Saturday, February 28, 2009

You Know, One Problem With Redemptions Is. . .

A lot of things can change those 18 months it takes to fill it.

What you see here is a really nice Roy Williams 07 Classics Auto #9/10. 18 Months ago, my buddy could have gotten some decent money for this card.

But in the time it took them to fill this redemption, not only has Roy Williams been traded to the Dallas Cowboys, but he has also decided that he sucks.

Man I hate redemptions.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who Paid More? This Guy!!

So nobody actually guessed who paid more on this one. But no matter, you would have probably been wrong anyway.

Chad Henne - $825
Fake Vick - $707.95

That's just nuts in my opinion. The Henne is actually justifiable if you have the money and love the Dolphins/Henne/Michigan. I understand. But the Vick? You just dropped a month's rent on a fake patched ex-con. Crazy in these times.

What's crazy about both of these is what you could have with that kind of money. In the middle of these 2 auctions, the card below went for $711.

That's right. One of the only on-card Rookie Autographs of Tom Brady. A 3 Time Super Bowl Champion and a sure-fire HOFamer.

I am in NO way a Brady fan. Especially after the Pats beat the Panthers in their only Super Bowl appearance. But I would LOVE to own this card. It's one to hand to your kids one day.

I will gladly eat my shorts if Henne ever even sniffs a Super Bowl. He has to play in it though. Pennington's backup doesn't count. As for Vick, anyone that hangs and drowns dogs, should be subjected to, but not limited to, eating Shaun Rogers game-used jock.

Am I alone on this one? If so, I have a nice Forte auto patch in the bucket that I will give up for your Walter Payton.

Who Paid More!!

Seeing as how the economy is on a roll like the 08 Lions, I thought I would focus this installment on some people with money to burn.

So who paid more?

The Chad Henne SP Authentic NFL LOGO 1/1
The Michael Vick SP Authentic Fake NFL Logo #/250

I could be wrong on the fake thing. But I would be willing to bet my house on it. Just looking at the 2 of those patches you can see obvious differences in the quality. Also, when did any company put nfl logo patches in items #/250.

So let's hear your opinion. I'm not going to lie, the winner gets nothing. But the pride you will feel in your soul will last at least through lunch on Friday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Things That Make You Go 'Hmmm'

Welcome to Ebay Shame's Things That Make You Go 'Hmmm' segment. I want to thank C+C Music Factory not for your sponsorship, but for just being the awesome Dance Remixers that you are. Robbie-Rob break it down!

So, let's say you have a nice Calvin Johnson Rookie Auto on your hands. Ahh screw it, let's say your this guy. And your card just ended with no bids at $150 with a BIN of $200. What are your options?

You could:
A) Relist this item for the same type auction and hope to get a better response.

B) Relist this item for $200 with a Best Offer option.

C) Not relist the item and just hold onto it until you feel you can get what you need.

D) Relist with a BIN of $200, but lower the first bid to $130 to try to get some action on it.

E) Say, 'Screw it, it books for $250 and it's a hot rookie, so I'll put it up for a BIN of $180 without an opening bid, even though nobody bit at $150. Sweet.'

At this point, do I really even need to say what this guy did?

I actually emailed him as I collect Calvin Johnson and asked him if he could come down to $125 since nobody bid on $150. I got the following response:
"Sorry, but no. The card lists at $250 and is of a hot rookie"

Let's see what Calvins you can get for well under $180.

There's this SPA 4 Color Patch.
But heck, I don't even know what they book for.

I know I run the risk at sounding bitter. That's not my intent at all. And I am not bitter. I don't even need to spend the paypal. The purpose of these posts are to improve EBay tranquility. I understand that most people on there don't think in terms of business, but rather in terms of emotion. I get it. But if we could just curb some of those feelings, we could make things much more profitable and enjoyable for everyone.

For instance instead of quoting book value, which you know is crap based on your starting/asking price, just be honest and say, 'look, I have $$$ into the card, so I can't take less than $$$." Its that simple. That's what you mean anyway.

