Walter Johnson PSA 9 T206 Portrait Card Ends without Reserve Met

The rare card landed just below $90,000

Walter Johnson Portrait T206Last week, I wrote about a rare PSA 9 of a Walter Johnson T206 portrait card. Typically those cards wind up in traditional auction houses but this one was unique because it popped up on eBay.

While the card drew a lot of interest and attracted just under $90,000 in bids, the seller’s reserve was not met so it goes unsold.

The Johnson card, as was discussed here, is almost one of a kind. It is graded a PSA 9 and is the highest one graded as there are no PSA 10s. However, it isn’t the only one. In all, there are six PSA 9s of the card showing up in PSA’s population report.

Believe it or not, there are advantages to selling a card like this on eBay. For one thing, buyers can be likely to bid more since they don’t have a buyer’s premium to pay as is the case with most traditional auction houses. eBay also gets a lot of eyeballs and when cards like this surface, they can generate a lot of discussion, thus promoting the item a great deal.

eBay can also be an advantage for sellers as it allows them to name their price. That even occurs when cards are not being sold at a fixed amount because, as was the case here, they can set a reserve. That allows them to hang onto the card if a certain price isn’t reached.

But cards offered on eBay also can be avoided by wary buyers who may not know of particular sellers. Thus, they may prefer to buy such a high-dollar card through an established auction house.

So, how did this particular card do by comparison? With such a rare card, it often would be hard to say. But that isn’t the case here as another PSA 9 of the same card recently sold in a 2018 auction. That one sold for $114,000 so this one clearly didn’t meet expectations.

Does the nearly $90,000 price tag on this one set a new standard for the card? Not exactly. As mentioned, some bidders may have been a bit scared off by the card being for sale on eBay. Also, reserves also tend to discourage bidders sometimes. There’s a chance this card could be offered again somewhere else and top the $100,000 threshold.

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