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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Postwar Baseball Cards Forum (Pre-1980)

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:12 AM
Johnny630 Johnny630 is online now
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Default State of the Post War Market

For whatever reasons the prices of 2015-2016 real or false have come down considerably.

It seems like the Major Auction House Market has been flooded with HOF Rookies and Ugly Old Gift Grades of Star Cards.

Higher End Raw Sets have seem to held their own, actually are doing quite well.

Speaking in only investment mode, as far as long term capital appreciation on post war cards in general it is my opinion that prices will continue to drop in the near future on high end cards.


What Say You ??

I would never consider more then 5% of retirement investment in cards.
The Hobby is way to fun to worry about money. It is cool to think about it :-)
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2018, 01:05 PM
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i think it came down a lot. maybe it will come down further who knows.
Buy low i think , i rarely sell my cards anyway.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2018, 03:08 PM
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I never looked at my collection as an investment for me. I consider it a gift for my son.

My collection has been assembled for my enjoyment. When I die that enjoyment goes with me. I got my value out of it. My son has explicit directions to sell my collection for as much as he can and then spend that money on something he would enjoy.

Whatever money my son gets from it will have no relevance to what I paid for it. It's all free money for him to enjoy.

I see that as a huge win/win for my collection.
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2018, 04:25 PM
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Don't care about investment angle. Still a hobby for me
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2018, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkhorse9 View Post
I never looked at my collection as an investment for me. I consider it a gift for my son.

My collection has been assembled for my enjoyment. When I die that enjoyment goes with me. I got my value out of it. My son has explicit directions to sell my collection for as much as he can and then spend that money on something he would enjoy.

Whatever money my son gets from it will have no relevance to what I paid for it. It's all free money for him to enjoy.

I see that as a huge win/win for my collection.
This is a fantastic way of thinking. My son is only 2 and he gets my whole collection when I’m gone. I’m holding out hope it’s something he enjoys and we can do it together. But if not he can do whatever he wants with it when I’m gone. If he’s into it, he’ll probably get most of it while I’m still here.

Last edited by Marchillo; 07-11-2018 at 05:10 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2018, 05:19 PM
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With the stock market returning almost 20% last year why would you invest in cards?

Last edited by David W; 07-11-2018 at 05:20 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2018, 05:56 PM
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Don't care about investment angle. Still a hobby for me
High five!
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2018, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
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With the stock market returning almost 20% last year why would you invest in cards?
Agree +1
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2018, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkhorse9 View Post
I never looked at my collection as an investment for me. I consider it a gift for my son.

My collection has been assembled for my enjoyment. When I die that enjoyment goes with me. I got my value out of it. My son has explicit directions to sell my collection for as much as he can and then spend that money on something he would enjoy.

Whatever money my son gets from it will have no relevance to what I paid for it. It's all free money for him to enjoy.

I see that as a huge win/win for my collection.
Iím looking at it the same way. I do hope Iím making decisions now that will appreciate or at least still hold some value many years from now.

Just to add another wrinkle and make it more interesting I tell my family and friends not to worry about whatís in those boxes in the closet. If my health ever starts to fail everything will be hidden and everyone will get a list of clues and a map. Whoever finds it gets to keep it.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:02 PM
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Don't care about investment angle. Still a hobby for me
Same here.

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  #11  
Old 07-12-2018, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by David W View Post
With the stock market returning almost 20% last year why would you invest in cards?
Playing a bit of Devil's Advocate here, but one can't invest in last year's stock market today, right? So if somebody with an educated opinion prefers investing in cards over the market today, it's certainly possible that it's the better choice.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2018, 03:29 PM
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Everyone's assessment of how the card market is doing depends on your measuring points and your measurement choices.

On the one hand, I am picking up really nice raw 1960s-1970s and I am replacing my PSA 8-9 cards as quickly as I can with those raw picks because there is a ton of inventory. 4SC has opened a ton of raw stuff and has simultaneously bloated the market for raw (via its liquidator NESC) and collapsed the market for PSA cards in the 6-8 range from that era. I've all but stopped my PSA submissions because I literally lose money whenever I send in a card from that era unless it scores a 9 or 10, or is one of a handful of select rookies: 4SC offers them up slabbed at less than my peon-level grading cost. It is akin to a Wal-Mart opening in a small town and destroying the mom and pop stores. I'm dumping my PSA graded cards on eBay because I can replace them with raw cards in just as nice shape for a fraction of the price. I can see where the market would look really, really bad if your inventory was postwar mainstream 6-8 PSA cards, especially if you self-submitted. The sunk costs of slabbing alone would kill you.

