Monday, December 28, 2009

Enough Is Enough: Join the newly formed Facebook Group, The Etopps Watch Group

I posted the following on the etopps message board this evening:

In response to the first etopps telephone chat, Mark Sapir and I have worked together and reached agreement on the process to fight back against etopps sellers who continue to misrepresent the card's print runs.

We have also reached agreement on the wording of the email that will be sent to ebay to shut down their listing(s). The email will have contact information for several people in Topps, including their General Counsel.

I feel strongly that etoppers who are against these sellers should unite to show strength in numbers. You did this with me when I posted an ebay guide a few years back to warn ebayers about this. Though this guide hasn't done much and is not the first thing a potential buyer will go to if they want to purchase an etopps in-hand.

I've created a group in facebook called the Etopps Watch Group. Since ebay ids will be discussed, I don't think this MB is appropriate.

I'm not sure if this link will work because I'm still trying to get the hang of using facebook.

If you have trouble with the above link, email me through this message board and I will send you an invite to the facebook group.

Since I'm blocked from facebook at work, please be patient if I do not send you an invite until later in the day.

On facebook, I will provide more information about the group, the process of how etopps sellers will be stopped and together I hope we can find these listings/sellers to shut them down.

And yes, Mark has my support in this and I hope you will too.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - December 25

Happy Holidays!

As of December 25th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 Barack Obama Basketball Card, $35
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 A&G Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $71
Highest Graded Sale: 2008 DeSean Jackson, BGS 9.5, $30
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2001 Jimmy Rollins, $63
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2009 Matt Wieters
* 2004 Ben Roethlisberger
* 2009 Barack Obama All-Star Game Event Card
* 2003 LeBron James

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 LeBron James, 11 bids

Listings with false print-runs included in title: 2
Number of sellers listing false print-runs: 1 (ebay id: iverson775)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Autograph Offering: 2001 Reggie Wayne


After months of hibernation, the etopps autograph program has returned with an offering of 50 2001 Reggie Wayne cards at $29.99 each tomorrow, Christmas Eve, at 3pm EST.

Yes, it has been quite awhile since an autographed card was offered. More have been offered in the catalog this year than new ones and we all know why. With 10% nationwide unemployment, etopps ain't dumb, realizing that autographed cards just like other collectibles is all about disposable income that's one of the first and last things to be affected by the economy.

Nevertheless it's nice to see a 2001 card being offered and it's a rookie and it's for a player we are familiar with thanks to Peyton Manning. The Colts seem unstoppable so all of these factors help this card's current value.

At a penny shy of $30, it's nicely undervalued. You may be able to double your money if the card arrives in your mailbox if the Colts are in the Super Bowl or if they win the Super Bowl.

Looking at the sales of other autographed 2001 cards of Reggie Wayne, it looks like most of them are in the $60-$70 range except for the graded ones. They fetch a lot higher and you could probably score at least $100 if you wait it out and have BGS inspect the auto. The downside to any grading is the time it takes. Some have the patience for this while others do not.

For the collector, you couldn't ask for a better Christmas present from etopps if you like Reggie Wayne or if you're a Colts fan, a fan of the 2001 etopps Football set or just like etopps autographs. At $30, etopps deserves kudos for this price. They know there are potential buyers of this card who have already spent a lot of saved-up coin for holiday shopping.

What's also nice is how Mr. Wayne signed the card. While others may have just scribbled their initials and jersey number, it's easy to see he wrote his full name. What's also nice is he signed his name in the top left corner without touching the foreground image of his head or his body in the background picture.

Overall it's nice to see more autographs from etopps and nice to review them once again. For the collector, you couldn't ask for a better opportunity and for the seller, patience is the key to make a better profit on this.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - December 18

As of December 18th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Japan Patch Card, $42
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Set, $100
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James, BGS 9.5, $75
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2002 Albert Pujols, $255
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Chris Paul McDonalds BGS 9.5/10, $79

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Matt Hasselbeck
* 2003 LeBron James
* 1953 Mickey Mantle Reprint
* 2000 Petyon Manning

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 LeBron James, 12 bids

Listings with false print-runs included in title: 10
Number of sellers listing false print-runs: 1 (ebay id: 1underseller)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - December 11

As of December 11th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 Barack Obama Baseball Event, $49.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Set, $72
Highest Graded Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson, BGS 9.5, $101.25
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Bill Russel Classic Basketball, $108.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Chris Paul McDonalds BGS 9.5/10, $45

Other best sellers:

* 2007 Adrian Peterson
* 1967 Mickey Mantle reprint
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2003 Dwyane Wade

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2007 Adrian Peterson, 6 bids

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - December 4

As of December 4th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Highest Single Card Sale: 2008 Barack Obama, $53.55
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $81
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $96
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Allen Iverson, $199.99
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Dwyane Wade, BGS 9.5/9, $99.99

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2007 John Elway SB Champs Allen & Ginter
* 2007 Joe Namath SB Champs Allen & Ginter
* 1959 Mickey Mantle reprint

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Albert Pujols, 15 bids

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - November 27

As of November 27th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Highest Single Card Sale: 2003 LeBron James, $34
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $100
Highest Graded Sale: 2005 Chris Paul, BGS 9.5, $39.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Tim Lincecum, $150
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2007 Tim Lincecum
* 2007 Adrian Peterson
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2003 Dwyane Wade

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2007 Joba Chamberlain, 13 bids

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - November 20

As of November 20th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Japan Patch Card, $41.98
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Set, $119.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James, BGS 9.5, $95
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson, $165
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2005 Deron Williams, BGS 9.5/10, $38.76

Other best sellers:

* Allen & Ginter SB Champs Walter Payton
* 2003 Dwyane Wade
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2001 Drew Brees

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 LeBron James, 11 bids

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - November 13

As of November 13th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $41
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Mickey Mantle Collection, $255
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, PSA 9 $46
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Tom Brady, $152.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Anthony Morrow
* 2001 Ichiro Suzuki
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2001 Drew Brees

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Ichiro Suzuki, 8 bids

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - November 6

As of November 6th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 271
Sell-Through: 28.78%
Average starting price: $4.92
Average final price: $17.57

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $40
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Set, $91
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James, BGS 9.5, $87
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson, $175
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2005 Deron Williams, BGS 9.5/10, $50.05

Other best sellers:

* 2009 Albert Pujols
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2001 Drew Brees
* 2007 Allen & Ginter Ronald Reagan

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: Joe DiMaggio -Cards That Never Were, 10 bids

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - October 30

As of October 30th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 334
Sell-Through: 40.12%
Average starting price: $2.17
Average final price: $9.68

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 WBC Japan Patch Card, $45.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $119.50
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James, BGS 9.5, $99.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2000 & 2001 Peyton Manning, $400
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2001 Drew Brees
* 2006 Albert Pujols

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: (tie) Jim Brown Classic Football, 2001 Donald Hayes, 7bids

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - October 23

As of October 23rd the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 348
Sell-Through: 52.01%
Average starting price: $1.23
Average final price: $10.68

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $52.23
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Mickey Mantle Collection, $330.78
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James, PSA 10, $41
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2001 Allen Iverson, $86.88
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Derek Jeter
* 2008 Chris Johnson
* 2008 Ray Rice
* 2005 Aaron Rogers

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Albert Pujols, 14 bids

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - October 16

As of October 16th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 193
Sell-Through: 41.45%
Average starting price: $2.41
Average final price: $7.42

Highest Single Card Sale: 2006 AJ Hawk, $102.50
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 WBC Set W/ Japan Patch, $125
Highest Graded Sale: 2006 Jay Cutler, PSA 9, $56
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2002 Tom Brady, $250
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 A & G Mickey Mantle
* 2008 A & G Roger Maris
* 2007 Jacoby Ellsbury
* 2006 Andre Ethier

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Gary Payton, 8 bids

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - October 9

As of October 9th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 207
Sell-Through: 41.55%
Average starting price: $1.72
Average final price: $11.06

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Alex Rodriguez, $32.57
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Mickey Mantle Set #676/999, $329.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $80.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Clayton Kershaw, $60
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2006 Santonio Holmes
* 2007 Derek Jeter
* 2001 Manny Ramirez
* 2001 Brett Favre

