July 25, 2022 - 22 min read
This article breaks down in detail my profit and losses from VeeFriends trading cards, physical collectibles, and Series 2 NFTs so far in my journey. I plan to regularly update this article and keep you posted on how well (or not well) these purchases pan out.
Updated August 30th, 2022
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I thought it would be fun (and valuable) to track the money I’ve earned flipping various VeeFriends collectible products from VeeFriends UNO cards to Series 2 collectible trading cards as well as my profits/losses on VeeFriends Series 2 NFTs.
However, this article is not about how much money I made, it’s about documenting the experience because I believe in the VeeFriends NFT project.
This title attracts readers, and yes, I will document my purchases and sales of VeeFriends collectibles and NFTs so you can follow along the journey (especially if you are a skeptic!). If you want to skip straight there, head to the bottom of this article.
But I will also share my personal framework for collecting. I will not tell you what to do or how to do it. I’ll simply share what I’m going and you can take from it what you will.
This article will do 4 things for you:
(1) Explain why I think in 10–15 years, certain VeeFriends physical collectibles will retain and increase their value
(2) Outline the framework I use to set budgets and decide what to buy and when including what to sell and when
(3) Provide logic for my long-term VeeFriends collectible holds and which specific products collectors will want to buy
(4) Document my purchases, sales, and holds — this will be ongoing for as long as I own StartWithNFTs.com — if you want to get right to the dollars, scroll down to this section
I’ve written about this before, but I think in 10–15 years, demand for specific VeeFriends physical products will explode.
If you’re a skeptic or think these products are “cash grabs” — read my story first, then tell me what you think. Remember, I’m not telling anyone what to do. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. It’s all good!
To explain why I think these collectibles will explode in 10–15 years, I want to share a little bit about my story (it’s short, I promise):
In 2019, as I approached my 30th birthday, I experienced intense anxiety and couldn’t get away from the feeling that I was meant to do more than product management work at a large company.
I was stuck in that role for years but overthinking prevented me from taking action on the myriad of ideas I had in my twenties.
I’d never received a job offer outside of the company I worked for despite interviewing with top companies like Facebook and Hubspot and always had an interest in entrepreneurship, but I didn’t know where to start.
Point blank, I felt hopeless.
Then, I put on a Gary V podcast and he talked about how garage saleing was a start-right-now side hustle that offers practical business experience.
In 3 months, I made $5,000.
I took that money and began to trade sports cards. I earned $40,000 and even got hired to write about sports cards for ONE37pm.com.
Fast forward two years from that Tea With Gary V interview, and I’m now the co-founder of a seven-figure software company in the home services vertical.
I haven’t “made it” by any means, but I found the process I love and I’m so much happier.
There are a lot of details in between those two years, but the gist is that I executed Gary’s advice and it snowballed into a whole new life (quitting the job I hated, moving to my favorite state, and falling in love with entrepreneurship, the good and bad).
Gary’s advice changed the trajectory of my life, and for that reason, I want to collect the rarest and most desirable VeeFriends items that I can afford.
Many people miss the fact that Gary spends a lot of time with his community, audience, fan base. He answers questions and offers practical advice.
He’s done it consistently for as long as I can remember and because of that, Gary has brought a lot of people a lot of value.
It’s the same as Michael Jordan bringing NBA fans value through entertainment and awe. It’s why his rookie cards sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s why I want to collect the product Gary V drops in relation to VeeFriends.
And I’m not alone.
There are a lot of “me” out there right now who are not only happier but also growing businesses and careers.
In 3–5 years, I bet my specific cohort (who started following Gary in 2019–2020) will frankly mint a lot of new millionaires through entrepreneurial endeavors.
Gary’s following has only grown since then, and a lot of kids are getting involved in the brand and product.
Imagine how many of them won’t get a summer job but will instead garage sale and make more money.
How many of that group will start businesses or find something that makes them happy, with financial success a by-product of a passionate process?
In 10–15 years, I think two cohorts of Gary’s followers will execute his advice and find themselves with money to spend and Gary to thank for finding something they love.
That’s going to be his collector base, and frankly, I’d bet they’re more likely to have more disposable income.