On the other hand (my father once said he'd love to see a one-handed lawyer), I see a great opportunity for collectors who want to move into areas where there is a glut/depressed market. I've got a giant want list for the National but it is almost all cards that I expect to shop for and find very cheaply. I plan to shlep* home a big box of additions to my PC, more cards than ever before, with no plastic cases in sight.

*For the Yiddish-challenged, "to carry a burden"
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2018, 03:42 PM
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I have the theoretical knowledge to make decisions on cards as "an investment", but not the discipline. Sometimes I know which cards I shouldn't buy, but I want them now, dammit. Just as "buy low, sell high" is also a smart approach with cards, I seemingly don't have the patience for that either. Whenever I even need to move cards just to pay for something new I just couldn't resist, I seem to have a lousy track record at selling at the high end of the market.

I have 2 daughters, one who is into baseball right now and the other not so much. My cards (whatever is left, anyway) will go to them and they can treasure them as I would or dispose of them as they please as circumstances dictate...
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2018, 04:44 PM
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I just want to quickly jump in here and add my thoughts about looking at a specific situation from a pseudo-investment perspective.

Whenever the 15% off ebay coupons appear, it becomes a two-pronged approach for me. I want to purchase cards that I want/need/would love to have, but I also pay big-time attention to the resale value of said cards.

With that second point in mind, I start searching through pretty expensive graded cards (hopefully, if I can afford it, landing right at $666.67 in order to get the maximum $100 'discount'), and start narrowing it down from there. The reason I look at high priced cards (I know that term has a different meaning for everyone), is because you are much more likely to do well on your return on investment when the day comes for you to sell them. (Meaning, for the most part, people selling more expensive cards need to keep them within sight of what people expect to pay to stand any chance of selling them. Not so the case with lower valued cards.) For instance, say a card regularly/always sells for $500 and you are able through the discount to get one for $425. If you immediately turn around and let someone have it for the usual 5 bills, you've made a quick profit. But say you want to get some lower cost, high grade cards that are listed for more than they are 'worth' (read as what past sales have gone for) at $100 apiece. The 15% discount does nothing for you, because the cards are already overpriced by way more than 15%. You'll be starting out already in the hole.

(No investment strategies guides were harmed in creating this post.)
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:12 PM
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When he was four years old, my son managed to defeat the lock on the cabinet that held my card collection. Fortunately, he was only able to fully "examine" a few dozen cards before the baby-sitter collared him. I've been thinking of including those cards in his inheritance, but not sure if he would appreciate the mordant humor, even though they could likely bring a few hundred bucks despite the creases and tears. I'm sure he'd prefer valuable stocks, if I had any to leave.
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  #16  
Old 07-14-2018, 06:29 PM
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Default it was clearly being manipulated

It was obviously artificial i am still not sure why some refuse to admit that. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. There were some deep pockets attempting some market manipulation. I think it did bump the market up though over where it was pre manipulation. not by a lot but definitely did create some interest. Key low pop high grade rookies are still very expensive not sure the true top tier have fallen much but the more available even in better grade stuff is clearly softer without the extra cash those buyers were pumping in to the market.
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  #17  
Old 07-14-2018, 06:43 PM
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If the market's so soft why does it feel like I can't buy anything unless I am willing to overpay?
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  #18  
Old 07-14-2018, 07:20 PM
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Peter,

I believe it’s because people either bought in 2016 or they don’t really want to sell the card. The economy is good. It’s also hard for some people to take a loss on a deal/card. Some people have it in their heads that whenever or whatever they buy should be worth more when they sell it. I have a bad feeling some sellers are going to have ridiculously high prices on their post war graded material. We shall see.

