Sunday, January 9, 2011


I forget exactly how I heard about eTopps, but when I did I decided to check it out. It's a set of exclusive cards released only online, with a weird sort of trading/buying element to it. I have no interest in selling on there, but they did offer up some Jays earlier in the year. Here they are (I apologize for the blurry scans, the cases make scanning difficult):

Jose Bautista 225/749.

Adeiny Hechavarria 450/749.

Seems that every card they release is limited to a certain number. In both these cards cases, they are limited to 749, or the most random number ever. I do have a third card in my 'portfolio', but it isn't ready for shipping because it takes roughly 7 years (ok, not really but it did take almost 4 or so months) to make these cards and have them available for shipping.

How it works is that you sign up for the newsletter on the website, they send you a weekly email with which cards will be available. If you see something you like, you buy into the 'pool' of cards and if you were lucky enough, they add it to your portfolio, which is basically your online collection. I say lucky enough because they limit each card to a certain amount and they take the first say, 749 people that signed up for that card but maybe 1000 people bought into it. I don't know, it's weird. All I know is that once I got the email with the Jays cards, I jumped on them. I figured they would be pretty cool. Once you have the card in your portfolio, you can buy it and have it sent to you (for pretty cheap actually) but only once the card is ready. Like I mentioned above, it takes a long time for them to become available for shipping. I think I bought these two in August, and they didn't get shipped to me until about two weeks ago. I know they do some football too and sometimes they will have autographed stuff as well. It's an interesting program and we'll see what 2011 brings. Anyone else do the eTopps thing? Or am I alone on this one...


  1. I went a little nuts on eTopps in the first year. I thought the model to limit production would sustain high prices on the secondary market. I was mostly wrong. If anyone wants some 2001 Sheets, Sabathia, or Helton, I have plenty.

  2. I like the idea, but I usually wait and try to claim a card I want off of eBay's trading floor versus buying it during the IPO. Sometimes it works and I get the card for less, other times it doesn't work so good. Thankfully there are only a few cards I ever want.

    Are you going to open those cases? If you don't care about selling the cards open 'em up - they are really nice cards.

  3. I don't know if the majority of etopps will be worth anything substsantial. Maybe in 20 years or more. But they are nice cards for the most part. They are affordable as well, so collecting them is within most collectors' reach.

    I've got 20 or so etopps of different sports in my portfolio. I also like to hunt them down on their ebay trading floor. I've tried to get a few IPO's (Initial Product Offerings), but I never seem to get lucky enough to get one.

    I haven't tried shipping them yet. I don't mind building up my portfolio though in the meantime. It will be a fun mailday once I do finally decide to have them shipped.

    Overall, I'd say they are definitely worth a collector's time and money. You could do worse!

  4. I like eTopps. That said, I don't buy too much from them - players that I collect, a few special cards, others that look too good to pass on and the odd prospecting. Most of the cards I order I eventually take in-hand unless I plan on trading. I really like the ease of using the trading floor and have move several cards I don't really like for others that interest me. The catalog is also a nice bonus. Over the years I've picked up a couple of boxes of 04 Cracker Jack, a couple autographs and several cards I missed out on. When they first started, it was also an easy way to make money. Some freebies they originally gave away free I sold for $20 a pop. Now I think I can get them back for less than a dollar each. With eTopps, it's best not to just jump in but rather do a bit of research first. I guess that's the same with everything, though.

  5. I am an eTopps regular. I've been active since 2002, and continue to buy at IPO as well as older cards eTopps cards cheaply.

    It's very unusual to see that something that seemed to start out very much as a gimmick (Hey! Online availability only cards that let you pretend like it's Dot Com Bubble day trading stocks irrational exuberance!) has lasted over ten years. Not much in this hobby lasts for more than two--good or bad ideas.