It took Pokémon collectibles about 20 years to explode with popular YouTubers spendings lots of money on the cards, and I think it’ll happen even faster with VeeFriends.
Please remember a few things:
(1) This is just my opinion and not financial advice
(2) This does not mean every VeeFriends card, hoodie, or physical collectible will hold its value
(3) It could take much longer, or never happen — no one knows what will happen
Humans like to collect things, and with the way Gary V brings value to people, it’s hard for me to see a scenario where he doesn’t have a lot of demand for the products he offers to the marketplace.
I quit my job 10 months ago in order to go “all-in” and full-time at my start-up.
This means I carry a lot of risk, so my framework may be more extreme than yours, but I’m not here to tell you what to do, only what I’m doing in hopes that it brings you some value:
Gary V told a story in his latest book, which I broke down here, that one of his biggest clients threatened to leave VaynerMedia if Gary didn’t fire an employee of his that made a mistake.
Gary declined but explained that he had enough money saved to float the business if it was needed.
On a Props and Drops podcast, Gary V explained that (jokingly) he had cash buried in the yard for a rainy day. He made it clear that there’s a certain amount of cash he would not go below.
I liked the mindset and adopted it myself.
Could I buy a VF1 right now? Yes. Could I snag sealed boxes of VeeFriends Series 1 trading cards? Yes.
But I won’t.
My team and I have a real shot at growing our business significantly, and because we bootstrapped (we did not take on investment), my flexibility in having cash in the bank could mean going unpaid for a while or infusing cash to keep us running longer to develop the business.
It doesn’t have anything to do with my confidence in VeeFriends NFTs or physical products.
It has everything to do with having the financial security to execute what I believe in the most — my (and my team’s) abilities as entrepreneurs.
Note - as you will see toward the end of this article, I broke that rule, and had to work a lot of hours to make up for it. Within the last month, I've gotten back to 1 year of expenses in the bank and going forward, I will maintain that no matter what opportunity comes along.
If I’m going to spend, $333 on the Flex’n Fox (which I did) figurine, I’d better have $3,333 in liquid cash so the purchase doesn’t stress me out.
Typically, I have my minimum amount of cash (1 year of expenses) and don’t go below that.
I make an exception for anything $1,000 or under, as I’m comfortable if I fall $1,000 below my minimum if an opportunity comes up because I know I can make up those expenses through side hustles.
Bear in mind, StartWithNFTs.com earns about $1,000 per month, and when I have time to write for ONE37pm.com (I try, but I only have so much brain space), I can earn extra income to replenish what I spend.
Between us, I overspent on NFTs during the VeeFriends Series 2 and Book Games Frenzy, but fortunately, I was able to make most of it back, and give me the chance to be patient with my holdings.
To add perspective — I lived at home with my parents for 5 months to save on rent and recently sold my car ($8,500 profit, the used car market is upside-down). I don’t drink alcohol, I eat out maybe once or twice a week and otherwise keep my expenses to a minimum.
Again, you do not need to do this, I’m only sharing what I do.
On the flip-side, I am moving to Raleigh, Carolina, a place I’ve wanted to live for about 4 years, and my rent payment is doubling.
This meant selling my car and taking on some extra work to increase the liquid cash I have in my bank.
It also means I only hold 1 VeeFriends NFT, a Series 2 Resilient Red Devil. I want to buy more, but need to be patient.
Most people ask when to sell an item.
They are afraid of regret (understandably), so I personally develop a framework and stick to it.
Let’s use Flex’n Fox for example.
I think it’s a great 10-year hold play, and right now they’re selling for $550 on eBay.
I would pay $550 for it, so I won’t sell it.
I wouldn’t, however, pay $1,000 in my situation (remember, that’s my upper limit of spend), so if it hits $1,000, I will sell it.
Now, I broke my rule with VeeFriends Series 1 zero cool trading cards when sealed boxes hit $15,000. I regret not selling and I won’t make the same mistake.
Markets get cold, economies go into recessions and you can always build a business, get promoted, or save money in other areas to buy something back later if it means that much to you as a collector.
If I struggle to come up with a number that I would pay for an item, I use another rule:
If anything I buy doubles in value, I will take a hard look at selling it.