Last edited by Johnny630; 07-14-2018 at 07:22 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-15-2018, 02:26 PM
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Card collecting is a hobby for me, too - not an investment. That said, I am careful when I buy - I have a goal to be able to at least recoup a large percentage of what I put into it when the day comes to liquidate. That makes it a more cost effective hobby than, say, golf or travel or attending sporting events. At least thats what I keep telling the missus!
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:56 PM
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There was (and is; Probstein/PWCC) market manipulation on the high end, and it spilled across to some lower end cards that many of us rushed to buy. No one can seriously debate that. But that only accounts for a piece of the pie . The economy has been decent for several years and people are feeling comfortable enough to spend on cards. I've seen a definite upward trend on real rarities: the cards I tend to enjoy having. I am getting unsolicited offers to buy and they are strong. Postwar, except for the high value cards that were manipulated, is swamped with material right now.
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  #21  
Old 07-15-2018, 06:55 PM
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Price goes up - people complaint price too high i can't get the card i want
Price goes down - I'm losing money on my cards...

Either way people will not be happy, Just buy what you enjoy with money that's not in need. People spend 100k on buying a brand new car after 5 years only worth 50k , as long as you enjoys it and the money you spend on it is not needed. then why care
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  #22  
Old 07-15-2018, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by AGuinness View Post
Playing a bit of Devil's Advocate here, but one can't invest in last year's stock market today, right? So if somebody with an educated opinion prefers investing in cards over the market today, it's certainly possible that it's the better choice.

You may be correct. But if you are investing in high end graded cards of top players, you do not know how many high end cards are still out there waiting to be graded.

So you do not know the supply side of the equation, nor necessarily even the demand side.

But people have and will make money speculating on baseball cards.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:24 AM
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You may be correct. But if you are investing in high end graded cards of top players, you do not know how many high end cards are still out there waiting to be graded.

So you do not know the supply side of the equation, nor necessarily even the demand side.

But people have and will make money speculating on baseball cards.
Very true, and in particular the population of ungraded cards likely increases the more modern the card is, creating more risk for modern and recent star cards.

But continuing as a Devil's Advocate, I think the unknowns and speculation in the stock market are also very prevalent. Speculation has been cited as at least one of the reasons behind each of the major stock market crashes. And while market cap and other statistics on stocks are widely available to shareholders, there are many examples of companies deceiving the public and their shareholders by using loopholes and accounting tricks ("cooking the books") to hide debt, etc. (such as Enron). I think there's likely a certain amount of unknown risk in EVERY investment.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:04 PM
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I'm not experienced enough to comment on the true high-end of the market, or what real rarities or highly desired pre-war sells for, or anything like that. But, in the wheelhouse of what I do collect and am familiar with (1950-70's mid-grade stars - whether graded or not) I think on the whole the cards remain very affordable and also don't seem to lose a ton of value. I think a PSA 5 '63 Topps Willie Mays (to use an example from my collection) if you do the math and see what a comparable (albeit before grading) version of that same card sold for in say 1989 - I think you would find things haven't changed all that much.

Again, this obviously doesn't speak to the rather large changes in the high end of the vintage market that have happened since 1989 - but it works for me.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:39 PM
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Very true, and in particular the population of ungraded cards likely increases the more modern the card is, creating more risk for modern and recent star cards.
I would actually doubt that hypothesis.

The production numbers are lower and the collecting base are adult due to the immense cost of anything other than base sets. It is also a collecting group that has fully embraced TPGs.

Anyone that is sitting on a childhood collection or has not been avid in collecting in the past 20 years is unlikely to have used a TPG and thus the cards are unaccounted for. As the boomers and older pass on, their children may look to move those inheritances and will be adding to the pop numbers for sale.

The first thing modern collectors do is sleeve cards from the pack and ship off anything to the TPGs.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:56 PM
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I would actually doubt that hypothesis.
The production numbers are lower and the collecting base are adult due to the immense cost of anything other than base sets. It is also a collecting group that has fully embraced TPGs.
.
Agreed. As costly for the hobby as the fallout of the "junk era" was, the manufacturers learned their lesson well. Instead of a wide hobby base now and collecting being wildly popular at all age ranges, you have a narrowed range that is increasingly about wealthy adults. I suppose the manufacturers chose this as a safer route rather than go to extra effort to ensure the hobby remained affordable for a wider range of collectors. As for TPG's, I'm personally surprised that the marked embraced them so completely so quickly, but the handwriting was clearly on the wall decades earlier over in the coin hobby.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:16 PM
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I would actually doubt that hypothesis.

