Monday, December 5, 2016

No reason to hang on to this card

I apologize if I'm writing about my confusion over and over again, but sometimes it takes a couple of posts for me to get it.

Yesterday, I was digging up some cards for a handful of card packages that went out this afternoon. Most of it was set-collecting stuff, so I was whipping through the backs of cards staring at number after number, barely looking at the fronts. It's time-consuming, but I don't mind at all.

As I shuffled through some 2015 Topps doubles down in the basement, I came up with a few needs for others and I brought them upstairs and put them on the desk.

It was only then that I realized a particular card that I had in the tiny stack.


OMG, it's the young king of the World Champions! The third base talent who (*gasp*) smiled as he prepared to record the final out of the World Series!


This is Kris Bryant's base card from 2015 Topps, Series 2. I was a little surprised the person whose want list I was looking at didn't have the card already, given circumstances I won't reveal so the person receiving it is at least slightly surprised by its arrival.

The fact that he didn't have it set off my curiosity, and since I don't sell cards, I decided to look up the going rate for this card.

Limiting my ebay search to single, ungraded versions of Bryant's card #616, no minis, gold parallels, foil parallels, variation photos, pinks, blah, blah, blah, here are the BIN prices:

$9.99, $12.50, $15.00, $17,00, $19.99, $19.99, $50.00.

Or you can buy eight of them for 100 bucks.

Heading over to COMC, here are the prices:

$11.47, $13.25, $14.25, $14.64, $15.00, $15.20, $15.93, $17.25, $17.64, $20.22, $22.25, $49.92, $50.00.

Wow.

And one trip to Sportlots:

$15.00, $15.99, $18.00, $22.50, $25.00.

I admit I was kind of stunned. I didn't know such a frenzy was going on under my nose in the hobby. This is a base card, right?

The Series 2 cards immediately before and after Bryant in the set, #615, Carlos Sanchez and #617, Terrance Gore, go for 54 cents to $1.75 and 38 cents to $2.75, respectively, on COMC, so there's no rarity of Series 2 cards.

This can only be one thing. It is sellers capitalizing on the demand for a young World Series champion on a team that hadn't won a title in a century, even though this card has got to be as plentiful as any other card in the set. That is one thing that still blows my mind about card purchasers -- how a price can skyrocket for a card that was made in equal numbers to every other card, a card just as plentiful as any other. And yet people must buy it. I get everything about "supply and demand" but this always seemed weird to me.

I don't know how I ended up with my version of Bryant's #616 card, but I'm glad it landed in my collection before the 2016 World Series.

I have sympathy for those who are still looking for it to complete their 2015 set. It shouldn't be that difficult. They shouldn't have to pay $12 for a regular base card.

So I took the card of Bryant, put it in the stack with all the other cards I was sending, and shipped it off, treating it as nothing more special than any other card in the package. Because really, it isn't.

I had a #616 card of Kris Bryant. There is no reason to hang on to another one.

If I needed the cash, sure, I'd give selling a try. But I'd feel a little weird doing it. In my brain I'd be thinking "this card can't be more than a dollar!"

But that's the hobby sometimes. It's strange and weird and wonderful.

8 comments:

  1. That Bryant has carried that price for awhile now.

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  2. When I first started blogging, the 2010 Topps Buster Posey RC was my version of the Kris Bryant. It sat as my final card I needed to complete the set for quite a while because of the price tag. Someone was finally gracious enough to send it my way.

    It still lists in Beckett with a range of $5-$12.

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  3. Trying being a Cub team collector. I wish the dealers in my area had your mindset of "this card can't be more than a dollar!"

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  4. I checked out the sold listings on eBay and even those were still going for at least $10 a card. Crazy!

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  5. I always laugh when this happens. Jeter had several cards like this over the years. Sorry Cub friends.....

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  6. I'm not sure you can assume that stars or rookies like this aren't a little short printed. I am always ending up with the last few singles I need for the set being Jeter, Bryant, Trout, or any of five or six phenom rookies. Even though I might buy a couple hobby boxes, or just several retail packs or blasters, there are almost always big names left to find.

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  7. In a weird way... I'm kind of glad that this card (and any other base set rookie card) still commands money. It reminds me of the days when people actually paid $50 for Canseco and Mattingly rookie cards.

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