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  1. #1

    PERSONAL POLL: My first article on Sports Card Forum

    Hi, everyone. When I have the spare time, I would like to write a few articles and conduct a few polls for everyone involved here. Please feel free to leave me any feedback you would like at

    mbarton18337@yahoo.com

    $100 + Packs And Their Respective Impact On The Hobby

    For the past few years, card companies have begun a trend of making very high end products and charging accordingly. This is a very serious problem for the future of the hobby, on a variety of fronts. One, how is a young person who likes sports and wants to collect supposed to afford these packs? I understand that there are low end sets out there, but those low end sets also deliver low collectibility. Two, the game used concept is being destroyed. An example of this is that I was able to purchase a game used jersey of a Hall Of Fame Player for under $15. This card was also serial numbered to 10! Which brings me to my next point - low serial numbered cards have been devalued as well in this process. Anyone who has collected in the past few years have seen the prices of low print run cards and low print run jerseys being destroyed by these products. My final point is the cards themselves. While nice to look at, nine times out of ten they are worth much less than the pack price. My poll this week is this - is there anything we can do as card collectors to make the hobby better for the next generation? Please select one or more of the answers from my poll.

  2. #2
    The devaluation of those types of items is the market correcting. Eventually you'd think collectors would wise up and stop paying the exorbitant prices for a pack of cards. I know I haven't bought a box of cards in years for this reason and even if I did buy one it wouldn't be one of the high ends card sets anyway. A lot of GU cards are just worthless, there's a huge bubble in card pricing right now.

  3. #3
    Here's my 2.5 cents:
    Perhaps one could compare high-end cards to high end cars (or many other commodities). If companies or individuals find a market for high-end products, they will try to find a way to satisfy that market. Low-budget consumers (like myself) usually avoid high-end products and purchase more affordable products. I don't see this as a problem for the auto industry, the hobby industry or any other industry. A young person (or anyone else) does not need high-end products but may purchase them if they can afford it. If they can't afford it, they make do with a cheaper alternative, which almost always exists. If we are to be concerned about high-end cards, should we also be concerned about high-end cars, high-end electronics, and other high-end products?

    And what exactly is "low collectibility"? Does it mean "low quality" as in "inferior"? Or"low value"? Or "low demand" for a product? Or something else completely? Collectibility, worth, worthlessness, value (for cards, cars, music, art, etc.)--these are all subjective and in the eye of the beholder.

    And is the game-used concept really being destroyed? Perhaps a card investor's perception of the game-used concept is really being destroyed. I believe it is doing just fine. Who else is complaining? Just because prices for game-used and low print cards are falling, is this devaluation a cause for alarm? Wouldn't it be a cause for joy to that young person who can't afford the very high-end product?

    Perhaps from an investor point of view, this trend is a threat to their investment's value but I don't believe this high-end card trend means damage, danger or detriment to the hobby. Card companies are still producing cards and I still buy the same tier of cards I have always bought for 35 years. I don't foresee any problems. Are the card companies or collectors concerned about this "trend"?

    (Can you tell this was written from a die-hard collector's point of view?) lol

  4. #4
    People complain that the gu and low #erd cards are going down, because they were hoping they'd be worth a ****load.
    since so many people sell on E-bay now, they can make just as much selling many auctions, and charging $3 for shipping, thats where their money is made. It's because of gu and the many sets that offer auto's now, that many people (just as in 1986-92 )Bought Tons thinking they'd be an investment. The company sells out, then realize they'llneed more product for next year.

    supply and demand, we stop buying and putting up with this, prices will drop and they'll have to rethink there marketing.
    All these on-line stores, sites, and large national shows just proves the hobby is bigger than it ever was, ethier deal with it, or stop collecting, it's that simple

  5. #5
    In reply to singledaddyof2, low collectibility simply means these are inferior products that offer very little. to j.e. lew - all these large national shows? Did you go to the National in Atlantic City this past year? It was depressing to say the least. Most dealers at the show barely covered costs and were all underselling product. Do you know how the companies sell out product? Not by selling to people by making investments - by making deals with the really big players (DA Card World, etc.) having them take product thats a tough sell at their cost and giving them the one or two products that are hot at way below market costs to cover the bad stuff. (ie - take 1000 cases of 2003 UD Victory at regular cost, and we'll give you 1000 cases of yugioh product as base cost instead of markup) The big fish stay afloat, make a few dollars, and thats about it. Many hobby stores would be out of business if it weren't for gaming cards. The problem is the attitude that people like you have currently, if you dont like it dont do it. Thats the easy way out. I dont like the trends, and I think that instead of doing whats easy, its time to get more involved. We all can have a voice in this hobby, if we want to. If you noticed this years hockey products, they have scaled back the insert ratio of jersey cards, and the values of these cards are rising again. On a personal note, as a Paul Konerko collector, i am certainly not an investor LOL.

