I like football.
(I know this comes as no surprise; I am just setting the context for the rest of the post)
As I said, I like football. Playing it. Watching it. Talking about it! And not just the game, I like the culture, the history, the books and stories, the souvenirs and memorabilia etc.
I collect sports badges with a particular interest in footy badges and most especially Geelong FC badges. In a fire, they would be the first thing I'd grab!!
I also collect sports and footy books, most of which I've bought in op shops, garage sales, swap meets etc. My library contains over 300 volumes at present.
Ebay is both a blessing and a trap when it comes to collecting. I've had to modify and curtail my hunting and gathering tendencies to suit a limited budget. I've managed to get some great badges and books but recently I got a fantastic bargain, in more ways than one.
It started when I won a lot of 20 assorted football books for the meagre sum of $2.47!!
Books are a bit heavy to post so I arranged to pick them up the next time I was in Melbourne.
While I was there the bloke mentioned that he had some other footy stuff if I was interested.
Naturally I was and he brought out a box of Footy Records (Match programs for the uninitiated).
They dated back to 1974 and included a large number of finals and Grand Final records.
While these are not my specific area of interest I recognized they were of interest and some value. He then produced a shoe box full of old footy cards, cricket cards and basketball cards.
We haggled over a price and settled on $50 for the lot. It was more than I really wanted to spend but he was very keen to get rid of them and I was pretty confident they were worth more than that.
I enjoyed looking through them and sorting them out when I got home.
Amongst the footy cards, which were mostly the old Scanlens/Stimorol gum variety, was a set I didn't immediately recognize. A little investigation on ebay soon revealed that they were released by Coles in the early 1950's, putting them at about 60 years old. I was now very interested, especially as they were in very good condition. There were 4-5 players from each of the original 12 VFL teams and included a few very famous names such as Bob Davis, Bob Rose, Roy Wright, Charlie Sutton, Bill Hutchinson and the legendary John Coleman.
I listed 4 North Melbourne cards on ebay to see if they would sell and sure enough they did, partly because I priced them at $5 each. It turns out that was under-valuing them. Significantly.
I have since listed and sold 23 of them at a starting price of $15 each. The final prices have ranged from $15-25. The best result though came for a card featuring Louie the Lip, Lou Richards from Collingwood. He was a premiership captain at the Magpies but is best remembered for his time on World of Sport, League Teams with Jack Dyer and Bob Davis and as a channel 7 commentator.
Imagine my delight when the auction closed and Louie sold for $51.50!!
Little Louie had recouped my entire outlay in just one sale!!
I have two different John Coleman cards and I am expecting them to fetch the highest prices of the lot.
I won't be surprised if they push up to $100 each. That's what I'm hoping.
So far I have sold just over $400 worth of the Coles footy cards and I still have about 30 left to list.
Then there are the footy records to sell.
And the other footy cards.
I am feeling very pleased with myself and my $50 investment I must say!!