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View Full Version : Flipper,and I'm not talking about the dolphin.



spuds1961
09-30-2011, 11:21 AM
Okay today's article has me concerned with the direction our hobby is going,I'll start off slow and try to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Alright fellow collectors do you buy a box to get personal collection cards,or do you buy a box searching for that big hit you can turn around for cash.My problem with the hobby lately is it seems that there are less true collectors and set builders than there are money hungry one hit wonder Flippers.I guess I don't really have a problem with it,but part of me does.

Today's products are starting to become more geared to collectors with a gambler's mentality.I mean how many products are being thrown at us with baseball's poster boy Bryce Harper,really Topps,Topps heritage minor league baseball,if that's not a telltale sign what is.I know I would be happy to pull a Harper autograph,but like most of today's collectors I probably wouldn't sell it.I know call me stupid or whatever adjective you would like,but I'm a collector not a Flipper.I still have my Gordon Beckham blue refractor rookie autograph from Bowman chrome that proves that.

I know the card manufacturer's have to try and sell that hot prospect,or try and get you to buy their product with some other gimmick that might entice you to spend your hard earned cash.I really have gotten tired of seeing these high priced 7 card packs with 3 or 4 hits per box,give me that 36 pack box of Topps with one hit and a chance to complete a set at a reasonable price and I'm happy.I also don't buy that Panini wanted to try and get the youth back into collecting by putting out some nice lower end products,okay Panini I gave you 2 years where are they.

Here is the item that convinced me to write this article,Panini put out a product called Dominion hockey,comparable to Upperdecks in the cup,with lots of nice high end pulls to be had.The holy grail in that product was a miniature 78/79 stanley cup that was presented to one of the players of the Montreal Canadiens franchise for winning the cup that year.I follow the boards on SCF everyday and I saw that the grail had been pulled,I was hoping that a true Habs fan had pulled it but alas that was not the case.I found out after reading that a collector from Michigan who said he bought 6 boxes in hopes of pulling it was the lucky recipient.That's awesome dude,now let's do some math 6 boxes of Dominion at an average of 350 dollars per box,if my math is correct,forgive me I'm old that amounts to 2,100 dollars.I also found out said collector put it up with a buy it now of 7,500 dollars,no sale sorry,it was lowered to 5,000 dollars buy it now,still no sale,I found out it sold for 2,000 dollars,a nice piece of change but still a loss from his original investment.

This is the part of me that dislikes this hobby,with the advent of ebay every big pull is now just a money maker.I hate the fact that said collector bought these 6 boxes in hopes of pulling this grail,only to find out he was going to sell it.I would of him rather have said he bought these 6 boxes in hopes of putting a full set together and getting some nice pc items,but guess what,that is not how collectors approach boxes nowadays.I just find it nauseating that people have that much money at their disposal to play this gambling game called box breaking.I truly want boxes to go back to the day where a hit was seeded 1 in 2,500 packs,and the person who was lucky enough to pull it most likely kept it.The hobby has out priced itself so that there no longer are youthful collectors,and once we all get tired of the big hit big price gambling game we are playing maybe things can get back to normal.Thanks for the read,take care Steve

mrveggieman
10-03-2011, 10:45 AM
It serves they guy right. The foundation of our hobby was and still is (or should be at least) kids who collect(ed) cards of their favorite ball players and traded them with their friends. Back in the golden days there were no patches, GU or in pack autos. (Im not saying that those types of cards are bad for the hobby but the manufactures need to understand how how hobby was started and why a lot of adults still collect now) Today it is a bunch of speculators who have no idea who any of the ball players are who they are investing their children's college fund and more than likely don't even like sports. SMH.

Joncamburn
10-03-2011, 11:02 AM
The $2000 was just for the 1 card though, so he still had all the rest if he wanted, so he definetly would not have lost any money on that case. Also, I understand that the hobby should be kid-oriented but not sure how many kids can afford the high dollar packs and boxes now-a-days I think it has become targeted toward adults more.

Good read though. Thanks for posting.

jdawg
10-04-2011, 09:57 AM
agree with joncamburn on this one...if i paid 2100 for 6 boxes and sold one single card for 2000 thats a win for me...plus you have all the other cards..and the experience of pulling a huge hit like that would of well made up for any loss especially only 100 bucks if the rest of the cards pulled were trash..your target audience is always the person with the cash...if you want kids parents to buy cards you price them accordingly..adults who dont collect will have a very hard time putting out top dollar for boxes for their kids unless its xmas or bday or something like that

dogzman
10-05-2011, 01:30 PM
I just collect pc. If I buy a box I sell my unwanted cards that aren't my pc or trade. More than often I just sell them as it's easier for me. It makes up the cost. With that said, I don't buy a lot of boxes and normally wait and just buy singles of someone who did bust a lot. It's cheaper be it high end or low end.

TheGinterGodfather
10-06-2011, 01:01 PM
I think that there is a decent semblance in the hobby today. There really is something for just about everybody. I am a little disappointed that people try and scheme the system to make money in one way or another. I have a friend who looks for people who are in need of cash, buys their cards off them cheap, then turn around and sell it for twice what he paid. Good for him that he can make money with cards, it's still a little too predatory for my tastes though.

Topp's flagship product is that nice low-end set chock full of parallels and inserts. Two bucks gets you a 12 pack of retail cards, five bucks gets you a 36 card fat pack. I personally enjoy the lower-end inserts of people I've actually 1) heard of and 2) cheer for/collect than any big end card I may pull. Case in point, I bought a few packs of Series 1 and 2 this year and was lucky enough to pull a World Series Material Card of Tim Lincecum. By far the best pull I've ever had in my entire life. I didn't even know really what it was, and threw it aside rather haphazardly because I was too engrossed with the Bert Blyleven Platinum Diamond Anniversary parallel I pulled in the next pack I opened. I still have and cherish the Bert, I sold the Lincecum, got a box of Allen and Ginters and gave the rest away to charity.

On the flip side, when I go to the local hobby shop I just found out about, the guy wants like $7 a pack for some of this stuff that has only 4 cards in it. Really? For a bunch of cards of people I've probably never heard of? Case in point with Bowman Platinum, there are only 2 Twins in the veterans, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Two players I care to have in my collection. What are the odds I get one or both of those two guys in a few packs? Pretty horrible, is my guess. I think there are 3 prospects in there, too. Oswaldo Arcia, Alex Wimmers, and some other guy I've never heard of. You only get 1 prospect per pack, so an even worse chance of getting a Twins card.

When it comes to the big hits and stuff, they always pick the no-name players of mild mediocrity from teams other than your team. It's crazy. Give me base and minis any day of the week. Best invention ever was the return of the miniature cards.

Johnny Appleseed
10-06-2011, 04:00 PM
I think that there is a decent semblance in the hobby today. There really is something for just about everybody. I am a little disappointed that people try and scheme the system to make money in one way or another. I have a friend who looks for people who are in need of cash, buys their cards off them cheap, then turn around and sell it for twice what he paid. Good for him that he can make money with cards, it's still a little too predatory for my tastes though.

Topp's flagship product is that nice low-end set chock full of parallels and inserts. Two bucks gets you a 12 pack of retail cards, five bucks gets you a 36 card fat pack. I personally enjoy the lower-end inserts of people I've actually 1) heard of and 2) cheer for/collect than any big end card I may pull. Case in point, I bought a few packs of Series 1 and 2 this year and was lucky enough to pull a World Series Material Card of Tim Lincecum. By far the best pull I've ever had in my entire life. I didn't even know really what it was, and threw it aside rather haphazardly because I was too engrossed with the Bert Blyleven Platinum Diamond Anniversary parallel I pulled in the next pack I opened. I still have and cherish the Bert, I sold the Lincecum, got a box of Allen and Ginters and gave the rest away to charity.

On the flip side, when I go to the local hobby shop I just found out about, the guy wants like $7 a pack for some of this stuff that has only 4 cards in it. Really? For a bunch of cards of people I've probably never heard of? Case in point with Bowman Platinum, there are only 2 Twins in the veterans, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. Two players I care to have in my collection. What are the odds I get one or both of those two guys in a few packs? Pretty horrible, is my guess. I think there are 3 prospects in there, too. Oswaldo Arcia, Alex Wimmers, and some other guy I've never heard of. You only get 1 prospect per pack, so an even worse chance of getting a Twins card.

When it comes to the big hits and stuff, they always pick the no-name players of mild mediocrity from teams other than your team. It's crazy. Give me base and minis any day of the week. Best invention ever was the return of the miniature cards.

Speaking of Alex Wimmers, I have his Platinum blue refractor card /199. I guess my luck was better than yours on that one. If you're interested, LMK

I stopped buying wax and resorted to picking up singles. Not entirely stopped, but drastically reduced, I suppose. I won't grossly overpay to collect the things I like, but when a card is going for a buck, and I'm offering you 1.25, don't try to counter with 2.50. Just because I like it and you have it doesn't mean I'm willing to pay it.
While the "thrill of the pull" is nice and all, busting wax to re-sell it is a suckers bet. It's a lottery, really. The companies are always going to make money in the long run, and you'll always lose money in the long run. Simple as that. Somebody has to buy it, sure, and the chase will always attract buyers, but there has to be balance. Which is probably why I still buy a few packs from time to time. And I've pulled out all of my Red Sox/Bruins/Patriots base cards and set them aside and remembered the players that used to be on the team fondly.

Pheebs888
10-15-2011, 03:11 PM
Good stuff Steve, posted here: http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2011/10/flipper-and-im-not-talking-about-the-dolphin/

Would have loved to pull that Habs cup...I can assure you I wouldn't have sold it on lol...

spuds1961
10-15-2011, 03:20 PM
Thanks Karine,trying to think up something for my next article,drawing a blank,but I've got an extra day off this week so something should hit me,take care Steve

LoQtus
11-07-2011, 09:23 PM
Trouble is, I wouldn't doubt that the guy gave away his base cards. Or worse, threw them in the recycler. That's what I've seen often when watching mojo hunters open packs. They're just after the big score, and those pesky useless base cards aren't worth the calories to carry out of the shop. Except to us set builders, who might like to have them, but will never get the chance since they're too expensive and the first guy will never look at them again...