Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday & February Marketwatch - February 29

As of today, February 29 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 402
Sell-Through: 57.21%
Average starting price: $5.43
Average final price: $10.42

Highest Single Card Sale: 2007 Bill Clinton Allen and Ginter $44.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Mickey Mantle Collection (set of 18): $449.95
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James RC (PSA 10) at $46.99
Highest Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson $310.00

Other best sellers:
2006 Allen & Ginter Presidents Set
2007 Ryan Braun Autographed Card
2007 WWE Torrie Wilson Autographed Card
2007 Brandon Roy
1958 Mickey Mantle reprint

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well:
Alex Rodriguez 6-card Lot: 20

The following are stats covering the last 30 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 1,205
Sell-Through: 52.78%
Average starting price: $3.37
Average final price: $10.88

Highest Sale: (tie) 2007 Tim Lincecum, Allen & Ginter Ronald Reagan: $49.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols RC (BGS 9.5) at $130.00
Highest Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson $310.00

Other best sellers:
Mickey Mantle Set
2006 Allen & Ginter President Set
2007 Adrian Peterson
2003 Tom Brady

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well:
Alex Rodriguez 6-card Lot: 20

This was the month of Allen & Ginter for etopps. Usually February is an off-month, being between football and baseball. We had the A&G Super Bowl Champions set, Super Tuesday, voting for the 2008 Baseball design, Adrian Peterson's autograph (the best offering in football since LaDainian Tomlinson), discounted in-hand shipping and reward points allocation. Kudos to etopps for making this anything but an off-month.

I will be surprised if etopps can out-do themselves in March. The 2007 Football Playoff teams are supposed to become available for shipping and we may see the first 2008 Baseball IPOs at the end of the month since the season officially starts prior to April.

One word of caution for etopps: slow down with Allen & Ginter. We now have four sets, three of the last four have been issued since last Fall. I think it should be left alone and let the secondary market absorb it. We're seeing very good sales for the first A&G set sold as singles and hopefully the same will happen for the SB Champs and the Presidential candidates (that is, the ones who are left in the race).

The Moments & Milestones Set is steadily selling around $100 this past month. It's not outperforming the Presidents set but may do better as the baseball season nears.

Thanks for voting on this blog for where to have the econ this summer. It was almost a tie between Las Vegas and another city. These two choices combined (59% of the vote) would have trumped Chicago (37%).

Have a good weekend and Happy Leap Year Day (my wife's birthday).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Take Advantage of Discounted Shipping and Reward Points Allocation.

If you have been planning to take some of your cards in-hand, the planets are aligned in your favor right now. You just received reward points for 2007 Football and the A&G Superbowl Champs and there are still five days left (until March 3rd) to get a discount on having cards shipped in bulk. ($35.99 for 50 cards, $64.99 for 100 cards, $129.99 for 200 cards, and $189.99 for 300 cards.)

If you want to take out more than 50 but less than 100, you can always make two orders: one with the discounted shipping and one with your reward points.

If you never ordered a card to be taken out of your online portfolio to be shipped to your home, it's quite simple. On the etopps homepage, after logging into your account, place your mouse pointer over the "My Etopps" header. A menu drops down and click on "My Portfolio." A side menu will appear and click "Take Delivery." This will take you to the Delivery Order page in which you can choose which cards in your portfolio based on the pull-down menu for sport and year.

When you get to the shipping page, make sure you have the correct address. Since etopps uses UPS (Ground or Next Day Air), make sure you are not using a P.O. Box number for a street address. UPS Ground costs a wincing $6.95 (7 reward points) for the first card and .85 for each additional card while UPS Next Day is $15.95 for the first card and $1 for each additional card. If you live in the same UPS zone as their fulfillment center (Delaware), there's no reason to order UPS Next Day since it takes the same amount of time as UPS Ground. Since I live in NJ, I usually receive my cards within a day or two depending on when the order is shipped out of their storage facility.

When checking out, you will have the option of using either reward points or paying with the credit card you have on file. If you do not have enough reward points (1 point for every $1), you cannot pay for part of your order with the points and the remaining balance with your credit card. (This is on my etopps wish list)

If you are just taking less than four cards that are not more than $30 in value, you have the option of getting the cards shipped by USPS. The cost is $4.25 for the first card and .70 for the second and the third card. So three cards will cost you just $5.65 (or 6 reward points) which is less than one card using UPS Ground(!)

When selecting UPS you also have the choice of getting signature confirmation as you go through checkout.

If you are lucky enough to live near a Topps Home Team Advantage preferred etopps store, shipping is only .65 per card.

On another note, don't forget to vote: I created a poll about where to have this summer's econ. Voting ends tomorrow evening.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Poll: where do you want this year's econ?

In response to posts on the etopps message board about this summer's econ 6.0, I thought it would be interesting to see what are our preferences: to continue linking the econ with each year's National or have it elsewhere, whether Vegas or another city. Poll closes Thursday evening.

Econ is etopps' e-convention which has been tied with the National since 2004. The first one occurred the year before in Las Vegas and was not tied in with the annual National Sports Collectibles Convention which is held usually in either Chicago or Cleveland in late July.

More 2007 Football available for delivery

From the etopps updates page:

Subject:Production Update: Cards Available For Delivery

The following cards have been printed and are now available

for delivery:

Football 2007

Derek Anderson
John Beck
Lorenzo Booker
Reggie Bush
Braylon Edwards
Ted Ginn, Jr.
Frank Gore
Chris Henry
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Chad Johnson
Kevin Kolb
Terrell Owens
Brady Quinn
Sidney Rice
Tony Romo
Kolby Smith
Troy Smith
Ladainian Tomlinson
Wes Welker
Deshawn Wynn
Selvin Young

Please continue to check eTopps Updates for

additional information.

The eTopps Team

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Marketwatch

As of today, February 22 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 197
Sell-Through: 57.87%
Average starting price: $2.58
Average final price: $11.18

Highest Sale: 2007 Ronald Reagan Allen and Ginter $49.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James RC (BGS 9.5) at $35.99
Highest Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson $275.00

Other best sellers:
2007 Joba Chamberlain
2006 Allen & Ginter George Bush
2007 CTNS 1994 Alex Rodriguez
2001 Alex Rodriguez

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well:
(8) 2002 Classic Baseball In-Hand Lot: 11

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How To Identify Dishonest Etopps In-Hand Sellers On Ebay

The following topic was originally submitted on ebay as a guide and quickly became the most viewed and approved guide about etopps.

In a recently posted Q & A on the etopps website, a question was raised that has been asked many times in the past along with the same answer by etopps:

Q: Fellow Etoppers in the community feel very strongly about
the reporting of in-hand as it is a key in determining how much
of that particular card is out there in the market. So my question
is When will in-hand # be disclosed and why hasn't this be done
already as this issue has driven many true etoppers away

A: We have discussed this often and we have been clear: we have
no intentions of releasing this information, it was never intended
to be released and
we don’t plan to change direction. We have
done a lot of work to stabilize the platform by
adding value,
improving service, building membership and we expect to
continue to
expand. BUT we don’t think the answer to making
this platform viable is to release this

So it's clear that etopps will not release how many in-hand cards have been taken out of online circulation.

Years ago, though, Cardtarget developed a voluntary tracking program for in-hands in which you can submit which cards have been "taken out of port."

As stated on Card Target:

The In-Hand Project is a tool for the eTopps community to accurately compile confirmed in-hand numbers. It is completely voluntary. If you have taken any cards in-hand you are encouraged to enter your eTopps ID and password below. We will ONLY use your information to record the cards you have taken in-hand. When we store the information we will only keep the tracking number to identify each shipment. We will not keep any of your personal information. The tracking numbers will never be seen by the public. We will ONLY publish the total number of confirmed in-hand cards for each card. The numbers will be published on the card details page for each card.

Note: Only deliveries with tracking numbers will be added. So if your order is pending please come back after it has been sent to enter your cards.

It's a great tool and gives an inkling of how many have been taken out of port. Inkling because only a minority of etopps users (most likely the hard-core bunch) who use CT and only a small percentage of these CT etopps users have volunteered data about how many cards have been taken in-hand for any particular card. There can be many people who have taken their cards out of their portfolios who never report this in the voluntary program either by choice or because they've never heard of either this program or Card Target.

When listing an etopps in-hand card, some sellers include the total print run in the title of their listing. I would recommend this if the print run is less than 1,000.

My reason to post all of this is to note that there are etopps in-hand sellers who are taking the number of in-hands reported on the CT website and claiming this is how many cards are available. "Only 12 available according to Card Target!" writes this etopps seller in the listing description, claiming they aren't making this up. What they fail to do is explain how inaccurate this is because the in-hand project is strictly voluntary. Usually these sellers, ask for inflated asking prices for their fictitionally-deflated print run total.

