Grand Achievements Auto Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Karim Abdul-Jabbar 1997 Genuine Article Grand Achievements Auto #’ed/1000.  Good luck!!!

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Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, April 3, 2015 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

Card traders’ fortunes shift over time

My local newspaper, The Daily Item, published an article on one of my local card shops – Shaffer’s Trading Cards.  They have been in business for 35 years and keep on going.  I’m sure if you’ve been to any of the major shows you’ve seen Bill Shaffer and his wife Darlene.  It was an interesting read.  I thought you would enjoy.  I’ve pulled some great stuff from his shop, including a Willie Mays 2004 Topps Tribute Cut Signature Edition Auto #’ed 1/1.  Enjoy!


By Francis Scarcella
Daily Item

“LEWISBURG — You may have $2.2 million sitting in a box in your attic and you don’t even know it.

In the early 1990s, baseball cards were being produced at an estimated 81 billion cards per year with some of those cards being worth hundreds of dollars each, but more than 20 years later popularity and price have seen ups and downs, said Bill Shaffer, owner of Shaffer’s Trading Cards.

Except for the T-206 1909 Honus Wagner rookie card.

In 1979, the Wagner rookie card was thought to be one of 10 produced. About 40 that have been discovered.

The most recent Wagner card to be sold was in 2009, where a buyer fromCaliforniapaid $2.2 million for it.

“The vintage stuff has skyrocketed in price,” Shaffer said. “It’s the newer stuff that isn’t as much or has stayed the same.”

Shaffer has been dealing with trading cards for 35 years and it’s the living he and his wife Darlene chose to have.

More than 35 years ago the Topps Company was the only company selling trading cards of Major League Baseball.

A few companies came along, and in 1981 Fleer and Donruss card companies made their debuts.

“Then a bunch more started to pop up,” Shaffer said.

“One after one, companies began buying each other and in the end only one company was left standing.”

The Topps Company remained the leader in trading cards, Shaffer said.

“They never did attempt to buy anyone or do anything. They stayed doing exactly what they were doing and they are now the only licensed company to sell Major League Baseball cards.”

The Topps Company issued its first cards in 1951 and was founded in 1938 as Topps Chewing Gum. In its early years, Topps produced a popular penny “Topps Gum” from a factory inBrooklyn,N.Y.In 1950, Topps added trading cards to its product line. Baseball cards appeared in 1951 now the company produces trading cards that features football basketball players, in addition to entertainment cards and stickers and albums.

Shaffer said that even though it appears that children are the collectors, it is an adult business.

“They started with putting cards in cigarette packs,” he said.

A pack of cards in 1979 cost around 15 cents, Shaffer said.

“Now the price is at $2 per pack,” he said.

“I’ve lived through all the changes and price changes.”

Packs of cards used to have bubble gum included with them, but that practice has since stopped, Shaffer said.

Searching value of what you may have, or may have found hidden away, is as easy as buying a price guide, Shaffer said.

“You would be surprised at some of the prices,” he said.

“Most of the cards that were made in the early 90s were over made which lead to price being brought down.”

Shaffer said if you are a rookie and looking to start a collection — start with rookies.

That’s where people go,” he said.

“They get a hot rookie and collect from there.”

But if you are looking for that Wagner card and you get lucky and find one, even if its ripped it could buy you a new house.

“I saw one that was missing a piece of the card at a trade show and it sold for $150,000,” Shaffer said.

“They say there is only 40, but they just keep popping up.””


Should you be online? – By Terri Rehkop of Press Pass, Inc

This is an excellent article written by Terri Rehkop, who is the Director of Customer Relations at Press Pass, Inc.  It discusses how being online can really help your business, specifically within the trading card industry.

The trading card industry is fascinating. It’s one of the few industries left that is still resistant to the idea that change and new technology can make a business more efficient and effective. Granted, many advancements have made doing business more challenging, but I believe that’s because of how retailers and distributors are implementing these changes, not because the changes themselves are bad.

I have been asked more than once by people in the industry if they should be on the Internet. I have danced around the question in the past because of the negative implications of the question. However, if I were asked that today, I would answer yes. The key objective of any business is to reach its customers. If a big percentage of your customers are on the Internet, how can you justify not being there yourself? As a business, you have to make your decisions based on how you can make it easier for your customers to do business with you. Anything else is counterproductive.

Of course, the question of whether or not you should be on the Internet is driven by price. Early adopters in the trading card industry have made ripples because everything they do is driven by being the lowest cost option for customers. While this strategy can give a short-term bump to profits, over time it erodes both the product value (extremely important for everyone in the trading card industry) and the value your business provides to its customers.

