Overpay, Underpay or just walk away?

I’ve never been a big fan of the Beckett price guides and think the ‘pricing’ guys have a little part in the destroying of my childhood hobby, but that’s just my opinion…and i have been called an asshole many times over.  With both being the case, i never really have an idea how much a card costs or what it’s market value is.  I tend to just look at the card and decide if it’s a $5 card or $20 card to me.  I believe that the value of a card varies per person and so i don’t put too much weight in the value of cards, but rather what value it has TO ME.  Right now, anything with RG3 has a ton of value for these eyes of mine (I’ve used value way too many times in this paragraph)…The last Cedar Hills show i went to, i purchased two RG3 cards from two different tables.  Overpaid for one and underpaid for the other.  Both guys asked me what i would pay for the card and here is how is went down.

The First Table: I was searching through a box of unorganized football cards from this past season and noticed a Prizm RG3 with a different photo than i had seen before.  I put it aside and pulled a few other cards out including Alfred Morris serial number, Kirk Cousins chrome and a bunch of other Redskins you may not care about.  I got about 15 cards and laid them out in front of the guy and reviewed them…he took a look at them.  As we were reviewing the cards, I had a number in my head.  $50.  The number in his head was a much better deal for me.  $20.  I was a little confused and stared at him for way too long for two guys to be staring at each other over football cards.  After we both realized how awkward this moment had become, I agreed to pay his price with little to no resistance.  As i walked away from his table i felt a little guilt, but rationalized that it was his price and not mine and that i simply got a good deal.  I agreed to pay what he was requesting.  As I left his table, I did a quick Ebay search and was told by my iphone that this card alone is being sold for $10 to $20, so i felt pretty good about my purchase.  Big smiles for me.

12 PP Robert Griffin III SP

The Next table:  This guy has been at the past couple of shows and has a bunch of cards laid out on his table in penny sleeves and top loaders as you do when you sale cards.  No prices though.  This kind of annoys me, because as i have mentioned, i have no idea how much something should cost and i am a sucker for the Burgundy and Gold on cardboard, especially when it’s got Bobby Three Sticks on it.  The guy has this Leaf Metal Universe card in a screw down  case, he must have felt it screw-worthy…which in turn I thought, i just may need to own this card.  Now, I don’t know if it was the all white jersey, or the shiny metallic card or the screw down case that made me think this card was something i had to have or if it is just my addiction to the Redskins.  The guy asks me what i think he should sale the card for.  Numbers run through my mind like John Nash…60, 20, 50, 35, 40…it took about 5 minutes for me to come up with those 5 numbers until i blurted out TWENTY!  The guy smiled and says…’Damn man, you must have been reading my mind!  That’s the exact same number i was thinking!’  How convenient, eh?  It’s like asking a painter for a quote on your house and you tell him, ‘I think we may have Lead paint’ and sure enough the bid comes back with an estimate for Lead paint without the guy even testing…(that’s a whole ‘mother blog).  Back to my point…this was the last card of the show for me as it was my last $20.  I leave the mall and get to the car to look up the prices on ebay and they were maxing out at $10 with most of them going for $5.  CRAP!  I got hustled!.  Getting hustled made me a little upset though…completely unfair as I just got a bargain and now i overpaid.  Karma works quick in my world.

12 MU Robert Griffin III

The lesson here kids is that beckett can only be loved by those that care about the cost or perceived worth of things…just kidding, that’s not the lesson.  Just a cheap, unwarranted shot by me.  The real point is that you should always do a little research before you purchase anything to find out how much it should cost YOU.

One thing I’ve learned about collecting cards is that this hobby can rob you blind.  It’s so easy to see these pieces of cardboard as an investment.  But at the end of the day, most of them are simply little pieces of joy that have varying value to each of us.  I am a collector, not an investor.  I collect because i enjoy the pursuit of the cards, not how much money i can make when i flip the cards for more money…that said, don’t forget to check out my ebay store.

good night to you and yours.