Buying Cards on the Cheap

Recently I sort of stumbled upon a new way to buy cards cheaply on eBay. How cheap? For less than the price of a postage stamp in most cases and I didn’t  even have to leave the house!

If you’re in a similar situation (my closest card shop is about an hour away), you’ve probably explored new ways to purchase cards in a cost-effective manor. In my explorations, I began purchasing cards of Bryce Harper for my personal collection for $.99 with free shipping using the Buy It Now option. Then one day I thought I’d take a shot at some auctions that a seller had started at a penny but these also had the perk of free shipping. So, I bid $1 thinking that in a worst-case scenario I wouldn’t be paying anymore than normal but there would a chance of me saving a few cents if I won the card  for less than my $1 bid. 

As luck would have it, I won one of the auctions for less than $1. I don’t remember the exact price but this buying method struck a nerve. 

For whatever reason I stopped using this method for a little while. However, I’ve recently started using this again and I’ve expanded my searches to include other players I collect such as Frank Thomas, Brooks Robinson, and Manny Machado. 

It’s working, too! I’ve been able to get a few steals and I’m loving it!

Here are some of my recent purchases:

Bryce Harper: 35 cents

Manny Machado: 38 cents

Brooks Robinson: 17 cents

Frank Thomas: 30 cents

I was able to get all four of these cards delivered to my house for $1.20! That’s a bargain for any card collector with the way the card shops have dried up. 

Give this method a whirl. I’m sure you’ll get a few bargains here and there. 

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The Forgotten TTM Sport

January 24, 2017

Written By: Jason Dean Martin

Through the mail (TTM) autographs have been around for years, decades even as children and adults have pursued any means necessary for obtaining their favorite athlete’s signature. But, what I have often noticed is many collectors focus on the four major sports (baseball, basketball, football, and hockey) with auto racing being a possible fifth addition to that list.  Usually, professional wrestlers are left out when considering TTM options because they tend to travel more than any other athlete.  However, I’m here to tell you that these athletes cannot be overlooked as they can tend to actually be more accessible than athletes from the more popular sports and because a handful of wrestlers are former pros in the “big four” sports.

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Unique Ben Zobrist Mailday

Not too long ago Ben Zobrist made news by riding his bike to Wrigley Field. It’s not necessarily newsworthy, however, it was unique. Then Topps chose to make a card featuring him on a specially-designed bike with proceeds from sales of the card to be donated to Patriot Forward. I purchased one the day it was released and it finally arrived today. 



Not the most valuable card but definitely a unique piece of cardboard!

For more info on this card you can visit Sports Card Reference here

This TTM Is Mo-Mentous

My recent return is a legend of sorts from the 90s and early 2000s that played the majority of his professional baseball career in the northeast. He’s known for his size and the huge wad he would keep in his mouth while playing. And believe it or not, he was the highest paid player in the game at one point.

Who could it be?

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When Did I Become Old?

I’m 34 years old. Not old by any means but old enough to be married and have a two year old son. I’m old enough to be anticipating my 20 year high school reunion but not old enough to retire. I’m old enough that my joints hurt from years of sports but not old enough to stop trying to compete. And I’m old enough to know that the players of my generation are far better than those that take the field today…..at least in my opinion. 

As is the case with almost every sports fan, the players of their generation are far superior to those that came in the years that followed. It’s no different with me and I realized I felt this way a few years ago when I couldn’t pick a new player to collect. 

You see, my collection consisted of players that were retired such as Bobby Bonilla, Ken Griffey Jr, and Josh Fogg, among others. Every player that was active and crossed my mind as a possibility for a new pursuit just didn’t have the same pizazz as the ones from my hey-day. 

I was afraid to choose an up-and-coming prospect for the fear that he’d be the next Brien Taylor and I didn’t want to pick someone from one of my favorite teams because the odds of him staying on said team were slim. My collection was at a standstill. 

Then it hit me…I was officially old. I had become what bothered me as a child about the way my father collected. The way he spoke about players such as Vida Blue and Mark Fidrych with such fondness and how he would try to tell me how great the stars of his childhood were with the cards he had remaining in his collection as a picture companion. All the while I’m just thinking that those “old guys” were long gone and it’s time to focus on names like Bo, Junior, and Jose. 

I had become an “old collector” and it happened right under my nose. Today my hobby pursuits include players such as Bobby Bonilla, Fred McGriff, Josh Fogg, Darryl Strawberry, and Ken Griffey Jr. even though they’ve been gone for years. Those cards make me happier than any Mike Trout or Kris Bryant ever could. 

Collect what makes you happy and you’ll never go wrong!

Final Update: My Topps Double Play Rip Card WINNER Has Been Redeemed

Over the summer, I wrote that I had pulled a Jose Bautista Double Play Rip Card from a retail pack of Topps Series Two. I then ripped the card because I’m a kid inside that can’t leave that sort of thing lying around. Upon ripping the “mini game card” that was inside, it read that I’d win an autographed card from Topps of a player to be determined if Bautista recorded a hit in the 2016 postseason. 

As luck would have it, he did record a hit and it was a monster home run in his first postseason at bat. 

Not long after the World Series ended, I finally sent my card to Topps to be redeemed. I had posted updates all along the way and heard from many that I’d probably get a no-name autograph worth $10. Honestly, I had that fear myself. 

Boy were we ever wrong! 

Today I received my prize from Topps via FedEx and it didn’t disappoint. 

Here’s the letter that was enclosed along with my prize. 

And here’s the prize…..

It’s a 2014 Jose Bautista Topps Update All Star Stitches Jumbo Patch Auto #d 6/6! Plus, I also get to keep the mini that’s serial numbered 1/1, if I so choose. 

I would like to congratulate Topps on a job well done with this promotion. The concept was very interesting to me and reminded me of contests from my childhood collecting days. 

Finally, there is one thing that bugs me just a little. The prize card I received should have been inserted into packs of 2014 Topps Update, right? Why wasn’t it? Was this a redemption that went unclaimed and eventually expired? Who knows what the story is but there are some unanswered questions.

Trading Card Podcast Episode 5: Topps Transcendent’s $27,000 Price Tag

Jason and Kin discuss Topps’ $27,000 super-premium release!

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