Topps Bunt app is an officially licensed baseball card trading app that allows someone like me to enjoy the fun of collecting baseball cards without having to worry about the physical space that hobby can require.
Beginners to the app can sometimes find trading difficult to figure out. Or, without knowing, they could be making rookie mistakes that could results in trading cards at a disadvantage or bothering their fellow traders by making bad (lopsided or just “always going to be rejected”) offers.
This list doesn’t try to cover anything, but these are 10 tips that can help you get started with the Bunt trading experience. Or, perhaps help crosstraders understand the Bunt system a bit better.
1. Base Value
Unlike Marvel Collect, Disney Collect, Star Wars Card Trader, and other non-sports Topp apps (sorry wrestling Fans, I’m including SLAM here since there is no scoring) that do not have contests, base in Bunt have value to contest players. In the early days/weeks of the app, even Tier 2 – Tier 4 can have value since even heavy-duty contest players may not have filled out their collection well enough to run 2x scoring boost cards (note: click on the card in your collection to flip it and look at the boost value).
Eventually, Tier 4 through Tier 6 (or, any card with greater than 1.7x boost) will be a standard fare among the non-casual contest players. Still, teal base can be difficult for traders to acquire en masse just from the wheel. If you’re completing sets or crosstrading, then you will be able to trade these–particularly star players–for uncommons and/or rares.
Right now (April 2021), there is 2.5x boost lightning base only available for those who purchase with diamonds. These are premium cards in the early season due to their boost (only super rares and higher have 2.5x boost) and should not be treated as “just base cards”.
2. Learn which players command premiums
There is more to this tip than just the list below, but it’ll help you if you’re completely unfamiliar with baseball (i.e., crosstraders). These are the players who are going to have high demand:
1. Mike Trout (clear #1)
2. Fernando Tatis Jr.
3. Juan Soto
4. Ken Griffey Jr.
There are plenty of players who have demand, and there are clear tiers (e.g., there are many players who are not sought after except for by team collectors), but you can generally ask for more than normal for any trade involving these four guys.
3. Know which players are not in the base set
This tip is specifically for during the baseball season when contest players will be looking to maximize their scoring opportunities. Inserts of players who did not appear in the base set may be sought after more since those cards will be the only ones available for contests. A good current example is Yermin Mercedes who was not in the base set but recently had a Topps Now card released.
4. The divide that started with the 2020 season
Bunt card values changed starting with the 2020 season. Cards from prior to the 2020 season hold more value than cards from 2020 forward. You can see this difference clearly if you compare the card counts (cc) for the same tiers from 2019 and 2020. You will find it difficult to find traders willing to give up a 2019 rare (super rare, iconic, etc.) for the same tier in 2020 or 2021 without expecting more (e.g., I recently traded an iconic and super rare from 2019 for 2 iconics and 7 super rares from 2021, and even then it was because I was chasing Braves and high scoring 2021 cards for contests).
5. Older Bunt Cards
This goes along with the previous tip, but the player base in the early Bunt years was much smaller which means not only are there fewer cards from that era, the cards are either a) consolidated on a small number of accounts or b) dispersed across many accounts but lots of those accounts are inactive.
This means that the card count for older Bunt sets (I consider this 2012-2015) is effectively much lower than what is printed on the card. Do not be afraid to ask for much more than 1:1 if trading cards from this era.
6. Team Premium
In Slam and Marvel Collect (maybe Disney with princesses?), female characters almost always command premiums. In Bunt a similar effect (though much smaller) occurs with specific teams: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees. This is largely the result of more team collectors focusing on these four teams.
7. Find Team Collectors of Less Popular Teams
Sometimes it can be difficult to trade cards from less popular teams (e.g., Marlins or Orioles), so be on the lookout for collectors who advertise in the Trade Feed looking for these teams. Don’t expect to extract a premium from them like you can for the four teams in Tip #6, but use them as an opportunity to trade for more popular teams and/or players. And then you can trade those cards for premiums or for the cards you are looking for more easily.
Though not a hard-and-fast rule, you are typically better off only asking for award cards if you are offering an award card in return. Or, if you’re at least trading one or more cards from higher tier than the award (e.g., 2 super rares for a rare award).
Even if you know nothing about baseball, it is worth your time to throw entries into the Bunt contests. Unlike previous years when the contests had an entry fee, the contests have been free in recent years. This means that worst case you can earn free prize tickets (daily events) or possibly even a card (weekly contests) just for entering. It’s not much, but “just for playing” each day will earn you enough tickets to craft something (right now, an uncommon rainbow base card). If you’re just starting out or just looking for crosstrade fodder, this is a good way to add some cards each week.
On a related note, this adds an extra dimension. High boost (2x and higher) cards are worth more in-season than out-of-season. So if you do not care about trying to place high in contests, I recommend actively trading off current-season cards to contest players and then re-acquiring cards later if you want them for your permanent collection.
10. Take time to figure out what the other player collects or needs
This is more subjective. You may not be able to determine but a few things you can do:
- Scan through their collection and see if any specific player or team shows up more often
- Scan through the most recent year and see if they seem to be collecting a specific active set
- Use the “Cards They Need” filter to limit to cards they do not have in their collection. Some players are ok with dupes, but many would prefer to receive offers for cards they do not have