Hope in a Box

3 08 2008

Catchy title, no? (Thanks, Patricia!)

I’ve been wondering something for the last few days, and I thought I’d ask the rest of the card blog reading world about it, too, because I’m kind of stumped. 

I’ve been thinking how hobby boxes (and blasters) generally don’t return financially what you pay for them – at least in my experience, that is usually the case.  I guess it could be that I’m not out buying Topps Triple Threads or Upper Deck Black in hopes of the 1 of 1 foldout with “Financial Goldmine” in cut letters on it.  Maybe it’s because I stick to Topps and Upper Deck’s base release, and there’s just not a lot of real value in these releases.  Either way, rarely do I get my money’s worth, and I’m extrapolating that out to everyone else.

Of course, judging the overall value of a something is a subjective thing.  Ripping boxes also gives you the fun of ripping packs and the hope of finding a cool insert or Johan Santana no hitter short print numbered as part of a regular base set (right, Chris?), and there’s something to be gained from that.  And it’s hard to provide the value of these intangibles not just on cards, but everything else you buy as well (sure this sweater keeps me warm, but I’m only $35 warm, and I paid $50 for it), which will make the question I’m about to ask even more difficult to answer.

So here’s it is:  Is there anything that you buy, other than baseball (or hockey or basketball or racing of football or ping pong etc) cards that you buy and don’t expect to get full value from financially?

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6 responses

3 08 2008
tastelikedirt

A car.

3 08 2008
handcollated

A car was all I came up with too. I gave a car a bye though because it had a more important primary function that cards do.

Maybe I was to cute in the question. Cards are a hobby but also maintain financial value. Is there anything else like that you purcahse knowing you probably aren’t going to recoup what you spend on it. Even comic books (maybe this has changed) use to at least hold value rather than decline from issue price.

Anyone else got anything?

4 08 2008
Patricia

Book. Unless they’re collector first editions or something we know that we won’t recoup what we spend on them. Because books cost way too much, and yet… we gotta have them. This falls into a similar aesthetic and knowledge seeking category as cards, in a way. I think.

5 08 2008
Joey

I was thinking about this same thing recently, how you’ll pretty much never recoup what you spent on the box after you’ve opened it. I too basically only collect the base sets from UD and Topps. I don’t buy boxes for the investment but for the enjoyment of opening the box and completing the set. For me it’s the enjoyment factor, like was that movie really worth $13? or was it only worth $10?

Pretty much anything you buy is going to depreciate with maybe real estate as an exception. Although maybe that’s a bad example in the midst of the mortgage crisis in the US.

This is the way I look at it, I would never really expect to be able to re-sell the cards I opened in a box and make back the money I spent on the box. At the same time the cards I opened should hold some monetray value which is more than I can say for some of the crap I’ve bought over the years.

7 08 2008
beaucoup_fish

I also don’t expect to recoup anything at all from a box of cards. I just enjoy the nostalgic experience of opening packs. Big money cards are everything that’s wrong with the hobby today and they’ve pretty much driven all the kids out of it. In hindsight, the insert-mania of the 90’s is downright tame compared to the serial numbered, game-used, patch, auto, dual, triple, gold-plated, dna, cut 2000’s. I miss the 90’s, and I miss the days when there were more than two manufacturers for baseball and just ONE for hockey.

7 08 2008
Joey

I miss the early 90’s too with the big sets and few to no inserts, although I think I’m in the minority there. I think it’s a shame that UD is the only one licensed for NHL cards. I wish Topps still had the O-Pee-Chee brand and had an NHL license, I can dream.

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