Geoff Wilson | Collector Stories

CardsHQ Mastermind Talks Collecting

Date: Feb 1, 2024
Author: Greg Bates, Senior Writer
Topics: CardsHQ, Collector Stories, Geoff Wilson
Length: 844 Words
Reading Time: ~5 Minutes

Geoff Wilson recently ripped a box of 1987 Topps Baseball that brought him back to his childhood.

For how hectic life is for Wilson — who is the founder of Sports Card Investor and the Market Movers app — tearing into a familiar product was a nostalgic reminder of simpler times.

“That’s just such a fun product. The wood grain, the panel,” Wilson said. “The Bo Jackson from 1987 Topps Future Stars is one of my favorite cards. That’s a card that I do very distinctly remember as a kid and really wanted one.”

Wilson — who is opening a 14,000-square-foot hobby shop called CardsHQ in Atlanta on February 1 — took time out of his busy schedule to chat with Topps RIPPED about his personal collection.

All photos courtesy of Geoff Wilson

Collecting Philosophy

Wilson focuses on a couple of aspects of his collecting philosophy.

“If I’m buying a card that is both a card that I want for my collection and as an investment, then I’m looking for cards that truly have some uniqueness,” Wilson said. “I’m looking for cards that I think collectors will want and love 20 years from now, 30 years from now, but that they’re difficult to find and hard to rebuy.”

“I’ve developed a little bit of a new philosophy as I’ve learned more over the last few years. My shift in my collecting philosophy is this: if I have a card and I could sell it tomorrow, and if I decided to buy it back three months from now with no problem because it’s auctioning throughout the year, then that card is obviously not that rare, and it’s not going to be a card I’m going to consider to be a real card in my collection.”

Wilson uses Michael Jordan’s 1986 Fleer in a PSA 10 as an example. It’s an iconic, highly sought-after card, but it’s not that rare, with over 300 copies in that grade. A number of copies sell at auction or other platforms every month.

“I’m putting more emphasis on the types of cards that you only see come up for auction once a year, if ever,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s PC Favorites

The other important aspect of Wilson’s collection is picking up cards of players he loves, regardless of their value.

Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, enjoys collecting Gator athletes — his favorite: Tim Tebow.

Wilson’s Tebow collection includes around 300-400 cards — including a 2010 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor rookie. It’s graded PSA 10, which is a pop 1 (the only one in existence).

“I try to collect pretty rare Tebow cards,” Wilson said. “Whenever I see them come up for auction or whatever, I’m always snagging them.”

Wilson has an impressive Jordan collection. He has started placing a lot more emphasis on collecting Jordan on-card autographs from early in his career.

“The 1980s cards with Jordan’s autograph PSA authenticated—less than 10 exist of a lot them out there. It’s rare,” Wilson said. “He just doesn’t sign much, and back when maybe he was signing a little more, people weren’t necessarily asking him to sign random ’80s cards. It’s hard to find some of them, but it’s a lot of fun to collect them.”

A couple of Wilson’s favorite Jordan auto cards include a 1986 Fleer base and Sticker, graded PSA Authentic with nine auto grades. He also has MJ’s 1988 Fleer All-Star card, which has fewer than 20 PSA-authenticated autographed examples. Wilson owns the highest graded one of all: a pop 1 PSA 9 with a 10 auto.

At the 2022 National Sports Collectors Convention, Wilson picked up Jordan’s 1984-85 Star #101 in a PSA 8. It is considered by some in the hobby as Jordan’s true rookie card.

To compliment his MJ cards, Wilson has an extensive LeBron James collection. He has Topps Chrome Refractors in PSA 10s from 2003-09, which is every year that Topps Chrome produced a James card.

“I actually have the entire rainbow of his 2003 Topps Chrome rookie cards,” Wilson said. “There was no Superfractor in 2003. It was the refractor to 50 that was the most rare.”

Wilson’s rainbow consists of a BGS Black Label 10 base card, pop 4; a Black Label 10 Refractor; Gold Refractor /50 in a BGS 9; X-Fractor /220; and Black Refractor /500.

Living in Atlanta, Wilson is big into collecting hometown athletes, especially Ronald Acuna, Tre Young, and Desmond Ridder.

A couple other of Wilson’s favorite cards from his PC include Steph Curry’s 2009 Topps Chrome base and Gold Refractor; a Bo Jackson 1986 Topps Traded with a PSA 10 grade and 10 autograph; and a Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update in a PSA 10 and 10 auto.

Collecting With His Sons

With his Sports Card Investor platform, Wilson always encourages kids to get into the hobby. Wilson’s two sons, 12-year-old Reeves and 9-year-old Harrison, are crazy about collecting with guidance from their dad.

“My 12-year-old is more football, my 9-year-old is more soccer,” Wilson said. “So, my 9-year-old loves ripping all of the Topps soccer products, like UEFA, Bundesliga, and MLS. “They’re very involved. I like to take them to card shows and collect with them.”

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