I do not go along with the crowd. That's well-established. Both in the hobby and in life.
For example, I do not take part in sales.
This is very un-American of me, because wherever I go, inside of the hobby or out, there is someone mentioning how they "got a deal" on this or that. When I used to work in retail, there were legions of shoppers who'd wait for the weekly circular and then stampede to the mall to wipe out all the sale items before Sunday had ended.
In the card hobby, I don't have to tell you it's all about finding a sale. Dollar boxes, quarter boxes, dime boxes, nickel boxes. Finding the best deal on ebay. Finding the best deal on your favorite online shopping site.
Each year, my favorite site -- COMC -- announces several different sales. The most popular is the Black Friday sale. At that time of year, there is blog post after blog post showing off Black Friday purchases. But I've never taken part.
It's not that I don't like saving money. I'm certainly not rich and I can't afford to just throw my money around. I know there are millions of coupon-cutters out there and more power to them.
I think it's the nonconformist in me. I just don't like being told what to do and that involves when and how I should spend my money. You've got a sale? Great. I'll spend my money now if I feel like it.
So, that explains how I happened to participate in a COMC sale for the very first time, even though I've been buying cards off of COMC since 2009.
COMC recently conducted its Spring Cleaning sale and I just barely got in on it before the final day.
It was just coincidence that I was ready to order some cards when everyone started marking down inventory. It was quite nice. The stars had lined up so someone was ready to take my money with a discount at the exact same time I was ready to give them my money.
So I gathered a few items that seemed right to be discounted and hit 🚢!!!!
Let us begin:
This was a holdover from when I thought it would be cool to own a Dodger card of Yu Darvish. Remember those days?
Today, it seems like the perfect thing to be marked down.
On any given day, a Clayton Kershaw card is being stolen from my COMC cart. I've almost gotten used to it. I'll put a Kershaw card in there and think at the same time "well, you won't stay in there for long."
Fortunately, this fake-retro card from Archives stayed put.
My excruciatingly slow attempt to obtain any 1977 O-Pee-Chee card that looks different than a 1977 Topps card inches a few millimeters forward with this dynamite Dave Collins OPC card. He is not wearing a mustache on his '77 Topps card. How cool is that?
Speaking of slow slogs, here are three needs from the 2008 Stadium Club set that almost no one remembers. It is a battle to see which 2008 set that I've stopped caring about I complete first: Stadium Club or Heritage?
I'm down to needing just four Stadium Club cards, so I think SC might win. That is if I don't forget about both sets completely and they both expire a handful of cards away from the finish line.
There were just a few non-baseball cards mixed in with my sale purchase. You saw the gorgeous Martina Hingis card at the top of the post, now how about these two baddies?
These are two 1975 Topps cards that I practically worshipped as a 10-year-old boy. The '75 year was the first for me purchasing cards and it was spent mostly with the glorious baseball set of that year. But as a brand new card consumer with An Allowance And Everything, I felt the duty to buy some football and hockey, too.
Of the tiny number of packs that I bought of each, these two cards emerged as absolute titans of what I had bought. I knew nothing about Alan Page and Gerry Hart but I apparently was drawn to defensive destroyers because both were mayhem in their chosen sport.
I'm a firm believer in possessing the cards that thrilled you as a child, even if it means repurchasing them. I am so excited about these two.
Let's move to something I'm collecting right now, the 1973 Topps baseball set. Being cost conscious counts when you're in the final stages of a vintage set. I'll certainly pay attention to sales in these circumstances. I got both cheaply.
All right, NOW, the sale is speaking to me!
There is nothing quite as annoying as seeing these buyback cards go for stupid prices -- and by "stupid" I mean more than the cost of a non-stamped 1975 Topps card. You're defacing the original and you want more money for it?
So all of these buybacks came for much, much more reasonable prices and with this lot I now have 237 of the '75 Topps cards in buyback form or more than one-third of the set!!!
I am very happy with this particular acquisition as there are several notables: Messersmith, Lyle, Wood, Fuentes, North, as well as cards like Harrison, Kirkpatrick and Lintz that were part of my '75 childhood. Also, to the COMC dude who has been holding the Mike Wallace buyback hostage for like two years, I GOT IT CHEAPER BUD!
Hey, maybe I'm getting sold on this sale stuff.
Final card in the sale package (well, final one I'm showing now anyway).
These early '80s Superstar cards leave a lot to be desired with their black-and-white, newsprint-like photos. But how many times to do you see Koufax and Aaron on a card together?
I had fun with my first COMC sale go-round. That doesn't mean I'll dutifully wait for the next sale to get my next batch of cards. Like everything that I consume, I get it when I want it and if I don't have the cash to get it, I wait until I do, sale or no sale.
The next coupon I cut will be the first.