Again, because I have my baseline, I know I don’t need the money but if the Flex’n Fox figurine doubles in value and starts selling for $666 or more, I have to at least consider selling and buying back later.
Update: The Flex'n Fox figurines did hit close to $666 in value and I sold mine for $640. I'm more of a card collector, and I wouldn't pay $640 for the figurine, so I sold it.
This is a hard one for me, as that’s most of what I did in 2021 with NFTs.
If the Flex’n Fox figurine goes to zero, I won’t lose a second of sleep. I’ll make up what I spent with StartWithNFTs.com and I’ll have a unique, limited product with an autograph from Gary V.
I think it will go up in value (and it has, as the floor is about $550), but I didn’t buy it for that reason.
I’m fortunate in that I am a collector, so I understand how collectors think for that reason, I buy things to collect, not just to appreciate and think that’s a better strategy in the long-term.
As an added example, Gary V chatted into the VeeFriends Discord group “Mint Mink”.
I could’ve spent $700 or so on a VeeFriends Series 2 to gamble that it meant something more. If it had, I would have tripled my money as they’re selling for over 1 ETH after Gary announced owning one of the NFTs would act as a mint pass for other projects.
I would have lost sleep doing that, especially if that announcement never happened.
I studied the sports card market for 3+ years.
I even sourced Budweiser collectibles from a collector I met on eBay who purchased from me.
I want to collect VeeFriends NFTs and physical products.
Combined, this helped me form a perspective of items that someone would want to collect in 10–15 years, but bear in mind, that it could be completely wrong.
So far, these are the core items I’d want in my VeeFriends collection:
This is the rarest foil card in the VeeFriends UNO set, and if I am a collector, I’d want a PSA 10 copy as it is the flagship card of this release.
They sell for around $1,000, but it is the card of that set. That’s what everyone was chasing and stand out to me.
Intense collectors may want the full set of foil cards, which you can find on eBay, but in my opinion, a VeeFriends Gary Bee Foil PSA 10 will be a staple item in a serious VeeFriends collectors inventory.
There were only 1,000 of these boxes ever made, and my advice is to keep an eye on eBay auctions for the product.
They sell for about $4,000, but it is the first trading card product ever to feature any NFT let alone VeeFriends NFTs.
Because it’s rare and an unknown quantity is more fun than a known quantity.
For a while, we tracked VeeFriends zero cool Series 1 box breaks, which you can take a look at here, and managed to track 1,066 cards.
There were 10 cards per box, so we tracked at least 106 boxes being opened, and know that many, many more were opened.
In 10–15 years, an unopened box will be hard to find, and reliving the novelty of ripping a box will be hard to come by.
The rarest cards in the set will likely sell for more, but if certain cards still aren’t pulled, the chance at getting the Very Very Very Very Lucky Black Cat 1/1 auto (as an example) would likely give any serious collector a rush.
Or, it will give them the ability to own something very few other people own.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re getting some value:
The Emerald spectacular was introduced with VeeFriends Series 2 for the first time, which means it was not included in the Series 1 trading cards, and the current top sale of a VeeFriends Series 2 Compete and Collect was an Emerald 1/1 for $5,000.
It’s unique, and there’s only 1 per character.
For a serious collector, it again means that they can own the first and only of something for a character that no one else can own unless they sell it.
If I’m a serious collector, I want at least 1 Series 2 Emerald trading card in my collecting portfolio.
I also really like the autos out of the boxes because you only have a 0.4% chance of pulling one.
Lots more people are ripping open these boxes, and one day someone who spots one on eBay will think to themselves “jeez, I opened 15 boxes trying to get an auto and never could. Now I can afford to buy it on the secondary market!”
You might even see these autos sell for more than Series 1 for that reason alone.
This will always be the grail, and the average person would most likely be willing to sell all of their collectibles if they could pay for a Series 1.
Gary will continue to roll out utility and this will be the grail.
It’s an interesting dynamic because, in some ways, it puts a ceiling on the physical collectibles.
If most people are almost always willing to trade up for a VeeFriends Series 1, they would sell any collectible that comes close to the floor of VF1.
