My love for buyback autographs is noted. Just search the archives of this site, and you will see how much I love the idea of capitalizing on the history presented in sets of years past. This past year, Topps has offered this type of a program in both Baseball and Football, and the fruits of this idea are driving huge prices among collectors that love them – myself included.
Here are some recent ones that have generated some ENORMOUS SALES:
Baseball is the usual place where signed buyback cards are done, as there is more to choose from. Football just doesnt have that type of history yet. It has some for sure, but not enough. Sadly, retired football players dont usually live as long, either, so it severely limits the checklist. When the cards are offered as reprints, there isnt the same kind of fervor among collectors who want them, as nothing beats the original. Its worse with stickers.
There are ways around it, either way, as the signed and authenticated rookie card has become a must have over the last five years. More people are opting to throw the ‘value’ of the card to the wind and opt to get them signed for the ‘value’ of the autograph. This was a huge no-no back when I was a kid, but this is a different hobby these days – especially when you see how many of them pop up with every passing day.
Upper Deck, back in the early 2000s took the buyback market very seriously, offering the autographs in their sets frequently. They brought it back in 2011 with the college legends release, but have not gone that direction since. In basketball, the retro insert buybacks with Michael Jordan, offered as 1/1s in the set, were extremely popular for obvious reasons. As someone who loves this tactic, I have found myself buying more and more of them. The problem always stems from authenticity, as there are known issues with fakes and forged signatures. Just because it says “buyback” in the auction title, doesnt mean you shouldnt still do your homework. The most famous of these fakes is from Bowman Originals – which was a whole set that was done around the concept. Because the cards were not encapsulated securely, it was easy for people to forge them. BE CAREFUL!
I have pleaded with card companies for years to really take this seriously, especially in sets with higher end content. When you see that Topps was able to pull it off for a lower end set like Archives – I get really excited. Lets hope there are more in the works, and they arent as rare. Card collecting is contingent on nostalgia as much as any other human emotion, why not use this sentiment as a driver for great content?