Junk Wax Common Sports Cards: A Waste Dilemma

Should I eat them?

I know, I know, like Dan from Dan’s Vintage Baseball PC likes to tell me frequently, you’re sick of hearing about the Vermont Collection. But you’ll need to bear with me, because there’s a lot more content to come as I get through the collection.

One weird thing I’ve learned about is what to do with junk wax commons. Vintage (pre-1981) commons are easy: sell them in lots. But no one is really buying junk wax commons for anything resembling money that’s worth the time and effort.

I received a lot of great advice from viewers during one of my videos about the topic (maybe the one linked above?), and I’ve looked into a lot of those suggestions. Here’s what I’ve found:

  • Children’s hospitals (and similar) are great ideas, but I don’t have any near me.

  • I wasn’t interested in building literally hundreds — or even dozens — of sets.

  • I didn’t want to just recycle them.

  • There are actually people who will offer to pay a small amount for you to fill a flat-rate box with commons and mail it to them. I appreciated the offers, but I passed.

  • Even giving away junk wax commons is difficult.

  • The simplest idea was seemingly donating them to Goodwill. Various commenters said you can deduct anywhere from $0.01 to $0.03 per card donated, which seems great! At the midpoint of 2 cents per card for 40,000 cards, that’s $800. Profiting from junk wax collections would be so easy. But there are some important catches, according to the IRS:

What this means to me, a non-expert when it comes to taxes, is that I can’t deduct more than what I paid for them. And since I paid $100 for the entire collection, and maybe 40% is commons, I can only deduct $40. Is it worth it for me to do that and for Goodwill to then sell them to unsuspecting people who think they’re getting something potentially of value? No.

My goal was to find a way to get these to someone who wanted them with very little to no effort on my part. (I know, I’m lazy.) So I went to my local dump / transfer station and asked the guy who has managed it for decades what he suggested. I even brought a box with about 8,000 commons to show him. He kind of excitedly told me to just leave them inside the garage there, as he likes giving them to kids. Tada! The perfect solution.

So every Saturday I bring a big box of commons to my local dump and the manager finds a good home for them.


What do you do with low-value commons?

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A Sure Way To Not Get A Response

  1. Don’t follow me

  2. Send me an unsolicited sales message

  3. Offer me hockey cards, which you would know I don’t collect if you actually watched or followed me

  4. Offer me a pre-sale… like, I’m supposed to buy them on spec? You tell me what you think they’ll grade and I agree to buy them? Come on, man.

Upcoming Videos

Honestly, I’m struggling to get through June before I have the entire month of July off. My output has been low all month. I’m not sure what I’ll have time for.

Channel Highlights From the Past Week

Another week, another under-performing (but very popular with its viewers) Attic Find Friday:

I teased it in this space last week, and finally did a video on my big grail card pickup:

And yes, I’m going to send it to Koosman before Ryan. Thanks to those of you who made that suggestion.

Lots of good hobby content on Hobbypalooza weekend on 4 Collectors. I did an hour with my friend Oliver and we covered a million topics:

My Pickup Of The Week

My friend Kevin sold me some 2003 NetPro tennis cards. Nothing to write home about, but they make me happy.

Mike Sommer writes in Hobby News Daily about prospecting. It starts out seeming like it’s going to be a negative article towards people who enjoy prospecting (“don’t yuck my yum,” my kids say to me), but Mike offers facts and good advice that allows you to still prospect but in a smarter way.

Have you ever considered collecting barf bags? These people have.

I haven’t read this yet and have never heard of this website, but The American Prospect writes about how big business has come for your baseball cards.

I’m testing new commenting button functionality. If the link doesn’t work, click through to the web version (link at top) and you should be able to comment from there.


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