And the hits don’t really come all that often
2012 was my first year back in the hobby opening current-year product in ten years and I didn’t fool around, going with multiple boxes of ten different products. For my trouble, I pulled two cards that sold for more than $100 and enough in total to earn me top rated seller status on eBay. So what does the return on a big purchase look like? Stop reading now if you want to keep the illusion that every box of cards holds untold riches just waiting to be set free.
Boxes of Chance
Here’s what I ended up buying this year:
4 Boxes of Bowman
6 Boxes of Topps Archives
3 Jumbo Boxes of Topps Series 2
3 Boxes of Topps Pro Debut
4 Boxes of Panini Triple Play
3 Boxes of Topps Chrome
2 Boxes of Topps Heritage Minor League Edition
3 Jumbo Boxes of Topps Update
4 Boxes of Bowman Chrome
3 Boxes of Panini Cooperstown
And a bunch of retail packs. That’s a lot of cards, so surely something good must have come from all of that, right?
1. 2012 Topps Archives Bryce Harper Fan Favorites Autograph Redemption
The big one came early this year with one of Bryce Harper’s first official “rookie card” autographs. These started out at about $500, but the price fell quickly over the first few days. In the end, this card made back half of what I spent on boxes of Archives, but the rest of the product was a bust. Without this card, Archives would have been an epic disaster for me.
2. 2012 Topps Update Buster Posey All-Star Jumbo Patch ASJP-BP 6/6
2012 Topps Update started out on a sour note when my first “Two relics and one autograph in every box!” box only had one relic and a Mark Hamburger autograph. The second box followed up with yet another Mark Hamburger autograph and three relics, one of which was this beauty from the eventual NL MVP. Cash is nice, but I would have rather pulled the R.A. Dickey version.
3. 2012 Bowman Chrome Rookie Davis Blue Wave Refractor Autograph BCP43 37/50
2012 Bowman was the product that got me back in, but the return just wasn’t there at first. The cards were nice, but too many of the autographs were lucky to sell for $1. Luckily, the wrapper redemption Blue Wave Refractor packs came through with my biggest Bowman autograph pull of the year.
4. 2012 Bowman Chrome Jorge Soler Autograph BCA-JSO
5. 2012 Bowman Chrome Billy Hamilton Autograph BCA-BH
Bowman Chrome promised one autograph in every box and two in every 3rd box; I pulled six in four boxes (plus another from retail and one more through wrapper redemptions). Interestingly, my pulls included the base autographs of all three players plastered all over the promotional material for this product: Jorge Soler, Billy Hamilton, and Shawon Dunston, Jr. Selling prices ranged from $1.79 to $47.66, so not everything was a winner.
Best of the Rest
And that’s basically everything good that I got out of more than 30 boxes of cards. Next on the list would be a 2012 Topps Pro Debut Nolan Arenado SP Photo Variation card at $27.99, which comes in ahead of two 1/1s and countless autographs, game-used cards, and manufactured material relics. Several of the autographs wouldn’t even sell for $0.99, including both of the Mark Hamburger autographs from Topps Update (the third autograph from that product was a Tom Milone that sold for a whopping $0.99). Of the cards that I didn’t sell, only a 2012 Topps Archives John Olerud Fan Favorites Autograph would be likely to be in the running here, probably toward the back of the pack. Out of 31+ boxes with potential big hits in them, these are the 17 best cards I managed to pull. I think I’m starting to remember why I stopped doing this…