Wednesday, March 11, 2009


For many in the card hobby, Beckett are an institution – though of course what sort of institution depends on your point of view.

There are those that take Beckett’s word as gospel – that the prices they put in their magazines are realistic card values, which one should take heed of when selling or trading cards.

Of course there are an increasing number of people who see past this and realise that Beckett’s values are a crock of shit. All one has to do is look at sale prices on ebay to realise that in most cases the real value of cards is way less than half of “book value”, and in many cases less than a quarter of “book value”. The value of a card is only what someone wants to pay for it – not what some magazine says it is. I mean you don’t see magazines stating the value of a share is $X with people then trying to sell it by saying “This share has a book value of $X”. No the stock market determines the price of a share, just like the market determines the value of a card – and the value of cards is nowhere near what Beckett says they are in 99% of cases.

Now some people make the somewhat legitimate point that Beckett is a guide only. How people use it is up to them. One doesn’t have to buy and sell cards at the price Beckett says – if you can find it cheaper, great. If someone is trying to sell a card in a shop at Beckett price, which you think is too high, then feel free to go onto ebay and buy it at a cheaper price.

However, as Helen Lovejoy says “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!”

You see, there are sellers, including many hobby shops, that do use Beckett price as gospel and sell there cards at this price. When asked why, many will say “Because that is what it books for.” They aren’t using at as a guide, they are using it to set the price of their cards. Sure, in some cases sellers may budge on the price and lower it (though rarely to what the real market value of the card is) – but this clearly shows how unrealistic Beckett values are and how they can be exploited by unscrupulous sellers. Now again you may say, that if you know the price is higher than what it really sells for, then don’t buy it. Go on ebay and buy it at a cheaper price.

But it isn’t this simple for children – those few that still actually collect cards. That is because most can’t just go on ebay and buy the card at the cheaper market price – they don’t have credit cards and in most cases don’t have access to their bank accounts to link to paypal, or their parents won’t allow them do it.

They are thus faced with buying most of their singles from a hobby shop. Now most children, when they are faced with an adult telling them that the value of a card is $X and the adult can then point to this “value” in a magazine, won’t have the knowledge or the ability to argue that the book value isn’t an accurate reflection of the market value of the card. Can you imagine yourself saying this as a 10 year old saying this to a shop owner who can point to a card’s “value” in a widely used magazine?

Children don’t have the ability to access ebay in the same way adults do, and don’t have the ability of knowledge to argue against “book value” that adults do. They are thus at the mercy of what a hobby shop does and tells them.

So what Beckett is doing is providing inaccurate information that they know actively aids dodgy sellers in ripping-off children. In essence they help unscrupulous people steal from children. Is it any wonder why more children don’t collect cards when they are so dramatically over-charged if they want to buy cards from many hobby shops, thanks in large part to Beckett? On top of that, how many do you think will continue to collect cards once they find out what their cards are really worth and they have been ripped-off?

Here’s a suggestion Beckett. If you want kids to start collecting cards and continue to do so, you don’t need some nonsensical “Be a card geek” campaign. What I suggest you do is stop actively participating in ripping children off, and start putting realistic card values in your magazines.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

EBAY PALINS - $10 card being sold for $2,500

I know, EVERYBODY posts about the idiots and ignorant people who post on ebay. It’s not very original. But there are just so many idiots and ignorant people on ebay that it’s a gold mine that can’t be ignored.

As for the title, well I could have used “Ebay idiots”, but nothing spells idiocy and ignorance better than the words Sarah Palin. Thus the name Ebay Palins.

Now when you collect a high-profile and widely collected NFL player like Brett Favre, you come across a number of these type of people. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe people think his cards are worth more than they really are, or they believe that people think his cards are worth than they really are, and as such they can rip them off. Who knows, but there sure are some great examples of these idiots out there.

Now take a look at this card. It’s a Jumbo 1998 Playoff Momentum Class Reunion Quad of Brett Favre, Herman Moore, Yancy Thigpen and Ricky Watters. These jumbo cards came I per box of 1998 playoff Momentum. I quite like this card and as such purchased one of these about 2 years ago for about $6. I have typically seen them sell for about $5 to $10. So if you are going to sell on these, you would expect to sell them for something around about this, right? Not according to this guy.

Yes, this buyer has the card for sale at $2,500 or best offer. Now I know that you often see buy it now or best offer items having a price a bit above what they would normally sell for. People do this in the hope that someone may quickly want to purchase the item and pay above market price for it and/or so that someone can bargain you down to around the market price. However having a buy it now or best offer price of at least 250 times the market value of the card is just idiotic, I mean Palinic. I mean even the anti-christs themselves, Beckett, who dramatically overprice card 95% of the time, only have this card listed at $10.

