window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-12381093-3'); A Cardboard Problem: September 2019

September 11, 2019

Why are prices of 2018 Topps Update Baseball so high?

If you have been checking out baseball cards as of late for Ronald Acuna Jr., you would have noticed that prices for 2018 Topps Baseball Update Series are silly right now.

How silly?

If you check eBay, hobby boxes are selling for around $250, jumbos are well over $300. Blasters, you're looking at the $40-$50 range.

Why are prices of 2018 Topps Baseball Update so crazy right now.


2018 Topps Baseball Update has rookies cards of Ronald Acuna Jr., Gleyber Torres, Juan Soto just to name a few. Collectors are cleaning out retail locations of any of Update that pops up, making this product scarce.

Generally, Update will have a smaller print run than Series 1 or 2. So, any rookies in Update will have fewers cards than if they were in any of the previous flagship releaes, especially Series 1.

We saw this effect with Mike Trout when his RCs were in 2011 Topps Update. Now, we see it again with 2018 -- with the potential of it happening in 2019.

Acuna's base rookie card (US-250) is going for about $30 on the secondary market. Parallels, photo variations and exponentially more.

The Acuna photo variation (with him batting with his bat down) is going for $200-plus.

Torres base RC can be had for $5-$10.

Soto cards are looking at $10 or more. And parallels are getting Big Bucks! A rainbow foil variation recently sold for $300!

It's crazy to see these types of prices, but not surprising. Acuna is having a stellar career. He's coming off a Rookie of the Year award, and his stats are even better this year. He has a good following and there are many collectors who have added him to his PC.

It's possible to see someting similar happen with this year's Update, especially once the checklist comes out and we see the rookie cards included. (And, no, I don't have any inside information.)

September 2, 2019

Trading Cards: Where do you get your checklists?

We need checklists for our collections. It's the guiding post that let's us sort through the cards we are looking for. But one thing I've learned is there not one source to find every card you need. 

There are good sites that posts checklist, some some don't go back far enough, others have incomplete data or don't account for printing or odd errors.

As a player collector, this is really tough for me. Because as I attempt to log and sort my Derek Jeter Collection, I find there is a lot more than just looking up the cards, putting it in a Google Sheet and going from there.

Here's how I work: 
  • I look the card up in Beckett
  • If it's not listed there, I go to Trading Card DB
  • If it's still not clear, I go to eBay, COMC or PSA Registry
So far, this has worked because someone somewhere has the same card, but they're not all listed in Beckett. Butc it goes to show that no place is perfect.

After discussing checklists online a bit, it seems a lot of other collectors have similar issues. Cardboard Connection is good for set checklists, but the checklist there don't date back decades. Also, I'm not sure there is a good way to search if I am looking for a specific player or just a team.

Beckett is good because its database is huge. But, I still haven't found every card I have. I also have found incorrect listings. 

Trading Card DB is also a good option though it's not as seamless as Beckett. However, Trading Card DB has had cards listed that Beckett does not, especially some of the regional sets that don't pop up often.

BaseballCardPedia is another great resource. I often go there when looking for more information on sets, especially when cards were released, how they were released or different quirks about the set. They usually have solid information in that regard.

I did an informal poll Twitter.

There is no perfect site. But I have found that using all of them has gotten me pretty close. It take a lot of research (which I actually have fun with) and a lot of open browser tabs. 

What has been your favorite checklist site of choice? Or do you bounce around as well?