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Basketball card Interview

Basketball Card Collector Interview with Card Purchaser

I’ve been way behind with a few basketball card collector interview posts and some other posts as well as a result of my wife and I relocating from Boston to Austin. It was quite the trip but I’ll spare you all the details of the harrowing 3-day drive in a 17-foot U-haul.

Right before the move I was very lucky to connect with a blogger that I greatly respect to get insights on their blog, basketball card collection, and on where they see the basketball card hobby going over the next few years. Without further ado, lets get to the questions and answers with Card Purchaser.

  1. What inspired you to launch the Card Purchaser blog in the front half of 2020?

During the early lockdown days I found that I spent all of my free time looking at cards on the internet. I discovered card twitter and started my own Twitter account (@CardPurchaser) to chat and talk with people about cards and it turns out that a LOT of other people were doing the same thing.

After a few months of lockdown and working from home the project I was working on was cancelled. I decided to do Card Purchaser full time and get information about sports card out to people.

2. Are you new to collecting cards or have you been collecting for a while, and was there a particular card or set that got you into collecting?

I’ve collected off and on my whole life. I was in college buying cards on eBay with money orders. Over the years I’ve restarted collecting several times but really got back into it in 2019. I look back at some of the prices of boxes I ordered in October 2019 and January 2020 and can’t believe how low those prices seem now.

3. How would you describe the sports card scene in your neck of the woods?

Before Covid I was in Houston, but working in the oil and gas industry I’ve moved around a lot, so I haven’t ever gotten too into the local card scene.

I hope to make it to Chicago for the National if it happens as scheduled this year but a lot can happen between now and then. The last time I was at a card show I was about 12 and it’s been close to that long since I’ve been in a card store. Most of that is just due to a lack of local card shops and adult responsibilities.

  1. How do you typically go about purchasing basketball cards (packs at target, online box/case breaks, individual cards, etc.)?

I try to get lucky and buy them online. The last basketball release I got online was Prizm Draft Picks. The last in store release I got was March 2020 I found a Walmart full of Prizm. I did not buy the whole supply! Otherwise I would typically try to find the lowest prices on a competitive marketplace like eBay.

  1. What is the most valuable basketball card you have in your personal collection, and what is your favorite card in your collection?

I’m mainly a baseball collector. My most valuable basketball card is probably a 2019-20 Mosaic Zion Williamson rookie card graded PSA 10.

PSA 10 2019 Panini Mosaic Zion Williamson Rookie #209 GEM MINT
PSA 10 2019 Panini Mosaic Zion Williamson Rookie #209

My favorite basketball card I own at the moment is a PSA 6 Fleer Sticker Hakeem Olajuwon rookie. If I had unlimited funds I would definitely have some Jordan and Rodman in the collection but I always lose the bidding!

1986 Fleer Sticker Akeem Olajuwon (9 of 11)
1986 Fleer Sticker Akeem Olajuwon (9 of 11)
  1. What is the best card you ever pulled from a pack and what was that experience like?

I don’t open as many packs as I want! The last big “hit” I got was a 2020 Topps Bo Bichette Independence Day RC #’d to 76 on release day in 2020! It was definitely an exciting experience and I had to spend a lot of time looking into Bo Bichette! I ended up selling the card that night. This was before the big card boom in 2020.

  1. If Kazaam Shaq appeared and said he would grant you a single wish to add any basketball card to your collection but with the condition that you could never sell it, what card would you wish for?

Probably one of the shiny rare Michael Jordan cards I dreamed about as a kid! More specifically, the Emotion set had some great looking Jordans which would be awesome to own. The Ntense card was like the dream card for me but the base was a great card as well.

1994-95 Skybox Emotion N-Tense Michael Jordan (#N3) featuring Jordan wearing #45
1994-95 Skybox Emotion N-Tense Michael Jordan (#N3)
  1. Where do you see the basketball card market five years from now?

I think it’s going to be very closely tied to the economy. I’m hoping it has normalized a bit but the big classic cards will always be in demand.

  1. Do you see basketball cards and basketball related NFTs (like NBA Top Shot) coexisting, or do you think cardboard or NFTs will ultimately win out?

I see them as different markets. The overlap is in investors and real team/player collectors. The middle ground of card collectors probably doesn’t have a lot of interest in NFTs and if they do its not for most of the same reasons as why they like collecting cards.

  1. What advice or tips would you give someone new to basketball card collecting, or card collecting in general?

Study! Spend time reading Beckett, card twitter, and other sources. Research the different sets being released and figure out what you want before you blindly spend money figuring it out!

  1. My last question for you is, was there a question you were hoping I would ask? If so, what was it and how would you answer?

You asked the exact right amount of perfect questions.

Another great interview in the books and a big big thank you to Card Purchaser for taking the time to talk shop. It is always refreshing to hear about other collectors getting back into the hobby after a bit of a hiatus, and I couldn’t agree more with the advice to new collectors. Studying and doing your research is absolutely critical.

As much as it pained me to read, I also appreciated the honesty hearing about making the Bo Bichette sale before the big card boom in 2020. I also sold a few cards at the worst possible time, including a Skybox E-X2000 Kobe rookie (that one hurt), so I know what its like to sell a card, only to see it explode in value shortly after the sale.

If you enjoyed this interview and want to get more collector insights, please be sure to check out what other collectors have to say about their collections.

The list of interviews include:

And as always, if you have thoughts on this post or are interested in connecting, please leave a comment below or feel free to reach out to me directly.

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