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2009 eTopps Baseball Preview

Posted by houstoncollector on April 10, 2009

Topps has announced that 2009 eTopps Baseball will return on Monday, April 13, 2009.  

Here are the details of the set:

  • Rookie-Focused! eTopps will focus on the game’s best rookies. As players get called up throughout the season, they will be quickly added to the set.
  • Veterans: Limited numbers of veteran players, with a focus on MLB superstars and players who switched teams featured in their new uniforms.
  • A beautiful card design selected by the eTopps community, with sequential numbering!
  • The return of the popular RRO (Restricted Rookie Offering)
  • A Bigger and Better Big League Fantasy Challenge with great prizes!
  • Performance Bonus targets for each card released — if players hit targets, you win FREE points to acquire items in our weekly catalog. In addition, to make each card even more valuable, we have created Wild Card Rewards!

They’re also doing a fantasy league, which requires you own current players eTopps cards (no clue if they have to be 2009 cards or not) to win prizes based on how they play that week.

Here’s the thing, though:  You’re buying an encased baseball card for anywhere from $6 to $9, with no guarantee that you’ll actually get it, and invariably the value bottoms out within six months to a year.  The only cards really worth buying are the sure-fire rookies, and even then, it’s a crapshoot.    Now, it may be that these cards cost Topps $6 to 9 to make, but I’d be willing to bet that the actual price is $1 or less.  Even if we weren’t in a recession, these prices are pretty damn high when they’re numbered to 500+.  Considering we’re in a recession, these prices are insane.  

I currently own four eTopps cards.  I’m going to list what they are, how much I paid (versus what they went for brand new) and what they’re worth now.  You make up your own mind:

1)  2006 Roy Oswalt /653.  I paid $2.51, and the current value is $2.89.  The only card of his that is really worth anything is his first one.  This card probably cost between $5.99 and $7.99 when it came out.  That’s a loss of at least 50% value over 3 years.

2)  2005 Livan Hernandez /1200.  I paid $0.79 and the current value is $0.76.  This probably cost $5.99 when it came out, giving it an 88% loss in value in four years.

3)  2002 Lance Berkman /5000.  This cost me $1.18 and is now worth $0.65.  Even at $5.99 this is a 89% loss in value over the seven years, and the only one that’s held value is the 2001 version of the card.

4)  2001 Eric Munson /5000.  I paid $0.75 and it’s now worth $0.82.  That’s still an 85% loss.  

There are probably some that retain value, but for the most part?  These are the worst gamble possible, which is sad because the concept behind them isn’t bad.


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