Sunday, May 20, 2012

Working Sets to Completion

As I may have mentioned before, my approach to building sets is to get as many cards as I can from local card shops (there are 3, although one has limited vintage inventory), then work local card shows, then go to sale sites like COMC and Sportlots.  These sale sites each have advantages and disadvantages

The advantages of COMC that you can see the specific card you are buying and, because COMC physically holds all the cards and acts as an agent for many sellers you can get cards from many different sellers in the same order.  The downside of COMC is that shipping charges add up quickly.

I tend to like Sporlots better, but that site doesn't hold the cards. It mainly acts as a front end ordering interface into multiple sellers.  So, shipping costs can be a lot less if you only order from one seller. To that end, I tend to order as many cards as I can from one seller to make my order worth their while. On the downside, you can't actually see the cards you are ordering.

Recently,  I launched an order for about $30 at a Sportlots seller and managed to knock of cards from the want lists of 6 different sets all at once.  I got a handful of cards each for 2001, 2002, and 2011 Heritage to keep chipping away at those sets.

I ordered four cards from the insert sets of 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game set. I am slowly approaching completion for 2004 GOTG.

This is the sixth (of 10 total) of the Battery Mates card I have.

I also got three cards from the Forever. The Forever subset is made up of 29 cards of players from the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, and Cardinals. Currently, I only have 13, so still a ways to go.

There is also a 35 card subset known as Glory of Their Time and I need 13 cards to finish that . I didn't get any of those in this order.  So, for the 2004 Greats set, I am down to 33 cards to finish.  I had thought about chasing after the serialized blue parallels for the 145 card main set, but I only have 9 and I haven't seen any large lots come up on EBay, and have never seen one in a dollar box so I am going to drop that goal for now.  If an opportunity comes up to get a pile of them all at once, I may revive the goal. But, right now, I'd rather just close the book on this set. So, 33 cards it is.

I also got 4 cards from 1976 Topps, including this league leaders card. I am now down to needing 11 cards to complete that set.

Finally, I got 4 cards from 1971 Topps.  The seller had a lot more 1971s I needed, but this was mainly an experiment. I will admit to being a bit picky about condition on the 1970s sets I've been working.  Since I can't see the cards on Sportlots, there is always a concern that how the seller grades is different than how I would. So,  I ordered two cards each in EX/NM and NRMT condition from this specific seller to get a gauge how he grades.   These first to were listed as NRMT.

 The following two cards were listed as EX/NM.

I couldn't really tell the difference. This is important since the cost difference between these two grades for 1971 semi-high and high numbers can be significant.  My assessment is that this seller is a conservative grader, so I could feel comfortable ordering in the EX/NM range from him and getting cards that I will like. Further, given how nice these cards are, I may just very well order cards from him that he lists as EX and EX+.  That ought to save me a lot of coin and help me complete this set a lot sooner.

So that was my Sportlots order. I've got a few new additions to my player collections that I will post soon.  But, tomorrow is the first day on my new job and the first time I have to commute into an office in close to 5 years.  I have no idea how much time, or energy, I will have available for blogging for a while.

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