Thursday, November 6, 2014

Going Back to the Old House

Back in the 1980s, my love for "alternative" music started when I was introduced to a melancholic band from Manchester called The Smiths. As a teenager listening to The Smiths in 1986, I was not exactly what you would call mainstream. Yeah, there were a fair number of people in the larger cities who knew about and liked The Smiths, but there were not a lot of fans in my little hometown of 1612 people.

One of the songs on their compilation album of B-sides previously unreleased in the U.S. called "Louder Than Bombs" (named the 365th best album of all time by Rolling Stone) is called "Back to the Old House." That song is a sad dirge with typical lyrics from The Smiths about a love that was never revealed to the object of the affection:

That's all very depressing, of course. It is The Smiths, after all.

But, it relates to what I have done recently. For a good two months, I stayed away from the Old Auction House on eBay. I was spending too much money on cards due to my impatience in wanting to build up my collection immediately. As in yesterday.  Yet, recently, I dipped my toe back into the auction waters to pick up some specific items without buying complete sets of things that I don't need.

So, what did I get?

I had no idea that Topps had done these "Throwback Thursday" sets until I saw Cynical Buddha post the Robin Yount one on his Yount Collector blog. I get so much spam from Topps for so many sets that I simply don't care about that I missed seeing that this one actually had two Brewers in it. I checked out the set on -- where it costs $50 before shipping -- and wondered if I could cherrypick the Molitor and the Yount without buying the whole damn set.

Well, I overpaid, to be fair, for those two alone, but in the grand scheme of things, I saved myself $30 or so dollars and got just the two players I wanted. They are both serial numbered 14/49, so I'm okay with that sort of higher price.

Another "must have" for me came in the Bowman Chrome or Platinum -- whichever -- packs as an insert. This Robin Yount is from the super sparkly "1989 Bowman is Back" inserts that Topps has been shoving into all the Bowman products this year. I paid about $4 with shipping for it; that shipping cost is, of course, always the problem when dealing with buying on the multicolored auction site.

This next card was a genuine bargain to me. Featured in the 2014 Topps Triple Threads set are an array of swatch cards like this one of Ryan Braun. It's numbered 3 of 27. Three is a good number for this, since, due to his struggles this year and the taint of his PED use, I picked it up for $3.26 before shipping costs of $2.50.  Not bad for a card numbered to 27.

This next Triple Threads card was not as much of a bargain -- it cost twice as much as the Braun even though it is numbered 41 of 99. Then again, it does feature a certified stickergraph, so there is that. But, at least it recycles the photo of Segura from the die-cut mini 1989 insert card from the base set series 2.

Another recent purchase was a Brewers team set. I've been trying to figure out what site is the best place to purchase team sets so as to fill gaps more quickly in my collection. I've tended to purchase only on eBay, but I see the Just Commons buys and wonder to myself whether that might be a better option. I guess I have to do more research.

That said, I picked up the entire team set from that weird 1984 Nestle/Topps parallel set in perfectly cut condition for $16 total. I borrowed this Yount photo from another auction (this card alone is going for $4) to show the Nestle logo.

Somewhere at my mom's house, there is an uncut sheet that I got from this Nestle giveaway back in 1984. I have to find that.

My final recent purchase was another one that came as a bit of a bargain hunt for an oddball that just does not show up all that frequently: the elusive Sega Gen cards.  I picked up this Carlos Gomez for $5.50 including shipping from a guy who has been selling off a bunch of 2013 Sega Gen cards on eBay. He's in the US, so shipping wasn't a nightmare either.

So, what do y'all think? Did I overpay for some of these/all of these/none of these? I'm terrible sometimes about being impatient and jumping on the first auction I see, so I won't take it personally if you think I did.

As always, thanks for reading.


  1. The question is do you think you overpaid? I tend to use to fill most of my team sets. It usually works out a lot cheaper than buying the team set off of ebay and paying shipping. But I also use too. And every now and then I can find some great deals at

    I've been contemplating finally picking up a Braun auto now that prices are in the dumper.

    1. I think I did okay. The Sega Gen card and the Braun are the two I think I did best on. Sega Gen stuff doesn't come up anywhere very often, so I was pleased to get that Gomez.

      I should probably stay away from eBay though and stick to justcommons, sportlots, and COMC.

  2. I think that I would rather not go back to the old house.

    1. I lean that way more and more each day...stupid prices, shipping costs suck, and so many buyers that are bad eggs.

    2. Of course, Morrissey will join you in rather not going back to the old house because of all those bad memories.

  3. I think you did a good job. I never buy much on ebay anymore basically because of shipping. I prefer Just Commons to fill out some cards, but they usually end up not having 1-2 cards to finish a set.

    I like the Nestle set, and I think you got a great deal on the Braun card. I don't collect him, but that is a pretty good price.

    The Bowman is Back from Yount sometimes pop up pretty cheap on COMC.

    Overall, as long as you don't think you overpaid, I think you did a fine job.

    1. I think the Bowman is Back Yount is the one I probably overpaid on, to be fair.

  4. I think you did well on the Triple Threads cards.

    I've used both sportslots and just commons to finish out sets. Both worked pretty well.

  5. I don't really have an opinion on the cards, but I love the Smiths! Especially back in high school. I used to have a Morrissey shirt (cover of Your Arsenal) and a Smiths shirt (band photo from Meat Is Murder liners, I believe).. still have that one and it's my summertime sleep shirt because it's so thin.

    1. I had the tape of their first album, The Smiths, and played it till it didn't work any more.

  6. You might've overpaid for the Gomez since I was going to send you that anyway.