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Thread: Thoughts On Game Used Cards

  1. #1

    Thoughts On Game Used Cards

    I posted something like this at SCS on the same type of topic, and just figured you people would want to get in your thoughts on it as well. So here it goes....

    When Game Used Jersey cards came out in 1996, I really wanted them. Now, I just want older cards and cards of players on my favorite teams. I think Game Used cards have been completely overproduced by the companies. Most times, the player pictured on the card is not the one who wore the jersey anyways. Like I saw an article(I will dig up the link later) on how one player(who will remain nameless) was putting on jersey's from stars like Ray Lewis, Dan Marino and others, and then passing them to a rep from Upper Deck. I only collect older vintage player Game Used cards are pretty cool, because you know the piece is from a real game. But all the different materials used are just dumb. My dad took me to the card store the other day and even he thought the game used grass cards were completely stupid.

    Game Used cards are turning into the 80's and early 90's baseball sets, which were probably the most over produced cards ever. Soon, Game Used cards will be exactly like those sets. Even cards of great players like Ripken and Gwynn and a few others, are only worth about $0.50 or less. I would much rather spend $150 on some '57 Topps cards than on some of those SP Rookie Game Used cards.

    I think Game Used Cards might have saved the baseball collecting hobby as a whole after the strike, but there are now products with prices around almost $100 a pack and they only promise you one Game Used a pack. Now lets say you buy a pack at $100, and the big card you pull is a Game Used of someone who sits on the bench for half the season. Figure the card is only worth maybe $15-$20, you just spent $100 for a $15 Game Used card. Now, there are many players that would sell for more than $15 in those kind of sets, but do most people have the dinero to spend maybe $1200 on a 12 pack box and only get $500 worth of Game Used, because the rest of the cards in the set that aren't Game Used cards will definetly not be worth much, because the product is banking(haha, $100 pack, banking lol haha) on the Game Used cards to sell the product.

    ------Pause, turn off moniter, stand up, stretch, sit back down, turn on moniter, continue reading------

    The Game Used cards are worse than the old refractors. At least some of the refractors held there value pretty well cough1993Finestcough, but if we go ten years into the future, will Game Used cards from a set like 2003 Upper Deck products have the staying power of the cough above, I don't think so. Of course some cards do have that staying power, such as most of the 500 Home Run Club cards, and even some of the newer players, but odds are most of them won't.

    An alternative I could see instead of Game Used cards would be more chase cards like the Topps Barry Bonds base set card from when he hit 73 or Big Mac when he hit 70. With 73 or 70, respectivly, different versions within the basic set, it was a very attractive chase for me and I am sure many of you people out there. Once people figured out they could get them allthose Topps products caught on fire. With those cards still holding there value(The McGwire 70 still sells, not books, for around $70, and the Bonds 73 sells at $40 very well, in my experience), why don't the card companies come out with something like that, but it doesn't have to be for records. Lets take Hockey, maybe Forsberg or someone leads the league in goals, put out a base set card with x number of versions. Or in football, let's say Clinton Portis rushes for 2000 yards, put out a base set card with a version for every one hundered yards.

    Just my very long 2 cents, maybe worth a whole entire nickle, which btw, could buy me one or two Game Used cards off of Ebay. Thanks for reading this far


  2. #2
    Great post and a good read.

    100 cardcash is coming your way.

    I felt the same way when they first came out. That's where the majority of the ones I own came from.

    It was new and exciting and I picked them up on eBay for HALF PRICE which was a bargain back then. Now the prices of even vintage players has come down.

    The thing with Refractors was that only Topps made them and up until a couple years ago when they ruined them people still cared for Refractor cards.

    You can sell a 1993 Topps Finest Cal Ripken Refractor and make a lot more than you can off of a Cal Ripken game used jersey card from 3 years ago.

    So at least Refractors have kept some value over the years.
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  3. #3
    Yup, when I restarted collecting about a year ago I decided it would be cool to get game used cards of star players but now with the overproduction and value I am sticking to hand collating sets which I believe is more fun and challenging (I wish companys would stop producing factory sets).