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Alex Rodriguez, 8 bids

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - October 2

As of October 2nd the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 160
Sell-Through: 66.88%
Average starting price: $2.73
Average final price: $9.31

Highest Single Card Sale: 2007 Tim Lincecum, $38
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2001 Michael Vick Rookie Lot of 3, $8.94
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $89
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 National Bob Feller #8/19, $51
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2002 Karl Malone
* 2008 Evan Longoria
* 2007 Adrian Peterson
* 2006 Kobe Bryant

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2007 Tim Lincecum, 14 bids

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - September 25

As of September 25th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 128
Sell-Through: 55.47%
Average starting price: $3.17
Average final price: $9.62

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Japan Patch Card, $40
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Set with Patch Card, $80
Highest Graded Sale: 2008 O.J. Mayo, BGS 9.5, $67.50
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2004 Manny Ramirez, $43.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2005 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5/8, $215.39

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Ichiro
* 2006 Derek Jeter
* 2009 Yu Darvish
* 2007 Daisuke Matsuzaka

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2005 Prince Fielder, 8 bids

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - September 18

As of September 18th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 125
Sell-Through: 56.00%
Average starting price: $5.19
Average final price: $10.36

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Matt Hasselbeck, $39.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Set with Patch Card, $100
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $195
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 A&G Super Bowl Champs Tom Brady, $300
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2005 Ryan Howard, BGS 9.5/10, $146.50

Other best sellers:

* World Baseball Classic Patch Card
* 2001 Derek Jeter
* 2008 Miami Dolphins
* 2002 Pavel Datsyuk

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: World Baseball Classic Japan Patch Card, 10 bids

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - September 11

To commemorate today, I dug up what I had experienced days after 9/11 at Ground Zero and posted it on my other blog.

As of September 11th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 167
Sell-Through: 58.08%
Average starting price: $2.20
Average final price: $11.73

Highest Single Card Sale: 2008 Allen Ginter Hillar Clinton, $22.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2009 World Baseball Classic Set, $75
Highest Graded Sale: 2008 Adrian Peterson, BGS 9.5, $13.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2004 Peyton Manning, $100
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2004 New York Mets Team Card
* 2006 Joe Mauer
* 2008 Brett Favre
* 2001 Michael Vick

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: lot of 2006 Kobe Bryant, 2006 Allen Iverson and 2008 Kobe Bryant, 6 bids

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - September 4

As of September 4th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 176
Sell-Through: 50.57%
Average starting price: $2.79
Average final price: $9.93

Highest Single Card Sale: 2008 Allen Ginter Barack Obama, $56
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Etopps Classics Lot Of 7, $17.19
Highest Graded Sale: 2008 Allen Ginter Yankee Stadium Set BGS - $550
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Tom Brady /50, $499
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2006 Kobe Bryant
* 2006 Jon Lester
* 2002 Brett Favre

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2005 Prince Fielder 1/1 slabbed in Anaheim National holder promo card, 18 bids

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - August 28

As of August 28th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 164
Sell-Through: 47.56%
Average starting price: $4.59
Average final price: $12.02

Highest Single Card Sale: 2003 Roberto Clemente Baseball Classic, $12
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Yankee Stadium Tribute, $149
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James BGS 10, $510
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Allen & Ginter Joe Namath, $200
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2007 Allen & Ginter Moments & Milestones Barry Bonds
* 2001 C.C. Sabathia
* Torrie Wilson
* 2004 Twins Team Card

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: Jim Thome 5-Card Lot, 18 bids

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - August 21

As of August 21st the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 153
Sell-Through: 54.25%
Average starting price: $3.64
Average final price: $16.30

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $59.95
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2007 Allen & Ginter Presidents Set, $165
Highest Graded Sale: 2008 Matt Ryan, BGS 9.5, $40.22
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2002 Nolan Ryan Classic Baseball, $135
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Jay Bruce
* 2006 Stephen Drew
* 2007 Allen & Ginter Moments & Milestones Alex Rodriguez
* 2009 Allen & Ginter Roger Staubach

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Albert Pujols, 9 bids

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - August 14

As of August 14th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 152
Sell-Through: 54.61%
Average starting price: $2.12
Average final price: $16.22

Highest Single Card Sale: 2008 Barack Obama Allen Ginter, $82.98
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Yankee Stadium Allen & Ginter Set, $149
Highest Graded Sale: 2006 LeBron James BGS 9.5, $46
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2001 Cal Ripken, $155
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Michael Vick
* 2001 Ichiro Suzuki
* 2007 Mark Reynolds
* 2002 Albert Pujols

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2006 Albert Pujols, 11 bids

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - August 7

As of August 7th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 143
Sell-Through: 53.85%
Average starting price: $4.91
Average final price: $11.11

Highest Single Card Sale: 2003 LeBron James $37.95
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Superbowl Champs Set 1, $107.77
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James BGS 10, $600
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Allen Ginter Prince Fielder, $115
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2006 Brandon Roy
* 2005 Football Classic Bob Lilly
* 2006 Matt Cain
* 2001 Peter Forsberg

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2007 Allen Ginter Moments Milestones Set - 15 bids

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - July 31

As of July 31st the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 146
Sell-Through: 63.70%
Average starting price: $2.52
Average final price: $8.05

Highest Single Card Sale: (tie) 2007 John Cena & 2008 Brett Gardner $10
Highest Mult-Card Sale: None
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9.5, $77.01
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Justin Upton, $115
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Kobe Bryant
* 2001 Michael Vick
* 2005 Boston Red Sox Team
* 2002 Josh Beckett

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: (tie) 2004 Kobe Bryant, 2008 Mark Teixeira - 2 bids

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - July 24

As of July 24th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 177
Sell-Through: 59.89%
Average starting price: $1.75
Average final price: $10.31

Highest Single Card Sale: 2007 Joba Chamberlain, $21.61
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Classic Baseball Complete Set, $280
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols PSA 10, $132
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Tom Brady, $209.49
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2007 Kevin Slowey
* 2003-04 Martin Brodeur
* 2006 Matt Cain
* Classic Baseball Events Iron Man Cal Ripken

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: Classic Baseball Complete Set - 18 bids

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - July 17

As of July 17th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 145
Sell-Through: 55.17%
Average starting price: $3.93
Average final price: $9.42

Highest Single Card Sale: 2003 LeBron James, $26.03
Highest Mult-Card Sale: (pre-sell) 2009 World Baseball Classic Set, $119.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9.5, $105
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2005 Chris Paul, $65
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Tim Lincecum BGS 9.5/10, $395

Other best sellers:

* 2005-06 Chris Paul
* 2003-04 Pavel Datsyuk
* Classic Football Brian Piccolo
* 2008 Adam Dunn

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 LeBron James - 19 bids

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - July 10

As of yesterday, July 10th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 153
Sell-Through: 64.05%
Average starting price: $3.59
Average final price: $10.15

Highest Single Card Sale: 2006 Jay Cutler, $85
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2007 National Promo Cards That Never Were Set, $11.55
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9.5, $112.50
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Tim Lincecum, $130
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Tom Brady BGS 9.5/10, $800

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2009 Barack Obama
* 2006 Mickey Mantle 1955 reprint

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2006 Mickey Mantle (1955 reprint) - 13 bids

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - July 3

As of yesterday, July 3rd the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 258
Sell-Through: 57.75%
Average starting price: $5.47
Average final price: $7.79

Highest Single Card Sale: 2003 Mike Comrie, $110.01
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter Yankee Tribute Set, $134.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9.5, $100.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Tim Lincecum, $130
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2003 LeBron James
* 2005 Chris Paul
* 2006 Hanley Ramirez
* 2004 LeBron James

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 Mike Comrie - 20 bids

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Delivery Delay Announcement: WBC & 08-09 Basketball

From etopps updates:

Subject: Production Update
Date: 06/30/09
Due to production issues beyond our control, etopps is experiencing delays on delivery of the following cards:

2009 eTopps World Baseball Classic

1: Yu Darvish WBC
2: David Wright WBC
3: Jin Young Lee WBC
4: Frederich Cepeda WBC
5: Derek Jeter WBC
6: Yulieski Gourriel WBC
7: Gift Ngoepe WBC
8: Norichika Aoki WBC
9: Ichiro WBC
10: Dae Ho Lee WBC
11: Hisashi Iwakuma WBC
12: Tae Kyun Kim WBC
13: WBC Champion Patch Card

2008-09 eTopps Basketball

22: Dwyane Wade 2008-09
23: Mario Chalmers 2008-09
24: Jason Thompson 2008-09
25: Shaquille O'Neal 2008-09
26: Roy Hibbert 2008-09

We expect to have these cards available for delivery by the week of July 27th. We apologize for this delay. Please continue to check eTopps Updates for additional information.

