At some point earlier this year I added a wanted list to the side of my blog. Look over there to the right hand side of the blog and you will see it sitting there with some holes in it. I have been able to add some of the cards on my list to my collection over the past year, but recently I have not kept up with the list. Honestly, I am a little bit frustrated with a particular card on the list.
The top card on my most wanted list is a Bowman Platinum Tim Beckham autograph. It's a rather tough find, but then again it's Tim Beckham. I like Tim Beckham. He has spent a consider amount of time playing for the Durham Bulls and I have enjoyed watching him play. His cards are fairly inexpensive and not too difficult to find.
I understood that putting the Beckham card on the top of my list was a challenge, but it has turned out to be the exact opposite problem that I was expecting. Beckham has a low print run of autographs in the Bowman Platinum set, so I figured finding the card would be the difficult part. How much can it possibly cost? It's Tim Beckham...
Well, the card has been on Ebay for awhile. I have made offers, sent messages, and received nothing in return. No:
"Hey, this is my bottom line"
"I could sell you the card for this much"
Nothing. The problem with buying it as it is currently listed?
You have to squint your eyes a bit, but that listing does say $299.99 for a Tim Beckham autograph. I made my first offer on the card a few weeks back, then made a second, and a third today after hearing nothing from the seller after multiple attempts to contact them. My third offer was the most insane price I have offered on a card in a long time, but sadly I knew that the seller would turn the offer down. Sad, but someone would not take $50 for a Tim Beckham card.....
Crazy offer, crazier seller. So, let's talk about unique cards for a minute.
I understand that a lot of collectors have cool, unique, low print run cards in their collection. I have had some print plates and autographs of some really cool players during my time collecting baseball cards I have no problem cashing in on those cards. I have a Mike Trout Finest autograph and would not hesitate to asking for a lot cash back for a card like this.....
Many of us also have cards that look really cool, and could be valuable, if they only had a different player on the front. For example, I own this awesome Brett Wallace patch card from Topps Pro Debut. It's an incredible patch piece......
No matter how cool the patch piece, or low serial number (it's print run is 5), it's still just a Brett Wallace card. If a ever ran into a huge Brett Wallace fan, or someone who wanted the card, I can honestly say that I would guess the card is worth $30. I wish it were something I could turn around for $300, but it is not.
The moral of the story is this: If you have a low print run card that's autographed, or has a cool patch piece, be proud of your card. However, if you are going to sell or trade the card keep in mind who is on the front and be realistic about what you are asking for your item. We all want the most for the cards we are selling, or trading, but there comes a point where you are just being completely unrealistic.