Topps’ 2007 Derek Jeter/Mickey Mantle/George Bush card made every newspaper from Key West to Kauai on Tuesday. It generated a frenzy that outdid even Alex Gordon. It also made some very fortunate eBay sellers a LOT of money. Behold the power of the media.
And now….a Wall Street analyst lists Topps’ stock as a "buy", saying the company raised its brand awareness without much effort.
Analyst Jeffrey Blaeser of Morgan Joseph maintains his "buy" rating on The Topps Co Inc (ticker: TOPP). The target price is set to $11.
In a research note published this morning, the analyst mentions that the company’s recently released Derek Jeter cards have become an instant hit and have sold on eBay for more than $200. While the craze for this card may fade eventually, Topps has managed to increase its brand awareness at a nominal cost due to the card, the analyst says.
OK, we’re not saying we were the first to spill the beans on the infamous card. Keith Olbermann made a quick reference to it last week when he opened the first box of 2007 Topps. It was kind of a quiet little joke on a radio station here and there. But it wasn’t until our story, published Monday, got into the hands of some very popular, very hip news link sites like Deadspin and Fark.com that the story grew legs.
The New York Daily News found it and put the story on the front page Tuesday. From there, it’s a very short leap to the national wires which meant every TV and radio station in the world had access to it. And on a slow news day, it was golden. A quirky collectible, a famous and popular athlete and a little mystery all made for an irresistible piece. By late Tuesday night, there were over 300 different news stories appearing in mainstream media outlets.
The CBS affiliate in New York ran a piece on it during their newscast.
Thanks to links to our story, SportsCollectorsDaily.com received over 17,000 page views in 24 hours (advertisers: you’re welcome).
The result? Demand. BIG demand. Misguided or not, at least that’s what eBay sellers who had the card listed on Tuesday found out. As news of the card spread throughout every TV and radio morning show, every newspaper and internet message board, prices skyrocketed.
The card, which had been selling for a dollar or two last weekend, jumped over $100, then $200, then $300. Some sold for nearly $400. It’s true, apparently, that there are a lot of people out there with lots of money and limited brainpower. It’s likely most of the sales were to novices or simply curious… not collectors. Card enthusiasts knew the story too well to be taken in. But those who had their ’07 boxes already sorted were doing a bang-up business. 10-count lots of Jeters sold as high as $799 on eBay, apparently to legitimate buyers. 12-box cases went for $800. A ‘copper’ insert version of the card, one of 56, sold for $500.
Yet as the supply began to overwhelm the number of willing buyers and knowledge began to catch up with the initial frenzy, prices dropped. By late evening the card was selling for less than $50…still a nice profit for most sellers. It’s likely the bottom had yet to be reached. Topps has yet to make it known whether the card will be ‘corrected’. That didn’t stop those who somehow deduced that it was somehow ‘rare’. A good piece of advice came from savvy sellers who’d been down this road before and knew buyer’s remorse would kick in for some.
"Require immediate payment through PayPal," wrote one. Those who got it are smiling today.