Sincerely,

The eTopps Team

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - June 26

As of yesterday, June 26th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 206
Sell-Through: 57.28%
Average starting price: $7.28
Average final price: $13.77

Highest Single Card Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter Barack Obama, $125
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter Yankee Tribute Set, $101.62
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James BGS 10, $355
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Brett Favre, $177.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 1961 Mickey Mantle
* 2009 Barack Obama
* Baseball Classic Mark Fidrych

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 1961 Mickey Mantle - 13 bids

The Next Autograph

For the last several Mondays I, like others, have refreshed the homepage of the etopps website around noon, expecting to see the next autograph offering pop up. But each time, the IPOs show up at 1PM instead.

The last one (Masterson) took a bit of time to sell out. Doing a biweekly offering makes sense to keep everyone interested without hurting their wallets but after so many weeks, you would expect them to resume the biweekly schedule since it's now looking more like a monthly schedule.

I think the next autograph will tell us what's going on. Either we're going to be offered something big (as if they wanted to prepare our wallets for this) or the same low priced offering will continue.

I don't think a higher-priced offering will be a problem considering the money being made from this year's baseball offerings so far.

The only other possibility I can think of for the hiatus is the focus on getting signatures for this fall's football season. We don't know whether etopps is so scaled down that Mark is getting the autos himself or someone else is doing this for etopps. It's just a hunch considering the fact that a lot of the autographs come with COAs that show the date of the signature occurred months before the offering.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - June 19

As of yesterday, June 19th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 140
Sell-Through: 59.29%
Average starting price: $7.20
Average final price: $11.64

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 Barack Obama, $49.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2007 Allen & Ginter Presidents Set, $120
Highest Graded Sale: 2008 Mickey Mantle A&G Yankee Tribute Set, BGS 9.5, $30.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Evan Longoria, $117.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2003 LeBron James
* Allen & Ginter SB Champs Brett Favre
* Allen & Ginter Yankee Tribute Mickey Mantle

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Cal Ripken - 7 bids

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - June 12

As of yesterday, June 12th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 196
Sell-Through: 68.88%
Average starting price: $6.80
Average final price: $11.84

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $45.30
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2006 Mickey Mantle Set, $350
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BCCG 10, $80
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Evan Longoria, $150
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2003 LeBron James
* 2007 Hunter Pence
* 2007 LeBron James
* 2006 Derek Jeter

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Albert Pujols - 12 bids

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - June 5

As of yesterday, June 5th the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 160
Sell-Through: 68.13%
Average starting price: $6.56
Average final price: $14.13

Highest Single Card Sale: 2009 Barack Obama Basketball Event, $69.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson Lot of 2, $32.51
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 LeBron James BGS 9.5, $104.95
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Evan Longoria, $150
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Chien Ming Wang, BGS 9.5/10, $132.60

Other best sellers:

* 2003 LeBron James
* 2008 Kevin Durant
* 2006 Ian Kinsler
* 2008 A & G Yankee Tribute Set Patch Card

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 LeBron James - 11 bids

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Autograph Offering: Justin Masterson

Kudos goes to etopps for offering autographs every other week to make it easier for etopps members' wallets. I presented the dilemma of offering high-end autographs vs. low-end autographs at the beginning of the baseball season in light of our economy and the road etopps has chosen seems to be working. IPOs are selling out and so are the autographs so far. As stated in a previous post, the other shoe may drop later in the season, after the all-star break, when wallets are exhausted.

This Thursday, 200 2008 Masterson autos are being offered at $29.99 each and you can buy a maximum of 3 per account.

So is this reasonable? As of this writing, there are only 14 active listings and a bunch of ebay store offerings. Most of the 14 listings are auctions, and so are the completed auctions. $29.99 is about what they're selling for at the close of auctions on average with sticker autos going for $10-$15 on average. For a relief pitching prospect, not bad.

Add another $10 to its value for the etopps "halo effect" (COA, on-the-card auto) and at least another $5 the fact that it's a Red Sox and a rookie card.

I would stop here but there's something else to consider. Trade rumors are flying around already. Big Pappi is falling apart. What if Masterson is on another team by the time you get this autograph in the mail?

Something to think about.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - May 29

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

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 131
Sell-Through: 61.07%
Average starting price: $11.16
Average final price: $18.69

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $76
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Superbowl Champions Set, $150
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James BGS 9.5, $60
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Evan Longoria, $149.99
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson BGS 9/9 $179

Other best sellers:

* 2009 Barack Obama Basketball Event
* 2008 Allen & Ginter SB Champs Joe Montana
* 2008 Brett Favre
* 2008 Evan Longoria

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2009 Barack Obama - 15 bids

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - May 22

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

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 179
Sell-Through: 37.43%
Average starting price: $5.55
Average final price: $17.14

Highest Single Card Sale: 2008 Barack Obama Basketball Event, $105
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Classic Football Set, $280
Highest Graded Sale: (10) 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9, $638.85
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Tim Lincecum, $175
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2003 Lebron James
* 2002 Henrik Zetterberg
* 2003 Miguel Cabrera

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 Dwyane Wade - 9 bids

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Autograph Offering: Clayton Kershaw

After last night's performance of Chad Billingsley against my Mets, it's too bad etopps isn't offering his 2006 RRO rookie etopps card this week. Instead, they are offering 100 2008 Clayton Kershaw cards signed on Thursday, May 21st for $35 each. Each account can only get one of these so it's likely this will sell out, right?

Let's see what ebay has to say about this. Needless to say his 2006 true rookie cards are most sought after, have the highest asking prices and have the most bids. 2008 is not a pretty year for his autographed cards nor is the quantity of 100 for that year.

But when you factor in the appealing on-the-card signature rather than a sticker, the quality of the card, the encasement, the COA and the etopps following for the autographed cards, this card could sell over $100. Gallardo's auto has not done much as a pre-sell yet (as a pitcher comparison) and it's too bad this player was chosen over Billingsley who is hot right now.

Based on the performance of Kershaw, this card should easily double your money even if you don't sell it before receiving it from etopps because of the large LA market and the factors I listed above.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - May 15

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

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 247
Sell-Through: 33.20%
Average starting price: $1.86
Average final price: $10.26

Highest Single Card Sale: 2003 Lebron James, $42.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2007 CTNW National Set $24.99
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $76
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Evan Longoria, $167
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2004 Joe Mauer
* 2001 Ichiro Suzuki
* 2007 Lebron James
* 2005 Albert Pujols

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2005 Peyton Manning - 9 bids

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In-Hands Now Ready For Shipment

Etopps posted this announcement yesterday:

The following eTopps cards have printed, and are ready for delivery starting 5/11/09:

2008 eTopps Football

43 Pittsburgh Steelers 2008
44 Arizona Cardinals 2008
53 Colt Brennan 2008
54 John David Booty 2008

eTopps Allen & Ginter Super Bowl Champions

7 Brett Favre SB
8 Tom Landry SB
9 Emmitt Smith SB
10 Walter Payton SB
11 Jerry Rice SB
12 Peyton Manning SB
13 Roger Staubach SB
14 Tony Dorsett SB
15 Lawrence Taylor SB

eTopps Event Card

6 Steelers Win Record Sixth Super Bowl
44P Barack Obama

2008-09 eTopps Basketball

1 Chris Paul 2008-09
2 Eric Gordon 2008-09
3 Michael Beasley 2008-09
4 Kevin Love 2008-09
5 Brook Lopez 2008-09
6 Dwight Howard 2008-09
7 Marc Gasol 2008-09
8 Sun Yue 2008-09
9 Joe Johnson 2008-09
10 Kevin Garnett 2008-09
11 Allen Iverson 2008-09
12 Kobe Bryant 2008-09
13 O.J. Mayo 2008-09
14 Chris Bosh 2008-09
15 D.J. Augustin 2008-09
16 Danilo Gallinari 2008-09
17 Russell Westbrook 2008-09
18 Carmelo Anthony 2008-09
19 Derrick Rose 2008-09
20 Rudy Fernandez 2008-09
21 Marreese Speights 2008-09

We appreciate your patience as these cards were manufactured. Please continue to check eTopps Updates for additional information on future print runs.

