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Thread: The beckett/ebay issue....

  1. #1

    The beckett/ebay issue....

    Personally, I think the time has come for everyone to realize that beckett is getting really out of touch with the hobby when it comes to pricing. In a hobby where prices are very unpredictable, based on many variables, beckett sometimes takes months to get caught up with the updated prices. This holds especially true for higher end cards. I have been in this hobby for a very, very long time, so this isn't news to me. But to some people on the site that are not as familiar with the hobby, i'll try to explain myself.
    This is a hobby that is all about supply and demand. It always has been and it always will be. I remember when I was younger (mid 80's) beckett was basically the be all end all when it came to gauging prices within the hobby. One, there were limited avenues upon which to seek pricing information. Two, the entire marketplace was different. If I wanted, to use as an example, a Rickey Henderson rookie card, I went to my local hobby stores. If they didn't have one, I either had to wait until they got one in or start looking at mail order or classifieds as an alternative. It could sometimes take weeks or months to find a specific card, and if the hobby shop did get it, I was surely paying full book for the item.
    Internet auctions have changed the entire landscape of card collecting, regardless of anyone's personal opinion on the matter. It's fact. Now, take that same Rickey Henderson rookie card I used in my above statement. If my local hobby store doesn't have one, I type it in on an auction site or google and there are 500 different ones for me to choose from, and I can pick and choose based on price and condition. Simply put, internet auctions and storefronts have completely changed the laws of supply and demand. The supply is now in much greater numbers and far easier to locate, which in turn causes demand to be lower. But I digress....
    If you are still reading at this point, it means you have an open mind to what I am saying here. Go and look at some pricing in a current beckett magazine, in any sport. Take a few cards and remember the "book value". Then cross reference that information with online sales of the same card. Most of the time, you will find a moderate to sizeable discrepancy on pricing. This goes both ways - higher and lower! I believe a lot of this has to do with where beckett takes a majority of their information from - correspondents. People report "sales" to them. I also think as of late beckett is only concerned with the newer products, and rarely dusts off the pricing of older issues, even though cards from the 90's (especially the harder to find inserts) flucuate quite a bit due guessed it, supply and demand!
    I know this is a hot button issue within this hobby and our site here. Personally, I think as collectors we need to be more aware of everything that is going on in this hobby. There are some people who have the tags that say don't mention ebay, but I really feel that they are becoming less and less as time goes on. Heck, a few years ago I had the same thoughts. But as the hobby evolves, you have to evolve with it. I think ebay and other sites are starting to become more and more of an actual reflection as to what our cards are worth, and beckett is not evolving with the ever-changing landscape.
    I think all collectors who enjoy this hobby need to begin to realize that you cannot just go by beckett anymore as the be all end all source of pricing information. Keep on top of your cards and their actual market values, because there are members of this and any other sports card site who are out there just waiting for someone who doesn't follow things as closely so they can nab that hot player from you at BV, when the cards are actually already much higher than that.
    Hopefully, this helps some people in the future, or helps newer members so they aren't taken by the "vultures". Don't be afraid of ebay or other online sales information. You dont even have to use ebay to buy or sell yourself, just make sure you access pricing before you make a trade if you aren't sure. Believe me, there are a lot more transactions happening on ebay right now than from any of the correspondents who report sales to beckett. And if a correspondent is selling on ebay, they are almost certainly inflating sales prices! You may not like it (heck, I don't like it), but do the research, and you'll see the truth in it.

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  3. #2
    If you ever watch Antiques Roadshow, you'll notice the appraisers never say "well this carries a book value of...", it's always "these recently sold at auction for..."

    I haven't bothered to buy a card magazine in a good 10 years. They're just working for the card companies now, they're not reporting on cards, they're writing advertising copy in the form of an "article".

  4. #3
    I don't disagree with what you are saying, but there are the major differences between Beckett and Ebay.
    Beckett gets their pricing from dealers. Dealers have all kinds of costs associated with having a "bricks and mortar" store. As a result, they could not afford to sell items at the same prices as ebay sellers do.( Boxes, supplies....pretty much everything associated with the hobby.)
    A seller on ebay in most cases has little if no overhead costs. A computer and product is pretty much all you need.
    I agree that ebay pricing should be part of the pricing, but not all of it.

  5. #4
    Can I get an "amen" to that?! Perfectly said Greenbeans.

  6. #5
    How can you go by eBay prices when one day a card will sell at 100.00 and the very next day it sells at 20.00. I think it all goes by personal preferrence. I always trade by Beckett prices and will end talks when someone brings up eBay. Agian thats just everyone is free to trade however they want. If you (not referring to anyone in paticular) dont like the way someone trades then dont trade with them. Just my two cents. Great topic.

    Take care!

  7. #6
    i think many of you are missing the point of my entire topic. its about how bad beckett has become at maintaining a level of consistency and integrity in their pricing.

  8. #7
    It's not that i missed your point, but I think we need to be careful in getting into the grand conspiracy theory orchestrated by beckett. My point is that there are many different places to find pricing on an item. I think all of those areas should be accounted for an averaged out by beckett.
    Anyway, that's my opinion.
    Take care,

  9. #8
    What ever happened to you I like this you like that.. Lets just trade em

  10. #9
    prophet - in theory that would be awesome (and I actually do that quite a bit especially when it comes to the guys I collect) but it is certainly not the prevailing attitude anywhere including here....

  11. #10
    I think a lot of people still rely on Beckett over eBay precisely because Beckett offers fixed values. An auction on the same card within the same time frame can end at sell prices vastly different from each other depending on how well the auction is advertised, how high the seller's reputation is, etc. It's easier to just check the Beckett value in those situations, so that's why I think so many people still rely on BV. I can understand your basic premise though.

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