Not going to say it. It’s a word that is spread with infamy among social media when it pertains to baseball cards. The “I” word. Investing. I lied…and said it anyway.
Disclaimer: investing in baseball cards is risky. But, so is investing in the stock market, or anything else. Yes, you can invest in baseball cards, and yes you can collect baseball cards as both a hobby and investment (as long as you separate the collections).
What do I mean by separating the collections? I dabble with investing in baseball cards. It’s also a hobby. How can that be? Collecting one million Cubs baseball cards is my hobby. On the other end, I will pick up cards of prospects I like in hopes the card values increase and I can pocket some money.
Another investing medium for me has been taking advantage of Black Friday sales from Blowout Cards over the past couple years. A common complaint each and every year on the Blowout Forums is how the sales stink. First off, that’s why Blowout is blowing out old product. It hasn’t been selling. So, at the time of sale (November/December of a given year) it’s not really a bargain. However, if you can sit on unopened product you can later flip for a great price.
Just for kicks, I took a look back at my Blowout account to see how I fared with my Black Friday deals. To be fair, I’ll also show my not-so-good purchases. My first Black Friday on Blowout was in 2016, and I took full advantage, so I will break up my purchases in separate posts.
This exercise begins in November 2016. A product I had recently become enamored with was Topps Heritage Minor League (Minors). I had bought a few boxes in 2014, and it became the first case of baseball cards I ever bought in 2015. Blowout had a Black Friday sale on the 2011 Topps Heritage Minors hobby boxes for $59.95 each.
Initially I bought six boxes, but decided to ramp it up and ordered another six boxes later on Black Friday 2016. The set features Mike Trout and Bryce Harper as the anchors. Harper had autographs in the product as well as relics. It was a stacked checklist looking back. Other stars included: Christian Yelich, Gary Sanchez, Nolan Arenado, Khris Davis, and Manny Machado.
Black Friday 2016 Investment
(12 boxes of 2011 Heritage Minors)
I was still unable to hold on to unopened product in 2016, so the first few boxes of 2011 Topps Heritage Minors were ripped almost immediately. As I scoured through my past eBay sales, a majority showed up. Several sales from this purchase did not show, but the major (complete sets and unopened boxes) are accounted for.
Six of the twelve unopened boxes sold for a gross total of $606. Five of the six sales were to one buyer (combined shipping). I also sold four complete base sets from the six boxes I opened. That gross sale totaled $152. Several short prints also sold for an approximate gross total of $60. I pulled a Mike Trout and Bryce Harper base card in each box. Those sales grossed $165. Two of the relic hits were Bryce Harper cards and those sales totaled $25. A variety of base card sales and short print sales equaled about $40. Some of the lowest sales generated were the autographs. Each of the autographs sold for $2 to $3 each for a total of $15.
Black Friday 2016 Sales (approximate)
Gross Sales: $1,063
Net Sales: $853
The net profits from this Black Friday purchase were around $150. Not too shabby. Also, a majority of these sales occurred within three months of the initial purchase. So, the profits were met in short time. This also includes hundreds of cards left over, as well as trickling sales over the next two years.
Recently, I decided to look at what prices of unopened boxes are going for. Maybe I should not have looked. Had I waited three years and sat on 12 unopened boxes, the proceeds would have been very healthy. The last couple single boxes have sold for $300 shipped on average.
If Kept Unopen and Sold Three Years Later
Black Friday Cost:$709.40
Gross Sales on 12 Unopened Boxes: $3,600
Net Sales: $3,040
Net Profit: $2,330
In the end I have to be happy with my minimal profit on the quick flip. Sometimes it’s smart to sit on unopened wax. For the record, I bought a case of 2018 Topps Heritage Minors last Black Friday, and it sits unopened. Maybe in a few years I can make a better profit.