Sincerely,

The eTopps Team

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - May 8

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

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 163
Sell-Through: 43.56%
Average starting price: $1.56
Average final price: $10.99

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $54.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen Ginter Yankee Stadium set, $81
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $102.50
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2001 Ladainian Tomlinson, $250
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2003 LeBron James
* 2008 Evan Longoria
* 2007 Albert Pujols
* 2008 Daniel Murphy

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2008 Evan Longoria - 10 bids

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Autograph Offering: Yovani Gallardo

Other than Zack Greinke, I couldn't think of a better pitcher to offer for an autograph right now. Kudos to etopps for the timing and price of this auto.

At the price offerings for these past three autos, it's a monetary relief that they are doing this now. It'll be interesting what will happen if they offer autographs higher than $50 or at $99.99 or more. I still think they should get the high-end autos out of the way or offer a schedule of who they will be offering even if it's two weeks in advance.

Looking at completed auctions for 2007 Gallardo autos, most of them were sticker autos from Bowman. Ones that were out of 199 sold for $50+. It may be safe to say this auto could be valued well over $100 because Gallardo is hot and the market is saturated with stickers autos.

Not sure why etopps stopped showing what the autograph looks like. Sure it's not good for the pre-sells on ebay but it's not difficult to recall some poor quality signatures, most recently Terry Bradshaw.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - May 1

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

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 167
Sell-Through: 42.51%
Average starting price: $4.08
Average final price: $8.29

Highest Single Card Sale: 2006 Jay Cutler, $57.66
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 07 Etopps National RC Set [CTNW], $24.55
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $112.50
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter Tom Brady, $200
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2003 Tom Brady
* 2001 Derek Jeter
* Classic Baseball Ryne Sandberg
* 2007 Philip Hughes

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2008 Tim Lincecum - 9 bids

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Autograph Offering: 2008 Jay Bruce

On the last day of this month, etopps will offer 200 signed 2008 Jay Bruce cards at $39.99 a pop.

Before evaluating the value of this auto via ebay sales, the one thing about this offering that sticks out came from etopps email about the offering. Only 1 auto is allowed per order. Had I guessed beforehand, I would have assumed there would have been 3 allowed per order. I honestly cannot recall when was the last time there was this restriction.

Either this was a mistake or it's a reaction to the demand for the Longoria auto that sold out in minutes and sold $200 higher on ebay on the same day.

Besides all of this, at a penny less than $40 for a 1 of 200 autograph is a reasonable deal but you may be able to get a better deal on ebay if you're concerned about numbers such as quantity of autographs and price. There aren't that many /200 autos that have shown up on ebay recently. And of course there is a plethora of sticker autos that do not have the same appeal/demand/value as an on-the-card signature.

Bottom line: I would not expect the card to sell much higher than what etopps is asking. In other words, it's a weak flip on the secondary market unless there are etopps buyers who have been waiting since last year for this card to be offered. And since there will be 200 lucky buyers of this auto, some of these Jay Bruce fans are bound to buy it and will not have to depend on ebay to purchase it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - April 24

As of today, April 24 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 241
Sell-Through: 41.91%
Average starting price: $3.08
Average final price: $8.48

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $54.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Allen Ginter Etopps in hand 5 card lot, $43.88
Highest Graded Sale: (100) 2003 LeBron James, BGS 9.5, $6100
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Evan Longoria, $240
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson BGS 9, $180

Other best sellers:

* 2003 LeBron James
* 2008 Daniel Murphy
* 2008 Allen & Ginter Tom Brady
* 2008 Evan Longoria

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2006 Greg Jennings - 7 bids

Monday, April 20, 2009

Take The Surprise Out Of The Autos

The hibernation of etopps autograph offerings is finally over. Not one basketball offering and a late start for baseball compared to last year when the autographs started in March.

So why the long wait? With the crippling economy, it's statistically possible that some of the membership has been affected one way or another (such as unemployment). My guess is etopps took a wait & see approach based on recent IPO sales from the last two weeks of baseball IPO orders.

So etopps is taking the low road by offering Evan Longoria auto for $45, low enough to be a test to see whether or not we are willing to shell out the extra bucks beyond each week's IPOs? Since etopps is offering only four IPOs at a time at decent prices (and print runs I should add), I'm not sure if this particular autograph is a good one to determine whether autographs with higher asking prices will sell-out.

History shows the momentum of both the baseball and football IPO seasons are at their peaks usually at the start of their respective seasons. As an example, etopps could offer four place-kickers in its first week of football IPOs and they would all sell out.

But let's focus on the the long baseball season. IPOs stretch from April through August week after week. Etopps ought to take a longer look at the ordering patterns in May and June to see if people continue to place their orders for every IPO -- or are they ordering less and less? (Especially the Monday after credit card bills are issued) Or simply: will the IPOs sell out week after week, month after month even with this economy?

And if they don't sell out, then what does etopps do about the autograph offerings? Will etopps regret selling Longoria at $45/each if this auto could be better positioned if IPO sales start dwindling? Wouldn't it make more sense to sell the higher-priced autos now at the beginning of the season/momentum?

Maybe.

What if etopps had a different approach to the autograph program? What if we were given the entire autograph schedule for this year's baseball season? As blasphemous as this sounds, what does etopps have to lose? Why be surprised each week? We no longer have this surprise for each week's IPOs - in fact, we were just emailed before 1PM EST which cards will be offered.

By seeing the entire autograph schedule, members can financially plan ahead to buy the autograph they really like. I think this is something we deserve even if the whole schedule cannot be released, it should at least become available to members as soon as the autograph are a definite go.

What's the gain of being surprised each week? If you were not a member of etopps 3+ years ago, there was a time when we didn't know the IPO offerings each week until they were posted, the autographs just showed up for sale without a head's up and the catalog would just become available without any schedule. In other words, it was chaos.

While I understand etopps does not give a schedule of their IPOs for the season and it's their decision, not having one for the autographs which requires deeper pockets is not in their best interest at the time of this economy, especially when the hobby is sinking, disposable income is lacking and the thrill of the surprise is merely a shell of what etopps used to be about.

Etopps can gain something from the membership by disclosing their schedule of auto offerings that they need as much as our IPO orders: trust.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - April 17

As of today, April 17 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 148
Sell-Through: 73.65%
Average starting price: $2.62
Average final price: $7.87

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $40.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 50 Different Etopps In Hand Lot, $29.12
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, BGS 9.5, $75.95
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2001 Ladainian Tomlinson, $130
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Brett Favre
* 2007 Albert Pujols
* 2006 Brett Favre
* 2008 Chris Volstad

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2005 LeBron James - 10 bids

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - April 10

As of today, April 10 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 179
Sell-Through: 59.78%
Average starting price: $1.65
Average final price: $10.55

Highest Single Card Sale: 2003 LeBron James, $31.57
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 A & G Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $115.05
Highest Graded Sale: 2008 A & G Barack Obama, BGS 9.5, $185
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Brett Favre, $155.28
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Brett Favre
* 2001 Brett Favre
* 2003 Dwyane Wade
* 2001 Ichiro Suzuki

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2004 Ben Roethlisberger - 11 bids

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Delay of in-hands

Etopps added this announcement to its updates page:

Due to production issues beyond our control, etopps is experiencing delays on delivery of the following cards:

2008 eTopps Football

43: Pittsburgh Steelers Team Card 2008
44: Arizona Cardinals Team Card 2008
53: Colt Brennan 2008
54: John David Booty 2008

2009 eTopps Allen & Ginter Super Bowl Champions

7: Brett Favre SB
8: Tom Landry SB
9: Emmitt Smith SB
10: Walter Payton SB
11: Jerry Rice SB
12: Peyton Manning SB
13: Roger Staubach SB
14: Tony Dorsett SB
15: Lawrence Taylor SB

2009 eTopps Event Cards

6: Steelers Win Record Sixth Super Bowl
44P: Barack Obama

2008-09 eTopps Basketball

1: Chris Paul 2009
2: Eric Gordon 2009
3: Michael Beasley 2009

We expect to have these cards available for delivery the week of May 11th. Please continue to check eTopps Updates for additional information.

