The 2004, State of the Weblog Address

Yeah, I probably need to come up with a new title for this yearly discussion of my goals, direction, objectives, and schemes. What can happen, if you do not take the time to reflect on your direction in life? I am sitting down in front of my computer with a fresh can of cold Mountain Dew Livewire and trying to cope with the larger question of intellectual validity that has been tearing me apart lately. I feel like you can end up muddling through life

Daylight Savings Time

Somebody get me a cup of coffee, I guess daylight savings time is about falling back and springing forward. Besides being treated to a couple of slices of pizza by Jason/Shalunky this evening for dinner the entire day has been devoted to working on my Seminar Project in my history of public administration class. While I really do enjoy writing about the legal issues in public administration, I have never really enjoyed simply reading an article and building an annotated bibliography out of those articles. Learning about the inside secrets of academia is a difficult process. When you finally start to realize that the intellectual history of a field does not come from the outside world, the media, or even books for the most part, then you realize the history is about the fields journals where the insiders exchange privileged and elite information, to better the field as a whole. Well cheers to you daylight savings time, you have granted me an extra hour of time to work on my homework.

Why use Beckett Grading Service?

Well my battle with selling my football cards and baseball cards (Not my Desert Storm trading cards, because I am keeping those) is now more or less under control. After several weeks of trying to develop schemes to sell my collection of more than 10,000 cards, I have decided to send off the best ones to BGS (Beckett Grading Service). Several other grading services exist like PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), GEM Grading, and TFA (The Final Authority). When picking an independent third part authentication rating service to value the validity of a trading card you are really picking an arbiter of scarcity. So why did I decide to use Beckett Grading Service?

You have to join PSA to be able to send cards to them for grading at a lower price that was simply not an option. While GEM Grading, Inc seems to be a real company and does good work with packaging and logos, they have several problems. Primarily, almost every card I have ever seen graded by GEM is a perfect mint ten resulting in a seriously score inflation compared to other grading companies. The GEM webpage does not allow you to authenticate the bar code so independent third party grading company is not providing any external authentication for card collectors. The GEM webpage does not look professional and is mostly static without any dynamic features that would indicate corporate infrastructure. Therefore, if my goal is to preserve the value of my trading cards and increase the level of trust other collectors, the best option is not to drink water downstream but to find the source of the well.

Beckett Grading Service has a reputation for providing high quality services, accuracy, and good information. Dr. James Beckett is the source of the well when it comes to the world of valuing trading cards. For better or worse since 1984, Dr. James Beckett has lead the charge to develop the science of trading cards, transforming a hobby into a business, changing the way trading cards are produced, consumed, and even transferred.

Now is about the time that I should attempt to answer the question, “What have I learned about selling my baseball card collection?” More of less, for better or worse, the answer is still the same; do not forget the basic principles of economics. The joy of collecting as a hobby is still intact if you do not ever intend to attempt to sell that monster collection. The only reason that sports trading cards (baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, or even the game of golf) are valuable as collectibles is because a general interest in the sport of baseball exists within the market.

Why does this general interest matter in the value of the sports trading collectable cards? This general interest experiences a direct transference manifesting itself in collectible sports items or memorabilia in the form of trading cards a physical representation of the general interest in the sport. The reason collectible sports items or memorabilia retain value is because of an intergenerational interest in the sport of baseball. Not everyone that is interested in collecting cards can own every card, which creates a certain degree of scarcity in the market. Trading cards that a larger audience is interested in for example Barry Bonds rookie cards start to increase in value, the scarcity of the item is expressed, because the demand for the item is stronger than the possible supply of those Barry Bonds rookie cards.

I am going to edit and rework my, “Five major modern issues are changing the value of trading cards.” This essay developed from my observation that the social perception of the game of baseball is not the only issue involved in answering the question of if my baseball card collection would survive the test of time. In the interest of clarity, I have tried to contain my analysis in the following list of, “five major modern issues are changing the value of trading cards.”

  1. Expensive card rating has become important in the strange world of sports trading cards Beckett has generated a dichotomous two-class system. Beckett professionally rated and certified cards and those that are in a separate more common category by comparison. The word common has a very specific meaning in the world of trading cards. Common refers to the players who do not have enough name recognition to be in popular demand by the people participating in the collectible sports items or memorabilia market. Beckett charges a minimum of six dollars a card for this rating service, quickly making the hobby very expensive. If you actually intend to sell your valuable cards at market value, then participation in the Beckett Grading Service is not an option it is a necessity.

  2. Card companies over produced during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. That is right market saturation has destroyed the value of trading cards for about a ten-year period. People simply have too many copies of these cards to create the illusion of scarcity in the market driving up the prices. Unfortunately, for card collectors and the game of baseball the number of successful players with rookie cards during this period is simply too small. Ken Griffey Junior, Sammy Sosa, Randy Johnson, and recently Curt Shilling are great players, but are only five of over five hundred active players.

