PSA 1 or PSA 3 when price difference is small?

Plus some great karate comments!

This past week I announced my “Attainable Collection of Envy 100” (ACE 100), and received a better reaction than expected. I’m really excited about this one. In case you missed it:

A lot of people, predictably, said, “$5,000 isn’t attainable for me!” I get it! It’s not attainable for me, either. Thankfully there are very few cards that approach that amount. And I feel like I can maybe save up for those later on. Hopefully.

I needed to make a cutoff. Every list has the 1952 Mantle and T206 Wagner, among other ridiculous cards that I’ll never be able to afford. My list is for far more collectors. And I’ll provide affordable alternatives for the expensive cards.

And while I am reticent about revealing much of the list, today I want to talk about the 1928 Wills Cricket Season Don Bradman card.

I’m guessing many of you have a) never seen the card before, and b) never even heard of Don Bradman. I’ll save those details for the eventual video, but I did buy the card last week, and there’s a small story behind it. (There’s always a story with me.)

I went searching for the card and found a PSA 1 with rounded corners but good centering on eBay with a Buy It Now price of just shy of $300 from COMC. I went to COMC and it was priced a bit under that; I assume they price it up for eBay due to fees, but I’m not sure. I had a nice credit with COMC, so I considered using that to buy it. But I went back to eBay and also found a PSA 3 that looked really good.

And it was at auction! A rare, century-old card at auction is a treat. I added it to my watch list on eBay and checked on it way too frequently over the next few days.

Comparable sales are pretty limited, but a PSA 2 sold for $338 last fall. I felt like a PSA 3 would sell for close to $500, and it soared over $300 quickly. And then someone retracted their bid and it went down to $100 again. Still, there were a dozen bidders and more than 60 watchers. I was confident it would go well over what I wanted to pay for it, which was $300ish. Plus I didn’t want to use my National budget for it. So I went back to COMC and made an offer of $230.

Fun fact: when you make an offer on cards on COMC when the seller has an auto-accept percentage on, COMC will tell you what to offer to trigger that auto-accept. So they rejected my offer, but told me to offer $246.10, and it was auto-accepted when I did.

So I felt good about that purchase, until the PSA 3 ended on eBay at just $342, basically the same price as the PSA 2 from last fall. But I’m still happy with it, and here’s my justification:

  1. I saved $100 at a minimum. In my video above I mentioned that buying all of the 100 cards on my list at their rough minimum value would cost $90,000. I literally laughed out loud when I made that discovery. If I save $100 per card on average, it comes down to about $81,000. That’s still a ton, but I need to take any way I can to save money on these.

  2. The “at a minimum” above is key here. We don’t know what the winning bidder’s max bid was. It could have been $500, or $600, or $1,500. It’s a rare card with a passionate base of collectors.

  3. If I had waited until the auction ended, there was a decent chance one of the losing bidders would have snagged the cheaper option at Buy It Now, leaving me out in the cold.

I can’t wait to share more about this card and Don Bradman’s amazing career with you! You’ll need to wait a while, though: Bradman doesn’t come up for quite a few months, assuming I maintain the one athlete per week plan.

Should I have waited for the auction to finish?

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Channel Highlights From the Past Week

Sunday I went to a card show where a karate demonstration broke out:

And I forgot to mention in the video that my friend Oliver won the door prizes:

I also explored the mystery of how many variations of the Jackson Holliday “Fun Face” Topps card there might be:

YouTube Comments Of The Week

And a bonus tweet:

Danny of Hobby News Daily did a great interview on YouTube of Sports Card Nonsense’s Mike Gio. I have never listened to the podcast, so I knew nothing about him, and I thought he was really open and Danny asked great questions. Check it out here.

This is a few weeks old, but cllct went deep on the divorce between Goldin Auctions and Collectors.


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