Monday, November 3, 2008

Autograph Offering: Joe Montana

The ebay issue about listing in-port etopps cards is resolved.

Earlier today I was cc'ed an email that was sent from ebay to Mark of etopps. In the email, ebay admitted this was a mistake: "I dug into this one a bit, this listing should not have been pulled. Our policy enforcement team will ensure the rep that pulled the listing understands the reason why this listing complies with our policy."

Glad this is over and has a happy ending. If anyone gets their listing pulled by ebay due to this cockeyed digital delivery policy, please forward the email to me and I can forward it to Mark.

Kudos to Mark for taking action so quickly on this.

* * *
Around noon today, seeing the two images of Joe Montana on the etopps home page made me say out loud, "Wow." After a few weeks of boring offerings since Brett Favre, etopps opens their so-called second half of the football season with a bang by offering not one but two Joe Montana cards in their autograph program.

You have the choice of either the Football Classic or the more recent Allen and Ginter Superbowl Champions for $149. The difference is quantity. There will be only 29 Classics offered and 50 Allen and Ginter.

So the question you may ask yourself if you can afford this autograph is which one to choose.

I gave this a lot of thought today, walking to lunch from my job and during my drive home. On the one hand you have more of the A and G but they're the hot set right now thanks to the Allen and Ginter baseball sets since 2006 but the autograph for the Classic looks better and Joe may have had to abbreviate or squeeze his signature on the A and G card compared to the Classic.

Another thing to take into consideration is the Classic was signed by ecardautographs for the same quantity. I don't recall what was the going price when Eric offered these. But I do know that the going rate to have Joe Montana sign a flat at a card show would cost you somewhere in the ballpark of $175.

I remember selling at the East Coast Football Spectacular in NJ when Joe Montana was signing. Fans of him had flown in from all over the country to have him sign whatever they were bringing in person. What I remember is Montana cancelling and seeing the expressions on people's faces who had made the investment to be at the show.

But I digress...

The secondary market may be kind to you. The best sales for a Montana auto were the ones that were signed by someone else besides Montana like Steve Young, Dan Marino or an active quarterback like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Others that sold well included game-used jersey swatches in the card.

When you push aside all of these extras and see how other Montana autos at /50 or somewhere close to /29 do, it's hard to get a good assessment from ebay. Most autos on ebay are stickers.

If you do consider selling this card, by all means offer free shipping so you can include the free subtitle and emphasize this autograph is not a sticker. Since ebay does not break down this important autograph characteristic, let potential buyers know immediately and the subtitle is the perfect real estate for this.

Going back whether to choose Classic or Allen and Ginter, I don't think it matters. You don't have much to lose with either one, whether it's 29 or 50. Let potential buyers deal with this dilemma and hopefully they'll like the choice that etopps has given us. It's too bad this problem doesn't happen for each autograph offering.

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