Sincerely,

etopps Team

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - April 3

As of today, April 3 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 213
Sell-Through: 52.11%
Average starting price: $2.28
Average final price: $7.31

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $38
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 A & G Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $116.75
Highest Graded Sale: (tie) 2008 Chris Davis, BGS 9.5 $36
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Prince Fielder, $67.98
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2006 Leinart Bush National Promo Dual Auto /16, PSA 10, $85.10

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Joey Votto
* 2008 Taylor Teagarden
* 2008 Brett Favre
* 2001 C.C. Sabathia

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2001 Albert Pujols - 15 bids

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - March 27

As of today, March 20 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 190
Sell-Through: 43.68%
Average starting price: $2.81
Average final price: $7.09

Highest Single Card Sale: 2008 Joe Flacco, $13.79
Highest Mult-Card Sale: None
Highest Graded Sale: (tie) 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9.5 & 2003 Dwyane Wade BGS 9.5: $125
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Classic Baseball Johnny Bench, $110
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2003 Classic Football Troy Aikman PSA Auto, $135

Other best sellers:

* 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers
* 2008 Ken Griffey Jr.
* 2007 Brady Quinn
* 2008 Jeff Clement

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2005 Classic Football Herschel Walker - 6 bids

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - March 20

As of today, March 20 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: data not available
Sell-Through: data not available
Average starting price: data not available
Average final price: data not available

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Barack Obama, $91.88
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Mickey Mantle Set, $400
Highest Graded Sale: 2005 Chris Paul BGS 9.5, $49.95
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Allen & Ginter Terry Bradshaw, $149.95
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2008 Allen & Ginter Babe Ruth
* 2001 Ken Griffey Jr.

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2008 Allen & Ginter Barack Obama - 15 bids

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Dilemma of Etopps In-Hands

When you sell etopps in-hands, it is only a matter of time until you will have to make a choice about two directions you can take.

The first one is about being the middle-man between etopps and your customers. You market yourself as an in-hand dealer. Anything online with etopps is about making the sale whether on ebay or another site where you can sell your in-hands. Off-line you do the same at card shows and/or elsewhere.

The second direction you can take is less about selling in-hands and more about being a guide about etopps. You are the go-to person to explain how the online platform works and how the etopps online cards become accessible as in-hands. You make reference to the etopps website and all that it offers - the IPOs, the rewards points and rewards catalog, cardtarget, the autograph offerings, the trade post, the fantasy games, etc. You are a teacher and a mentor and you earn credibility and trust.

Here lies the problem: the more you take the second direction, the more you will lose potential customers for your in-hand business. Once they "get it" they won't need you anymore.

But the more you take the first direction, the more you depend on the customer's shrinking ignorance. You are not telling your customers about how and when to take their online etopps cards delivered at a discount or for free with reward points. You are not trying to teach them how you are getting your inventory the way you do because essentially you're conveying to them you can do this too.

Sometimes it's better to hold some of your cards than to let the buyer see all that you're holding.

Through experience you will have to decide how much you will be telling your customers about etopps. It's just a matter of time before they want to know how the online platform works. It's up to you to decide how much you will tell them.

During card shows we would get this question asked as often as once every hour. And each time we would spend a considerable amount of time telling them about the different aspects of etopps. They'd stand there in front of our table and listen, arms folded. When we were done, more times than not they would thank us and walk away without buying a card from us. We also noticed that those who bought from us didn't really care about how the online program worked. They just wanted to know how much the card cost that they wanted to buy.

Sometimes it's a simple as this: you will have buyers who don't trust ebay or the internet for buying, who will want to see the cards in their hands before they buy them, who go to a hobby store as much for socializing as for buying.

While this is fine, these buyers are shrinking in size. The hobby, in a nutshell, has never been the same for card store owners since ebay started more than 10 years ago. More and more people are going online to do more than just use google to search or buy something cheaper than at a brick & mortar store (ie, web 1.0). These same old-school buyers are becoming more savy online and are less willing to spend than they did before our current economic crisis.

So how will you be an info-guru about etopps while selling these cards in-hand?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - March 13

As of today, March 13 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 202
Sell-Through: 41.58%
Average starting price: $2.47
Average final price: $8.66

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Mickey Mantle, $29.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Presidents Set #35/999, $108.50
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James BGS 9.5, $54.95
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2002 Willie Mays, $213.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Allen and Ginter Hillary Clinton
* 2007 Kevin Durant
* 2007 LeBron James
* 2005 LeBron James

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2007 Ben Roethlisberger - 10 bids

Something About Myself

I posted this on my website blog about what happened to me in the summer of 1972.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Outside The Ebay Box

There are a lot of etopps in-hand sellers. How do you stand out from the pack? Customers have a lot of choices. What is it about you/your brand that makes them want to buy from you instead of them?

  • Make a video for each year/sport
  • Join sports collectibles discussion groups online
  • Form a meet-up group to trade in-hands in your area
  • Become an expert on etopps cards. Strive to be the go-to guy on the internet for etopps in-hands.
  • Sell your etopps cards off ebay…like Amazon.
  • Research a niche that incorporates etopps cards (team, sport, collectibles, player, year, encased cards)
  • Have a contest to give away etopps cards. Idea: give away an etopps card in your town/city to the first person that has the same first name or last name as the player you’re giving away. Make the announcement each week (make sure it’s the day/time is consistent each week to help make it more viral)
  • Show off/sell your etopps in-hands at your local street fair/festival
  • Knock your customer’s socks off with customer service skills
  • Create a business page on facebook
  • Create a page on myspace and friend everyone in the sports/sports collectible industry on myspace and keep them informed of everything pertaining to you and etopps
  • Post interesting tidbits about etopps on twitter.
  • Have athletes sign your cards. If they say anything complimentary about their etopps card, ask to quote them on your website.
  • Offer free shipping on single cards
  • If you have web design skills/software, create new etopps designs and send them to Mark. Have your customers vote on which ones they like the most.
  • Offer discounts on multiple card orders
  • Idea: Get permission from Mark on this – using zazzle or cafĂ© press, place the etopps image of your favorite or best-selling card on a t-shirt, (even cooler back of the card on the back of the shirt). If the player is active, go to a game that the player is in to promote it…don’t forget business cards if you do this.
There are a lot of things you can try. You may fail but don't let that discourage you. Just try something else from this list or come up with something on your own. Share it here if it works.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - March 6

As of today, March 6 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 159
Sell-Through: 60.38%
Average starting price: $3.11
Average final price: $8.42

Highest Single Card Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols, $36.89
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2006 Mickey Mantle Set #001/999, $510.10
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9.5, $73.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Cameron Maybin /100, $71.31
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Matt Ryan
* 2008 Allen & Ginter Mickey Mantle
* 2008 Allen & Ginter Babe Ruth
* 2008 Steve Slaton

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2007-08 Kobe Bryant - 10 bids

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recipe For A Cool Etopps Promo

1. Go to the etopps website and save a bunch of classic baseball etopps images into a folder on your PC. And include a few Baseball Classic Event images.

2. Find and download .wav or other audio files in the same folder for theme music and for broadcasts of great baseball moments that correspond to the images you saved, especially the Baseball Classic Event images.

3. Using your installed movie editing software (Windows I think it’s moviemaking and for Apple it’s Garage Band), make a movie that just shows each of the images you saved. Show the image for the duration of the audio file. No more than 15 seconds so you’ll likely want to extract the most relevant snippet of the corresponding audio file (i.e. “I Can’t Believe What I Just Saw” to go with the Kirk Gibson Baseball Classic Event image, “It Gets Behind The Bag” to go with the Mookie Wilson Baseball Classic Event card).

