Hello and welcome to the Geeked Out Collecting Podcast where collect Pokemon cards, and other nerdy stuff, like damn adults. Today's episode I had the pleasure of having on Matt who is an avid collector of many things including some of my favorites, Fortnite. In this episode he talks about how he strategically reinvests in his collection to build it organically. Whether you collect Fortnite or just TCG's, there are a lot of strategies here that can be applied and adapted by any collector.
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What is Geeked Out Collecting?
At Geeked Out Collecting podcast we apply financial and investing principles to our hobby collecting - from trading card games like Pokemon and Magic the Gathering to Comic books and Funko Pops, we do it all. The goal is to turn dusty hobby collections into profitable nest eggs.
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Hello, and welcome to the geek
out collecting podcast, where we
collect Pokemon cards and other
nerdy things like damn adult.
I am your host, Jess.
And thank you so much for being here.
So, Matt, one of the reasons like I met
you partially because of that kind of.
I G group chat that we got
going on, but also because
you've got like sick ass cards.
So I wanted to start off first
with talking about you your
collection and what you collect.
Cause you collect a lotta, a lot of stuff.
So us know a little bit about
you and what you collect.
I actually gotten into cards as we
were graduating college, like my senior
year, the last week, me and my buddies,
we went out, I think like on a Sunday
and we just got a couple cases of
beer, some KFC, I think we stopped at.
And then we stopped at target and like
somewhere navigating through the store
came across like the card section,
which was much smaller back then.
But we were like, oh, Hey, this is cool.
Let's, reminisce our childhood
and rip a couple of these bad boys.
We went back, I think for the rest
of the guys in the group, they kind
of just had a one and done with it.
But, after we got through
with it, I was like, this is
actually like pretty dope now.
Like it's a lot different
than it was when I was a kid.
So, ended up graduating
and then getting a job.
So then you get a little bit of a
income Rowan and I have a pretty
bad paying job coming out of school.
So it was like, whatever, still not
being anxious of finances back then.
So, start to get into it a little bit.
It was mainly football.
I feel like I'm probably a football fan
first really enjoyed golf, but I feel like
the cards are just like, not as exciting
or at least like they weren't back then.
So did football for probably
a good 10 years or so.
It was just a small thing.
Cause cards hadn't really blown.
Brought up by then collected
for a few years and then ended
up having to get my own place.
So pretty much I had to sell everything
off do the responsible thing.
But then, once once I got in there
and started like building it back
up and then probably closer to
maybe four years ago now, Was when I
started to branch out a little bit.
So, at the time I had I had so focuses
on it was a little more obscure.
Travis, Kelsey is like a really
good tight end in the NFL.
And I kinda prospected him,
like when he came out I'm really
into like fantasy football.
So some of the off the radar guys,
I liked that they were, cheaper and
I could get like the nicer stuff of
them, because it was kind of like,
trying to like ball on a budget.
So, once I felt like I hit the pinnacle
of collecting him and having all of his,
one-on-ones like attitudes out of fives.
I got a little more into LeBron stuff.
So I'm one of the first trades I
made to get into basketball was for
a LeBron card traded like Travis
Kelsey's best card in existence.
I feel like it just probably auctioned
for 25 K or something to give you
an idea of like how stuff has gone.
Well, I think I think I traded for.
$500 or so value at the time, but that
kind of got me started and then, yeah.
Don't I don't want to, I don't want
to talk about that one anymore.
Yeah, so, LeBron got
pretty heavy into him.
I like a lot of the shiny stuff prism,
optic, mosaic, those kinds of things.
So I was really drawn to like tops,
Chrome tops, Chrome refractors
of LeBron, not rookie stuff.
And the rookie stuff is expensive.
So I kind of pivoting over to stuff.
That's the same idea of just a
lot more of a fraction of a cost.
So you can I don't know, maybe acquire
five to 10 of something rather than just
one thing that a lot of other people have.
So that's like a lot of my angle in
terms of like my approach to collecting.
So, as, as time started to pass, I
What was it probably around, it was
summer of 20, 20, and Fortnite was
the first like major pivot for me.
So up until that point, I only
really did football and then LeBron
like little other basketball stuff.
I have a hard time following basketball.
It's just a lot of games.
The young guys, I feel like
they can just like, spike and
drop on a week to week basis.
And I like safer stuff than that.
So, I had a lot of
grading orders going out.
So probably like the beginning of 2020
was when I really got into bulk subbing.
I just, I saw a lot of these slabs going
for like a, a hundred, $200 on eBay.
15 bucks to slab them.
And the cards were like, 20, 25 bucks.
So when people bitch about people
selling like a lot of based stuff or
whatever, like I was definitely part
of that problem to some extent I'll
fully admit to that, it was a good way
to generate extra money, to put into
the stuff that actually wanted to buy.
So it's like, and I consider those slabs
kind of junk slabs kind of first boards.
I feel like I like to look for
more quality stuff than average.
I've said it's pretty much like
C that approach just because,
Balka kind of went away.
So now it's like they only offer
like the $50 20 card allocation.
So I'll try to get involved
in snag those occasionally.
I've been having some
pretty good luck with that.
I feel like it's kinda like, I, I
definitely treat it like a business and
a hobby and I feel like, without the
like business side of it, I wouldn't
be able to experience the hobby
side of it the way that I want to.
So, you kind of have to, I think
with any like business, you have to
adapt as things evolve over time.
And with a lot more people getting
in a lot more dollars coming
into it, anything that has.
It's going to get more
competitive as more people enter.
So I feel like that's just natural
and, it was nice when it was, $20,
regular subs to PSA when you would get
them back in three weeks, but that's
just simply not the case anymore.
And, I'm okay with it.
Like it's, I feel like I'm supported
up to this point and it's kind of
like, th the gift and the curse, like
all the people coming in is great.
If you're like selling stuff
frequently, but you kind of have
to put up with like greater wait
times and all that kind of stuff.
Is it still a lottery to
get the $50 subs with PSA?
Yeah, I've been, I've been hitting
even if you have the membership.
Yeah, so right, exactly.
The membership's 99 bucks.
So each allocation now
you get up to 20 cards.
So if you just get one of those and you
have the right stuff for, 50 bucks a
piece to me, it's more than worth it.
So hard to get the lottery though.
I've been having good luck with it.
I try to use mine.
I don't know if it's like completely
random, but I like that if it's not
random and there is like any like
preferential treatment of like just,
identifying people that are actually
using it because actually people get
it and post on forums and they're
like, I'm not going to eat well.
They're just like, not
going to use it, I guess.
So that's one less, that's
less opportunity for somebody
else you like really wanted it.
So I try to like, make account and.
Yeah, for sure.
I've been thinking about actually
getting that membership just to, I
mean, I gotta send the rest of my my
four, nine cars, my series one yeah,
I've been sending a lot of, a lot of
Fortnite in the past a couple of weeks.
I'm pretty excited for it.
But by that time, seriously, seriously.
How long, how long are they
guesstimating the turnarounds now?
I don't know what the current estimate
is, but I've already sent a couple.
So at first they started out with
the five card allocations and I got
two of those back two days ago, and
then I got a 20 card back yesterday.
So I feel like the turnaround
is like maybe a month or so.
I know they say three,
but kind of like a buffer.
That's really impressive.
I, I will say a couple of weeks
ago, I think I got around like maybe
1300 or 1400 in line and I didn't.
And then I hopped into it on Tuesday.
My buddy was in there as well.
I got like 1200.
He got 2,500 and got it.
So I don't know if they're expanding
and allowing more people to get in.
But you know that a couple
of months pad there, so maybe
that's what's going on now.
I just taught myself three months and
anything sooner just feels like a bonus.
So they they've already beaten
my expectations down pretty bad.
That's, that's really amazing.
Honestly, like I can not complain
what that it was more than I expected.
Well, less than it was better
than what I expected initially.
I would've thought, maybe
six months or something.
I mean, even when I sent in my
very first card, I want to say it
took me like three or four months.
And then when I did it with
middlemen about that time,
but Hey, I mean, that's great.
I'm sure they've been doing.
I'm sure they've been improving
their process a lot over the past two
years, considering how much fricking
volume they've been going through.
It's been crazy.
I do feel like they're doing
a good job with, catching up
all their social media posts.
