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  #1  
Old 01-11-2015, 01:10 PM
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Default Pet Peeve: Dealers who pull out Beckett at a card show? Opinions wanted!

When you got to a card show and a dealer pulls out a Beckett/SMR price guide to get a price of commons, what reaction do you have? Are you mildly amused, extremely annoyed, or does it not bother you in the least?
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2015, 01:13 PM
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as a pre war collector this is a non issue.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2015, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyw8469 View Post
When you got to a card show and a dealer pulls out a Beckett/SMR price guide to get a price of commons, what reaction do you have? Are you mildly amused, extremely annoyed, or does it not bother you in the least?
I was amused at a mall show recently when the dealer pulled out an annual price guide and sold me a VG+ T206 Titus for $40. Certainly not annoyed!

Tom C

Last edited by btcarfagno; 01-11-2015 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:20 PM
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Default Becketts

As a lowly post war collector, it is a non issue
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2015, 01:22 PM
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I was amused at a mall show recently when the dealer pulled out an annual price guide and sold me a VG+ T206 Titus for $40. Certainly not annoyed!

Tom C

LOL!!! That is great Tom! I guess it works both way!
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by btcarfagno View Post
I was amused at a mall show recently when the dealer pulled out an annual price guide and sold me a VG+ T206 Titus for $40. Certainly not annoyed!

Tom C

Awesome! Sometimes it can work in your favor, but not usually.

At the National a few years back, I was looking at a graded mantle...not sure of the year or condition, but I asked for a price knowing exactly what that card has been selling for beforehand. Sure enough the dealer pulls out the Beckett quarterly and quotes me the Beckett price, which was about 50% above the going price...ugh. Needless to say, I moved on.


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  #7  
Old 01-11-2015, 01:38 PM
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i walk away
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2015, 01:43 PM
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Doesn't bother me in the least. At the card show I was at yesterday, I offered a guy 50 cents for a card that was not marked with any price. He pulled out his Beckett and told me it was a $40 card. I said, "Ok, but it's worth about 50 cents to me." He said, "How about $1.00?" I said, "OK"......
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2015, 02:08 PM
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It drives me nuts because if I pull out my phone and bring up VCP there is always some reason for why Beckett is right and my real world sold prices are wrong.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2015, 02:11 PM
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It drives me nuts because if I pull out my phone and bring up VCP there is always some reason for why Beckett is right and my real world sold prices are wrong.
I never thought about that. I just got a smart phone after YEARS of having a brick phone. I am not that savvy with the internet on it yet, but I AM a VCP member. I should have brought up VCP to counteract why his $2 common was not worth the $80 that Beckett said it was!
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:17 PM
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I say "See ya."
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2015, 02:19 PM
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As a dealer for many years & been doing card shows for over 25 years, most of the time it's not the dealer who pulls out the SMR at a card show first, it's the customer. A dealer with enough knowledge & experience, uses a better reference than an SMR price guide. All these books are what they are, price guides. He or she should follow the current on line prices, such as the more current e-bay sales. Some prefer card target or VCP. For me, I keep a record on what I pay for my items & just try to make a 10-20% profit on what I sell, pending the type of cards I'm selling. It's impossible to make money on ever card you sell, but you avoid huge losses. Once in a while, I get lucky & make more than that, but I find that if I keep a record of my sales, I sell a lot more cards at card shows than most dealers do.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2015, 02:27 PM
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Well...I should have let the guy finish talking maybe. He gave me a pile of cards. I pulled three of them out. He is like "Let me check the book on this one". He then proceeded to tell me that book was $80. I didn't even let him finish. All the dealers try to quote Beckett, something along the lines of "The book is $80, I will let you have it for $40". Never mind they are looking at HIGH BOOK VALUE, and their card is nowhere near mint condition. Normally, it doesn't rub me the wrong way, but today it did.
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2015, 02:52 PM
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When I set up at a show, all of my cards are already priced. Whether the card is in a box that is marked $1 each or the card is individually labeled ($5, $10, $20, or whatever) the customer knows - up front - how much I'm asking for it.

Am I potentially leaving a little money on the table this way? Probably. However, at the end of the day, I worry less about maximizing profit through Perfect Price Discrimination (as Economists would call it) than having fun and selling off unwanted cards to fund other purchases.

