There are a few events or situations in the card collecting world that have affected me in a negative manner. Most of these have seared a bad memory into my brain which I will take to my grave, but mostly it have been a fun experience for me. The Fleer bankruptcy still holds a special place in my heart and one of the biggest screw jobs to me personally, although I understand that this is much, much bigger. The company effectively disappeared and I am crying over some unmade/unredeemed cards. I get it things could be worse, but for me as a small time collector, it stung pretty hard.
The other major burn for me personally was the fading/bleeding of the 2007 Upper Deck Sweet Spot signature cards. If there is a silver lining in this story, it is that not all of the versions of their cards were affected, at least not yet after 12 years. Who knows if added time will contribute to further breakdown. On ly time will tell. However, the ink, material or both has contributed to what is essentially the signatures fading away to leave a blank or barely legible signature. This affects cards I hold from serial editions of 175 copies down to cards with only 6 copies! Again thankfully, none of the 1 of 1 cards have been affected. I know this because (1) the Garvey/Reggie Smith dual 1/1 just showed up on ebay after 12 years and (2) I own the remaining 4 other Garvey 1/1 cards.
The Garvey/Smith showed up a week or two ago with an opening bid of around $25 with an offer option. It had been listed less than 1 hour, so I tossed out a somewhat conservative offer. But after several minutes and no response, I got worried that I was being too cheap to save a buck and risked losing the card. I quickly placed the minimum bid, knowing that the offer option disappears and then messaged the seller in hopes that they would just let me buy it at my original offer, even though I placed a bid. Again, I was playing it stupid to save a few bucks. I guess sometimes you never learn.
I received no reply, but checked on the listing about an hour later, only to discover it was gone! My heart sunk. Once again, I had been burned by my cheapness. I just knew in my heart that the seller had sold it to someone else after I bid on it. One of mny competitors had messaged themn and swung an under the table deal. I was mad. Knowing there was not much else I could do, I messeged the seller asking if it had been sold and if so, would they mind sharing for how much. To my surprise, they responded rather quickly and said they had decided to relist it with a BIN/OBO price this time. I checked and didn't see it listed, so fearing I would miss it, I asked when it would be relisted. Before I received the answer, the listing popped back up with a BIN. The seller's answer followed shortly, that it had been posted.
Now understand, as much as I am a pretty serious Garvey collector, I like to keep my spending in check. Aside from a handful of others, 1-2 in poarticular, the market for Garvey is not that strong. The pricing of rare Garvey cards has fluctuated over the last 2 decades based on the interests and habits of 3-4 buyer at most. Sometimes it was a free for all, other times you could pick and choose. As of late, one buyer in particular has driven the prices up to near high levels with high offers and BINs at full asking when new cards hit the market. This has skewed the market somewhat, because once this buyer has their copy, the prices drop pretty fast. The problem is, with copies under 10, you never know when the nexr one will pop.
So, when the Garve/Smith reappeared, the BIN price was $175. In the big picture, this is not a lot of money, especially for a 1/1 that is 12 years old, but I still believe that is well above what a 1/1 shold sell for on a card featuing 2 pretty good players. I debated about making an offer somewhere between my initial offer and the BIN, but was afraid if I waited too long or the seller was slow to decide or counter, the "other" buyer might see it and pay full price, no questions asked. I decided to pay the full asking price to secure this card, despite feeling that I was over paying for it. It was, after all, the last card I needed to complete the 2007 Sweet Spot run. So, 12 years after their issue, I can now present the entire run of Steve Garvey signed 2007 Sweet Spot cards, including the 5 1/1s. It still pains me that several cards are fading into nothing, which brings up another question. Given a card that is rare, say 6 copies, but includes a signature of a player that is not difficult to find otherwise and is currently alive, should I care more about the loss of signature or should I be happy that I have 1 of 6 copies despite it now being relatively worthless and astetically disgusting? After all, it is still a card that is 1/6 even if the autograph itself is gone. It's still a rare card, right?
I can't get my scanner to work and these are just quickie photos to capture the eesence of the moment, but here they are: