My big lot has not arrived yet. Tracking says it made it to Illinois so I expect it will show up either today or Monday. Also, the handful of items I bid on yesterday have not ended yet. I noticed that a large number of '54 Bowmans are scheduled to end tomorrow. Might as well place some bids.
I found a Doby, listing states no creases but the corners have heavy wear. It is currently at $1.55 with two bids. Shipping is only $2 and seller offers combined. I think I'll bid $10. I'm high bidder at $1.83.
There is a large seller on eBay with the name Tripleplayvintagestore. I always see their listings but never bid. They only show a scan of the front of the card and they do not give a description. I see that they have a bunch of 1954 Bowmans scheduled to end tomorrow. I just can't bid without a back scan and a description. Anybody ever bid with these guys? If so, have you been pleased with your purchases?
Wow, there are three complete sets up ranging from $600, initial bid, to $1,500. I'm too far along on my set but that one at $600 is tempting.
I found a Mays that looks decent except for some corner wear. The seller's description states the card is clean and advises to look over the scan. Well, you can't see all the flaws of a card in a scan. I hate when sellers don't list a description of the card and just say to look at the scan. The card is at $34. I can't see any creases from the scan. I think I will take a chance and bid $75. Outbid at $76. Without a better description of the card, I am not going to take a chance and bid any higher.
Well, that is it for cards ending tomorrow. I did not have a whole lot of luck today. Most of the cards I saw were creased up. Hopefully, I'll have better luck tomorrow.
April 13, 2020
Well, I didn't work on this project yesterday but I am back at it today. My lot showed up on Saturday. I ended up receiving 195 cards when the headline in the auction stated 170. So, with 25 extra cards, I really can't complain about the purchase. I paid just under $2 a card. The Mathews is creased up. I might replace it. About 10 percent of the cards are creased. I was worried that more like 90 percent of the cards would be creased.
My only complaint is that just about all of the cards have soft corners. I am toying with the idea of trying to find another lot in better shape to replace this one. I would say the majority of the cards grade Good to VG, while the seller stated 85 percent were VG. All in all, I think it is awesome to have the majority of the set already without laying out a ton of money.
With the lower grade cards, I don't feel as much pressure trying to buy high grade stars. I have been working on a high grade 1966 Topps baseball set and finding cards in high grade at a price that won't break the bank, especially high numbers, is extremely difficult. I have been working on that '66 set forever and don't know when I'll finish. I can definitely see the finish line for this '54 Bowman set.
Here are the results of my most recent bids:
I placed $10 on a Doby and lost at $13.50. I put $75 on a Mays and lost at $217. No big whoop, there are plenty more of these cards to bid on. On the plus side, I won a Kiner at $19.99. Let's see what is up for auction today....
I see a Campy that is really far off center at $26 with no bids. I am going to pass, I would like one better centered. I found another Campy that the seller states is VG but a big ole crease is jumping out. As I stated before, a card can't be VG with a crease, in my opinion.
I see a Mathews. Seller says it is in GOOD condition. I see at least one crease. This one does not seem to be an upgrade from the one I have. Pass. Same seller has a Berra. Looks like a light pen or pencil mark across his face. Pass. Same seller has a Ford. The scans are really bad. Too fuzzy. Pass.
The same seller has a Campy. Creased. Pass. He has a Snider as well. His scans are blurry and he doesn't provide a description. Pass again.
There is that damn tripleplayvintage again. I just can't bid with these guys. You gotta put up a back scan. Sheesh!
I see a Kuenn with a big ole stain. Pass. I found another Kuenn which looks pretty nice. Two bids at $1.04. Card ends tomorrow. I am going to bid $12. I'm high bidder at $2.26.
The guy with the blurry scans has a bunch of team lots ending tomorrow. No back scans. He says the cards are overall GOOD, which means probably creased. I am thinking about the Dodgers 12 card lot which is at opening bid of $30 and $4.25 shipping. There are a few cards in there I could use like the Erskine and Roe. I need to upgrade my Billy Cox, not sure if this one would be an upgrade. There is a Hodges with a pin hole. A nice looking Reese, which I already have. Man, for 30 bucks, I can't pass this one up. I'm high bidder at $30.
Same seller has a Braves lot. I don't need any of the cards but I have a tough time passing up Braves at a decent price. I'm high bidder at $25. Maybe there will be some upgrades in there.
Damn Tripleplayvintage… they have a nice looking Snider but without a back scan, I just can't pull the trigger. Plus, they have a bunch of negative feedback. Ugh! These guys have a Mantle with a back scan! Front looks good. Back shows a crease on the bottom edge. Card is at $277. Pass.
Well, that's all for today. Seems like most of the cards posted are creased. I don't want creased cards! Oh well, tomorrow is another day.
April 14, 2020
My Junior Gilliam arrived and it is officially the nicest card in my set. One soft corner, really no other flaws. None of the cards from yesterday have ended yet. I'm still high bidder on the Kuenn, Dodgers and Braves lots.
Let's see what eBay has to offer today.... I see a stellar looking Campanella at 50 bucks for an opening bid. I think I'm going to go for it. I'm high bidder. Card ends tomorrow. Well, that's about it today. I already have all the cards posted that are scheduled to end in the next day. I still need 18 cards. Maybe I will find some tomorrow!
April 15, 2020
The eight cards I won from that set break last week arrived. Three cards were creased even though the listing claimed they were in EX+ condition. I am glad I stuck to my guns and did not bid on more cards from this seller. Now I won't bid on cards from this seller again. If a card is creased, a seller must state so in their description, in my opinion. A statement advising to just check the scan... does not cut it. You can't see all the creases in a scan. Also, a card listed as EX+ should not contain a crease or in this case multiple creases. Sending me a card with multiple creases that was listed as EX+ is totally dishonest.
