Friday, September 18, 2020

I'm such a flipper and ruining the hobby

Man, right now blogging and life just isn't mixing. Not that I' prolific and my "look what I got" posts take much effort, but even those are hard right now. Between the busiest time of the year at work and helping the kids with their virtual school, it's been insane.

I hope virtual school is going well for those of you who are dealing with it. It's not easy. I feel bad for the kids. I feel bad for the teachers. I feel bad for fellow parents. I've already upgraded my internet connection (1 Gigabit, suckas), plus have a wifi extender set to arrive tomorrow. There's a lot of bandwidth needed in my house right now.

One piece of card-related activity I dealt with this week:

Yeah, I bought it. I entered the Topps online lottery thingie, got an email I was one of the chosen ones, and bought it for $250...well, $280 after taxes and overnight shipping. I had no intention of ever cracking this open. I was always going to do my small part to ruin this hobby by flipping it for a substantial profit.

And I did.

Pre-sale prices when this first came out hovered in the $900-$1,000 range. I didn't want to do a pre-sale. I wasn't comfortable with it. So I waited until it was in-hand to list it. Luckily I got mine fairly quickly compared to most.

I listed it for $749.99. Got a $700 offer, and took it. That's a nice profit of about $325+ after fees. And before you silly people ask, no, the time it took to do all this wasn't much of an additional cost. Let's say 5 minutes to buy the box, 5 mins to list on Ebay, and then 15 minute trip to the post office to mail it.

Am I contributing to the demise of the hobby? Maybe. But am I $325 richer after paying myself back first? You bet I am. Am I going to spend that profit on cards? You bet I'm not.

I mean, maybe I'll buy one nice card. But I'm still pretty bored with collecting right now, so I'm not looking at this as hobby play money. I'd actually rather buy a share or two of Apple. You know, real stocks instead of card stocks. 

At the end of the day, even though all went smoothly, it was a bit stressful to have the box in hand. It sort of felt like when the Hogwarts crew had Slytherin's locket. If there is another Topps lottery thing for an online-exclusive, I'll definitely enter. Why not, as long as prices stay extraordinary.

So I apologize for contributing to the demise of the hobby. But my bank account doesn't.


  1. Congrats on an insane profit on an insane product. It should never have had anything close to being a three digit pre-sales price to begin with. I used to be almost totally against quick flipping because of the greed factor, but as I watched more and more Ebay resellers on YouTube I relaxed my attitude about it. I have always been a bit of a hypocrite about the issue because even though I personally don't like to pay through the nose for cards, I would sell them for a King's Ransom at the drop of a penalty flag.

  2. Hard to say you are ruining something when people are paying top dollar. I don't think most people care about "flippers" who do that with the online stuff that Topps puts out. I hear/read more complaints about the people who go to the big box stores, buy out all of the stock, and then sell that because "what if a kid wants to buy some baseball cards and now can't?"

  3. I don't feel like you need to apologize. There's a demand for this stuff and you're fulfilling the demand. I would have done the exact same thing as you. Congratulations!

    P.S. And I totally agree that I feel bad for the students, parents, and teachers who have to deal with distance learning. On one hand, I'm glad I'm not forced to teach in a classroom with 40 kids... but on the other, I have never worked harder in my life.

    1. Oh I'm not really apologizing. At all! Just having some fun. I made $700 off of a $250 purchase. If someone is willing to pay it, not my problem. It took 20 minutes of my time.

  4. You're an asshole. Save the Ben Baller boxes for the kids

  5. Oh Bob. He's still funny. Overall flipping just for profit, if that's one's only participation in the hobby - then I would not like you so much. ;) You're a good fella, and kudos to you for making a smart purchase and profiting. I see that as good karma.

  6. I don’t see any need to apologize. I’m planning to do the same thing once my box arrives.

  7. It's some stupid-ass, internet-only, money-grab by Topps. If that's not something destined to be flipped, I don't know what is.

  8. I agree with Night Owl above. Let the rubes have these and pay $700 for them. I think I've ordered my last direct item from Topps due to all of this malarky.