This week's question comes from Rick:
"I was at my local card shop to pick up a Namath rookie (most expensive card I ever bought) and ended up talking about marked checklists, since the highest book card of the 20 I have to go for my 1965 Topps football set was checklist no. 1 (#87). The NM book on checklists are high because it is so hard to find unmarked checklists.
But, what is the value of a neatly marked checklist that would otherwise be NM? Is 25% of NM reasonable? For example, the 1965 Topps football #87 books for $175. Is a neatly marked, otherwise NM one valued at $43.75 (25% of $175)? What about it if is sloppily marked; I'd say 10% vs 25% for a neatly marked one. I'm interested in your thoughts on this."
(Examples from my own collection...From left to right: 1966 Topps, 1969 Topps, 1972 Topps. Of course, none of these would be mistaken for Near Mint without the marks. No, I didn't mark these up myself.)A:
According to the same price guide that contains those prices, ink markings on a card (even neatly done) mean they rate in the G/F/P range. And cards from 1960-present in that condition get 5-10%. Yes, it can be argued that an autograph placed on the card would also fall into the same category, but that's a topic for another Q&A.
That said, $43 is really high and I'd still have an issue with paying $8.75 to $17 -- which is 5-10% of $175 -- for a marked checklist. But then again, I'm a cheap SOB. The final decision as to whether you take the plunge depends on your own thought process; it's totally up to you to figure out what you'll pay to complete your set.
If a seller ever pulls out a Beckett to show you an inflated value as a way of underscoring what you consider to be a high price, simply take that same magazine out of his hand (but do it politely...it's still his store, after all) and flip over to the section where they discuss condition. It's hard for them to argue when it's in black and white.
Personally, it's my opinion that marked checklists aren't rare enough to warrant a premium. I've picked up marked checklists from that era in the commons boxes for less than a dollar. In fact, none of the checklists shown above were picked up for more than 50 cents.