Saturday, March 5, 2016

Buybacks. Yes please, but only if they're cheap!

Before I get to the topic at hand I wanted to mention that a couple of days ago I realized that has now been a little over a year since I moved to Tennessee. With all the "excitement" that comes with living here I completely missed my one year anniversary, or as the cool kids would say, "my Tenniversary"  (I don't know if the kids say that or not, but it is kind of catchy). This was also around the time that I first discovered that there were blogs dedicated solely to cards, thanks to a google search that ended up taking me to a blog run by a fellow by the name of Fuji. From then on I was an avid reader of a lot of your (I'm assuming most people reading this are bloggers) blogs, and after about six months I finally got up enough courage to start one of my own. I am now coming up on my six month blogiversary, which probably doesn't sound like a big deal to most of you, but it is to me since I really didn't think I would make it more than a month. So, yay me!

Okay on to buybacks. Which like a lot of things, are relatively new to me. When I started collecting sports cards again around 2010, I didn't have much interest in what was new at the time and I still don't for the most part. There have been a few exceptions of course, but for the most part I'm content just reading about the newer stuff on everyone else's blog posts. So I hadn't even heard of buybacks until about a year ago, and at the time I didn't think much of them. I just remember reading about how much everyone disliked them, one could even say hated them. I never came across any back home at the cards shows in Portland and I hadn't seen any here, until just a couple of months ago.

I finally encountered some in the wild at the end of January show and was almost immediately smitten with them. Now I know that as primarily a collector of vintage cards I should loathe these defaced cards, but I don't. I have no idea why I like them so, maybe it's just because the whole concept seems to be on the silly side. There seems to be a lot of arguments for and against them, that I won't get into here since they have been covered ad nauseam elsewhere. I will say that obviously I would rather Topps have just started inserting unstamped vintage cards in packs, but I still prefer stamped vintage cards to more reprints. So now that I have seen and bought a few, the question became what to do with them? After a couple of weeks I had what I thought was an original idea, which is to start a buybacks frankenset (thanks to Nick, I know what that is). The thought of doing a frankenset had never really appealed to me before, but these seem like say were made for it. Anyways as I said, I thought it was an original idea. That is until I saw Jeff of 2x3 Heroes fame was already doing the same thing, NUTS! Even though I'm slightly dismayed that I didn't think of it first (although I'm not that surprised), I'm still kind of excited to be doing something that is very out of the ordinary for me.

Ok, after that crazy long opening. Here is what I have so far, for my burgeoning set:
Topps must not be to fond of Jim Fregosi, judging by the placement of the stamp.

13 of the 15 cards shown above came from the same seller and were 25 cents each, which is about my preferred price to pay for them. The two Steve Stone cards were the exception at 10 cents apiece.

I have been surprised to see how much buybacks have been selling for, especially on eBay. I thought I might be able to get some cheap lots, but that hasn't worked out very well so far. Once you breakdown the per card price of the sold lots it usually comes out to multiple times higher than the original non stamped versions sell for. And I'm just not willing to pay that much for these, no matter how much I'm interested in them. So even if it seems like the majority of people on blogs and on message boards are anti buybacks, there is obviously a large contingent out there in favor of them. I have also been surprised to see how much they are listed for on sites like COMC and Sportlots, although I would hope even the people who really like these aren't paying anywhere from $5-20 for a stamped common from the '59 Topps set.

And here are my most recent acquisitions courtesy of Robert from the budget conscious $30 A Week Habit:
Robert was kind enough to send these two from his box of 2016 Topps, that he made available to anyone who wanted them. Which of course, I did. Thank you again, Robert! These two are very welcome additions, especially the '74 Boots Day.

They seem to be upping the silliness factor with buybacks of cards from the 90's and some kind of color coded system for the stamps to denote rarity. I think I will be trying to stick to the pre 90's stamped cards (pre 1975 will be my main focus), and I really don't think I'm going to be paying any attention to the stamp color.

I thought for sure I would find some more at this past weekend's show, but if there were any to be had I didn't see them. The good thing though, is there's always next time.

Before I wrap up this post I wanted to mention that if anyone reading this has or gets any unwanted buybacks (the older the better), I would be most interested in trading for them.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. I like buybacks in moderation; however, like many a concept, Topps seems to be intent on bleeding this idea dry. Still, the concept of building a Frankenset out of these cards seems like a pretty nifty idea!

    1. I have read a lot of comments/posts about Topps running things into the ground. But since I'm not really up to date on a lot of things I haven't really seen any examples of it. Which is probably a good thing!

  2. so, i've got buybacks. i've bought a few lots for specific cards within them, and have been selling and trading off the others. let me know if you are interested in working out a trade. gcrlATcomcastDOTnet

  3. If they're cheap enough, I'll pick up buybacks here and there, but I'll never understand why people feel compelled to drop big money on them (as many are certainly doing on Ebay right now).

    It's not much, but I have a '78 Topps Larry Parrish buyback (from 2015 Topps Update) that I could send your way. I'll see if I can hit a few other things for your collection as well, email me at nickpecucci AT sbcglobal DOT net. Thanks!

  4. Yes, some of the prices that they're selling for on eBay are somewhat mind boggling. Especially in the case of some of the 2016 1/1 buybacks. And I will send you an email a little later today.

  5. Buybacks are cool... but I'm like you. I'll pick them up if the price is right... but that isn't very often. Good luck with your project. Sounds very interesting... and challenging.

    1. I think the most challenging part will be in trying to find them cheap. Trading for them will probably be the easier way to build a set.

  6. I've got 3 or 4 buybacks, including a Reggie Jackson, that I got from a group break recently. Since I don't collect them, toss me an email and we'll figure out how to get them into your hands!
    - Josh
    (joshsbob //at// g-m-.a.i-=l)

  7. SWEET!!!! You and I can swap out any dupe numbers. I have been looking at lots, so as I pick some up I'll drop duplicate numbers your way.

    And yes - with Topps 2016 idea, finding them on the cheap is tough. But I think lots are going to be the way to go for starters. We'll both build cool sets. It'll be interesting finding which cards we match.

    1. I would love to trade any doubles I get. It actually makes me want to get some duplicates, knowing that they will be helping in someone else's attempt to build this kind of set. I also really like the thought, that right now I/we have no idea what the last number in the set will be.

      I too would be very interested to see if we get any matching cards. Since I'm still very new to these, I don't think I have seen more than one of the same buyback.