We received quite a few responses to last week’s column about the man with a massive supply of monster boxes full of cards, sorted by player. He was looking for the best way to unload them. Most were along the same lines: eBay is probably best if you want to move a lot of cards quickly…but take what you can get.
I sent some of the replies to him and here was his reply:
So, for example, if I have 500 assorted Kirby Puckett cards, with 250 different, and approximate total book value of $500, is there no hope to get/net $100 (20%), $75 (15%), or even $50 (10%)?
My personal belief is that if you’ve got a nice mix of cards of a popular player and they aren’t all from the “overproduction era”, you should be able to get $50 or 10 percent of book for those 500 cards. You may be able to get up to about 15 percent if if you provide good photos and plenty of details but don’t go in with any real expectations.
You’d do better in the long haul going to shows and putting those cards in dime, quarter and dollar boxes but obviously it’s time consuming to do that. People do love to thumb through those boxes looking for bargains. If you enjoy shows and can spare the time and expense, go for it but the amount of space needed to have these broken down by player may not be a good risk/reward as it comes to selling space.
I hope he is able to get 15-20 percent selling in bulk but the odds are against getting 20 percent for a lot with that many cards and little in the more popular aspects of serial #’d, autograph, relic or even commons from better products. Older isn’t always better.
Almost immediately after viewing this accumulation, I came across a nice man who is trying to dispose of what just might be the largest Astros collection out there. He owns both vintage and modern era cards and it’s a fairly complete representation with a book value approaching $80,000.
His issue is in one way fairly similar in he has so many cards that to sell them all in one swoop requires money only larger dealers might have.
There are a few positives to this collection and a few negatives: The plusses include: More than 1,000 jersey or bat cards and slightly over 700 certified autograph cards. There are also 100 cards serial numbered to 5 or less and countless other serial numbered cards. Almost all of those cards mentioned and a few other older cards are immediately desirable but what do you do with the rest?
Last year when both Jose Altuve and Hunter Pence were on the upswing he sold all of his cards of these players. And while that does take away a little from the collection, the concept of selling anything at the top of a perceived market is what sellers should do.
Also missing are some multi player 1960’s cards with Houston players, like the 1962 High Number Rookie Parade cards and the 1963 multi player RCs which include Rusty Staub and Willie Stargell (Brock Davis is on that card).
He would love to use eBay but with the price he has in mind, he’d need to either set a reserve or start the auction at a price that might not be conducive to attracting bidders. He did contact one of the two leading eBay consignment houses but they were only interested in some of the high dollar cards.
Possibly the other way to sell them via eBay is to make up player specific lots with guys like Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and even Cesar Cedeno. Once those are sold, the next step is to sell lots of specific years (team sets?) or brands clumped together. I think he might have a fighting chance that way but in my opinion, the all or nothing deal with end up being nothing at this time. He is also aware of options such as Beckett Organize, Sportlots or COMC.
But if you had a collection like this, what would you expect and how would you attempt to move them? We’ve discussed the options earlier so real need to rehash but it proves there’s a dilemma in selling even a large collection with a high “book value”.