Saturday, June 4, 2011

Set Building Takes a Bit of Luck

Set building is a tricky proposition. Sometimes, I go after a set that I know will be kind of a cakewalk. A short checklist and multiple non-serial numbered cards make some sets relatively easy to complete. For instance, I decided to build the 2005 UD Origins Materials Jersey set.  There are only 42 cards in the set and of those, only three are short prints. I started on the set about a month ago. With very little output of cabbage, I only need one card to complete the set. It's a Nolan Ran SP. One will turn up any day now.

Other sets that I go after require much more. More financial commitment, diligence, patience, and luck. Some might say a bit of a loose screw is required to build certain sets. 

Let's take the 2010 Topps Magic Football Game-Used Jersey set for example. A set that I am in the process of building. The set consists of 73 cards. That's a lot of cards. Each card is serial numbered to only 25 copies. Twenty five. Let that sink in a minute. Mark Sanchez, only 25. Calvin Johnson, same deal, only 25. Aaron Rodgers, yup, 25. Any Steeler or Cowboy in the set... 25. There are only 25 of each card in the universe. Many of the cards in this set have never been seen by me. Darren Sproles, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Robert Meachem to name a few. Those guys are not big names in the card collecting world, but when there are only 25 of a card out there, they become valuable and collectible. 

That brings me to my most recent pick-ups. Matt Cassell. I got this card for $25 bucks shipped using a BIN option. twenty five bucks is more than I think a jersey card of Cassell is worth, but the last few I had seen were snatched up by Chiefs or USC fans. And with only 25 copies of this card out there, I had to bite the bullet. An example of financial commitment if there ever was one.
 Next, an example of pure luck and timing. Tom Brady is probably one or two in the football collecting world right now. His cards often sell for way more than I would ever pay for one. And I'm a Michigan fan. One night last week, I was doing a little eBay surfing, and what do I see? A Tom Brady with a BIN of $19.99 and 3 bucks tacked on for S&H. I couldn't press the BUY IT NOW button fast enough.
 Lastly, I got three cards that I needed from one seller. Each card cost me $10 bucks, and the combined shipping was $4.50. I left the guy a medium star rating for the shipping charges. I guess these three would be an example of getting a deal on buying cards from the same seller. A slim deal, but a deal non the less.
 So there ya have it. Five cards with a story. Five cards closer to completing a tough set. I may be a few bobbins short of a full attachment box for trying to build this set, but I love the chase.


  1. this will look awesome if you can finish it.

  2. There's a dang Dez Bryant to get...
    Cowboy collectors...

  3. Great write up!

    Set building can be a real battle of attrition