4. You can also just get a cool baseball song to play while all the images are shown to cover the duration of the song. You may have to go to itunes for this. Few songs to consider:
  • Centerfield by John Fogerty
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame
  • Fanfare for the Common Man
  • Music from the Ken Burns Baseball documentary soundtrack
  • A cool instrumental or instrumental part of a song (my favorite sports-related instrumental is the opening theme to America’s Game from NFL Network)
5. Once the movie is complete. Post it on youtube and make sure to include tags such as baseball, topps, etopps, opening day.

6. Post what you've done on the etopps message board.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - February 27

As of today, February 27 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 180
Sell-Through: 58.33%
Average starting price: $2.26
Average final price: $10.92

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidates Barack Obama, $91
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $125
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9.5, $99.99
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: Nolan Ryan Classic Baseball
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2003 LeBron James
* 2008 Matt Cassell
* 2006 Rajon Rondo
* 2002 Henrik Zetterberg

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2008 Presidential Candidates Barack Obama - 21 bids

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The National Dilemma

I noticed there have been rumblings on the message board about the National this year involving it's marriage with econ and the etopps booth at the National.

For this post, I want to steer clear of the econ and focus more on the etopps booth at the National. Without a doubt, it's going to be interesting what etopps will decide to do.

Everyone knows that this industry starts and ends with consumers' disposable income. Considering what we know already - the worst economy since the Depression, record-high unemployment, record-high foreclosures, and not that many signs of an economic recovery happening around the corner: will people fork over their saved money at the National this year?

If there is a booth at this summer's National in Cleveland, it will be their third appearance at the National in Cleveland. Their third time. Who will want to buy etopps cards if they have attended the previous two shows in Cleveland? What will be the incentive(s) at the etopps booth to attract traffic (and hopefully) sales?

Unless attending the National is the vacation that a person is saving for as I write this, I can't see more traffic at the etopps booth than the Cleveland National traffic two years ago (with my own eyes). My guess is those who will be going to their first National this summer may show up at the booth to check out what's the deal with etopps. I can't see veteran National attendees doing anything but slowing down while passing the etopps booth, thinking "been there, done that."

While the only thing worse than having a booth at the National is not having a booth at the National, what if it was a different booth, an informational booth that had laptops and showed what the website looked like in addition to a few other things: displays of etopps cards from 2000 to 2009, a drawing to give away an in-hand each hour or a grab-bag give-away for those who sign up for an account.

Another possibility is to use the money that would be spent on the etopps booth and use it on a consultant who could market etopps on facebook, myspace and twitter, giving away in-hand cards every few days, announcing the etopps IPOs and revamping the website to make it more compatible with the above mentioned websites. And with today's economy, Topps may not even realize there are probably people who will do this consultation work for free to develop their portfolio.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - February 20

As of today, February 20 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 146
Sell-Through: 50.68%
Average starting price: $2.79
Average final price: $11.03

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Yankee Stadium Tribute Patch Card, $31.99
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2003 Basketball In-Hand Set, $150
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Ichiro PSA 10, $26.50
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2008 Allen & Ginter SB Champs Tom Brady, $175
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2008 Matt Ryan
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2008 A&G Yankee Tribute Johnny Unitas
* Classic Baseball Roberto Clemente

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2003 Martin Brodeur - 9 bids

Monday, February 16, 2009

How To Use Twitter For Etopps In-Hands

Twitter is the fastest growing social media website in 2009. It is a microblogging site in which you can only answer "what are you doing?" in 140 characters. As of this writing, there are over 1.2 million accounts worldwide and it's growing in leaps and bounds.

So with this kind of a market, how do you capitalize on this to sell your etopps in-hand cards?

The first thing you want to do is get your feet wet. Create an account with your name, your real name that is. (Remember, web 2.0 is about transparency) If you provide your ebay or etopps username, make sure you have a photo of yourself, a head shot preferrably.

Like with other social media sites, your little biography can go a long way. Mention your interests: etopps, topps, sports cards, your favorite sports team(s), etc. The more you include what and who you like as a collector/seller, the more you'll be found by others do searches to find people like you who have the same interests as them. It works this way on myspace and facebook.

After sprucing up your bio (which can be more than 140 characters even though it says this in the account setting section), click on the "find people" link. This is where you can type in keywords that have something to do with the etopps cards you're selling.

Here's an example. Let's say you are selling Steelers in-hands. Type in the word "football" in the search box. I found 316 results with the ones having the most "followers" listed first.

When you "follow" another account user you will see all of their 140 character max "tweets" or posts.

There's something else extremely important about twitter. People include links to interesting things on the web and they usually begin with the letters tinyurl at the beginning of the URL address. Since there are only 140 characters, it's hard to squeeze in long website addresses for specific things. To show people an etopps listing, you need to download a tinyurl creator at (aptly) tinyurl.com

At this website you want to download the program that will let you create a tinyurl on any website page by right clicking on that page and clicking the tinyurl creator option. When you do this, the tinyurl link is automatically copied on the clipboard function on your computer and you're ready to paste it into your tweet.

Let's use a real life example that I used for my new website. I sell superhero merchandise for kids. So my customers have mostly been these kids' moms. So I did a search for the mom bloggers and the moms who say they have kids in their bios. Earlier this week one of them tweeted that today was her 3-year old's birthday.

When you want to reply to someone for anyone to see, there's an 180 degree arrow button to click if you want to reply to that person. Since she was following me and I was following her already, I could "DM" (direct message) her which I did (in 140 characters). I wished her son a happy b-day and told her about my website and gave her a discount. She, in return, thanked me and bought 4 items.

This is the magic that can happen on Twitter.

For etopps cards, do a search with the keywords "gift" and "ideas" so you can help someone out who's asking for birthday ideas for a boyfriend, hubby, son, friend. Link them to your etopps in-hand listings and see what happens. You may not get a sale every time but at least you come across as being helpful, kind and human. Which is what everyone wants everyone else to be on twitter.

Once you have an account, follow me to learn more and I'll return the favor and see how you do.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - February 13

As of today, February 13 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 237
Sell-Through: 50.21%
Average starting price: $2.31
Average final price: $8.61

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, $122.50
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen and Ginter SB Champs Set, $135
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Albert Pujols BGS 9, $63.95
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Ryan Braun, $95
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Joba Chamberlain BGS 9/10, $92.56

Other best sellers:

* 2008 A&G Yankee Stadium Tribute - Roger Maris
* 2001 Drew Bledsoe
* 2008 A&G John F. Kennedy
* 2008 A&G Hillary Clinton

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: Lot of 50 different in-hands including Dwyane Wade: 16 bids

Monday, February 2, 2009

Making An Exception The Rule

Here's an update from etopps that was posted this morning:

The following eTopps Football cards have printed, and are ready for delivery on 2/2/09:

2008 Football

James Hardy 2008
Matt Forté 2008
Joe Flacco 2008
Peyton Manning 2008
Michael Turner 2008
Eddie Royal 2008
Jonathan Stewart 2008
J.T. O'Sullivan 2008
Felix Jones 2008
Tim Hightower 2008
Brett Favre 2008
Steve Slaton 2008
Chris Johnson 2008
Matt Ryan 2008
Matt Cassel 2008
Rashard Mendenhall 2008
Drew Brees 2008
DeSean Jackson 2008
Kevin Smith 2008
Adrian Peterson 2008
Donnie Avery 2008
Steve Breaston 2008
Chad Pennington 2008
BenJarvus Green-Ellis 2008
Jamaal Charles 2008

* * * *
This morning in my inbox I received a couple of emails from etopps I wasn't expecting: the announcement of today's Basketball IPOs and an etopps basketball classic of President Obama.

What makes this so unexpected is the timing. We usually get these emails hours after the IPO release time of 1pm EST. Rather than making it an effort for us to look up what's going to be offered by clicking here and there on the site, etopps handed us the offering in our inboxes to let us know what's going on.

