How to Spend $100,000 on E-Bay in 15 Minutes

How to Spend $100,000 on E-Bay in 15 Minutes

Imagine that you have just been given $100,000 to spend on Cards on eBay, the only catch is that you have just 15 minutes to spend it! For fun, I put myself to the test to see how I would spend it.

The process was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. At first, I wasted valuable time searching for the best deals. About 5 minutes in, I realized that I was taking the wrong approach. I was searching for cards the way I do in real life, which is bargain hunting. I then started shooting for cards worth several thousand dollars. This led to me overpaying for cards based on availability and condition, which I was more than willing to do to secure some of my all-time favorite cards.

Here's how I chose to spend the fictional $100,000 on eBay:
 (In order of money spent)

1933 Goudey #144 Babe Ruth Bat DP RC
Grade: PSA 8
Book Value: $4,000
What I Paid: $19,978
Comments: The only card I couldn't find that I wanted really bad was a 1933 Goudey #53 Babe Ruth RC ($8,000) in decent condition. Instead I settled for a PSA 8 1933 Goudey #144 Babe Ruth Bat DP RC ($4,000), which I paid $19,978 for. In real life, I would have waited until a Goudey #53 popped up.

2003-04 Exquisite Collection Rookie Patch Parallel #78 LeBron James /23
Grade: NA
Book Value: $14,000
What I Paid: $17,500
Comments: If this were real, I would have 1 of the 50 Best Lebron James Cards in existence. LeBron in my opinion will retire the greatest player in NBA History, so this card was a must. I would have preferred a graded one, but when only 23 of a card exist, you take what you can get.

1998 Playoff Contenders #87 Peyton Manning Auto Proof Set Auto
Grade: BGS 9.5, Auto 10
Book Value: NA
Comments: Had this card not been graded, I would not have touched it. I am uncertain whether or not this "Proof Set" card is one of the 8 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket Registered Exchange #87's or if it is a card that Beckett doesn't book. The regular Manning books at $3K, so I didn't think spending $10K on a BGS 9.5 of an extremely finite card was too much of a risk.

1939 Playball #92 Ted Williams RC
Grade: SGC 92
Book Value: $1,800
What I Paid: $9,995
Comments: "Teddy Ballgame" has always fascinated me. There are a lot of people who would shoot for a better Ted Williams card, but to me, it doesn't get any better than the Rookie Card and this is Ted Williams official RC. The condition made this card well worth the 10K price tag.

2005-06 The Cup #179 Alexander Ovechkin JSY AU RC /99
Grade: BGS 9, Auto 10
Book Value: $4,500
What I Paid: $8,000
Comments: This was a pretty bad deal in retrospect, in real life I would have either waited for a far cheaper BGS 9 or a BGS 9.5. Never the less, this is a card I had to have, so I overpaid to make sure I got it.

2005-06 The Cup #180 Sidney Crosby JSY AU RC /99
Grade: NA
Book Value: $10,000
What I Paid: $7,505
Comments: This was one of the better deals I found. Not only was the card in excellent condition, but it featured a multi-color patch. Great value! I would have preffered a graded one, but this was too good of a deal to pass on.

2000 Playoff Contenders #144 Tom Brady AU RC
Grade: BGS 9.5, Auto 10
Book Value: $1,000
What I Paid: $4,499.99
Comments: This is one of the greatest cards of the last 20 years. What makes this card great is that it qualifies as a "true RC" unlike the Manning Contenders Auto. It doesn't get much better than a BGS 9.5 Auto Rookie of one of the greatest players in NFL History!

2003-04 SPx #151 LeBron James JSY AU RC
Grade: BGS 10 (PRISTINE)
Book Value: $1,000
What I Paid: $3,999
Comments: According to Beckett, there have been 12 SPx LeBron RC's to grade out at a Pristine 10. That's more than I expected when I grabbed this Pristine 10 for 4K. Although, I don't think you can go wrong buying a Pristine Lebron Auto Rookie.

2002 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractors #391 Joe Mauer AU A
Grade: NA
Book Value: $2,000
What I Paid: $2,650
Comments: This was the first card I searched for. The 02' Bowman Gold Refractor Mauer Auto is my dream card! It sucks that I don't really own it! If I had $100K, I would easily pay $2,650 to be 1 of 50 people in the world lucky enough to own one.

2002 Bowman's Best Blue #110 Joe Mauer Auto
Grade: BGS 9.5, Auto 10
Book Value: $350
What I Paid: $2,599.99
Comments: This was easily my worst buy. The funny part is that I already have the Gold version, which books at $450. Mauer is my favorite player, so I jumped at a card I probably shouldn't have. It's hard to find a Joe Mauer card I don't have these days. Had there been a 2002 Bowman Chrome #316 Joe Mauer Facsimile Auto, I would have paid whatever they were asking!

