Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Experience

I've been waffling back and forth between and to pick up a few more cards. A few weeks ago I decided on SportLots. I had done my research and the two were very different, in ease of use, selection, pricing and shipping fees.

Being the frugal guy that I am, I went with quantity and price per card over the higher priced cards. I was able to purchase 25 cards that I wanted for a total of $8.57. It was $7.03 for the cards, $1.75 for Budget Postage/Handling. The seller gave me a 3 % discount on the cards, so that knocked off $0.21. That works out to about $0.34 per card.

About now I'm guessing that your saying, "Well, those were probably all base cards." Nope, not all of them.

The most expensive card was the 1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold for $1.75.

1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold (card #74)

Contrast that to the 1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond for $0.18. The difference? The color of the foil stamp on the front.

1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond (card #74)

The next most expensive card, well, there were three that came in at $0.50 each.

1986 Drake's (card #31)

1990 Bowman Tiffany (card #84)

1988 Score Glossy (card #470)

The rest of these are the $0.18 cards.

1995 Upper Deck Trade Exchange (card #TC1)

1996 Fleer Post Season Glory (card #3)

1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow (card #400)

I was also able to get an Earl Wilson and two Carl Erskines. Still at $0.18 each.

1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes, Earl Wilson (card #127)

1993 Ted Williams, Carl Erskine (card #13)

1992 Action Packed All-Star Gallery, Carl Erskine (card #54)

I didn't show you the Topps Stickers, Fun Food Button, the Panini Sticker, the seemingly endless Fleer mini boxed set cards and a few others. Interestingly, I got this package in the mail the same day that Night Owl sent some cards. I opened his first because I didn't know what was in there. This package I knew. Several of the cards that he sent were ones that I had ordered from SL. He gets credit for giving me the cards and the ones that came from SL are now dupes.

Comparing SL to COMC for these cards, there were only two of the 25 from SL that COMC had. They were priced higher at COMC ($0.18 vs $0.25 and $0.18 vs $0.99). The shipping from COMC would be higher ($3.00 for the first card plus $0.25 for each extra card). If I purchased these cards from COMC it would have cost me $9.00 just in shipping alone.

Finding cards on COMC is much easier. Search for the player you want and add the cards to your shopping cart. COMC shows me all of the Hershiser cards that they have in stock. Each one of them is scanned, front and back, with the cards graded by (I'm assuming) the owner of the card. What is M to one might be NM to another. I'm not that picky on cards from the 1980's and 1990's. No, I don't want them creased or dinged, but if there's a speck flaw, meh.

Finding cards on SL is a different beast. Select the player, then you are taken to a checklist of years that the player had cards issued. Select up to three years and see what's available. Then they show you the the cards available. Selecting a specific card drills you down to individual cards, their condition, price and seller.

When your done adding the cards to your cart, you can search another three years. Yes, only three years at a time. Once I found a seller that seemed to have a number of cards that I wanted, I could look for any Hershiser that he had in his inventory. Each SL seller maintains their own stock. At COMC, the cards are all in one location and get shipped from one site.

The seller that I dealt with shipped my purchase very quickly. Too save money, I selected his Budget Shipping option. Each seller lists their own shipping costs, based on the number of cards and any extra services (insurance, packing materials, etc). The pin I ordered was wrapped in plastic, but the clasp was against the cards and put a dent on the front of the Trade Card. I probably should have spent that extra dollar and gotten premium shipping, but this didn't ruin it for me.

I've started a spread sheet with the cards I want, lowest price and then grouped by SL seller, with a column for COMC prices. For the cards I'm looking at, I'll probably place another order with SL and then take the plunge and place an order with COMC. But, these are cards I want, not need. I'm in no rush and perhaps new cards will show up before I place either of those orders.

Bottom line, for me it was some work to determine which cards I wanted and from which site. I'm happy that I spent some time and chose to go with I can recommend them with confidence, even though I could only search three years at a time. Spending the time researching I was able to add some cards to the Zistle database. That helps me and the collecting community. I'm happy.

Now, how to organize them? I guess that's another post.


  1. Pretty nice haul. But what on earth is Hershiser doing in that Stadium Club picture? Buying turf at the grocery store with a Pirates batboy?

  2. Mad Guru stole my thunder. I was about to say that I have looked at the 1994 Stadium Club in numerous different ways and cannot put it in any kind of context.

    It might be a card to try and get signed personally and ask him what was going on.

  3. I've used SportLots for a couple years - never a problem and no complaints, even for vintage cards shown without a picture.

  4. Really good post. I've been going back and forth between the two sites trying to figure out what's going to work for me. Man, the shipping at COMC looks like it can get out of hand.

  5. sportlots rules, I use about twice a month, a big help for both set collectors and player collectors.

    usually I start my search with a 'key' card that I am looking for...then just search that sellers inventory so I am not looking at multiple sellers at one time

    if that seller with the key card does not have enough other stuff I need, then I empty my cart and hit another dealer for the same key card and that usually works...