  3. Online auction houses corrected a major information communication failure in the sports collectibles market. Right now online auctions houses are connecting buyers and sellers within any market failures related to communication. When the only way to get a certain players card was to keep buying wax packs, or pay the regional market price from the local collectible sports items or memorabilia store. If you want to participate in online auctions two worlds of tracing exist that do not mix for the most part, the collectors who only buy and traffic in graded cards, and those people who are selling cards that not rated.

  4. Brick and mortar collectible sports items or memorabilia stores are closing all around the country. Stores made money when they could charge a regional premium for local favorite players and did not have to lower profit margins to compete with a globally connected marketplace of online auction houses. Modern stores are simply public faces to buy up trading cards from the public in order to sell them in online auctions.

  5. The market of buyers is shrinking, while the number of sellers is increasing. Now that anyone can sell that old collection through online auction, the market performs better. Students of modern economics know that without a seller’s monopoly the number of collectible sports items or memorabilia stores is going to continue to shrink. The more competitive in the market online auction sellers are the lower prices are going to get.

It turns out that my suggestion was correct, “For those of you, who actually do want to sell that monster collection, have you seen your phone book? Go ahead, make the call to all of the local sellers, and find out which sellers are involved in online auctions. The sellers that are involved in online auctions will probably buy your collection for about 20 to 40 percent of the market value depending on how they are feeling.” I am going to sell off the majority of my tracing cards about ten thousand of them as commons, and get maybe a penny fore each card if I am lucky. That leaves about three hundred cards that are worth a small amount of money, fifty of those are worth enough money to send off to the Beckett Grading Service. I am going to have to use the forty-five day grading service to get the lowest possible price, so sometime in December I will update you on how the process is going.

Sleep Study Results

Last night was the first night that I ever spent at a hospital and honestly, I hope that it will be the last night. If you have never had a sleep study, then you would not know about this visit to a center where they monitor the oxygen level in your blood, your heart rate, brain activity, muscle movements, and video tape all of this. You would think that when you are have wires attaching you to all of these devices it becomes incredibility hard to sleep, but in fact, after a coupe of hours you can fall asleep. It turns out that most people who participate in sleep studies do not really like them, and now I understand why that is the case.

Continue reading “Sleep Study Results”

These Busy Days

When I returned form the conference in San Diego, I absolutely was physically and mentally drained beyond the regenerative power of a nap. Next week is the big week finally to get the last problems from the horrific spider bite incident taken care of at the hospital. Don’t worry about the hospital visit, it should not be a big deal.

Continue reading “These Busy Days”

Current Projects: 20041025

Multi-Galactic version of Functional Utopia
Revised: Equitist Confessions of a Futurist Mind
History: A Theory
The Power of Futurist Thoughts
Technology: Academics vs. Practice
Update: Intern Power!

Many Things, Many Days

I have been away from my computer for the last few days. This is mostly due to the negative influence of Joni, who does not feel that my days should consist of being in front of a computer screen. I finally was able to see DJC, Jaccie, and many other inhabitants of Lawrence, Kansas this weekend, I have truly missed them. Going to bars on a Friday night and house parties on a Saturday was more than I could handle. I actually almost fell asleep at Chipotle during dinner on Saturday, at the movie Shark Tale, at a house party, at Mr. Bory

Being a student generally means one thing, homework!

I am working on finishing my homework, so that I can work on some of my theories on how to save the world. Sometimes I find it ironic that I have to work extra hard to have time to work on things that focus on issues larger than the scope of homework assignments.

Property Irregularity Receipt

I had the chance to fly American Airlines, Inc. from San Diego to Dallas and then catch a connecting flight to Kansas City during both flights they were nice enough to give me a can of Dr. Pepper and a bag of pretzels. Theoretically, I was told that the airlines cannot serve peanuts anymore, because to many people are allergic to peanuts, so they have moved to pretzels. I had to file a

Kansas City Barbeque, San Diego, California?

Last night I got to go to the bar where a scene of the movie Top Gun was
filmed. I am from Kansas City, and was surprised to see the
Kansas City Barbeque restaurant in downtown
San Diego, California. Who knew? Mr. Borys,
Joni, and I guess every other aerospace engineer that loves the movie Top Gun,
and that pesky action movie star Tom Cruise.

I did some research and, The
Kansas City Barbeque
webpage, says, "The location director for Paramount Studios was driving
through downtown San Diego in search of locations during the filming of ‘Top
Gun’ at Miramar NAS.  After stopping in for a beer, he like the joint, and
brought back the director, Tony Scott, who approached us about the possibility
of closing down for a day to do some shooting.  In retrospect, it was one of
our better business decisions." The owner of Kansas City Barbeque is a University of Kansas Alumni who was able to attend the KUMPA banquet last night, and shows every televised University of Kansas sporting event at the restaurant, working with the San Diego chapter of the University of Kansas alumni association to bring the feel of a Lawrence game night to California!