As I've been divesting my 30+ year collection of sportscards and memorabilia one of the biggest surprises I've encountered was a total lack of interest in what I obviously once thought was a neat item.
Near the end of my active life as a collector I decided to pick up items that reflected my burgeoning interest in college football. I thought it would cool to collect 1950s game programs.
They seemed to offer a combination of colorful mid-century modern graphics with names and faces that I remember from my childhood days collecting football cards.
If the recent no-sale of one such program is any indication, I was really far ahead of the collecting curve or had completely missed the boat.
Recently I put up for auction on eBay one such program. I timed the auction to end after one week, on Aug. 31, at the start of this year's college football season.
The program was for the Nov. 14, 1953, University of Pennsylvania homecoming game, with Army visiting. It's a 48-page magazine-format program with lots of player photos and colorful ads in nice condition.
The starting bid was $9.99. That auction had only two people view it, and generated no bids.
Thinking the starting bid may have been a bit steep -- I've been trying to list on eBay only items that make the time and effort to sell in that venue worthwhile -- I relisted the program at $4.99 with a Sept. 8 ending date.
I rechecked the category in which the auction was presented. It was listed under Sports Memorabilia, Cards and Fan Shop > Vintage Sports Memorabilia > Publications > Programs > College - NCAA. I don't think I could have listed in a better category.
This time absolutely nobody clicked open the auction, so there were no bids.
I have now relisted the program for another week, at the same starting bid of $4.99, ending Sept. 16. I'll keep you posted on the results.
As you can see from the accompanying pictures of front and back covers, and some of the interior pages, this program screams 1950s college football, with two of the more famed teams in the east. Granted there are no big names among the rosters, but this item should have struck a cord with some college collector.
I guess the whole experience just goes to show that I don't know everything there is to know about marketing sports collectibles in this day and age.
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