Trading is a great way to find random gems in other's collections, as well as getting rid of the other cards that crowd their way into my closet storage. However, sometimes it's nice to be a "sniper" and pick the exact cards that you want off eBay.
One of the nice things about being a Padres fan? eBay prices can sometimes be really low for Padre cards. All of the following cards came with free shipping.
This is a 1991 Leaf "Preview Card". In my opinion, much better looking than the actual card Leaf issued of Tony that year. I imagine that it's a decently rare card, and it only set me back 35 cents.
This is from this years Bowman Platinum set. If you can't tell from the picture, it's a die-cut card, part of the "Cutting Edge Stars" insert set. Very cool, though I'm sure Alonso's "star" status is very debatable. With no Padres in the base set, I guess they had to do something for us Friar fanatics. Was totally stoked to get this for only 49 cents.
These two beauties are from a 1991 issue of Card Price Guide Monthly. As I found out with this year's Archives set, I love the 1971 Topps style. These look very cool, and only set me back $1.11, or 55.5 cents per card.
This was the priciest (single) card of my recent eBay purchases, which commemorates the time that the Padres all time home run leader hit 5 homers and got 13 RBIs in one day: a doubleheader against the Braves. This broke Stan Musial's record of 11 RBIs in a day, a game that Colbert had actually attended as a kid. Besides being a record breaking RBI day for Nate, without this game, Colbert would have been usurped by Adrian Gonzalez for the all-time Padres home run record. As it stands, Nate has 163, while Adrian has 161. For this card from the 1977 Topps set, I laid down a cool 75 cents. Three whole quarters.
That brings us to a grand total of $2.70, for an average of 54 cents per card.
I don't always go on eBay, but when I do I prefer to spend very little.