I'm on a total roll toward finishing my 2009 Topps Sterling set. I had absolutely no progress over the past 6 months, but picked up 4 cards on the COMC Black Friday sale, and just before that had won the Stan Musial card from this set at a great price on eBay. For the most part, the cards I needed were likely to be affordable, with two exceptions: Cal Ripken Jr. and Nolan Ryan (Rangers uni). The auctions I'd seen these cards up to now had ended with prices higher than I wanted to go.
However, there is a seller on eBay, peterm3968 who previously listed 09 Sterling cards at great BIN prices. I keep him on my favorite seller search and periodically check his listings. It had been a while since he'd sold any 09 Sterling, but just last week he listed some new Sterling cards- and they happened to be Ripken and Ryan. And he had them at super low prices. You would have thought I was trying to deactivate a nuclear reactor when I saw them and started scrambling to log in and buy them before someone else did. Thankfully my cat like reflexes came through and I got them in time:
Speaking of noting flaws, that brings me to another thing I appreciate about this seller. Not only are his BIN prices great, his shipping prices are beyond fair, and every card he has ever shipped to me has come in a snap case, and usually the magnetic-type ones, and wrapped neatly in packing paper. But I also appreciate how detailed his item descriptions are for every card he lists. Take the description of the above Ryan card for example:
2009 Topps Sterling Nolan Ryan (Rangers) card. Card number 58. Print 95 of 250. From lot 3401.
Reason for Grade: The card is off-centered to the top and left.
The left edge has spots of wear. There is a line on the top right of
the picture that one can see when holding the card at an angle. The back
reveals slight rounding on the top right corner and a slight bend on
the bottom left corner.
I'm sure it's weird, but I enjoy going to his eBay store and reading the item descriptions of his cards.
So, I'm now 86% done with this set and only need 17 more cards to finish. And the expensive cards are all in my rear view mirror.