Sports Cards Mania

rymflaherty

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Sports card have absolutely exploded into another atmosphere since covid. I've never really seen anything like this in collectibles. Retro video games are also exploding.
Ain’t that the truth. I’ve been involved in the hobby the majority of my life, and this is the first time I’ve had to step back because none of it makes sense.

I took my SportsLots shop off from vacation, I went from having a few orders a month to a dozen a day. The same cards that sat around for years are doubling in price each day and I can’t even keep up with it. The same “meh” box I couldn’t get $60 for on EBay in February is $249 today.
It’s like everyone forgot the gamble was already priced into products. The same Product that was a gamble at a $149 msrp and likely to have a less than 50% roi now costs double at release, or x5 if basketball. It’s insane.

The only thing I buy now is retail, but it’s a small miracle to find anything on the shelves these days. I probably should be taking advantage by selling all the cards I’ve held on to over the years, but it’s a bit overwhelming, because like I said, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of logic to any of it. Or maybe im just theone that’s missing something, that I’m not excited to spend $800 on a pack of cards when Panini feels like printing money and creates a “Hyper Asian Exclusive Dew Drop Prizm” limited variation set.
 

brandonchristensen

Loves Aaron Judge
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Feb 4, 2012
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2009, currently extended through 2025. As a collector it's really unfortunate. I really like the Panini, Leaf, etc. designs more than most Topps items. Upper Deck is largely not in the baseball game but they're stuff still looks better in other sports.
So they photoshop their jerseys? That’s so absurd.
 

EnochRoot

lurker
Feb 7, 2020
90
Baltimore, MD
I can think of one guy that will pursue the Mike Trout rookie card, particular because it was a forced scarcity of only one in existence:

Kivas Fajo.

 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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https://www.mlb.com/news/mike-trout-rookie-card-3-9-million
Call me nuts, but I hate this.

A 1 out of 1 card which is just forced rarity sells at auction for over $3M, eclipsing the endless record set by the famous T206 Honus Wagner card.

I grew up in the late 80's/early 90's collecting cards, and buying the monthly Beckett price guide, fantasizing about owning a 1952 Topps Mantle. In the Sixth Grade, we had a speaking class and I did a speech about the Honus Wagner card. It was such a great part of the baseball mythology, it's sad that to beat it they had to force scarcity of a card. Cards should be able to be collected and enjoyed.

I'm only 35, but I feel like an old man right now.
It would have been funny if Trout bought the card.
 

djbayko

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Jul 18, 2005
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The 80s were mostly horrible for card designs.

and those Red Donruss ones from 90 or whatever. My god.
1990 Donruss was the worst for a lot of reasons. Ugly, lots of cards off center, with blunted corners or shredded sides. And the worst part was that they tried to capitalize on the peak of the error card craze by faking "errors" on like every other card in the set.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
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Oct 31, 2013
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1990 Donruss was the worst for a lot of reasons. Ugly, lots of cards off center, with blunted corners or shredded sides. And the worst part was that they tried to capitalize on the peak of the error card craze by faking "errors" on like every other card in the set.
I was on of their customers. Bought a 50 cent pack, or may be was it 75, once or twice a week with lunch money. Wish that money was spent on Apple stock instead
 

DanoooME

above replacement level
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Mar 16, 2008
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The other big issue was the ridiculous overprinting of everything from 1987 Topps through at least 1991. You can still find tons of that stuff, opened and unopened. There's so much unopened 1989 Upper Deck floating around, I think Upper Deck is still printing the stuff today.

Most other sports the supply is drying up.
 

LogansDad

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The other big issue was the ridiculous overprinting of everything from 1987 Topps through at least 1991. You can still find tons of that stuff, opened and unopened. There's so much unopened 1989 Upper Deck floating around, I think Upper Deck is still printing the stuff today.

Most other sports the supply is drying up.
That's where basically all of my collection is from, which makes me feel a lot better about not taking really good care of it.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
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Jul 22, 2005
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LogansDad

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Grabbed a $20 WalMart special of Topps Archives today, and got a pretty sweet Mike Trout Millville Meteor and a really nice Luis Robert full color picture card. I might have a problem.
 

edoug

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Jul 15, 2005
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Deal. I'll even throw in watching your terrifying movie for that much money.
Which movie? The one where a man who makes horror movies to live vicariously through the demons that he puts on screen. But can't afford to make his next one because he was cheated by someone he thought he could trust. Now his only outlet for his evil urges is revenge on the person who betrayed his trust. Or Spice World 2?
 
