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  1. #1




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    Why does Beckett exist as a price guide?

    Let me know why, let me know why you value subjective value over objective market value... I would really love to know the pro's and con's of either...
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    I mean why do you chose eBay or book?

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    Well, I'll state the obvious...... it (Beckett) exists as a price guide, because people are still happy to spend money on it.

    Myself, I have no use for it, and really haven't had any use for it in 20 years. It is clear to me that they don't use real market data, they use some kind of formula. It's sort of accurate most of the time, and way off at other times. To be perfectly honest, I don't think their values are THAT bad most of the time.... but in my 30+ years of card collecting, I have met very few people who have ever read that price guide correctly:

    There are two values. They are "HI" and "LO". Beckett does not claim one to be an absolute price, rather they are a "guide" and they offer a range of values that cards could sell for. Two cards that have $25 / $50 as their LO & HI values are not necessarily worth the same thing. If you find that one consistently sells around $25, and the other consistently sells around $50 (with some outliers for each) - Then Beckett has done a good job with it's range. It's the readers who ignore the range (and the LO column all together) that cause the problem.

    Of course what it sells for is something I can look up myself, pretty easily. I don't think eBay sales are always the way to go.... but if you look at eBay, you can usually find a pretty accurate gauge for what cards are selling for.

    If you have a card that consistently sells for $50, and I have one that sells for $25: Maybe we decide that's an even trade, but I suspect most people would say "well, hold on. My card sells for double yours. This isn't exactly fair", regardless of Beckett says.

  3. #3




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    I will be extremely blunt here and anyone that still relies on Beckett for the pricing of their cards is a dinosaur. I believe eBay and online pricing has been around for over 20 years and over the past 5 years and it has become the only reliable source to gauge a true value of what your stuff is worth.

    Even during the days when Beckett was a thing, I did not really use it as a Bible to what my cards were worth. Simply something to look at when I was at my LCS or card show to get a ball park figure to what my card could be worth. I remember the days when people would flip back and forth between online and book values to profit in their sales and trdes, but that does not happen anymore. Beckett has gone the way of adult magazines and is only good for the articles and personally I have not looked at one in years.

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    Beckett as stated above is just a guide! To sell today I don't have Beckett's around anymore because I would rather use FeeBay (EBay) sold prices as a gauge than Beckett. A good example was I had a 1997 Fleer David Arias (Ortiz) RC and Beckett said 50-75 bucks, but the EBay sold prices were over 100-200 bucks, so I put 150 bucks and sold it for 175 bucks. This week I put one on and I put 125 bucks and it is has been relisted and I have 100 bucks on it and it is not selling! I will hang onto the card and see if it goes up again. It is still selling for more than Beckett. Beckett to me seems like it is 6 weeks to 3 months behind the current market prices. This is my opinion only but I hope that gives you an idea of what you are asking!

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    Well, I'll state the obvious...... it (Beckett) exists as a price guide, because people are still happy to spend money on it.

    Myself, I have no use for it, and really haven't had any use for it in 20 years. It is clear to me that they don't use real market data, they use some kind of formula. It's sort of accurate most of the time, and way off at other times. To be perfectly honest, I don't think their values are THAT bad most of the time.... but in my 30+ years of card collecting, I have met very few people who have ever read that price guide correctly:

    There are two values. They are "HI" and "LO". Beckett does not claim one to be an absolute price, rather they are a "guide" and they offer a range of values that cards could sell for. Two cards that have $25 / $50 as their LO & HI values are not necessarily worth the same thing. If you find that one consistently sells around $25, and the other consistently sells around $50 (with some outliers for each) - Then Beckett has done a good job with it's range. It's the readers who ignore the range (and the LO column all together) that cause the problem.

    Of course what it sells for is something I can look up myself, pretty easily. I don't think eBay sales are always the way to go.... but if you look at eBay, you can usually find a pretty accurate gauge for what cards are selling for.

    If you have a card that consistently sells for $50, and I have one that sells for $25: Maybe we decide that's an even trade, but I suspect most people would say "well, hold on. My card sells for double yours. This isn't exactly fair", regardless of Beckett says.

