Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Crafting Day Leads to A New Card Shop! Well...Kind of a Card Shop!

As I've mentioned now and again, my fiance is a member of the budding midwest indie craft scene. Due to a fair amount of selling success, the Purple Hippo Stitches team of she and I (moral support and ideas for themes count as being on the team, right?) travel all over the midwest selling her stuff at various shows. She's sold in our current town of Bloomington, IN, in Cincinnati, OH, Cleveland, OH, Columbus, OH, way over in Chicago, IL, and most recently in Indianapolis, IN. Most shows have gone reasonably well to very well, so there's probably many more journeys in our future. After all, I love a good road trip and she loves applying to these things!

As much fun as it is to peddle wares on a street corner (really, it's more fun then it sounds), I do occasionally get bored from time to time and ask to wander off and see if there's anything interesting in the area. Occasionally during these breaks in selling I find a card shop, as I previously did with Maverick's Sports Cards in Cincinnati, a place I plan to frequent again and again. This past Saturday in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis, I came across a store I had previously given up on: Collector's Paradise. It's right next to Indianapolis' premiere Indy craft store (a place called homespun) so I had already visited once back in the day as part of a shopping trip, and was sad to find no wax inside. But with time to kill on Saturday, I walked in again just in case, with much better results.

See this time, amidst the 98% NASCAR and comic book memorabilia, there were actually cards! Not a lot...8 400 count boxes to be exact, but a card is a card right? They each were marked with a $1 sticker, which seemed high for mostly commons, but I was willing to dig for deals. So I went right at them, checking each and every card for awesome and making myself a little pile of maybes. After finishing the first 4 boxes I went around to the other 4 and realized the cards were $0.50 each or 5 for $1! Now that's a much better deal. So after I finished all 8 boxes, I picked my favorite 5, debated buying a Brett Bodine Auto for $8, and then paid the guy $1 for my goodies. I was trying to pick stuff that might make good trade bait or COMC fodder for my next selling shipment. I didn't do as well as I thought, but I certainly didn't do badly!

Here are the results, from first card chosen to last card chosen. Do beware that I mention book value a lot in this post, but just because I like to see how far my dollar went in Beckett terms and because if I post them to COMC that number is the book value associated with them. So it's fun to know!

1. 2001 Finest Origins Refractors Charles Johnson
This was a card I would've paid $1 for, and it was even more of a sure thing when I realized it would only be $0.20. The 1993 Finest set is already nice, with the cards being quite nice in base form. But the refractors actually still hold a lot of value - a simple Fred McGriff comparison on COMC shows that the base card books for $4 while the refractor books for $80! So I thought I hit the mother lode in one card here, potentially buying $30 worth of value for $0.20.

Thing is, I didn't look carefully at the back - turns out the card is a 2001 reprint and is part of the 2001 Topps Finest Origins set. It's still the better parallel, as there is a base card and a refractor, but instead of being a $30 book value card it is a $5 book value card. This is why you must always pay attention to card backs to avoid reprints. But I love the colors of this card anyway and $5 for $0.20 is still a decent return, so I'll take it.


2. 2001 Donruss Elite Aspirations Ruben Mateo (Serial 68/79)
Not gonna lie...I was thinking Ruben Amaro when I grabbed Mateo. However, even then I wasn't expecting much valuewise (it's a $2-3 book value card max). I simply love the look of Elite Aspirations cards in person. If you've never seen one, they are very very shiny in the red parts, and generally have a cool die cut like this one here (my only other aspiration is a 2003 football one of Seneca Wallace, which can be seen here). I also love the numbering on the front, as I've mentioned before, so this card is great on many levels!


3. 2001 Topps Chrome Adrian Gonzalez/Adam Johnson RC
Never would've thought this was the #1 card I chose, but it is ($6 book value). I also never would've thought Adam Johnson had a few jersey cards. I just liked the idea of a RC of the Red Sox star 1B, a card I used to own in base form but traded away long ago. Now I have a chrome version which is even cooler!


4. 2001 Topps Gold Phil Dumatrait/Adam Wainwright RC (Serial 0881/2001)
This is the only card I can't find a value for, but the gold version is much better than the Chrome version for a 2001 card. One comparison of Alex Rodriguez's cards from that year shows a $3 book value for the chrome and a $20 book value for the gold. And that's just his regular old card parallel'd, still /2001. Not a bad jump, right?

If Wainwright's gold card made a similar jump, I've got a $12-13 book value card on my hands here instead of the $2 chrome. I doubt it's that high - more reasonable if $5-6 - but a man can dream right? Anywho, it was great to grab this card just to realize that gold 2001's are worth way more than chrome or base 2001's. So if you have any semistars in gold form from 2001 Topps...might want to pull them out and look up prices!


5. 2001 Fleer Futures Characteristics Pedro Martinez (anyone else realize every single one of these cards is from 2001? The entire box was like this - all baseball was from 2001 as well as all football and basketball! Weird)
This scans terribly, but it's similar to this awesome Kurt Warner card I own. Pedro's word is HA, which means supremacy or domination. Considering the year was 2001 and Pedro had just won his 3rd Cy Young in 4 seasons, the word definitely fit. Only a $1.50 book value card, but this is one I intended keeping for myself anyways since it's pretty damn cool in terms if design.

And that there does er. All in all, about $20 in book value for 5 cards that I bought for $1. I'm sure actual sell value is much closer to my $1 (after all, not too many people are chasing Ruben Mateo cards these days), but I loved digging through and finding these cards and will enjoy having them in my collection even if I never sell or trade them since they taught me a bit about the year 2001 in cards. So I'd say my trip to Collector's Paradise was a successful one. Maybe next time they'll even have cards from 2003 so I can look for Seneca Wallace cards!

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