  4. #4
    I completely agree that the game-used cards are getting way, way overdone now.

    To me, the only thing that could save the game-used cards is to go back to making just a small, small number of them and only of the stars. Now, you're pulling game-used cards of players that are pretty much meaningless. It's just getting sick.

    Plus, like you said, the majority of these jerseys aren't game used. They're slipped on for all of about 10 seconds, and labeled game used. If they're game-used, I want some grass stains on mine.

  5. #5
    I agree with you guys except that Game Used has been overdone for about 4 years. We would all probobly have been better off had the odds stayed over 1:1000 packs.

    This is not surprising however since companies will always stumble on new ideas, exploit them until people are sick of them and then eventually be forced to move on, does anyone remember when serial numbering was a big deal?

    What the hobby really needs is a little simplification, chase cards should be tough to get and nicely designed to make them desirable. The base set should mean something and their should be less brands, but I digress. This post isn't about the hobby as a whole, but the trouble with GU is a microcosm of the problems with the whole thing, somebody forgot to quit while they were ahead and keep it simple.

  6. #6
    I only collect game used cards of my favorite players from each sport and don't really care if they hold their value or not. The only reason I buy GU of other players on ebay is so that I have trade bait to get the cards I want. I was just thinking about this whole issue the other day and really noticed how GU stuff was really dropping in price on ebay and how flooded the market really is. Right now the new 2004 Topps hockey is doing it right because it's almost impossible to pull any GU or autos out of those packs because the odds are so high. The only problem is that when I looked at the checklist for GU in that set, I noticed that most of them were crappy players that I wouldn't even want. I'm also seeing somewhat of a gimmick change with the card companies where they're producing a lot of very low numbered GU cards that are limited to #25 or less. That's all fine and dandy except for the fact that they have like 4 or 5 different sets of limited GU cards in one single set. So it would seem that they are now starting to flood the market with low numbered GU and ruining the prices on those as well. I'm still an avid autograph card collector and for the most part they have maintained their values. A disturbing fact though is that the autograph cards are starting to be over produced as well and the autograph market is going to feel it really hard within the next couple of years. I agree that they need to make the GU and Autos a lot harder to pull from packs and then only produce ones of rookies and star/HOF players. I'm getting tired of opening up a pack and momentarily bieng excited when I see that I've pulled an auto or game used only to be disappointed to find out that I don't even know who the player is. The fact is that the card companies don't care as long as they're making the bucks and I don't forsee them changing their methods until their profits have hit rock bottom. Somebody posted an article on here last month that talked about how somebody asked some of the MLB teams about them donating jerseys and the players donating jerseys to the card companies for use in their products. The teams emphatically denied that they gave any to the companies and stated that the players weren't allowed to either. This brings up the point of authenticity of these GU swatches and I think that if they are producing fake GU jerseys in there products, the MLB teams should sue the card companies and expose them for fraud. This would probably really hurt the hobby but in long run it could turn out for the better. I'm no expert on these matters but these are my opinions.

  7. #7
    Outside the Lines Nightly did a story on GU authenticity. I do believe that the jerseys were worn by the players and if it says game worn then it is game worn. Think about it. A baseball player could change his jsy 5 times during a game and all 5 would be GU. That's enough swatches for a year of cards from a company. If it says event worn then most likely it is not game worn as that would cost more. A good example it the NFL Rookie Premiere Photo Shoot. For event used balls in FB all they do is throw the ball to the player, he holds it for a second, and then he throws it back. Jerseys ARE rinsed, but not bleached so it does take off some stain.
    I've never really like the GU idea, other than a deceased HOF'er b/c it
    s not personal at all. It's a piece of cloth. I think they should just cut off the making of GU next year (not going to happen, but a guy can dream). That would keep the prices at the going rate right now if not strengthen them. Then they should go back to good inserts, RC's, and 1:24 autos. The autos however would of even benchwarmers. Have you noticed that the common players autos sell better than most rookies if they haven't had many autos produced? That would be the idea. Create autos of everyone and then you would have tons of collecting ventures starting by people like us. Keep it going for a few years and then move onto full size memorabilia redemptions. Just my 2 cents.

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