Oh, and thanks for informing me of the 'hot rookie' status.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sterling Gold Update - Its real and its Spectacular

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have taken on the task of putting together the 08 Sterling Gold Patch Auto set. Well Monday morning I received the jewel of the set from SportsCardForums's Professor-Chaos:

I wanted to give a quick plug for this guy. I have done around 10 deals from our friends in Canada over the years with various success. For some reason the Post Office works better from here to Albania than it does from Canada. I've had mail take over 6 weeks to get here or there. But being a large deal, Professor-Chaos sent this UPS and it was in my hand in 10 days. Just awesome service on his part.

I am now just 2 cards short of this set. The Matt Ryan #/20 and the Brian Brohm #/20. Any help finding these 2 cards will certainly involve a freebie from me.

I know these cards don't necessarily fit my mold of a perfect auto by any means. But for some reason, I love Sterling Golds. Maybe it's the stock, or the sheen, or the smell. Or maybe it's because I swear that Felix looks like he just wants to be my friend, but CJ wants to rob me on the same card. I don't know. But I love em, so shoot me. Just kidding CJ.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ebay Best Practice #2

So I am doing my daily Ebay search to finish my 08 Sterling Gold Patch Auto set. I only need 2 more (the Matt Ryan and Brian Brohm. Both #/20), but I search through all the new listings to see if I can upgrade any of my patches. And today I come across this auction:

DeSean DeShouldn't

First of all, this guy has about 6 of these listed exactly the same way. And I know that these redemptions were going for 40+ when this product was hot. So I am pretty sure that he is taking a loss on most, if not all of these by listing at $20 with BIN of $30.
Secondly, and most importantly, check out the description. I quote: "beckett value $80.00 best buy now on ebay GET HIM NOW". There are a number of things wrong with this one statement.

1. He shoots himself in the foot by listing all 6 at once. GET HIM NOW would indicate that I don't have a lot of options for this card. But why am I in a hurry as a customer to BIN at $30 if I know there are 5 other options up? If he wants to maximize each cards value, then list one at a time. This gives the impression to the customer that this card is harder to find than it really is, thus creating a false ceiling for at least the first couple.

2. If the Beckett Value has any accuracy at all, then why sell for over 60% off of that price? If Beckett Value is grounded in actual sales from shows and such, then this seller should have absolutely no problem selling at least 90% of the listed price. But no, this seller already knows that the market has positioned this card to be around $20-35 depending on the patch. So he prices it accordingly. So why, WHY even mention the fact that the Beckett value is $80? How long do you think Edmunds Blue Book would stay relevant if they over-priced their cars by over 60%. The answer is not very long. And the answer to why he mentions Beckett value is because he knows that by using those words it attracts morons like a predator drone is attracted to a Jihadist with a sparkler.

3. If you look into the item, you'll also notice that apparently Beckett has this card "going up" in its latest rag. Which is really funny, cause this card actually has fallen in value (like the rest of the sterling autos) over the last 3 months. Not for any fault of the player, just because the market is more crowded with other options. I just find it funny that it is even mentioned. If I had no hands, and it took me 3 hours to search the completed auctions for 'desean jackson sterling auto' correctly with my nose, this still wouldn't be relevant information. But that's just me.

I for one just can't stand when I see Beckett anywhere in an EBay auction. It really has no place and that is obvious to anyone who has ever read the magazine. Because you see, Beckett has created it's own world; where cards are worth whatever your wildest dreams make them worth. And EBay resides in the real world, where the free market decides. I'll take the real world any day.
*Editors note - I failed to mention in the original post that I actually applaud the sellers asking price. It's actually right around the going rate. I don't take issue with that. I just hate the way he went about it. That is all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Emmitt Smith and ESPN Break Up

Everyone that will read this blog I assume has watched football on ESPN for the last couple years. And thus has been given the pleasure of watching Emmitt Smith walk through the human language like watching Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman cross half court.

See this story on Awful Announcing. They have a great Top 10 list of some of Emmitt's greatest verbal feats.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Love and Collecting

I have been thinking all week about something that happened to me on Valentines Day. And I am curious if anyone else has experienced this.

