The blogosphere has a lot of passion about a great variety of subjects. Whether it be Upper Deck vs Topps, gimmick cards versus million junk card redemptions, or Bip Roberts vs Boof Bonser, there is a very polarizing aspect to bloggers and their beliefs.
I have held back far too long and I feel that it is time to reveal to you a very solid belief of mine about the great hobby of baseball card collecting...I am a big-time believer in the Beckett magazine and its pricing system.
I have bought a Beckett with every new release. I remember reading it as a kid, and when I started collecting again last spring I wanted to see whether the material was still relevant to the hobby as a whole. I was not disappointed.
I find the material invaluable in helping me plot the course of JD's collection. In my opinion, Beckett is right on the money with their product reviews and is able to provide invaluable insight about product contents, flaws, strengths, and pricing. I rarely, if ever, have disagreed with a Beckett review and I have continually thought about posting them in this blog as a reference for you all to aid you in your decisions.
I also very much enjoy the articles, especially those pertaining to top-selling and sought-after prospects. Beckett magazine lets me know who is out there, where to find them, how much I should pay for them, as well as who to avoid and who is overpriced. Any collector can easily benefit for the vast amount of effort and knowledge that Beckett puts forth each and every issue. It is a tool to maintain balance in the collecting universe, and one that I am proud to say I use religiously.
So why all the hatred? Well, being devil's advocate I can certainly see how many are put off by the assumed "value" placed on each card. I know it can be hard to stomach this some times, but realistically about 99% of all cards produced are crap. They are of sentimental value at best. Worst case scenario, Beckett will be able to confirm that indeed your card is crap and that you should either throw it away because it just takes up space, and you would be doing everybody else a favor by making their crap slightly more valuable do to increased scarcity.
As for the pricing itself, how incredible is it to find an all-comprehensive guide covering all products and all subsets of those products? And the low-high pricing in ingenious in that it gives you that range that you are looking for. Everybody always complains about not being able to gauge a true value of cards...well thanks to the high/low figures, a good spectrum of averages becomes possible, thus allowing the collector to protect themselves against a lopsided trade or a shorted sale price.
Beckett also is very generous to all of you relic collectors, by offering generous estimates of a relic card's value. While I personally find relics to be a total waste of time, at least if I do pull a relic, Beckett is there to protect me and give me trade value for a card that I really do want.
One difficulty with Beckett is the "no pricing due to scarcity" on many short printed and low serial-numbered products. While many find this to be a detriment to the hobby, I believe it is extremely useful because it lets you know that something that you have pulled is very special and should make you feel good about yourself. Isn't that part of the joy of collecting, to feel good about your collection?
What else can I possibly say? Again, I know this is a touchy subject and everybody has an opinion, but at the end of the day, we all use Beckett in one form or another, and we all rely on their expertise in the baseball card collecting business to aid us in our decisions. We should all be thankful that they are here to help.