Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stir Up the Pot!

Things are a little bit slow here in the blogosphere today, and I am just waiting to bust outta here and go home and check my mail, so I thought in the meantime I would ask you all to help educate a greenhorn regarding a site I learned about recently called Zistle.

........is my blog still here? Is Big Brother watching me? Have I been shut down yet?

When I started this hobby a couple months and many many posts ago, I nearly immediately signed up for Beckett Online (see how I did that? Everybody wins!) not so much for the ability to price my cards, but more for the pretty thorough product listings, meaning that all the sets, subsets, etc are all listed. For a beginner like myself, it made for a great reference to all the zillions of products I was trying out.

Last week I was meandering though blogs. I like going to blogs that I follow and then clicking on a link that they follow, and then another link that THAT person follows...it's like a six degrees to JD's Wild Cardz. Plus its a great way to stumble upon new trade partners! Anyways, there was a contraversy a-brewing about the merits of the pricing systems of Beckett vs Zistle. "What the heck is Zistle"? I asked myself and before I knew it I had signed up online.

Now keep in mind that I have only used Zistle for a very very brief amount of time, but here are my comparisons.

Beckett - Positives
  • complete listings of any and all available products plus pricing (on most)

Beckett - Negatives

  • New product pricing is most N/A for several months, keeping you guessing on the value of what you have got.
  • Many products (even years back) dont have images available, so it makes it difficult to tell the difference between a green/gold/rust colored Masterpiece border (luckily I have the rust!)
  • you have to pay for each type of card you collect??!?
  • System crashes OFTEN

Zistle - Positives

  • LOVE the search function. Many photos are tagged well, so I can quickly search through my cards by brand, year, status (rookie), name, etc. Pretty slick.
  • Can search for ALL sports (in case I ever get the urge to fire up a WWE collection.
  • FREE!

Zistle - Negatives

  • Questionable pricing on SOME products - I know that pricing is really subjective and mostly meaningless. I mean if I were to offer up a couple of Brooks Robinson patches for a few Topps SP's, then it is really not about the book value of each, but rather the sedimental value attached to the products that should drive the trade. Each person wants something, you make good on your trade, and you call it a day! But that is neither here nor there.

Nevertheless, pricing does play a small role, at the very least it is there to make you feel good about something cool that you have. I get a bit concerned when I punch in my Babe Ruth Topps SP and its value is at .60 cents avg. On the other hand I punched in both my Jacoby and Dustin rookies and they are right about where they should be. So my guess is that the Ruth card has very little data to back up that equation (most likely because people are not selling them).

  • Lack of images. This appears to all dependant on users uploading scans, so for the most part, given enough time, most of these should fill in over time.

So as you can see, both have pluses and minuses to each system. I am looking to open up a little discussion here as to why you prefer which system. Thanks for participating. Please keep it clean!


  1. Do any of them allow you to "check" more than one card at a time? Beckett's site is incredibly tedious. Really, though, I have the attention span of a four year old when it comes to cards so every time I decide to get REALLY organized I get distracted by some shiny new product I come across and forget all about it.

  2. I am sorry, I forgot the question :).

    So far I kinda dig the site if only for the fact that you can almost instaneously pull up a card.

  3. Zistle is great. Adding cards to your collection is a breeze compared to the beckett site. It may not match up to the database beckett has but when you realize it's free and done by a couple people doing it for the sake of doing it, you appreciate it a whole lot more. And they don't moniter conversations and opinions and ban people like beckett did to me.

  4. A few other Zistle positives...

    * You can create trade lists.

    * Add notes for cards you own.

    *The owners, Ashley and Josh, actually talk with you and if possible (and it is good for Zistle) will add your ideas.

    I've never had good experiences with the B*ck*tt site. Buggy and crashes. And a stinking pain to work through.

    Yes, it took me some time to figure Zistle out, but now I really like it.

    * Chat feature.

    * Forum that is civil.

    Regarding images, yes, it is user added. They also get some images from checkoutmycards.com. I'm assuming that they get some of their pricing from that site as well.

  5. I think I will spend a little time logging some cards this weekend, and even upload a few scans if they are needed. The search tool is great and I can see this being a good site to file rookie and prospect cards and some of my nicer cards that I might otherwise lose track of.

    Can't really see the point in uploading an entire set of cards into the system. Too time consuming, and most likely will need to look elsewhere for checklists (unless that feature is in there somewhere)?

  6. Zistle is great... checklists are added by Zistle, or the users, whomever gets there first. Images are added automatically from Checkout mY Cards, Vintage Football Card Gallery, and a few other comprehensive sites, as well as user input.
    The pricing comes from a few sources, and each card lists the recent low price sold as well as the recent average price of sales in the last 3 months. So the values you are seeing are actual sales, unlike Beckett's dartboard approach.
    Dive in, once you've used it, you'll use it more.

  7. thanks for all of the insight everybody!

  8. The only downfalls of being on zistle, that I have had,are that sometimes when a new product comes out 2 people will go up and put up the same subset at the same time, so you have two of the exact thing. Sometimes both of them gets used, sometimes just one. But no matter how much either is used you still have a subset that is useless just floating around.

    My 2nd problem that I have had is that sometimes zistle and the users on their add cards(and pictures) to the wrong subset(for 2008 upper deck first edition they had the whole starquest subset in the main set, they had them with regular card numbers, too, but the player names for the cards were wrong and it still had pictures of that players starquest card) and it's a little difficult trying to get them removed.

    But other than that it is a great site...In my opinion MUCH MUCH better than beckett's whole scheme with their online pricing guide.

    -Hope that helped