Monday, April 16, 2018

Trying to stay positive

I don't really know how to start this one, so I'll just come right out and say that the oncoming depression that I've felt lurking in the shadows for the last couple of months -- which I had been doing a pretty good job of keeping at bay -- has finally caught up to me... hence the no new blog posts for over a week now.

I might've been able to hold it off for a little longer, but a few recent events have lowered my defenses, enabling the depression to set in.

Without going into any details, two weeks ago I got some bad news in regards to my finances, which will directly affect my monthly budget that I have for spending on hobby related things, namely collecting. While the prospect of now having about 50% less per month to spend on my hobbies was initially hard to take in, I did accept it within a couple of days, and was starting to come up with ways to get around these new limitations... but then last week I got another kick to the groin, when I found that this matter was going to be worse than I initially thought.

So now I'm looking at having less than 50% of what I normally have to spend each month on hobby related items, it will now likely be around 35% of what it has been for the last couple of years... and that's a pretty big decrease.

I hate to bemoan about this too much, as I know that other people, for one reason or another, have to reduce their monthly spending all the time... but for me it's going to be a very difficult adjustment, as collecting is really all that I have, I mean really, it's all that I am.

Since this problem will not be getting better anytime soon, I've already started looking for, and found, a number of things to sell in order to give me some extra spending money, which will help during these first few months, but after that, well... I guess I'll have to wait and see.

And if that wasn't bad enough, I got some more bad news yesterday. It's unrelated to the money issue, and it's suckiness shouldn't extend past this week, but it will make this entire week feel like it's going to take a month to get through. And I'm being especially vague about this thing, because it's something that I'm really not comfortable discussing here on the blog.

Oh, and apparently I'm in need of two root canals. I suspected that I might be in need of one, but not two! I do have dental insurance, so that will help with the financial part, but insurance is going to help alleviate the stress and anxiety that will be brought on from my fear of blood, pain, and dentists!

Because of this funk that I've been in, I also forgot all about a comic book show in Bowling Green that I had been looking forward to for the last couple of months, well technically I did remember it yesterday, which conveniently was... one day after the show was held. I really wanted to go to thin one too, as it's been the only one that I've found within a couple of hours drive of me, that had free admission, all the other one's that I have found cost $10-$20 to get in -- even if I wasn't in the midst of money woes -- I wouldn't pay that kind of sum just to get through the entrance. And of course one could say that there's always next year, but next year is an awfully long ways away.

So all in all, things have not been going well. I don't think I've done anything bad to anyone lately, so this must be some wicked old karma finally catching up to me.

I know that people don't necessarily like to read these kinds of posts, and I certainly don't like to write them, but I do feel slightly better having done so, if only because it at least lets everyone know why my blog posts have been, and might continue to be, somewhat sporadic.

On an unrelated note too, I just wanted to say that I was saddened to hear of Art Bell's passing the other day. I fell asleep to the sound of his voice for so many years, and I mean that as an absolute compliment. He truly was a pioneer, and I think that it's safe to say that they're won't ever be another one like him. I am very grateful to him for the many years of entertainment that provided, and I wish him all best on the rest of his journey.

Thanks for taking moment to look at my page.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Would you take the chance?

As I was putting the finishing touches on my previous post, I took a quick side trip to eBay in order to double check something, while there, I of course had to get distracted and start searching for things that had nothing to do with the nearly finished post.

While searching through the recently sold items, I came across some stuff from a seller, pre1971cards, that ended up piquing my interest (and not necessarily in a good way), enough so in fact, that I decided to write a post all about this one particular seller... and his listings:

A sold listing for this reproduction 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout rookie is what initially caught my eye. Oh, and as a quick aside before I get too far along here, I should probably mention that isn't going to be another post in which I go after someone for selling counterfeits (well, I guess it sort of is, but in a more light-hearted way), nor will it be an expose about fakes on eBay, as that would kind of be like writing an in-depth piece on water being wet. No, instead this is more of a "why would you risk it?" sort of post.

Anyway, back to the Trout rookie for a moment. I had no idea that such modern cards were already being counterfeited reproduced, but apparently they are. This card is being sold as a reproduction, and the seller does mention that it doesn't have it's foil on the front (the silver you see is from a printer), but of course the card itself doesn't say that it's a fake anywhere on it... which means that someone could, and probably has, been fooled by one of these at some point (likely at some dimly lit card show).

We all know that eBay doesn't care about these, and I know Topps doesn't care about all the vintage counterfeit stuff, but I am a bit surprised that they wouldn't care about something so modern being reproduced, especially something that is depicting one of their meal tickets. Plus, if I remember correctly, Gavin drew the ire of Topps for doing something far less egregious than this, customs with a Topps logo aren't even in the same league as straight up counterfeits with a Topps logo, so what's up Topps?

As is often the case, I'm getting a bit side tracked, but before I get back on the path, let's take a quick look at a few more of this seller's offerings (trust me, it's relevant to the supposed point of the post):

2012 Topps #661 Bryce Harper Rookie Autograph (reproduction)

2000 Bowman Tom Brady RC (reproduction)

1986-87 Fleer Stickers Michael Jordan (reproduction)

2000 Fleer Tradition Autographics Tom Brady (reproduction)

And of course, what self-respecting counterfeiter reproducer doesn't have a '52 Mantle amongst their offerings? This one even comes in a screw-down case! I also like that it's described as "has that aged look", that's good , because I don't like my fake Mantle's to have that "fresh off the printer look"!

Okay, so now that you've gotten a taste of this seller's bread and butter, let's take a look at their caviar and lobster:

All the other cards that you've seen are listed as reproductions, but this 1952 Topps Willie Mays RC is genuine... at least according to the seller it is. I honestly don't whether it's real or not, but I don't think I'd chance it from someone with someone who has so many other fakes for sale, including another card from this same set. I also like that he's (I'm assuming it's a "he") selling this card for $499, but couldn't be bothered to take literally one second to straighten the scan.

If $499 is a bit out of your price range...

 ... then how about a 1929-30 Rogers Peet Ty Cobb for $350? I'll be honest here, I am not familiar with this set in the least. According to the JSA website, it was a promotional issue, which also happens to be one of the "one of the scarcest of all 1930’s baseball issues", and this person just so happens to have what is probably the second most desirable card in the set (I guess having a Babe Ruth for sale might be a little too suspicious). Again, I'm not able to say whether this card is genuine or not, but everything about it screams fake to me.

I'm guessing that most people reading this wouldn't take a chance on either of the above two cards, but looking through the seller's sold listings, I did find at least one person willing to bite on one of his "genuine" cards...

... and it just so happens to be one of the most counterfeited Topps cards of all time! That's right, somebody bought a 1963 Topps Pete Rose rookie from a seller -- who's inventory consists primarily of fakes -- for $275.

Just in case I'm wrong, I won't come right out and say that this one wasn't legit, but anybody who's even the slightest bit familiar with the history of this card knows that it would be suspect from any seller, let alone this one. I know that if I ever have the money for a Pete Rose RC, I would only buy one that has been authenticated, and even then part of me would still always wonder if it truly was real. Obviously someone either had too much money for their own good, or they just didn't have any doubts as to it's authenticity. Me? I wouldn't have touched it with the proverbial ten-foot pole... how about you?

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, April 6, 2018

A king without a name

After re-finding my 2013 Topps Mark Trumbo no-name error in a box a couple of weeks ago, and subsequently remembering that those no-name errors were even a thing, I decided to check out eBay in the hopes of finding more.

There are quite few no-name base cards sitting in stores, but I was really only interested in trying to find some parallels, as I'm going on the assumption that those are harder to come by, i.e. more interesting to me.

I only found one no-name parallel during that initial search, a Felix Hernandez Emerald Foil, that was listed for $9.99 + $3.99 for shipping. And while I thought the card was really neat, I wasn't willing to pay that much for it, so I moved on and basically forgot about it.

A few days later though, I got one of those "an item that you've looked at has gone down in price" emails from eBay, said item ended up being the Emerald Felix, which was now up for auction with a .99 cent start price... now that's a price I was willing to buy it for!

After six days, and no other bids, the king became mine:

Damn, I love this card! I wasn't too crazy about the $3.99 shipping, but for a card that I think must be fairly rare, $4.98 didn't seem like too bad of an overall price to pay.

I'm probably about five years too late to be seeking these out, but I think I will start trying to collect the 2013 no-name error parallels. They don't seem to be too prevalent, so I probably won't be able to amass too many of them, but it'll be pretty fun to try anyway.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Discounted Crystals

Like many of you, I took advantage of eBay's 20% off coupon a couple of weeks back, which netted me a fairly big lot of 2012 Panini Cooperstown Crystal Collection.

Normally I don't partake in the one-day only coupons, but for whatever reason, I decided to give it a try this time. I probably should have tried a little harder though to find something more interesting, but not having anything in particular in mind, I just went with this lot that I had been watching for about a month.

I don't really have too much to say about these, so I'll just let the scans do the talking:

This lot of 61 cards was listed for $40 OBO, and I of course went the OBO route. My offer of $30 was accepted almost immediately, and with the coupon, the final price for the lot ended up being $24, which broken down, was 39 cents a card. I was pretty content with the overall price, especially since I never find any of them at shows, and they certainly couldn't be had on COMC for 39 cents apiece.

The only negative thing about this purchase, was that I already had seven or eight of them, but I'm sure it won't be too hard to find some folks to take those off my hands :)

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter!

                                               May your basket, and belly, be full!