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brandonchristensen

Loves Aaron Judge
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Feb 4, 2012
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Which movie? The one where a man who makes horror movies to live vicariously through the demons that he puts on screen. But can't afford to make his next one because he was cheated by someone he thought he could trust. Now his only outlet for his evil urges is revenge on the person who betrayed his trust. Or Spice World 2?
THERE WAS A SEQUEL?!!
 

LogansDad

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Ended up grabbing a hobby box of Topps Chrome that I'll be opening on Monday, since I have no self control. That should be fun.
 

LogansDad

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The Topps Chrome box wasn't great. Best cards were: 85 Topps Luis Robert and Gavin Lux, a Lux Refractor, and Blue 1:150 Cespedes and a Green 1:99 Bo Bichette Freshman Flash. Enough there that I might break even someday, but nothing special. The autos were terrible, Dom Nunez and Seth Brown.

Problem is, now I'm addicted. I will be opening a Bowman Chrome tomorrow during my Out of the Park Thursday Twitch stream, and a box of Allen and Ginter on Monday. If anyone is interested in watching live or on Youtube afterwards, let me know and I will PM my page.

Somebody help.....
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Just got a Bowman 2021 box... can’t open for a couple weeks until my son is home, and it’s driving me crazy.
 

LogansDad

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I nabbed a /25 Juan Soto Topps Stadium Club Chrome Orange Auto, my biggest hit so far. It's pretty spectacular.

Also got a sweet Luis Robert short print from the 2020 Topps Update set, and a /50 Bobby Witt Jr Bowman Platinum auto green refractor.
 

brandonchristensen

Loves Aaron Judge
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Feb 4, 2012
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I nabbed a /25 Juan Soto Topps Stadium Club Chrome Orange Auto, my biggest hit so far. It's pretty spectacular.

Also got a sweet Luis Robert short print from the 2020 Topps Update set, and a /50 Bobby Witt Jr Bowman Platinum auto green refractor.
Do you think you'll get it graded?

Part of me wants to collect some shit like the more rare Trout PSA 10's...but I don't have any real connection to them outside of fiscal. Whereas an old Michael Jordan rookie or something would have a much deeper connection.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I just looked these up, didn't know they were dropping soon. Where did you get them from? They look absolutely stunning.
Sorry -- to clarify it's Bowman Heritage 2020, which I realize is a very different kettle of fish. Dropped last week. One of my boys bought one of those Topps memberships. The way he explains it to me, the membership is something like 250/year but gives him access to enough early releases that he can easily recoup that on the secondary market before deciding what he wants to keep himself.
 

LogansDad

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Do you think you'll get it graded?

Part of me wants to collect some shit like the more rare Trout PSA 10's...but I don't have any real connection to them outside of fiscal. Whereas an old Michael Jordan rookie or something would have a much deeper connection.
Therein lies the rub. I took them into my local shop (as well as a Mookie Rookie Bowman 1st from 2014 that I bought for $25 of EBay), and they said the Mookie, Witt and Robert look flawless and I should send them in.

The Soto auto, unfortunately, has a slight smudge, that he thinks will grade at a 9 instead of mint, so I am not sure what I am planning on doing with it. I don't know if it was smudged out of the box or if it was me sleeving it. I could definitely still sell it raw, but can't decide if I still want to grade it or not.
 

LogansDad

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Sorry -- to clarify it's Bowman Heritage 2020, which I realize is a very different kettle of fish. Dropped last week. One of my boys bought one of those Topps memberships. The way he explains it to me, the membership is something like 250/year but gives him access to enough early releases that he can easily recoup that on the secondary market before deciding what he wants to keep himself.
Nice, that is a stellar looking set. Hope you get some good hits.
 

santadevil

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Therein lies the rub. I took them into my local shop (as well as a Mookie Rookie Bowman 1st from 2014 that I bought for $25 of EBay), and they said the Mookie, Witt and Robert look flawless and I should send them in.

The Soto auto, unfortunately, has a slight smudge, that he thinks will grade at a 9 instead of mint, so I am not sure what I am planning on doing with it. I don't know if it was smudged out of the box or if it was me sleeving it. I could definitely still sell it raw, but can't decide if I still want to grade it or not.
I doubt you caused the issue with the card. Ink would have to be dry before they ever put them in the packs. Probably done by accident by Soto. Still a nice pull though

I've got a couple cards I want to get graded, but I'm wary about losing them somehow
I know the process is supposed to be fairly straight forward, but I'm paranoid

And the two (three) I want to get graded are the prize card possessions I have. No plan to sell them, just my own nostalgic value
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
I watched this about a month ago, pretty good
View: https://youtu.be/WJ6oqMfYtHY
Great piece, thanks for sharing.