A serious collector is probably gunning for specs, but even I would sell all of the above if I didn’t have a Series 1 NFT.
That concludes my list . . . for now. I’m not a big fan of the apparel as a collector, although I do hold some OG Hustle Like My Name is Gary Vee Hoodies that were limited in number and came out before VeeFriends.
The Flex’n Fox very well could be a cornerstone piece to a collection, especially since premium figurines and toys are proven to have a market with serious money behind it.
The Flex’n Fox is first, but if Gary V does other releases with different characters, especially limited runs, it might not be the most collectible of the group, so I have to hold it off the list for now.
This will change over time, but I look for one collectible from each release that is a flagship.
As a collector, I want the rarest, most recognizable item from each “set” (think UNO, Series 1 cards, Series 2 cards, physical collectibles) as part of my collection.
Let’s start first with what I’ve purchased:
VeeFriends zero cool Series 1 Premium Trading Cards Sealed Box (x1) — $2,500
VeeFriends Mattel UNO Sets (x10) — $250 (does not include shipping)
VeeFriends Series 2 Trading Cards (x5) — $0
VeeFriends x Coolkicks Flex’n Fox Gold Figurine — $373 (includes shipping)
I did purchase VeeFriends apparel, a Chill Chinchilla t-shirt, a Passionate Parrot Hoodie, and a Kind Kudu Hoodie (I gave this away to someone in the Discord who didn’t get one before it sold out) but these are for me to wear, not to collect.
Now, let’s go through the sales data.
VeeFriends Uno Yolo Yak Foil Card — $20
VeeFriends Uno Yolo Yak Foil Card — $20
VeeFriends Uno Yolo Yak Foil Card — $20
VeeFriends Uno Sharing Squirrel Foil Card — $80
VeeFriends Uno Faithful Pheasant Foil Card — $25
VeeFriends Uno Prudent Polar Bear Foil Card — $20
VeeFriends Uno Practical Peacock Foil Card — $20
VeeFriends Uno — Faithful Pheasant (x2), Practical Peacock — $50
eBay Fees: $25.50
Remaining Earnings: $229.50
Profit / Loss:-$20.50
I lost $20.50 on VeeFriends UNO, but I am okay with this. I look at it as if I spent $20.50 for 10 chances at a Gary Bee foil card and forewent the opportunity to make the rest back as I didn’t sell the boxes (I’m moving and couldn’t fit it into my schedule so I donated them to Good Will).
I received 3 boxes so far, and am set to receive 2 more, all at no cost to me.
Let’s look at the sales data:
VeeFriends Series 2 Be the Bigger Person Rare /500, Alert Ape Core, Patient Panda Core — $70
VeeFriends Series 2 Sufficient Shrimp Rare / 500 — $50
VeeFriends Series 2 Gratitude Gorilla Core — $14.99
VeeFriends Series 2 Tough to Beat a Worm from the Dirt — $40
VeeFriends Series 2 Core Perspective Pigeon - $9.99
VeeFriends Series 2 Core Bundle - $12.99
VeeFriends Series 2 Legit Llama Rare /500 - $49.99
VeeFriends Series 2 Patient Panda and Empathy Elephant Core Bundle - $39.99
VeeFriends Series 2 Alert Ape Very Rare /100 - $150
VeeFriends Series 2 Productive Puffin Rare / 500 - $49.99
VeeFriends Series 2 Adaptable Alien Rare /500 - $150
VeeFriends Series 2 Motivated Monster Core - $15.55
VeeFriends Series 2 Core Bundle (10 cards) - $65.00
VeeFriends Series 2 Core Bundle (124 cards) - $146.00
VeeFriends Series 2 Detail-Oriented Dumbo Octopus Rare /500 - $29.99
VeeFriends Series 2 Prudent Polar Bear Rare /500 and Core - $19.99
eBay Fees: $91.44
Remaining Earnings: $823.03
Profit / Loss: +$823.03
Now, you could argue that I lost a certain amount of money because I didn’t sell the boxes for $225 (after eBay fees), but I look at it as I made a little less money for the chance to pull cards potentially worth thousands of dollars.
