Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What is Book Value anyway?

No, I know what it is, but to you, what is book value? To me, it's a baseline to a card's value. Sure, all the guys do is say to each other "this is a 10 dollar card, right?," but still, companies like Beckett get the job done well enough to give us a general idea of how much something sells for.

I don't sell at all, I think it's a good idea to do if it's a business for you, but it's a hobby to me. I honestly don't care about what a card books for if I have it, ok I care because they're fun to show off, but it's not like while I open boxes I'll be like "ooh, that's a 30 dollar card, better sell it now".

I mean, I hate getting ripped off in boxes, but if I get anything Yankees I'd be happy. One thing that always determines if I got ripped off is the fun factor, how much fun it is to open a certain product.

I'm skipping all over the place in this post, but, really, how do you use "book value". I use it as a baseline, but really "book value" should be what it sells for, not what a group of guys determine a 10 dollar card. I hope you understand this post, and I'd really like to know what you think. Thanks, Drew


  1. As a fellow collector/non seller, book value doesn't do a ton for me. I've found that a lot of cards I find lame have high book value, and a lot of cards that I find awesome have low book value. Therefore screw book value haha.

    That said, it is nice to have cards with high book value, just as kind of a whoa factor when I go through my cards. To know that I have a card or two worth over $100 is just...crazy. But very cool at the same time.

  2. I haven't bought or read a beckett in 15 years. It no longer has a place in the hobby. Instead of "book value", we now have "real value". Online sites, whether ebay, sportslots, ginagaincards, whatever, have replaced beckett with realtime, actualized prices of what cards sell for.
    Now, like you, I rarely, if ever, sell my cards. But I do use this new "real value" for when I'm out hunting singles for my PC. If I feel a Don Meredith RC is worth $150, but I see it sell time and time again for $300, I re-evaluate my mindset. I also don't buy the card ;)
    With a static book, with misguided, and often biased information, you can never be sure of the accuracy.

    Did I answer your question????

  3. I agree, that there are way too many cards that suck yet have a high book value. What really annoys me is how a bunch of rookie cards of shitty players can have higher value than one of a star player that isn't quite super star status.

    Ultimately, book value seems to be a price ceiling for the most part. People only seem to sell cards for less than book value rather than working their way up from the book value. This is the case unless it is a card with a lot of speculative value, like many of the legendary cards that everyone has heard of and knows will always increase in value if held for a long enough time.

    What I tend to use book value for is to determine relative pricing. It's like looking through an online store, you can easily compare the seller's prices on each individual card to determine which are his most valuable. Some books (like sellers) tend to price at the higher end, and others will price lower, but either way you can compare player to player, set to set to develop a hierarchy of pricing.

    I find that pricing on the most recent sets is very inaccurate because in the year that the set has been released, prices will go through trends and fluctuate based on who's having a good year, and who's getting all the talk. So usually I like to wait a few years to let the pricing settle at a more permanent scale before looking in the book for it.

  4. Book Value is like MSRP of a car. It's rarely the selling price. Actual value can be expressed as a percentage of book value. A high demand card might sell for 75% of BV while a low demand card might sell for 10% of BV. But actual value should be determined from past sales (like eBay) rather than an uninformed opinion of value (like Beckett)

  5. My dad always said stuff is only worth what someone will pay for it. That goes for houses, cars, cattle and cards. You can put a dollar value on anything, but until you sell it, you don't really know what it's worth.

  6. Hey Drew, I'm being really dense I guess because I can't find your email. Those Mize cards from my UH blaster break are yours if you want them. Just send me an email and we'll work something out.


I would love to hear what you thought about this post! Please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you!