So how powerful is it to use the word "diffractor(s)" when listing your 1998 Tek? It makes a big difference - you can't rely on buyers to recognize that it is a Diffractor or not.
The best example I have is to do a search of ended listings for "diffractors." You only get 7 results, but only three of those 7 are actual diffractors. People ponied up $19.50, $15, and $10 for non-diffractors of Bonds, Chipper, and Pudge simply because the listing claimed the cards were Diffractors.
Another interesting example was when a slew of individual Edgar Martinez listings hit just over a month ago (no longer in ended listings). Mixed in there was one Diffractor not listed as a Diffractor. It was a great scan and it was so obvious that it was a Diffractor that I didn't even bother bidding. I assumed it would go for around $20. I was wrong. I only went for $9 while some base went for even more! Flash forward to an auction ending today of an Edgar Martinez that IS listed as a Diffractor, and it's already up to $16.
This trickster even puts the Diffractor bv on 1998 Tek base. These two Bonds were ended early - I'm assuming the mistaken seller was paid well:
So even collectors that are educated enough to know that they want Diffractors and that they should go for a premium are not educated enough to recognize the difference between Diffractors and base.
Here's an example of a Tek not listed as a Diffractor, but the scan was good enough for collectors to realize what it was. I do wonder if it would have gone for more if listed as a Diffractor, but the price seems about right:
Now here's a Jeter that should have gone for more. I guess the main diff between this and the A-Rod is that the scan/photo does not do a good job of picking up the Diffractor effect:
And here's what it looked like once I got it in hand. My pic isn't much better than the seller's. The reason is that two things affect how dazzling a Diffractor is - the lightness of the player photo and the pattern. As you can see from that Jeter, the background on the bottom half of the photo is almost all black. Not good for sparkly. The upper part has some white thanks to some shirts in the crowd. That's almost the only part of this scan that makes it look like a Diffractor Also, the pattern is mostly clear only sparsely populated with the design. Also not good for sparkly - compare that pattern with patterns 37 and 68 as shown in previous posts:
A base Jeter went for nearly that much - I'm guessing it was a couple set collectors going at it:
Heck, this PSA 10 Jeter base went for less:
No offense if it was a board member, but this looks like an awful deal. Only four packs (16 cards) for $18.50. Considering Diffractors are 1:6, this looks like some pretty bad odds. That may be a better price-per-pack deal than those that paid $160 for a box, but at least in a box you're pretty much guaranteed 4 Diffractors.