Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I GOT RIPPED OFF (But I Don't Mind) - PART 1

Relationships are a weird thing in the hobby.

You make a lot of friends that you might not have made due to our obsessions with cardboard. Sometimes, relationships can make deals harder than they have to be. Such is my life at my LCS.

My shop has been open for about 25 years and is owned by an older couple. They're rough around the edges but really nice folks. Problem is, everything in that store is ten dollars overpriced. Of course, they'll always give you a "deal" but it'll still be overpriced.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not mad. In fact, I think that is great business sense by both of them. They really play up the Vancouver market well, but sometimes I feel ripped off.

For example, I go into the store with a 20 dollar budget. Basically my goal was to go check out their old Canucks base binder for Cloutiers and see what GU and AUTO's they had in stock. With even a 20 dollar bill I thought I could get a lot done, wrong.

 I got two base, one parallel and an insert; let's take a look at them and then I'll let you know what I paid for them.

The one you see on either side of this text comes from what I think is my favourite Upper Deck Series 1 set - ever. Bold statement, I know. Nostalgia has a huge part in me saying that. I just love the borders, the full sized pics and the boxiness of the back design. Plus this was the set I seemed to see most of when I was trading with my buddies.

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to see this card. This is also very nicely designed; the all foil and pop out figure on the card is quite neat! 

I also like how the back has that red section that is titled "Bowman Briefing." It's that creativity that I believe is missing in a lot of base sets today. You could tell there was great time in writing the "Résumé," "Skills" and "Evolution" portions.
Speaking of nostalgia, this is the definition of the word! McDonalds hockey cards, otherwise known as another excuse to go grab a happy meal as a kid. These things were so fun to rip open with friends. I remember my uncle would come over sometimes and have like 25 packs of this stuff for me to open with him (and the packs weren't cheap)! If you hit a cool insert (especially die-cut ones) or a hot rookie, you were the guy to talk to the next day.

Good old grade five... I know that hitting an AUTO or GU card was near impossible, but if you did, you were a rich man!

I remember when this insert came out and wanting to have it so bad. I did eventually get my hands on a copy but for some reason lost it along the way. Fortunately, I picked this one up with the other three cards at my LCS. Plus, it's in much better shape than my last copy was!

Looks like four pretty solid pick-ups to me. Probably my most exciting low end Cloutiers I have, but what did I pay? Well at a flea market in Florida I would have probably gotten all four card for a dime. At my LCS, I payed two bucks a piece. Yup, eight bones for four cards.

But like I said in the title, I don't mind.

I got to look through three binders packed with IP and TTM AUTO's and laugh at a few good stories with the gentleman store owner. I got to talk hockey (lockout, concussions etc.) But most importantly, I went home with cards I liked and was happy AND the owners got paid so they were happy AND we both had a good time doing it.

That is what the hobby is all about.

But hey, my wallet still had 12 bucks to spare before I hit my cap. Unfortunately my heart thought it had about 32 bucks left...

Stay tuned for "I GOT RIPPED OFF (But I Don't Mind) - Part 2"... There are some interesting cards coming up.

As always take a look at C4K CLOUTIER and mozy through my Dan Cloutier PC.


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