What’s Your Greatest eBay Wish?

Author: ToddUncommon

First of all, it’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a month since the last post on Wax Heaven, and longer since my first.  As one of my friends says, time flies when real life happens.  On the personal front, I’ve been in the midst of a job search since before Christmas.  There are positive signs that things will turn around soon.  Naturally, much of my absence from here has been in keeping the household together, managing finances, and networking for new employment.

Anyway, enough excuse making, and on to the post subject. I have been lucky enough to live about a 25-minute out-of-shape jog away from eBay headquarters for several years now.  I’ve been an eBay buyer and seller since 1998, and over that time, eBay has invited me, off and on, to come to their campus and have the privilege to participate in “usability studies”.  They bring in users and customers, and have them go through exercises and interviews to provide feedback and user insight.

Recently, eBay contacted me to offer an invitation to an expanded usability study that runs from this evening to tomorrow morning.  So far, I’ve met product managers and engineers from the pricing, search, security, and platform / architecture departments of eBay.  They’ve been very receptive and responsive to ideas and experiences with eBay that I and the other invited customers have discussed with them so far.

For my part, I mentioned some of the issues that I’ve both heard from the hobby community and experienced first-hand.  For example, I mentioned the community perception of a “double dip” between eBay insertion / final value fees and PayPal processing fees.  I also passed along concerns I’ve seen on message boards about the new pricing that eBay announced.  New or lower volume non-eBay store users have minimal insertion fees, but eBay stores will see the five cent insertion fee for inventory (Buy it Now) items going away, and being priced higher.  For card sellers on eBay, this can be a daunting shift to readjust dozens (to hundreds) of listings to find a way to sell low-price / low-demand cards, and still find a way to come out ahead.

eBay is, like it or not, the central marketplace for our hobby, whether you’re a dabbler or a retailer.  Nearly every card shop I know that still exists does significant business on eBay.  The most successful shops tell me they do nearly a third of their business on eBay, and it helps keep their physical store open (at least as long as rent doesn’t go up).  Here’s a prime shot to tell eBay what you really think needs to change or be improved, at least for our “Sports Mem, Cards and Fan Shop” category that’s been as staple of the site since it was conceived.

Although this is short notice, I return for additional sessions tomorrow morning here on the West Coast, and I am inviting you to comment on this post with the things that both bother and concern you the most about eBay, as well as any ideas you might have to suggest for improvement.  It’s one thing for me to interpret my experiences and what I’ve heard, and another to be able to go back tomorrow morning, point to Wax Heaven, and say “take a look”.

So, what would you tell eBay if you could?

2009 Goudey is live, a little ugly

2009 Upper Deck Goudey is starting to surface on eBay several days before its April 28th release. As you can see from te bottom scans, Upper Deck might not be using the same artists that worked on Masterpieces.

Although it’s very early, two beautiful 1933 Goudey autographed buybacks have already surfaced. If you’re planning on buying 2009 Goudey, Blowout Cards has boxes for under $75 dollars (16 left). That includes one autograph and one game-used relic per box on average.

You can check out more 2009 Goudey on eBay by clicking HERE.

Cardboard Wars – Battle of the Sexes

It is a well-known fact, according to Beckett Media, that collectors are a bunch of basement-dwelling nerds. That might explain why Topps inserted signed cards of the Rip Girls in 2008 Finest, despite the fact that many collectors had no clue who they were.

Today, many collectors know of the Rip Master and its most popular co-host, Rachael, so you’d think these on-card autographs would demand a big premium on the secondary market. Unfortunately, the only recent sale on one was for .99 cents.

Now put that card up against M.M.A Golden Girl Gina Carano and her 2008 Donruss Americana autograph and you have quite a Cardboard War on your hands. This autograph sells from as low as under $20 to as much as close to $40 dollars on eBay.

Who wins this Cardboard War?

You can view my winner HERE.

“Voice of the Phillies”, dead at 73

Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster and narrator of N.F.L Films, Harry Kalas, passed away in his broadcast booth while preparing for a game versus the Nationals on Monday afternoon.

Kalas had missed all of Spring Training after an undisclosed surgery and was in the final year of his contract. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Upper Deck released a Sweet Spot autograph of Kalas in their 2004 & 2005 baseball brand and while none had appeared on eBay since early February, there are currently three of them available, with one seller asking nearly $400 dollars for the card.

You can view Kalas’ Hall of Fame profile HERE.

Old Judge: The Anti-Prime Cuts

Way back in 1995, when pulling a certified autograph from a pack of cards was about as common as winning the lottery, Signature Rookies Old Judge set out to raise the bar of “high-end” products. Although they did not have the luxury of an M.L.B license, they produced great-looking cards with serial numbered hobby boxes and 18 autographs in each box.

Unfortunately, unless you collect guys like Wilton Guererro and Karim Garcia, there is not much value in the brand today. There is however, a Joe DiMaggio certified autograph with a print run of 250 copies to be found. I have no idea what these usually sell for as there are none in the Completed Auctions section of eBay but the Prime Cuts Frankenstein Cut Signature made famous in 2008 last sold for as high as $226 dollars.

If you’re feeling lucky, Dave & Adam’s Card World has one box of ’95 Signatures Rookies Old Judge for less than $70 dollars. That’s less than $4 dollar per autograph and if you’re extremely lucky you will find one very special Yankee autograph signed on-card and not an ugly sticker.

No, not Bobby Abreu.