It's all the, any comments or
just people complaining about how
their, order's been out there.
And like I said, it's kind
of like a double-edged sword.
You're waiting longer because
more people are interested in the
stuff that you're sending them.
So it's kind of like, what can you do
kind of deal in my opinion, at least.
I feel, I feel the same way about that.
It's I dunno, you just let
it be like, what can you do?
Just, forget about it,
send it, forget about it.
And then when it comes,
it's like Christmas.
And then when he gets to QA to just
hit your browser refresh 200 times.
You can be that email by five minutes
and check the grades out seriously.
But, and I wonder how PSA has been dealing
with it, but CGC I've been hearing them
deal with a lot of people not paying the
bill because for, and I don't know if it's
like sports cards or if it's Pokemon or
I don't know what types of cards they're
having the issue with, but one or more
categories of cards they're having issues
with people paying, paint, paint up.
And I think, cause a lot of it we're
seeing a slow down, at least with
Pokemon, we've been seeing a slow down
I don't know about sports cards, but
I wonder how, I mean, that's a little
scary, you're grading cards and people
aren't paying you when they need to.
Especially when the market's you can
send an order that's full of hit or miss
guys who are, and then down the next.
So yeah, I'm not, I've
never gone through a CGC.
I tried to SGC out a little
bit when, it was just really
not accepting anything STC.
I, I like their slabs.
I feel like they look nice.
So selling them is a little
more, I feel like the interest
is in like quite as much there.
I've sent a handful of orders to them.
And I do like the product, like
I've sent a couple of things,
like in my personal collection.
I liked, I like sending like any
Fortnite cards that so first off,
like getting like PSA 10 gen, then
Fortnite is super tough to begin with.
So yeah, like, SGC, I feel like they
kind of had the scale by maybe like
0.5 or like a full point or something.
So to me, I think we can dive into it a
little bit if you want, like PSA nines,
I feel like are heavily undervalued for
Fortnite, just because in any other like
pre prison football, optic football, those
kinds of releases, it's more of a 50 50
split, just, super, roughly on average.
So I think when people see the 10
premiums for that, it doesn't quite,
it should translate differently
to, Fortnite where you see, like
the higher premiums for the tens.
But it kind of makes the nines
like a really good value.
Like you could find a nine for
maybe, five or 10 times cheaper
than a 10, depending on the card.
So I was like searching for good
bang for the buck type of stuff.
So I feel like that I can't disagree with
you because I think absolutely there are
times where you can find good deals on
PSA nines, because it's I don't, I'm just
throwing arbitrary numbers out there.
If the 10 is like 10,000 and then
you can get a nine for 2000, that
gap is going to close at some point.
So you're going to see more return on the
nine than you will on the 10, probably
depending on obviously where the 10 goes.
But I feel like the nun is a good spot.
Especially if like at 10, K's probably
like a highly recognized card.
So I think like over time, if that
performs well, You're probably
better off getting, five of the
nines versus the 10, if you want to
have a better, percent performance.
I think I understand that roughly, and
it'd probably have to dive into it, it
depends if you can stomach w moving five
separate cards, or if you just want to
kind of be in and out with one of them.
I can definitely understand that.
And to be honest, like for me the thing
that I kind of struggle with is I come
into a lot of things as a collector.
And so for me, when I have the card,
I have the card, but it's been really
great to meet other people in the hobby
because I would have never thought to buy
like 2, 3, 4, 5, or 20 of the same card.
Like to me, I'm like, I got it.
But there's, but there's
value in doing that.
And so when I kind of think about
it from that perspective, it's nice.
People have been planting
seeds for me in that.
So it's been really helpful because if I.
Was martyr, I guess, like if I took
it, if I kind of had those intentions
where I'm like, okay, I'm collecting
things and then I'm buying some
extra things so that maybe I can turn
that into something in the future.
And then expand that, expand my hobby
of kind of what you were saying.
The business side feels
your hobby enjoyment side.
I probably would have
done things differently.
I agree with that.
To me, it's also I feel like it'll
probably be a never-ending argument
of, can you do both or is it one or
the other to me it's just what personal
preference for your view on the matter.
But yeah, like to me, if you buy
something for X and sell for Y
and it's a game that's great.
And to your point, you can then
put that back into an even better
piece that you're leveling up into.
One of the other aspects
that I like those.
You are pretty much like making a bet
betting on your own, intelligence that
you've come up with to this point in
time to make this decision, put your
chips on the table and say, I want
to, I want to buy this car because I
think it's going to go up or, whatever.
So if you really think that, and the
higher the competence, you have, the
more of that card, you should buy it.
Because if it's, if it's going
to get there, then you know, to
me, it doesn't hurt to be able
to, chop some of that cost off.
If you buy, say, three to five
of it, you sell the two to four,
keep the, keep the better one.
That that's pretty much like what my if
I had a blueprint, I would say that's
pretty much what it, centers around.
Like I tend to overbuy, like don't
know if we talked about it in the
Fortnite chat at all, but the video
games I got into those, like a year ago.
I got my little game shelf over there.
Finally, starting to get some
back from eight or nine months
ago when I sent them out.
When I got into that, it was okay.
Some of these things
are harder to come by.
So if I had the opportunity to
buy them today, I'd rather buy
it rather than pass thinking.
I'll come across another one and
then regret it like, four months
from now when another one has.
I'll do a little bit of, I guess what I
call overbuying where say I buy 50 sealed
games, send them off to get graded.
And then, once grades hit and they
come back and depending what the
market looks like, I'll sell off maybe
like 40 of them and keep like the 10
best because now I've paid for a lot
of those original costs, obviously.
You're tying some cash up in the
interim, especially with like
water where I think you pay the
invoice before and which, sucks.
You can't really work with it and then
pay once the grays pop or whatever.
But but yeah, I would say that's
over by sell, I say, sell, flip the
stuff that you don't want to keep.
And then, you feel much better about.
Something, the less dollars you
have into it, because now there's
like, if it goes down a little bit,
you don't have to sweater as much.
And then, if it goes up cool, but
I'm not sweating that I had like a
large stack of money in it and it to
begin with, if I'm into it for cheap.
So, then you let it sit there
and let it run, let it marinate.
And I kind of feel like in 20, 20
and 2021, when I really started
to have disposable income, I
kind of went like little nuts.
And I don't want to say where I truly
got nuts, where I was in a point where
I put myself in a bad financial spot.
That's not what I'm saying, but what I'm
saying is when I looked at the end of the
year and looked at how much I spent, and
I was like, come on now, you could have
put that in different things, I really
like what you're saying here, and this
is something that I've been working on
for myself for 2022, which is all right.
I'm not going to invest
in the hobby anymore.
Like I'm not going to put
new money into my collection.
It's all going to be things that I'm
selling and then reinvesting back into
it and then using those new funds.
So since I've been buying this Fortnite
stuff, like new boxes and you just
start selling some stuff and the
price points that I've kind of been
entering in, and a lot of these boxes
are kind of fluctuating, because you
just buy them when you can find them.
The first week her pilot, 90 to a
hundred a piece, I was really convinced
that automotive likes I think 30 or so.
Over by, I ended up hitting a
minus ice in there, so I got that.
It was great.
Do you, did you sell it?
Yeah, I did.
I sold it last week.
What made you sell it?
So I think like after opening it,
so I just love ripping magazines.
Series series one series two series three.
I feel like it goes up tenfold in reverse
in terms of the rush, just because, you
know what you're getting with those.
All fortnight, I feel like w if ripped
in volume, so as obviously more expense,
but the higher, the volume you do this,
isn't 2018 prism where you're Luca or
Trey young or bust and you're dropping.
I don't even know, like
I'm not into basketball.
Say those boxes are like five or 10
grand a piece you can get totally skunked
fortnight, 25% of the checklist I feel
like is at least like pretty solid.
So, if it was like a basketball
class where you're getting a pack of
four cards and one of them could be,
I dunno, that's terrible example.
I don't know where I'm going with that.
And you do bring up a good point,
even though ripping is gambling.
Like for real, it is, but there's
something to be said about ripping though.
Like you do want to enjoy the
cards and that's kinda what I
feel like what you're saying.
You want to enjoy the cards and then also
you do have a good chance to get some
good cards legitimately, like compared
to anything that I've ripped baseball.
'cause I rip them with my cousins.
