Friday, May 4, 2012

A collecting discussion: owners unwilling to deal a rare card you need

Yesterday while cruising around the Blowout forums as usual, I caught this thread, which immediately piqued my interest:
It sparked quite a bit of discussion from the board, and rightly so, considering the content.  While much of the thread devolved into the inevitable bunch of childish insults and off-topic crap, there was some pretty good discussion going on, generally siding with my point-of-view.  Mainly, the two sides were:

  • Jeez, what a douche!  If you offered him more than he paid for it, he's STUPID not to sell it to you, and by not doing so he has bad karma heading his way.  He totally owes you this card, bro.
  • Um, he OWNS the card, and just because you have three of the other four he's obligated to sell his to you regardless of his attachment to it?  You probably screwed yourself by telling him this was the last one you needed anyway, now he's got you by the balls, and if I was him I wouldn't sell it to you because you're the one being a jackass.  Leave him alone and go cry, emo kid.
This made me wonder how the most reasonable group of collectors I've known--those of you that write your own blogs and/or read them--would approach this situation.  So in the interest of spurring some good old-fashioned internet discussion, a few questions:

  1. If you were in this collector's shoes, how would you feel about the other guy refusing to sell you the card and telling you not to contact him anymore (based on the little you know contained in this post, to be fair)?
  2. If you were the person in possession of that fourth card, how would you handle the guy trying to buy your copy?  Would you sell it to him or no?  Why not?  If you sold it, would you gouge the hell out of him or just go for a tidy profit?
  3. Do you think collectors that are (presumably) acquiring a set of something rare like four 1/1 cards are entitled to the remaining cards (at a reasonable price, of course) when they get to a certain point?
Please have at it in the comments or by emailing me.  I'll be happy to update this post highlighting those comments if enough people make them and there's interest in me doing so.  This just seems like an appropriate instance for some actual card collecting discussion!


  1. I would be devastated if the guy wouldn't part with the fourth card... but that's the way it is. Hopefully the discussion would've gone better than what happened with those two collectors though.
    If I'm in possesion of the fourth card, I'd ask for fair market value. Maybe ask for a card or two thrown in as a bonus. But, if it's my favourite player, I don't know if I'd part with it at all.

  2. This was my position, and what I'd like to think most rational people would say. To accuse someone of being a jackass because they refuse to sell something is unfair because it wrongly assumes that they don't have any attachment to it and are just spiting you. Where you might differ from others is asking fair market value instead of gouging the buyer, but again, you come from a mostly reasonable group of collectors that don't take advantage of each other, so that helps. Thanks for your input.

  3. You know after reading what the guy posted I'm probably in the second camp. To answer the questions.
    1. I'd get over it, but then I'm not trying to put together, nor who I, a super rare insanely low numbered set.

    2. That depends on the card and the offer. If I was a player collector and all I wanted was one of those 4 for my PC then no I probably wouldn't sell. That being said I don't suppose there's anything in my collection that doesn't have a price, but in the end you'd have to pay dearly for it. My one example is in my Rollie Fingers collection. I scored one of his 2011 Triple Threads Patch cards #d to just 3! and almost went after another one of those, but decided to let it go and let someone else enjoy having one of those cool cards in their collection. Would I ever let mine go, probably, but like I said it wouldn't be cheap and I really like having a cool low numbered card of one of my favorite players with a kick ass piece of memorabilia in it.
    3. No. There is no entitlement in a hobby. Sorry.

  4. I just went and found the thread holy crap is some of this funny!

  5. 1. If I were the collector looking for the final card I would feel frustrated, of course

    2. If I had no great attachment to the final card I would absolutely try to help him out and sell it to him - I'd take a profit on it, but would not try to gauge him

    3. If you are not the owner of the card you are not entitled to it, in my opinion

  6. Easy: I wouldn't sell him the card and i would demand that he give me his three so i would have a complete set.

  7. I don't think I'd ever quite be in this collector's shoes, since I just don't collect anything that rare. But, on the other hand, I don't think there's very many cards I wouldn't trade/sell someone if they really needed it. It is a tricky situation, but telling the guy to 'get bent' does seem quite bastardly, if that's how it really went down. Of course, this guy has a right to keep his card. There's no ownership for this other guy having the rest of the set.

    I say, let's go King Solomon style on both these guys. We'll offer to take all four of the cards and slice each one in half, then divide the halves between these guys. We'll see who reacts best, and this collector will be deemed the true mother.

  8. 1. If I were the guy attempting to acquire the card and was shot down... no doubt, I'd be totally bummed. But I wouldn't be upset with the owner of the card. Maybe he collects that player or team... or he's building the set. Now if he burned it on YouTube to make a statement, then I'd be pissed.

    2. If I owned the fourth copy and it wasn't one of the players I PC'd, then I'd trade it to him (assuming he has something I want) or sell it to him for fair market value. If it was someone I collected, I'd still be willing to trade it to the guy, but would need something pretty cool in return.

    3. Nope... I don't think anyone should feel pressured or made to feel guilty for holding onto a card they treasure, just because someone else wants that card too.

  9. i'm just gonna echo most of what everybody said, so i wont repeat (too much).
    no, you're not entitled. you made a fair offer, which was rejected (unfortunately), so the best move really is to honor a request to please stop asking.
    thanks for the compliments to your fellow bloggers as reasonable people - errrr- collectors. i agree with you on this one.
    not to toot my horn, but to give an example. just today i read on another blog about someone needing a card to complete a personal collecting goal. i have one of those, so even though i like the card, i think the other guy is gonna like it even more, so i'm willing to part with it.
    one door closes, one opens, buddy.

  10. Low numbered cards are the reason i stopped player collecting in the late 90s. it is now part of the hobby and we all have to live with it.

    i do have 1 plyer collection though, Bill Virdon. Months ago i found a Virdon Hertiage buyback on a forum that i had never seen anywhere in 3 years. I contacted him and made him a nice trade offer and got turned down. So i made him a to large cash offer and got turned down again. So i tried to have someone else make him an offer and still no dice. So I gave up figured I would just never get the card. Couple weeks go buy and he listed it on ebay where I got it for $7 plus shipping. He would have been WAY ahead if he had just taken my first offer.

  11. As a person that is trying to complete one of the most ambitious projects of collecting I have seen, I can sympathize with the buyer. I search the internet over for the cards to complete my sets. I send emails and get good responses, send emails and the person promises to work out a deal and then I don't hear from them and then emails that get ignored. It happens. The seller of course has no obligation to sell....I suppose. BTW, anyone seen a 2008 Masterpieces Blue /50 #46 Robin Yount......Anyone?

  12. I'm with everybody else on this. It would suck if it was that last card needed and he wouldn't give it up, but it is his decision to do so. I would be annoyed if the guy who had it replied back being a dick, there is no call for that. But there isn't anything you can do about that. Some people are just that way. Realistically I would hope to realize that it is so rare that he should be amazed he even ran across the last card and he took a shot at it.

    I don't have a problem parting with any card that isn't in my personal collection. I would be happy to trade him for it at fair market value. I'd feel good helping him complete it.

    And no, nobody is entitled to anything in collecting. It's like life, finders, keepers.