Regarding Beckett, I do use the guide when pricing my cards. Most often, I put them out at the low column price. Or, in the case of the dollar boxes, well below that.

Just the way I do things. I only set up at a few shows per year, and am not doing this to make a living, so it works for me.

Best regards,

Eric
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2015, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbyw8469 View Post
Well...I should have let the guy finish talking maybe. He gave me a pile of cards. I pulled three of them out. He is like "Let me check the book on this one". He then proceeded to tell me that book was $80. I didn't even let him finish. All the dealers try to quote Beckett, something along the lines of "The book is $80, I will let you have it for $40". Never mind they are looking at HIGH BOOK VALUE, and their card is nowhere near mint condition. Normally, it doesn't rub me the wrong way, but today it did.
Yeah, that's my pet peeve which I just decided to 'let go' years ago since it's SOP these days. A '50s card in EX condition listed at "50% off" Beckett. Well no, sir. It's actually 100% of the Beckett price. It would only be 50% off the Beckett price if you were selling it for 25% of the Beckett listed "NM" book price.

I think it's just common parlance these days so I just go with the flow rather than trying to constantly play the part of a salmon trying to spawn.
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2015, 04:00 PM
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If I'm buying a raw card(s) and the dealer pulls out a Beckett, it doesn't bother me at all. Most of the dealers I've ever dealt with use it as a starting point only. They say something like, "It books for $100 in NM condition, but since it's EX condition, you can have it for $30". Now, if a dealer uses the Beckett price as their sell price and don't give any considertation for condition, I'll politely tell them thanks and walk away.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2015, 04:01 PM
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Yeah, that's my pet peeve which I just decided to 'let go' years ago since it's SOP these days. A '50s card in EX condition listed at "50% off" Beckett. Well no, sir. It's actually 100% of the Beckett price. It would only be 50% off the Beckett price if you were selling it for 25% of the Beckett listed "NM" book price.

I think it's just common parlance these days so I just go with the flow rather than trying to constantly play the part of a salmon trying to spawn.
This is spot on. Too few people understand this.

Last year I was talking to someone who thought they were giving an incredible deal on their VG cards priced at 25% of Beckett. I tried to explain that pricing VG cards at 25% of Beckett was in truth 100% of Beckett because Beckett pricing is NM. You need to adjust for condition. I got nowhere and finally had to give up.

Last edited by PM770; 01-11-2015 at 04:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2015, 04:03 PM
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This is spot on. Too few people understand this.

Last year I was talking to someone who thought they were giving an incredible deal on their VG cards priced at 25% of Beckett. I tried to explain that pricing VG cards at 25% of Beckett was in truth 100% of Beckett because Beckett pricing is NM. You need to adjust for condition. I got nowhere and finally had to give up.
The Beckett that the dealer I was referring to, used the graded Beckett quarterly, which priced each grade of a card...I wonder how many other people are referring to this as well. If they used the old school Beckett, well, that's a different story.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:18 PM
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I only find it annoying when they price the VG condition card half of high Beckett column and expect me to be delighted at the great price.
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2015, 04:32 PM
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This particular instance, the dealer threw me a stack of commons. I said, "How much?"...."They are $2 each." Normal pricing, because that is what Floyd sells his for. After picking out 3 cards, one being a checklist that I needed (I am working on three sets, and already have this card twice - I just need one for my third set), he was like, let me look this one up in Beckett. Beckett has it at $80. Obviously a far cry from $2. I don't mind paying a little extra, as I am not trying to cheat someone, but the card is nowhere near as tough as sellers think it is. No way can I go from $2 to $80 though.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:56 PM
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Default Beckett

I heard that was still being printed and you just confirmed it for me...
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:19 PM
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I think it is the bible dealers use to prey on the gullible. You would have to think that if someone was buying baseball cards though, they might know a LITTLE something as to what is going on. I guess I can always resort to breaking out VCP on them.
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:49 PM
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excuse me for asking but what is VCP?
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
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excuse me for asking but what is VCP?
www.vintagecardprices.com
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  #25  
Old 01-11-2015, 06:09 PM
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A much more accurate guide than Beckett. VCP gives you the breakdown of the cards in each individual grades. Mind you, there are variances within the grade, but it is closer to home than some dealer quoting NM prices (that are usually high out of whack anyway) for his EX card.

