29 October 2013

Just the Commons, Ma'am 1: First Order from Justcommons

I recently made my first trip to Just Commons, an e-tailer of baseball trading cards. The emphasis seems to be on providing the collector with a wide selection of base cards for filling out sets, but there are plenty of inserts available, too. The prices are very good for the most part, without the hassle of sorting through eBay listings and managing bids or the inflated commission surcharges and shipping costs of ordering through COMC or from multiple sellers through Sportlots. I got these seven cards for about half of the going rate on eBay for just the Cal Ripken Jr. card. Some prices on the site approach the higher prices of other sites, but there are a lot of steals to be had, with free shipping on orders over $10 and a 10% discount on orders over $50.

I actually ordered a few more cards than what I got. When I sent my order I had double-clicked a couple of the cards and ordered two copies of them, so I sent a message on the site to have them removed from my shipment. I got an e-mail back stating that they had been notified that I had ordered more stock than they had on-hand of those cards and that another card or two from my order were missing from their physical inventory. They issued a refund for the missing cards. There were also a couple of cards from my second order that wound up not being in their physical inventory, so that is something to look out for. Don't mark a card off of your checklists until they process and ship the cards.

When the cards arrived they were in a stack of penny sleeves wrapped in bubble wrap inside of a padded envelope. There weren't any toploaders or cardboard spacers in place to keep the cards safe. Eddie Mathew, Eddie Murray, and Ted Williams were on the front of the stack and all had touches of foil chipped off of their bottom right corners. Ripken, Skaggs, and Darvish were next in the stack and all arrived unscathed, but tail-end Charlie, Marco Scutaro had rather large patches of foil rubbed off on three out of his four corners. I will probably have to seek out a replacement for him in my binder, as the card is pretty ugly. So that was a little disappointing. I can understand not putting every card in a toploader, especially when many of the prices on base cards and common inserts are between $0.10 and $0.50, but I would expect some kind of cardboard or filler cards to stiffen the packaging and protect the order. When my next order comes in I will have something to compare this package against and see if I get more damaged cards.

In spite of having varying amounts of damage to 4/7 cards in my order and the online inventory not being extremely accurate, I did fill in some key hole in my Topps Archives Gold parallel set at very good prices. I can overlook the chipped foil on three of the cards, but that Scutaro card is ugly. In person it looks much worse than it does in the scan.

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