Junk Wax Defined & Unreal Expectations

Sorry no pictures today. Just an explanation/apology/rant.

Buying on Kijiji sometimes leads me to come up against people who have very unrealistic expectations of the value of their cards. It’s almost sad to tell someone that the collection they have is almost worthless.  Some people take it with humour and realism. I like these people. We usually email back and forth once or twice and then I take their junk wax off their hands, spend hours (or days sometimes) sifting through and come up with the handful or cards that actually were worth keeping. It’s always amazing what people have in top loaders. Cards that are worth 25 cents get the plastic treatment because it says “Rookie Card”

Unfortunately , others get down right upset or angry and accuse me of “low balling” them and that “they know it’s worth a lot more than I suggest”. Trust me, it probably isn’t

This is normally because they bought during the junk wax era, or the cards were given to them by someone who bought during that era. They are living in a time warp and still think it is 1992 and that a Ken Griffey UD rookie card or Eric Lindros Oshawa Generals card is going to be their ticket to retirement.

Let’s be real. If your ad has been up for a few weeks (and I love the ones that keep reposting the same ad every few days) and the best offer you have had is $40. Then your collection is probably worth a lot closer to $40 than the $500 you have it listed at.

If no one is jumping at it then lower your price. If you listed good cards at a good price they would not stay up for long. It’s the way supply and demand works, you dont exist in your own bubble of economic stasis. Don’t expect someone who knows the value of the product you have to say. “Gee you’re right. You’ve had these cards since 1991 and never cared about them until now when you want to sell them, That MUST mean that you know the true price/worth of a partial set of 1991 Donruss baseball.”

I can usually tell when a person has an unrealistic expectation before I even send the email. If their ad has no pictures AT ALL. It’s a bad sign.
If there ad is showing Donruss 91 baseball, ANYTHING Pro-set, or Score Hockey or is loaded with shots of binder pages in no describable order then it’s not a good sign either.

It’s mostly the unsuspecting Junk Wax holderse I feel for though. To have a collection of anything and be told it’s not worth what you though can be hard to hear.

But here’s my question.

If you only collected from 89-93 why did you stop? If you had kept going you’d get back into some good years. If they made you happy back then, why don’t you keep collecting? If they were only for an investment, then think of it like buying Bre-x or Nortel stock. The bubble burst.

So lets define Junk Wax once and for all. Cuz if you have it, then you should know.

Friends don’t let friends buy Junk Wax (unless there is something of value in the pile)

1987 – 1993 was almost exclusively JUNK. All Sports. Even Non sports. If it is not from Topps, OPC, or Upper Deck then it is almost certainly junk no matter what is says. (Just saying collectors edition is enough for it NOT to be a collectors edition) It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s garbage and NOBODY likes it or collects it, just that it was produce in such mass quantities that to this day it’s still readily valuable, thus destroying any hope of it someday ever becoming valuable. If it is Topps (Baseball), OPC (Hockey) or Upper Deck (Either) then there may be a few gems in the rough, but they are few and far between.

The card collecting/producing/selling industry was booming then, so the card companies did everything possible to keep up with demand instead of keeping things reasonable. Remember you could buy cards EVERYWHERE and EVERYONE was an expert. There were multiple magazines, some newspapers had columns about it in their sports sections, cards shows every week, radio shows and TV shows.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t junk put out before and after that date range. And it’s not to say that there are not cards in that era that still cost $$ or are hard to find. It’s just that you’ll have to wade through a lot of dreck to find the gems.

And telling people they have almost exclusively dreck is sometimes hard to do.

  1. 1967ers said:

    So now I’m curious just what treasures were in this overpriced lot…. 🙂

    • Mostly 90’s baseball and hockey junk wax. But they wanted full Beckett Mint prices for incomplete sets. I’m sorry but no one really wants to buy Pro Set hockey.

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