Last edited by bobbyw8469; 01-11-2015 at 06:09 PM.
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  #26  
Old 01-11-2015, 07:27 PM
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I have my 34 Goudey set and I pretty much know what the going rate for each card in that set goes for. At least in the condition I'm looking for. If the card is above that price I have set myself I move on. He can pull out any book or magazine he wants it doesn't change my mind. I like many people here deal with a lot of the same dealers. People you trust, respect and that know their business. I guess I stray away from dealers that have to keep reverting back to a Beckett to give me a price. You should know your inventory or a price that you want to get.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:33 PM
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Default Card shows.

I usually go to 2-4 card shows a year. I stop and talk to a lot of dealers and go over prices of cards that I may be interested in. (Mainly Pre War tobacco).After I check out the whole show I go back and negotiate a price for the cards that I want. A lot of times the prices in the guides are used for a starting point. I am well educated and know what the current market prices are. Most dealers that I buy from are very fair and sometimes I pay a little more if its a card that I really need and sometimes aI get a good deal. I am never annoyed as I enjoy the back and forth between dealer and buyer. I never take any dealings personally. You always have the last say and Most dealers that I deal with are very respectful and helpful.

PS I also found & bought a Raw T206 Titus Good Condition for $25.00

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  #28  
Old 01-11-2015, 09:28 PM
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I guess I wouldn't have minded if he hadn't said, "These are all $2", and I spend 10 minutes going through everything just to find three cards and then out comes the Beckett.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:34 PM
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That would be kinda aggravating
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:16 AM
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Default I honestly find

people quoting VCP just as annoying as Beckett. Sometimes the VCP data is old when you actually look at it. Sometimes cards are dogs for the grade and the other example is high end. I judge each card on its own merits and what i value it at not what others tell me too value it. This (VCP) may work for very common items but it is not always as relevant as its proponents make it out to be.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:25 AM
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people quoting VCP just as annoying as Beckett. Sometimes the VCP data is old when you actually look at it. Sometimes cards are dogs for the grade and the other example is high end. I judge each card on its own merits and what i value it at not what others tell me too value it. This (VCP) may work for very common items but it is not always as relevant as its proponents make it out to be.

I can see how that would get annoying Glyn. However, quoting NM Beckett prices for all your cards should have went out with dial-up internet!! This is 2015 people! VCP, while annoying in the way you describe, is at least closer to reality than Beckett.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bobbyw8469 View Post
I can see how that would get annoying Glyn. However, quoting NM Beckett prices for all your cards should have went out with dial-up internet!! This is 2015 people! VCP, while annoying in the way you describe, is at least closer to reality than Beckett.
A couple years ago Beckett put out a price guide that had past sales in it as well as values of vintage. I think it was mainly vintage, or had a lot of vintage in it. I could barely find a price in the pre-war that was off at all. It was very accurate. Again, this was only on their pre-war cards. I don't know about others as I didn't look. They were spot on for what I saw though. And I am empathetic of how the members in this thread are not happy with dealers quoting a high book price, on more well loved cards, that aren't close to the condition being quoted.
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  #33  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:06 AM
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That is the graded card price guide and in reality, although it would be too time consuming, all those prices should move over to the regular price guides
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:15 AM
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With all the time that some dealers spend sitting, ignoring potential customers, I find that if they haven't priced stuff out already and have to go to the book, then my time is probably being wasted. It seems like bad business for me to have to expect customers to wait while you look up a price for something, especially when many times dealers give the impression that you are bothering them by asking because you want to spend money.


Here is an experience that I posted on another forum 5 years ago . . .


Quote:
I took my son to a card show last weekend, and got a dealer mad at me.

I asked about a 1997 Pinnacle Artist Proof Derek Jeter card that he had in his case. Now this guy has had this in his case for at least the last two years. I've seen it many times before, but never asked him about it because he was protecting so much in the case that I figured he thought it was worth more than it was.

So the guy takes it out and starts going on about how much the card used to book for, and turns it over and he has a sticker on the back of it that says $125, and that is crossed out and below it is $60. He says "See that 's what it used to book for and it came down and probably books for less yet now. Let me look it up."

So I stand there waiting while this guy finds his book, then starts looking, and turning through pages of Beckett, and finally finds it and says "It says 15 times the base card, so it books for $60. I'll take $35 for it."