The production numbers are lower and the collecting base are adult due to the immense cost of anything other than base sets. It is also a collecting group that has fully embraced TPGs.

Anyone that is sitting on a childhood collection or has not been avid in collecting in the past 20 years is unlikely to have used a TPG and thus the cards are unaccounted for. As the boomers and older pass on, their children may look to move those inheritances and will be adding to the pop numbers for sale.

The first thing modern collectors do is sleeve cards from the pack and ship off anything to the TPGs.
Agreed that modern collectors are likely to perceive investment value in their cards and treat them accordingly. But I would, as a Devil's Advocate, also say that despite lower production numbers, this perception would lead to a higher chance of more investment grade examples of a card. There are likely baby boomers sitting on ungraded collections, but how many of those cards are actually investment grade?

For example, there is a single example of the Nolan Ryan rookie at PSA 10, while there are 22 examples of the Derek Jeter 1993 SP at PSA 10. Despite the lower production numbers on the Jeter, I would contend that there is a greater likelihood that more possible PSA 10 examples of the Jeter are in collections and currently ungraded than there are ungraded of the Ryans (there are, of course, many more ungraded Ryan rookies out there, but I'm thinking there are very few investment grade examples).

Another example could be the 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady rookie auto, which in my limited research appears to have a print run of 3,000 (saw that number on the Blowout forum). PSA looks to have graded 14/148 at 10, while BGS has 15/643 at 9.5 (Beckett's site is a bit confusing for me on this card, but I think I've read that right). That leaves (approximately) 2,209 ungraded examples of the card, and with the modern preservation logic, most would have been well protected by their owners. If the 3.6 percent of the current population at 10 PSA/9.5 BGS holds, thats an additional 81 Gem Mint Tom Brady auto rookies that could enter the market. Of course, it could be argued that demand would still exceed that supply, but I'm playing Devil's Advocate about the RISK of investment grade cards when it comes to the modern market. These numbers would indicate that it is more likely the market will see a number of these investment grade Gem Mint Brady rookies (or of the Jeter SP rookie) become available through new grading than the Gem Mint Ryan rookie.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:58 PM
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What vintage card collector ever thought that in 2018 people would be buying or bidding on teams or players in box/case breaks ? The new guys that do this donít collect itís all about the Gamble not the love of Team or Player. I equate this to team/player loyalty being blown away by the Fantasy Player. To me itís just like going into a casino. This is why I stick to Vintage.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:37 PM
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What vintage card collector ever thought that in 2018 people would be buying or bidding on teams or players in box/case breaks ? The new guys that do this donít collect itís all about the Gamble not the love of Team or Player. I equate this to team/player loyalty being blown away by the Fantasy Player. To me itís just like going into a casino. This is why I stick to Vintage.
Very true, all about the speculation.

I'd be interested in hearing from somebody who is involved with or follows other collectibles/investments about the phases and how things mature. We're all familiar with the arc of baseball (and sports) cards evolving from trifles with little monetary value to what some now consider an investment vehicle. Are they behind in that arc compared to stamps, coins or something else? What happened after stamps, coins, etc. moved on to their next phase?
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:03 PM
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What vintage card collector ever thought that in 2018 people would be buying or bidding on teams or players in box/case breaks ? The new guys that do this donít collect itís all about the Gamble not the love of Team or Player. I equate this to team/player loyalty being blown away by the Fantasy Player. To me itís just like going into a casino. This is why I stick to Vintage.
I have to somewhat disagree. My 9 y/o does quite a few case breaks and he certainly is not trying to get the big hit.

Although he is primarily football, the example still relates. Even some of the lower end sets are too expensive for him to put together. The base Donruss football set is 400 cards, 300 veterans and 100 rookies that come 1 per pack. 24 packs per box at $65 a box. If we get extremely lucky (astronomical odds actually) and every rookie is different, we're $260 invested and still a couple of cards short of finishing the set. Sorry, but a 9 y/o really is not capable of "selling" the various inserts to recoup some of the money spent. There are some inserts he likes, and will keep for his personal collection, but most don't mean anything to him.

So the typical set building that most of us remember from our younger days really isn't feasible for the typical youngster today.

