Yep, it is.
I don’t buy boxes to resell. Most collectors admit that the ability to turn some of the inserts and other cards you don’t want into something you might like is always a nice bonus. EPack has killed much ability to do that.
If you hit an Artemi Panarin, Jack Eichel, or any of the other top Young Guns, you absolutely can still turn them and “get back” some of your money. What about the lower level inserts, base and canvas cards. It’s not like they were “worth” much before. It’s less now.
People can move some of their hits into their COMC accounts. So, let’s check out the COMC Marketplace. We shall start with the Canvas Cards.
A picture says a thousand words, but I still can use some words. The Sidney Crosby Canvas card from 2015-16 Hockey can be had on COMC for 49 cents. That’s 20% of the price of the lowest Crosby (only) canvas card from previous years. Also, take a look at the quantity available. It feels like “junk wax” all over again, and I don’t mean “junk wax” in the cute nostalgic way that many of us see it today.
If you bust an actual box of 2013-14 Upper Deck and happen to get a Sidney Crosby you don’t want, it might be worth shipping to COMC and making a couple of bucks on it. However, if you pull it from a 2015-16 box (and I’m not talking ePack…I mean actually opening a box), what can you do with it? You’re not sending it into COMC. You’re going to pay a quarter to list, add in three cents or so shipping…and then IF you can sell it for 48 cents (which seems unlikely based on the quantity available), you’ve gotten back a whopping 20 cents. Awesome.
You’re likely not going to sell it on eBay. Why would someone buy it and pat $3 or more shipping when they can get it for less than 50 cents? Are you going to trade it or maybe sell it on Twitter or in a Fecebook group? Good luck. Most collectors are only interested in autographs, game used, low numbered, etc. If you’re reading this you know what I’m talking about.
Just to show that this isn’t an aberration, I pulled Carey Price as well.
Different star, same result. Well, other than the 2015-16 asking price being lower and more available.
The Shining Stars cards have had little secondary interest over the last few seasons, but I thought I’d take a look at them as well. They weren’t “worth” much before and are worth even less now. These are sorted by the lowest asking price.
Let’s ignore the ridiculous quantities available. On the bottom screenshot there was 18 different 2015-16 cards available for less than the lowest asking price of a 2014-15 card. You could head over to COMC yourself and see how many of the 2015-16 ones you can get for less than 40 cents. You don’t need to. It’s 50.
The thing that upsets me more than any of this is what it’s done to Young Guns. If you collect hockey, I don’t have to tell you that these are some of the most desired rookies, even being unsigned and unnumbered.
As mentioned earlier, if you hit one of the big boys, you’re still doing fine. But if all six of the ones you get in your hobby box are toward the bottom tier, that’s unfortunate for you. I’ve seen collectors move Young Guns of players that will never again see the NHL still move them well at a buck or so. That’s well below “book” value, but at least they were “worth” more than a common.
These are sorted lowest asking price to highest.
There are two ways that I am going with this. Let’s compare that to Young Guns from the year prior. Bear in mind, I couldn’t find out how to sort them by price point (using a “Young Guns” search), so I just pulled them in number order.
There are a couple that are available for below a buck and a couple more that are just over a buck. I get that. However, it’s difficult to look and this and not see the difference.
The second Young Guns comparison is just a comparison to base cards.
The number is 13. That is the number of cards asking less than the lowest asking price on a Young Guns card. That leaves hundreds of base cards “worth” more than a Young Guns card. What kind of backwoods collecting world are we now living in?
Make of all this information what you will. I’m sure I will be told that I’m being negative. I’m simply passing along info that is right out there for anyone with access to the interwebz to see.
If you have any interest in contributing, I’d love to have more content for readers! If you like what we’re doing and want updates when we post new pieces, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Please take the time and also look through some other pieces on the site. I’m still looking for more folks that would like to contribute, so let me know if you are! You can follow me on my other Twitter handles at @kin_kinsley and @DFW_Card_Shows.