Sunday, September 28, 2014

Golf Pro - Tom Lehman

Local Minnesotan Tom Lehman even has a bobblehead!  I've seen a couple of these and this is the exact kind of bobblehead I'm now looking for.  Lehman grew up in Alexandria and went to the University of Minnesota.  I believe this was a giveaway at the 2005 Marshall Fields Challenge and appears to be an AGP bobblehead.  If you have more information, please share!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apparently I have a "Professional Eye"

Recently I was contacted by a couple people about pricing some bobbleheads they were looking to sell.  This came out of left field, ya know...much like Delmon Young played the position, never knew what you were walking into!  Crap, that's 2 Delmon Young references in consecutive blog posts, pretty sure I've met that quota for...ever.  Anyway, back to the story.

After reading the email, I instantly knew I was going to help if our schedules lined up.  As I've wrote about several times, simply basing everything off eBay is a huge frustration of mine and the seller probably won't sell too much.  Luckily the sellers were motivated and completely understood the eBay vs. local idea.  I believe they had roughly 60 some bobbleheads, ranging widely over the past 10-15 years of giveaways and retails.  We met after several emails and I went thru everything they had and priced them out fairly (both for them and whoever was going to buy them).  That's important to me, they asked for my help, so I certainly wanted to be fair to them.  But part of being fair to them was pricing the bobbleheads at a value that would sell which leaves a fairly small sweet spot.

Shortly after I provided the help I received a thank you note saying that my "professional eye" was a lifesaver and they were so incredibly happy and gracious that I gave them my time.  In all honesty, it was totally my pleasure to help them.  I'd do that for most anyone.  It's fun looking at bobbleheads, maybe I'd see one that I didn't have, maybe I'd look at a bunch of common ones, no matter what I'll always try to help, especially since I have that "professional eye!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Crap, its been over a week!

I've been meaning to write this blog for a while.  It's been over a week since I posted a blog, but not for a lack of trying or being lazy on my part.  It happened to be my wife's 30th birthday this past weekend and obviously we had to celebrate that in style.  So most of last week was spent getting ready for that wonderful event.

For most of my readers, you'll know I enjoy helping connect other collectors to bobbleheads they are looking for.  I've had several tell me, if you ever find a Pohlad or Mauer powder blue season ticket bobblehead, please let me know.  I've also been able to find several SGA bobbleheads for new collectors.  It's fun for me.  I wrote about the chase and the find a couple months ago.  Not only for my own collection, the chase and the find are fun for me when helping others too.  Even if its a Delmon, not many people actually "desire" that bobblehead, how bout...even if it's a Gary Gaetti SGA, as Pharrell would say, reason for the chase and the find is all "because I'm Happy."

So if you are looking for something specific, email me, leave a comment, get in contact with me somehow and I'll do my best to connect you to that all elusive Delm...I mean, anything from Gary Gaetti to Carl Pohlad!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Organization is key!

I've had several people ask me how I keep track of my bobbleheads.  A few months ago I touched on this, read that here.  At first I started with a simple excel spreadsheet.  Then my passion grew into something a bit more than me just being "passionate" or so says my wife.  A small obsession perhaps?  Well, at that point I knew this excel spreadsheet wasn't going to cut it.  I looked at a few different options but eventually settled on something I was familiar with - Microsoft Access.  Simply put this is a database management system and exactly what I needed to keep track of my bobbleheads.

Below is a screenshot of my access database.  You'll see I have plenty of columns, for each bobblehead.  I try to get as much data as I possibly can.  If I learn something down the road, I fill it in on my database.  It includes both bobbleheads I have and those that I'm looking for.  It's not a perfect database yet, but hopefully some day, it will be!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A rare Rod Carew bobblehead!

I hadn't ever seen this bobblehead before but knew I'd like to add it to my collection when I saw a picture of it.  This is part of my great month or so (really it probably stretches about 6 weeks).  I traded a friend for it and am happy its part of my collection.  Most minor league bobbleheads aren't worth a ton and I have no idea what the value of this one is, but it doesn't really matter - its Rod freaking Carew!

Wilson Tobs was the Twins minor league affiliate in the early to late 60s.  Rod Carew played for the team in 1966.  The team honored him with a bobblehead giveaway in 2004.  I'm unsure how many were given away but would think in the 500 to 1000 range.

I don't know much more than this, if you do, please leave a comment and fill us all in with more details!!  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Holy Grail of Twins bobbleheads?

I've heard this referred to as the "Holy Grail" of Twins bobbleheads from several collectors.  Given its rarity, I figured I'd never see this in person let alone have the chance to add it to my own collection.

As the story goes, 50 of these bobbleheads were made by the Twins.  They handed them out at a special "roast" of Carl Pohlad.  This event was an invite only type of thing.  I can only guess that the most important of important Twins officials were present.  Anytime you have a limited edition of 50 items, each one will be somewhat valuable.  Given that this is a Twins bobblehead, produced by AGP and of the former owner himself, that rarity skyrockets.

