2012 Contenders SSPs – The Most Valuable Scrub Autos of the Year

Every year, Contenders is released, and for a few weeks there are people in the hobby who go into detective mode. Not because they are trying to crack any sort of code, but because they are trying to speculate which of the Contenders auto tickets are not showing up on eBay. They are either contenders auto set builders, or flippers, but they both want to get in before the prices get high. The speculation can result in a windfall of cash if the results are correct. If not, it could be hundreds of dollars down the drain. It is the only time in the hobby where a player with no production on the field, can be worth TONS off the field.

The reason this is so important, is that there can be a ridiculous price tag put on a full auto set with the SSPs:

2009 Contenders Auto Master Set With SSPs

Here are some examples from previous years – note the price tag:

2011 Contenders Greg McElroy SSP Ticket Auto

2011 Contenders Tyron Smith SSP Ticket Auto

2010 Contenders Blair White SSP Auto

Since the beginning of Panini’s blog, they have slow played the release of the SSP list to maximize hits on their site, but also to keep people buying and searching. Earlier this week, they released the first batch of numbers. Now that retail Contenders also has autos, it can drastically affect perceptions on the way the cards seem to be pulled. Therefore, I think the best idea is to hold off until retail starts hitting shelves. This way, we get the lowest print runs first.

Here are some of the prices for the already released SSPs:

2012 Contenders Dont’a Hightower SSP Auto /47

2012 Contenders Courtney Upshaw SSP Auto /57

2012 Contenders Jeff Demps SSP Auto /99

The reason to wait for retail is simple – there are a lot of autos in retail, mostly lower tier guys, that dont show up until weeks after hobby. In 2010, Carlos Dunlap, a DL who plays for the Bengals, was being pulled at a drastically low rate. His auto tickets were selling for hundreds. Then retail hit, and all of a sudden, his auto was everywhere. The tickets dropped like a rock, which meant a lot of lost dough for the people that thought he was an SSP.

I really like the Contenders set this year, and from the looks of it, this year’s product might end up being one of the best it has ever been. Its hard not to get caught up in the hype, as its obvious that Contenders is one of the more anticipated sets of the year. The SSP program, now more likely contrived by Panini instead of forced by the athletes, has been embraced by most. That says something about how people view the long term value potential of player’s cards who will never end up being superstars on the field.

Here is the full list:

3 thoughts on “2012 Contenders SSPs – The Most Valuable Scrub Autos of the Year

  1. We mustn’t confuse a ridiculous asking price on ebay for an actual realized selling price… I am bothered by the ebay trend of more and more cards being listed as BIN with silly stupid prices.

    And no one shops or does research before they list especially the sellers. There is a history of sales on the same card you have and to ignore that is only going to cause you to be offended when you list a card for 8 times what it is going for and I make you an offer based on actual sale prices…

    I make a couple tough auto sets every year and usually I can get back what I put in to them unless I break them up and sell individually…. Using 2011 for example the decrease on prices of a guy like Newton is off set by the increase of Kaepernick but overall set sell price doesnt move much.. Most people are not set buyers any way they are only chasers of the current big thing and they cant or dont want to pay for the whole set….

    Ive actually done ok buy buying sets and breaking them up…

    It is interesting that you could buy a box of contenders and more than likely get 6 crap autos and still have hope that the 7 round cornerback of the Lions you pulled might only have 47 signed versions…

    Yet another example of the overall hobby focusing on the wrong things like perceived scarcity, crazy OMG stupid manu patches with little consideration to on field performance or historical relevance

  2. McElroy is a QB (from a college with a rabid fan base) who ended up starting for Jets when Sanchez got benched. There’s regular speculation going on there as well as SSP fervor.

  3. The best part of these SSPs is when they are of a guy that didnt see the field all year..

    someone paid over $200 for Jeff Demps who was on injured reserve all year….

    Michael Smith-3 games no stats nada zilch nothing

    Blair White 2 years 36 catches

    2009 SSP of the year Aaron Kelly-1 year in the league 0 games no stats nada zilch nothing

    Can Panini make an auto card of me, Ive got no stats or time in the league either, anyone want my auto? Its limited to 38 copies ….

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