Investing In Sports Cards: Card Quest 9

It’s Week 9 of the Investing in Sports Cards with Jesse project, where I’m on a quest to show how viable sports card investing can be as a form of investing.

Investing In Sports Cards With Jesse: The Rules Of The Game

As always, here are the rules. Every week, I’ll be spending about $100 on cards and telling you what I purchased, why I bought them, what strategies I used, and how you can apply them to your collecting.

We’re tracking progress, too. Every week I’ll share:

  • My total amount spent
  • My total amount sold (once I start selling some)
  • Total value (the comp price of my cards + total amount sold).

From there, we’ll be able to calculate my gains.

I challenge you to take on this initiative, too. Invest more or less than me–totally up to you–but track your progress.

Together, let’s show the world the power of card investing.

Week 9 Of Investing In Sports Cards With Jesse Purchases

Two important things happened during week 9. Because of our release schedule, the will be a bit out-of-synch with ESPN headlines, but I want to talk about it nonetheless.

Taylor Heinicke

Taylor Heinicke got a WIN as his first start in his NFL career. If you go back to CardQuest 5, you’ll read my take on Heinicke: he’s a risky investment, but one that could pay off if he got the chance to start.

Boy, did he ever. Fitzpatrick went down, and Heinicke stepped into the spotlight for the perfect storm: a winnable game on Thursday night football against the Giants (it takes a Thursday night game for all football fans to tune into Giants/WFT). In the spotlight, he threw for 336 yards and two scores while leading a game-winning drive.

The result? Both of my cards sold immediately after the game. The $18 autograph sold for $100, and the $36 contenders ticket sold for $125. That’s over 400% returns because of one game!

But as you will see, not all the news is good. I had a great purchase this week and a couple that did not turn out quite that well. Let’s check them out!

Purchase 1: 2021 Trey Sermon Certified RPA

I’ve written about Trey Sermon on Cardlines. I’ve drafted him in multiple fantasy leagues in the final rounds.

I did NOT expect Elijah Mitchell to earn the bulk of the carries, but since the 49ers traded up and invested draft capital in Sermon, I assumed he’d get his chance. Mostert going down only made this more likely.

So, before week 2 action, I bought 2 Trey Sermon cards. This one, a Certified RPA, and the next one we’ll discuss. I pitched this one up for $41 total, and I’m comping it at $41.

Why? Because we Sermon finally got his chance, he ended with one carry and a concussion.

Not a great start.

But the 49ers backfield is still beat up, so I’m not giving up on Sermon just yet!

Will this Trey Sermon RPA investment pay off? (look for Sermon RPA’s on eBay).

Purchase 2: 2021 Trey Sermon Gold Donruss Rookie /50

The same logic applied to making this purchase, and as a big fan of the Donruss Rated Rookies, I happily scooped up this Trey Sermon /50 for $39.20. At the time, I was hoping Sermon would get about 10 carries for 40 yards, not a concussion, but this card could still work out well long term. Therefore, I’m comping it at the same amount I paid for it, $39.20.

Whether or not Sermon pans out, this card is gorgeous (look for Donruss gold Sermon cards on eBay).

Purchase 3: 2010-11 John Wall Rookie /25

Here’s the good news for purchases for the week: I paid $14.58 for a John Wall Donruss Rated Rookie /25. Technically, the auction was for two cards–a rated rookie base and the /25 die-cut, but I was focused on the Die-Cut.

It was listed as “2010 donruss john wall rookie Basketball Cards. 2 cards one diecut 19 of 25,” and I was the only bidder, at $10. So with shipping and tax, I bought it for $14.50.

The 2010-11 Season was a year with no Topps Chrome and no Panini Prizm (the only year, as of late), so this was one of the premier John Wall rookies. It felt like a reasonable price, but I wasn’t sure how to comp it.

I listed it on eBay for $100 OBO, and it sold for $100 in less than 15 minutes. So yes, this was a great return, but it also left me wondering how much I should have asked out of it.

Is John Wall going to have a breakout year? (look for John Wall rookie cards on eBay).

Investing In Sports Cards With Jesse: Progress

This week brought a couple of valuable lessons.

For one, I made what I’d consider my worst purchases yet ($80 on Sermon to watch him get one measly carry and an injury), but a separate purchase offset all the potential risk by making a 6x profit increase.

On top of that, another shot in the dark investment in Taylor Heinicke hit and led to significant increases. While you won’t get all of those purchases right, all it takes is one in a half-dozen to make your money back. More than one, and you’re looking at big net profits.

An update: I lowered the comps of the Minshew lot from $75 to $60 because Hurts is looking great as a starter.

Here’s where we’re at now:

Investing In Sports Cards With Jesse: Cards Held

Tannehill Triple Threads Auto /25: Bought $83; Comp $90

Tannehill Rookie Card Lot: Bought $17; Comp $50

Gilgeous-Alexander Rookie Lot: Bought $75, Comp $130

SGA Prizm Rookie: Bought $121, Comp: $158

Alexander-Walker lot of 96 Hoops Rookies: Bought $40, Comp for $144

NAW lot of 5 Optic Silver Wave: Bought $25, Comp for $40

NAW lot of 11 Rookies: Bought $10.81, Comp for $74

Minshew Prizm Lot: Bought $50, comp $75

Tylan Wallace 3 Card Lot: Bought $50.80, Comp $60

20 Card Football Lot: Bought $31.77, Comp: $100

Matthew Stafford Contenders Rookie /99: Bought $43.06, Comp for $75

Ryan Tannehill Rookie Lot: Bought $60, Comp $90

Trey Sermon Certified RPA: Bought $41, Comp $41

Trey Sermon Certified RPA: Bought, $39, Comp $39

Investing In Sports Cards With Jesse: Cards Sold

McCaffrey Rookie /100: Bought $36, Sold $80

Heinicke Contenders Auto: Bought $37, Sold $125

Heinicke Rookies and Stars Auto /50: Bought $19, Sold $100

John Wall Rated Rookie /25: Bought $14.58, Sold $100

Was Jesse right to sell his Tyler Heinicke cards? (look for Heinicke rookie autos on eBay).

Here’s where we stand:

Investing In Sports Cards With Jesse: The Totals

Spent: $874

Held (Comps): $1,347

Sold: $409

Value: $1779

Profit: $905

Net: 203% increase.

Woo! We’ve officially doubled our profits in week 9. Will that increase or decrease moving forward?

What will I be buying next week? Then, come back next week for the next update.

Are you taking on this project yourself? Tweet me @realjessehaynes or @card_lines to tell us about it!

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is a novelist and content writer (contentninjamarketing.com) who has played sports and collecting trading cards almost his entire life. He just graduated from the University of Tulsa with an MBA and should probably get a “real job,” but instead hopes to continue telling stories in his pajamas for a long time.