A storage find yields plenty of stars and rookies!
March 08, 2017
I was at a card show the other day and I met a gentleman that said that he's a regular reader of our blog and he asked me, "How many of those stories that you post are real?" I asked him what he meant and he said, "You can't have that many people find that much stuff and everything has a crazy story. You have to be making some of it up." Well, he was right in one respect, because not every purchase or find that we get has a "crazy story." But it is a fact that every story and every collection that we post to our blog is true and real. Every single day we get many calls and even more emails from people all over the country (and even some from outside the United States) that have cards and want to know the value of them or that want to sell them. With that many people, there's bound to be a story behind many of the collections. The reason that we know the stories and that we get to share the stories is because we ask about them. We listen to them. We genuinely care about the history of the cards and buying and selling cards is more than just a business, it is a passion. To most buyers and sellers, the cards are just business. At Just Collect, the stories and the people behind them are as important as the cards!
Where Did They Come From
Over the years, we've shared stories of the many places that sellers have found cards that they've contacted us about. Whether they were found in a family Bible, passed down by a "Fairy" Godmother, found behind a wall, or left behind in a basement, the list seems to be never ending. The stories give people ideas of where to look for cards. In fact, many people have called us asking about storage units and whether buying them like they do on the A&E TV show "Storage Wars" was a good idea. While I do know of a few people that regularly bid on the contents of storage units, most often, when the contents are sports related, they're stacks or boxes of modern cards from the later part of the 1980s and hold very little value. Aside from an occasional blue suitcase or nice set of golf clubs, usually the abandoned contents are mostly broken household appliances, old magazines and a few miscellaneous screwdrivers and wrenches. Maybe MacGyver could make something of it, but for the most part, there isn't much there.
Clues That Would be Answered
A few weeks ago, a local man contacted us about a collection that he had "come across." It featured several high profile rookie cards from the 1960s and a nice assortment of other cards that suggested a collection from about 1964-1970. He said that he was looking for an appraisal and that he was interested in selling them if he could get a fair price. We scheduled an appointment at our Somerset, New Jersey office to review the collection.
He arrived on schedule and we assisted him in bringing the collection into the office when we met with him, reviewed the collection and took detailed notes about the key cards, the quantities and the specific and overall conditions. The collection included a few smaller boxes of cards, containing most of the key cards in the collection, a few larger boxes with some oversized and lesser cards, but a majority of the cards were housed in a series of file cabinet drawers and small filing boxes.
While assessing the collection, the man said that he accumulated the cards and that he had been researching them and had prices in mind for several of the cards. It became immediately obvious that some of the information that he had gathered from the Internet and using eBay auctions had been incorrectly applied to cards that we not in the condition that he thought. If we were unable to agree on the condition of the cards, then assigning an accurate value to them would become a significant stumbling block since he was assuming that many of the cards were worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars more.
As an example, several Tom Seaver rookie cards (four of them are pictured above) despite looking very nice, had creases in them rendering them VG condition with a value of about $300 each, but the seller figured that they were NM to NM/MT and were worth $1000-2000 each. Once we explained the differences, showed him the creases and reached an understanding on the condition, we were able to show him the sales history to support the valuation. Ironically, after we finished the deal, he said that our valuations were right about what he had found based upon the condition but he hoped that we wouldn't catch the lesser conditions. He also shared with us the real history of the collection and it was much more interesting than the initial and somewhat suspicious story that he "came across" them.
There were several football cards, some basketball cards, including a smattering of 1969 Topps Tall Boys with a Lew Alcindor (better known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) rookie, a near set of 1970 Topps Baseball with a very nice Thurman Munson rookie card that we value in NM/MT condition, but the majority were low to mid grade cards from 1964 to 1968. There were some nicer condition cards, but those were mostly from 1969 or from the partial 1970 Set. Also included were about 30 or so card from a game issued by Hasbro in 1964 called, "Challenge the New York Yankees." Among the cards were many of the Yankees including Maris, Berra, Ford and of course, Mickey Mantle!
So, where did the cards that he "came across" really come from? They came from a storage unit that the man had purchased. He said that he purchases storage units and locker contents at sherrif sales and county and state auctions and that was hesitatnt to mention this during our evaluation as he was leery that it might influence our offer. The storage units and lockers that he purcahses may occasionally include some cards, but rarely as much that he felt had any value until this lot. Since, we were local and he felt that we had some stellar reviews and feedback, he decided to contact us. The result? In his words, "You guys know your stuff!" And he said that he was glad to have found us and that we will be his first call when he finds more sports cards or sports collections.
Our Buying Philosophy
We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and souls into building their collections. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.
We Are Always Buying!
Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.
The Video of the Storage Unit - File Cabinet Collection: