The holiday season brings us many deals in the hobby. Several online card retailers such as Blowout Cards, Dave & Adams Card World, and Steel City Collectibles offer up some bargains on Black Friday. These retailers also gear us up for that special holiday shopping day by releasing sales throughout the month of November.
I often look back fondly at my days in 2016 and 2017 gobbling up deals during the month of November. Sadly, I ended up opening most of my bounty only to see the unopened wax prices skyrocket in the following years.
Recently I discovered a very short-lived blog I wrote about my collecting in late 2016. The blog lasted less than 10 posts and encompassed a period of about two weeks. Fortunately, it was a lot of fun to look back at the deals I discovered that holiday season.
Between November and December of 2016, I opened more than 100 wax boxes covering baseball, basketball, and wrestling cards. Here is a blog post I wrote in January 2017 summing up my holiday ’16 rips.
It’s been some time since my last blog post. Despite the lack of posting, there hasn’t been a lack of collecting. Since mid-November, I have busted open more than 100 boxes of baseball, basketball, and wrestling cards.
The binge began in early November with the initial waves of pre-Black Friday sales from Blowout Cards. The first couple purchases were a case of the 2015 Topps Update blaster boxes. There are 16 boxes per case. Then came a retail case of 2013 Topps Heritage (eight boxes). Finally, from D&A Card World, I splurged on six boxes of 2009 Topps Update that were priced at slightly over $18 per box.
Flood gates were opened on Black Friday. I set my alarm for 5 a.m. and made my first purchase minutes after 6:00. It was for seven boxes of 2008 Upper Deck SP Authentic. In hindsight, the nerves of cheap baseball cards and the thrill of the sale pulled me in. If it tells you anything, more than 30 days later I still have three unopened boxes of this product.
While the ’08 SP Authentic was a dud, my next buy was certainly not. Blowout had an amazing deal on 2013 Elite Extra Edition. This product features autographs of Kris Bryant, Jose Abreu, and a host of other sought after prospects. At just $30 per box, the sale went fast and furious and I missed out on the initial launch. Fortunately, less than 30 minutes later they put another batch up and I grabbed 10 boxes. Wish I had grabbed another 10.
Next up: a curve ball. My collection is 90% baseball, but there was a nice deal on a case of 2013-14 Timeless Treasures for basketball. The rookies are a bit subpar with the exception of Giannis, but there are some real gems in this product. I did pull a Giannis rookie autograph relic. (Update: I sold the Giannis auto relic a little early for $66.98 shipped – they currently sell for $1,000+)
By the time my work day ended, Blowout had thrown some 2011 Heritage Minors on sale for $60 per box. Chasing Bryce Harper autographs is the highlight of this release. Not only that: the base set features a bevy of stars including both Harper and Mike Trout. Heritage Minors is one of my favorite baseball products of the year. I was in for half a case. An hour later, I decided that wasn’t enough and splurged on another half case to end my Black Friday cardboard hoarding.
While I did not pull any Bryce Harper autographs, I did pull a pretty sweet relic. (Update: I ended up opening six boxes and selling singles. The other six boxes I sold for $100 each. They now sell for over $400 per box)
Wrestling cards were another buy over this time period. I had grabbed three boxes of 2015 WWE Heritage during the pre-Black Friday sales. I love the Heritage product, and I love wrestling, despite not falling into collecting wrestling cards. Not only that, but this release was a throwback to the 1985 Topps baseball design. Love it. The 2016 WWE Heritage also went on sale following Black Friday, but it was the blaster (retail) version. At just $144 for 16 boxes you can’t go wrong. And speaking of WWE, I noticed the Wal-Mart exclusive WWE Divas Revolution was a hot commodity during the month of December. After finding two boxes left at the second Wal-Mart I visited, I picked up the last two boxes at $19.99 each.
And finally, the last release of the 2016 baseball calendar came the week leading up to Christmas. Bowman’s Best. The product returned last year after a long hiatus, and it’s a beautiful product. I picked up three boxes from a breaker nearby, and had great success on the break. Again, more on that in another post. (Update: I pulled a Dansby Swanson atomic refractor autograph /25 that sold for $102.98. A slabbed BGS 9.5 sold for $79 shipped in October 2020, so it’s not all sad news on my sales)
So, the month of December brought with it many box breaks. Still, I have the three boxes of ’08 Upper Deck SP Authentic to bust open along with eight or nine 2011 Heritage Minors. Right around the corner (in about one month) the first of the 2017 baseball releases will be out (2017 Topps). Stay tuned for a follow up of the breaks you just read about it.