Save A Buck...Destroy A Hobby

OK! That may be a bit of an exaggeration but when building a collection cheaper is a shallow guage to go by.

I’d recommend paying more attention to feedback and/or reputation and less attention to finding a couple buck savings. Pay the appropriate premium for rep and track record and you’ll have much fewer disappointments and yet you’ll be helping promote the positive side of the hobby.

For example, I’d rather give Scott 40.00 than 30.00 to an unknown even if I knew the item was identical. He helps the hobby and our enjoyment of it and that’s worth something.

What are your feelings on this?


I definitely agree with this for some things. For example, I love purchasing Japanese cards from wakeruncollapse on YouTube, because he’s incredibly friendly, trustworthy, and his condition descriptions are spot on. He’s one of the few people I actively purchase things I don’t necessarily need for sets, grading, etc., because I like to support him, and the cards are pretty cool.

I also think there is something to be said for “bargain-hunting” and buying from people who aren’t well-established. Especially for someone like me who doesn’t have the resources to consistently overpay for cards just to support people or the hobby in general. I think the best way to go about this is a mix of the two, sometimes overpaying, and in return getting great service, but also sometimes getting a bargain and maybe sacrificing a little.


I would love to never deal with another sketchy seller again.

Unfortunately, the cards I need at this point are almost universally unavailable except through people that require a chance to be taken.

But this is true for generic stuff.

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Agreed. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

I agree with this

Gary. The problem is that us as seller know the value of cards. We also know how hard it can be to come across those cards. We value the cards and appreciate the time sellers put into finding those cards. I know Thorgene, yourself, scott, elam, milhouse pay appropriate price. Many of the newer people coming in to the PSA hobby just care about getting cards as fast as they can for as cheap as they can. They do not care about buying from reputable people who care about the cards, the community and being trusted seller.

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Not sure if I understand the logic here. If everyone was to follow this approach, for instance, then practically nobody outside of Japan would be buying cards from YJ Auctions.

I also think giving “unknown” sellers a chance is half the fun. It’s the same reason that people love visiting flea markets and pawn shops — you never know what bargain or treasure (or a combination of both!) that you might uncover.

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t support the sellers we already know and trust. But ignoring those we don’t isn’t a way to grow the hobby. In fact, it could end up killing it.


I assume what Gary is getting at is funding the fast money type guys. For example, there is a guy on ebay everyone has come across who spams his listings with, “no shining, no 1st edition, no charizard” and people end up buying from him, thus keeping him around.


Oh, if that’s what we’re talking about, then yeah — I completely agree that those sorts of sellers should be avoided.

That’s one nice thing about YJ Auctions vs eBay — you don’t have a lot of sales shenanigans on the former. (That’s not to say you won’t ever be burned there — it’s happened to me a couple of times.)

One of the nice things about eBay vs YJ Auctions, though, is the photo quality. I don’t know why YJ doesn’t require high-resolution images for its auctions. (In fact, I think YJ is actually doing a lot of the terrible photo compression on its own, probably to reduce bandwidth usage and loading times.)

That is true. The entire set up on YJ reminds me of web design from the early 2000’s.

Your statement can be taken 2 ways

  1. You want to do repeat business with those you know.
  2. You are against competition.

One problem with being against competition is I used to buy cards from somebody like a decade ago. As they got more successful, their prices went up. The product was the same high quality, but it seem I was paying double or more the going rate. About a year ago they were offering a card for $199, I bought the same card for $40 from somebody else. That price appeared to be below the going rate as I found 3 others in the $50-60 range. Like everyone I do not have unlimited funds, but I want to have a large, nice collection.


I don’t mind buying from new people as long as they describe their item accurately. In fact, most of the cards I need are purchased from unknown sellers as I can’t easily access these cards anywhere else. I get burned a lot, but I am also incredibly picky and I understand that going into a purchase. I do not enjoy purchasing from people who list their items inaccurately to bump up the price.

Of course I prefer to purchase and sell to people I am familiar with, and people who wholeheartedly promote the hobby. For example, I am a frequent customer of Jimmy and likely will be for a long time. His prices are usually reasonable, but even when they aren’t the best, he gets a large portion of my business. It is because he has earned my trust as a customer and I know supporting him helps to keep his website up for other collectors of Japanese cards. His website is undoubtedly one of the most accessible websites for that aspect of the hobby.

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I think a good objective example is of a christmas gift I purchased this year. It was a silhouette cutting machine.

The good price point at the time was $229 for this machine (sold for $229-249 retail before taxes). I watched multiple end on ebay from individual owners, and most ended at around $200. The day I ended up purchasing the machine, there was a seller with 1-5 feedback score who had their machine listed at $200 total, and then a well established seller, who sold over 100 of this machine with a price tag of $229 free shipping.

I debated on which to buy, as $30 is a pretty significant gap. I ultimately went with the more expensive option and the machine was literally on my doorstep the next day. I immediately thought to myself, this is the difference between a proper business, and an individual who is just selling something occasionally.

Ultimately the amount of risk taken is up to the buyer. As the example above mentioned, if your price difference is $100 on a $40 item, that is an extreme situation. However, if it is $100 on a $2,000 item, that is different. It is all about percentages, and what you are willing to put up with in regards to lack of knowledge and discipline in taking the lower price tag.

Ebay currently protects buyers well, which is great if you can get an honest deal. The other side of the coin and almost counter intuitive reality is that the high level of protection allows buyers to purchase items from shit sellers that would never exist outside of the ebay bubble. Since there is a guarantee you are protected as a buyer, it is easier to take risk. Thus, buyers are able to buy without fear and ultimately support certain sellers who have no business doing business.


I see some similarities with middlemanning.
You get some business because of loyalty and performance. I would like to think many here would pay you a premium because your service is dependable, impeccable.

My contention is your contribution and standing here on the U holds value whereas other middleman services are simply a black hole.

Omahanime… You think I’m the only seller worthy of consideration lol? There’s plenty of great sellers here and elsewhere that satisfies any competitive spirit.
And regarding my repeat business? I love repeat business cause it means I earned their trust. In the last 3 days I’ve had two out of state customers come over and visit. It’s also about developing friendships and that holds value too.
I don’t fault you digging out the last dollar. I’m just making it clear that it can be much more than just that:)



Yeah, I think I misunderstood your original point. But the points Scott made (and those you’ve made in your follow-up) definitely are solid and make lots of sense.

In any case, it’s a very interesting question you raised, and this has turned into a nice little thread :blush:

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@japanime I’m sure I’ve seen a few pics on eBay listings that look like the seller took them with a toaster lol. But yeah, picture quality is usually better on eBay.

OT: Personally, I try to find the best deals possible to save some money. Although I agree that it’s a good idea to support other well-known/established sellers, I think you have to give the smaller sellers a chance every now and then. For some buyers, the cheaper price might not be worth the risk, but I believe you “have to risk it to get the biscuit”. Who knows, the person might turn out to be an awesome seller that you can keep supporting in the future… they win because they have steady business from repeat buyers and you win by getting the item for less than you would elsewhere :wink:


You don’t want to [SPOILER: Click to show](javascript:void(0);)deflate
the price too much! :wink:


I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m on to Seattle :stuck_out_tongue:

In all seriousness, I’m not looking to lowball people, just save a few bucks lol. I guess it depends on the item as well. If it’s something common, it’s probably better to pay a bit more to support the established seller since you know you’ll get top-notch service. You’ll have to risk it with the unknown guys on rarer items that don’t go for sale often.

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I know, I just had to figure out a way to weave in a Belichick reference. :blush:

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