Since set building is out, most will collect players or teams. We do case breaks and purchase our local football team. If we were to buy boxes of let's say Donruss Optic, it would cost in the neighborhood of $120 a box. We might get 10 cards for his team, and if we get really lucky maybe he'll get a rookie or insert. Not exactly getting our monies worth. But if we buy into a case break we can get all of the cards for his team for maybe $50 (of course if you have some big/hot rookies on your team it will cost more). Yes, we get quite a few of the same base cards, but that's not a bad thing. We also get a good number of inserts and rookies. He's able to trade his duplicates to friends of his for some of the other players he likes (his friends get the boxes from Walmart/Target). I haven't done it in just over a year, but we were able to take our other duplicates to our LCS for trade credit also.

Anyways, not everyone who does the case breaks does it for the gamble. Actually I think for some it has strengthened team loyalty to a whole new level. It allows team/player collectors to focus their limited collecting budgets on only their primary interests.

If you're going to the National this year, you'll be able to find the 2 of us in the case break pavilion, as well as walking the floor.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:39 AM
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Why aren't there any good inflation / price data, like a CPI (card price index)? This seems ripe for someone to analyze the huge PSA and VCP databases and bring facts to this discussion.

I agree with Peter Spaeth that the cards I look for get harder and harder and more and more expensive to procure. Granted these tend to be rarer, PSA 7-8 Mantles, Clementes, etc. and so it makes me think there are sub-segments of the post war market.

I'd argue there are at least 3-4 different "sub-segments" (just like there are CPI and PPI inflation data for all goods, and for sub-segments):

* HOF RCs, PSA 8+: This is a separate animal altogether, and where a lot of the "buyer's club" comments come from

* Elite HOF base cards: Mantle, Clemente, Koufax, Mays, etc. Even here, I'd say that prices for these cards in PSA 8+ have behaved differently than these cards in PSA 4-7

* HOF rare/alternate cards. I believe that Mantle's Stahl-Meyer, Dan-Dee, Yoo-Hoo, and other rare cards have gone way up, since 2015. I could be wrong

* Non-HOF cards: even here, I'd differentiate between, say, 1952 Topps and 1972 Topps high numbers


In all, I believe there are micro-markets; my opinion is that

* High-grade HOF RC's have gone down

* Rare, high-grade elite HOF cards have gone WAY up

* Clementes and Mantles have gone up, across the board. For instance I've been looking for 1956 Mantle PSA 5, or a 1964 Standup PSA 6+ for 24 months, and they keep going up; ditto Clemente 1956 PSA 6-7; try bidding for a 1969 Topps Super Clemente; I have for 2 years and I'm chasing a rising price

* Average HOF or common player cards in mid-grade have gone MODERATELY down

Last edited by MCoxon; 07-18-2018 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
If the market's so soft why does it feel like I can't buy anything unless I am willing to overpay?
you're just cheap and delusional LOL - sometimes the most efficient means of travel is by snowmobile
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:28 AM
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Interesting perspective, Mike. There are definitely segments of the hobby that are hotter from time to time. As I noted in my past post, I think rare cards have gone way up. The ones I pay attention to (mostly Exhibits) have tripled or more in the last several years. Which is why I am filling in holes in my collection in the coldest areas of the hobby. The collector's version of hit 'em where they ain't.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:36 AM
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you're just cheap and delusional LOL - sometimes the most efficient means of travel is by snowmobile
Never. Not at those prices.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:59 PM
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Interesting perspective, Mike. There are definitely segments of the hobby that are hotter from time to time. As I noted in my past post, I think rare cards have gone way up. The ones I pay attention to (mostly Exhibits) have tripled or more in the last several years. Which is why I am filling in holes in my collection in the coldest areas of the hobby. The collector's version of hit 'em where they ain't.
Yes - agree. And I think you and I collect a lot of the same rarities (in addition to exhibits, I think you like Atlantic Oils, Fleet Wings, Num Nums, Al Rosens, etc?)