I still have two boxes left to receive. I expect the market to cool as more boxes are delivered and supply hits the market (this is already happening), but $823.03 in profit for a few hours of eBay work and the potential to hit 4-figure cards is a sweet deal.
So far, I’ve made $802.53 in profit by selling VeeFriends collectible trading cards.
Now, if we want to look at my total investment in VeeFriends collectibles, we need to add in the cost of the VeeFriends Series 1 box ($2,500):
$802.53 in profit minus $2,500, which equals -$1,697.47.
There’s a key lesson in what I’m about to say:
Until the money is in your bank account, DO NOT count the dollars.
Right now, the Flex’n Fox figurine sells for about $550, and zero cool series 1 sealed boxes sell for about $4,000.
I recently sold my Flex'n Fox for $640, which is $576 in profit after eBay fees. This bumps my profit to $1,045.53 on the collectibles I've sold.
If I sold my Series 1 box for $4,000 This would put my sales at $4,645.53 (this amount includes the eBay fee reduction), which would leave me with a profit of $2,145.53.
But I haven’t sold the VeeFriends Series 1 box, so it doesn’t count, and I’m currently ~$1,700 in the hole.
My limit is $3,000, which is why I haven’t spent any money on individual cards. I want the flexibility if another surprise launch happens.
I still have 2 Series 2 trading card boxes coming my way, and hopefully, I can pull a bigger card.
One more thing, we need to look at the NFT trading with Book Games and Series 2.
According to Immutascan.io, I paid 10.9 ETH for book games tokens and sold 4.97 ETH.
I spent $31,362.18 on Book Games NFTs.
I sold $13,487.32 of Book Games NFTs.
I was -$17,874, but I ended up getting a VeeCon ticket and 4 Series 2 NFTs that I sold to bring this back to a much more tolerable number. I didn’t follow my own rules, and got too heavy into NFTs and had to make up for it by furiously freelancing and getting StartWithNFTs.com to earn some money.
If you’ll remember, VeeFriends Series 2 NFTs were done raffle style, and I won 4 of them.
I paid $4,183.10 to mint 4 VeeFriends Series 2 NFTs, bringing my total loss at the time to $22,057.10.
I sold my VeeCon ticket for $954.75, I sold 1 Series 2 NFT for $2,995.08, I sold 1 Series 2 NFT for $2,903.39, I sold 1 Series 2 NFT for $3,953.57, I sold 1 Series 2 NFT for $3,345.33.
This totaled $14,152.12.
I was at a net loss of $7,904.98, but I earned a spot to mint a Resilient Red Devil and burned my two champagne Book Games tokens to do so.
The lowest current price is 4 ETH, which is worth $6,400 in today’s ETH value.
Again, I haven’t sold it, but if I did I would be down $1,504.98 (before royalty fees and taxes).
Lastly, we need to factor in the 48 books I purchased with credit card points, for which I paid $19.27 each at shipping, so $924.96 total.
That leaves me with a $2,429.94 loss if I sold my Resilient Red Devil.
Without selling, I’m down $7,904.98 on Series 2 NFTs, and $1,700 in physical collectibles, totaling $9,604.
On paper (and only on paper), I’m down ~$1,600 across VeeFriends NFTs and physical collectibles, with 2 more free boxes of VeeFriends Series 2 trading cards on the way that will help make up for some of these losses.
Now, being down $9,604 is way past my limit, but I earned $6,000 doing a private NFT research report, another $2,100 doing freelance NFT articles, and over $1,000 in profit from this site (after paying a developer to spruce it up), and I went back to my garage saeling roots and earned $200 for 3 hours of work, leaving me with $9,400 to give me patience with the current losses.
After all of this, I’m only down $204, but I have a VeeFriends Series 1 sealed box I plan on holding for the long-term, a Resilient Red Devil Series 2 NFT that I’m in it for the long-haul with, and 2 more boxes of VeeFriends Series 2 trading cards on the way.
I’ll also continue to earn from StartWithNFTs.com and do freelancing that will help me break even and eventually go back into the green, but for now, this is where I sit.
Stay tuned for my updates over the coming days, months, and years to see how these purchases pan out in the long run :)
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Sep 29, 2022
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