Now, when one looks at the title, it appears the seller may not have a clue from what product the card is from, as the title says “1991 BRETT FAVRE ROOKIE PACKERS FOOTBALL TRADING CARD!!” and nowhere in the item description does it mention that the card is from 1998 Playoff Momentum. As such, you may think I am being a little harsh on the seller, as they may think they have a rare 1991 Favre rookie card that they can’t see anyone selling. However, if you believe this, then I don’t think you are giving the seller enough credit, I mean look at their seller name - jboygenius. I mean surely a “boy genius” should be able to work out where this card came from, right?

What’s scary is that there have been 7 offers on this card. Of course these might have been people offering him what the card is worth, $5 to $10, or at least I hope so. The fact that most of the offers have been declined, as opposed to expired, tends to indicate this. Of course, there are also Palinic buyers out there on ebay too, so some people may have offered the seller a lot of money for a card worth very little.

Now this isn’t the end of the story? You know how they say great minds think alike? Well the same goes for idiotic, Palinic minds too. Have a look at this seller. They have the same card for $1,000 or best offer. This is only at least 100 times what the card is worth. Now obviously this person saw the boy genius selling the card for $2,500 or best offer and thought, “if he can sell it (well, put it up for sale anyway) for a ridiculous price, so can I”. In fact, when this seller first listed the card, they did so for $2,200. You know, to undercut the boy genius, so that hopefully someone would get a rush of blood to the head and go “My god, he is selling that sick card for $300 less than the boy genius. I’m going to buy it now!” Of course, reality has stepped in, and this hasn’t happened, so the seller has gradually lowered the price over time so that it is now “only” $1,000 or best offer.

The stupid thing about this seller is that they are giving 3 other cards away with this card. 2 of them are multi-coloured patch cards that would probably sell for $20 to $40 each, which is much more than the Jumbo quad card will ever likely sell for. If the seller sold all 4 cards separately in an auction, they would probably get $60 to $100 for them, which really isn’t that bad. Yet this seller still clings onto the delusion that someone will pay close to 100 times what the card is worth because it is $1,500 cheaper than what someone else is selling it for. You have to love ebay.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Well, actually it should be on card.

Given the choice between a sticker auto and an on card auto, like most people I will take the on card auto any day. However, sticker autos aren’t really a huge turn-off for me like some collectors. Given the number of times Brett Favre has changed his signature over the years, which version of his signature which is on the card/sticker is more important than if it is an on card auto. As is whether the card has a piece of jersey on it or not too.

Thus, the card on the left that I recently purchased and received is almost perfect. Why?

Favre signature when it looked it’s best? Check

Piece of Jersey? Check

On card auto? Check?

Good condition? Check?

Jersey swatch that isn’t a plain little square or circle? Check

Multi-coloured patch? Check

Three coloured patch? No. Oh well, I said it was almost perfect.

A few weeks prior to coming across this card, I came across another of these 2001 Score Select Favre auto/jersey cards. This card did actually have 3 colours on it – though barely. It had a small bit of yellow jersey on the patch. It also had a significant nick out of the top of the card, though the owner did point out it had a book value of $350.

Now I contacted the owner about what he wanted for the card. He came back to me saying that he was looking for $250 for it. My response was that that $250 as a price was a bit of a sticking point for me. He then came back to me with $225. After thinking about it I said that, even though the card was nice, it was still more than I was willing to pay for it, given what I had recently paid for two other Favre autograph cards on ebay. I pointed out to him that one had a “book value” of $300, which I got for $131, the other which had a “book value” of $350 too, which I got for $135.

Now to most people this would indicate that maybe book value isn’t a realistic indication of what the card would sell for. Suffice to say this wasn’t the case with this individual. His response wasn’t happy a happy one:

“It sounds like you want something for nothing and I would have to sell at 1/3 book to move stuff to you.”

Well given what I had paid for the other cards this may be a little low, though possibly closer to a realistic price than $225. In fact I was prepared to pay close to $200 for the card. Not to hammer home the point again for nothing, but the fact that I had bought these other cards for so much less than “book” should have demonstrated to this person how useless book value was, and that maybe he should be willing to lower his price a bit more. Of course, it did no such thing. Obviously the sale did not go ahead.

Less than 3 weeks later the card above came onto ebay with a buy it now price of $175. Sure it didn’t have the little bit of yellow in the patch, but it also didn’t have the significant nick out of the top of the card. I quickly snapped it up, and it is now sitting in my collection.

The moral of the story – sometimes good things do come to people who wait.