By competing solely on price, you guarantee that your customer will look around before making a purchase. If they find a better deal elsewhere, they will buy elsewhere and you have lost a sale. However, if you look at the Internet and your overall business strategy as a way to build loyalty with your customers, you can go a long way toward ensuring that you keep the largest share of your customers’ trading card spending.

Everyone needs to take a hard look at their business and decide if they are doing everything they can to make their customers loyal to them. Are you talking to them on a regular basis? Are you tracking their preferences and what products they buy? Are you making sure it’s as easy as clicking a mouse to do business with you? All of these things are accomplished by an Internet presence. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated or fancy.

Just think about the companies you do business with. What do you like best? What do you not like? Take that information and apply it to your business. The trading card industry is definitely unique…running a customer-centric business is not.

I would challenge everyone in this industry to make their New Year’s resolution finding ways to make their businesses work harder for their customers instead of the other way around. The more you do for your customers, the more likely they are to resist spending their money elsewhere.

New Article Over At Card Informant

Be sure to check out my latest article over at Card Informant.

Finest Redemptions Aren’t The Finest

Check out Sports Card Info’s newest article on The Cardboard Connection.  While your there be sure to join it’s fast growing social network for collectors.


The Cardboard Connection – Conlon Photography

This week on The Cardboard Connection, Sports Card Info wrote and article about Charles Conlon and his photography.  If your a longtime baseball fan and collector, I’m sure that you have seen his images before.  Be sure to check out the site.


Billy Ripken Obscenity Bat: He Finally Talks 20 Years Later


Darren Rovell of CNBC sat down with Billy Ripken, who is remembered for being on one of the best known “error” cards of the 80’s.  To read the full article please click here.

Sports Card Info Photo Used In Babe Ruth Article

Earlier this week I received an e-mail from a person who was writing an article for about Babe Ruth.  They saw the photos from my trip to Cooperstown last August and wanted to know if they could use one of the photos taken at the Babe Ruth exhibit.  I said yes, and now that photo is part of the article.  Its a real interesting article on Ruth and I bet a lot of collectors would enjoy reading it.  You can view the article here.  My picture is in the photo gallery attached to the article.  I’m actually in the picture, near the bottom where it is a little dark.  

Don’t Forget to Vote!

Later tonight Beckett’s Olympic article contest ends and the article with the most “thumbs up” wins the contest and gets their article published in the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly.  Don’t forget to vote for my article.  If you are a registered member of just click the “green up thumb” next to my article.  Thanks.

2008 Olympics and Beyond

Beckett is running a contest where you can write an article about the Olympics and the winning article, voted by the readers, gets published in Beckett Sports Card Monthly.  Here is my submission:

There aren’t too many events in the world that get countries to work together, but the Olympics is one of them.  Whether the Olympics are taking place in the summer or the winter, a few weeks out of the year the world focuses on athletes that don’t always get the media attention they deserve.  This year in particular I think made an impact on people because of all the extra drama that took place with Michael Phelps a.k.a., The Baltimore Bullet, Shawn Johnson, Kerri Walsh, and Misty May-Treanor.  The Olympics shine a light on sports that aren’t the most covered in the world such as swimming, volleyball, track and field, shot-put, and the poll vault.  Having these games promoted on television and the internet can get more people interested in a sport that they may not know too much about.  This specifically can go for Americans because we are constantly bombarded with the same sports all the time: baseball, basketball, football, and hockey.  It is a great learning experience for everyone. 


            Over those few weeks that the Olympics are taking place, the world has their eyes on these hard working athletes.  Sadly though, after the Olympics are over you rarely ever see or hear from those people for at least the next four years.  This happens all the time in the Olympics, except maybe the baseball and basketball players.  Perhaps after this year with all the records being broken things will change and you’ll hear more from these athletes once the games are over. 


            Since the beginning of the Olympics, dating back to its ancient Greek roots, you can see various changes.  One thing that really sticks out to me is that some athletes have become more full of themselves and cocky.  One of the main causes of this is the fact that many athletes are endorsed by major corporations and are making millions of dollars, which a lot of times can go to their heads.  Another change that I would like to see is less “professional” players in the Olympics.  When I say “professional” I mean people that play in the NBA and MLB.  I think it would interesting to get amateur players and build an Olympic team to see what they could do.  Maybe pro teams could discover new talent if amateur athletes got more involved with the games instead of them just sending over their own players.