    Well, I enjoy reading Beckett - I really like the editorials, profiles and such. I mean I wouldn't say I "collect" Beckett's but over the years I have bought a ton of back-issues on eBay because they're dirt cheap and the "Readers Write" section is fantastic and makes for hours of entertainment, lol.. It's just fun to read about what people were thinking about the hobby many-many moons ago and how utterly off-base some collectors were, lol. Not only that but Beckett had some excellent photography, especially the artwork that was on the inside of every cover - I actually cut those artworks out and frame them in cheap frames from the Dollar General.. I mean they're really awesome pictures and it's a nice cheap way to decorate any card room, man-cave or sports den - so from that perspective it's a fantastic magazine - it's just not a useful price guide.

    And look, I'm sure at one point in time Beckett had a formula, but presently it's more than obvious that the formula they claimed to be using is no longer in use because Beckett's alleged price formula is essentially eBay in practice... It kinda makes you wonder how accurate the "formulated" values were back in the day?..

    Either way I'm having a difficult time trading with those that strictly go by the word of Beckett... I mean there are cards you can buy on eBay all day that are more than abundant for .99 cents BIN which Beckett has listed at $25-50 bucks a pop, and at the same time there are plenty of examples of cards selling on eBay for 10x what Beckett has them listed for... Now of course no collector that trades by BV has any interest in the cards that book for $25 but sell for a buck, wonder why? lol - they'll take those undervalued cards and try to sneak them into a trade tho. smh

    Anyway I recently found an excellent website/database called "Card Mavin", perhaps some reading this may be aware of it, however I'm new to it - but it's an excellent eBay database that acts as a price guide specifically for sports cards.. What Card Mavin does is document eBay sales and give's an average sales price for a particular card. And what's nice about Card Mavin is that the user can select certain cards that fit their criteria or are comparable to the card the user is trying to price, and users can get pretty specific with it because they can select any auction that is a good comparable to their card and Card Mavin will average it all out... And what's nice is that you can get recent sales data if you choose and cut out the older sales data, and outliers too to get the most accurate up to day value on any card.. So yea, it's a really good resource and I would highly recommend it..

    Anyone can check out Card Mavin here, it's totally free: https://cardmavin.com/

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    Directly from Beckett Hockey Magazines (word for word):

    "The LO and HI columns reflect current retail selling ranges. The HI column generally represents full retail selling price.The LO column generally represents the lowest price one could expect to find with extensive shopping".

    This makes a lot of sense to me. The HI column (full retail) is the value of the card that can be sold in or close to the player's city. Local players command higher prices. Collector's will pay higher prices for player's they watch on TV or player's they watch at home games. The farther away a collector is from the player's city, card values seem to fall closer to the LO value. Collector's who live mid-way from a sports city can expect to pay around mid-book value. Of course for super stars though, HI book is the norm for all locations.

    I would like to hear other opinions on this matter.

  7. #7
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    Well, I enjoy reading Beckett - I really like the editorials, profiles and such. I mean I wouldn't say I "collect" Beckett's but over the years I have bought a ton of back-issues on eBay because they're dirt cheap and the "Readers Write" section is fantastic and makes for hours of entertainment, lol.. It's just fun to read about what people were thinking about the hobby many-many moons ago and how utterly off-base some collectors were, lol. Not only that but Beckett had some excellent photography, especially the artwork that was on the inside of every cover - I actually cut those artworks out and frame them in cheap frames from the Dollar General.. I mean they're really awesome pictures and it's a nice cheap way to decorate any card room, man-cave or sports den - so from that perspective it's a fantastic magazine - it's just not a useful price guide.

    And look, I'm sure at one point in time Beckett had a formula, but presently it's more than obvious that the formula they claimed to be using is no longer in use because Beckett's alleged price formula is essentially eBay in practice... It kinda makes you wonder how accurate the "formulated" values were back in the day?..

