Just about every rookie card of a prominent basketball player—past or present—has seen a spike in value over the last couple of years. That includes the 2003-04 eTopps LeBron James. The now defunct eTopps brand was still part of the Topps stable during his rookie season and the company produced 10,000 of the online exclusive cards. At least at this point, only one of them appears to be an error card.
The card with serial number 0199907 is identical to the other known copies that have entered the marketplace except for the eTopps logo, which is upside down.
The card is owned by two collectors who told us it was discovered on eBay back in August of 2010. After they didn’t see any others pop up in the market, they eventually sent to Beckett for grading and authentication and the company certified it as a 9.5 “upside down” error. The owners currently have it listed for sale with a price tag of $1.75 million.
Early editions of eTopps including the 2003-04 basketball issues, were printed with a raised metal logo. Somehow during the production process, the logo was apparently flipped. To date, no others have been found with the same error but the card’s owners say they’re trying to locate the cards bearing the two serial numbers on either side of their card in an effort to determine if it’s the lone example.
Ordinary LeBron eTopps rookie cards graded BGS 9.5 have generally been selling in the $2,500-$3,500 range.
Collectors who purchased eTopps cards during the brand’s run in the first decade of this century had the option of leaving them in their portfolio but once the program ended ten years ago, increased shipping costs made it cost prohibitive for collectors to request delivery of many of the less valuable cards.