For Valentine’s Day weekend, I agreed to take my wife to a marriage seminar that was being put on at a local church. It was a 2 day event that focused on love and respect and all the other gooey things that marriages should entail. It wasn’t cheap either, and part of the deal was that I couldn’t complain and had to act like I really liked it. You know, kind of like working at Beckett.

Anyway, I share this because of what happened afterwards. My kids were at the out-laws, so we didn’t have plans on Saturday afternoon. So after the seminar ended, my wife actually suggested that we go to the local card shop together. This has never happened in nearly 8 years of marriage, and to be honest, I was unsure how I felt about it. It’s my hobby, and my thing. There are just some things, like golf, that you would rather do without your woman. But I put those feelings aside and floored it in the manly-van to the shop. A funny thing happened there. As she was encouraging me to open some packs, she actually got into the game.

You see, the fear in involving someone like your wife in your hobby is that they will suck the fun out of it. It’s the same reason why you can’t be married and watch MTV. There is no pride to be gained by watching the Real World with your spouse.

We started with some SP Authentic Football. I was hoping to show her a nice patch. But why bother as my luck with this product has been beyond ugly this year. I got some lineman auto, a Cason auto and a Morelli auto. If you are counting, yeah, that’s 3 autos with no patch or veteran auto.

Here is where it happened. She looked at me and instead of saying, “Well, that was a waste of money. Why do you bother with this stupid hobby?” (Not that I wasn’t thinking that myself, but dang it, that’s for me to think. I don’t want to hear it from anyone else). She actually said, “What else can we open. I want you to get something good.” You can imagine my surprise. To make a long story short, we tried some Contenders and got a Mendenhall Auto #/25. Enough to satisfy and justify the visit.

Now I don’t imagine that my wife will be going with me to the shop very often, if ever. But I will be the first to say that it was very meaningful to have her there to share in the hobby for once. And it was very fun to see her catch a little buzz from opening packs, even if she was just “not complaining and acting like she wanted to be there”. And yes, insert your bedroom joke here.

I bring this up because it got me thinking. Does anyone out there share their hobby with their significant other? If so, to what level. And by significant other, I don’t mean your Chad Johnson Fat Head.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Idea Gone Bad

In 2007, Topps put out a product called Topps TX Exclusive Football. If you remember this, then you most likely remember how hideous both the design and price were. It's still $96 for a hobby box that gives you 2 autos - 1 guaranteed to be a Tyler Palko.

The allure of this product was the idea of getting a Super Bowl Ticket Autograph. I'll be the first to admit that when I heard about this, I was really pumped. My Panthers have only been to one Super Bowl, and the thought of having an actual Super Bowl ticket signed by Steve Smith or Julius Peppers made me as giddy as Dwight Schrute during beet season.

Here is where a product can take 2 left turns and end up running full steam in the wrong direction.
First of all, they include an autograph of Julius Peppers in the set. Julius Peppers hasn't signed anything since 2002. He certainly hasn't signed a contract this off-season. Every single set that has included an auto of him since his rookie year were unfilled redemptions. So why would they think that it would be any difference this time? If the guy ain't signing, then stop putting him in sets. It's not that hard. I am sure that Sir Purr would have gladly signed the remaining Super Bowl 38 ticket stubs. Or better yet, put together a dual autograph from those 2 bathroom buddy Top Cats.

Other companies are as bad about this as they are. I will get to that at a later date.

The second left turn is what actually completely deflated the concept. Think about it. Ask yourself, what is the one thing that could possibly screw up Superbowl ticket autographs? That's right, placing a lazy, piece of junk sticker on it. This is just LAZY and STOOOPID. I would actually rather have a the card with just the ticket in it than to put a sticker on it.

Not only is it ugly, it's completely unnecessary. These were all Veteran players in this subset. Not a Rookie to be found. So would it have been that much trouble to send out the ticket stubs to the players (or reps, or whoever deals with them in the NFL), have them sign them in the off-season, and then insert them into the cards? Really? That hard?

That little bit of planning is what turns a set with a lot of collecting potential, into a set that stays on the shelves a blowout for years to come, and eventually into a Guaranteed blister pack in a Target store near you.

You see in situations like these, our beloved card companies need to think more like the aforementioned Dwight Schrute. And I quote, "Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' and if they would, I do not do that thing". Words to run a successful business by.

