About Me

Saturday, June 11, 2011

When Big Deals Go Bad

Now that the big card buy that I did has all but completely fallen apart, I thought I would take you through it so you can see how this sort of thing works or in this case doesn't.

Some time ago I posted on my blog that if you had inserts, game used, or autos and wanted to sell to let me know.  Well someone did. 

First I had commented:
Just lots of inserts with the exception of Topps town, and the Topps home run chase cards like mantle, arod, etc.

I’ve got quite literally thousands of inserts from football & baseball that I’d like to get rid of. I’d gladly take the Topps Town and such out and leave it wil just “real” stuff.
Drop me a line and let me know what you were looking to do price wise

I then sent an email:
Let me know what kind of price you want. I don't so much care what they are with the exceptions that I stated.  How many we talking?  1000 5000? 500?

To which the following exchange occurred:
Him:  This should give you a decent idea of what's all in here. There's stuff from just about every major product. I dont think theres any minor league/sage/press pass in here at all. If there is, it'll be of a big name player. (The pictures he sent are of the cards that I posted on ebay on Thursday night.  Lots of ginter minis, mantle colored refractors.  Essentially the pics were of a decent amount of good cards.)

Me: Thanks man, that is exactly what I am looking for. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, i had to rescue this email from my spam folder for some reason. Why don't you give me an idea of the price range you are thinking. Im not trying to paint you into a corner but you have some good stuff there and I want to make sure you get a fair price.

Him: As far as price, I'd be looking at around $.40/card shipped. That's roughly 10-12% "book value" for the lot, which leaves you plenty of room for profit. Most of this stuff could go right in to a $1 box at a show & sell quickly.......so unloading this stuff for pennies on the dollar now is better than waiting  

Me: Do you have a card count?

Him: Card count is 6500+, pushing 7000. Probably be over by the time I'm done sorting.
Do you have any use for rookies? I've got another few thousand of those as well.

I then told him sure I was interested in the rookies as well based on "Most of this stuff could go right in to a $1 box at a show & sell quickly.......so unloading this stuff for pennies on the dollar now is better than waiting"

Fast forward I then got the cards:

Thursday 6/9/11
Got the first box today. The one you sent USPS. about 1/5 (actually turned out to be 1/4-1/3) of the cards aren't sellable because of condition hopefully the cards that come tommorw will be better. A few base cards but I'm not too worried about that. Additionally there were 487 cards in the first box.

These were the cards that were in the pics that he sent me.  Note the card count.  This was a 660 card box and I asked him many times for a card count.

No response and I get all the cards yesterday:

I'm going to be as nice about this as I can. First, the card count is coming up way way short. The 660 count boxes are coming in at 460-515. The 500 count boxes are coming in at 315-398. I can keep counting to come up with a final card if you like but this is coming in thousands short of the almost 16k that you estimated. Second, condition is an issue. Frankly some of the cards just aren't sellable. Third, dude, filling boxes with bowman base cards? Technically they are prospect/ rookie cards I suppose. Fourth, there are quite a few basecards mixed in. I realize that some are SP's like quite a few of the ginters. Anyway, I'll wait to hear from you before I go any further. I simply can't pay for thousands of cards that aren't there, base cards, cards I specifically excluded (topps town), hundreds if not thousands of bowman base prospect cards are not what I had in mind, and cards that aren't sellable because of condition. I'll have no problem just shipping them back to you if you like.

to which I followed up later:

Ok after counting out a few more boxes. All of those FB boxes where the cards are in sleeves had about 425 ish per box. The ones where it was just all cards and no sleeves about 515-530. So assuming 475 average for the 26 660 count boxes and 333 for the 500 count boxes that is about 13,350 cards. Quite a few less than promised.

So here is what this comes down to.  I got around 13,350 cards.  That isn't a big deal, what I mean by that is that the price can be adjusted based on the number of cards.  Here's the real problem.  I got thousands upon thousands of cards that frankly aren't worth .05  far less than the "Most of this stuff could go right in to a $1 box at a show & sell quickly"

I wish I still had the pictures, but I don't and they weren't great but I knew what I saw.  Also, in many of the boxes it was like someone had opened 5 or so boxes of bowman base and then just took all the rookies/prospects and put them in a box.  One of the boxes had 60 Jamarcus Russell Topps Heritage cards.  Not sure which show those are selling for a $1 at.  There are Turkey red cards out the ying yang. Additionally there were hundreds if not thousands of scrub Donruss fb base rookies and one per pack inserts that I'm not sure if it is actually possible to convince someone to buy them from you at any price. Topps town was present, lots of Topps Gold that sell for .01 each.  So many of these cards are just insert commons. There were quite of Bowman Heritage SP's, minis, foil sp's if I recognize them correctly.  Don't really sell too well.  On the other side there were quite a few name inserts.  Again, those Mantle colored refractors, ginter black minis, snake mini etc were what I was looking for and representative of what I was promised and expecting.

So here is the deal.  The purchase price was $4200 for what I thought was promised 15,500 cards or about $.27 shipped to me.  If you haven't noticed, I listed the cards on ebay for .30-.45 each.  I suspect that many will go for .60-$1+ like the Mantle refractor is at $5 right now.  I was then going to sort the cards in to teams and fill the want list requests.  Essentially I expected to sell those cards to all of you for .25-.50 depending on the card with the better cards being more.  I have no doubt that many of those black ginter minis are show sellers for near $1 but may sell on ebay for less.  Thus I expected many cards to sell for enough to make up for the cards that don't sell for much more than .25.  I didn't expect to make a huge profit but I thought worst case scenario I would break even, but with boxes and boxes of worthless cards....  I would estimate that

Still no response to my emails.  I gave the guy $1500 up front with the resulting $2700 due two weeks from the date I receive the cards.  What say you?



mmmrhubarb said...

send back the bowman base. they aren't what you ordered, you shouldn't have to pay for them.

Play at the Plate said...

I've never done a deal like that from either side, but I agree about sending the Bowman back. Also the Topps Town and lower condition cards. Deduct those cards and your additional shipping charges from what you still owe. That seems fair to me.

stusigpi said...

There are so many cards that I don't think I can actually go through and pull out all the cards that are not as described.

dogfacedgremlin said...

Another problem with buying site unseen. If you ask me, that's a ton of money for even inserts and short prints. I picked up my garage collection of just under half a million cards for less than $2500 from a dealer that went out of business. (that's $.005/card for the mathematically challenged) Sure about half were all commons and complete sets but the other half is jam packed full of stars, rookies, and non-common singles. It sounds to me like this guy was just trying to get as much as he could and then get out of Dodge. Hopefully I'm wrong.

stusigpi said...

That's why I relied so heavily on the pics and the description, paid by paypal with only 1/3 up front. It was supposed to be all sellable cards, not thousands of bowman first cards. Lesson learned. Filed the paypal dispute.

Anyway, the guy said that at .40 a card that was 10-12% of book value. Some of those cards can't book for more than .50. Actually looking up some of the common RC's (which they technically aren't under the MLB rules) in an old SCM I have and they book for .50.

I don't want to tell everyone the reason why the guy said he was selling but I have seen similar situations.

Thorzul said...

Holy shit, $4200?!?!?!

For random lot, I wouldn't pay more than $100. Anyone selling in that quantity, unless specifically catalogued, is just trying to get rid of the stuff. For that price, I'd find a low-grade '52 Mantle.