Tim Tebow’s card prices take a hit

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Tim Tebow heard the chants. Thousands of fans yelled his name in Denver, calling for him to quarterback the team.

Even after leading the Broncos to the playoffs and winning a game, Denver traded Tebow to the New York Jets, relegated as a backup and stuck on special teams.

Tebow is still popular among fans. Jets fans wear his jerseys on game day and plenty of them root for him to get in games with the Jets at 2-1 and tied for the top of the AFC East this season.

But his popularity hasn’t transferred to cards as of late. He was once one of the most collectible players in the NFL with autographs selling for hundreds of dollars.

However, Tebow’s cards prices have fallen over the last month – yet some would say too much for a backup quarterback.

His 2010 Topps Peak Performance autographs are a good example of the change in sales. The card has a book value of $50-$100, but in the last week, his autos have fallen even lower than that.

On Sept. 25, one of these cards sold for $38.51 and on Sept. 28, another sold for $46 on eBay. From August 18-27, three of the 2010 Topps Peak Performance autographs sold for $80, $80 and $85, respectively.

That’s a change of about $40 in a month.

Another example is his 2010 Certified #304 jersey/autograph numbered to 299, which has a book value of $75-$135. In August, five of these cards sold at auction for an average of $94.60, including a high of $149 on August 21.

That changed drastically in September. Four sales of 2010 Certified #304 sold for an average of $57.28 with the highest sale at $80.

Most of his cards follow the trend. Low-numbered and high-graded cards still sell well of Tebow. A 2010 Playoff Contenders autograph 1/1 sold for $1,175 and a BGS 9 2010 National Treasures Platinum numbered to 5 sold for $807 recently.

But these cards seem to be the exception with Tebow’s cards as of late.

To give one more example, recent sales of his 2010 Playoff Contenders #234 autograph card numbered to 400 followed the same pattern. The white and blue variations fall at the same rate and both have a book value of $90-$175.

In August, five ungraded versions of these cards sold for an average of $112.98, including a sale for $125 on August 23.

September was not kind to these cards though. Four ungraded versions of 2010 Playoff Contenders sold for an average $74.84. The best sale was on Sept. 16 for $93 in the month.

If any collector wanted a Tebow autograph to add to their collection, this seems to be the time to do it

Susan Lulgjuraj is the editor of Beckett Football Monthly. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here.


  1. Lou
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Maybe people are finally realizing he sucks

  2. Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I’ve been the owner of Sports Cards Plus for over 20 years. Before that, I was a Card Show Dealer. And, before that, I collected cards for many years. I have a degree in Industrial Engineering and have taken many courses involving statistics. Four years ago, I retired from a full-time job of 37 years as a Management Analyst/Engineer. Much of my experience involved analyzing data and applying statistical methods to predict current values and predict future values.

    Beckett Price Guides provide a great service to the hobby, but the values in the price guides are misunderstood by most people who use/read them. Most of the misunderstanding involves the two columns of values. Most critics (and you only hear from negative critics) will state, “It sells on eBay for a lot less than the high column.” However, the fact of the matter is while recent historical eBay sales are an easy way to determine what to expect if one chose to sell their card on eBay today, it does not necessarily reflect the true value of a card; nor should a few recent eBay selling prices be the sole source for what is listed in the two columns of Beckett.

    Selling prices on eBay have a wide range. Possible reasons/factors for selling price variances are:
    1. Supply and Demand (many of that card up for sale and only a few people looking to buy)
    2. Sports Headlines/Player Status (“Player X” had a good game last week, broke a record, or broke a leg)
    3. Condition of the card (Everyone claims their card is mint, and if you are an experienced eBay buyer, you know the card does not always look as good as the scan.)
    4. Ebay seller has low feedback, some bad feedback, is from my home state and you have to pay state sales tax (Since state sales tax and shipping cost is part of the “COST of THE CARD” should shipping, insurance and state sales tax be included in the Beckett card value columns?), is an international seller (usually involves fewer bidders, bidders tend to bid less because of lack of trust, lack of convenience, shipping costs are higher, longer waiting time to receive card, etc.),
    5. Card was sold as “Buy it Now” versus “Auction,”
    6. Auction was 3 days, 5 days 7 days or 10 days which affects number of people viewing item and bidding
    7. Item was misidentified in the “Listing Title”
    8. Following or lack of, for the seller
    9. Time Auction ends
    10. Day Auction ends
    11. In the case of a “Buy it Now” item, knowledge of the seller and/or how motivated the seller is to sell it quickly.
    12. In the case of a “Buy it Now,” was this item grouped together with other items sold and selling price was adjusted to reflect an agreement between buyer and seller
    13. Other factors

    Cards are sold by other means besides eBay. There are about 500 card shops, hundreds of card shows yearly, card trading sites, collectors who sell to each other, etc. As in the case describe above, there are many factors affecting selling prices by these other means. To state a card is worth less than listed in Beckett because the last few (or 16 for that matter) sold for less on eBay is an error.

    Statistically speaking, the number of factors involved in determining values and the total population of the item, together dictate the amount of data necessary to determine/predict statistically accurate card values. If you have 800 (400 dark jersey and 400 white jersey) 2010 Contenders Tim Tebow Auto RCs and only 16 have sold in the last month, what is the true value of this population of 800 Tebow cards? We don’t have enough data to determine a change from what is already listed is required. While it is safe to say down arrows for both “Beckett columns” are appropriate, if only using a population of 16 recent eBay sales, there is not enough data to change the two column values at this time.

    There are 800 2010 Contenders Tim Tebow Auto Rookie Cards. Since only 16 have been sold in the last month on eBay, it is logical to conclude the vast majority of people don’t want to sell their 2010 Contenders Tim Tebow Auto Rookie Card for the prices these cards are currently selling on eBay. This vast majority of people who own this card would say, it is worth more than that.

  3. Shad Stephens
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Maybe on his base stuff but you are still hard pressed to find a nice auto under $100

  4. Jim Jordan
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I appreciate Charlie’s comments. What he says is oh so true. As the former owner of two card shops and as a part time show dealer, I find that it’s all about supply/demand, who your customer is at any given moment, what kind of game said player recently had, etc. It’s actually pretty easy to tell which customers are looking for a huge discount for whatever reason and which ones are buying the card because it’s cool, they want it, or they want it for a loved one. People get way too focused on “what the price guide or ebay says it’s worth” instead of what it’s worth to the owner of the card, in my opinion.

  5. thelegendjerryrice
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    @ Shad since when is an auto. base lol

    His 2010 Topps Peak Performance autographs are a good example of the change in sales. The card has a book value of $50-$100, but in the last week, his autos have fallen even lower than that.

    On Sept. 25, one of these cards sold for $38.51 and on Sept. 28, another sold for $46 on eBay. From August 18-27, three of the 2010 Topps Peak Performance autographs sold for $80, $80 and $85, respectively.

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