By the way, the reason I bring this up is because I think that this set would have made a great product to replace the oozing boil that is Topps Rookie Progression. Get your previous years stubs from Super Bowls, Pro Bowls and even Memorable or Historical Games signed throughout the year. Then get a few players from the current years Super Bowl teams to sign some stubs at the Pro Bowl. Fill the set with rookie autos in their college unis and hey! you got yourself a set that would blow UD Draft and Prestige out of the water! You could put in 2 autos a box with every other box having a ticket auto of some kind and you charge $80 a box. I would bet my life that people would rather take a shot at getting a veteran auto on a ticket, than getting some auto of a 7th round Corner out of UT-Chattanooga. Or at least I would.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

EBay Best Practice #1

I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable EBayer. I have bought and sold things for around 8 years there with varying success. I am in no way an expert, but would someone, anyone, explain to me how an auction set up like THIS ONE makes any sense at all.

Um, let's see, should I just buy it now? or bid for that same amount and hope someone rides the price up on me? Oh, what's a girl to do?!

I see this type of idiocy all the time. It's really not all that surprising anymore. The surprising thing is that these 'Sellers' actually found a way to release their waistband from the hook in their 7th grade locker before the asphyxiation caused permanent brain damage. Wait . . .

Banner Fixed!

All hope is restored.

Who Paid More? This Guy!

What? Nobody guesses the Earl Campbell? Yall must be onto this game already!

Here are the answers to this weeks stinker:



You see their are really 2 losers in these auctions. One is the dunce who paid 55 bucks for a second year Vince Young auto.

The other is the "Seller" who listed this Earl Campbell beauty as simply 'earl campbell auto' and only got $33 for it.

So to everyone who played, a hearty Thanks to you! I'll try to keep yall on your toes with these. I am totally setting yall up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Who Paid More!

This will be the first in what I hope to be a running segment here on Cardboard Reflux. I will take a couple of cards ending on the same day and compare their ending auction prices. Then I will then use these as examples of how crazy some people are on Ebay. Most of these will most likely be obvious, but who knows, I might surprise you with a subtle steal once in a while. Today's is no such steal.

Editors note: If you happen to be the person in question, please contact me as I would love for you to shuffle through my "SICK" photobucket! I'll give you a horse-head of a deal.

So, who paid more?

The 07 Leaf Limited Vince Young Jsy Auto?
Or the 07 Leaf Limited Earl Campbell Patch Auto?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why 'Cardboard Reflux'?

I thought for a while about what to call my blog. Longer than I would like to admit. I went through names like, 'Waxing Prophetic', 'GridIroning Board' and even 'Event-Worn Blog'. But at the end of the day, I went with one that actually describes why I decided to start a blog in the first place; the unenviable purge that occurs in my gullet on a regular basis when taking part in this hobby.

I have a lot of experience with reflux actually. I am getting scoped in a few weeks to see if the reason for the late night heartburn I have been experiencing is routine or if its collateral damage from my rapid ascending testicles the night Larry Fitzgerald kicked my Panthers out of the playoffs. Either way, it sucks.

But in the hobby specifically, I have been growing increasingly frustrated at what I consider to be injustices via ignorance. Traders that won't trade. Sellers that won't counter. Overinflated self-worth. Beckett Arrogance. Crap Products. Manufacturing Shortages. All of these leave me wondering not only how askew our hobby has become, but also how understated the lasting effects of glue-sniffing really are.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy this hobby immensely. It is because of this that I write this blog. It gives me an avenue to express what I am feeling, and gives my Mom a chance to leave a comment on it.

Hopefully what you'll find here is a place to share similar, or opposing opinions and then get made fun of for them, but not realize that you're getting made fun of because I will mask it with unbreakable codes such as, 'lol' or ;).

So welcome and let's have fun.

Oh, and before I close my first post, I also want to thank Gellman for the inspiration. Please consider me a twig on what is a growing SCU tree.

Under Construction

I have decided to start my own blog. It will be mostly centered around football cards and all aspects of the associated hobby. Please come back shortly for more interesting posts. Cause this one is really sub-par.