    Either way I'm having a difficult time trading with those that strictly go by the word of Beckett... I mean there are cards you can buy on eBay all day that are more than abundant for .99 cents BIN which Beckett has listed at $25-50 bucks a pop, and at the same time there are plenty of examples of cards selling on eBay for 10x what Beckett has them listed for... Now of course no collector that trades by BV has any interest in the cards that book for $25 but sell for a buck, wonder why? lol - they'll take those undervalued cards and try to sneak them into a trade tho. smh

    Anyway I recently found an excellent website/database called "Card Mavin", perhaps some reading this may be aware of it, however I'm new to it - but it's an excellent eBay database that acts as a price guide specifically for sports cards.. What Card Mavin does is document eBay sales and give's an average sales price for a particular card. And what's nice about Card Mavin is that the user can select certain cards that fit their criteria or are comparable to the card the user is trying to price, and users can get pretty specific with it because they can select any auction that is a good comparable to their card and Card Mavin will average it all out... And what's nice is that you can get recent sales data if you choose and cut out the older sales data, and outliers too to get the most accurate up to day value on any card.. So yea, it's a really good resource and I would highly recommend it..

    Anyone can check out Card Mavin here, it's totally free: https://cardmavin.com/

    I would agree with. I think a lot of the written content in Beckett is still very good, fun to read. Reading older issues could & would be fun too. I have no idea how much attention Beckett pays to eBay (I assume some, maybe even a lot). The last year, many cards have boomed in price - I don't find Beckett relevant enough to pay attention, so I have no idea how well they've adjusted to those prices. It's not an easy thing to say how much a card is worth. Stunzle & Kaprisov YGs were selling for over $200 on release day. You can get Stunzle for under $100 now... and Kaprizov a little better than $100. Should the HI column be $200 ? Will those prices ever be reached again? Is Beckett supposed to call them $200 cards on their first pricing, and then show massive drops on the second or third pricing?

    I don't make a lot of trades anymore. After I stopped building new sets, trading kind of went bye-bye for me. I'm not against it (and I do still make a few trades a year) but it's hard for me. I'd be happy to send someone a decent YG or Autograph (something in the $50 range?) to trade straight across for a signed copy of Rick Morris' 1975-76 OPC WHA base card...... but nobody has that signed card for trade, and if I found one available they're likely not looking to make that deal. More likely I sell my card, and then buy the one I want (which I'm happy to do as well).

    When I have made swaps with people who insist on going by BV, I've never had much of a problem doing it though. So long as it passes the eye test for me, if the BVs say the deal is fair, that's fine by me.

    Directly from Beckett Hockey Magazines (word for word):

    "The LO and HI columns reflect current retail selling ranges. The HI column generally represents full retail selling price.The LO column generally represents the lowest price one could expect to find with extensive shopping".

    This makes a lot of sense to me. The HI column (full retail) is the value of the card that can be sold in or close to the player's city. Local players command higher prices. Collector's will pay higher prices for player's they watch on TV or player's they watch at home games. The farther away a collector is from the player's city, card values seem to fall closer to the LO value. Collector's who live mid-way from a sports city can expect to pay around mid-book value. Of course for super stars though, HI book is the norm for all locations.

    I would like to hear other opinions on this matter.

    @Buckeyes I have a hard time believing there's much in the way of "regional premiums" anymore. I honestly could not tell you the last time I bought a single card, inside a card shop. I think the year would have been 1990-something. If people in Toronto would pay $300 for a particular Austin Matthews card, and people in Florida would only pay $150 for it - Then someone in Florida is going to hop online and sell it for $300. That's been going on for 20+ years.

    Of course we all have our favorite teams, and favorite platers.

    I do agree with the general premise of HI & LO values. I think it's always been the biggest mistake people make with Beckett. They see $25 LO, and $50 HI - and then say "my card is worth $50". Beckett did not say that. They said the expected selling range is $25-$50..... but that doesn't mean it's worth the same as another card that shows $25 - $50. If one sells consistently for $50, and the other for $25 - why would anyone consider that a fair trade?

    I think even with Superstars, HI book is not the norm for most cards. If I was walking through a card show..... I might see a lot of Crosby or McDavid cards priced with HI book values, but they'll be on a table that says "25% off" (or even more, in a lot of cases). Of course there are plenty of instances where cards actually sell well above their BVs, and most collectors or dealers won't make the mistake of letting them go that cheap.

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    Let me know why, let me know why you value subjective value over objective market value... I would really love to know the pro's and con's of either...