  6. #6
    First, great read pk! I will be looking forward to more! :)

    I, for one, do not buy boxes of cards....I may pick up one of the Target boxes or something like that when the urge to rip packs hits me, but even then I have "buyers remorse" in that I could have bought an autograph card I liked (I collect auto's) with that $15. The last "true" box of cards I bought was 1995 Proline back in around 1997 or so!

    As far as the GU hype, I think all cards are going to go through that type of drop. It happened with the 1989 Score (with the RC's), the "Promo" craze back in the early 90's, the "Insert" craze in the mid 90's, the "serial #d" craze in the late 90's and we are seeing it now with the GU and Autographs in a sense now. I think as long as there are cards, there will be the "craze" that goes along with the type of new fangled card that comes out (I think i am afraid to see what come next! lol)

    I don't know that there is much we can do as collectors in helping the hobby, but I am all for trying! I think if folks stop buying the wax and stick with single cards, it would have an effect, but there are always the folks with big $$ who will spend it on wax, but then again, if someone didn't buy the wax, we wouldn't be able to get the singles! It's sort of a vicious cycle it seems. IMO, one of the only ways to nip part of the high cost in the bud, is to ditch the price guides, but that would create a whole new problem I am sure. I use beckett prices as a guide, but there are many who live and die by becketts "word". Personally, I don't really care about what the BV is, as if I am going to buy an autograph, I am going to pay what I feel comfortable paying, and I don't care if the card is "valued" at $50 or whatever. I have bought cards for straight BV, and I have paid a fraction of BV on others...it's about what I WANT to spend on a card, I don't nix a sale because I am not getting a deal, and I think that's where a big problem comes in. For instance....I collect Travis Prentice....(who you ask?? lol) but I have traded players like Steve Young (or other big name players I don't like) for Prentice cards I need. This has worked well for me, and has helped me get some very hard to find cards to add to my collection.

    The companies seem to be always trying to "one up" each other with all the new, great looking stuff they have coming out, but if people would think for a moment, and realize the Tim Brown Proline Autograph (BV $20) is really no different than the Tim Brown *insert co. name here* super duper rare autograph #d/50 (BV $100) there may be some change, as IMO and I am sure alot of others, a Brown auto is a Brown auto!

    OK...I think I am strictly rambling now, so I will stop....lol If anything I have said makes no sense, then you know what it's like being me! :p

    Peace~
    Rima
    ~COLLECTING specific Chris Brown autos & multi color patches
    ~Collecting Hakeem Nicks, Stepfan Taylor, Mario Manningham, Geno Smith and Victor Cruz Auto's

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  7. #7
    PK,. the attitude of people like me!? , the attitude I have is the companies DONT NOT CARE about the collector, it's people like you that still buy the product! Dont give them a reason to make the cards and they will have to re-think there Marketing, distribution and prices. As you acn see , the yu-gi-oh and pokemon- non-sport hobby is almost non existant.
    I'm sorry you went to the national and were depressed. I did'nt think Collectors were that worried that dealers were not gettting every penny they could from you. I owned a shop, I know how it is. A brand comes out and sells like hotcakes for a few weeks and then there is no demand for it anymore.
    So you mean to tell me the cases these guys bought for say... 1500 that had 6 boxes in it were not making there money?did they buy that case of 6 at 300.00 a box then sell to the collector for 150.00? What products are you talking about? The previous years? Everything depriciates over age, YES even a few weeks , or even days.
    People who sell boxes and are sucsessful have already made thier money in the hobby, places like D & A cardworld will sell at pre-sell, then as the product is live sell at a premium until the demand is gone. Then the have no choice but to sell at a discount to move the rest, Supply and demand. they also get whats called a bulk discount. The more you buy the better the price they will get, same goes for Wholesalers. Topps never offered me a deal if I took there garbage stuff. I got a discount for as much as I could buy. Then after Topps was sold out , I'd have to go through a Wholesaler.

    As far as your voice in the Hobby, I'd like to see you walk up to the office of Ted Saskin or Rich McWilliam and complain to them that your not happy with the way they run the Hobby, the product they put out, or the way they flood the market because you cards are'nt worth anything.

