Trading: Book Value vs Sell Value


TP9 | VC15
5.00 star(s)
A PM I received on another site recently made me really ponder on this question quite a bit. I was sent a PM asking me to help give a member the BVs of a few cards they had. This guy had made a trade where he was told the trade matched, as far as BVs go. I won't go into detail about what cards they were, but the trade did appear, at least to me, to be a bit lopsided.

Anyways, my reply was that I don't have any use for BV, so I don't have a beckett or any other price guide. I used to, but I don't anymore. I'd much rather make trades based on eBay's "Sold Listings" and my own gut feeling than based on what any book tells me a card is worth. I mean, even the Beckett fanboys can't argue the inaccuracy of their "values".

I know there are people out there who only want to trade by BV. Why? Well, in my experience, those are the people who desperately want to trade their $100 BV card (that sells for $10) for someone else's $100 BV card (that sells for $100). Yeah, that seems fair! So now, if someone mentions BV in a trade with me I simply let them know that I don't have any kind of book, and that I generally don't use them to trade. If the BVs are close enough for the BV guy, and the sale value is close enough for me, then it's a done deal. Otherwise, it's a no go.

Like I said, though, I used to trade exclusively using BV. Then, not very long ago, I was in trade negotiations where I was expected to give up some really nice autos for a bunch of plain jersey cards because the BVs matched. While I'm sure the other trader didn't see a problem with the deal, I certainly did! My problem was that I could have easily sold the autos, bought all the cards that I wanted from them, and still had a bit of money left. I just wonder if that same trader would have still thought it was a good deal if the tables were turned. My guess is, probably not!

So, how do you trade? Do you use BV exclusively? Do you only want to use sell value? What about a combination of both?
I agree with you completely. However, I do by trade by BV when there is no consistent selling price for a particular card or if dealing in lower end cards. 99% percent of the time I let the other person start the negotiation, as a starting point and I too use my "Gut". Ive been known to trade over BV and buy way over BV if its something I need for the PC...

I will say this... People who "ONLY" trade by BV or SV exclusively irk me. Is this not a hobby? Is there never any wiggle room or opportunity for negotiating? That's what wrong with this country.. People towing party lines just because... We have to be flexible brothers. Give and get. We can't be too stuck in our ways or think we're always right. Right is subjective.

But to bring this back on track... yeah, I use my gut most of the time too brother. I can be irrational when its a PC card.
I don't like trading by BV because frankly most of the time I have no idea HOW MUCH my cards are worth on the BV scale. Sure I could check their SV on Ebay but that can take time.

I prefer the types of trades that a lot of the bloggers do. The "Hey I see you collect Team x, or Player x. I have about 100 of them just lying around, you got any Team Y or Players A and Z?" Most of them just occasionally send whatever they have acquired of team x over the last few months and send them to collector B, the a few weeks later collector B gathers up what he has acquired of team y and sends them to the first collector. Sure some of them have lengthy negotiations of specific trades but many of them just do the "send whatever". I prefer that because as I've said I don't know what the BV of the cards I have are, unless I specifically check.
For the actual value of a card, I generally use eBay sold items or COMC, and I will look it up if it something rare but most of us have been trading long enough to have a good idea of what something is worth. But, for trades I usually don't care as long as it is fairly close, all of my recent trades have been on here and I think most would tell you that I am pretty easy if it is something for my PC.
I think I'm in the minority these days, but I highly prefer trading by BV, and I always have. That does come with an asterisk though, but I'll get back to that later.

Here's my main reasoning on BV trading: though BVs aren't spot-on by any means, it's a value created by a neutral third party. It cannot be manipulated or changed by either trading party. Granted, this doesn't account for people giving incorrect values (which I've seen happen, of course), but I've always had issue with people who only go by sale value, and manipulate that value by showing you the lowest possible price on the card they want from me, and the highest possible value on the card I want from them. BV removes this issue. Even then, things don't have to be exact, but it helps keep things relatively even.

Now, back to my earlier asterisk. When it comes to cards I really want, BV flies out the window. I'll go as hard as I feel I need to. Also, cards too rare to price, I DO try to gauge from similar cards that have sold. At that point, it feels like my only option, and there usually aren't a ton of options where people can "selectively" price cards, as noted above.

Typing this all out, it feels pretty hard to articulate, but I hope that helps to outline my thoughts for people.
That's a very valid point, Sam, and it's something that I've witnessed as well. I guess it's just a matter of both sides, regardless of how they do it, coming up with a fair deal. I've had plenty of trades that I thought were fair using BV only, but I've had the same number of really lopsided offers too. At least with sale values I'm able to prove my point, with oher sales, as to how off the deal really is.