Contributor: Interview provided by Jun Kim

Back in August I posted an article discussing some of the ideas around which attempt to explain the explosion in sales prices of Michael Jordan cards that we’ve seen over the past year or so. I thought it might be a good idea to chat to some long time collectors and dealers of Jordan memorabilia to see if they have anything to add.

First up I chatted with Jun Kim who goes by the username rare23air83 on each ofeBayHobby Kings and Sports Card Forum.

I’ll add that I’ve bought a bunch of cards from Jun myself and found his service and card quality exceptional – one of the best and I highly recommend for a safe purchase – check out Jun’s eBay current eBay listings.

Interview with Jun Kim (rare23air83) Tell us a little about yourself as a Michael Jordan cards collector and dealer. How did you begin collecting and dealing? How long have you been a dealer? Roughly how many cards have you sold in your time a a dealer? Do you specialise in any particular era or type of card in either your personal collection or as a dealer?

Jun: I started collecting baseball cards first when I was a young boy because my neighbor at the time had cases of wax boxes. He one day called me over and gave me a box to open and keep. I still remember sitting in my living room floor that day and opening packs for what seemed like days. It was so much fun and I was hooked from the start.

I started to collect more seriously when I became a teenager in the early 90’s during MJ’s career. He was THE BEST and it was amazing seeing him play every game. I started collecting basketball cards then and MJ’s cards were always the ones to get. Nothing else compared to how valuable MJ’s cards were. Opening the new Beckett or Tuff Stuff Price Guides at any given month or year (even till this day), you can see MJ’s cards being leaps and bounds more expensive and valuable than anyone else’s.

I memorized all the Jordan cards and their value by heart because I read them so much. At the time, I didn’t have much money, so it would take me forever to add a nice insert card to my collection. Or if I was lucky enough, pull one from a pack which rarely happened. It was only a dream of owning a Michael Jordan rookie card. It just wasn’t possible and too expensive to afford at the time.

Over many years, I did accumulate a lot of his nice cards. Game Used Jerseys, Serial #’d cards, Auto’s, Refractors, Rare Inserts, etc. All 90’s cards. Come around college time, I decided to sell everything so I could downpay on a car. After that, I fell away from collecting cards altogether, even though I found myself browsing on eBay time to time for Michael Jordan cards.

Many years flowed, then just this past year, I decided to look into Jordan cards more seriously. Seeing 90’s MJ cards brought back so much memory. I used to live and breath them when I was younger. And because I knew almost every card by heart, I would search them on eBay. Wow. Seeing MJ cards selling for VERY high prices STILL, it sucked me right back in and made me want them again but even more this time. Now that I have disposable income, I started competing in bid wars to win these cards in eBay auctions and offers through card forums. When I received the cards in the mail, I felt like a little kid again excited about his new toy.

I tried selling a few that I had purchased and made a good amount of profit because there was so much demand. It made collecting that much more fun. I started to devote more time and money in it and kept buying and selling. Nothing but Michael Jordan cards, Pre-2000 era. It’s incredible how hot they are and the world knows it as well. I’m not really a dealer, but more of a collector that likes to recycle some of his MJ collection to add newer and different MJ cards. But in the process, make good profit along the way. Have you recently noticed a sharp increase in the prices you are paying for cards you buy and sales prices of cards you sell?

Jun: Prices have definitely rose higher for both buying and selling. It seems like there are record sales every month, and the demand for them is getting higher and higher, while the supply is staying the same at best, if not fewer with more time. Have you noticed this kind of increase before in your time collecting and dealing? If so did prices reduce back down over time or did they continue on at the higher level?

Jun: I haven’t seen anything as big as this before. MJ cards already started off high in value from the get go in the 90’s. They were almost exponentially higher than the next most valuable guy. We didn’t really expect it to go up that much, but rather retain it’s already high value.

Now that 15+ years have passed, most of us kids that used to grow up watching Michael Jordan play and collect his cards, are older with careers with disposable incomes. Cards we couldn’t afford and only dream of owning are attainable now. I recently read in an article stating that Michael Jordan is making MORE money NOW with endorsements than he ever did at his prime playing basketball.

Everywhere you go, whether at a mall or department store… you see his name and Jumpman logo plastered everywhere and they SELL like hot cakes. People on TV are still wearing Jordan clothes and sneakers and “sporting” them with pride. Michael Jordan was named the Athlete of the CENTURY without a question of doubt. He is the 2nd most Popular Athlete NOW and he hasn’t played a single sport in years. His name is known worldwide, even to the remotest villages.

It’s obvious MJ’s legacy and his name is an icon and remains supreme. Since the demand is high and supply is still low for rare cards, it’s the fundamental of business. Low supply and high demand equals high value. And because his name and legacy will live on forever, the demand will always be there. Supply won’t. What cards or groups of cards are seeing the biggest jump in value?

Jun: I see mostly his 90’s inserts and Gem Mint graded cards jumping the most in value. The 90’s when Jordan was playing in the Bulls. His prime. Beckett also speaks about it in their newest issue. I also noticed many high end MJ collectors selling and buying GEM MINT graded cards for LOTS and LOTS of money. Low population, rare inserts are better than GOLD! Selling for thousands and thousands of dollars only to be stored away in PC’s. Are there any cards or groups of cards that have remained unchanged or reduced in value in your experience?

Jun: It seems like his newer 2000+ cards have remained unchanged mostly. I don’t really see any of his cards reduced in value either. Have you noticed an increase in the number of watchers of your eBay listings in general? Do you think there are more collectors interested in Michael Jordan cards at the moment?

Jun: The number of watchers have increased but not by a dramatic amount. There have always been lots of watchers on Jordan cards, but definitely more these days. The buzz around Jordan is definitely affecting other collectors and influencing them to add more Jordan cards to their collection.

Thank you very much for your time and insight Jun.

I recommend you check out these links below also to read more from Jun and see some of his collection: