Card of the Day – 2007 eTopps

4 11 2008

I am not perfect. Actually, I am far from it. Occasionally I call one wrong and I never have a problem admitting to it. For the longest time I did everything I could to bash eTopps. I just didn’t get the concept or why I would buy a card only to have it sit in some warehouse and then pay extra to ship it to me at a later date.

I hated eTopps….that is, until I received my first one. The card you see is a 2007 eTopps Andrew Miller. It’s got everything a “Jose Collector” like me could ever ask for. It’s dark, uses Refractor technology, and it’s surprisingly thick. No, not Upper Deck Black thick but a good size. It’s also serial numbered but I could go either way on that. This is also one of Andrew’s best-looking, non-autographed rookie cards.

This card, #99 in my Andrew Miller collection came from Wax Heaven reader, Casey. Originally, he was going to send it my way as a gift but I was able to find some special cards to send his way. Along with this card, he sent over many interesting Marlins cards that should keep this ‘Card of the Day’ feature going well into next week!

Thanks Casey, for the awesome card and for changing my mind about eTopps!

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5 responses

4 11 2008
Charlie

I tried to change your mind about eTopps months ago, and you were having none of it 🙂

Oh, and by the way, I”M BACK!!

5 11 2008
Mario A.

Welcome back!

2 02 2009
ToddUncommon

I’ve actually been a pretty big fan of eTopps for a number of years now since 2002, and a dedicated collector since about ’05. I always have found the platform quite interesting–particularly so in that it has developed into something like a sub-culture within the card collecting community, with some of its own language, or at least a twist on meanings of common existing card lingo.

My read on eTopps is that it was somebody’s brain child in Topps about 1999-2000, right at the height of the DotCom boom, when “day-trading” was a word you could use to describe somebody’s job without laughing in their face. For example, in buying the cards, you attempt to jump in at the “Initial Player Offering” or “IPO” (get it?) and use eBay like a real-time commodities market for after-IPO pricing. You hold your cards in a “Portfolio” on the eTopps website (related, but not the same as, Topps.com), and the cards are stored at a Topps warehouse in Delaware. Much like an e*Trade account, they don’t send you a copy of a stock certificate, but you clearly have ownership in any case. However, since these are collectibles, you can request that the cards be delivered to you for the cost of shipping.

If you take delivery, they are then removed from the Portfolio-based marketplace. If you sell the card from your portfolio normally, there’s nothing to ship–you just change ownership. If you have cards “in-hand”, you can still sell them on eBay (or at shops, shows, or wherever) yourself, and ship them to the buyer. That portfolio-based marketplace used to be eBay exclusive, but now includes CartTarget.com, a partner site where non-auction sales can happen for both “in-port” and in-hand cards.

The cards, even today, have as part of their stats on the back the previous year’s “Yield”, and the current year’s “Prospectus”, as if each player’s statistical performance were run like a business.

In trying to capitalize on the DotCom Era, and add quasi-stock market lingo to sports cards, eTopps was born. A test run of 12 football cards kicked it off in the fall of 2000, and then cards for all four major sports were launched in 2001. Of course, by then, the DotCom bubble burst, and certain men with evil thoughts and hate in their hearts piloted airliners into buildings to kill as may people as they could.

For eTopps, that meant that lots of IPO cards that year fell short of their maximum print run (PR), and with a great design, remain the largest group of desirable eTopps cards today. Collectors that hoarded a particular card of a player became “accumulators”, trying to corner the market and limit supply, especially on short print, or SP cards. At one time, the lowest SP card for years, a 2001 Tony Banks, commanded as high a price as several hundred dollars. Keep in mind that the glut we have today of ultra-limited edition cards hadn’t happened yet by 2001, so 186 of a particular card was perceived as practically finding a dodo bird, or Jimmy Hoffa, in terms of rarity.

I have always found that in-port cards have had high liquidity on eBay, and whenever I’ve needed some extra money, I’ve sold eTopps and done *very* well, and without the expense in money and time for me to ship a single thing.

The refractor-finish cards look great, and I especially like that there is a weekly catalog where you can acquire some past-issue eTopps cards or merchandise for reward or performance bonus points. Based on IPO buying habits, reward points are given, and each current player card has statistical targets. If those targets are met, then you are awarded PB points (along with reward points) that you can spend in the catalog.

I like the idea that if I buy cards from the site to start with, then I have the option to get some others for free later on. They’ve also had some fun fantasy-based games (based on cards you have in your portfolio) for the past couple of years, where I’ve won sweet weekly prizes a couple times, including autographed items and cases of wax.

Although the eTopps platform was born out of an era of day-trading silliness, it has lasted over *eight years* now–and survived the dotcom/9-11 recession, the Eisner/Tornante buyout of Topps, and so far, this latest banking panic and recession. How many other brands or product lines–from Topps or anyone–have come and gone since then? I’ve been impressed by eTopps’ resilience so far, and I hope I get to enjoy it for some time further, now that NBA eTopps cards will stop after this season, too.

2 02 2009
gobigpelf34

that was a mouthfull

24 10 2016
Mr.RogersPerspectiv

I have a Kobe Bryant / James Worthy etopps 2007… only 9 were made. I have card #3 of 9.
She’s a real beauty. I also have her graded, mint by Beckett….
For pictures, email me clinton801@gmail.com

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