We just don't hit shit.
We never do.
We just don't and it sucks.
It just, even with the guarantee it's,
there's so many fucking variations
are so many, so many different guys.
Of course I'll keep an eye on the rookies
and I did open like a college one once.
So of course, who knows what
those cards, but yeah, baseball.
I, you got to wait four years
before those guys even start
to get called up and whatnot.
I can't even pick a modern day
basketball player to go up.
So no, no chance.
I'm gonna roll the dice on a
17 year old baseball player.
Very, very good point, yeah.
But either way, like to your point,
comparing baseball to Fortnite
unless you're going for a specific
card, it's going to be really
hard probably, but there you've
got a wider range of shit to hit.
Like you don't have to hit the bullseye.
There's a bigger radius, I guess.
Plus it's not even for, so series one, I
ripped so much wax last year, it started
out with the fat packs in February.
I saw somebody post on blowout.
I'm on blotter.
I feel like old when I tell people
that, Instagram is like, so everybody's
got their like tick tock, video
posts, all that kind of stuff.
But I saw somebody posted on there
and they were like showing the
hits and like the one post, he hit
two BK base and a couple of hours.
And this was when you could get like 256
or so of them for a little over a grand.
So I was doing the math on it
and I was like, these things
are super condition sensitive.
The best way to get a 10 is to pull
yourself like, not ideal, that's
usually not the case for, other sports.
I feel like it's the same case, but
your chances are much better buying
like a prison Joe burrow off of eBay
and being able to tenant rather than
a super condition sensitive hollow
with the shipping and whatever.
So, yeah, I just started
like ribbon through that.
I spent way more like on wax last year,
and then I thought most of it was, or
not, I thought that I was going to it was
pretty much all fortnight and it's one of
those moments where it's like, having the
experience over the previous, like decade
or so, you can see where things are going.
Like you could see people
starting to buy these things.
So the demand is going up and the
supply is going to drop over time.
Prices are going to start to raise.
I knew that eventually the
opportunity was not going to be there.
So I'd rather, way over by it at
the time, get all of my, super
nice stuff out of the packs.
And then, like when this time rolls around
I can't remember the last time that I
ripped a fat pack from there was gravity.
The gravity is, were insane.
Like I had a a PSA order
that I had sent out.
It was like three different
orders in one package.
Like half of it was Italy.
So I feel like they did me a favor there.
I liked Italy, longterm.
I just, once everything changed to,
say like the middle of last year
where it was like, okay, like USA
is now what you want to pursue.
Felt like they kind of like
did me a favor, but like
FedEx just lost this package.
So I got the insurance check from that.
And I only mentioned that because I
wanted to put it right back into Fortnite.
So I went to eBay and I
saw the gravity cases.
Six of the gravity's.
And I think those probably bottomed
around what, like 60 or 70 bucks, maybe
four or five months ago, cases of the
six boxes were $1,500 at the time.
And I think I bought four
of them keep them on.
I just had a big chunk of my
like Fortnite investment, gone.
So I had to put it back into
something, wanting to take a little
bit of risk, but even at $250 a box,
I felt like it was phenomenal value
because you're getting two hollows.
You're probably getting, an epic or a
legendary, and then maybe you hit on
like a dark bomber or, blue Squire as the
first hit in the box, I think it's usually
like epic Ray or legendary or vice versa.
The thing that you're not
seeing immediately, is there is.
Intangible gentlemen possibility.
So, we saw some of those hollow,
10 auctions hit like close
to 700 a couple of weeks ago.
I was shocked by it.
I think I did 3 25 on a
calamity, like calamity.
It feels like low-key whatever,
anybody wants to go, snake, calamity.
But yeah I threw a 3 25 out there
and like I've got a couple of hollow,
tens listed like recently and didn't
get like a ton of interest on it.
Ended up going for 6 75.
You probably would have a hard time moving
in nine right now for a hundred bucks.
So, like I'm going to it, it's
a risk and you have to invest
those dollars to take that risk.
Which is a little, a little scary,
but it's way more often than not
with fortnight going to pay off as
long as you know what you're doing.
Like when you pull it, you're not
like when I slayed these things.
It's w a, it's a one-time.
I just leave them off to the side until
I'm ready to prep them for grading.
I'll cut a little slit in the
penny sleep because I don't
want to catch the corner on it.
The, the darker backs, if you just
catch it one time on that, edge
of the plastic could ship a little
piece off and go from a 10 to a nine.
A lot of anxiety, but for sure.
Yeah, when it pays off,
it's a, it's a nice.
Yeah, I, I definitely relate to
what you've been saying, which is,
when you see it, you just buy it and
you don't try to time the market.
I'm the same way too, because I got to
a point last year where I'm like, okay,
fortnight I've liked it a lot so far.
I feel really good about series one.
I didn't get too into series two though.
I did buy, I did buy some from series two,
but I think I still preferred series one.
And then I realized that I didn't have
before with Pokemon, I brought this habit
where I wanted to collect everything.
And then I realized that my
collection would probably be better.
Better taking aside that I have
all the things that I want.
But, collecting the top 10% or the top 5%.
And I didn't like I had the promo
sets, I have a PSA nine galaxy.
PSA 10 would have been better,
I got the PSA nine at least.
Well, hold on one second.
What do you mean by top 10% or 5%?
Like the top, like 10%,
like chase of the set.
Like the most valuable cards,
like just, taking those down.
And there were, there were a few of
the cards that I had, gold trooper.
Love it, but I didn't have, I didn't
have a nice Luxe, which to me, like
that might not be in everyone's top
10%, but that was just one for me
that I'm like, oh, I need to have Lux.
So, and then I didn't
have any black Knights.
I pulled a base set a base black
night and I sold her for 10 bucks
years ago, which is fucking anyways.
So I'm like, I don't have a,
I don't have a black Knight.
I don't have a Luxe and I don't
have any more sealed Megos.
Cause when I was getting my Megos in
2019, I ripped them, all them all.
I ripped about 22 or 24, okay.
Yeah, no, I sold a lot of them.
But it was at those lower price points.
I didn't hang on to them for very long.
Made some mistakes.
So that kinda sucked, make
those mistakes though.
It obviously like sucks in the, like
in the present moment, but as long
as you like, try to not make the
same mistake twice, you're learning
like something very valuable.
That's going to help
you out down the road.
You just don't know it at the
time, but yeah, like it's yeah
it's a really good lesson.
I agree with you.
It is a really good lesson and it helps
me so at first the lesson that I took
from it was rip don't rip keep everything
sealed and then buy the things you want.
And I still feel that
way for the most part.
But at the same time though, too,
I do try to mitigate that with
let's enjoy the set a little bit.
So let's like buy, sealed
in by whatever you can.
And then like just a portion
of it, just put aside so that
you can enjoy that part of it.
And then, like you said, like
what you were saying potentially
hit something really good.
So hopefully I'll hit a minus but to your
point, like all those three things sealed
man series one, a BK PSA, nine hollow
foil, and then a Lux Halliwell, like a
9.5 SGC bought those just all at once.
Cause I was just like, you know what?
This has got to be, this is the
moment I might be overpaying a
little bit for it, for the BK.
I might have paid if I waited a little
longer, I think maybe I could have
paid a little bit less or it could
have negotiated down a little bit less,
but it was only a few hundred dollars
ultimately compared to the $2,500 listing.
And so I'm these few hundred dollars
that might not turn into a deal.
Are they going to matter
ultimately in the long-term value?
And I didn't think it was worth it agreed.
Because at that point you're risking,
all it takes is one to sell for three
K before you're paying, double what
you thought you were going to save.
And to me, the other thing with
overpaying, like taking rarity, Rudy
and new account, how quickly can I
go find this and buy it from somebody
who's willing to sell it to me for, like
market value, obviously like the rare,
the less people have to abide by that.
so say you buy it for,
2200, it's listed for 2,500.
If you buy it with the thought of, this
is going to in three years from now.
And you have the competence in that
you can't sweat over like the 300 bucks.
So I feel like you just have to be like,
I'm willing to risk, that like paying
that extra because if you lose a lost
field is pretty much the same way, unless
it's like colossal losses, which I have,
a couple or at least maybe not colossal
losses, but Wins sold far too early.
That feels like losses
a couple hundred bucks in that situation.
That's what I was saying about.