1979-80 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky RC!
Grade: PSA 9
Book Value: $800
What I Paid: $2,599
Comments: I've always wanted a Gretzky Rookie, so I bought highest graded Gretzky I could find. The nice thing about having $100,000 is that you can afford to overpay for something you've always wanted.

2007 Bowman Sterling Prospects Black Refractor #JH Jason Heyward AU
Grade: BGS 9.5, Auto 10
Book Value: NA
What I Paid: $1,999
Comments: This is another card I dream about in real life! There is no way to articulate how good Jason Heyward is to people who don't know who he is. I don't think I overpaid, there are only 25 of this card!

2007 Bowman Sterling Prospects Printing Plates Cyan #JH Jason Heyward AU
Grade: NA
Book Value: NA
What I Paid: $1,750
Comments: I think this was hands down the best purchase I made. A 1/1 Printing Plate Auto of what I believe to be Jason Heyward's best card! How much do you think a 2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols Printing Plate 1/1 would go for on eBay? I would guess at least $10K!

2001 Spx #150 Ichiro Suzuki JSY AU RC
Grade: NA
Book Value: $900
What I Paid: $1,599.99
Comments: I definitely overpaid for the Ichiro SPX JSY AU RC. Ichiro is one of my favorite players and this is a card I've always wanted, so I was glad to spend a portion of my budget on one of my dream cards. I think the fact that Ichiro has so few signed cards makes this Auto rookie far more valuable than it's $900 book value.

1991 Stadium Club Super Bowl XXVI #94 Brett Favre UER
Grade: BGS 9.5
Book Value: $600
What I Paid: $1,499.99
Comments: This was a must have card for me! This card was handed out at the 1991 Super Bowl and many of them didn't survive the after party, so I jumped at a chance to get a BGS 9.5 for $1,500. This is one of those cards that will appreciate nicely over they years.

1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan/Jerry Koosman RC
Grade: PSA 8
Book Value: $500
What I Paid: $1,325
Comments: I think this was a solid deal for a must have card. Only about 10% of this card grade out at an 8 or above. I initially searched for the $8,000 Topps Venezuelan Version, but that's the sports card equivalent of looking for Jimmy Hoffa.

2005-06 SP Authentic #190 Alexander Ovechkin AU RC
Grade: BGS 9.5, Auto 10
Book Value: $600
What I Paid: $699.99
Comments: What a deal, I paid just $100 over book for a slabbed BGS 9.5! This is one of my favorite cards, Ovechkin is as cool as the ice he skates on.

1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket #92 Randy Moss AU
Grade: PSA 9
Book Value: $500
What I Paid: $699.99
Comments: This is seriously one of the hardest cards to get in decent condition. I would estimate if you were to buy back the entire 500 card print run, the average grade would be around an 8. Randy Moss is one of my all-time favorites and so is this card. I've tried buying this card on the cheap and I can tell you that paying $700 for a PSA 9 is a pretty good deal.

1980-81 Topps #6 34 Bird RC/Erving/Johnson RC
Grade: BGS 8.5
Book Value: $250
What I Paid: $499.99
Comments: How often are legendary rivals rookies caught on the same piece of cardboard?! I was disappointed that a BGS 8.5 was the best grade I could find. I could have rolled the dice on a raw version, but it's too risky to buy an un-graded vintage card these days. I would have gladly paid over $1,000 for anything above a BGS/PSA 9.

Total Cards: 19
Total Money Spent: $96,748.93
Average Cost Per Card: $5,092

Conclusion
All in all, I think I spent $100,000 in 15 minutes fairly well. I probably over paid for some cards, but when buying rare, high dollar cards, sometimes you spend a little more to make sure you get the card you want. If I had to do it over again, I think I would have passed on the BGS 8.5 Bird/Magic Rookie as well as the Bowman's Best Blue Mauer Auto. The one card I regret not even searching for is a 1996-97 Kevin Garnett Autographics, a card that I have wanted for years.

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Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

User Comments

  1. That is sooo awesome. I think you did great! What a fun little exercise.

    Great topic for a blog bat around.

  2. Let me know how it goes! I am extremely interested to see what other collectors would do

  3. How much do you think a 2002 Bowman Chrome #316 Joe Mauer Facsimile Auto is worth?

    I’m lucky enough to own to, but never see any pricing for these cards.

  4. @Babyjesusbaseball.com: I would say $800-$1,200

  5. @Babyjesusbaseball.com: I envy you! That is the one 2002 Mauer I don’t have, I seriously check eBay every single day for it.

  6. I have a 2002 Bowman Chrome Joe Mauer Facsimile Rc #316 thinking about selling give me an offer if interested.

  7. I have a 2002 Bowman Chrome Joe Mauer #316 if your interested. give me an offer.

    Leave a Comment: