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A 1974 Topps Basketball Grocery Wax Tray Finally Came to Market

The second article I ever published on the blog was back in January of 2020, and it was titled Rising Prices: 1974 Topps Basketball Unopened. In it, I talked about how vintage unopened had been going up in price and shared photos of most of the 1974 Topps Basketball unopened products that exist. Later in January of 2021, I talked about why vintage unopened was seeing such drastic price increases. 

In the 1974 Topps basketball article, I shared photos and recent sales for wax packs, wrappers, wax boxes, and vending boxes. But, I couldn’t find any documented sales or pictures of a grocery wax tray, so I speculated what I thought one would sell for given pack sales. I wrote that I wouldn’t be surprised if a tray would sell for $3000 on rarity alone and asked if anyone had pictures of a tray they could send me.

At long last, a collector sent me the following photos of a 1974 Topps basketball wax pack tray, authenticated by the Baseball Card Exchange, sold on July 15, 2021, for $3319 at Collect Auctions.

1974 Topps Basketball Grocery Wax Tray – Front
1974 Topps Basketball Grocery Wax Tray – Reverse

It’s not a perfect tray by any stretch, the grocery price tag is affixed to the tray, and the middle pack has a small gum tear on the left side. However, the rarity is unquestionable as Collect Auctions acknowledged that they had handled a lot of material over the years, but never some of the trays they had in their summer auction.

This tray shows that there are still a lot of amazing products hidden away in people’s collections. And I’m excited to see what gets uncovered next.

By the way, I’m still looking for a photo of a 1974 Topps Basketball Wax Case. If you have one, please leave a comment below, or shoot me a line over on Twitter.

Just for comparison’s sake, it’s been about a year and a half since I wrote that original 1974 Topps basketball article, and since then, prices have continued to increase for most of these unopened products. PSA 8 wax packs were around $400 at the time of publication, and they peaked around $500 for PSA 7/8 packs around February/March 2021, and another PSA 8 sold for $483 at the end of April before a more recent sale back around $407 again. Vending boxes have increased a lot. They were around $2225 back in early 2020, but in July 2021, Collect Auctions sold one for $4k (in March, one went for almost $6500). And finally, in January 2020, wax boxes were between $7-8k. In December 2020, Mile High Card Co. sold a wax box for $14k, and PWCC had an eBay sale for just over $10k in June 2021.

Thanks again to the collector who pointed me towards this wax tray sale. It shows how great and helpful of a community we have in #TheHobby.

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