November 20, 2015

This Card Kills Fascists #1: 4 People Woody Wouldn't Approve Of

In this series, we will examine recent political cards that I've added to my collection. 

2014 Panini's Golden Age offers a 30-card Star Stamps insert set that gives you four players and occasionally four political stickers in one. On the card below I think we are 4-for-4 on people Woody Guthrie wouldn't have approved of. If you are a fan of the Comedy Central show Drunk History there is a very good episode on cereal barron C.W. Post and his brother played by Owen and Luke Wilson. Hearst was of course the inspiration for the power hungry Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane.

2014 Panini Golden Age Star Stamps #10

November 18, 2015

The Lawsuit Between Beckett and COMC Is Over

Great news for collectors! According to a video put out by COMC, the lawsuit is over between Beckett and The lawsuit really hurt the functionality of COMC over the past few years as the site lost the checklists they licensed from Beckett. This frustrated many collectors as listing were messed up and searching cards of a certain player would almost certainly include many players that were not supposed to appear. The COMC listings have definitely gotten better as they've constructed their own checklists with help of the sites users but there are still some this isn't Andy Pafko...and neither is this.


November 15, 2015

A Former USPS Sorter Replies To My Post

I recently wrote about the destruction of an eBay package by an USPS sorting machine and a few days ago I received an amazingly detailed comment on the post about what happens to our trade packages when they get sent off through the mail. A reader with the username Stubby, a former USPS worker, also offers some tips on getting packages through the system successfully. His [I assume he's a dude] wrote the comment in one long paragraph so I've split it up into more manageable sections and any added bold emphasis is mine.

Stubby writes:

"As a former Postal worker, one who worked with the sorting machines, I can assure you that writing "hand sort only" will have absolutely no effect on anyone or anything. Used to make a difference; hasn't in at least a decade. "Fragile" and "Do Not Bend" are your best bets. 

And, even then, it probably won't make a difference. EVERYTHING is going through one machine or another--regardless of how obvious it is that it shouldn't. There are no "Manual" sorting clerks left at any of the processing centers--those jobs have been eliminated--and the local bosses don't get credit for any mail that isn't counted (and the only way they get counted is to go through the machines). About the only thing you can pray for is that you get an employee who cares enough to defy the bosses and actually care about the mail (there used to be lots of them, but they've sort of become the dodo birds of industry).

I used to have a carrier who would work hard to track down mis-delivered mail of mine (ebay purchases, mainly). Now I have a carrier who delights in folding vinyl records in half to fit them in my mailbox. Never mind the "fragile" and "do not bend" notices on those. Had one seller who thought he'd outsmart them and, as an outer layer of protection on the 45 record, used solid pieces of wood. Carrier must have busted it over his/her knee to get it folded and in my mailbox. 

As a former employee, I do actually have sympathy for the Postal Service. Pretty much all of the problems you have now, and the general lack of care, are Congress' fault. 100% Congress' fault. And by design. Congress (Republicans anyway) want the Postal Service to fail, so they can privatize. I guarantee you they wouldn't hold a private mail company to the things they hold the USPS to. Pay would drop, benefits would cease to exist, mailing costs would rise and there would be tons of places where mail service would be unavailable entirely. UPS, for example, classifies San Diego as "remote" (and charge higher rates to ship there). 

There's moocho money to be made in mail delivery, but the Postal Service isn't allowed to make a profit and is forced to pay millions every year into a Congressional slush fund. Officially, that money is pre-funding of retirement and healthcare. But they've forced the PO to pre-fund so much that people who won't be born for another 75 years are completely funded. Its a farce. And, unofficially, Congress critters will tell you that they spent the money on other things--so, in truth, the PO has pre-funded nothing...other than, you know, whatever the Congress critters choose to skim and spend it on...wars, overseas junkets, Benghazi hearings...the usual crap."

Thanks Stubby for the great comment! I knew about the USPS budget problems caused by Congress but how those problems directly lead to problems with our packages hadn't been spelled out so clearly. 

November 13, 2015

If Only I Had $1000 And The Time

Have you heard about 2015 Topps Limited? It's the 2015 Topps flagship base set printed on premium cardboard and limited to 1,000 copies. It's your chance to see and feel the modern sets as they felt in the 50's and 60's before the quality of the paper was changed. Each set is $100 and so it is about double the cost of a typical complete set you can buy at Target or Walmart.

It seems like an amazing opportunity for people with a lot of disposable incomes to buy as many sets as you can and list each each individually on eBay. I'm sure you can get $1 per card for no-name commons of the higher quality cards meaning at minimum you could get $700 net for each set with cards like Kris Bryant's rookie going for much much more. I don't really see how you could lose at this and it's a rare opportunity to flip cards at a guaranteed profit with some time and patience.  

November 12, 2015

Episode #11 of The Trading Card Preservation Society Podcast Is Out

Dave the Cardboard Junkie and I are back for another episode of the Trading Card Preservation Society podcast! This time we are recording at the amazing 2nd and Charles bookstore in Kennesaw, GA. Today we tackle a review [with many spoilers] of the new James Bond movie Spectre and also review the first episode of Ash vs The Evil Dead and 2015 Topps Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens trading cards. Colligere Omnia!

You can find the episode here, or on iTunes, or Stitcher