So I just stood there waiting on him to have him tell me I can have it for 60% of book value. Now the cards in this set can be had for about 25% of book value, but it is Jeter, so he would command a premium and should be able to be had for 1/3 of book. So I tell him, "I'm not interested at $35, but I would be interested at $20."

This lazy ass whose just been sitting behind his table for the last half hour selling absolutely nothing, doesn't say a word. He just puts the card back in the case, closes it, and turns away. I'm thinking to myself WTF? He can't even have the decency to tell me that he won't sell it for that?

So I proceed to another set of tables with a guy that I often buy wax from, and I hear this guy behind telling someone, "I'm really biting my tongue right now" and complaining about me wasting HIS time."

Well that won't happen again, because I will NEVER do business with him.

Last edited by timzcardz; 01-12-2015 at 08:15 AM.
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  #35  
Old 01-12-2015, 08:30 AM
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Thank you for sharing that story. Well, after the dust has settled at the card show in Raleigh and the dealer totally being rude to me, I wound up buying some stuff from another dealer. This guy (the one I purchased from) had NO graded cards - 100% unslabbed stuff. But every one of his cards had a price on it, so we had a starting point of where to work on.

If the dealer who had been the inspiration behind this post had just said, "This card should not be considered a common - I can't sell it for $2". However, to pull out a Beckett and quote me $80 after I was expecting $2 - he can kiss my ass and I will NEVER buy anything from him.".

It is not like the card is super rare. I have it two times already, although I did have to buy larger lots to get it, but my dollar cost average on the card was below $2, I'm sure. If I could sell my two for $80 or so, then that would be stupendous!

Last edited by bobbyw8469; 01-12-2015 at 08:31 AM.
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  #36  
Old 01-12-2015, 09:02 AM
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With so many cards in our cases, we try to give a price before digging in the book - but sometimes you just need to for new items that have not been priced yet. I agree dealers should have a plan before going into a show on prices
good post!

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Old 01-12-2015, 09:37 AM
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"Here is an experience that I posted on another forum 5 years ago . . .

I took my son to a card show last weekend, and got a dealer mad at me.

I asked about a 1997 Pinnacle Artist Proof Derek Jeter card that he had in his case. Now this guy has had this in his case for at least the last two years. I've seen it many times before, but never asked him about it because he was protecting so much in the case that I figured he thought it was worth more than it was.

So the guy takes it out and starts going on about how much the card used to book for, and turns it over and he has a sticker on the back of it that says $125, and that is crossed out and below it is $60. He says "See that 's what it used to book for and it came down and probably books for less yet now. Let me look it up."

So I stand there waiting while this guy finds his book, then starts looking, and turning through pages of Beckett, and finally finds it and says "It says 15 times the base card, so it books for $60. I'll take $35 for it."

So I just stood there waiting on him to have him tell me I can have it for 60% of book value. Now the cards in this set can be had for about 25% of book value, but it is Jeter, so he would command a premium and should be able to be had for 1/3 of book. So I tell him, "I'm not interested at $35, but I would be interested at $20."

This lazy ass whose just been sitting behind his table for the last half hour selling absolutely nothing, doesn't say a word. He just puts the card back in the case, closes it, and turns away. I'm thinking to myself WTF? He can't even have the decency to tell me that he won't sell it for that?

So I proceed to another set of tables with a guy that I often buy wax from, and I hear this guy behind telling someone, "I'm really biting my tongue right now" and complaining about me wasting HIS time."

Well that won't happen again, because I will NEVER do business with him. "


Honestly, as a dealer, I have done the same thing to customers who frustrate me.

I had a pretty new card recently at a show, marked it at $50, customer comes up and asks where I got my prices from. I explained hi book was $60, so I marked it at $50.

Next words out of his mouth was, I'll give you $25 for that.

Card went back to where it was from (and was later sold the same day for $45)

Sometimes, it is how you deliver the counter-offer. Frankly as a dealer, if I had a Jeter card such as that -- even if I had it for a while. I'd probably take $30 if I said I'd take $35 but the $20 offer would be a non-starter for me.