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Old 07-18-2018, 04:49 PM
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Yes - agree. And I think you and I collect a lot of the same rarities (in addition to exhibits, I think you like Atlantic Oils, Fleet Wings, Num Nums, Al Rosens, etc?)
Yup, sure do. Plus Zeenuts, Bells and Morrells, Koufax and Aaron.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:42 PM
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In 7-8 Mantle/Clemente and Jackie are as Blue Chip as they come. The only 3 post war players I would ever consider to invest in.
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:16 AM
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Yup, sure do. Plus Zeenuts, Bells and Morrells, Koufax and Aaron.
yep - the same
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:43 AM
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At least since the 1990's, I would say that Clemente in particular has really taken off. He used to be just another run-of-the-mill HOFer - popular, but nothing that really stuck out above the crowd. From what I have seen that has changed dramatically in the 21st century. His popularity among all vintage collectors is eclipsed maybe by Mantle, but I'm not sure beyond that who would vie for it. It seems he's even more popular for player collectors today than Hank Aaron - and that certainly was not the case in the 1980's and 90's.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:57 AM
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I agree. From what I have seen, collecting today's cards is close to being 100% gambling. I am not saying it's bad or good but it is what it is.

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What vintage card collector ever thought that in 2018 people would be buying or bidding on teams or players in box/case breaks ? The new guys that do this don’t collect it’s all about the Gamble not the love of Team or Player. I equate this to team/player loyalty being blown away by the Fantasy Player. To me it’s just like going into a casino. This is why I stick to Vintage.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:15 AM
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From what I have seen, collecting today's cards is close to being 100% gambling.
Agreed. Even with vintage collectors - those with means are often interested only in investment grade cards (PSA 8+) or buy spots in "vintage break" deals where it's $200 or more a card for (example) a wax pack of '67 Topps where the goal is to get the cards with the sharpest corners and best centering. They pull a HOFer in many videos of situations like this, but will lament it being a "dud" because of the centering.

Collecting today at least for those with means has gone out of focus and on a tangent in some respects due to this. Each unto their own, but when I was a kid collecting vintage - like you said - the focus was on the players, and the history and love of the game. Even if I had unlimited funding, I would probably find it wiser to just buy what I want to start with in a decent grade. For someone like me that would mean buying a '67 Roberto Clemente in about EX shape instead of gambling on getting a PSA 9 one out of some spot in a pack bust...
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by David W View Post
With the stock market returning almost 20% last year why would you invest in cards?
And you think that trend is going to continue?
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:58 PM
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At least since the 1990's, I would say that Clemente in particular has really taken off. He used to be just another run-of-the-mill HOFer - popular, but nothing that really stuck out above the crowd. From what I have seen that has changed dramatically in the 21st century. His popularity among all vintage collectors is eclipsed maybe by Mantle, but I'm not sure beyond that who would vie for it. It seems he's even more popular for player collectors today than Hank Aaron - and that certainly was not the case in the 1980's and 90's.
Clemente has always been a top tier HOFer. He was just under Ted Williams, Mantle, Mays and Aaron (above everyone else) when I started collecting him in the early 80s. He is now more expensive than all the postwar stars except Mantle. Jackie Robinson has had the same rise. As someone said earlier, Mantle, Clemente and Jackie Robinson are the 3 players that are worth investing in for the 1948-1973 Topps/Bowman era.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:15 PM
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Clemente has always been a top tier HOFer.
Yes. I did not mean to insinuate in my original post that Clemente was not a top-tier Hall of Famer. Certainly even in the 1980's, there was way more interest in Clemente than say, George Kell.

But yes since then, I would agree that both his star and Jackie's have continued to rise. You can almost never find a "bargain" anymore on early 50's Topps Robinson cards, even in mid-grade. Most sellers that list them with BIN prices err on the high side. I got a BVG 4.5 '55 Topps Robinson a couple of years ago. Overpaid for it slightly I think, but there were no real deals to be had and I did not want to go cheaper on a card that was creased or more of a beater.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:36 PM
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Yes. I did not mean to insinuate in my original post that Clemente was not a top-tier Hall of Famer. Certainly even in the 1980's, there was way more interest in Clemente than say, George Kell.
Clemente cards were worth more than Musial, Koufax, Berra, Banks, Robinson, Kaline, Snider, Mathews, etc. in the early 80s.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:40 PM
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Clemente cards were worth more than Musial, Koufax, Berra, Banks, Robinson, Kaline, Snider, Mathews, etc. in the early 80s.
But worth even more than that above those now.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:34 AM
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This is a good thread, I'm glad it was started. There are surely differences between collecting now and 30+ years ago, although it strikes me that the conversation may be missing a few elements of collecting in 2018, such as:

COMC, eBay, etc.: collectors today, and particularly young collectors, don't NEED to go to shows for a wider range and depth of cards. I conduct most of my business through web sites, and would imagine many others, both young and old, do the same. Card shows are to collecting in the 1970s and 1980s as the internet is today. I also see the success of COMC, which from my observations thrives on sales of cards that cost $10 or less (including tons of cards below $1), as a sign of health of the hobby. And Topps also has an online presence, as Topps Now seems to have been a big success, with offerings for speculators and collectors alike.

