Monday, January 23, 2012

Spoiling Someone's Day Stinks

So the other day I got a phone call.  Some of you might have received a similar call.  It was my brother in law.  He had just found out that I was a card collector and... he had a bunch of cards from when he collected as a kid!  Now he's a nice guy, so he wasn't pushy, but he wanted to know if I wanted to 'take a look' at them, with the clear implication being that he'd like to sell them.

Oh man, if only!

I had a few clues as to what he might have.  He isn't from a rich family.  He's 33 years old.  And he's a great guy, but he's never really put himself into anything fully.  Not fully committed to anything if you see what I mean.  All of that added up to junk wax.  I had hope though.  Maybe some cool insert or rookie???


The poor guy had about 1500 cards, some in a binder, the rest in a box.  Some were still in the wrappers.  All from 92 and 93.  Wait, you say, there's a possibility of a few good cards in there, Piazza and Rivera RC's, Jeter etc!  No, the best card (and by a loooong way) was this:

Not bad really, but as for buying his cards, well, I see the Chippah in quarter boxes every show I go to, so I sure aint paying 'book value' for this collection!

I felt bad, because he is a nice guy, and could probably use some extra money.  I had to tell him the facts of life. If he craigslisted them, he could get laughed at by anyone who wanted to buy cards.  If he e-bayed them, he couldn't get enough to cover shipping.  And if he wanted to sell them to me, well, I couldn't see paying more than $5, and that's with the binder and plastic sheets.  He took it well, but I still felt vaguely gross.  I hate giving bad news.

Anyone else have a similar story?


  1. Actually pretty much the same story. My wife's uncle has a bunch of stuff from that same era. Seems everyone has right? Well, he asked if I was interested and I had to tell him basically the same thing. He has a bunch of baseball/football/non-sports though. Same conversation otherwise. I hate telling people their stuff is practically worthless too.

  2. if I had a dollar for every call like that....

    the sad thing now is I don't even bother looking at them anymore...

  3. Somehow my nephew came into a big box of cards and his mom wanted me to look at them to see what they were worth. Now there were actually a few early 80s in there, and some recent jersey cards, but again, a lot of "junk". I explained there were price guides that would probably say $100, but realistically it was probably more like $10, and the more important thing was that he enjoyed them, and he and I could trade some of the ones he didn't want for some I didn't want, etc.

  4. Just this weekend I had to break it to my cousin-in-law's new boyfriend that his collection from the late 80s and early 90s isn't worth much anymore. He was also crushed when I explained to him that very few people still use price guides. Poor guy was crushed.

  5. yup - i had the same as everyone else.

    at least you guys tell the bitter truth. it only happened a couple times to me, but all i could say was...'oh yeh, they're pretty good. enjoy them'.

    ugh..hoping they dont see through it. >.<

  6. I've been there. It's better they here it from someone they trust.

  7. Oh yeah, been there many times. I tell them from the start. Late 80's and early 90's aren't worth crap. I don't mind looking to let them know what they have but I've found if I tell them up front before I've seen them, it goes a little easier.