MOO

Rich

Last edited by Rich Klein; 01-12-2015 at 09:42 AM.
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  #38  
Old 01-12-2015, 09:49 AM
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SAllen2556 SAllen2556 is offline
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I dunno, I figure if they're quoting Beckett, they're either too out of touch or too lazy to actually know what the card is selling for in the real world - which today is online. Now I don't imagine even the most dedicated dealer is up on the value of every single one of his cards, but aren't there are cards actually undervalued in the Beckett guide? Using Beckett to price a card is like using Poor Richard's Almanac to predict the weather. Get with the times man!

I was putting together a raw nm '69 Topps set last year and a guy had some absolutely beautiful raw cards. He quoted 1/2 book value if I was buying a bunch - even for cards that were nearly impossible to find raw on ebay in nm condition at a reasonable price - like the Bobby Cox rookie. I just about cleaned him out - and I was thrilled!

I would think you guys who flip cards and/or are full-time dealers would love a guy who quotes Beckett, especially because you guys have the knowledge of what the card is actually worth! What surprises me at the card show I semi-regularly attend is that NONE of these dealers use laptops to look up prices, but they ALL have the latest Beckett.

But I agree that the biggest issue at a show is dealers who overrate, and thus overprice, the condition of their cards. I always just smile and say "Yep, that's a fair price, I'm sure you'll get it". And then I walk away.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:54 AM
Donscards Donscards is offline
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I have all my cards marked in my showcases when selling---and they are fair prices---what gets to me, are the low price offers of nice cards and also customers who dont go to beckett price guide but in todays market, they all go to their ipod etc. And as for dealers, some price their cards very high and deal from there and it hurts guys who price their cards right and then collectors want to low ball them. I love shows but usually once or twice a show, I have to hold my tongue.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:04 AM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAllen2556 View Post
I dunno, I figure if they're quoting Beckett, they're either too out of touch or too lazy to actually know what the card is selling for in the real world - which today is online. Now I don't imagine even the most dedicated dealer is up on the value of every single one of his cards, but aren't there are cards actually undervalued in the Beckett guide? Using Beckett to price a card is like using Poor Richard's Almanac to predict the weather. Get with the times man!

I was putting together a raw nm '69 Topps set last year and a guy had some absolutely beautiful raw cards. He quoted 1/2 book value if I was buying a bunch - even for cards that were nearly impossible to find raw on ebay in nm condition at a reasonable price - like the Bobby Cox rookie. I just about cleaned him out - and I was thrilled!

I would think you guys who flip cards and/or are full-time dealers would love a guy who quotes Beckett, especially because you guys have the knowledge of what the card is actually worth! What surprises me at the card show I semi-regularly attend is that NONE of these dealers use laptops to look up prices, but they ALL have the latest Beckett.

But I agree that the biggest issue at a show is dealers who overrate, and thus overprice, the condition of their cards. I always just smile and say "Yep, that's a fair price, I'm sure you'll get it". And then I walk away.
in my specific example, on a brand-new product, that Beckett price is reasonably accurate. Also, that same collector I mentioned at the same show tried to negotiate another dealer's Bo Jackson signed card to $100 from the $175 the dealer had marked which was an EBay based price because he does not use Beckett.

I tend to agree with Don, sometimes you hold your tounge when the real thought in your brain is something else.

Last edited by Rich Klein; 01-12-2015 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:04 AM
timzcardz timzcardz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Klein View Post
Honestly, as a dealer, I have done the same thing to customers who frustrate me.

I had a pretty new card recently at a show, marked it at $50, customer comes up and asks where I got my prices from. I explained hi book was $60, so I marked it at $50.

Next words out of his mouth was, I'll give you $25 for that.

Card went back to where it was from (and was later sold the same day for $45)

Sometimes, it is how you deliver the counter-offer. Frankly as a dealer, if I had a Jeter card such as that -- even if I had it for a while. I'd probably take $30 if I said I'd take $35 but the $20 offer would be a non-starter for me.

MOO

Rich

Rich, So are you saying that you sometimes just completely ignore a potential customer rather than politely explain that you can't sell at the counteroffer?

I ask, simply because I have had long relationships buying from dealers that have started out with an initial respectful non-deal.


