March 11, 2010

Good old eBay

Sometimes eBay is the root of all evil, and then there are times like today where you thank God for crazy people. Remember last week when Sooz posted about a Cliff Lee card with an error? Well... everyone was talking about this card this morning, apparently it was selling for around $50 on eBay.

I bought a couple of packs a week or so ago, put them in a pile and hadn't gone through them again... until this morning. I figured for around $50 I can take 5 minutes to check my stack of Opening Day. Lucky for me, I had one of the cards. I scanned it, wrote a small description, and put it on eBay. After listing it, I went to buy some lunch, ate and sat around reading the paper for a bit. When I went back to my computer before leaving for class the card sold and was paid for. Not bad for a card that came out of a dollar pack.

I figured I would share the fortune, and tell you guys to check your Opening Day cards and see if you can flip this "error" card into a hobby box of something or a bunch of singles.


  1. That is sheer insanity - there are lots of them out there that sold for $50.

    Whats a box of those go for $29 - and your probably guaranteed to pull the Lee card in a box.

    Congrats on the sale - get yerself a nice Pujols card with the $$$

  2. Does the Opening Day version have a corrected version? Without the HK, that is? If not, there is no big deal to this card. It was another poor photoshopping by Topps.

    Congrats on finding a sucker, er, buyer.

  3. This is a real case of a sheeple bandwagon. They may have been casual collectors at some point in the past. Maybe they heard about the '06 Alex Gordon or the '07 Jeter/Bush/Mantle, but then failed to pay attention to the outcome for those cards as time passed.

    I believe that this error is at least a genuine one. I'm guessing that an artist was up against a deadline on a low-end product, hit the paint bucket in Photoshop for "Mariners jersey blue", and missed what is essentially a continuity detail.

    The golden age for errors was in the early 80s, and it had a small renaissance around 1989-1990 with the Dale Murphy reverse negative, Billy Ripken's dirty knob, and the Frank Thomas no-name.

    In the last decade though, the half-life of an error (genuine or contrived) is about 45 days. Unless the Lee gets a correction, there is no lasting premium for the base card. Even if corrected, the hobby still would need time to sort out which one is scarcer. It would have to be a population separation percentage on the order of 90/10 (or wider) to confer some kind of "wow" factor to give it any staying power.

    If it remains uncorrected, the hobby notoriety may be enough to extend the life of the correspondingly more scarce parallel varieties. The '07 Jeter parallels (red back, gold, copper, platinum 1/1) still command a premium, but then again, that is Jeter and not the assuredly less super-collected Cliff Lee.

    This hobby has enough predatory and exploitative activity enough without the dope-e-tariat crawling out with dollars in hand, actively provoking those tendencies.

    However, they validate the cliché about a fool and their money, and are indeed, just asking for it.

  4. The threads on the ball are blue too.