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A Giant Dose of Disappointment

July 8, 2012

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Seasoned collectors will know that this hobby can be littered with instances where disappointment reigns supreme.

Terrible box breaks, damaged goods arriving in the mail, losing an auction to a snipe bid at the last second; there are all sorts of ways that frustration can enter our collecting experiences.

A week ago today I experienced one of the more disappointing collecting moments in recent memory.

I had been away camping all weekend with my wife and her family, returning early Sunday afternoon in desperate need of a few hours of sleep in my real bed.

After catching a quick nap I headed down to my office to get myself caught up on all of the collecting related emails that had accumulated over the course of the holiday long weekend.

As I was going through my emails I saw a new listing alert email from eBay titled “c55 Niedermayer” that had arrived that morning.  I was excited immediately.

Scott Niedermayer appears in the 2003-04 Topps C55 product just once, as a short printed inclusion in the Relics framed jersey card set. 

I have been chasing the Relics cards since the day this product was released and nearly a decade later I’m still trying to track down three of the cards, one of which is the Niedermayer.

I opened the email right away and that’s when my heart really got pounding.  The Niedermayer jersey card had just been listed that day and the seller had it listed with a Buy It Now price of just $5 plus shipping! 

I couldn’t believe it! Every other time I had seen this card listed over the years (instances that I can count on a single hand) it involved price tags that were far beyond what I could afford at the time.  Now I was a few clicks away from owning it at a bargain price!

Since this article deals with collecting disappointments, I’m sure you can guess what happened when I clicked the link to the listing: the card had already sold to another collector who I can only assume knows as well as I do that $5 for this card is beyond a steal.

When I saw that the card was gone I was absolutely deflated. 

I know it’s just a hockey card and getting worked up over things as trivial as a hobby is a bit ridiculous, but this bout of disappointment was like few I’ve experienced in all my years of collecting.

Would it have been available if I had checked my email right when I got home instead of taking that nap?  When is the next time I will see this card listed?  What are the chances the asking price will be even close to how low it was for this copy? 

These types of questions will be ringing in my head for a long time to come.


If you have one of the three Topps C55 jersey cards that I’m still searching for or know where I might be able to find any of them, please send me an email at, leave a comment in this post, or connect with me on Facebook and/or Twitter and let me know.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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