book Guy" from the Simpsons. If his shop primarily deals in trading card games like Pokemon, Magic, YuGiOh, etc., I'm surprised he had anything vintage at all.

    That being said...two things to consider...are you buying for need or are you buying for want? The difference is the "Need" buy is based on the fact that you are either a Robinson collector, an Oriole/Dodger/Angels collector, or a set builder. This would be a purchase based on the idea that neither of these cards existed in your current collection and your life would not be complete without their inclusion. The "Want" buy is purely impulsive and requires little to no thought. It is based more off of a reaction rather than an educated decision. If you found yourself saying "Ohhhh. Vintage!!" just for the sake of seeing something other than the latest release of X-Files cards, then it was most definitely a "Want" buy.

    Now that that part is out of the way...If it is a "Need buy", I would say no more than $15 for the pair. The overhead is larger and if he is in the mall like you describe, he is paying probably in the range of $15-17/square foot in rent. That instantly puts a 10-12% inflated price tag on everything. Plus, these aren't a regular item. It sounds like he doesn't even have them displayed so he probably is not concerned whether they sell or not. Less than $5 in their current condition would be a normal price tag on these in most shops, if I was to guess. So his prices are probably in the range of $8-9 each. Again, if this is a need buy, I would try and get a couple bucks knocked off of each to get a better price.

    If it is a "Want Buy", your number should be under $10 for the pair. I would even say $8 for both. The 68 is banged up and like you said, has some color issues. The Frank is in nice shape but you can get it for about $3 online. Give it a minute or two for the initial "Ohhhhh" factor to wear off. If he is going to WOW you with a price, that would be the only way I would pounce on that one.

    Of course, the third choice is neither if your wife or significant other is standing there with a scornfull look on her face and rolling her eyes because you said you would take her to lunch an hour ago and are now haggling prices with the guy his "friends" know as Grog the Impaler on World of Warcraft over some "stupid pieces of cardboard that aren't worth anything to anyone except you". (Whoa, where did that come from?)

  8. that 73 card is one of my favorites, even though they stripped it of much of its dodger goodness.

    here's what i would do. i know that its available online for less than $10 for sure. but, its right there in front of me. it's a really nice card with dodger stadium, good action, and its one of the very few cards of frobby in a dodger uniform. i'm offering $10 for that card (assuming he wanted more), but that's because i am a dodger fan who collects cards with dodger stadium in the background and my version of that card is not as nice.

    the 1967 card i am personally less excited about. they beat the dodgers in the 1966 series, after all. but, it's got the two robbies on it and it's number 1 in the set. i'd go to $5 or $6 for this one at the most, although i really would only pick it up if it were in the dollar bin.

    i hope you came away with them for less than the $15 or $16 that i would have spent.