By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor
Colin Kaepernick’s status has risen with football fans and collectors in San Francisco. But there is still one place where Kaepernick’s cards remain more popular than the hometown – eBay.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has emerged as the NFL’s hottest player as his team heads to the Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens.
Bay-Area card shops no longer have his cards in stock, so collectors have turned to the few outlets where they can find them.
“Interest has increased, but we sold out of his stuff,” said Stephen Tarantino, owner of Collector’s Cave in San Francisco. “It’s difficult to get them at a reasonable price, especially if we’re trying to get them off eBay. It just wouldn’t work.”
For card dealers who didn’t have a stack of Kaepernick cards in the backup box, it’s going to be tough to get cards now. It’s not cost effective with his autograph cards selling for hundreds – maybe even thousands of dollars.
Those looking for Kaepernick cards have turned to sites such as eBay and Check Out My Cards.
But good luck at finding them at a decent price. A few months ago, collectors could have gotten his cards for a couple of dollars as Alex Smith led the 49ers at the quarterback position.
Some sellers are kicking themselves right now as they sold Kaepernick cards too early – although not many could have predicted what happened in San Francisco.
Sellers are not complaining though.
“I already sold more Kaepernick than I ever did Alex Smith combined since his rookie year,” said Jordan Lee of What’s on Second in San Mateo, Calif. “There were some years I didn’t even sell Alex Smith. If I had to quantify it, I would probably say I’ve sold Kaepernick 10 to 1 compared to Smith.”
Kaepernick’s card values spiked in Beckett’s Online Price Guide. For example, his 2011 Exquisite Collection #146 (numbered to 135) had a high book value of $500 during his hot regular season run. Now, the same card has a high book value of $800 (To see Kaepernick’s full OPG, click here).
San Francisco-area card shops only wish they had these cards in stock.
Niners fan Steve Morrell from Norwalk, Conn., obtained many of Kaepernick’s Rookie Cards leading up to his successful run. He has 57 Rookie Cards with autographs and patch cards, which he got through card show finds and trades on the Beckett forums.
Morrell prepared for this moment.
“I expected him to one day take over for Alex Smith and be the great player that he was at Nevada,” Morrell said. “I may sell a few to recoup some of what I spent, but I plan to hold onto them to give to my kids one day. It’s a little harder to let go of cards from a team and player you root for.”
However, Morrell doesn’t know how many more Kaepernick cards he is going to be able to add to his collection.
Kaepernick’s prices have jumped so much making many of his cards out of reach.
“(It’s) nearly impossible!” Morrell said. “The prices have gone up basically 1000 percent from what I bought them for before he even started playing.”
Top Kaepernick cards
2011 Playoff National Treasures Rookie Signature Material Black #327 /25
2011 Playoff National Treasures Rookie Signature Material Gold #327 /25
2011 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs Black Refractors #25 /49
2011 Exquisite Collection #146 JSY AU /135
2011 Playoff National Treasures #327 JSY AU RC /99
2011 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs Patch #CK /25
2011 SP Authentic Autographs Gold #72 /15
2011 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs Crystal Atomic Refractors #25 /50
2011 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs Refractors #25 /99
2011 SPx Jersey Autographs Gold #46 /30
2011 Playoff National Treasures NFL Gear Combos Signatures Prime #10 /25
2011 Playoff National Treasures NFL Gear Combos Laundry Tag Signatures #10 /25