Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blog Bat-Around #4

This is the 4th one of these, yet the first one I have participated in.  I'd like to thank Dinged Corners for hosting this one.  The topic is about the value of cards and what we should buy and hold for the future.  First, if you're in the hobby strictly for profit, get out.  I understand if you make a living that way owning a physical card shop or an e-bay store or something of that nature and your derive most of your income from cards.  However, if you are just in it purely for investment and the return you hope you'll get, it's not worth it.  Your ROI (return on investment) is much greater elsewhere.   Secondly, there are the obvious choices: Vintage (1984 or before) cards of already established stars, autographed cards, cut signature cards, some game-used cards, prospects that pan out, etc.  Here's the problem I see with these cards.  Everyone will be or already is collecting them.  If you look on YouTube, as painful as it might be to watch some of the box breaks, most everyone just goes after the hits and chunks the base cards to the side.  While a decent amount of bloggers are set collectors, they (we) represent a small fraction of the whole of the collecting community most of which is made up of people going after the hits.  You've got to figure out what people aren't collecting right now to determine what will be more valuable in the future.  That's why I think the things to go after are complete sets of base cards that come from products that are driven by hits.  In baseball, it'd be Sweet Spot, Prime Cuts, Topps Finest, Bowman Sterling, UD Ultimate, UD Premiere and other sets along that line.  

I know that many of the high end to mid range sets often are all serial numbered or have tons of short prints.  I think that's another reason why these sets are going to be worth having.  They're in limited quantity and they're hard to put together.  They're not like Heritage or Allen and Ginter which are set collector favorites.  The price point as well as the difficulty of set completion drives set builders away from these products.  Not to mention that these products are not focused at set builder as I previously stated.  They are focused on the collectors looking for the hits.  Imagine if you could get an entire base set of Topps Sterling.  Or National Treasures football.  Even something like 2007 Sweet Spot Classic.  All are limited in their production and would be hard to complete, but having a full set of those cards would be very rare.  And worth holding on to.  It might be worthwhile to become a set builder for the future even if you're looking for the hits right now.

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