I have not spent this much time on eBay in years and now I feel justified for avoiding eBay. I have found that the vast majority of vintage card sellers are either dishonest, lazy or just plain ignorant because they put up fuzzy scans, don't scan the back, and don't honestly describe their cards.
This little exercise clearly shows that card shows are superior to eBay. At a card show you get to meet the dealer in person. You get to inspect your card in person. You don't pay any shipping cost. You don't pay sales tax. You get to go home with your card as soon as you pay. It has only been about six weeks since I was last at a card show and, man, am I missing card shows.
The only drawback to card shows is you do not have the same number of cards available as you do on eBay. I doubt there are more than 500 to 1,000 of 1954 Bowmans at any of the shows I regularly attend while eBay consistently as 23K to 25K. I do have to say that my show inventory is pretty strong right now. I had just reloaded my binder before I started this set project. The reload was the impetus for my desire to build the set. So any show that I am set up at as a dealer will have a nice selection of 1954 Bowmans.
Getting back to my set build. I finally took the time to take stock of my recent purchases and realize my want list was off by one card. I need a Don Larsen, card 101. As far as my bids from yesterday, someone beat me out on that Dodgers lot while I won the Braves lot for $25 and a Kuenn for $2.76. The Campy has not ended yet. I need 18 more cards. Let's see what there is today....
I found a seller that is having a partial set break. He claims the cards have been sitting in a closet for 30-plus years. Yeah right! No description. He advises to check the scans. First card I see is an Erskine. Looks nice from the scan. Opening bid is $14.95. Add in the $3.95 shipping plus a buck or so sales tax, the final price will be overbook, a la, overpriced!
I see a nice Nellie Fox with one bid at $10. It would be a nice upgrade to the one I have. I'll throw down $15. I'm high bidder at $10.50 with a day to go.
Wow, a seller has a lot with 42 cards, six bids, currently at $17.50, and 12 watchers with a day to go. I probably don't need any of the cards but at that price, I can't resist throwing down $25. I'm immediately out bid at $26.
The guy with the team lots has a bunch more up. I can't resist the White Sox lot and bid $25. I'm high bidder at $25.
I found a Berra that looks perfect but this is another seller that fails to offer a description and has the lame statement "see the scan." The seller grades it VG so there must be some flaws I cannot see from the scan. It is at $45. If the seller would have stated "No creases," I'd be a player. But the facts that there is no statement regarding creasing coupled with the seller's grade of VG, I think there has to be some hidden flaws in this card. Pass.
I found a nice looking Matt Batts, card 183. Seller states "no creases." Card has one bid at $2.99. Shipping is $3.25. Seems kind of high for a common but I just haven't seen any other Matt Batts' cards. I'll throw down $5. I'm high bidder at $3.25 with a day to go.
Okay, I found an unusual listing for an Allie Reynolds, card 113. Scans look good. No bids. Opening bid is $8.99. So far, I'm ready to bid. Then I read the description which states condition is "EXMT++." However, I can clearly see corner and edge wear. This card is EXMT++ only to a blind man. But here is the kicker -- shipping is 99 cents unless you want a bubble envelope, in that case shipping is $4.49. I gather that the seller will ship it in a regular envelope with no protection for 99 cents or in a bubble envelope without any further protection, like a piece of cardboard, for $4.49. Pass!
Well, I'm done for today and further disillusioned with eBay. Man, these sellers are lame! eBay is Scam-O-Rama! I really think eBay needs to tighten the rules for selling cards. How about requiring sellers to state whether a card is creased or not? Man, building a set during a pandemic is exhausting! Good thing these pandemics seem to only occur once every 100 years.
Thankfully, tomorrow is another day. Maybe I'll have better luck. I am starting to wonder whether I should check the BINs (Buy It Nows). Maybe all the honest sellers are posting their cards as BINS. Seems like the bulk of the raw card auctions are shady.
April 16, 2020
Well, I won that Campy. It looks like a beaut. Hope it comes that way. I had to pay $3.37 in sales tax along with $3.99 in shipping, which I did not like. There are still several auctions up and I am currently winning. Let's see what else is out there today...
Okay, I see a Slaughter. Once again, an odd description. It states EX-MT in one sentence then Very Good in the next sentence. Well, what is it. Is the card EX-MT or VG? I see a faint line in the middle of the card which may be a crease but I do not know for certain and the seller is silent as to creasing. I think I will pass. Wow, this is a frustrating process!
Same seller has a Feller. Same deal with the description. Pass. I'm seeing a lot of cards I need but they are all creased up. Disappointing selection today. Okay, I am giving up on trying to build this set exclusively through auctions. I am going to check out the BINs.
Hello! The BINS provide infinitely more cards at much high prices, as I expected. I found a Ford that looks pretty good from the scans except for a weird speck on the back. Seller says card is VG-EX but is silent on creases. The card is for sale at $45 but the seller has a best offer option, so I will offer $35 and see what happens. I also asked if the card had any creases and for an explanation of the speck on the back. It sort of looks like paper loss.
Okay, some of these prices are absolutely ridiculous. A Feller BVG 8.5 for $3,750? Really? First off, Beckett graded cards have little to no value to me. It is well documented that Beckett routinely overgrades. I only buy cards in a Beckett slab if they are ridiculously cheap. I checked SMR for an 8.5 and it states only $400. Where does this seller come off?
I see a Pesky, a little high at $8.25. Seller claims it is VG-EX and also includes a little chart explaining his grades. He says VG-EX may include light crease. They don't say whether this particular card has a light crease. Pass.
Okay, that is enough for today. This is much more difficult than I anticipated. So do you guys regularly shop on eBay? Man, I just really don't like it. This is like pulling teeth. It is awfully painful.
Stay tuned for Part Three.