An old album in an attic held 150 tobacco baseball cards including an ultra-rare Shoeless Joe Jackson! Look at the diamond among the stars in our West Virginia Attic find!
In the middle of a world wide COVID-19 pandemic, amazing hobby finds still find their way to Just Collect, and we are prepared and able to work with the public to facilitate the evaluation and the potential sale of some great collections even in the midst of most states, travel, and personal interaction between people being extremely limited.
Buying a Collection During COVID
Just Collect received an email from a gentleman in West Virginia that found an album while cleaning out the attic of a home that he purchased and was renovating. The album, he noted, was found near a chimney and appeared to be dirty and have some soot and water damage, but contained more than 150 tobacco cards. Most were T206 cards, but there were also some non-sport cards, E95, E90-1, and a T210 card in the collection. He explained that some had fallen out of the album and some of the more notable names were taken out to review and photograph.
The original list included with the first inquiry mentioned several of the Hall of Famers, including Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. Given the condition as explained, we were interested, but also tempered our expectations as these cards in PR to GD condition still have value, but not tens of thousands that they would fetch in EX or better condition. So, after reading the notes from the inquiry, we took a look at one of the pictures that accompanied the inquiry. WOWSERS! The players mentioned were there, albeit, mostly in PR condition, but sitting there, unannounced, was a true scarcity. Something that was worth more, even in PR condition, than the entirety of the other cards.
Did You Find it?
Here's the original image that we received. Can you spot the gem?
Sitting right in the middle of the second row is a 1909 E-90-1 American Caramel "Shoeless" Joe Jackson card. Sure, he's not a Hall of Famer, but he is one of the most desired players of the era due, in part to the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919, but also due to his incredible on-field performance, before being banned from the game for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
Here's a better look at the card:
How Did This Collection End Up at Just Collect
The gentleman enlisted the help of a close friend to help him research the cards and to try to find the best way to sell them. They sorted the cards, researched the values, and while doing their research, found several stories on the Internet about Just Collect and some of the great tobacco collections that were found and purchased and how happy the sellers seemed to be. So, when they were reaching out for more information, Just Collect was one of the select companies that they contacted. Just Collect was also the only company that got back to them quickly and with what they felt was a real and reasonable assessment of the collection and that was willing to work with them to get the collection reviewed.
What's in the Album
Not only did the collection include the 50 or so card images that were sent to us, it also included more than 100 cards that were still in the album. As you can see in the image to the left, the album was in pretty beat up shape. Here's a page from the inside. You can see the spots where a cards were removed and also many others still affixed in the album.
The album has some pages that are in better shape and some that are in lesser condition. There are still many cards, including Hall of Famers, that have not been removed. We may actually make this album, and the 100 or so cards still contained within, available for auction at some time in the near future.
Making the Deal Happen
After completing a preliminary evaluation and agreeing on a ballpark price, we worked to arrange the transport of the collection, but the seller was very apprehensive about shipping the collection. Accordingly, Just Collect was equally concerned about travel during the pandemic. The seller was very interested in selling and stated that they would be willing to come to meet us if we could make that happen.
With concern for safety and the health of everyone involved, we discussed and agreed upon a meeting that would provide a safe and socially distant area for the final evaluation as well as providing privacy and security for everyone. So, a date was set and the seller and his research friend drove 6+ hours to meet with Just Collect and have the collection reviewed and a final offer presented.
The meeting was easy, everyone was wearing their masks, and the collection was reviewed, evaluated, and a final offer presented to the seller which was accepted. The seller said, that based upon the research that they did, that the evaluation and the offer were right in line with the expectations and that they were extremely excited. The seller told us after we completed the deal that he told a friend that he was driving up to New Jersey to sell a baseball card collection and the friend said, "Why would you do that for a few hundred dollars?" He said that he couldn't wait to show his friend the check that he got. He said that next time, after meeting us and seeing how professional we were, that he would have no issue shipping any other collections that they may come across.
Schedule an Appointment to Meet Just Collect at a Show Near You
Just Collect travels to several shows on a regular basis. In the New York area, we often attend the White Plains Show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. If you're in the New England area, you can make an appointment to meet with one of our specialists when we're in the area for the Shriner's Show at the Aleppo Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. We also visit the Metro-DC area when we attend the CSA Show in Chantilly, VA. If you're in the South Jersey or Delaware area, you can also schedule appointments while we're in the Philadelphia area when we do The Philly Show in Valley Forge, PA.
We set up at The National Sports Collectors Convention every year and this year. Next year, 2020, The National will be at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ. It has also been in Cleveland, Chicago and Baltimore in recent years. Additionally, we travel to the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo in Mississauga, Ontario for those of you in the Toronto area that want to meet with us in Canada.
We would love to meet with you and schedule a private appointment to assess and value your collection while we are in your area, so please check out our show and travel schedule to see when Just Collect will be in your area!
Our Buying Philosophy
We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the past decade. Although we are known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage basketball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, also!
Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and soul into building their collection. So when you're ready to sell, Just Collect understands the feelings that you're going through and we will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.
Won't They Be Worth More if I Grade Them Myself
We discuss all of the selling options with everyone that we meet with. In most cases, selling the collection on their own will put the most money on the bottom line, but it will also take an large commitment of time and energy and one that most are not ready or able to undertake. Another misconception is that grading the collection will return more money. When I hear people say, "You're just going to grade them and get ten times the money," I almost cringe. Grading a collection can be a money losing proposition, especially if you don't know what you're doing. And most times, we grade very few, if any cards, from average collections that we buy.
We value a collection based upon the condition and the value. If a card is worth $100 in a PSA 7 NM, we're going to value it at $100 whether it is ungraded or graded. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars grading your cards, but we're still valuing them the same and paying the same regardless of how much you've invested in grading them.
We Are Always Buying
Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss your collection and get our industry leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace.
Don't hesitate to check out our Google Reviews left by many of the great people that have considered selling collections to Just Collect.