"Buy the Card, Not the Holder" refers to purchasing graded cards and means just that...if you like how a card looks, and it's at a price that works, the hell with the grade it received. Here is an example using a card that brought me closer to finishing the '61 set.
The Ernie Banks All-Star card isn't cheap. I was able to pick this one up at a great price:
You can see it in the holder...graded as "Poor 1"
EDIT...Adding a shot of the reverse in the holder:
It looks better than that to me but then again, I don't grade cards for a living. In any case, Ernie is out of the plastic and in the binder. I'm down to just these
531 Jim Coates
541 Rollie Sheldon
554 Pirates Team Card
563 Bob Cerv
579 Willie Mays AS
I'm going to go up to a big show in the Dallas area in April and hope to polish this thing off.