I’ve bought single baseball cards from card shops and Ebay. I’ve bought packs of cards from shops and Kmart. I’ve bought boxes of cards from various places. Now, I’ve bought an entire case. Ebay is still the land of deals sometimes and I landed an entire case of 2010 Topps Chrome baseball cards at least $200 less than what one would normally pay for such a thing. Here is my experience tearing open the packages.
There are twelve boxes in a full hobby case of 2010 Topps Chrome baseball cards. Each box contains 24 packs and each pack contains 4 baseball cards. Topps Chrome are a re-issue of their earlier Topps product only this time the cards are coated in a “chrome” like substance, making them shiny and metallic in nature. Per hobby box one is guaranteed 2 rookie autograph cards! There are several variations of the rookie autograph cards and depending on what color of border is on your card, the autograph may be more rare; worth more. There are also “refractor” cards in this product, which are variations of the regular cards, with some extra shine on them; some with colors like red, blue, and Gold . Some even have serial numbers on them letting you know how few of them were actually printed like this. If you are vry ucky you’ll pull a superfractor which is a 1/1 card; meaning it is the only one in existence.
A single card out of my case paid for everything, plus profit; theoretically. My big hit: a Stephen Strasburg GOLD refractor Autograph with a book value of $500! The most valuable baseball card I have ever pulled out of a pack of cards to date. The second valuable card I pulled out was a Jason Heyward BLUE refractor autograph coming in with a $120 book value. I sold one on Ebay for $290 and the other for $75, though I’m sure I could have held out and gotten more on the Stephen Strasburg.
Other notable autographs I pulled from the case were: Mike Stanton refractor, Starlin Castro refractor, and Austin Jackson refractor. I pulled one USA baseball autograph and many regular rookie card autos. Most of the autos were of $8 book value range, though the USA was $25, the Mike Stanton $60, Starlin Castro $40, and Austin Jackson $25.
I got loads of other refractors as well, several blue, but only three of Gold, and a single red out of the entire case. The red refractors are serial numbered to 25, mine was of Los Angeles Dodgers player James Loney. One of my Gold refractors was a pleasant surprise as a sale on Ebay though. A Robinson Cano Gold refractor netted me some nice bucks. I also pulled a Stephen Strasburg regular refractor rookie card, but it has been a headache due to fraudulent practices by some buyers on Ebay.
Out of all of the boxes of cards I was able to put together 2 complete sets of the base cards. There may have been three, but I got tired of piecing them together. Opening a case of cards and sorting them for selling is very time consuming. Selling the full set is not as profitable in this case as selling a few of the cards off individually. There are loads of sets on Ebay, but taking out the Stephen Strasburg rookie cards and selling them by themselves adds up better. This does leave one with a bunch of Topps chrome cards lying around.
I got my money back and then some on my 2010 Topps Chrome case of baseball cards. I bought the case from Ebay on a double rewards points day, so I’ll get that money back thanks to a website promotion. Also, Topps has been running a wrapper redemption promotion where they send you special refractor cards in the mail for every 24 wrappers you send to them – so, more product!
Now for the bad news: 2010 Topps Chrome cards are a fairly low quality card supposed to be nice and high tech. The cards are warped from the creation process. This means the cards look like someone doing a backbend, curling around to an almost circle on some of them! You can flatten them out, but some are so bad they will even twist your plastic top loader protective holders. Storing 2010 Topps Chrome baseball cards with other sports cards that are non-chrome is a bad idea as the non-chrome cards will then be warped as well.
My biggest gripe with the product, however, is on the autograph cards. Yes, you get a lot, but the autographs are scratched through on many of the cards! It looks some sorting machine or something created drag lines across many of the cards and wiped out portions of the ink, making weak signatures. This cuts into a resellers profit margin for sure. If I had not pulled the Strasburg this case would have almost been a bust!
Buying cases of cards can be a gamble that pays off like it did for me with 2010 Topps Chrome, however, you can gamble with the numbers being right and set yourself up for success. At the time I bought my case they were selling for over $500 a case. I got mine for $300 something. Keep your eyes on Ebay, might catch a shiny deal here and there!