Sunday, March 9, 2014
I like to think of myself as a much more intelligent and discerning card consumer than I was in the early days of this blog.
But that doesn't mean I don't do stupid things. I love cards too much to never do anything stupid.
One of those stupid things happened yesterday.
The Walmart closest to me has an OK card section. It's not as nice as the Target across the street, but Walmart also has things that Target doesn't have (like tools -- come on Target, why don't you put a few more clothes for animals on your shelves?). So I know Walmart's card aisle pretty well.
At this present time, it features the usual popular items. There are rack packs, loose packs, hanger packs and blasters of 2014 Topps. There are leftover rack packs of 2013 Topps and 2013 Update. Blasters, too. There is 2013 Allen and Ginter, and a few random rack packs of 2013 Gypsy Queen, and a whole bunch of football and basketball blasters that never seem to change because I don't know who is buying them.
There is also the usual discounted fare. Discounted 2012 Topps rack packs. Discounted 2008 Upper Deck Timeline blasters. Super discounted Upper Deck from 2007 and 2008. I even saw some discounted 2011 Topps Lineage packs. And, of course, every big box store in America has discounted 2010 Topps ... with million card giveaway code cards.
Across the bottom shelf are the Topps complete-set boxes and a few more blasters. In one section at the right are discounted 2012 Topps blasters with the red sticker announcing that they're marked down. And next to that are 2012 Allen and Ginter blasters.
Those 2012 Allen and Ginter blasters have been there since at least August, when 2013 Allen and Ginter came out. I remember staring at them then and thinking to myself, "well those will be disappearing soon."
But they didn't.
Not only did they not disappear, but they sat in the exact same place. Product to the left and right of them moved in and out throughout the fall, the Christmas season, the January doldrums, the 2014 product arrival, and now here we are.
2012 A&G blasters still there, practically glued to that shelf, accumulating dust, for at least eight months but probably longer.
But even though I love A&G minis and have the frankenset binder going, I didn't bite.
"No way am I buying a 2012 A&G blaster for full price," I've said to myself in that card aisle more than once.
Why should I? I've completed the base set. I have no interest in any of the inserts. Hits don't attract me anymore. Those 2012 A&G blasters could sit there until I've moved on to collecting bread ties for all I care. I'm not going to be suckered into paying full price for a two-year-old blaster.
But were they full price?
Sure, there was no red discounted sticker on the box, but we all know Walmart. It's a disaster. There are cans of beans in with the baby clothes, bicycle parts in the cream cheese section. It is so chaotic and borderline disgusting how could any employee focus enough to properly label everything?
So Saturday I was in the card aisle again. I stared at those 2012 A&G blasters.
I tried looking at the labels fixed on the shelf below the blasters -- you know, the ones that are supposed to tell you exactly what the product is and how much it costs. The label said "Upper Deck Spx hockey." Thanks for the help.
I stood and stared some more.
"Maybe it IS discounted," I said to myself. "It's almost two YEARS now. It's got to be discounted."
And with that, I grabbed the blaster. There was no going back this time.
I walked up to the self checkout. If there is anything more glorious than a self-checkout in Walmart I'd like to know what that is as I practically want to bow down before it because, my gracious, every other checkout line at Walmart looks like a trailer park threw up.
I ran the blaster over the bar code reader thing.
Now, if I was one of THOSE people, I'd track down customer service and throw a fit because this two-year-old item had the gall to ring up full price. I've seen customer fits turn into customer deals. But I'm not that kind of person. I'm not even the kind of person who will tell the employee "I don't want this anymore."
Because I love cards too much.
And, who knows what was in that box!
So I paid and walked out the door (well, I shuffled out the door because my gosh the wide guy with the grocery cart in front of me was not going to let me pass).
And I opened the blaster in the car.
And I threw the base cards in the bag because I have them all already. And I threw the inserts in the bag because I don't care.
But I put the minis on the dashboard shelf for future frankenset consultation.
And then, today, I consulted the frankenset binder.
And I'm here to tell you that ...
One card made the binder.
The Tony Gywnn mini you saw at the beginning.
I have abundant open spots in my frankenset binder.
But one card.
One two-year-old card for $19.99.
At least he's a Hall of Famer.