Scavenger Life Episode 512: Want To Hear A Sad to Happy Story?

4/25/21 – 5/1/21

Total items in store: 2305

Items sold: 52

Gross sales: $2242.35 (down 0.9% from one year ago)

Net sales: $1639.79 (up 11.9% from one year ago)

Highest price sold (net): $528.65 — details below

Lowest price sold (net): $7.30 — a jersey card of former Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery, who passed away a few years ago at a young age

Definitely felt the spring/summer slowdown strongly these last few weeks, but I was saved this week by an unusual high dollar sale. The card I sold hit on all the elements that create value in modern sports cards: the card contained a large and unusual jersey swatch, it was autographed, had a low serial number, a shiny design, it’s a rookie card, from a popular set and it’s a popular player. I knew when I acquired this card that it would sell well, and as I kept getting watchers on the listing (over 30+ by the time I sold), I kept increasing the price slightly. But a $600+ offer was too much to turn down.

Most of the cards I sell get taped in between cardboard and maybe bubble wrap and shipped in a small envelope. The Derwin James card I sold got the premium treatment — double wrapped and sent in a small box with extra cardboard for protection. My buyer’s treasure made it all the way from New Jersey to California (surely to a collector or speculator with a wealth of nice Chargers cards) in just two days. Really demonstrates what an incredible infrastructure USPS has.

The card that I sold is a Derwin James card. James is a talented young football player in his second or third year but by no means one of the best players in the league. And he’s a defensive safety, not a quarterback or running back or wide receiver. And he plays for the Los Angeles Chargers, not the Patriots or Cowboys or Packers.

While this was a huge sale for me (my second highest sale this year), and almost certainly one of the best Derwin James cards, it’s pennies compared to high dollar cards of more popular, or collectible, players. Regular rookie cards (no autograph, no jersey, no serial numbering, no shine) from the same popular set as my Derwin James card (Panini Select) of the best young quarterback Patrick Mahomes routinely sell for over $1000. And this isn’t all pandemic or “sports card bubble” related — this level of speculative frenzy has been around cards, to one degree or another, for 15+ years.

I had another buyer this week who bought 10 oversized autograph cards of 1950s New York Yankees and Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, which wasn’t nearly as lucrative a sale but it felt nice to clear out 10 relatively low-dollar (~$10 each) items at once.

Also, Jay, I loved your sad to happy story. I related to it so strongly, especially in terms of needing to find my own way in my early twenties and struggling to create those strong bonds beyond what my family gave me, which often wasn’t much. It is such a joy to hear about the shop finally opening and to think about all that it will bring to the community, especially for your younger employees for many of whom this will be their first job. That first job shapes a young person so dramatically and it’s great to see how you are taking this step that will affect so many people’s lives for the better.

Keep listing, everyone. Even if this summer remains slow, it will pay off around the holidays.

This post was originally published on this site