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Thread: What's everyone's thoughts on short prints in base sets?

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    What's everyone's thoughts on short prints in base sets?

    And inserts....
    Just got to wondering this earlier today. It seems every set has short prints now and I'm not talking part of the regular set. Like football will have base sets and then all the rookies seem to be short printed(except for topps). But base topps for football and baseball has short printed variations of certain cards. It's getting hard to complete a base set because now you have all these sp's and on average they go between $10-$20 a pop. Wait too long to find them so the prices will drop and you run the risk of not finding them or seeing that one lonely card on ebay with a BIN triple the price it's actually worth.

    I personally don't like to bust base topps anything simply because I'd rather just buy the factory set and be done with it. IMO, I love their inserts and all but everyone on earth should know that unless you have a hookup with a case breaker, you're going to pay a fortune to complete all the various insert sets online. There are way too many and each insert set has way too many cards in it. Gone are the days it seems of 10 or 12 card insert sets. I've actually tried to do this years football and the amount of inserts is insane as well as the number per set. So normally I am content to just do the base set as a factory deal and call it a day. But I see the short prints and I would like to add them to the set but not at the cost multiplied by the insane amount of them. Besides, in a few years the price of these always drops badly and then you end up with a short print nobody cares about. I guess my issue is more with the fact that to complete a base set and all sp's and all the inserts, it will cost you way more than the set will ever be worth. Most would say who cares, it's a hobby, enjoy it for what it is and not the value. Understood. But I'm also not in the hobby of paying over $200 to complete a set when it's all said and done and have it be worth maybe $50 on a good day a couple of years down the road. With this years Topps Chrome baseball, I'm thinking if I put that together from scratch, it will be well over $200 and that's not even counting the short prints. Just base and inserts. I realize nobody has to collect this stuff. But I'm wondering where the draw is for most collectors. Even with the thrill of the hunt, do you like paying a fortune for cards that are sure to drop in value?
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
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    Senior Member Austin's Avatar
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    I agree with you about short prints.
    I'm a set collector and usually just collect the base sets of regular Topps, Heritage and a few other sets.

    I especially don't like SPs in Heritage, as I don't want to spend extra money on base cards just to build a set.
    I've just built the base sets of Heritage and not worried about the SPs.
    You can also buy the base Heritage sets without the SPs on eBay for extrememly cheap prices.

    I understand many advanced collectors with time and money want all of the SPs too, but too me, they're a waste of money.
    And I understand for case busters, they add value to the boxes.

    I don't care about SPs.
    I just put my regular base sets in pages and binders and like looking at them.
    I don't care what they're worth, or that they're not technically complete without the SP cards.

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin View Post
    I agree with you about short prints.
    I'm a set collector and usually just collect the base sets of regular Topps, Heritage and a few other sets.

    I especially don't like SPs in Heritage, as I don't want to spend extra money on base cards just to build a set.
    I've just built the base sets of Heritage and not worried about the SPs.
    You can also buy the base Heritage sets without the SPs on eBay for extrememly cheap prices.

    I understand many advanced collectors with time and money want all of the SPs too, but too me, they're a waste of money.
    And I understand for case busters, they add value to the boxes.

    I don't care about SPs.
    I just put my regular base sets in pages and binders and like looking at them.
    I don't care what they're worth, or that they're not technically complete without the SP cards.
    Do you do football? That was always a pet peeve of mine to when putting base sets together. A lot of sets are so many common vet cards and then all the rookies are sp'd. You can just do the vets but the set looks way too naked without the rookies. Especially if the set w/o the rookies i only 100 cards or so.

    And as far as Heritage goes, yeah...I don't worry too much about the sp's either because there is what...75 or so in each set? That's at about $5 a card if you're lucky. That's an insane amount of money to spend finishing off a base set.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
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    Senior Member DaClyde's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned, if it is not included in the factory set, it's not really part of the base set. An SP "variation" is just a parallel or insert, no different from some colored foil or other similar gimmick card.

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    Senior Member Austin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorkj View Post
    Do you do football? That was always a pet peeve of mine to when putting base sets together.
    Not anymore.
    I love football, but haven't collected te cards in 20 years.

    I built the '85 and '86 Topps football sets when I was a kid.
    And I loved the look of the '89-'91 Pro Set football cards, which ironically, had a bunch of weird SP cards in them.
    So all my football cards are from '85-'91.

    I built all of the football sets in 1991, Topps, Pro Set, Score, Fleer, UD, Pacific, Ultra...
    (Also bought some basketball from Fleer, Skybox and Hoops)
    Then I decided to concentrate only on baseball because it was just too much to collect and baseball's my favorite sport.

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    I generally enjoy shortprints and variations but they kind of annoy me when they're built into the set. I tried to put together gypsy queen this year but it's difficult when 50 of the base cards are sp's. I'll still try to finish it but it's annoying that it's going to take so much time and more money than seems necessary.
    Twitter: @MJR_Sportscards

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    What's everyone's thoughts on short prints in base sets?

