September 2011 Sports Card Radio Email Questions
Sports Card Radio
E-Mail Question & Answers
Card Values – Best Grading Company – Famous Fabrics + More
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Dear Sports Card Show,
I have a Chris Johnson Topps Platinum card and he is wearing the old (Houston) Oilers jersey – is it worth any more? I also have a Topps Platinum Damian Williams 675/999 and I was wondering how much does that influence the value? The last card is Rob Gronkowski Xthick card – does that also raise the value out the roof or is it a minor raise like a few cents?
Thanks for the e-mail, in all those cases the value is only goes up very little. The Chris Johnson for example is a variation, but Topps Platinum is not a ‘rare’ set and most cards are not worth much more than a few dollars.
Typically inserts #/50 or less are considered fairly rare, and that’s where you start to see a boost in value on non-autographed/jersey cards. Hope that helps, good luck with your collection.
Question: I’m a big fan of your podcast – got into them a couple of months ago. I recently got back into collecting cards – only basketball – with a theme of collecting rookie cards, both old and new. Question for you – I have a number of high-quality rookie cards that are ungraded. What do you recommend as the best method of getting them graded? I’m looking for good quality but also a good cost-efficient option.
Answer: I’m actually going to do a podcast on this very subject – but I’ve been pretty consistent with my recommendations over the years.
In my opinion – there are only 2 companies I think collectors really respect. PSA (public company under symbol CLCT) the other is BGS or Beckett.com version of grading. Both are pretty cool, the main difference is PSA requires to you ‘join’ a membership to send in cards, while BGS can take cards without a membership. Cost wise, they end up being very similar. They have different prices depending on how quickly you want your cards back … with 60+ days being under $10 per card in most cases (I think).
If you don’t want the cards back quickly – it’s as low as $7 per card (for 100+ cards … plus shipping) I found that here: Beckett PDF Submission Form
PSA is about the same, but you need to be apart of the ‘Collectors Club’ which does give you some perks.
Those are the two companies to send to. It then depends on what holder you like better – and PSA tends to be slightly less strict on the grades (but that’s debatable). The BGS holder is very thick, and give you a detailed rating on the label on how centering, corners, edges, and surface break down on a 10pt scale. PSA I believe now has half grades, their holder is thinner – which takes up less space if you are stacking/storing these.
I like both companies – and think they both offer a good honest service. Package your cards very well, usually a box – inside another padded box – is best, but the companies will offer tips on this as well. Insure the package both ways for the full book value of the cards as well.
Other than that, it’s up to you – if you have 300+ cards, I could see you trying both if you can’t decide. Best of luck, follow up with me if you’d like and let me know how it goes for you. If you have any other questions let me know.
Question: I have purchased a number of Famous Fabrics First and Second Edition cards but have no idea what they are worth. Please tell me where I can find a price guide for Famous fabrics so I can price them.
Answer: Unfortunately – there isn’t a true price guide for the 2010 Famous Fabric Cards. The thing you will have to try and do is research prices on your own. Specifically off eBay – to see what certain cards are ending for.
Check Out My Cards has 106 cards for sale from 2010 Famous Fabrics. This will give you an idea what people are asking for those specific cards.
Hopefully eBay and COMC can give you enough data so that you have an idea what your cards might be worth. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Question: Not really very smart when it comes to card collecting, however I recently pulled a Topps 2011 Chrome Brandon Beachy RC auto Atomic Refractor # 10/10, can’t find any online yet and am wondering about the possible value of the card?
Answer: It’s a very nice card. You are correct – I couldn’t find one for sale online – 2011 Chrome just came out so it might take a few more weeks for one to surface on eBay. If I had to guess – dirt cheap would be $100-125. Top of the mark would be $500. It looks like a confirmed sale on a Red Refractor #/25 was $137.00.
If someone offered you $200-250 – that would seem like a fair offer. Continue to monitor eBay because one will probably hit auction within the next few weeks.
Question: I came across your great website about selling trading cards and distributors. Before viewing your website, I use Southern Hobby Supply. Would you recommend this company for selling online? For instance, I bought Pokemon booster boxes from them and trying to sell them on eBay. It is very difficult because competitors are selling at much lower price than what I bought it for. If you can be of any assistance it would be much appreciated.
Answer: I would recommend Southern Hobby, however finding products to sell on eBay is very difficult no matter what company you go through. Typically the products that you can make a little money on will meet some of these requirements:
#1 Hot Product = Doesn’t happen very much because there are so many products & few players catch fire within the hobby. Usually it’s a rookie like Stephen Strasburg, Blake Griffin or even this year with Cam Newton that drives prices up because their rookies are valuable.
#2 Discounted Product = Doesn’t happen as much as it used to, because there are actually less products than in the past, however we saw plenty of discounts on 09/10 Basketball when Griffin was hurt … but they all became very hard to find once Blake started playing. Topps baseball boxes sometimes go on discount, and are often go up in price as the hobby boxes dry up.
#3 Gaming = Pokemon & Yu-Gi-Oh are pretty risky, but Magic or MTG cards often sell well because the customer is less sensitive to price because they ‘need’ the cards in order to play in tournaments …ect. Finding a kid or someone that can explain the game to you will help – and finding the ‘hot’ or more rare MTG products will help you sell them later on.
#4 Buy/Hold Premium Product = another risky business, but National Treasures, Five Star Football, SP Authentic & Exquisite boxes sometimes go up in price after 1+ year because most of the boxes have been opened. If there are redemption cards inside – you’ll want to sell before they expire, but most ‘older’ wax with star RC’s inside sell well because there is less supply 1+ year later.
In short, there is no 100% way to buy/sell for a consistent product. If there was — big companies would gladly buy/sell for >5% margins, as some top companies run on >2% margin. Since it’s tough to compete on price, try to compete on service … like getting special orders for customers – or including a pack of soft sleeves with every order. Shipping to Canada/International is another way to get customers – however planning those shipping logistics/costs need to be done before hand.
Hope that helps. When I was doing this full time, I was doing more research on what to buy – than actually buying/selling. I’d spend weeks monitoring prices before I bought something. Usually when I found a good deal, I’d buy a few cases because then I could maximize my profits. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Question: I opened an 2009-10 UD Basketball Box last night and was pleasantly surprised to find an autograph card in addition to the standard 1 jersey card. This card however is a Michael Jordan Spokesmen Signatures auto SP. There is no pricing or print run in Beckett. I didn’t see this series in your Product Reviews. Do you have any information on this?
Answer: As far as value – I would just keep an eye on – or check eBay completed auctions for what Upper Deck Michael Jordan autographs sell for. Ones in a Bulls uniform tend to sell for more. Ones that are on-card will sell for more. A general range for an autograph Upper Deck Jordan card is $300 is dirt cheap – and about $1,000 is top of the mark.
There are some real rare – buyback – UD Exquisite cards that can fetch over $2,000-10,000+ at auction.
Question: Could you please help me on what the variations are in the 2010 prestige football? I just need to know how to tell the difference between lets say Demaryius Thomas rookie card and his variation card.
Answer: The variations appear to be photos of the players holding up their draft uniform after they got selected. The regular cards are just a head shot of Demaryius in his college uniform. All of the Sp cards from that year work the same way. The Sp version is the draft day photo.