The Numbers: March 20-26, 2022

The Numbers: March 20-26, 2022

craig rex wrote:

Jay, I hope you continue to have a great time in the dish pit. There is nothing quite like that experience, especially in a busy cafe or restaurant environment. It’s not for everyone (the pay is…not great) but I always found it cathartic. No matter how much I mess up the kitchen when I cook at home, it’s never quite the same.

3/20/2022 – 3/26/2022

Total items in store: 2507 (down from 2668)

The Great Purge of pulling slow moving $10 and $20 listings continues, as I move more of those items to sell on consignment which gives me back space to sell other types of items which don’t fit the consignment model. I have all of my individual cards inventory organized by sport or type, then last name, and I still have a few more boxes to go through and pull listings. Most notably, basketball and football. So we may get under 2000 listings within the next few weeks! And I almost have one full set of shelves cleared. But I am still listing at least 3 good, quality items every day. Those new listings are so important.

Items sold: 54 (40 via best offer, 8 via seller initiated offer)

Gross sales: $3295.23 (up 8% from one year ago)

Net sales: $2314.67 (up 10% from one year ago)

Lowest price sold (net): $13.76— Shaheen Holloway Sage Hit autograph

One of the smallest schools in my home state was the biggest story in sports over the last two weeks, as Saint Peter’s University went on a shock run through the annual college basketball tournament, defeating 3 heavily favored teams in Kentucky, Murray State (an excellent basketball school) and Purdue before finally falling short against North Carolina this past weekend to get eliminated. This was a historic event — the Saint Peter’s team was seeded a 15 on a scale of 1-16 (16 being the worst teams) and this was the furthest round that a seed lower than 12 had ever advanced. Even among small schools, Saint Peter’s was a huge underdog.

Shaheen Holloway is the team’s head coach, and 20 years ago he was a star college player for Seton Hall just around the time small card companies (like Sage) were fueling the autograph craze in the card world by inserting them one in every pack as opposed to one in every 24 pack box or even rarer. Holloway never made it to the pros because of injuries, so his Sage autographs are basically his only autographs and the sets are 20 years old now, so most of them are probably lost or in closets somewhere.

My cache of his autographs (I probably bought 30 or 40) will be my version of J&R’s ICP hats over the next few months and years. Probably not quite as profitable (ICP collectors are a spendy bunch), but Holloway is young for a coach and is likely to be named to be the next head coach at Seton Hall, or another large school. If he can accomplish this amazing run with tiny Saint Peter’s, who knows what he will do in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s an NBA head coach in 5 or 10 years.

Saint Peter’s last two games against Purdue and North Carolina were played in Philadelphia, which I live right outside of, and I splurged and bought a ticket on StubHub to their game on Sunday which they lost to North Carolina. Something I haven’t done since…well, ever.I’m honestly not a huge sports watcher, though obviously I follow the players and teams closely. It had been years since I’ve been to a live game in any sport and maybe 5+ years since I went to one by myself. But I do enjoy watching basketball and I really enjoyed Saint Peter’s magical run. It was a lot of fun to see the Elite 8 Game in person even though they lost by a lot. There were so many people in the arena and all of these signs and cheers for this small school from Jersey City. Even from the last row of the upper deck, it was a blast. I don’t think I’ll be using eBay profits to go to a game anytime soon, too many other things I like to do, but this was a special experience and isn’t that what life (especially the scavenger life) is about?

Highest price sold (net): $177.86 — Keston Hiura Bowman Chrome black refractor autograph

Baseball is back, and with it the time honored tradition of card people speculating on young players Bowman Chrome autographs. Hiura was a top-notch prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers who are a pretty good team, but he’s struggled to find his footing in the big leagues the last few years. Of course, the world’s been topsy-turvy for much of that time, and I can imagine that some players were affected by all that uncertainty just like you and I. Hiura has been having a lot of success in this year’s practice spring training games. With his pedigree if that carries over to the regular season, in a few months this price will look like a steal for the buyer.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t know any of this until after the card sold and started writing this post. It is fun to reflect a little bit on which items sell, when and why. There is always a reason. I got my full buy it now price on the listing, which is all you can ever really ask for as an eBay seller. Well, that and no returns and no conspiracies on eBay’s part to suppress our listings and slow down our sales. But none of that is worth worrying about. Just keep listing good items at good prices and things will all work out.

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