    I'm honestly willing to accept part of the base set being sp's but not crazy hard sp's. Like the reason Heritage is higher priced is because it's heavily collected and I think the sp's are harder. But others like Allen and Ginter aren't too bad. But as for some of these variation sp's, if I'm having to pay all that money for one card, it's insane once you add up the total. Turkey red from 2006 cost me a lot of money to put together.

    All in all I guess I don't mind paying more to complete something than it's worth. But I just don't like it to be so lopsided. I'd love it if every manufacturer offered a factory set of all of their products.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

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    Opening a couple of boxes of Topps tonight it was fun to keep an eye out for photo variations although I can definitely see why it would annoy set collectors (especially those on a low budget).

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    Senior Member ThoseBackPages's Avatar
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    i enjoy Heritage SPs
    What you collect is awesome, what i collect sucks.

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    What's everyone's thoughts on short prints in base sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThoseBackPages View Post
    i enjoy Heritage SPs
    If all I did was put sets together, it might not bug me too much. But I like to do multiple sets every year of baseball and football and if the cost of putting together a true base set(which IMO includes sp's) is cost prohibitive then I see it as a problem for the hobby. Because even just doing the base set with the sp's(no inserts) costs out the rear. I'd say it leads people to go after less and less products. And go after less of the inserts. Which in turn leads the sp's and inserts in some products to go down in value. Not necessarily that me as a collector will be able to pick them up cheap. But that sellers will be holding them for a long while trying to get their initial value.

    If I spend $200 or more to build a set with inserts and sp's, it should not be worth $50 two years later. That to me means something is off. I'm not upset with sellers trying to get maximum for the cards nor am I upset with other collectors initially going after the cards. What I'm saying is that it's like going to a restaurant and continually paying more and more each time for less and less food.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

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    Senior Member ThoseBackPages's Avatar
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    i hear you. i couldnt go after more then Heritage
    What you collect is awesome, what i collect sucks.

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    Senior Member Bill Menard's Avatar
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    What's everyone's thoughts on short prints in base sets?

    You touch on the biggest issue... Cards are part of the set and cost a bunch to come by and once you complete the set, if you want to sell it, you need to be willing to accept substantially less than the cost to assemble. It's sad really and deterrent to building complete sets. Plus, you have to factor in all the shipping costs you have to be willing to pay out to get the cards piece mail on sites like eBay, etc.

    I hope somewhere down the road there will be moe appreciation of the SPs in sets (such as in the 50s,etc), bit this remains to be seen.

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    I'm fine with the obtainable SP's such as in Heritage and Archives but not the one per box type.

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    What's everyone's thoughts on short prints in base sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Menard View Post
    You touch on the biggest issue... Cards are part of the set and cost a bunch to come by and once you complete the set, if you want to sell it, you need to be willing to accept substantially less than the cost to assemble. It's sad really and deterrent to building complete sets. Plus, you have to factor in all the shipping costs you have to be willing to pay out to get the cards piece mail on sites like eBay, etc.

    I hope somewhere down the road there will be moe appreciation of the SPs in sets (such as in the 50s,etc), bit this remains to be seen.
    The sp'd nature of the topps high series cards from the 50's and such was not intentional. That coupled with the fact that some of the sets coming out in the 50's are some of the most iconic sets known in the hobby will always make those strong cards. How many people are going crazy over a short print(intentionally done mind you) from the 2009 or 2010 topps base set? You might see people trying to get money for them like you see people trying to get full book on a lot of worthless cards. But in reality very few people care about them.

    I agree on the shipping issue too but really, you have to suck it up. I don't mind buying a complete set and paying the extra shipping but I don't buy them anymore because it seems every time I do, the box has been dropped. I purchased a set a while back and three quarters of the set had a very nice ding on the bottom corner where the box had been dropped. Even if I ship it back for a refund I've lost the return shipping money and I'm back to square one.

    Building a base set will cost good money due to crappy collation and the price of packs. And the real fun begins when you hop online to finish it up. Sport lots is the best site to use but it never fails that you can never get all the cards you need from one seller so shipping adds up in a ridiculous manner. Add to that the fact that a lot of sellers want 25 or 50 cents for the star base cards and you pay it because you figure it's cheaper to buy all from one seller and now you are paying as much as five times what the card is really worth.

    As previously said, I understand building sets is a losing battle. It's lopsided. But why it's so lopsided is beyond me. The companies making a ton of inserts and sp's doesn't help. You would figure they would make it easier on the handful of people who still do base set building as they are generally the only people who still care about the base cards. You keep making it hard and you might lose that niche of collectors or at least a portion of them. Then, pretty much 3 quarters of any given box is worthless.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    What's everyone's thoughts on short prints in base sets?

    Quote Originally Posted by sabrgeek View Post
    I'm fine with the obtainable SP's such as in Heritage and Archives but not the one per box type.
    Bad thing is some of these sp's are more than one box to hit based on odds. Some of them are a lot of boxes to hit, maybe even a case. And yet they sell for peanuts compared to how hard they are to pull.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

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