The sad part is there are buyers on ebay who fall for this. They bid up these inaccurate listings or purchase the exorbitant Buy-It-Now prices. A few of these buyers have posted on the etopps community message board to complain they were ripped off after checking the card online or seeing on the back of the card that the total print run is in the hundreds or thousands.

When the complaining picks up on the message board, some etoppers point the finger at CT and want the project abolished while others want ebay to do something.

Etopps has not turned a blind eye to this. They have been supportive of the fight against this and have reported these sellers to ebay. From what I recall, one seller who wouldn't stop listing their etopps in-hands inaccurately eventually became NARU'd either from the complaints, negative feedback from buyers or a combination of the two.

Here's what you can do:
  • Don't buy from the etopps in-hand sellers who use "fuzzy math" when listing the print run
  • List the total print run in your listings and include something like "the total number of in-hands available for this card is most likely a small fraction or percentage since so few are taken out of online circulation:
  • Include in your listing a buyer beware note, encouraging the buyer to compare other listings of the same etopps in-hand card, specifically comparing the total print run listed and suggesting anything less than [total print run of the card] is inaccurate and deliberate deception by that seller.
I would not contact the seller of these listings through ebay's email or warn the buyer. There are policies set up by ebay that could effect your status on ebay if either party reports you.

While I can understand how some sellers want to have an edge in making more money from their etopps cards, this is not the way to do it. Why not take a better photograph of the etopps card for sale, improve customer service, guarantee satisfaction, offer refunds within 7 days or lower shipping fees.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Etopps In-Hand Shipping Discount

Exciting Shipping Announcement from eTopps!

eTopps is offering special discounted shipping rates from February 18th through March 3rd!

During this two week period, users can request shipping for a maximum of 300 cards per port. See below for reduced shipping rates.

Cards Regular Special Rate % Savings

50 $49.45 $35.99 27%
100 $91.95 $64.99 29%
200 $176.95 $129.99 27%
300 $261.95 $189.99 27%

* Continental US and Canada only; additional fees apply for shipments to Canada.

** We apologize, but points cannot be used for this shipping offer.

NOTE: This offer applies to shipping requests. Your deliveries are subject to regular shipping schedules.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Marketwatch, 2008 Baseball Card Design Vote Winner and Getting An Etopps Card Graded

As of today, February 15 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 203
Sell-Through: 52.22%
Average starting price: $3.07
Average final price: $13.71

Highest Sale: 2007 Ronald Reagan Allen and Ginter $49.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2006 Laurence Maroney (BGS 9.5) at $45
Highest Autograph Sale: 2003 Tom Brady $225

Other best sellers:
1953 Mickey Mantle reprint
2007 George Bush Allen and Ginter
2006 Brodie Croyle
2007 Alex Gordon

Received most bids that sold well:
2007 Adrian Peterson: 13

The vote is in for the 2008 Etopps Baseball design:

I'm just glad the retro look was voted. This design will probably be appealing to team collectors, considering the big logo that seems to dominate the design.

If you are considering getting an etopps card graded to get a better price on it, think twice before considering this. Etopps cards are already considered mint condition so anything below a 9.5 is like buying the card ungraded.

The best grading service for etopps cards is Beckett Grading Service (BGS). Unless you get a 9.5 or 10 on a card, you may not be able to sell the card at a higher price than if it was ungraded, especially since their grading service is not cheap.

When submitting the card, you may wonder: should I break the seal and open the case? Do Not Do This.

Let the grading company open the case of the card.

If you use the grading card company PSA, they will contact you after they receive your submission to get your authorization to open the card(s).

With BGS, you can ask them to grade the card in the case and ask them to keep the card in the case if the grade falls below the minimum grade you will accept. In other words, if the lowest grade you want is a 9 and the grade is an 8.5 you will have your card returned in tact in the original case. Also, you're better off shipping the card in the case because the case will protect the card.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kudos to CardTarget: The Indispensible Etopps Tool

Thank God for cardtarget. If it wasn't for this website, I probably would have given up on etopps back in 2002 by selling my port within months of joining.

In a word, the site is an amazing tool to help you organize and evaluate your on-line portfolio and see how your cards performs not only in the last week but since the card was released at IPO with an easy-to-read bar graph. Rather than using the portfolio service for my in-ports, I've used it for my in-hands. Sure, it's a little time consuming to manually enter each card rather than use an XML file as with the in-ports. But it's well-worth the effort to help track your sales and (hopefully) your profits.

