This isn't "click-bait", we were in fact able to purchase 35 cards over the past 7 days.Following on from last weeks events, this was BY FAR our biggest purchase week in terms of volume. And while we did make some bigger purchases (which will be detailed further below), a majority of our buys were "bargain bin" value plays, which were anything but easy to secure. We are beginning to make a serious dent into our new goal of $2,000 profit. But in order to achieve this, we can't get comfortable and take our foot off the gas. With 'Week 1' of Finals now officially in the books, the days available to complete our challenge are becoming increasingly numbered. Have we bitten off more than we can chew? Let's get into this week's transactions to see if the picture is getting any clearer!
In last week's strategy section, I pleaded to the 'trading card gods' for similar buying opportunities to arise that were experienced in the prior 7 days. And looking back at our trusty spreadsheet, heading into last Friday with only one new purchase to our name, I was definitely starting to feel the pressure. It was frustrating to finally be able to put ourselves in a strong buying position with a healthy cash balance, only for nothing to show up? But as alluded to in the intro, our fortune definitely changed! In the space of 72 hours, and with the help of an all-time Facebook sale, we were able to break into triple digits for total 'Cards Bought', whilst still having just under $1,000 left in the 'kitty'.
In order to continue to escalate the series, it's important that we maintain an even balance between both available funds, and the amount of cards in our inventory. You might be thinking 'surely having too much money can never be a bad thing', and while I might agree with that sentiment from an overall perspective, for the progress of this series it's crucial to continuously feed the "snowball" in order to grind out profit. The last couple of weeks we've probably been a bit too cash heavy, with our total sales recently outperforming our total spend. But now with both totals basically in parity, we can continue to be aggressive with our spending. Realistically having $1,000 left to spend is probably still too high a number, but there's no point trying to force deals which don't make logical sense for the sake of it.
In terms of how the market’s performing, I think some AFL GEM cards are reaching price points that are historically too cheap in comparison to their scarcity. Whilst the Sapphires are continuing to struggle, it seems as though the 'Emeralds' are becoming victim to these "bottomed out" prices. As we move closer to an imminent Series 2 release, I expect sellers will become increasingly impatient with holding "stale" cards. This might see a big shift towards eBay auctions, which if you've followed the series closely so far, is where great buying opportunities present themselves. I won't waffle on as there is plenty to talk about in our pickups section, so let's get into the cards we were able to acquire over the past 7 days!!
St Kilda Bundle ($3.50/unit), West Coast Bundle ($3.18/unit), Melbourne Bundle ($2.40/unit), & Port Adelaide Bundle ($2/unit) - $94 (32 Cards Total/$2.94 per unit)
This was definitely the turning point of the week. I didn't know how to best articulate these purchases, so I tried to break it down by cost per card. Which as I'm sure you can tell, is pretty unbelievable. If you're able to go back. and find this sales thread, it was honestly the wild west. After the first lot of cards had been listed and sold in rapid fashion, by around the 10th ‘team lot’ people were just hitting sold on every new update without even looking at the contents. At least I know I was. You had 4 or 5 people hitting “sold” on bundles within milliseconds of each other, so in retrospect we were pretty lucky to walk away with four in total.
At the end of the day, you can only react to what the market throws at you, and while I'd be the first to admit that these prices were too cheap, this seller acted in a way that people could learn a lesson from. When it comes to Series 1 inserts and trying to move them on, especially 6 months after its initial release, you have to provide an incentive for someone to purchase those cards. A majority of the time I'd see team lots like this priced at $8 a carbon, $30 a predictor etc. But where is the value in buying those cards at those prices? I'm a massive believer in time being your most important currency, and listing Series 1 cards at market value isn’t only not worth collectors' time, but more importantly the person who’s trying to sell them. I'm not advocating that they create crazy fire sales and price cards like the ones above, but the question I get asked most frequently is 'why won't my card sell?'. As the seller, you have to create situations that are beneficial to potential buyers, and while that may feel like at times your selling cards for too cheap, it's often a better option than sitting on stagnant cards for months on end. I'd prefer $80 today compared to $145 in 3 months time, and I think this series is a testament to that way of thinking. There's so many buying opportunities in this market, sometimes you just have to cut your losses to free up cash to benefit from them.