I remember before Mark took over the etopps reins that we had no idea what was being offered until IPO time. Between these two different marketing tactics, I'll take what we got today any time. And I really, really hope etopps will continue this trend moving forward for each week's IPOs with basketball, baseball and football and whatever they will offer in between these sports.

Another Obama card is smart. Whether people like it or not, it will sell in-hand easily and will receive more attention because it's a regular-sized in-action photo of Obama rather than a earlier picture of him.

If you haven't noticed, Obamania is in full-swing again since the Inauguration and for etopps not to take advantage would be foolish. They can cover their losses with the low-appeal basketball takes in with this card.

If you can sell both this basketball card and Obama's presidential candidate card in hand together, you will do well.





Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - January 30

As of today, January 30 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 184
Sell-Through: 49.46%
Average starting price: $7.92
Average final price: $37.17

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, $120.05
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2008 Allen and Ginter Yankee Stadium Tribute Set, $135
Highest Graded Sale: 2001 Kobe Bryant, BGS 9.5, $24.95
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2005 David Wright, $152.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: 2007 Adrian Peterson BGS 9, $137.50

Other best sellers:

* 2008 A&G Yankee Stadium Patch Card
* 2006 LeBron James
* 2007 Kevin Durant
* 2007 A&G Presidents - Bill Clinton

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2008 Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidates Barack Obama: 20 bids

Monday, January 26, 2009

How to Win Over Sports Fans: 6 Insights from Online Gurus

I read this on marketingsherpa.com this morning. Interesting stuff about sports fans. No mention, though, about collectibles.

How to Win Over Sports Fans: 6 Insights from Online Gurus

More sports fans than ever gather online. They stream games, blog about their favorite teams, and get involved in fantasy sports leagues. So, marketers have plenty of opportunities to reach sports buffs without costly TV and radio ads.

Three marketers of the top sports websites share tips on how to reach fans online:
o Patrick Herde, VP of Marketing and Product Management, CBS Sports
o Perry Cooper, SVP, Digital Marketing and Fan Analytics, NHL Direct
o Hal Trencher, VP National Sales, Sports and Music, Yahoo!

They’ll tell you why sports fans are such a desirable audience, and how and when to get your message in front of them for the highest impact.

Their six key insights:

Insight #1: Characteristics of the “typical” online sports fan, according to the marketers we interviewed:

o Male
o Married
o Children in household
o Suburban lifestyle
o Average to high income
o Multiple computers in household
o High affinity for technology

Two of the marketers emphasized that they target “wired” sports fans – those who are more likely to consume sports content through the latest televisions, computers and mobile devices.

The typical sports fan is a generalization that does not represent every fan online. So, you need to segment and customize rather than use general messages.

Insight #2: Offer fans plenty of content

Sports fans go online primarily to consume content. It can come in text or video formats. The more content the better. “Sports fandom is a lifestyle,” says Herde. “The real team fanatic has a thirst for content seven days a week.”

Types of content fans crave:
o Scores
o Updates on fantasy teams (more on fantasy sports later)
o Highlight videos
o Streaming game video
o Stats on favorite teams
o League news
o Preview, review and analysis of games

Sports are a visual hobby, which makes video content extremely popular. “Video is one of the top reasons that users come to our site,” Herde says. “I’d say, primarily, they come to our site for information about their favorite teams, and scores, and to play fantasy [sports]. After those things, I think video is a top draw.”

Sponsorships are a popular way to get in front of a sports audience without disrupting content consumption. Special event coverage, weekly updates, and tools for fantasy sports analysis are often sponsored. If you sponsor content, make sure your brand is prominent and is only one of a few brands mentioned. You do not want to have to fight for attention.

Insight #3: Sports fans love fantasy

Another reason fans go online is to interact. Writing comments, blogging and sharing content is popular, but fantasy sports trumps all other reasons for interacting – by a long shot.

Fantasy sports fans build teams of professional athletes to compete against one another. A fantasy team’s performance depends on how well each athlete performs in real games. Fans that organize teams are called “owners” and can cut, trade, and sign players at will.

Fantasy leagues for professional football, baseball, hockey, soccer, auto racing, and other sports prosper. There are free leagues and paid leagues across a range of sites. The most popular sites receive tens of millions of visitors each month. Almost 27 million adult Americans participate in fantasy sports, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Fantasy sports offer a range of ways for fans to interact – from live chats during player drafts to messaging during the season.

Insight #4: Sports fans love technology

The marketers we interviewed deal with tech-savvy audiences. More than half of their fans are comfortable getting content through TVs, personal computers and mobile devices. Many have a high-quality television and multiple computers in their households.

CBS Sports.com launched their first mobile strategy about six years ago and have been refining it ever since, Herde says. Through testing, his team designed the CBS Sports WAP site (see creative samples below) to give fans what they want most at the top of the page.

From top to bottom, the fans want:
o Scores from various leagues
o Fantasy sports scores
o Headlines

“What we know, and what some of my colleagues at competitive sites have also confirmed, is that the top handsets for fans getting content are primarily smartphones. For us, it’s the iPhone and a couple of BlackBerry devices,” Herde says.

Tech-savvy fans get content three ways: television, computers and mobile devices. Each platform holds a special place in their habits, Herde says. (See research charts below)

During football season, CBS Sports sees the highest spike in visitors and viewers on Sundays, Herde says. “It’s very clear that the work week is the prime time for the desktop. The weekend is the prime time for the broadcast, and that’s also the prime time for mobile. Because people are at a bar, at a friend’s house, or basically away from their laptop, and they want to immediately get the scores and real time stats and updates. The pattern of those three platforms is consistent.”

Insight #5: Favorite teams matter

An overwhelming majority of sports fans have favorite teams. Your marketing campaigns will have a greater impact if they relate to favorite teams. You can determine fan allegiance during registration, or by making assumptions based on a site visitor’s browsing and purchasing history.

Do not be too quick to assume a site visitor’s fan allegiance is based on their location (determined through an IP address). Many fans love their hometown teams, even though they now live in a different region. Other fans jump on a team’s bandwagon – they like a team that’s winning, regardless of region.

Displaced fans are prime targets for the NHL’s live streaming games, Cooper says. “You communicate to a displaced fan very differently than how you communicate to a new market fan. The displaced fan is highly attractive. They don’t have access to their favorite team,” Cooper says.

Cooper has the most success when considering team affiliation, along with the rest of his audience’s data points. He has found that standards, such as number of purchases, lifetime value, time of last purchase, and demographics, are useful additions to team affiliation, when segmenting.

Insight #6: Events are critical

Sports are event-based hobbies. Every game and match can be considered an event, but some of the biggest ones include:
- Games between rivals
- Tournaments, playoffs, and any game where elimination for the season is possible
- Finals: the best of each league facing off to end the season

Sports fans live for big games. If you can incorporate major upcoming events into your marketing messages, you’re sure to capture more attention. Event-based marketing plans have to be well-timed and planned long before you know which teams are facing off in the big game.

Cooper uses a “heavily integrated” effort when ramping up for a major hockey event, he says. “We’re using every single touch point, every single channel we have to make sure that events like the Winter Classic, the Stanley Cup, the All-Star game, even the Race for the Cup…that it is a thread through all our media, all of our touch points, all that we own, or through all of our extended partnerships,” he says.

Some sports, such as football and hockey, have schedules that fit well into the winter holiday season (unlike baseball). That makes the holiday a great opportunity to market in some leagues. “Being able to really capitalize and invest strongly in the holidays is really important for us,” Cooper says.

Useful links related to this article:

CBS Sports Traffic Research and WAP Site: Creative Samples
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/cs/cbssports/study.html


Marketing Charts: Top 10 Sports Websites
http://www.marketingcharts.com/interactive/top-10-sport
-websites-october-2008-6947/?camp=newsletter&src=mc&type=thumbnail


Fantasy Sports Trade Association
http://www.fsta.org/


CBSSports.com
http://www.sportsline.com/


NHL.com
http://www.nhl.com/


Yahoo! Sports
http://sports.yahoo.com/

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - January 23

As of today, January 23 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 201
Sell-Through: 40.80%
Average starting price: $2.09
Average final price: $12.55

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, $167.50
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2001 Baseball In-Hand Set, $490
Highest Graded Sale: 2003 LeBron James, BGS 9.5, $30.08
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: 2002 Tom Brady, $161.50
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2001 Albert Pujols
* 2003 LeBron James
* 2004 Ben Roethlisberger
* Ted Williams Classic

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2008 Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidates Barack Obama: 24 bids

Monday, January 19, 2009

What To Do With Your In-Hands?