Like I said, based on everything above, I didn't think I'd ever come across one of these.  And as I mentioned in my last post, the past month has been pretty damn lucky for me.  My fortunes were at their highest when I was able to acquire this bobblehead.

Without further ado, the so-called "Holy Grail" of Minnesota Twins bobbleheads, Carl Pohlad.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What a month!

I've had wonderful luck over the past month or so.  Easily the best month of my extremely short collecting career.  I've also been able to replenish a dwindling stock of bobbleheads to sell - gotta pay for the collecting side somehow, right?  I've blogged about a few of the bobbleheads I've picked up.  I plan on blogging about a couple others in the very near future.  A quick estimate would say I've added nearly 50 bobbleheads to my collection over the last several weeks while I've added about 60 bobbleheads to sell.  Obviously my hope is that I can sell the 60 for enough to pay for themselves as well as the almost 50 bobbleheads I'm keeping!  Ideal, but ideal doesn't always work.  And sometimes it takes months and months to sell everything.  So we'll see how things go!

Here are a couple pictures of a few I've blogged about recently.  More to come soon!  Also an updated want list!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Be courteous!

I've wanted to write this post for a long time.  No matter if you buy or sell.  Use eBay or Craiglist (or some other alternative). Are on the good or bad end of things.  Be courteous!  I've had tons of great experiences using eBay, Craigslist and at card shows.  I've also had a few terrible ones.  Obviously its always easy to remember the bad experiences.  Even with those, don't automatically blame the seller.  Here are a few examples why.

Recently I had sold something thru eBay.  Sent it off from the post office and got a note from the buyer asking me why the bobblehead was in a different country...not, on the day it was supposed to be delivered.  He wasn't mad, but perhaps worried and maybe even a bit confused.  He wasn't alone.  I immediately called USPS, who unfortunately didn't help one bit.  The next day I went to my local post office where they were super helpful, very apologetic and even offered a refund.  Human error is what happened. It certainly wasn't my fault or the buyers (obviously) and really I don't even blame the post office, mistakes happen.  They made up for it.  The buyer eventually received the bobblehead and everything turned out just fine.

Earlier this year, as a buyer, I had a similar experience.  I had purchased a bobblehead off eBay.  The seller shipped the item but never supplied me with tracking information.  After a few emails we figured the bobblehead was completely lost.  The seller gave me 2 options.  Refund me in full or they'd buy a similar priced bobblehead (the same one if possible) and have it shipped to me.  I opted for the latter.  A couple weeks later, the new bobblehead came and everyone was happy.

Sometimes things happen that is out of control for both the buyer and the seller.  Remember that.  Don't jump to conclusions right away.  Feedback on eBay is crucial - if they have great feedback, they are more than likely trustworthy buyers and sellers.  It's a bit more difficult through craigslist, but usually you can get a good feel for a buyer (and seller) over a couple emails or a phone call.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Consider all elements of the bobblehead

I come across bobbleheads all the time with major to minor damage and/or defects.  I've had a few people ask me how to judge a bobblehead in something less than excellent condition.  There are so many variables that go into the value of the bobblehead so its really difficult to put a number or value on something without seeing the actual bobblehead.  

I look at overall condition of the bobblehead first.  Are there chips and/or cracks or pieces missing?  Usually you'll find chips on the neck, ears or cap.  Sometimes there are extra curricular items (more than just the player/person) such as a bat, ball, glove, etc.  Depending on the manufacturer, some are made better than others.  All of those things definitely have a negative impact on the value.  

Secondly, I'll look for excess paint, chipped paint or anything to that degree.  Most of the bobbleheads are hand painted, so the paint jobs can be a little spotty.  I've had plenty of bobbleheads with a dribble of paint where it shouldn't have been.  To a serious collector this probably decreases the value. Chipped paint certainly decreases the value.  

Next, if its an SGA bobblehead, a ticket and/or COA card will only increase the value.  Many collectors will only buy bobbleheads with COAs and tickets.  While others (like me) aren't set on needing them for their collection - if I get them, great.  But if I find something I like and its in my price range - card/ticket does not matter.  

Tilted head.  Whats that you ask?  We've all seen them - a bobblehead with its head way off center. Personally these don't worry me too much.  Unless the head is way off base.  Does it affect the value?  I'd say (again, unless its significant) it shouldn't.  

Bobbleheads are massed produced and because of that not many of them are in pristine condition - where everything is absolutely perfect.  Those tiny defects shouldn't stop you from buying it.  Just be careful (and inquisitive) when looking to purchase one.  Below is a picture of random "defects" I've come across.  Some major, some minor.  Ultimately its up to you to determine what is major and what is minor.