This bundle will take a decent amount of time to sell, and given this series has an "expiration date" I don't exactly know what the correct strategy will be when they eventually arrive to be relisted. But odds on, I'll be taking a leaf out of this seller's book and creating some urgency with my prices when that moment strikes.
Josh Gibcus Futures 06/95 *LOW*, Optimum 2022
Butters, another ‘Futures’ pickup? I know, why can't I keep myself away from this pesky insert set? Well I can tell you for a fact, if this card was any other player than Josh Gibcus, I would've kept scrolling. But much like our Corey Durdin Futures pickup earlier in the series, and a touch of hobby insight, I know for a fact this card was heavily hoarded during the release of Optimum 2022. And with Richmond being one of the biggest team-collector bases in the hobby, I knew there was definitely going to be market demand for this low-numbered version. And that's essentially what happened, this card was in our inventory for less than 48 hours, which is extremely pleasing compared to some other Futures cards which definitely overstayed their welcome. Successful flip.
Charlie Curnow Emerald 47/55 ($200), Nic Martin Emerald 35/55 ($114.50), 'AFL GEM Football' 2023
As alluded to in the strategy section, different market trends are beginning to emerge with some of the 'AFL GEM' inserts, in particular the Emerald's. The general consensus in the aftermath of GEM was how well the Base was performing in historical comparison to other cards numbered to 90, and how poorly the Sapphires were being valued hobby-wide. When I first looked at the checklist, I knew that traditionally one insert per release suffers from either numbering, or collectors having difficulty correctly pricing a certain subset of cards. I really thought the Emeralds were going to fall into this category, being numbered to 55 and no real previous history of similar cards with this type of scarcity. But once I understood how rare the Ruby's were in relation to box collation, I quickly realised that the Emeralds were going to have to be the cards to yield a majority of the box-value back for collectors. Sapphires instead were the cards which suffered greatest, but it's now reached the point that Sapphire prices are inadvertently dragging down the prices of the Emeralds, which has created some buying opportunities.
Buying the Emeralds from big collector bases for $110, and a now two-time Coleman Medal winner for $200, I don't think there's much room for those prices to fall further. And following the secondary market for these cards, they are really beginning to dry up. Charlie Curnow's season is obviously still alive, so that purchase almost doubles as a short-term speculation play. But if you get the chance to purchase Emeralds at relatively affordable prices, I think it's a very stable investment option, particularly with players from big collector bases or those that don't have many other cards in the release.
Darcy Moore Sapphire 66/70, 'AFL GEM Football' 2023 - $74
There's always exceptions to every market trend, and it's been evident that Collingwood cards have been able to perform significantly better than cards from any other club. As we discussed last week with our Jack Ginnivan Base pickup, there's good demand for those cards at $90 regardless of the player. So picking up a Darcy Moore Sapphire for $74, cheaper than what most of the Base cards are selling for, was too good an opportunity to pass up on. Pies fever is in full swing, and with Nick Daicos likely to return for Collingwood's Prelim Final, I can expect their cards to continue to flourish regardless of how the rest of the market is faring.
Josh Gibcus Futures 06/95 *LOW*, Optimum 2022 - $69.99 : $15.83 Profit, 38% ROI
Will Day Franchise Futures Signature 22/70, Supremacy 2021 - $415 : $156.06 Profit, 78% ROI
Max Gawn Gold Brownlow Predictor 101/260, Footy Stars 2023 - $12 : -$2.66 Loss, -27% ROI
Jack Ginnivan GEM Base 49/90, AFL GEM Football 2023 - $89.99 : $23.97 Profit, 47% ROI
You are reading those totals correctly, we are now over halfway towards our goal of $2,000 profit by the end of Grand Final week. But now is definitely not the time to let up on the momentum we've worked so hard to build. The equation is looking a lot more manageable, but the process stays the exact same. I've been a bit critical of myself lately having so much available money to spend. So hopefully by this time next week we're heading back towards that sweet spot of a $500 cash balance and surging towards our final destination. As always, thanks for the support and taking the time out of your day to keep up to date with the series. I've had some great conversations with readers in recent weeks, and I hope I can continue to provide ways to benefit from the hobby you enjoy engaging with. See you next week, hopefully another MASSIVE 7 days ahead!