The Wax Heaven Experiment

4 03 2008

Has our hobby become so obsessed with rookie and prospect cards that they would be willing to rip off a broken-hearted girl out of thousands of dollars worth in baseball cards? That is the question I have posed to the sports card collecting world by placing a phony ad on Craigslist a week ago.

The SOB story is as follows; an irresponsible boyfriend and very obsessed, unemployed collector borrowed his girlfriend’s expensive vehicle and crashed it while under the influence of some drug. Luckily, the damage was only cosmetic but it was enough to end the relationship. Not having the funds to pay off the damage, the man’s collection exchanged hands. To entice greedy collectors, I included four scans of the hottest Bowman Chrome rookie cards of all-time. What do you think will happen?

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL SCAN!

If you are unfamiliar with those four cards, they are pretty much the biggest cards in the hobby right now. The Pujols alone books for $2,500. If you read the ad you will see that also included is 30 sealed boxes, all Bowman Chrome. So considering this girl has close to $10,000 in baseball cards, surely there will be a good Samaritan out there who will e-mail me frantically about the worth of the cards, right? Anyone?

Well, the answer is a resounding “NO”. Not a single one of the close to 40 people who e-mailed me offered me a single dollar more than the $200 I asked for. That was not surprising since all people care about these days is getting a great “steal” on cards but this would be more like a highway robbery, no? What makes matters worse were the guys who made offers like these;

“I’ll give you $50 but nothing more and only if the cards in the ad are included” -anonymous

“I know a lot about cards and can tell you that those cards you have are worthless. I’ll give you no more than $200”-Jeff on A.O.L

“My son collects but I don’t know anything about them. Will you accept $100? Just make sure the B.C auto of Pujols is included.” -Mike, Boca Raton

“Those cards are not signed or valuable, I can go no higher than $75. Take it or leave it.” Anonymous

“the cards you have are available in any card shop you visit. let me see them and if they are the ones in the ad i can give you sixty.” Donny on Hotmail

Just when I was about to give up on the collecting world, I got an urgent message from Scott of West Palm Beach.

“THOSE CARDS YOU HAVE ARE WORTH THOUSANDS THE PUJOLS ALONE IS A TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR CARD! DONT SELL ANYTHING YOUR BEST CHOICE IS TO SELL EACH CARD AND BOX ON EBAY. WHATEVER YOU DO DONT SELL FOR $200 AND DONT GO TO A CARD SHOP TO SELL IT OFF CAUSE YOU WILL GET RIPPED OFF. DEALERS ARE THE BIGGEST SCUM IN THE WORLD. THEY TROLL CRAIGSLIST LOOKING FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU TO RIP OFF.

REGARDS, SCOTT

Well, damn—finally someone honest and sincere. Maybe not the best online etiquette but this is the type of collector that doesn’t just care about turning a profit or finding a steal. Thanks, Scott—you restored my faith in the prospecting end of the hobby!


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15 responses

4 03 2008
whitesoxcards

That’s a bold expirement. I’m glad to see that one person was honest enough. Frankly, I’m not surprised by the majority of responses.

4 03 2008
chemgod

I see those ads on Craigslist all of the time. Usually though it’s I have a ton of cards from 1986-1992 almost 10,000 of them, I’m looking to get $400 or best offer. To which I’ll reply that although there might be some “good” cards in there, your best bet is to remove the big name players and sell the rest as commons, you could get about $25 for the commons. Sell the “good” cards separately for maybe $100 (an that’s if there were a lot of them).

4 03 2008
Rob

Wow….To be perfectly honest I didn’t expect anyone to be honest as like you said…these days everyone is looking to rip you off online especially on Ebay and Craigslist. See now what would have been funny was if you took the $200 and sent them empty boxes of Chrome and photo copies of the cards to teach them a lesson and then returned the $200!

4 03 2008
whatthehellme

Craigslist is a bad spot to buy/sell sports cards.
Selling-You never get what you are asking.
Buying-98% of the time you get people’s Ebay rejects.
The people that responded to that posting where not only cheap, deceiving bastards–but they where also complete dicks about it.

4 03 2008
Russ

Chemgod is right. I always see big lots for $250, $500 or more. And if you look at the pictures, if there are any, it’s all late 80’s early 90’s stuff.

4 03 2008
L.O.

I think the ‘experiment’ is deranged, since you are preying on ‘innocent collectors,’ just like the sellers on Ebay who put up dutch auctions, promising some money cards. Needless to say, I would not have believed the ad posted in the first place.

On the other hand, most of the comments offering to buy the lot of the cards are retarded and it shows how ‘innocent collectors’ and or likely ‘dealers’ are willing to take advantage of something they think they can exploit.

5 03 2008
Wax Heaven

L.O., It could be looked at as entrapment but all I wanted was to see how honest collectors today are. I would have hoped more than one person would have tried to help our “damsel in distress”.

I am happy there was at least one person, though.

5 03 2008
whatthehellme

“Innocent Collectors” don’t offer others pennies for what they know to be worth considerably more than the asking price.
The experiment was just that, an experiment, and the outcome is to most decent collectors very startling.
To “innocent collectors” this experiment was far from deranged-it ultimately turns out to be a public service announcement.
Is the TV show “To Catch a Predator” unfair to those “innocent pedaphiles” that it exposes?
This particular experiment should be done in all Craigslist areas to expose those who prey on sellers.
Its a dirty game (unfortunately) and it helps to know who is dirty so you can stay away.
Thank you Mario for your creativity in exposing a black area of a growing buy and sell medium.

5 03 2008
nmboxer

As always, buyer beware, ESPECIALLY on craigslist, but gee. What a world.

Well said, whatthehellme.

5 03 2008
dayf

Wow, how greedy do you have to be to not only rip some one off but to try and lowball them to boot? That’s crazy. Neat experiment.

5 03 2008
bailorg

Interesting. Honestly, if I saw that ad somewhere, I’d actually assume that you (the seller) were a scam artist looking to make a quick buck, especially since the entire story sounds fishy. Why would someone who spends all his time “buying and selling” on eBay give away $10K in cards to cover a $1500 repair bill?

That being said, it’s also highly irresponsible to sell something without doing some degree of due diligence.

Yes, some of those people acted like total jerks in their offers, but it’s not as if your sob story was that believable. I’d actually consider anyone who made you an offer close to full market value based on your ad quite gullible.

5 03 2008
Wax Heaven

I wasn’t expecting an offer anywhere close to full market value, that would be insane. I doubt anyone is emailing people offering $5,000 to strangers. I was doing the test to see if anyone would be honest enough to help me out. In several emails exchanged, I kept stating that I had no idea what the cards were worth and asked if there was a website or BOOK that listed the prices of cards. All but one person chose not to ignore me…..his response? “I don’t think there is any way of finding the exact price sorry”

5 03 2008
Russ

I just noticed….The headline reads “Expirement” instead of “Experiment”.

Sorry, I’m a bit of a spelling/grammar fiend. Although you’ll still find problems with both on my blog as well.

5 03 2008
Wax Heaven

Russ, thanks. That’s something I am working on…my spelling!

5 03 2008
The Infamous Tatiana

Man, those guys are lucky that you were doing the messaging, because if I had to pretend to be a ditz and not know the worth of those cards and then put up with their emails… boy, I would have snapped and told them all to go kick rocks!!!!!!! >:'(

People make me sick.

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