We've joked on the etopps message board about using in-hand cards as beverage coasters on our coffee tables and other unorthodox ways of having them around the house but what about more practical uses in our day-to-day lives?

  • If you know someone in your life who is a sports fan: your dentist, your UPS delivery person, your barber, give them an in-hand of the team they like.
  • Give one to the kid up the street who you here is just starting to like your favorite local team and wants to collect anything he can get his hands on.
  • Hand out in-hands in the children's ward of your local hospital.
  • Give an in-hand of the one player your client loves to talk about when you talk about football.
  • If your boss is a Dolphins fan, why not an 08 Chad Pennington on his birthday?
  • What about the family that lost everything in a fire in your town or neighborhood? Their son is a big Carolina Panthers fan and you would make his day if you placed a Panthers team card in his hand.
My point is: sure you can make money online selling in-hands but what about connecting with others with in-hands?

As some in-hands are worth a few quarters and the shipping discount is underway, isn't the smile on someone's face worth more than the one bid at 99 cents you get running an auction?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Marketwatch - January 16

As of today, January 16 the following are stats covering the last 7 days on ebay for etopps in-hands:

Quantity of etopps in-hands listings: 251
Sell-Through: 39.04%
Average starting price: $5.50
Average final price: $13.37

Highest Single Card Sale: Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, $97
Highest Mult-Card Sale: 2007 Allen and Ginter Super Bowl Champs Set, $126.39
Highest Graded Sale: None
Highest Non-Graded Autograph Sale: A&G SB Champs Terry Bradshaw, $149.99
Highest Graded Autograph Sale: None

Other best sellers:

* 2003 LeBron James
* 2001 Emmitt Smith
* 2003 Mark Teixeira
* 2008 Cole Hamels

In-hand listing (not including graded or autographed) that received most bids that sold well: 2008 Allen & Ginter Presidential Candidates Barack Obama: 10 bids

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

47 Ways To Improve Etopps

  1. Show a calendar on the home page. By moving your mouse over a day on the calendar that's in bold, a small window pops up, showing upcoming IPOs, autograph offerings, scheduled availability of in-hands, and fantasy baseball and football days.
  2. Mark Sapir updates us via blog that has an RSS feed so you can subscribe rather than having to check the updates section each time you're on the etopps website.
  3. Make the availability of the message board more prominent than a text link at the top of the home page.
  4. Offer a vote before each baseball season to determine which veterans will be IPO'd
  5. Offer a vote before each football season to determine which veterans will be IPO'd.
  6. Secure hockey availability when Upper Deck's contract runs out (next year).
  7. Have a blog for IT updates by the Topps IT guy and for feedback by the community for what works and what doesn't when new features are introduced to the website.
  8. Provide a myspace.com widget, giving members the option of providing a slideshow of thumbnail pics of etopps cards from their portfolios or any cards they want to include for this feature.
  9. Same for facebook.
  10. Give the tradepost more flexibility. Currently a trade can only be one card you want for x number of cards you're willing to trade (up to 5 different) or in the ratio of 1:x. Why can't we have x:x or x:1?
  11. Have a dedicated etopps shop that sells products with the etopps logo on it (a la cafe press or zazzle) and offer t-shirts, baseball caps, jerseys, magnets, keychains, mouse pads, coffe mugs, buttons and patches. Members can purchase either with their credit card or for reward points. Since these products are really free advertising for etopps, offer these products discounted or offer free shipping.
  12. Offer in-hand baggies in the etopps shop.
  13. Post an etopps policy about their role if an etopps member wants to sell etopps in-hands at a card show regarding promotion, recruiting new member incentive, etc.
  14. Expand the tradepost to be able to trade items from the etopps shop for cards and/or reward points.
  15. Be able to use reward points for purchases on the Topps website store.
  16. Analysis of each allocation like woot.com's stats for each order. Show where purchases were made, how fast, which days of the week the orders were placed, who was the first, who was the last by username or other fun ways to see our ordering behavior.
  17. For IPOs, have a raffle based on order number. In the email that informs you how many you were allocated, you'll also receive a four digit number. After each allocation, announce on the blog which order number was selected at random for an extra card. It will be up to the member to claim based on their order number and four digit number that will have to match.
  18. Have a contest for each IPO season's design. Use a website or software program we can download and be able to design based on templates for poses, backgrounds, location for player's name, colors and where to place the etopps logo. Winning design gets reward points or gift certicate for the etopps store.
  19. Create a video to promote each upcoming IPO season's design with kudos to the winning designer in the video that appears on youtube, the home page and the Topps home page.
  20. Create a video to show how the etopps allocation works and show highlights of past econs, Nationals and include pics of cards from each sport to appear as a link on the home page in big letter banner.
  21. Have a temporary blog that outlines the progress of each econ as it gets prepared
  22. Get a new tag line for the home page. Are you fan enough? needs to be updated.
  23. Have moderators (2-3) who use the message board and decide which posts should be nuked.
  24. On every post that shows up on the message board, provide an link to report abuse to the moderators.
  25. On the home page, provide a video of the etopps storage warehouse for what occurs between receiving an order and shipment.
  26. Fix the online damaged card return request feature.
  27. Include a free etopps card stand with the purchase of an etopps autograph.
  28. Include a photo of athlete signing his etopps cards (on the home page) along with a signed etopps card scan whenever an autograph is offered.
  29. Offer photo of athlete signing etopps card with COA in the mailing of the etopps card.
  30. Have an etopps raffle in which the winner gets to have an online meet & greet with the athlete at the time of the signing of his etopps cards.
  31. Provide buying stats (like on woot.com) after an autograph offering after it sells out.
  32. After each season's IPO, have a vote for which veterans to be autographed for the following season.
  33. Coordinate promoting each new speciality set (such as the Allen and Ginter Super Bowl Champs series 2) on Beckett's website in a video interview with Mark and a representative from Beckett.
  34. Offer a limited-time grading discount for etopps cards on at least a yearly or semi-annual basis.
  35. Same offer for PSA including a discount on yearly membership.
  36. Launch a kids version of etopps in which the cards are only available in-port. Redemption code scratch-off cards are inserted in certain sets of Topps cardboard products and after registering, kids can "claim" up to 3 cards from a set of X cards. They are not randomly allocated these three cards but instead they can scroll through the list to see what's available, giving them the incentive to collect the entire set and give a prize (like with the fantasy games) for collecting the entire set.
  37. Introduce a non-sports set that has a huge following like Star Wars.
  38. Etopps starts using Twitter to promote the website by announcing IPOs and any other updates.
  39. Provide a sitemap on the website to make it easier to find what you're looking for.
  40. Add a Welcome section on the message board for new members.
  41. Add a FAQ thread that's locked and only updated by the moderator in the Welcome section before newbie questions are posted over and over and over again.
  42. Offer a customer service phone number to members for the in-hand storage warehouse.
  43. Offer a Q & A for the design team for etopps
  44. Post a video that shows the high quality standards of what goes into etopps in-hand cards.
  45. Start using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Google.
  46. Remove the emoticons on the message board and replace it with a signature section so we can include member ids for social media websites, ebay, or other message board ids.
  47. Show this list to Michael Eisner :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Etopps Offers Discounted Shipping

If you sell in-hands take advantage of this to reduce your overhead:

Exciting Shipping Announcement from eTopps!

Announcement: Special Discounted Shipping Offer!
eTopps is offering special discounted shipping rates from January 19th, 2009 through February 9th, 2009!

During this three-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

15 $18.95 $13.99 26%
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.

We look forward to seeing you on eTopps through 2009 and into 2010, and we hope you take advantage of what we have to offer you! As always, please do not hesitate to contact us at 'support@etopps.com' if you ever have any questions regarding our service.

Thank you once again for your continued support of eTopps!


Sincerely,

The eTopps Team
http://www.etopps.com/