Sunday, June 18, 2023

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Simple Cup Base... Or Is It?

It's been a whirlwind past couple of months.

I was very fortunate to immerse myself in some volunteer work during the May month and rewarded my efforts with a little golf trip to BC. The start of June brought with it a focus on finding a new job and I'm happy to say that I start a new gig on Monday. Very excited with how the year has turned out so far and am very optimistic with the path ahead.

My Linden collecting has been pretty quiet as a result, but was thrilled to land an elusive piece at the last monthly card show of the season.

2014/15 Upper Deck The Cup
#86 Base Card  /249

Yes, this may just look like a simple base card to many of you, but to me it epitomizes how I've approached my PC over the past decade.

First, let's enjoy this piece of cardboard. I really like the photo used. It's got a hint of action (as opposed to the stale "coast while watching the play" pose or "I'm gliding to the left" style seen on many offerings. The crop on the pic is tight - fills the frame - and I love it. Gives more weight to the card in my opinion. The border, silver foil, overall design and thick 180pt card stock gives this piece the high-end look that The Cup is known for.

High end base cards...not something I chase too aggressively. Why? The pricing on these can (at times) be ridiculous. I get that these cards come out of packs that can exceed $1000. But these base cards are not the place to try and recoup your losses.

I've only seen a handful of copies of this card on ebay (none recently)...and the ask has just been too high - especially when you factor in shipping. This is just not a $30+ card in my eyes.

I've become a patient guy.

Patience paid off yesterday when I found this card hiding deep in a box labelled "Make Me An Offer". I had to snicker because I knew that my offer was going to make the vendor's eyes widen. But I knew as soon as I saw the Linden that it was one I wanted and felt we could work something out. After all...what are the odds anyone else at the show is remotely interested in a decade-old base card of Trevor Linden?

I thought about hitting him with my max price right off the bat (which would likely have been lower than he'd like to get for it), but decided to go a little lower to start the haggling. After all, the box did say to make an offer.

"Ten bucks" I said, which if you take a step back and look, isn't a terrible offer. Again, this is a base card out of 249 of a player that most people would just walk by. I could tell it came across as a borderline lowball offer, but he had no real research on the card. I know what I've paid for Cup base cards of my guy in the past and I knew where my max was.

He countered with $25 and I immediately shot that down. I knew I could be patient and I'd find another copy down the road for far less than that. He asked what my max was and I said $15. Reluctant, he took the offer. 

We both shared our experience with The Cup and prices and everything revolving around trying to recoup one's money and I appreciated his transparency. I hope he felt the same way about me. 

In the end, I paid slightly more than I had hoped and I know he got less that he wanted, but I feel that it was a fair price. After all, it's a real bonus to land a Linden card for the PC at a local show. And I'm convinced he wouldn't get more than that if he were to hang on to it.

This card really made me think about - and appreciate - the approach I take when chasing cards for my collection these days. It's not that I'm cheap...I know how to drop the dollars when I've had to, but I'm listening to my wallet a lot more than I used to. A base card is something I can be quite passive about.

But it feels great to knock this one off the list.