Saturday, August 8, 2015

Artificial Scarcity (I'm such a sucker)

Serial numbered cards.  Error variations.  Blank backs.  Buybacks.  Whatever the form, there are tons of cards in the hobby that gain enhanced value (or gain any value at all) for slight variations from the original.  Some people love them, others hate them, most of both sides see them as the cash grab they are regardless, and so it really depends on the kind of collector you are as to whether you chase these things or not.  I, a sucker, chase them pretty much every time.

One thing that bugs a lot of people are the last mentioned buyback cards, where companies take old cards no one wants and do something to them to make them marketable.  Add an autograph...add some numbering...add a stamp.  Conventions do this sometimes too, where they'll take blah cards and add stamps to make them unique, marketable, scarce.  And it works, since I bought this card.

See, Corey Alson has no true 1/1's to his name.  He doesn't even have 15 cards listed in Beckett.  So when I saw a card stamped 1/1 on Ebay, I was both skeptical and I needed to have it.  A few problems though...I wasn't sure if the stamp was legit, and it was $10 from Burbank Sportscards, so it wasn't a cheap mistake if the stamp wasn't legit.

Well I got the card, so here's the front so you call can see it.  I'll explain how it's legit after.
Regular base obviously, but with a big old "Kids Free" stamp to signify its 1/1-ness.  What's especially cool though, and handy for this post, is that each of the Kids Free 1/1 cards came with a Certificate of Authenticity, and Burbank included that authenticity with the card.  Looks like this:
The long and short of it was that you could get packs at the 2003 National with these cards in them.  Proceeds of the sales of those packs helped keep it so that kids under the age of 16 could get in free.  Which means the card is a little misleading - if you told me a wedding was kids free, or a party was kids free, I'd picture that meaning there would be no kids there...not that they'd get in free while I paid a price.  That said, this whole write up lends a lot of credibility to this particular stamped 1/1, and made me feel a ton better about buying it.

So in the end, the National made a little extra money, whoever sold these cards to Burbank made money, and then Burbank made money, all so I could have the only "true" Corey Alston 1/1 in the world.  Feels kind of good to be the #1 Corey Alston collector as a result.  In fact, to all other Corey Alston collectors I will now say:
Awww yeah baby.  It's good to be king, even if it's just an artificial crown.


  1. Congratulations on being the owner of the sole 1/1 on the face of this planet. For me... I've got to be in the mood. If I find something that fits one of my player PC's and it's a reasonable price, I'll bite. If I think the price has been inflated too much, I'll pass. But like I said... it all depends on my mood.

    1. Same! I think on a lot of other days I would've been like "Pass!" But on this day I was all in.