Wednesday, December 17, 2014
My T206 Gifts to Myself
Photos: Jimmy Williams and Charlie Rhodes T206s. These are not the exact same two cards mentioned in the story below. The two pictured here are in Near Mint condition and worth about $550 each. And I ain't payin' that. These pics are from a great T206 card site, PSAcard.com.
So, if you've read the last few entries, you may be wondering: "Did he get any T206s for himself?"
Well, I did, and I'm ecstatic about them. I got two, and both for the price of what the Grimes or Stark would've cost.
First, I got a Jimmy Williams SGC 3/40 VG T206 card. This means that SGC, a top-notch card grading company (I only buy graded cards now, which is necessary but sort of sad. That's another entry for another day.), graded the card at the third-lowest level, which is Very Good. That's an actual grade, and not just someone at the company saying, "Wow, that's in very good condition."
Anyway, as I explained before, Very Good condition is more than good enough for me, as anything higher than that can get silly expensive. Very Good cards will look great, and are far better than Poor, Poor/Fair, Fair and Good condition cards. I'm actually happy with cards in Good condition, though that's the lowest condition I'll buy in, unless we're talking HOF T206 ballplayers. Those guys are often expensive even in Poor condition, because they're HOFers and everyone wants them, so they're at a premium, even in bad condition. I have T206s of about 7 HOFers, and they're in either Poor, Fair or Good condition. Anything higher than that will be over $100 apiece, minimum. Often, they'd be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
So, the book value--I use Beckett's Graded Card Price Guide--of this exact Jimmy Williams card, in this exact condition, was $60. That's a little high for me at Christmastime (and during most other times), but I figured I'd watch the bidding and give it a shot. I've made a few extra bucks recently--not much, but enough to buy myself one or two affordable (ie--inexpensive) cards for Christmas and New Year's. Or Thanksgiving and Christmas, if I want to be naughty and get myself another one for New Year's, which I probably will. And then another a month later for my birthday...
But I digress. So the shipping for this card was $3.50, and the BV was $60, as I mentioned. I'd watched the Babe Ruths and Ty Cobbs and the Magie error card and the Grimes card and the Dolly Stark card come and go by now, and I wanted something, so I tried for this one. (Jimmy Williams was a nobody player--a common card, in the hobby--and by far the least valuable of all the names I just mentioned.) The highest visible bid was up to just $22 or so. (If you've bid on Ebay before, you know the highest visible bid is often far below the actual highest bid.)
I'm old hat at this kind of thing, so I knew that a common T206 in Very Good condition will often hit the $40 or $50 mark. If it did, I wouldn't bid. The BV was $60, and the shipping was $3.50, but you don't want to spend the book value price, and you certainly don't want to spend over the BV price. (If you read the previous two entries, you know what I mean.) Like the Dolly Stark card, which was more valuable, I didn't want to spend over $45 total. I mean, I've bought HOF T206s in Poor or Good condition in the $40s and $50s, so I wasn't going to do that for a common card, even in VG condition.
As I've mentioned, you have to have a set dollar figure in mind--including shipping, which is not part of the card's value but yet is still money you have to pay--and never exceed that. Otherwise, this Ebay thing can get out of hand in a hurry and suddenly you're in debt.
So I put in my max dollar amount, and I wait until the proper number of seconds remain before I post my bid. (I ain't tellin' you my bid or the number of seconds I wait for. Cuz I'm silly and unrealistic like that.) And in the last ten seconds, the bids go from $22 to $23, $24, $24.55 and to $30 before my bid wins.
I've just watched the Dolly Stark sell for $63--admittedly, a fair price, since the BV was $80, but it was still more than I wanted to spend. Another card, Josh Devore, had sold for $82, and the BV was $150, but still the $82 was more than I wanted to spend, though that one stung a little when it got that high. (It had been in the $30s for awhile and I was hoping.) The Magie error card went for over fourteen grand, and I saw Cobbs and Ruths sell for thousands, and I'm still waiting. (This all took about half an hour, by the way, in case you thought I'd wasted my night doing this.)
I didn't spend the $63 or the $82 because I was able to get a T206 in Very Good condition (same condition as the other two) for just $31, plus $3.50 shipping. And then, just a few minutes later, I was fortunate enough to get a Charlie Rhodes T206, also in Very Good condition, for just $28, plus $3.50.
Unfortunately, these two cards weren't from the same place, so I couldn't save on shipping, which I always try and do. But, anyway, the bottom line is that I was able to get two VG condition T206s for a total of $66, including shipping. Which is why I didn't spend $66.50--including shipping--for the one Dolly Stark card (though that would've been nice, and remains a personal thing with me), or the $85.50 for the one Josh Devore card--both in the same condition as the two I did get. I'd rather spend $66 total for two VG T206s than over $20 more than that for one VG T206.
That's my Christmas present to myself. I'm going to pay for those right now and log off from Ebay and not log back in for at least another month. That's what I do--jump in, buy one or two, and then shut it down for at least a couple of months. So as not to go crazy and in debt. I can see why people would get addicted to this and drive themselves bankrupt.
And so that's it. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to my readers. Be good to yourself this holiday season and this New Year's. Get something inexpensive for yourself, too. You deserve it!