I like to use the "Watch" tracking tool to keep an eye on which cards I'm going after to have delivered. Right now, for example, I'm watching the 2007 Joba Chamberlain and the 2001 Albert Pujols to see how they will do as the baseball season nears.

Without CT, I would kick myself each time an autograph is offered if I didn't have the card in-port. With CT, I can buy the card immediately thanks to the CardTarget Market (or CTM) and get the card transferred to my portfolio within half an hour. Awhile ago, CT found a way to get CTM orders tranferred to their portfolios faster through the eTopps Trading Post.

Besides the CardTarget Market, the guys behind CT created the Partial Shares Market in which you can invest in professionally-graded vintage sports cards such as the 1968 Nolan Ryan rookie card graded PSA 9.

CardTarget also has been vital in providing information to the etopps community for each year's eCon, the annual etopps community convention that occurs at each year's National Sports Collectibles Convention (aka "the National).

There are also four different subscription services ranging from discounts on selling fees on CTM to unrestricted access to buyer/seller data on a per card basis.

The best thing about CardTarget is it's for free. Take advantage of it if you haven't yet.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ryne Sandberg Autograph and Getting An Etopps Card Autographed

Earlier today, etopps posted the announcement that Ryne Sandberg's autograph will be offered at 8PM EST on Valentine's Day. The autograph will be on his "Cards That Never Were" 1982 Topps card. Only Alex Rodriguez and Don Mattingly have not had their CTNW cards autographed. Between these two, it's more likely A-Rod will be offered since there have been past autograph offerings of his etopps cards in the past.

There will be 100 cards offered for $44.99. This is below market value by about $15 but when factoring the cost of the card whether at IPO or now, it's about even. Nevertheless, there is a good following of Ryne Sandberg collectors on ebay. When this card was originally offered as a promo at last year's National, I was surprised by the bidding action and the speed at which the Buy It Nows occurred. Among all of the promos, this was the best seller. For Ryne Sandberg collectors, this card is a great addition and so will this card autographed.

If you are plan on making it to spring training and like to get autographs, why not have a player sign an etopps card? There are a few things to take into consideration

First, the casing. Inevitably, you're going to have to break the seal on the bottom of the card. There's no way to go around this. Unless you are affiliated with eTopps or Topps, you will have an etopps card with a broken sticker seal but, hopefully, the satisfaction of getting the autograph will make up for this.

Here are tips for opening the casing of the card (and closing it):
  • Practice, practice, practice on a few inexpensive (under $1) etopps in-hand cards so you feel more comfortable opening up the one that counts
  • There are two ways of opening the seal: cutting through it with a razor or manually pulling the sticker off one side of the card (front or back). I guarantee that when you try to reseal the sticker, it will look like sloppy.
  • Now the hard part (and this is where practice may come in handy): in between the two sides of the casing where the card resides, gently place something thin there to give room for a flat, thin screwdriver (not a Phillips!) to be inserted at the bottom of the card near a corner. Once the tip of the flat screwdriver is inserted, twist the screwdriver gently while holding the casing in your other hand without letting the card move. You should hear the acrylic casing slabs pop open.
  • Do the same with the screwdriver by the other corner of the bottom of the card until the other side pops open.
  • Now you can slip the front casing from the bottom. Watch the tabs at the top of the card while you do this. I did this too fast before getting an etopps card autographed and the top section that snaps together went flying in the air.
  • After getting the card autographed, align the top tabs together for the front and back casing sections together and snap back together the two bottom corner sections with your index finger and thumb.
Which pen to use for autographing an etopps card?

I would recommend either of the following:
  • Sharpie
  • Staedtler
The one etopps year I would be careful of is 2004. The cards of that year had a silicon coating which caused bubbles in the signature. If you want to get a 2004 etopps card autographed, before having the card signed you can try the following:
  • Rub the entire card with your fingers for a few minutes
  • Take a piece of shipping or duct tape. Place the tape over the card and remove the tape. Do this several time
Either technique will help remove the coating from the card. The tape removal technique will probably work better and may require practice on cheap 2004 in-hand cards.

Best of luck in getting your etopps card autographed. Remember to bring a digital camera along when getting the card autographed to show proof that it was signed.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Marketwatch

There was a lot of activity in etoppsland this past week. Super Tuesday gave us the Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidates IPO that lasted for one day, the voting of the 2008 Baseball design, the allocation of the second group of Allen & Ginter Super Bowl Champions and the Adrian Peterson Autograph Offering (which sold out in under 3 minutes). I'm not sure how etopps can top this past week. Perhaps they could offer LeBron's card as the new short print among all of his etopps card or offer Tony Romo as the next autograph (or both!)

As of today, February 8 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 326
Sell-Through: 54.29%
Average starting price: $2.54
Average final price: $9.81

Highest Sale: 2007 Tim Lincecum $49.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols (BGS 9.5) at $129.49
Highest Autograph Sale: 2004 Eli Manning $149

Other best sellers:
Tom Brady (2002, 2003)
Cal Ripken (2001, Classic Event)
2003 LeBron James

Received most bids that sold well:
2003 LeBron James: 16

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday, Adrian Peterson Auto coming on Thursday

As expected for today's Super Tuesday on etopps, the Allen and Ginter Presidential Candidate set is now being offered and only today. Each print run is 999 and they all cost $8 except from Mitt Romney who's card is $6. What they should have done was charge more for Romney but have a print run less than the others.

I ordered all but Romney and wouldn't expect much of a shipping deal for the set since etopps would have posted this by now on the home page or in the email that went out to etoppers recently.

Better news is the current autograph offering: Adrian Peterson. Etoppers have been waiting for this one. 195 will be offered at $99 each on Thursday at 1pm EST. You can buy up to two per etopps account which is not bad.

When this offering first showed up on the homepage late yesterday morning, I ordered two from cardtarget not seeing when it would be offered. On the homepage, it said it would be offered on 2/4/08 at 1pm est. I called customer service to verify this and they said this was a mistake. Not long ago this would not have been a mistake. At one time, etoppers had no idea what would show up on the homepage for each week's IPO or what would be in the rewards catalog. Actually, there's just a hint of what's available in each catalog offering still.

When looking at the stats for his autograph, none have sold on ebay in the last month with a quantity of 200. I tried other numbers like 150, 175, 100 and 199. These ended around the mid $100s: $140, $160 and $175. It looks like this autograph is a winner to re-sell on ebay on the flip. Only way this could sell better than mid-$100s is fewer offerings or (preferrably) serialize each card for the autograph though this may be confusing since the total print run is already serialized.

Buy two if you haven't already on cardtarget and be ready for a quick sell-out even at 195 available. I wouldn't be surprised if it sells out within five minutes.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl XLII: Upset Schmupset - Take Advantage of the Market Reaction

After an upset as big as last night's Super Bowl, it's easy to see how the market is reacting to these two teams. Now is the time to do a few things: sell Giants, buy Patriots and get ready for baseball.

That's right, buy Patriots.

Why? Because I think a team that was undefeated during the regular season and had one of the best statistical seasons of any NFL team is a team worth collecting even if it did not win the big one. Take advantage of the dumping that's happening right now ( read buy low) for March when all 2007 football playoff cards are available for delivery.

Sell Giants if you still have them. It was the most watched Super Bowl ever. Think of all the kids (like my 5-year old son) who have decided that the Giants are now their favorite team and now their parents are shopping on ebay right now for what to buy them.

Regarding the changes that will be introduced on ebay, while some of the changes are hard to swallow at first, the one thing that seems to be overlooked is free gallery. Statistically, this helps the sell-through rate for any item. In other words, you'll get more eyeballs and the more gallery listings of in-hands, the more newbies to in-hands.

Since most etopps cards do not sell that high, having a higher final value fee is not going to take that much coin out of your net. Focus more on buying low than the fees.

I'm glad there will be feedback changes. I have no problem with it. If you sell in-hands and do the following, your feedback should go up as well your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR):

  • Charge reasonable shipping. If shipping is your lowest DSR, offer free shipping and watch it go up. If you offer a card at a fixed price with best offer and it's over $50, I would recommend free shipping to sweeten the deal.
  • Always give positive feedback after receiving payment.
  • Ship the in-hand no later than the day after receiving payment in a bubble-lined mailer.
  • Email the buyer after receiving payment to cover the following: acknowledge payment, thank them for choosing you as a seller, let them know the card will be sent tomorrow and positive feedback will be given. (I also encourage them to visit my ebay store for in-hands relevant to what they just bought from me. In marketing, this is the up-sell.)

On another note, recently I received emails in response to this blog asking me how to sell an in-hand set. The first place I would try is the etopps message board and sell it in the "Sales" category. It's easy to register on this MB if you're not yet. You can get a lot of information about etopps from this board and it can be quite entertaining.

When posting a for-sale thread, start at a price you're willing to accept at a minimum and give parameters: payment method (most likely paypal), how long you will accept offers, your email address (since some bidders may not want to reveal what they're offering and would prefer to remain anonymous since it is nobody's business). It will be your job to post the highest offer to keep others informed.

