I first heard about the Living Set from one of my collecting friends. I kind of balked at the idea of paying $15 a week for three cards. I was so focused on buying collections and placing pre-orders for new, unopened product that I didn’t see the collecting or investment potential in this new product.
I followed along from the sidelines as those first several weeks were released. I really liked the artwork, and the values of the cards continued to climb. The thought crossed my mind, that if I did this right, the Living Set could pay for itself! I started to see the potential, but I continued to just sit and watch throughout the summer.
The guys on the About the Cards podcast started making the set one of their ongoing weekly features. Between that additional exposure and my friend Stefan continuing to encourage me to jump in, it was finally enough to get me on board. In October, I began placing my weekly orders for the new releases from Topps, and I made a couple trades with Stefan for some of his extra cards from the prior weeks. My living set collection had begun!
For the next several weeks I soured Ebay listings and COMC invetory, picking up a few cards here and there for under $5. It seemed now that we were in the offseason the interest in the set was dying down a bit, and along with it, the prices were starting to fall. I was happy to get some of these past cards for less than I would have bought them for from Topps.
After several weeks of this, I was sitting on about 35 or 40 of the 100 plus cards in the set. Then I found it. There was an auction on Ebay that had 104 of the 108 cards released over the first 36 weeks of the program! The starting bid was only $499 which was under $5 per card and it included the Judge and Hoskins from the first two weeks as well as all the cards from Week 3 on. Turns out it ended at 8am on a Saturday morning and I was the only bidder. Boom! I was down to four cards, four very expensive cards, but four cards none the less.
Ebay best offers from one seller landed me the Panik, Castellanos, and Happ for a great price, and about a week later a deal on the Blowout Forum got me the Markakis! About two months after deciding to jump in on the set, I had completed it.
At this point I’m buying two bundles each week from Topps which keeps the set going as well as giving me a set of doubles to eventually sell off. I’m holding onto all my doubles right now since prices seem to be dropping a bit here in the offseason. I’m kind of expecting that trend to continue over the next several months. If you are considering getting in and want to catch up, I think this is the time to do it. You should be able to build your collection for very reasonable prices and then come spring we’ll see interest start to pick up again.