I grew up in a world where there was 660 or 726 baseball cards in the Topps set, period. But with all the various companies, series and card types now available, it's almost too much to comprehend what to buy. Let's say I just want to collect 2021 baseball cards, trying to assemble a complete set, and also have an outside shot of finding something valuable.. is that Topps? Bowman? And where to buy? I see all kinds of stuff in the checkout line at Target, but with so many options, I have no idea what I'm looking at.
 

santadevil

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Great piece, thanks for sharing.

I grew up in a world where there was 660 or 726 baseball cards in the Topps set, period. But with all the various companies, series and card types now available, it's almost too much to comprehend what to buy. Let's say I just want to collect 2021 baseball cards, trying to assemble a complete set, and also have an outside shot of finding something valuable.. is that Topps? Bowman? And where to buy? I see all kinds of stuff in the checkout line at Target, but with so many options, I have no idea what I'm looking at.
I normally went with a Hobby box or Hobby Jumbo box of either the Topps Series 1, 2 or the Update set they put out each year. Those are the regular Topps cards, but there is a guaranteed hit or two in those boxes.

You can also get a smaller retail box and I believe that Walmart/Target carry those ones, but they have lesser odds of pulling an auto or a hit, but you can still do it. I've heard that there is a way for the collectors to determine which packs have those (no idea how), so they may be totally picked over before a regular person gets to them

There is a decent amount of information to sort through to determine what you are wanting. Retail box is the cheapest (other than buying a pack, or a blaster) and they get more expensive as you go up in number of cards you are buying. However, on a per card basis, cheaper for the bigger box and I like the Hobby Jumbo for the two gurantees
 
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LogansDad

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Nov 15, 2006
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Great piece, thanks for sharing.

I grew up in a world where there was 660 or 726 baseball cards in the Topps set, period. But with all the various companies, series and card types now available, it's almost too much to comprehend what to buy. Let's say I just want to collect 2021 baseball cards, trying to assemble a complete set, and also have an outside shot of finding something valuable.. is that Topps? Bowman? And where to buy? I see all kinds of stuff in the checkout line at Target, but with so many options, I have no idea what I'm looking at.
Start with @Fishercat 's fantastic post #31 in this thread, and go from there.

Having just gotten back into collecting, if you have the cash to spare, I recommend going Hobby or Hobby Jumbo boxes (some have different names, but it's the same concept) if you are looking for hits, as they are guaranteed. If you are just looking for bulk, the Walmart stuff is pretty good, and every now and then you get a pretty awesome card, but they are mostly for base set collection completing as far as I can tell, though some have exclusive variants (the Walmart Topps Update packs have a special blue border card in each pack, for instance).

I had stopped collecting when i was a kid, and one pack a week was my allowance, so it's pretty fun opening a hobby box and knowing there's going to be something in there that's pretty cool. Also, the products these days are awesome... the look and the feel are just so much better than they were in the late 80's and early 90's, it's some really solid stuff.

EDIT: One thing I would stay away from is the Jumbo HTA box, unless you just really want a few autos, as all that's in the box is three autographed cards. I almost made this mistake when I first started buying again, and am glad I caught it.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Chrome/Enhanced Series - These are later releases of existing sets, a tiering higher cost wise but better quality cards with generally better hold value and better odds of getting keeper card
Topps/Bowman Chrome
Topps/Bowman Finest/Best
Topps/Bowman High Tek
Topps Gold Label
Start with @Fishercat 's fantastic post #31 in this thread, and go from there.

Having just gotten back into collecting, if you have the cash to spare, I recommend going Hobby or Hobby Jumbo boxes (some have different names, but it's the same concept) if you are looking for hits, as they are guaranteed. If you are just looking for bulk, the Walmart stuff is pretty good, and every now and then you get a pretty awesome card, but they are mostly for base set collection completing as far as I can tell, though some have exclusive variants (the Walmart Topps Update packs have a special blue border card in each pack, for instance).

