Friday, August 13, 2021

Taking a different direction - vintage and old school - Pt. 2

This post probably goes with the previous one, where I changed things up and ended up going heavy on the old cards - the optics at this card show table however were drastically different.

Everything just hanging out like a swap meet set-up from 1992 - I didn’t know who was manning the table and wondered if I should bother the guy off to the side, who seemed like in his own little world sorting through cards.

Cards were stored loose in boxes piled on top of each other - the newest cards may have been junk wax era through the late 1990s and the natural conditions had gotten the best of them, not at all appealing to sift through.

Where the most basic card show table have sort of an order of things, everything was just left out with no apparent rhyme or reason - maybe this wasn't the spot to be, but this also might be catnip to other collectors who might go to town finding a table out in the wild like this one.

What caught my eyes was the loose vintage cards I was going through - I had my doubts, but if everything was as disorganized, quaint and mostly backwards, maybe there were some cards to pull and grab for cheap.

The guy who ran the table finally came back and I asked how much were the cards so I knew the prices I’d be working with - I was hoping the seller would say all the cards were a quarter or $0.50, but the guy told me to grab what I can find and he would make a price for me.

I started plugging along and was building up a pile thinking I might have to end up with little or none of the cards I’d pulled - maybe the mission was to pull notable cards as I might recognize them and then look for miscellaneous cards that end up as mini-collection adds or cards to funnel into other loose card projects.
I waited until the seller had a moment after his lunch and finally handed him my stack - I was really wondering that when it came to tally them up, he would stop at a few and make up a higher price in his head.

I think he got bored and asked how many cards I had and said maybe 60-70 - in the end I actually ended up with 59 cards.

The first price quote was way too much for loose beaters that look like they came from someone’s attic - maybe if they were presented better, I can see the value in each card, but that wasn't the case.

I gestured I couldn’t pay what the seller was asking, so I had to put some cards away and maybe pick out ones I really want - I was hoping for a little coup for the cards I did pull, but now had to pay the piper.

I might have tried to gesture to offer $40 outright, but he said he had to get at least $1 for each card - I've been collecting for way too long and I felt like a beginner.

“How about $60,” he said. “Do you have $60?”

I relented to pay the amount the seller said, just to get this stash in hand and so I could move on - maybe wife cheered the husband on as he made a sale.

Good thing I didn’t try to grab anymore cards just to be cute, notably the non vintage / old school material I might have had to pay $1 each just the same - I did manage to find a pair of second year multiplayer cards of Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz, so that is a little modern action [even if talking about from nearly 25 years ago already].


Jimmy said...

I personally never deal with dealers who say "grab a stack and I'll make a price". I typically will then pick one or two cards, then ask for a price on those just to get an idea of their price points before I continue or walk way. Just saves a lot of potential wasted time at a particular table. At the end of the day, if you feel the cards are worth what you paid for them, that is all that matters.

Brett Alan said...

Yeah, if I can't see prices at a table, I usually don't even bother looking there.

Fuji said...

Nice Simmons rookie cards and Billy's birds.

Bo said...

'68 Rose for a $1, even with a stain, is a great buy. '70 Nolan Ryan "We're Number One" for a dollar is a great buy. Sandy Koufax League Leader for $1 is a great buy.

If you don't some of the vintage cards you bought, I'm happy to trade you for a larger number of modern cards that fit your mini-collection.

Jon said...

I have never had any luck with these kind of "dealers", and therefor don't even bother with them anymore. If I don't see any prices, I don't even bother to look!