A Complete Collection from 1952 Topps to Modern Day
February 16, 2018
We Are Busy -- Buying, Buying, Buying!
We are very diligent about making sure that we post stories about the collections that we buy and have been able to do so almost weekly. During the calls and email that we get daily at our Somerset, NJ office, one question is, "How do you find so many collections to write about?" The answer is really pretty simple. We advertise a lot and we answer every inquiry. And if that were the only answer, we'd have a lot more competition. The real reason that we are able to post as many stories is because we are always busy buying collections and we're buying collections because we value them fairly and pay much more than the competition.
And just a little secret between us and our readers, we've got some really great collections and some really special cards that we'll be sharing with you in the coming weeks. It has been 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle central around here the past few weeks!!!
The collection consisted of every Topps card from 1951 through 2017. We examined all of the sets and this was made easier as they were meticulously stored in 8-pocket and 9-pocket plastic pages and D-ring binders. If any card was graded, a paper slip was inserted into the slot in the pages where the card would be with a note explaining the card and the grade. These cards were in a separate box, but were able to to be viewed as the collection was inspected and evaluated.
This may not seem like anything special, but when you're evaluating a large collection, every little thing that makes it easier to gather information and process it more quickly is a huge benefit. Many collections are in varying stages of order, including random order. Given our preference, sets in numerical order would always be the best method. This collection was in numerical order with every card being singular in the plastic page slot. Not back-to-back, but able to be viewed front and back. Again, this is the preferred way we would like to find a collection that we will be evaluating.
And the Rest of the Collection
While the collector had all of the Topps set through 2017, we only ended up purchasing everything through 1985. The newer sets, as the owner explained, actually meant more to him than the older sets. Two major reasons were the limited value of many of the modern sets (once removed from factory sealed set) and the other being that he began building sets again in 2001 and invested time into purchasing boxes and collating the sets as well as buying factory sets and opening them and collating them into numeric order and housing them in pages and binders. We were completely understanding of this and were more than willing to subtract them from the evaluation and the offer. Sentimental value is one thing that unfortunately doesn't have any resale value and any buyer would be hard-pressed to compete against any collector that assigns sentimental value to any portion of a collection.
We've already reviewed the 1952 Topps Set that was part of this collection, but as we noted above, there was so much more. Included in the collection were quite a few graded cards and they were usually representative of the balance of the respective sets. The 1953 Topps Set featured a PSA 2 Mickey Mantle. The 1954 Topps Set featured Willie Mays in a PSA 3 and several other keys in VG, but alas, the Hank Aaron rookie card may have been one of the lowest graded cards in the set.
The 1955 Set was a set that was all over the board condition-wise. Most of the keys were in PR to GD condition including a PSA 1 Roberto Clemente and a Sandy Koufax in GD condition. Some of the lesser stars and commons were found in the EX to EX/MT range, however and the Ted Kluzewski card was a lovely PSA 6.
The 1956 Topps Set was pretty much run of the mill with most of the cards averaging VG, including the Mantle, Aaron, Mays, Clemente and Koufax. It is always so much fun going through the mid-1950s sets. There are stars and Hall of Famers seemingly every time you turn the page!
We started seeing a smorgasbord of condition as we reached the later sets in the 1950s. The 1957 Topps Set started the zaniness with cards ranging from PR all the wat to NM, but most were in the VG to VG/EX range, including Hall of Fame rookies of Don Drysdale, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Jim Bunning as well as the regular volume of stars with a Sandy Koufax in PSA 4 and Mickey Mantle in PSA 3.
1958 Topps to 1966 Topps
The 1958 Topps Set was similar to the 1957 Set and featured several Yellow Name and Yellow Team variations, including Hank Aaron. A few notable cards included PSA 4 examples of Mantle and Koufax. This trend continued through most of the sets for the next few years with the 1963 Topps Set featuring a PSA 4 Pete Rose rookie. The 1966 Topps was the only set that was actually incomplete as it was absent a few of the High Numbers and search as we may, we were unable to located the missing cards, although the toughies (Coleman, Clarke and Jackson) were present.
The 1967 Topps Set was an anamoly as it included a PSA 7 Tom Seaver rookie card. Given the condition of most of the other sets and the consistency of the graded stars with respect to the balance of the overall set condition, this card stood out. We asked the owner if there was a reason or prehaps this was part of his personal player collection, but he didn't really have an explanation. Perhaps it was just available at a great price when he bought it for his set? Who knows...
As we proceeded through the sets, one of the most frustrating things that we typically encounter came to light in the 1971 Topps Set. The dreaded "Color Added." While no fault of the collector, this set is susceptible to the work of scrupulos sellers that add black marker to attempt to reduce or hide corner wear on these black beauties. Unfortunately, most of the alterations appear to be on the star and higher value cards. We pointed this out to the owner and made the necessary adjustments in the evaluation. It stinks, but it happens.
We completed the balance of the review and assessment and aside from the sets from the 1980's, the sets had a consistent theme with regard to conditon.
Happily, as we reviewed the condition of the collection and the valuation of the cards, we were able to have a meeting of the minds and were able to purchase the collection.
Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself
We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. Sometimes, selling them on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear, "You're 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.
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.
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.
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.
The "Everything Topps - The Rest of the Collection" Video: