My encounter with a Joe Collector!

Remember the “Joe Collector” craze started by Sports Cards Uncensored? During that time, I rarely got involved in those discussions because I don’t care how collectors price their own cards. I rarely make trades and when I do, I have been fortunate enough to deal with people who don’t worship the Beckett bible.

The other day while surfing through Freedom Card Board I ran into a topic from a user politely asking for the Beckett price of an Evan Longoria autograph. If you’ve ever been to a card forum you run into these posts on a daily basis, even though many pretend not to give a crap about “book value”. Obviously, many collectors do still care.

After a few polite responses, one person recommended the user check out the eBay completed auctions to see what the card was selling for on the secondary market. The advice was not sarcastic, rude, or anything but trying to be helpful. The Joe Collector’s response shocked me.

“I don’t want the fake eBay price, I want what it’s actually worth according to Beckett”

At that point, one member pointed out that many collectors use eBay completed auctions to gauge the price of a card but unfortunately, this seemed to irritate the Joe Collector even more.

“I don’t care what it sold for on eBay where someone paid what money they had in their pocket”.

At this point I realized how bitter this user was. Clearly he had spent thousands of dollars on cards over his lifetime only to be laughed at when trying to sell them according to his bible’s guide. Hell, we all want our cards to be worth and even sell for what Beckett quotes but 99% of sane collectors know that is not going to happen.

I can understand the old school train of thought of not wanting to switch over to eBay prices. Frankly, I don’t care if you use Beckett or not. Who am I to judge what’s right and what’s wrong? All I am saying is that if you’re going to be that upset at the mere thought of using another resource… something might be wrong with you.

Maybe I found a sucker to sell of these cards to?



  1. like it says in my SCF signature
    BV = BS The value of a card is what someone is willing to pay for it, not a number Beckett pulls out of a hat

  2. While I think that Beckett and SMR are both utter nonsense, just using completed Ebay auctions or VCP is not completely accurate either because they only track online transactions. Many, many cards are sold at stores and shows, and those prices are just as “valid” as those from Ebay auctions.

    The dirty truth that nobody wants to admit is that pricing is a very inexact science. What something is worth depends both on the specifics of item itself, as well as the mindset of both the buyer and seller, and changes from moment to moment and situation to situation.

  3. Exactly mfw. Ebay is a far greater indicator than anything else, but only that. My willingness to pay in person, seeing the card or a trusted seller are higher than buying mostly blind on ebay. I don’t buy patch cards at all on ebay, too many fakes, and other things. If it varies that much to me, good luck setting values for everyone.

  4. Ha ha, so he’s not interested in what the card is actually worth (and what people are willing to pay for it), he’s interested in what the card is “worth” according to Beckett.

    I still don’t know how I feel about the whole Beckett pricing thing. I never realized how potentially corrupt they are until recently, and really only use their guide to find out if a particular card I have is “valuable” or not. But with anything in life, save for very rare instances, we pay less for things than they’re worth – we do it with houses, cars, etc. You can get a Kelly Blue book value for your car before selling it, but you absolutely will end up selling it for less… does that make KBB irrelevant? I know it’s not entirely the same thing, but it kind of is.

    MFW nailed it – pricing is an incredibly inexact science.

  5. I have (2) 5000 count boxes full of 1988 & 89 Topps commons. I will gladly sell these for 2-5 cents a piece, if anyone would like them. That’s the Beckett prices, right?

    That’s $100-250 per box!!!

    The line forms to the left. No pushing or shoving, folks.

  6. I won a Beckett contest so I love everything they do. Whatever Beckett says is gospel, all y’all haters are stupid fags. If Beckett asked me to kill another human being in the interest of saving their godly magazine, I would. Their editors are the smartest, most honest people around, and I am trying to get Tracy Hackler to be my friend. Lord knows I need one.

    I also cheer for the house in blackjack.

  7. Price guides in general do not work. You can never cover every transaction, and when you can past transaction data isn’t useful. What something sold for a month ago is completely irrelevant to what something sold for today. The only real price guide is to put it up for auction and let it go, everything else is wrong and/or outdated.

  8. HAHAHHA R- very funny punchline

    hey mario you know the crazy lady that kept asking me to trade? I finally won that battle last night. he was “willing” to go up 150% BV for my card, and then I just replaced the same card by buying it on ebay for 5 bucks. this should come out to a dollar a jersey for me then! 🙂

  9. I’m completely fine going with eBay when it comes to new cards, or staples of the hobby, but not all cards. It’s strange to think about it, but buyers on eBay are just a small portion of the actual hobby, which obviously affects the auction price. In any auction format, it’ll depend on the number of bidders and the amount of liquid cash-money that they have.

    The only cards that can be judged by ebay, are as i mentioned earlier, the cards that attract universal interest. Otherwise, prices will massively drop after the 5-10 people that need to have this card acquire it. They’ll drop as far as it takes until they become universally attractive at that price.

    Gauging cards based on those prices is silly, especially when you’re dealing for newer cards that do appeal to everyone.

    As it stands now, there’s no way to really compare cards from 2009 and 2006, or whatever. The 2009 cards are massively over-valued, and the 2006 cards are probably undervalued.

    Beckett attempts to compare these cards, and quite frankly picking a coefficient and adjusting Beckett’s prices will give you a much better guestimate than using eBays auctions over the past month.

  10. I have noticed that anytime someone posts a “can you check BV” thread up, they always know how stupid they sound. Its like Pavlov’s Joe Collectors or something.

    If you know its dumb, why ask? Are people that dumb?

    Inevitably yes.

  11. gellman-you know whats the dumbest thing I ever see on the msg. boards at beckett?

    people that dont pay for pricing get a generic pic of what pricing looks like. it says 750-1500 every few days someone comes along and asks if theyve hit a goldmine. the best one in recent memory is a guy with donruss 88 asking for the “low BV” for a card.

    I told him to cut a penny in half it would take an 8 dollar tool 😛

  12. You can get a Kelly Blue book value for your car before selling it, but you absolutely will end up selling it for less… does that make KBB irrelevant? I know it’s not entirely the same thing, but it kind of is.


    That’s a good comparison right there IMO. Any “book value” price is basically the highest that something could theoretically be worth, and sell for – but it’s not how things always pan out.. As much as Beckett isn’t the pricing savior, you can also say that ebay isn’t either.. There’s so many variables that come into play that can affect the final sale price, and plus the flea-market type atmosphere of ebay is an advantage to buyer’s, with the competition driving prices down creating deals.. It’s like when someone was talking about the big card show, how the prices were “90% BV”.. Well, you can bet the particular fans of whichever player were still buying up their cards at those prices, which they were willing to pay, which would contradict how on ebay you could get that card for 1/2 as much – insinuating it’s only worth half as much, etc.. Whether or not someone hates Beckett, it’s still a good tool of gauging the value of cards – even if you personally can’t get high BV for it on ebay.. And whether or not people believe it or not, the Beckett BV is STILL influencing the final sale prices on ebay in some way..

  13. beaverman I agree with you there, although chris olds doesnt do his “pricing” from a basement, he does it from a burger king, what a fatass! I would love to punch that fat face in for stealing so many sick rare cards.

  14. I think it is hilarious that all these people who SWEAR by Beckett never seem to own a Beckett??

  15. Kris – something is only worth what someone else will pay for it at that exact moment. If a card sells high at one point, its worth that much at that point, then the same if it sells low later. I dont get why people expect value to be a static thing. Its not. Thats why price guides are irrelevant in collectibles. It has nothing to do with number of people or liquid cash or anything. The only thing that matters is how much the buyer pays. eBay value may have flaws in some fo the ways sales happen, but the value is pretty much there. Beckett is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY OFF in every way because they try to assign an arbitrary static number to an ever changing value.

    Add in that Beckett is in bed with Panini, and you can see why there is a huge conflict of interest. Even bigger is that just about EVERY card manufacturer advertises in the magazine, making the conflict of interest more evident. Then, you have the fact that Beckett has ZERO responsibility to the collector to provide accurate prices and you have strike three. They ONLY care about making money, not helping collectors.

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