Thursday, May 5, 2016

Virtual Dimebox Gone Awry

I haven't been picking much on eBay these days because with most of my collection packed away and being only halfway through the cataloging process, I'm not always 100% sure what I have unless it's a very recent release. So maybe I'm a little rusty.

Sometimes when I'm bored I'll do a quick search to see if I can find any steals that are ending soon. Misspellings, mislabeled, listed to end at bad times, that kind of thing. One evening last week I stumbled across a seller who had a couple of dozen cards from the past 2-3 years, mostly inserts and parallels, with a few hits mixed in. Nothing fantastic but they all started at a dime and were ending within the half hour. I looked at a listing, saw that he had offered combined shipping at an extra $.50 per card.

Now, when I was actively selling, I would post something similar but usually end up capping it at four or five bucks depending on how many cards someone ended up buying because you aren't supposed to gouge on shipping. But as eBay continually proves to me, not everybody thinks that way.

A couple of non-Cubs cards ended first and I picked them up for the minimum bid. No big deal as I needed to bulk up my trade bait anyway since re-entering the blogging community. There were a trio of Cubs cards I had my eye on and since I was already committed to paying shipping for the dime cards, I put some higher bids on those. The first one ended up being a dime.

2006 Topps Wal-Mart #WM33 Ryne Sandberg

It looked familiar but for a dime, I didn't want to pass it up since it is kind of an oddball.

2015 Panini Prizm Fresh Faces #14 Kris Bryant

This die-cut Kris Bryant card was somewhere around $3, which topped out my max bid. I probably wouldn't have paid that at a card show, but averaged in with the rest of the pickups, I'm ok with that. I don't see a price drop for Bryant anytime soon, even for the non-licensed stuff.

2015 Panini Signature Series #30 Javier Baez

This was the main pickup for me, also right around $3 and my max bid. Not that I'm a fan of the unlicensed stuff, but I've been toying around with picking up card with sticker autographs but might be slightly damaged and reusing the stick on a custom. Again, with a group purchase, this was a good deal for me.

The rest of the auctions finished and I ended up with 16 other cards, all for just a dime apiece. I'll let the recipients show them off once they get dispersed and stick with these Cubs cards. All told, the cards totaled under $8. Throw on a five spot for shipping and think I still did pretty well.

But wait, hold the phone. After asking for a combined shipping invoice, sure enough, the seller charged me $.50 for each additional card for a total of $12.50 in shipping. All of a sudden this was a $20 purchase. And my virtual dime box became a $.60 box.

I will say the cards all came in top loaders and were securely packaged but that still ruffles my feather a bit. I get that, as a seller, it sucks to have inserts, parallels and whatevers sell for a dime, but I wouldn't have started them that low to begin with.

That's what I get for impulse shopping.


  1. That's some underhanded stuff right there - like you said, if you start them that low, that's the risk you run. At least the Cubs you got were pretty nice anyway.

    1. See, I don't know that it was even underhanded, it was right there listed in the auction. Which is what I'm sure the seller would say if I called him on it.

      I don't know to call it other than frustrating, haha.

  2. I always look at the shipping costs and consider it when self-pricing the card. I understand Ebay fees are brutal, but if sellers want to make up the difference then they shouldn't hide it the shipping charges (combined shipping or otherwise). It does seem underhanded to do that.

    In a recent attempt to buy cards I found three I wanted, but the shipping was $3.50 a piece. The auctions didn't mention combining shipping so I sent a message asking. The seller communicated that the total shipping for the three auctions cards would be $10.50 and that he doesn't combine shipping. I messaged him back and asked what he was going to do with the extra $7 he would get if I decided to buy. I never heard back.

  3. I try to factor in s/h fees for single and combined purchases before picking up any cards - though it is fun to just find and pick up cards that catch your eye.