Monday, December 1, 2008

Instead Of An Autograph Offering

Two things have occurred with etopps autograph offerings as of late that has my head scratching. They never showed what the autographs for the Bo Jacksons would look like -- a first in a while --which is a snub to the pre-sellers. And secondly, they didn't offer an autograph this week as if they got the weeks mixed up between last week's Thanksgiving and this week. Hmm.

So what to write about in its place. I opted not to write anything but with a Killian's Red next to me and the tunes from coming out of my laptop in my basement while I write this, I thought I should give a little something about myself for filler.

In early April of 2002 I was watching spring training Mets on tv in my Brooklyn apartment. I was tempted to flip through channels when the commercials came on between innings when I saw something that caught my eye.

The recession hadn't hit full-force yet and the dotcom bubble was only beginning to have its full effect as well. I had missed all of the dotcom stock market get-rich opportunities, looking in from the outside with a certain amount of envy.

And a commercial, of all things, stirred the entrepreneur in me that afternoon in my Brooklyn apartment. Of all things (again), slick flashes of online baseball cards mixed with high profit percentages had me logging onto the internet with my dial-up connection to see more of what I saw. I could say the rest is history at any point and end this post. But I won't.

Etopps wasn't easy to swallow at first. I had sworn off baseball cards nearly ten years before and revisiting anything related to it felt like I was going against my nature to return to something I associated with who I was years ago rather than my present self. I wanted to turn the page from those days of squeezing out a little money from dealers when I had to liquidate a good part of my collection after college and the bad trades I made and the cards I misplaced and haven't found yet (1969 Nolan Ryan).

I was in search of the next big thing but I didn't believe it would be in sports cards no matter how big of a spike I was walking into.

But I had registered with etopps at the height of the Baseball Spike of 2002 and saw the profits in the graphs that people were making. (Suddenly) I found it quite easy to reconcile myself with my collecting days and shook my head over how easy it was to make at least a little profit.

I ordered Toby Hall as one of the first in-port cards. It was the second week of IPOs for the baseball season and was already kicking myself for not seeing the promo commercial a week earlier so I could be making money from the 2002 Barry Bonds that had been allocated already and was climbing higher and higher each day.

During that first IPO season I was horrible at picking out IPO winners. I remember ordering the event card for Shawn Green when he hit 4 homers in one game. It did pretty good after IPO, holding the IPO price and a little more. My most strategic move that IPO season was selling this card right after Mark Cameron hit 4 dingers in a game as well. I predicted right that etopps would issue an event card for him too so I flipped the Green event as fast as I could. Since I had been allocated two, I remember selling each one for close to $20. Somehow the gods were in my favor.

I was hooked and where I worked people knew I had some kind of an online problem...and now the rest is history.

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