Contributor: Inverview provided by Hani Hijazi

eBay dealer Hanizena – from Sydney, Australia – is a worldwide respected dealer of quality Michael Jordan cards. He is also the dealer who listed the $350000 1100+ Jordan card lot recently on eBay. We caught up with Hani for a chat about that famous lot and his experience in the dealing and collecting industry. When and how did you first get into collecting Jordan cards?

Hanizena: I first started collecting Basketball cards at the age of 13 when I just entered High School and at that time you could purchase a single package of basketball cards from your local newsagent or Card Shop. This was around the period where Shaquille O’neal was a rookie in the NBA and the Michael Jordan 1993/94 Fleer Ultra Scoring King was like the most dreamed of card you could attain – that’s why my eBay logo is this particular card. At that age it was a dream to pull a Michael Jordan card out of a pack even if it was a base card. Did you stop collecting for some time? If so, when and why did you get back into collecting?

Hanizena: Yes I did stop collecting cards for 2 reasons. 1 was simply because there were no more card shops in Sydney that sold or traded basketball cards. With no eBay I didn’t have the resources to locate alternative locations for obtaining basketball cards so I put all my folders and cases of cards away. The second reason was that at the time I was entering University. My priorities were so demanding that I didn’t have much time in maintaining the expensive hobby of collecting and trading cards especially since there was no influence from anyone around me whether at Uni or friends.

I got back into collecting and trading cards approx 3 years ago when I was simply searching eBay for a MJ Bulls Jersey. With the basic search of Michael Jordan on eBay I also noticed that there were MJ cards for sale on eBay and this is how my passion began again. How did you get into Jordan cards dealing?

Hanizena: In regards to dealing Michael Jordan cards it was a case of trial and error. I simply just listed a couple of MJ cards that I had doubles of to try to get some money so that I could buy some other MJ cards that I was interested in. When I noticed that some particular cards seem to attract alot of attention on eBay I decided to test the market with my other cards. Without giving away any trade secrets, what is your number one tip for becoming a respected collectibles dealer?

Hanizena: My number one tip to other potential sellers on eBay and dealers is to always make sure that you go above and beyond the expectation of your customers. This includes general communication via emails, prompt and secure posting of cards, being generous is my favourite attribute as I always add an extra MJ card for FREE and for my usual customers I often add 1-5 MJ cards for free and I know that they appreciate it due to the feedback that they leave on eBay. You recently had a 1100+ spectacular collection for sale. Can you tell us a little about this and did you have success selling it?

Hanizena: In regards to that particular lot unfortunately I did not sell the collection as I didn’t get any genuine offers. But with this in mind I am sure that a lot of the watchers that were reviewing that auction on eBay would be glad to know that as I speak I will be listing all of the cards in that collection 1 by 1 to give everyone an opportunity to bid and purchase the specific card that they were interested in. I received so many offers for particulars cards but at the time was not looking to break it up. The eBay auctions from this collection start on eBay on the June 16 2009 so if you’re interested check out the listings at the bottom of this page. What would you say is your personal top five Jordan cards?

Hanizena: Honestly there are about 50 but if I had to choose 5 they would be:

  1. 1993/94 Fleer Ultra Scoring King is my all time favourite MJ insert card.
  2. 1986 Fleer Rookie card as it is and will always be his greatest ever card.
  3. 1996/97 Z-Force Big Man On The Court is an awesome looking MJ Die Cut card
  4. 1997/98 Skybox Premium Golden Touch Die Cut virtually impossible to locate
  5. 1995/96 Flair Hot Numbers magnificant 3-Dimensional card with great looking colours

You may notice within the 5 that I have selected there are no Autos or Material used cards – that’s because it goes without saying that he has some fantastic looking Autos and patch cards but these 5 attract the most attention on eBay. These are the best when it comes to eye-catching. If you don’t own the top five, what are your favourite cards in your collection?

Hanizena: The top 5 I have mentioned I currently own and have duplicates so look out on eBay over the next couple of weeks as I will be listing them. Are you a fan of any particular era?

Hanizena: Not really but if I had to choose one it would be between the 1992-1998 era. These were the Chicago Bulls years and you had some great match ups and rivalry such as the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, Shaq vs Zo, Hakeem vs David Robinson, MJ vs Penny Hardaway and many others. Do you have any final tips or pointers for collectors or aspiring dealers

Hanizena: For collectors I can honestly say that if you want to attain the best collection or one that you desire remember that you must be willing to finance the collection as it requires money of course but also time and effort.

For aspiring dealers my final tip has to be that if you are solely wanting to deal for the purpose of making money and profit be sure to be willing to accept the fact that you will also lose on some occasions. For me its a lot more than just making money as I truly love whole aspect of receiving cards, opening boxes, listing cards on eBay and finally selling them to others who share the same passion as I do.

One great thing about collecting and dealing cards for me is that it allows me remember my childhood aspirations of attaining certain MJ inserts that I was unable to achieve at the time and brings back fond memories. Thank you for your time Hani and best of luck continuing the fantastic Jordan cards dealing service you provide.

If you would like to talk to Hani regarding buying cards you are after or completing sets, he is happy for you to email him direct. You may also be interested in Hanizena’s current eBay auctions as shown below.