Wednesday 10 August 2016

Failed bulk box purchase

Okay, there is going to be a lot of text before we get to any cards.

I've posted before about buying bulk boxes of Browns on eBay, and being very lucky in getting a lot of cards that I needed for my collection. Well, my luck finally ran out.

I can accept that. I have an awful lot of different Browns cards, and so I just hope to see sets in the box that I don't have many cards out of. Usually these boxes have a lot of different cards, some duplicates, but a lot of different sets represented.

This box, however, was different.

Here is the heading from the listing that I bought:

Cleveland Browns Modern Era 1998-2015 300 Card Lot Including Stars

And the description in the listing:

You will receive a box of 300 Cleveland Browns football cards. These are modern era cards ranging in years from 1998 to 2015.  This is not just a box of commons, the biggest stars will be included. All cards are in near mint or better condition.  FREE SHIPPING!!!

It had a Buy It Now of $12.95 which I figured was fair with the free shipping. It looked as though everything should be post-expansion Browns where I have a lot of needs, especially in lesser brands, in inserts, and in parallels which I usually find in these bulk boxes.

The box arrived at my US mailbox while I was away in San Diego. I drove to my PO Box the day after I returned home. I was really looking forward to seeing what I would get in a random box like this. I opened up the box, it was packed pretty tight. I pulled out a small chunk of cards...and they were all from the same set.


Well, dumping out the rest of the cards, I saw that there were in fact different sets in the box, but not quite the assortment that I was used to seeing in these bulk boxes. I just hoped there were some cards that I needed.

Sorting the cards by set, this is the breakdown that I found:

2008 was represented by one set (Topps Finest), and had 3 different cards.

2011 was represented by one set (again Topps Finest), and had 2 different Peyton Hillis cards, one of which was an insert.

2012 was represented by two sets:
Panini Absolute with 2 cards, but they were the same card.
Panini Prizm with 1 card.

2014 was represented by four sets:
Bowman Chrome with 2 cards, but again the same card.
Panini Crown Royale with 1 card.
Panini Totally Certified with 6 cards, with 3 distinct cards being represented.
Topps Platinum with 1 card.

2015 was represented by 6 sets:
Bowman: 4 cards, 2 distinct.
Donruss: 17 cards, 5 distinct.
Panini Certified: 2 different cards.
Panini Contenders: 18 cards, 3 distinct.
Panini Prestige: 13 cards, 5 distinct.
Topps Platinum: 9 cards, 2 distinct.

So far, in these years we have 81 cards, of which 30 are different from each other. And nothing from 1998-2007, or from 2009-2010. I think the description would have been better off saying from 2008-2015.

I skipped 2013. It has more sets, but is where the pain really sets in.

2013 was represented by nine different sets:
Panini Certified: 29 cards, 4 distinct.
Panini Prestige: 23 cards, 6 distinct. (Almost a team set: missing the Barkevious Mingo RC.)
Panini Rookies & Stars: 40 cards, 3 distinct. (Multiple team sets minus Mingo RC.)
Panini Select: 15 cards, 3 distinct.
Panini Totally Certified: 1 card.
Score: 145 cards!!!, 10 distinct. (Again, multiple team sets minus Mingo RC.)
Topps: 38 cards, 7 distinct. (Guess whose missing?)
Topps Prime: 3 cards, 2 distinct.
Topps Platinum: 9 cards, 2 distinct.

So, 2013 was comprised of 303 cards, of which only 38 are different from each other.

In the breakdown above I have identified all the inserts or parallels that I received. One, which based on the rest of the box, must have been accidentally included. On the other hand, it is one that I already have multiples of and really doesn't have any value (not that I expected anything in this box to have value, just stuff that I needed and wanted).

Totals: 384 cards, but just 68 distinct cards. (Advertised as a 300 count lot, but even take off 84 extra Score cards and that would leave me with 61 of them!)

Again, looking at the description, "not just a box of commons, the biggest stars will be included."

Well, I don't expect the Browns to have big stars, and I guess there were a couple of Manziel cards, and a Kosar card. But again, not quite what I expected.

I laughed that there were no Barkevious Mingo RCs. They are so very, very valuable. (And I think that I have them from those sets already.) But I guess the package only advertised the biggest stars would be included, not that any RCs would be included.

I haven't yet left feedback on this purchase. It was packaged well, and arrived quickly. Technically they didn't promise different cards or anything different than what they sent. I think I have to leave positive feedback, but I kind of want to say something with it to express disappointment. What do you guys think?

Oh, and among the 68 distinct cards? I needed 5 so these are $2.59/card. I think I could have found them shipped cheaper.

Here they are, front and back!
2013 Panini Select #24 and #105

You know what? I'm always happy to add a Kosar that I didn't have to my collection.

2014 Panini Totally Certified #22-24

Will this purchase stop me from picking up Browns in bulk lots? No. Will it cause me to never buy from this seller again? Most definitely.


  1. Bummer. I've had very similar things happen, and the sellers who do that tend not to be in business too long.

  2. This is exactly the sort of thing that worries me in regards to making this sort of purchase. It's truly a roll of the dice. I think his item description is misleading because of the years listed. I'd be sure to mention that in your feedback, but otherwise I guess you'd have to give him a positive (unfortunately).

  3. My bulk orders these days are just cherry picking cards from sellers that have free shipping on eBay.

  4. I just like the name Barkevious.. lol

  5. When I first jumped back into the hobby back in 2008... I purchased the same sort of card lots. My least favorite was when they flooded my boxes with 1991 Pacific, 1990 Fleer, or 1991 Score. If it were me, I'd probably leave positive feedback... but make sure to describe the issue in the comments.