Oh, and book value means nothing in the real world.

Tell me why?

I don't like Mondays, obviously.

So why have I created this blog? Well a number of reasons – which I will get on to later. First some background.

I collect Brett Favre cards. I have collected Brett Favre cards on and off on since 1994. The first pack of football cards I got (my older brother gave it to me) a pack of 1991 Pro set - in which I got a Favre Rookie, the card on the left. After this I was hooked - especially after I watched him play more and more, and saw what a great player he was and how much fun he was to watch. The Packers Super Bowl run and victory in 1996/1997 turned me from a huge Favre fan in to a Favre fan for life.

Here is the catch though - I live in Australia. From 1993 to 1996 NBA cards were huge in Australia. In most major cities, like Sydney and Melbourne there were at least 30 cards shops, if not more, largely selling NBA cards, as well as cards of Australian sports. Most shops also sold some NFL cards, so it was relatively easy to buy NFL packs, boxes and Brett Favre singles (many of the shops near me knew I was a big Brett Favre collector and would thus do their best to get singles for me) and I bought all of them. This was despite the fact that a pack that cost $2 in the US would cost $5 or more in Australia.

However, by 1997 all but a handful of the shops had closed, and those that remained open sold fewer and fewer singles as less and less people bought packs and boxes. This was largely because the prices of these continued to skyrocket and people moved on to the latest fad. As a result of this I eventually gave up collecting cards.

Until 1999. In 1999 I was selling some off my (non-Favre) cards and got to know another NFL collector. He got me hooked again, so I started collecting Favre cards again, buying the occasional pack or even more occasional box. However by 2002 I had again given up collecting. I had just started my first “professional” job, which took a lot of my time. As did chasing women, and the things that (seemingly) went with it – like doing weights.

However, in 2006, being in a job that gave me a fair amount of disposable income, and with plenty of time on my hands, I decided to start collecting again. I did this through ebay, as the number of card stores in Australia you could count on one hand. I started mainly collecting Favre cards again, though I would buy the occasional box. I also did collect some other Packer players, though I have since given up on this and sold most of these cards.

However, I soon encountered problems with buying boxes. A box of cards that would sell for $100 on ebay, would end up costing me $200 Australian or more once I paid for postage and the currency was exchanged. There were also issues with the cards I would receive in the boxes not being worth anywhere near what I paid for the box (a familiar story I know).

Given the high cost of buying boxes, and the fact that what I was mainly after from boxes was Favre cards, I decided to give up purchasing boxes, and focus on buying Favre cards. I mean why spend $200 on a box of cards hoping to get some nice Favre cards in it, when I could spend the $200 and guarantee getting a lot of nice Favre cards? This is still what I largely do today, though the Favre cards I purchase have changed dramatically.

Upon returning to the hobby in 2006 I noticed how much things had changed - with the emphasis on Jersey and Autograph cards. Initially I didn't really care much about these, instead focusing on commons and regular inserts. However, after purchasing some jersey and autograph cards I saw how nice some of these were, I eventually started focusing on these. The result is now I almost totally focus on Favre jersey and autograph cards – and for the most part not the “cheaper” kind (you will see what I mean). At one point I was probably buying 30 to 70 cheap to mid-price Favre cards a fortnight, cheap to mid-price. Now I probably buy 4 to 10 to high to very-high price Favre cards a fortnight.

Currently I have over 2500 different Brett Favre cards, including 106 certified autographs and over 300 jersey/memorabilia cards (Yes, I have too much disposable income - though my girlfriend still has no idea how much money I spend on cards). I haven’t bought these cards with a view to trying to make a profit from them, though it would be nice to recoup much of the money if I did have to sell them.

So given all that, why this blog?

1. To wax on about cards, and hopefully have some discussions with people about them. Given the lack of NFL card collectors in Australia, the internet provides me with the best avenue for this.

2. To show off some of cards to people who may actually appreciate it. Again, given the lack of NFL card collectors in Australia, the internet provides me with the best avenue for this.

3. To generally talk/discuss the NFL with others. Again, given the lack of people who follow the NFL in Australia blah, blah, blah

4. To be fair. I’ve had a go at some people on their blogs, so I think it’s fair to give them the opportunity to do so on my blog should they choose. If you want to abuse me, bring it on!!

5. It gives me another avenue to speak my mind (which I do frequently). I’m a very opinionated person. If I don’t agree with you, I will let you know.

So how long will this last? I’m thinking 2 months maximum until I get bored with it. I could be wrong though – I might not even last a month!

Oh, and if you have any Brett Favre Autograph of jersey/memorabilia cards you are looking to sell, please contact me!