Trying not to buy cards

Part 10 in a series chronicling the One Sorry Blog Baseball Card Sell-Off
By Paul Rivas

Editor’s note: One Sorry Blog founder Paul Rivas is selling off his baseball cards on ebay with seller name onesorryblog, keeping only a precious and worthless few. He intends to sell every last card that will bring money at auction and donate the remaining 30,000 for no tax break. Realizing that his last hurrah in the hobby is upon him, Rivas is recording and reflecting on the experience at One Sorry Blog, the thinking collector’s blog.

I already mentioned spending $5.50 at my local card shop on three 86-87 Fleer cards, a move I fruitlessly tried to justify by selling off the DJ card on ebay. The card didn’t sell – twice – and now I’m stuck with it, to go with Tom Chambers, Larry Nance and George Gervin (I can’t remember if I still have the Gervin or if I gave it to the person who bought my Gervin lot). Which got me thinking, maybe I should collect the 86-87 Fleer set, or at least all those that I can get cheaply. There was an eight-card lot on ebay that went for $5 including shipping, and it was a struggle not to bid. Last night I fought myself in my dreams as to whether or not buying 86-87 Fleer could be called anything other than addiction. In my sleep, I regretted selling my Dr. J sticker card for $1.25. Awake, I don’t find it nearly as difficult to not buy things, but in that dream it was tough.

Everyone knows it’s insane to buy cards during a firesale. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Chambers and Nance cards are pop art pieces well worth their $2 price tag, but that’s exactly what most of the 167 things I just sold on ebay were. Style is no excuse. Quite apart from the fact that my relapse almost inspired me to make good on a long-held collecting fantasy, I shouldn’t have gone against the principle of the sale. Remember how hot 86-87 Fleer cards were? They were hot, and I’ve always sort of wished I’d bought them in 1986, when I started collecting, instead of 86 Topps baseball, but that’s another gripe entirely. I acknowledge that I did a stupid thing, but I’m not sorry, and therein could be where the addiction lies.

I knew when this Sell-Off started that it would be all-consuming and heavy duty for as long as it lasted, and that it wouldn’t last very long. All of a sudden, the payments have all but stopped coming, and the 4:45 trips to the post-office are a thing of the past. Maybe I anticipated missing it all, and that’s why I bought those three cards. I tend to think it had more to do with my having come straight from looking at cards with Rob H. for three hours when I bought them. In any event, my ebay feedback is up to 68 now, 100 positives overall and the one mutual punk-out I had with one of my first buyers. It feels good, I suppose, having perfect feedback, and that’s where they get you. Despite being a nightmare to navigate, ebay is sure fun, and easy to get sucked into. As I write this, I’m watching five auctions for 86-87 Fleer items.

Saturday, I listed 14 lots, the last of the singles that are worth the effort and shipping costs to sell. In fact, their worth could not be more in question. I’ve lumped bunches of things together that didn’t sell or that I’d yet to try to sell. I started them all at the legal minimum $0.01, and have slashed shipping costs. It’s likely that some of the 14 lots will sell for less than the worth of their $0.08 rigid top-loaders. On the other end, I’m hoping the Kobe and Garnett stuff brings at least $5 per go. Of course, the stuff in the middle that I don’t think about is what will determine whether or not I make enough money to have made it worth the hour or two I put in on Saturday. Starting everything at $0.01 was Andrew Nixon’s suggestion, and starting the auctions on a Saturday afternoon was Rob Helms’s.

I predict that everything will sell for $0.01!

8 responses to “Trying not to buy cards

  1. For the record, I just said when I sold things I started the bid at a penny (not necessarily a recommendation…haha!).

    I too coveted the ’86 Fleer basketball cards when I got back into a collecting…they were already at a premium unfortunately. I for sure own the Magic Johnson…possibly other Lakers, but that is it.

    Now for a story I almost told last time you mentioned that set. It’s not my story, but Vince’s actually.

    He’s also a long time card collector (who is no longer actively collecting). Back at that time he was pretty much just into baseball I think.

    The story goes something like…

    He and a friend of his were hanging out at house…and one of their Mom’s bought them a pack of ’86 Fleer basketball cards. The beginning of the story is a little fuzzy to me as it’s not the critical part…but it gets better (or worse) from there.

    They opened the cards, there was one card they were making fun of…this guy with his tongue sticking out. Apparently the card ended up in his back yard for awhile. Until one day when he was mowing the lawn and ran it over.

    Yes, of course, that’s the Jordan rookie.

  2. Paul, I feel your pain! Since I discovered Ebay about a month ago (just after the beginning of your fire-sale) I’ve acted a little like an addict too! I dream about the cards, up late to increase max bid, the whole works. I’ve finished out some sets , found old cards I’d lost or always wanted, and been shocked at how cheap or expensive some cards are now compared to how much they were. The worst thing is, I’ve started a whole new collecting phase, at least I hope it’s a PHASE! I’m spending more than I ever did back in the day. But Ebay is to blame! You can find ANYTHING- EVERYTHING! I may need a 12 steps group to reign myself in!! My biggest regret, though, is that 1990 Leaf baseball set (I was the guy with the high bid!) and now I’m trying to NOT get into the whole PSA -BGS graded thing . The cards always looked so good when they came out of the packs, why do I need graded? So anyway.Paul, it’s been great riding this wave of nostalgia with you! I’m a 14 year-old boy again. Unfortunately, I have a Gold Am EX now and can buy what I want with the BUY IT NOW button! Good luck to you. Keep us up on your upcomming travels. By the way, I ordered some unopened boxes so I can actually OPEN PACKS!! I hope there is a 12 step Ebay Annomous out there!! Lenny

  3. Thanks Lenny and Andrew for being this blog’s two most inspiring readers in the last month. I and the entire One Sorry Blog readership appreciate your great comments, which at once make me smile and wince. You two have really understood the spirit of this Sell-Off, and the fact that you’ve demonstrated this makes it all worth while. Everything is sold now, so keep an eye out for a wrap-up post very soon. Thanks again, Paul.

  4. My pleasure…thanks for letting me tag along on your journey.

    Oh yeah, I’ll bring my last payment to the card game tomorrow…not sure how much PayPal would charge you for my penny payment…haha.

    Speaking of cards, I picked up some Red/Blue bicycle cards this weekend. I’ll be happy to provide the cards tomorrow night. That way we avoid mixing two of the same decks. Not to mention those cards having been too lucky for me coming in 4th place both games 😉

  5. I haven’t made it all the way through all our baseball card posts yet, but what I have read has been enjoyable. You’ve given me hope that maybe I could sell my Magic cards as well some day (since they’re just collecting dust anyways).

  6. There is a forum I found on the internet that is free, and helps with Ebay, PayPal, business and the law. Just post any question, the experts will answer it if it has not already been answered!

    Feedback removal is a heavy topic there.

    The forum has a lot of expert advice on it. I found advice there about how to avoid EBAY suspensions, get past PayPal limitations, also lots of detailed help on creating your own business, getting past trademark violations, VERO and lots more. Plus general advice on how best to sell on EBAY, what sells the best, how to get the best price for your product, really everything related to EBAY and internet business.

    Also advice about how EBAY really works and how PayPal really works. The inside scoop.

    Beautiful forum. I was made a moderator of the forum and I love it!

  7. HI

    Great information and the last of the singles that are worth the effort and shipping costs to sell. In fact, their worth could not be more in question.

  8. Great information and the last of the singles that are worth the effort and shipping costs to sell. In fact, their worth could not be more in question.

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