I had stopped collecting when i was a kid, and one pack a week was my allowance, so it's pretty fun opening a hobby box and knowing there's going to be something in there that's pretty cool. Also, the products these days are awesome... the look and the feel are just so much better than they were in the late 80's and early 90's, it's some really solid stuff.

EDIT: One thing I would stay away from is the Jumbo HTA box, unless you just really want a few autos, as all that's in the box is three autographed cards. I almost made this mistake when I first started buying again, and am glad I caught it.
Thanks for the advice guys!

So my admittedly half-baked process is: Find out what set the 09 Trout record-breaker card is from and collect the most recent releases of that product because (1) it's obviously a sought after product, and (2) the inertia of the Trout sale will further elevate the product's stature and perceived future value in the market.

38286

The 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects set listed here lists (7) Trout/BDPP89 variations, but not the Superfractor. Is this because all Superfractors are 1/1? Another question: What hobby box would I have had to buy in 2009 in order to have a chance to pull out the Trout record card, "Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects?" or is that just a subset of "Bowman Chrome"? And what is the 2020 equivalent of this set... because there are a billion Bowman sets listed here.

In other words, what can I buy and open today that would give me the best chance of finding the rookie cards that will eventually be most valuable (if the player pans out, of course).

Or am I going about this all wrong?
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
Dope
Jul 18, 2005
31,199
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Thanks for the advice guys!

So my admittedly half-baked process is: Find out what set the 09 Trout record-breaker card is from and collect the most recent releases of that product because (1) it's obviously a sought after product, and (2) the inertia of the Trout sale will further elevate the product's stature and perceived future value in the market.

View attachment 38286

The 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects set listed here lists (7) Trout/BDPP89 variations, but not the Superfractor. Is this because all Superfractors are 1/1? Another question: What hobby box would I have had to buy in 2009 in order to have a chance to pull out the Trout record card, "Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects?" or is that just a subset of "Bowman Chrome"? And what is the 2020 equivalent of this set... because there are a billion Bowman sets listed here.

In other words, what can I buy and open today that would give me the best chance of finding the rookie cards that will eventually be most valuable (if the player pans out, of course).

Or am I going about this all wrong?
The Trout record breaker is a 1/1 (singular, unique) card. There's no chance of finding another in a pack.

From the link in the OP:
The Trout card, released by Bowman in 2009, was graded in Mint 9 condition and features a stamped “1/1” serial number to ensure its singular quality.
 

LogansDad

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Yeah, I guess it depends on what you want to do with them. I like opening packs, its basically my favorite part about it. I'm not in it to invest or anything like that, just grow my collection and hopefully pick up some cool cards along the way.

The chances of finding the next Mike Trout 1/1 RC are, well... not really existent. For one, it's a 1/1, so there's literally one of them in existence. I said earlier in the thread that I wasn't a big fan of the "forced rarity", but I've come around. I now have a few solid #/25's and a bunch in the #/50-#/499 range, and all of them are pretty cool knowing that there's a limited number of them in existence. But none of them are Mike Trout.

The second part being that Mike Trout himself is a generational talent. The big rookie form this year was Luis Robert, and while he looks like a stud, he isn't Mike Trout. Nor will me Kyle Lewis, Gavin Lux or Randy Arozarena. That doesn't mean their cards won't have value, but you likely won't be getting millions for anything of their that you get out of packs.

If you are looking to invest, I would recommend going onto EBay and picking a particular player or players that you think will blossom, or watch for good deals on players like the ones listed, or Soto, or even Trout. Look for numbered stuff at a good price, and then hold onto it and hope, kind of like the stock market. I don't do that much (although I did grab a Trent Frederic auto #'d to 199 last night in a fit of joy), but it's the best way to make sure you are getting the cards you are looking for.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I think it depends on whether you want to ‘rip and flip’ or actually invest/collect.

For rip and flip you’d be hard pressed to beat the early returns on Topps Series 1/2/Update/Chrome. More work in terms of selling the completed sets you put together from the case breaks and grading the key RC’s.

If it’s invest, you’re better off buying either vintage graded singles (and holding) or opening bowman chrome and bowman draft boxes and holding - hoping for a rare parallel autograph of the next big thing.

