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Newbie Set Building Observations

First let me say many of the sets I've seen here are unbelievable, not just an easy to finish player set but sets requiring a couple hundred cards like NFL HOF sets. Not only are there multiple 100% sets but also with high graded cards! Wow!

One thing I noticed is that there is a difference between set builders trying to finish a set with high grades and those trying to finish a set with the players best cards, and of course some doing both. The set I'm really going to concentrate on is a bit of both, I would love to have the top RC for every NFL HOFer with all high grades, probably not going to happen. I have many of these cards already but they are graded by BVG/BGS and to try and replace them with similar grades from PSA will cost multiple thousands. I may consider converting once PSA catches up from the backlog...that remains to be seen.

I can see from my short time with PSA that the registry is very well received and that a lot of people are active at building sets and upgrading sets, not even a comparison to the registries at Beckett where I've been all these years. I can see the competition just for the sake of competing since getting the top set is nothing more than recognition from your peers, best I can see. This is what makes the hobby so fun.

I also notice that the competition to find good cards and actually winning them is Auction is much harder with PSA graded cards. There seems to be no correlation with what cards are going for today and what the value is in the SMR price guide or even the average value you find when looking the card up on the PSA site....my guess is there is a lot of catching up that is needed here too.

So thanks for all the help in getting started and happy hunting out there!

Comments

  • MCMLVToppsMCMLVTopps Posts: 3,472 ✭✭✭✭

    A couple of points...

    First thing I'd do is decide which set and how invested do I want to be $$ wise. Appreciate and understand that you will more than likely never, EVER have the #1 set. Far, far too many people with enough funds to run circles around anything you bid on, not to mention the crazy cost of upper graded cards like 9s and 10s. You cannot compete with millionaires!!

    You will quickly find, if you haven't already, that the SMR, while a worthy tool back prior to the half-point change, has long ago become totally useless in terms of pricing and accuracy of card costs. As an example...when the half-point thing hit in the early 90s, people became crack-outaholics. Those with star cards graded 5,6,7, would crack them out, send them in and off we go. So, what happened? Those PSA 6s for instance, might have come back as a PSA 7...great...however, the original PSA 6 is a ghost and no longer exists. The card could also come back as a 5 and it gets recracked...It isn't hard to see the unending crackouts to see what has happened to the POP report and the now severely watered down SMR report. A card will sell for whatever the market bears in that moment. BVG/BGS cards have you in a tough spot IMO. The conversions will be pricey! Perhaps you should see what the card(s) would sell for in an equal or higher grade in a PSA slab.

    You would be wise to set up an excel spreadsheet that encompasses everything about your set. As you acquire cards, put in the cert, grade, what it cost you, tax maybe and shipping. TRUST ME, you won't remember later when and if you decide to sell.

    If you are on a "card budget", stick to it and get the best cards your wallet will allow. The POP report in higher grades is still fairly accurate and you can see how many of a certain card is supposed to be in existence. You will also find that there is a link called "auction results"...this is a valuable tool, which is very accurate, to indicate recent sales. I always go here when I'm not sure what I should pay or bid for a card. I generally take the last 4 sales...throw out the obvious high and low, and get an average of what the cards current market value is. You can also compare the sales results between grades, if the difference between a 7 and an 8 is less than $10, perhaps the 8 is the one to shoot for. Again, you can spend some time creating a column in your spreadsheet to show the difference between grades. Excel is a great tool!!

    You should always...ALWAYS use a snipe bidding service, there are several out there. For whatever reason, I continue to use Esnipe. They automatically place your bid within 6 seconds of the auction ending, even if you're a long way from home. Just set it up and see what happens. At the 5 minute mark, you are locked in to your bid...good, bad, or indifferent.

    Watch for waaaaaaay overpriced BINs...some people think they have platinum cards. I don't mind a fair upcharge if I really want the card, but not by a whole lot...personal choice.

    Try to find sellers who offer either free shipping, or "each extra card add $.25 shipping" kinda thing. Remember, free shipping may well have the shipping built in to the BIN price. Try to contact sellers if you see they happen to have several of the cards you're looking for. Under the seller's info you will see "see other items". I have done this many times with great success.

    Always leave feedback! If you think you've been screwed, try to work it out, but avoid negative feedback.

    As for grading times with PSA. I sent in 113 cards in early December 2019. I got notification yesterday that my grades were ready. Yup, more than 6 calendar months...the virus, being shut down and backlog has created a mess. it is what it is. I mailed in 100 more cards on May 19th, they logged them in as received on June 19th...a month later.

    I have 4 or 5 1st place sets in the Registry...it's fun to collect, and getting those last 2 or 3 is exciting, especially when you land the last card.
    Hope this helps a little.

  • Thanks for you comments.....I have been a long time user of Excel and have spreadsheets for all my cards and transactions and yes it helps. I have been using the auction results tool which is why I've noticed how much higher buy it now prices are than anything I've seen but I normally send seller's an offer anyway.

    I have signed up for a snipping tool although I haven't won with it yet mainly because my maximum price based on the tools mentioned is always lower than what the card goes for. The taxes and shipping costs have really made prices go up as well, I know when I sell a card the fees are basically 13.9% plus .30 when you consider ebay and paypal fees so I try to take that into consideration for the seller.

    Good news is I have plenty of time on my hands and PSA has got me interested in my cards again.

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