    I mean why do you chose eBay or book?


    I haven't been active here in a while, but I think you have to look at a pretty good mix of everything. As I've read and listened to more and more about collecting, investing, whatever you want to call it, I've learned that people tend to shade towards what benefits them the most. People love to use ebay when they are selling stuff and they can point to a high 'comp', but you might see a COMC reference thrown in or even a BV if it makes sense to their argument. At the end of the day, the question you really need to ask is (if buying) what is the range I'm willing to pay for this, or conversely, (if selling) what is the range that I'm willing to move this card for. When I'm deciding this, I want to see as much information as I can and, while not perfect, BV is another number to look at and it's a number that is easy to 'check'.


    I will be extremely blunt here and anyone that still relies on Beckett for the pricing of their cards is a dinosaur. I believe eBay and online pricing has been around for over 20 years and over the past 5 years and it has become the only reliable source to gauge a true value of what your stuff is worth.

    Even during the days when Beckett was a thing, I did not really use it as a Bible to what my cards were worth. Simply something to look at when I was at my LCS or card show to get a ball park figure to what my card could be worth. I remember the days when people would flip back and forth between online and book values to profit in their sales and trdes, but that does not happen anymore. Beckett has gone the way of adult magazines and is only good for the articles and personally I have not looked at one in years.


    I'll give a dissenting opinion to this and say I think too many people have shifted to ebay completed sales as the 'bible' and too many people don't look at or think about what the numbers really mean. I get quoted a lot of 'highest' prices if It's something I want to buy and people love to point out an auction with the player's name misspelled that ended on Tuesday morning as the 'best' comp when they are buying from me. Ebay completed sales provide a number that is closer to the potential 'liquid' value of a card - not necessarily it's current value. [Remember, too, ebay is where everyone goes for 'deals'] Think of it as stock buy/sell prices. If I'm 'buying', the sell price is the maximum I will have to pay. If I'm selling, the buy price is the minimum I will have to accept. It's 'backwards' and still not necessarily perfect. Beckett isn't perfect by any means, but neither is ebay...

    Directly from Beckett Hockey Magazines (word for word):

    "The LO and HI columns reflect current retail selling ranges. The HI column generally represents full retail selling price.The LO column generally represents the lowest price one could expect to find with extensive shopping".

    This makes a lot of sense to me. The HI column (full retail) is the value of the card that can be sold in or close to the player's city. Local players command higher prices. Collector's will pay higher prices for player's they watch on TV or player's they watch at home games. The farther away a collector is from the player's city, card values seem to fall closer to the LO value. Collector's who live mid-way from a sports city can expect to pay around mid-book value. Of course for super stars though, HI book is the norm for all locations.

    I would like to hear other opinions on this matter.


    As has been pointed out, Beckett isn't perfect. It's a representation of value at a given time and they are not updating in real time, so you have to take it with a grain of salt sometimes.

    I also think their language about physical location is a bit antiquated, but the premise holds. Collector's will and do pay higher prices for player's or cards they want. In today's global world, it has much less to do with physical location. I know big Tampa Bay collectors who live nowhere near Florida or a Calgary collector who isn't even in Canada. If you are trying to maximize your 'value', you need to look for the collector who wants your card. If I pull a UD HG /10, I can list an ebay auction and sell it for $10-15 dlvd to anybody - or I can look for a collector (post on forums or Facebook) who might be willing to pay $25-30 because he wants that card for his PC.


    At the end of the day, value is a personal concept. I, for years, have said that I 'overpay' for every card in my PC because I win the auctions - I'm willing to pay more than anyone else for those cards. On the other hand, selling is a matter of liquidity. Do you need to sell it today, tomorrow, or next year? I pulled a card from 20-21 OPC, a low-end product, and I put my price at $100. Had an offer of $30 almost immediately on a forum, but I didn't need to sell it that day. I sold it the following week for $100 on ebay in less than 24 hours of being listed. Could I have gone higher?

    ebay, COMC, Beckett... they are all information sources. Why not use them?
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    Beckett is somewhat useful for cards that are not commonly bought and sold on ebay. I guess as long as you concentrate on the lower price rather than the higher price.it still has some use.

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