  8. #8
    Hey, do not take it personally - it was a rebuttal to an opinion. I would eventually like to walk up to one of those men, sit in a meeting with them and discuss the hobby. I think that's the crux of the problem. There is no discussion between collector and company. I have a willingness to do this - but my voice alone is not enough. Your voice alone is not enough. But 1000 voices do make a noise, and thats what i'm trying to say. There has to be a forum somewhere where our voice can be heard. And, if there isn't, can we start one?

  9. #9
    I was'nt attacking you personally, (I was drunk when I typed that)

    But theres a reason they dont talk to the collectors. They do not care. If they cared, there would be 1-2 products per company or maybe only a few companies. Look what Happened to Collectors Edge, Classic, Action Packed, Pinnacle, and many other companies.. They were either absorbed by other companies or they went bankrupt. (Now Classic was bankrupt because of Poor Ownership, with Ken Goldin pocketing the Profits).
    Thats how you let them know your un-happy.. Dont purchase there product. They will have no choice but to put out what we want. Get rid of the 100$ packs, 4-6 packs per box, get rid of the cheap stuff like MVP, Victory, all these Retro sets that are the companies ripping themselves off, Get a better design staff with I deas about what consumers want.
    Pepsi or Coke would care less if 1,000 or more people complained
    Thats the attitude of these stuffed shirt businessmen. As long as we make profit, who cares. It's like that in any business.
    Prices are not dropping, they are where the Market should be, they are starting to get realistic.. It was the people (NOT collectors) that drove the Insert caze in the early to mid 90's that looked at everything as an investment. I still know people who are trying to get there money back from buying (what is now) Garbage cases from 1988-1992.

    One other problem is these "I want one better than Jimmy has " collectors that will pay anything for everything.

    Good example.. there is a thread here for a Dual gu/auto Carmelo/Lebron xx/10.. the current bid as of last night was 2,190.00
    and the reserve was not met! Why in your right mind, would you pay that much for a card? I could see if it was a vintage graded card, or something like that. but I guarantee this card will be worth Half of what the winner (if there is one) paids for it in Dec. of this year.

  10. #10
    Nice article and hopefully we will see more.

    Now for my comments.

    I think the whole kids can't afford card prices is totally false and I'd like to see actually facts to back it up. Kids nowadays can spend $15 each week going to the movies or buying a video game for $50 or whatever with their money. Kids always have a ton of money and that's why commercials are geared towards them. They have money to spare.

    Second part on that would be who cares if kids are buying packs that are low end scale if they have to. The whole point of getting into the hobby is for fun. When I bought packs in the 1980s they weren't for making money it was for fun. Most of them turned out to be worthless but did that make the years I bought them any less enjoyable? No it didn't. It gave me valuable experience and I always had a blast (and still do today) in opening packs.

    Next point I never liked "game used" cards after the first year or so because they ruined it by taking high level cards and turning them into nothing more than insert cards with a piece of bat on them. So if the collectors demanded that they wanted a game used card in every pack and didn't want anything else its their own fault for now having thousands of "game used" cards that they can't sell for more than a buck apiece.

    The problem that I don't like is now companies are dragging down autograph and numbered cards with this game used crap. Game used cards won't sell boxes so they have to autograph and number them for them to be worth anything and that kills everything else. Luckily I don't spend that much on cards so I really don't care.

    As for packs and boxes not being worth the price that has always happened. If you paid 5 cents for a pack 50 years ago you still could have gotten nothing and 5 cents was worth something.

    If people are dumb enough to pay $100 for a pack or a couple hundred for a box and they get nothing then its their fault. I see people saying how companies are the one's creating crap but YOU GUYS ARE THE ONE'S BUYING IT. I hear all the time where somebody buys a box for $300 and then they get mad because all they got was a $25 jersey card. So I ask them why they bought the box in the first place and all they can come up with is that they thought they were going to get something valuable in return. Hello! You have so many products out there that are the same and the same cards being made that you can't pull a $300 card out of a box anymore. So why do people still do it? Because they are morons. Card companies can't make you buy a box or a pack only you do and if you keep buying junk for $100 they will keep making junk for $100.

    The problem with the "market" now is that everyone wants to buy packs and boxes but nobody wants to buy single cards. So those prices go down and you can get those for real cheap on eBay (that's what I do) and that keeps pack and box prices high. If people bought what they wanted in the first place rather than trying to pull it out of a pack then prices would balance out better.
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