November 13th, 2005

Hero

Pokemon/eBay musings ...

Oh, come on now, you've missed these posts! I actually haven't been doing much eBaying of late, a side effect of our getting "finished" with several of the older Pokemon sets, and unwilling to spend a lot on "ultra-rare" cards (that's what Daugther #1 has a big "trading binder" for!).

However, there have been a couple of new sets out in the past few months (Unseen Forces came out on 8/24 and Delta Species on 10/31), so I've been in there to scoop up some of the "early deals". The card traders, ones with resale licenses who can get distributor pricing (yeah, I'm thinking about it) can get a case of six "booster boxes" (with 36 packs each) for about $120.00 ... which works out to about $0.60 a pack with shipping ... compare that to the $4.49 a pack that Walgreens charges down here and you get the idea of what a deep discount that is. These guys typically buy a couple of thousand bucks worth of the new cards when they come out and spend a week opening packs and sorting the cards, primarily looking for the high-value holograhic cards (and the various "ultra rare" cards which might come 1 to a case). In the process, they end up with vast numbers of the Common, Uncommon, and Rare cards. In the first few weeks after a release, they are just happy to get these out the door, and some even pre-sell complete "non-holo" sets. Now, I've grabbed some of these before, but I noticed that the pre-sale price was often quite a bit higher than what was out there after the release date, so I waited. I didn't get the best deal on the new Delta Species set (I got a very good deal on the Commons/Uncommons but then got outbid with like 6 seconds left on the Rares from the same vendor), but ended up getting Daughter #1 the whole non-holo set for less than what it would have cost to have bought four 9-card packs at the store!

Another typical "deal" starts showing up when the card trader guys start analyzing their inventory, seeing what holos or reverse holos they have "too many of", at which point you'll see eBay lots of 10-12 of these cards. Since #1 starts out without any holos/rev-holos, these are good pickings as well, and I just got 46 of these for her at about 10¢ each (for cards that "retail" from $1 to $7 a piece).

Of course, Daughter #1 just loves actually getting to open up new packs for the "discovery" thrill of finding the high-value cards (if any), so I'm always keeping an eye out for packs going at a "reasonable" price. Of course, were I to get the resale paperwork set up, I could get her cases of packs (which would no doubt get her sick of opening them up in short order!), but that's a separate issue. Anyway, I have been "watching" various auctions for "Booster Boxes" of the new set, and have been amazed at how "the market sets itself", with auction after auction closing in a very tight range around $72.00 (with shipping, the actual bid adjusting for the shipping charges), which works out to $2/pack. Obviously, if you're a dealer who'd paid around $20 per box, selling it at $65 is not a bad mark-up ... and makes me think that if you buy three cases, you could sell off one case and make enough to have the contents of the other two "for free" ... hmmmmmmm.

Oh, well ... just thought I'd share.


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Loon

Oh, by the by ...

I got a lovely flu bug from Daugther #2 and have been spending a lot of time in bed over the past 18-24 hours ... it's almost like I went out of town, because when I got back onto the computer this morning there were bazillions of LJ posts to read! If you were wondering why I'd not commented on anything over the past few days, that's it. I've watched at least 8 hours of poker, and at least 4 hours of the food network ... I guess since I wasn't feeling much like eating I needed the vicarious thrill.


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Bears

Da BEARS!

Well, they scared me today ... we lost three fumbles on kick returns ... but my BEARS managed to over-come it and deny the 49rs a touchdown (and one of those fumbles gave them the ball on the 2 yard line!). It was insanely windy today (The Wife had ducked out earlier and had come back complaining of it), so there were a lot of "freak plays", including our touchdown at the end of the first half which was a missed field goal run back 108 yards (an NFL record).

The only thing that would have been better (well, except for having our #1 draft pick not getting injured), would have been the Giants forcing their game against the Vikings into overtime ... they had an impressive drive in the last few minutes of the game to score and get a tying 2-point conversion, but left too much time on the clock, allowing the Vikings to march down the field and win it with a last-second fieldgoal. The BEARS are still two games up on the Vikings, but it would have been nice to have been able to open that lead up a bit more.

Oh, well ... we're 6-3 at this point, which ain't bad!

{edit}
Wow ... I hear that the 108-yard run-back was the longest PLAY in NFL history! They count those run-backs from where they start in the end-zone, and the previous longest started 7 yards deep (out of 10) and this started 8 yards deep, so this may stand for quite a while.


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Sad

Wow ...

Last night The Wife handed me an envelope with Daughter #2's Xmas wishlist in it. Aside from the reasonably predictable "as seen on TV" items, there were a few "reaching" ones, including this (which I'm paraphrasing from memory, not having the list in front of me):
"I want to see my Nana again,
even if she's a ghost."
Needless to say, that one choked me up quite a bit. As often as I think "I miss my Mom", it's hard when you have to figure out how to deal with a 5-year-old's missing her every bit as much.


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Loon

Random musings ...

My mind is an unsettling place to be, frequently ... here are a couple of things that have been rattling around in there of late ...

          How long before they cast Daniel Radcliffe as "the new Bond"?

          Since he seems to be tired of his "makeup phase", when is Marilyn Manson going to do his "Thin White Duke" phase?


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