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Dad's Vintage 1950's Collection: A Son's Adventure Ends Happily

Mickey Mantle, Bill Russell, Ted Williams and many more 1950's stars!

  • September 20, 2019

Mickey MantleWhat A Seller Wants

As the country's top buyer of vintage sports cards, we have had plenty of inquiries from collectors and families of collectors that have been interested in selling their collections or getting FREE evaluations on the collections.  When you get as many inquiries as we get on a daily bases and buy as many collections every week as we do at Just Collect, you get a really good idea of what people are looking for -- even if they don't know it, yet - and can help them in getting the information and the answers that they are looking for.

Just Collect has learned that folks selling their collections have many questions, but that they are typically looking for five things:

     1. Reliable/Trusted buyer
     2. Proximity to seller
     3. Ease of selling – Simplicity of process
     4. Best price
     5. Fast payment

We believe that we are the best when all factors are taken into account.

A New Seller

Recently, we had a gentleman from Boston contact us with a collection that he was helping his father sell. He had done some preliminary work on it and worked on putting values to the cards.

The collection consisted on nearly 5000 cards, almost all Topps brand, from the mid 1950's through 1961 and contained baseball, basketball, football and non-sports cards. Unfortunately, a majority of the collection was in low to mid-grade condition with some of the newer cards being better than the older ones – which is typical of most collections.

To begin the process, we asked for a brief inventory of the collection and some pictures. The son provided us with a general description of the collection as well as a nice assortment of images of some of the more valuable cards in the collection and we were able to have our specialist review the images and prepare a preliminary evaluation.

Don't Hesitate to Get Back to Us

We provided the gentleman with our evaluation, including full line-item values for the key cards, solicited questions and asked his opinion and comparison based upon his earlier research.  He noted that he was told by a local retail outlet that they'd pay him 75% of eBay prices for his collection and that he thought that most buyers paid 70-80% of market value.  Our response was simple and if he had someone able to pay him 75% of the Gross Value for the collection, we'd have a hard time competing, but also warned him not to let the retailer cherry-pick the collection.  Also, we explained that even if he sold everything at full price on eBay, he'd only Net about 87%, and that most good retailers or buyers pay in the 40-60% range of the real value.  If he found the promises of others to be underwhelming or misleading, we asked that he not be embarrassed to contact us after shopping the collection -- our offers don't change. 

Within a week, we heard back from the son and were told that the retailer wanted to take only a few cards and his buy prices were a fraction of the prices that we valued them.  He noted that we seemed to be the most upfront and honest about both the condition and the value of the cards and that he would like to do business with Just Collect.  

How Do I Ship?

Since he was in Boston and the collection was not valuable enough for us to travel to purchase, we would have to have it either driven to our Somerset, NJ office or shipped to us.  The seller wasn't sure about shipping or packaging a large collection and thought that it might be cost prohibitive.  However, since we have had hundreds of collections successfully shipped to us, we were quite prepared to assist him with this concern.  Providing a link to our How to Package and Ship Your Collection page, he was able to get his cards packed safely and securely.  Using our FREE  FedEx shipping program, he was able to ship the collection on our Just Collect account fully insured and tracked during the entire trip.  It was a level of comfort that he said he wasn't expecting, especially when we called him to advise that it arrived.

The Collection

Baseball cards with Yellow Name Letter variationsWhen the collection arrived, it was organized, but not completely.  There were several boxes with cards that the son felt were most valuable and 7 long boxes with mostly commons in conditions ranging from PR to NM with most being GD to VG.  Opening one of the boxes, we were surprised to find a run of 1958 Topps Yellow Name and Yellow Team variations including 3 Al Kaline Yellow Names, so reviewing the balance of the commons became an exercise in scrutiny to make certain that nothing was overlooked.

Stars of the Diamond

The baseball was probably the most extensive portion of the collection and featured most of the stars of the day.  There were plenty of Mickey Mantle cards, including base cards, All-Stars and MVP cards as well as several multi-player cards.  

Mickey wasn't the only star featured.  Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Brooks Robinson were prominently represented throughout the collection.  Further examination revealed hobby favorites like Pee Wee Reese, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris and Gil Hodges.

Quite a few rookies were found in the collection, too.  Baseball was represented by Luis Aparicio, Frank Robinson, Jim Bunning, Orlando Cepeda, Ron Santo and Billy Williams. 

Gridiron Gladiators

Football was represented by inaugural issues of Don Hutson, Lenny Moore, Roosevelt Brown, Joe Schmidt, Stan Jones, Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Paul Hornung and Hank Stram.  Also, there were some great cards including The Four Horsemen, Red Grange and Jim Thorpe!

Cardboard Hardwood Heroes

1957 Topps Basketball Cards Bill Russell

The basketball cards were strictly 1957 Topps, but the great thing was that it included a Bill Russell rookie card, one of the most iconic basketball cards ever produced. The basketball collection contained many duplicates and boasted cards of Hall of Famers Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Bob Pettit, Tom Heinsohn, Hot Rod Hundley, Maurice Stokes, Sweetwater Clifton and many others.

Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You

Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.

We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year.  Next year, 2020, The National will be at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ.  It has also been in Cleveland, Chicago and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.

We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!

Our Buying Philosophy

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!

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 soul into building their collection. 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.

Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself

We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.

We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.

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 your collection and 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.

Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.

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