WRT to the Jeter card in my story, I did end up later buying it elsewhere for less than the $20 I had offered in the story, so my counter couldn't have been completely out of line.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:05 AM
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Two nationals ago I had a guy come up to my table and ask about a T213-2 common I had, in a 5 holder. We spoke a little...haggled a little.....then he looks up that card on VCP, finds where I exactly bought it....and pays my small mark up. I almost raised the price on him. ....My markup was around 8%-10% and I had told him that...but he had to verify it I guess. He bought the card so what the heck. Btw, ALL of my cards in my cases are always marked with prices on the FRONT of them. I understand pricing them on the back to get folks to ask and all, but to me, just put the darned price on the FRONT of the card and go from there. I have enough people to talk to already.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:12 AM
Republicaninmass Republicaninmass is offline
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A Bigger pet peeve is dealers who dont price anything.

It only holds up the process having to stop and look up/make up prices when it is busy. Time is money and dealers not pricing just waste both of ours
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:15 AM
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I appreciate fully prices on the front and no salesmanship. If I'm interested in the card, I already know what it is. Just let me think it over. My favorite dealers are the guys who want to talk about my interests, not try to upsell me on a card.

Last edited by packs; 01-12-2015 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:20 AM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzcardz View Post
Rich, So are you saying that you sometimes just completely ignore a potential customer rather than politely explain that you can't sell at the counteroffer?

I ask, simply because I have had long relationships buying from dealers that have started out with an initial respectful non-deal.


WRT to the Jeter card in my story, I did end up later buying it elsewhere for less than the $20 I had offered in the story, so my counter couldn't have been completely out of line.
In that case, I was not interested in discussing an half off offer to start, and based on the later conversation about Bo Jackson card I heard, that instinct was correct. Sometimes, you just know. Hard to explain, but after 30+ years in this hobby/business, I had him instinctively figured out and correctly so. I hope he gets plenty of deals his way, just not with me.

Funny thing about him, he attends any show with free admission but I have never seen him at a show which costs even a $1 to enter. I don't know for sure but I wonder if he is the same person who looked through my cards once, asked if I had wiggle room on a $30 and promptly offered $10. In that case, I could not even hold back and said, Wiggle room sure but not "bend over" room.

Same show as that previous, I carry a box of vintage FB mainly (a few BK and Hockey mixed in) and a dealer asked for a price on the box. I went through my listed price on just the cards I'm asking $10 and up -- came up with like $1800, offered him the box for $725 *and would have even tossed in the modern box of FB/BK/Hk I carry* tried to explain one of the key cards -- and the dealer actually said he was expecting something an offer to him like $50 for the box. I just put him as another dealer not to do business with in the future

Sometimes it's the delivery of the offer or more to it. If you have a good relationship with a dealer, they might give you better deals based on long-term relationships.

Last edited by Rich Klein; 01-12-2015 at 10:40 AM.
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  #46  
Old 01-12-2015, 10:27 AM
danmckee danmckee is offline
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I price my stuff on back because I like to see exactly which cards people are looking at. It helps me determine what to keep in my inventory and what to maybe send to an auction house to get rid of.
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  #47  
Old 01-12-2015, 12:24 PM
CurtisFlood CurtisFlood is offline
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I've been selling baseball cards for over 25 years at shows all over the country. The only time I pull out a Beckett is when I am buying and am not sure of the value of certain cards. I also use it to mark back stock to fill gaps in inventory. I never knew there were any serious dealers who actually sold VG-EX cards at half near mint prices. They surely don't know what they are doing. Their buyers must not know either.

Without going all the way back to another dealer, one poster said he keeps in mind what he pays for his cards and then adds 10-20 to the price. That is a very slim margin for expenses, and might work for strictly local shows, but that won't pay for tables, travel, lodging, and food at big shows.

I take a similar approach to what he does, but I have to be very selective in what I buy and be careful not to exceed a certain margin in order to make a small profit. I'd say up his numbers to 20-35% and it describes my margin.

A lot of the knack to being able to have repeat customers is to keep the prices low enough and the condition high enough to satisfy the average customer. It isn't easy. That requires passing on collections that are overvalued by the seller.
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  #48  
Old 01-12-2015, 12:42 PM
tschock tschock is offline
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Sometimes people (buyers and sellers) need a refresher when you deal (buy or sell) in a wide variety of card sets, so grabbing a guide doesn't bother me in and of itself.

What bothers me more is those (buyers and sellers) who don't treat a price guide (paper or online) as a 'guide' but rather as a price Koran.
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