If this doesn't work for you, there's always ebay. If not ebay you can try a few other auction sites: overstock, onlineauction, and blujay. The last two have very low fees (if any).

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Marketwatch and Super Tuesday

As of today, February 1 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 294
Sell-Through: 42.54%
Average starting price: $5.95
Average final price: $12.32

Highest Sale: 1952 Mickey Mantle etopps re-print at $99
Highest Graded Sale: Chris Paul rookie (BGS 9.5) at $45
Highest Autograph Sale: BJ Upton RC /50 at $70

Other best sellers:
Joba Chamberlain
Allen & Ginter President cards
2001 Jimmy Rollins (Auto)

Received most bids that sold well:
Allen & Ginter Ronald Reagan: 14

Yesterday, etoppers who choose to receive updates from etopps received the following email:

eTopps presents a special Allen & Ginter Presidential set featuring

Presidential hopefuls including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama,

Mitt Romney, and John McCain.

The collection will be beautifully designed and delivered via the classic Allen & Ginter brand (even staying true to the original Allen & Ginter size), but brought to life on stunning eTopps technology. The collection will capture the lasting bond between U.S. President and America’s favorite pastime. The cards will be offered individually, encased and be sequentially numbered*.

*While the Allen & Ginter eTopps cards differ in size from regular eTopps cards, they will continue to be encased in our standard sized eTopps tamper-evident, plastic case with eTopps sticker. The cards will be placed into a fitted frame and then fixed inside of the case.

This special collection will be offered

on Super Tuesday!


Presidential Performance Bonus Points: Those lucky

eTopps users who own the Democratic nomination or the

Republican nomination in their portfolio will receive 2 bonus

reward points per winning card in-port! Note: For the

Democratic Candidate, the winner’s card must be in-port

at midnight (12AM, EST) on August 28th and for the

Republican Candidate, the winner’s card must be in-port

at midnight (12AM, EST) September 4th.

Bonus! Buy ALL 4 Presidential Candidate Cards being offered,

and you will receive a FREE pack of 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter

Hobby Edition in your portfolio! In order to receive the

free pack, all 4 of the offered Presidential Candidates cards

must be allocated into your portfolio. For every 4 Presidential

Candidate cards you are allocated, you will get 1 free pack of

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Hobby Edition.

Please note: The free pack will be directly placed into your online

portfolio 1 – 2 days after the regular allocation process. The pack

will be treated as merchandise.

Be sure to visit eTopps on Super Tuesday, February 5th! Cards go

on sale at 9AM EST and are available through MIDNIGHT (12AM EST).

One day only! You do not want to miss out!

As always, please feel free to contact our Customer Service

team at '' if you ever have any questions,

comments or suggestions. A customer service representative

will be available to assist you between the hours of

9:00am - 4:30pm (ET), Monday through Friday.

Thank you once again for your continued support of eTopps!


The eTopps Team

Now that we're down to four candidates, the set is a little more appealing though the incentive to keep the right ones in-port for the whopping 2 reward points is not. A few years ago, reward points were decided to be the equivalent to $1.25 each. So by holding onto the right presidential candidate card, you'll get the equivalent of $2.50 per card.

This is almost insulting when you can trade junk for points on the trade post now and accumulate 2 reward points with a couple of trades. 5 reward points would have been more respectable. 10 reward points would have been appealing, considering you need more than 5 reward points to get an etopps card shipped for free.

While I like the one-day IPO offer (as opposed to a week for regular cards and a few days on average for Restricted Rookie Offerings), I still find buying the whole set unappealing. With this announcement, I am more skeptical they will offer a shipping discount since they are doing the opposite this time - throwing a bone to hold the cards until August or September.

Also on Super Tuesday, etoppers will be allowed to vote on the design for 2008 Baseball. I always like this and have been successful at voting the design that is chosen...until last 2007 Baseball when etoppers chose a "retro" look.

From the home page you can view three of the designs will be available and one of them is a design from a former year of Topps baseball. Retro meaning in the last 20 years. I hope there will be more than just these three choices. My idea of retro is the 1970s Topps designs such as 1979, 1975 and 1973.

Why can't etoppers submit design ideas? Etopps can choose the best ones from the community to vote on. They could provide a program we can download from the home page that gives us all the tools we would need to design the card. Make it a contest. If I designed a set, I would begin by making it a landscape design like the NASCAR set.

How would you design a new baseball set?