Monday, September 10, 2012
An adequate alternative
I bought my first card on ebay in three years a couple of days ago. I've pretty much ignored ebay during the life of this blog. Money and anonymity are a terrible combination, and I was sick of the hassle. Also, my will power wasn't as strong then as it is now.
You'll see that rare ebay purchase at some point soon. But tonight I'm covering what has become an acceptable alternative for me, Listia.
After a rocky start, I've added some semi-decent cards for my collection. Listia doesn't have a lot of high-end, "hit" cards that you'd find on ebay -- in fact it has more than its share of junk -- but there is enough out there that interests me.
The best part is the cards are free. ... Well, sort of.
If you want to obtain cards, you have to accumulate credits (Listia's "currency" is credits or points). The best way to accumulate credits is to "sell" your own cards on Listia. When you do "sell" them, you have to mail them. When you mail them, you have to pay for shipping. And therefore, the cards aren't really free. Just more free than on ebay.
But, you get to get rid of cards you don't want, which is an insanely great part of this site. In fact, I should be scanning some cards so I can make them disappear out of my home right now.
But instead, I'm going to show you some cards I've gained recently from the site.
These four 1997 Pinnacle Inside cards -- the famed "cards in a can" -- came in the same lot with the rookie Scott Rolen card.
But I don't care about any of those. I bid on the lot for this card:
Any day I land a Hideo Nomo card that I don't have is like finding money in the street.
Now, the danger of being able to view a bunch of cards at once, whether it's on an auction site or at a card show or at a card store, is that you might end up acquiring a card you have already. Listia is not immune to that phenomenon.
I saw this card and my "Must Acquire ALL 2006 Topps Cards" senses switched into high alert. Before I realized that I already own all of the Opening Day insert cards from this set, the card was mine.
I suppose I could've let the seller know "never mind, I have this card already." But I'm not dealing with cash here. It's just credits. No biggie.
The credits accumulate quickly for recent cards like this one. I usually ignore most 2012 cards on Listia because I know I'll be out-bid eventually. But I landed this card, which is the only sketch card from Allen & Ginter that I want.
And, I couldn't ignore this card either. I get a kick out of Chipper being retired every time I see this card, and I'm pleased to say that I now have both the Target and Walmart versions of it.
Like 2012 cards, any card featuring famous old-timey players is likely to pile up the points, even this innocent TCMA card from the late 1980s. I have several of the Dodger cards from this set, and didn't think anything much about them.
Then I bid on this card and was stunned by how it blew up. Fortunately I had enough to pull the trigger and land it. It really is a great card.
Where I've been able to find my groove is with cards that fall between the cracks. Cards that are either not vintage/do not feature old-time players or cards that are not the latest and greatest.
Raul Mondesi's cards get ignored. But how can you ignore an O-Pee-Chee insert with red foil from 1994? I can't.
There's even red foil on the back of the card. That had to be something special back then.
It's just crazy how few points I gave up to grab this card. Just, wow.
Most of the people who post cards ship them out quickly and they're in great shape. I haven't had an issue with one of them. You come across some "different" people on Listia, I think just because it's a "free" site where money isn't the name of the game. But everyone has been totally cool.
I'm not as active on this set as some other bloggers are. Like anything, to really get the maximum out of Listia, it takes a lot of time and effort. I don't have a lot of time and effort to spare for something like that. And, hokey smokes, I need to get away from the computer once in awhile.
So, I just amble along, picking up a card here, getting rid of a few cards there. It suits my needs and I'm glad I found it, thanks to Thoughts and Sox.
I get free credits if I refer others to Listia, but I'm not going to do that here -- you can find the site yourself. If you want to put me down as a reference, fine. If you don't, that's fine, too.
I've got a little bit more of a handle on it than I did at first, and as long as the cards are still there, I'll stay with it. Unless it gets too crowded. I won't be able to deal with that.
Oh, here's another card I ended up with:
What can I say?
It was free.