Junk Era collectors: we all know how the supply of junk era cards was ridiculous, but I'm thinking the number of collectors was pretty high (obviously not high enough to meet demand). While a huge number of people caught the speculation bug back then and bought boxes of cards to "pay for college," the hobby likely doesn't need a huge percentage of the population to sustain itself. I would guess that even half the population who was buying cards in the mid to late 80s might not be necessary to keep the hobby healthy.

Other collectables: I have never met a stamp collector or coin collector in my life (in passing, I read some posts on this site from a couple), and have known only a few comic book collectors. But those hobbies seem to be chugging along (eBay has a stamps and comics links under Collectables). I think stamps and coins are an older/more mature hobby than card collecting (not sure on that), and I wonder how the evolution of those hobbies has compared to that of baseball cards.

All that said, the money "invested" in today's young stars can be ridiculous to me, especially in those with manufactured scarcity. But I do appreciate that this hobby can accommodate people with any financial backing.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:05 AM
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My original post was a month ago ago about the state of the post war market.
Does anyone have any updates or thoughts as to how they see pricing/value of cards ?

From what I observed it seems many of the really good collections have gone to Major Auction House or are being hoardedor or grossly overpriced. It seems to be a weird time where many are apprehensive to sell because they think 2015-2016 will happen again. Either way from my prepective the high end investors wont be coming back any time soon if ever. It’s very interesting to watch and theorize.

Thoughts ??

Last edited by Johnny630; 08-12-2018 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:14 AM
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My vantage point is very much a minority perspective I am sure. I backed away from higher grade cards long ago and opted instead for quality mid-grade cards within complete sets that I could more readily afford and stay married. I collect baseball and football sets from the 1950s and 1960s. Over the last month, I have been able to acquire two nice partial sets at what I considered a good value. The baseball partial set was a 1954 Topps set 242/250. It was a largely crease-free vgex partial and all ungraded. On the other side of the coin, the football partial was 137/198 with all the major cards except for one and all graded..very nice. In each instance, I was able to pick up nearly entire sets for the price of about three of the major cards.

I haven't really thought about "the market" front and center all that often in terms of my collecting. My experience has taught me at least a couple of lessons. First, patience is a virtue. I got so tired of hearing this from experienced collectors when I was younger, but it is defintely true. The second a collector determines he must have a certain card at a certain high grade during a specific time table, that collector will likely pay more for that card than he needs to. The person I bought the baseball partial from lost patience and money and bailed on a project because he hadn't adequately planned. Second, I am reminded that most collectors I know outside of Net54 are simply collectors who have a passion for their cards. They often collect with their hearts and not their heads. I think of these folks as the secondary market. They don't even know what Net54 is, and most of them don't even acknowledge the big auction houses because they are too pricey for them. Most of these guys collect what they like and would never sell. Their cards don't come to market. If they get in money trouble, they are going to probably sell to another collector in the secondary market, and no one else will ever know. You have to remember participants here on Net54 are an extremely small percentage of collectors.

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Last edited by vintagebaseballcardguy; 08-12-2018 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:36 PM
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I think what most people are saying, which I totally agree with, is that there is not a single market for cards, but multiple markets. The major auction houses traffic almost exclusively in high end, graded cards of the most sought after stars. That market appears very hot, but is quickly transforming from a hobby market into an investment market. Much more data is available and there are many in the market whose primary focus is to turn a profit rather than acquire a prized collectible.

On the other hand, there is the traditional collectible market with its wide range of sub-markets: pre-war, post-war, modern, regional, etc. across one category; registry collectors, raw set builders, and so on in other categories. I think prices in this market tend to change much more slowly except where it bumps into the investment market. As someone who collects in this market - a raw set builder - it can be frustrating to see so much emphasis on high-end, investment grade cards that at times it seems like it gets harder and harder to find the cards I am looking for.
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