The Purdy Predicament: Investors Wince as 49ers Stumble
In a time when the sports card investment sphere has seen fluctuating fortunes, Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers emerged as a rare beacon of consistency. A clear favorite among the “grade-and-flip” crowd, 11 of the top 20 cards based on volume, according to Geoff Wilson’s Market Movers, were none other than Brock Purdy’s.
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The only card with more sales volume than Purdy’s 2022 Donruss Rookie on eBay was Pikachu with a Grey Felt Hat, that beloved electric rodent, which has sold more than 6,000 copies in the last 30 days.
So, what happens to investor confidence if the 49ers start to falter?
In recent weeks, Purdy cards have been snatched up on eBay, reigniting the ‘grade and flip’ game. Even with his most common card—the 2022 Donruss RC—you could buy, grade, and profitably flip. Just think of the potential gains from some of Purdy’s more rare offerings.
Should Purdy and the 49ers fall from grace, it could be the most significant blow to the sports card investment landscape since Ohtani’s injury.
Before the Browns loss:
The Scandalous Connections: Trimming, CardLadder, and PWCC
Turning from the sports card greenfield to the content landscape, ZiggyNo, the so-called “sports card content oracle,” has been critical of CardLadder for allegedly “selling card picks” during the hobby boom of 2020-2021.
Perhaps there were some business mistakes in the past but by and large the CardLadder tool has been useful. We found no evidence of CardLadder selling picks but our investigation was a mere 10 minute one.
The platform does has a murky connection to notorious individuals in the hobby. One of CardLadder’s founders, Josh, is rumored to have set up the website for known scammer Eric Bitz. Does the site “Buy Nice Cards” have a CardLadder feel? You can decide.
Bitz, a man notorious for trimming several LeBron James Exquisite Rookie Cards, casts a shadow on the ethical standing of CardLadder. His deceptions were exhaustively discussed in a 100-page thread on the Blowout Forum, a thread that PWCC successfully had locked after making legal threats.
In 2019, an entire Instagram account was dedicated to chronicling Bitz’s many scams—until, sadly, the account itself was deleted.
Meanwhile, Josh of CardLadder seemed oddly lenient toward former PWCC owner Brent Huigens amid the 2019 card-trimming scandal. This raises questions: Is the relationship between Josh and Huigens more than that of a content creator and an auction house owner? Why such leniency? Is this a mere coincidence, or does it suggest a more questionable alliance?
We’d be keen to hear Josh’s updated thoughts on trimmed cards, particularly concerning the infamous LeBron incident and his connection to Bitz.
The Fall of Binky Breaks and “Negative Nancy” Accusations
Three weeks after our exposé on Binky Breaks, the company has gone MIA from the live-selling platform, WhatNot. Their sudden disappearance has significantly spiked traffic to our website, but it leaves many questions unanswered—particularly concerning any pending orders.
Is ousting shady breakers from their sole selling platform a net positive? That’s a question perhaps best answered by Bill Nay. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Nay is a high-ranking executive at Epic Insurance Brokers & Consultants who lobbed a shot at us. He labeled Sports Card Radio as “Negative Nancies,” criticizing us for not offering “solutions” to the problems rampant in the sports card industry—not to be confused with the insurance sector.
Subsequently, Nay took to Instagram, warning Sports Card Radio, “The magnifying glass hasn’t been pointed in your direction; we are about to find out what happens when it is.”
Not content to sit and wait, we’ve reached out to Nay’s employer for insights on his social media antics. We plan to update our readers with any correspondence in an upcoming article.
The LootBox TV Pivot
Finally, popular YouTube channel LootBox TV has decided to dial down on sports card unboxing. Citing several factors including:
- Their local card store has stopped selling sports cards due to allocation cuts.
- Exclusive autograph deals with Panini and Fanatics make it tough to justify opening boxes. Top-tier quarterbacks, for example, are missing from Panini NFL products because they’re exclusive to Fanatics.
- The thrill of opening packs simply isn’t worth the cost anymore, much of which comes out of their own pockets.
LootBox TV’s change in tone is part of a broader trend. The entrance of Fanatics into the sports card industry seems to have taken a toll on overall morale. In a recent video, Sports Card Dad claimed that the hobby’s enthusiasm is at a five-year low.
This level of collective gloom recalls 2014, when Johnny Manziel’s NFL bust significantly dampened both dealer and hobbyist spirits. However, by 2016 things had rebounded. The Chicago Cubs’ World Series win reignited interest in baseball cards, and the broader economy experienced a boost following the election of President Donald Trump.
What’s next is anyone’s guess. The big question: how much further will both pricing and morale drop before we see a return to optimism?
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