If you’re interested in collecting, buy singles on eBay. Or buy into some group breaks on YouTube or Blowout Cards, etc.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
The Trout record breaker is a 1/1 (singular, unique) card. There's no chance of finding another in a pack.
The chances of finding the next Mike Trout 1/1 RC are, well... not really existent. For one, it's a 1/1, so there's literally one of them in existence.
Understood. Was only questioning why the 09 Trout Superfractor wasn't listed in the PSA price guide - as I was trying to determine what set/product it originally came from.

opening bowman chrome and bowman draft boxes and holding - hoping for a rare parallel autograph of the next big thing.
I think this is where I'm at. When are the 2021 Bowman Chromes expected, mid-summer?
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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2021 Bowman releases mid-April.
2020 Bowman Draft just came out in December

edit - If you do 2020 draft, you’re looking for Torkelson, though nowadays any color parallel auto does well it seems.
 
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rymflaherty

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@staz
Singles on EBay.
Although my actual advice would be to run far, far away from anything currently occurring in the “hobby”.

I’ve collected/sold cards for the majority of my life and nothing that’s happened the last year is logical. Crap I had sitting online for years at dollars was now selling for hundreds seemingly overnight. The same products that were a gamble and sat until discounted by major retailers are now coming out at like x3-4 retail. Fueled by speculators reading articles about cards like the 1/1 Trout and Lebron Exquisite.
It seems that card investing has met at the cross section of nostalgia and hope and provided comfort for a lot of people during uncertain times.
If there seems to be a million different Bowman variants is because Topps, and especially Panini are currently milking the market for every cent they can get.

i can go on and on, but I’ll keep this from turning into a dissertation.
The advice I’d give anyone at this point is a reminder that no one referred to it as the “junk wax” age as it was occurring. At that time people were purchasing cards thinking they’d put their children through college.

The one exception and where there is actual “value” is retail. But like everything else in the hobby, that’s currently a shit show as well. It’s likely there are people in your area that stalk distributors and buy the entire supply as soon as it hits shelves, but if you can find retail cards purchase it. Sadly, that’s really the only cards I get to open at this point, because I can’t justify the insane prices. A lot of these products you can hit a top auto and still have it not be worth the box. I guess collecting favorite players/teams is never an awful idea either, but most stuff right now is at a premium.

Sorry if I’m a buzzkill, but I don’t see how you can’t be skeptical of how things got to where they currently are. If someone’s going to jump in I think you’ve got to treat it like the stock market, really become extremely knowledgeable and make investments meant to cash in as soon as possible, before the bubble bursts.
 
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NJ_Sox_Fan

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@staz
Singles on EBay.
Although my actual advice would be to run far, far away from anything currently occurring in the “hobby”.

I’ve collected/sold cards for the majority of my life and nothing that’s happened the last year is logical. Crap I had sitting online for years at dollars was now selling for hundreds seemingly overnight. The same products that were a gamble and sat until discounted by major retailers are now coming out at like x3-4 retailby speculators reading articles about cards like the 1/1 Trout and Lebron Exquisite.
It seems that card investing has met at the cross section of nostalgia and hope and provided comfort for a lot of people during uncertain times.
If there seems to be a million different Bowman variants is because Topps, and especially Panini are currently milking the market for every cent they can get.

i can go on and on, but I’ll keep this from turning into a dissertation.
The advice I’d give anyone at this point is a reminder that no one referred to it as the “junk wax” age as it was occurring. At that time people were purchasing cards thinking they’d put their children through college.

The one exception and where there is actual “value” is retail. But like everything else in the hobby, that’s currently a shit show as well. It’s likely there are people in your area that stalk distributors and by the entire supply as soon as it hits shelves, but if you can find retail cards purchase it. Sadly, that’s really the only cards I get to open at this point, because I can’t justify the insane prices. A lot of these products you can hit a top auto and still have it not be worth the box. I guess collecting favorite players/teams is never an awful idea either, but most stuff right now is at a premium.

Sorry if I’m a buzzkill, but I don’t see how you can’t be skeptical of how things got to where they currently are. If someone’s going to jump in I think you’ve got to treat it like the stock market, really become extremely knowledgeable and make investments meant to cash in as soon as possible, before the bubble bursts.
Agree 1000%. The prices on 80’s cards (for example) since the pandemic started until now is insane. I have been mostly selling because the prices are insane to be buying.
 

rymflaherty

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I suppose there is one amendment I’d make to what I was saying, as I obviously don’t know everyone’s situation, so if you’re someone that has a great salary and has plenty of disposable income, buying a case of Bowman as a fun gamble can still make sense and seem like a hobby.
I genuinely hope that is the case for many breaking, but I’m sure there’s also just as many (if not more) maxing out credit cards because they talk themselves into the fact that they’ll get an amazing hit.