Something to think about when using the "What's it Worth" Forum


NASCAR products are back baby!!!!! oh yeah!
I thought this would be a good way to get some additional information out there to the members on the "worth" of their cards.

ALL Members, please feel free to post your comments and suggestions to this thread to help out our fellow collectors (new and old!)

To start off this thread I thought I would give you some examples of "Book Value" versus "Sale Value". (Sorry, using NASCAR as an example)

Robbie Gordon 1997 Jurassic Park Thunder Lizard TL10 - High BV $15, but try to pick one up at a Card Show and expect to pay $20-plus for it. Currently there is one on eBay with a "Buy It Now" price of $20. A Mike Skinner TL9, from the same Thunder Lizard set, has a BV of $5, but try to pick one up for under $15-$20.

Now, at the other end of the spectrum we have Dale Earnhardt Jr. His 2011 Legends Prominent Pieces (Firesuit, Sheet Metal, Tire) #/99 has a BV of $50, but you can pick these up at Card Shows for around $10-$15. On eBay you it will run about the same (including the shipping).

When it comes to Book Values... it's user beware.

You have to ask yourself "Do I really want/need that card for my PC?"

When I put the 1997 Thunder Lizard set together (many years ago), the Robbie Gordon had a BV of $5. I laid out $25 for it, because I NEEDED that card to complete the set.

Enjoy the hobby... and don't worry too much about BV versus SV... that is, unless the person you are trading with decides that your $100 autograph is equal to his $10 worth of base cards.


Well said, Randy! I use to go by Beckett pricing alot years ago, but it doesn't take in a lot of factors that can make a huge difference in pricing. In fact I hardly ever use it anymore. If there's a specific card I'm after, I check ebay completed listings to find copies of that card, andwhat it is currently selling for. Then, I know what to pay at today's current prices. Occassionly, if it's a card that recently got hot, then you know you may have to go hgher to buy it. Beckett is oay for trading purposes, but I find their pricing to be out to lunch on a great deal of their listings.


I don't bother with Beckett price guides, haven't for a decade. Instead, I rely on eBay, Amazon and other sources to see what something is currently selling for, and what other people are asking for them.

That's never the whole story though. There are a few other factors that count to me. One is what I personally value something at, which is sometimes higher, and other times lower, than what pricing sources tell me.

Supply and demand count too. If I find a dozen of one of my cards online, I can get a general idea of what the low, median, and high ranges are for the card. The highs at that point are useless, as the supply doesn't warrant people even thinking of buying it at that price. The lows are annoying lol...they are people selling below what a card should be going for, IMO. That means I generally aim for the median-range...unless I personally value the card more than that. If there isn't a market for a particular card, that means supply is limited, and price expectations go up, due to scarcity.

Another example is my Shaq auto. I pulled it from a pack a decade ago. Price guides said it was worth $150 at the time. I vaguely remember seeing it listed for $100 some years later...maybe $125, I forget. Recently, I found it listed on eBay for $80. I found two other sources selling it for $60, both saying the BV was at $60. That's a 60% drop in value over the decade! Sheesh! I valued it more in the $125 range, and there was no way I was going to sell or trade it for less. After some negotiation, I traded it, and am comfortable with the trade.

Point? Price guides are just that: They are a guide. Buying, selling and trading prices have to be flexible in order to account for not only the value you personally give a card, but also the potential seller, buyer or trader.

I personally don't like Beckett, as they guard their pricing as if it's exclusive. It isn't. There are many other sources out there, including individuals quoting prices they are willing to sell a card at. What Beckett does is gather as much of that info themselves and use it, and other info from manufacturers and dealers, to create a baseline range for prices. They are not always correct, because people have their own personal opinions too, and that's OK. If something is being sold cheap, and you want it, buy it. If something is being sold at a high price, ignore it and move on.

That's my advice lol
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NASCAR products are back baby!!!!! oh yeah!
...Price guides are just that: They are a guide.

A very good point.

I could not tell you how many times I have watched a new release on eBay and see a certain players autograph selling anywhere from, let's say... $10 to $35... and when the new pricing comes out in Beckett, the High Book Value will be set at $75. Not sure where Beckett gets all their information. I know they use to "ask" their readers to give input as to what they were selling their cards at... and I'm sure a few readers exaggerated their numbers.


Bench Warmer
I use eBay and Amazon to check the prices on almost everything I buy second hand through Facebook Market or Craigslist. As a new member here, I find it interesting that online auctions have almost made Beckett Price Guides irrelevant – or at the very least – play a significant role on the book value of cards. I've also noticed that the "sold" prices I've seen on eBay for some of the baseball cards in my collection are quite a bit less than I expected.