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LincolnVT
04-04-2019, 09:48 PM
I grew up in a political family, worked on several campaigns and got my degree in Political Science...I'm a news junkie as well. That said, what are people's thought on the State Of The Hobby? Where have we been, where are we now and where are we going in the baseball collecting arena...

Peter_Spaeth
04-04-2019, 09:54 PM
Judging by recent prices, to infinity and beyond.

Leon
04-04-2019, 09:55 PM
There are apparently a lot of investors in the hobby.

Blunder19
04-04-2019, 09:59 PM
Prices have been strong as of late.. and i believe the trend will continue upwards over the next few years.. we will look back on the 2019 prices and wish we bought more at these current prices.

pitchernut
04-04-2019, 10:03 PM
With the current prices not much chance for the young ones to get involved with pre 1950 for sure. :(

100backstroke
04-04-2019, 10:11 PM
The biggest names in the big sets are doing great - especially with nice centering and eye appeal. The biggest names in the more minor sets I wish would catch on more, but they have gone up a little. And the biggest names in the odd sets don't seem to be appreciating - maybe I am wrong - Colgan's, Silks, Pins, Domino Disc's, etc. In post war, now even PSA 7's in big names are shooting up and are getting harder to just find with near perfect centering. My son tells me the kids are not so much interested in baseball, but rather basketball cards. But cards are cards and when they grow up I have a hunch they will gravitate to the nice stuff we all appreciate.

Harliduck
04-04-2019, 10:30 PM
From a hack post war hobby guy...two years ago I sold all my Topps sets from 1954-1967 and fed my classic car collection...missed cards terribly, and am now in rebuilding mode...I have seen a sharp increase in the two years I was out. From now paying tax on Ebay, to comparing my old records to what I am paying now it's easily 15-20% for EX to EXMT raw cards. Great if I had my old sets, costly now that I am re-buying...but LOTS of fun. I just love the hunt...

Hobby seems more than healthy currently...and I certainly feel like I have more competition for key cards that I've ever had...

todeen
04-05-2019, 01:51 AM
Where are we going? Nothing can go up forever. There will be a correction of inflated prices with the next economic turn, just like the hobby crashed in 2008. Die hards will be happy with deflated prices that allow them to complete sets more easily, investors will be upset and the hobby will take ten years to recover again.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

Stampsfan
04-05-2019, 03:12 AM
Where are we going? Nothing can go up forever. There will be a correction of inflated prices with the next economic turn, just like the hobby crashed in 2008. Die hards will be happy with deflated prices that allow them to complete sets more easily, investors will be upset and the hobby will take ten years to recover again.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

Not so sure. Not everyone has the guts to purchase stocks when they are deflated, but they seem to pop back up (remember Christmas Eve, 2018). If prices fall off, would people have the guts to buy back in?

Dpeck100
04-05-2019, 06:58 AM
Not so sure. Not everyone has the guts to purchase stocks when they are deflated, but they seem to pop back up (remember Christmas Eve, 2018). If prices fall off, would people have the guts to buy back in?


This is an excellent point. I am in financial services and many advisors had been telling clients wait for the pullback to deploy cash and when the violent move lower took place they sat on their hands or the clients said lets wait and see what happens.

The other big issue with stocks is the daily volatility can shake you out very easily. With cards at least there is a longer selling cycle generally so in my view they are easier to hold and this is one of the appeals from an investment standpoint.

The hobby is very healthy. When it takes as long as it does to get your cards back from third party graders it isn't because they don't want to get them back to you quickly it is because there are so many being sent in.

I was just having a brief discussion last night with a neighbor about the rate of return that can be achieved in cards and it is astonishing. You don't have to have a lot of money to at least see a positive return on the funds you spend and you get the benefit of owning the hard asset. Buying a card for $20 and selling it for $50 isn't going to change anyone's life but find me another area where the investment minimums are so low and the percentage returns can be so outsized. I don't know of one.

SAllen2556
04-05-2019, 08:15 AM
I was just having a brief discussion last night with a neighbor about the rate of return that can be achieved in cards and it is astonishing. You don't have to have a lot of money to at least see a positive return on the funds you spend and you get the benefit of owning the hard asset. Buying a card for $20 and selling it for $50 isn't going to change anyone's life but find me another area where the investment minimums are so low and the percentage returns can be so outsized. I don't know of one.

Doesn't "astonishing" make you nervous? Doesn't this feel a lot like the early 90's when everyone was buying cards and card shops were everywhere and everyone thought you could pay for your kids' college with cards?

Today we have a gazillion online auction houses. Ebay prices continue to only go up. People are entering the hobby only for the investment.

I dunno. On the one hand I love seeing prices increase, but right now seems like a great to sell - not buy.

bbcard1
04-05-2019, 08:59 AM
It may be a stretch, but when you compare the card market to the art market it's pretty mild.

yanksfan09
04-05-2019, 09:10 AM
Overall I think the hobby seems quite healthy by all measurements. I do wonder about the ultra high end of the modern market though. The gem mint Brady's, Jordans, Lebrons, Trouts, etc... When you start talking about the 6 figure cards there. Also the price of the rare prospect rookies make you shake your head too at times. For every Mickey Mantle coming up there's 1000 or so Ruben Riveras or Todd Van Poppels. It's certainly a lottery ticket with prospecting. Even the Mike Trout's of the world could have a career ending injury tomorrow.

I don't know how sustainable some of those astronomical prices are when you get into the PSA 10's selling for large multiples of 9's in some cases and when you have 30 different parallels of the same card with the most limited going bonkers.

But who knows maybe those (or at least some of them) will have lasting power too in the hobby but with many of them the quantity(especially combined quantity of different parallels) is too much to sustain the prices in the long term I think.

I still think the scarce - ultra rare HOF pre-war cards and rookies seem to still be a great buy in many instances, even with increasing prices. Especially when compared to cards like the recently auctioned 1997 Metal Green Jordan (PSA Authentic) that goes well into the 6 figures. When compared to cards like that or 6 figure Lebron and Brady RC's, some of these cards seem like bargains still.

Econteachert205
04-05-2019, 09:33 AM
The best will continue to outperform. The rest is doomed long term.

LincolnVT
04-05-2019, 09:40 AM
One of the things that I struggle with, is how do new and current players and cards become or stay relevant in the future? Most of the items that I am attracted to are of legends that have come and gone...many of those players cards are scarce, desirable and of value simply because they have been found and still exist. Many more modern stars seem to have scarce cards just because they have been manufactured (intentionally) in a way that makes them valuable...1/1, 1/25, 1/50...with different color schemes, autographs and refractors...

It will be interesting to see if these 1/1 type cards of modern stars continue to trend upwards in say 25 years. Some have sold recently for more than rookie cards of HOF pre-war stars!

Snapolit1
04-05-2019, 09:42 AM
My suspicion is that people are making the same dire observations and critiques on this board in April 2019 that they were making somewhere else in April 1979.

"Can you believe some lunatic just paid $5,000 for a Honus Wagner card. Investors are invading and ruining the hobby. This is going to end really badly!"

Hell, I was supposedly late to the Brooklyn, NY land rush of the 1990s. Bought a condo for $85,000 and it was sheer utter insanity. Heard it from a lot of people. Sold long ago and is now on the market for $1.3M.

I will stick with the old line "nobody knows nuthin. . . and if they do they ain't tellin' anyone."

rjackson44
04-05-2019, 10:00 AM
david peck is right on the money ,,,

Dpeck100
04-05-2019, 10:11 AM
Doesn't "astonishing" make you nervous? Doesn't this feel a lot like the early 90's when everyone was buying cards and card shops were everywhere and everyone thought you could pay for your kids' college with cards?

Today we have a gazillion online auction houses. Ebay prices continue to only go up. People are entering the hobby only for the investment.

I dunno. On the one hand I love seeing prices increase, but right now seems like a great to sell - not buy.


The card market is just like the stock market. There are always cards moving in every direction and so there may certainly be areas that are overheated but I don't believe there is going to be a melt down in cards and you see it daily on various forums where people are coming back to the hobby.

When I use the term astonishing returns that has been my experience. In the financial world a 6% rate of return with limited volatility is considered great. I just sold a card on EBAY a week ago for over three times what I paid for it a maybe two months earlier. It has no material impact on my life but a 207% return in a few months is an astonishing one.

When you actively submit cards to third party graders is where the huge percentages can occur. Last week a Jack Brisco from the 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A sold for $660 and is a Pop 3. I own the 10 and 2 of the 9's. One of the 9's I self subbed and paid $2 for the card and with grading I am in at lets say $9. That is over a 73 fold increase. It is incredible.

The math certainly suggests on some cards that the results will be different buying at current prices but just like in the stock market there are loads of instances where someone does great buying high and selling even higher.

I just don't think the doom and gloom is going to play out with cards. Time will tell.

Arazi4442
04-05-2019, 10:13 AM
Personally, I'm just a collector. Like many, I got back into collecting once I had some steady employment and a little disposable income. I think I've sold only one or two cards in the past couple years and that was because I was able to locate upgrades.

Leon's point about the number of "investors" in the hobby now would scare me a little if I was in it to turn a profit. We've seen a bull market for close to a decade or more now. I'm sure some of that money is going into collectibles. If the market turns and those investors are suddenly in need of cash, I could see the high-end market taking a nose-dip.

Of course, once the market/economy turned again, we'd probably see another influx of investors vs. collectors driving that high-end market up again. It's probably a cycle, like most things.

Rhotchkiss
04-05-2019, 10:32 AM
The best will continue to outperform. The rest is doomed long term.

100% agree. However, my definition of best not only includes "highest graded", but also (perhaps more so) ultra-blue chip players, especially rarities of them, and super rare type-cards (like rare back T206s, T214, T215, T216, E92 Crofts/Nadja/Blank, E104-II, etc).

Anyone have an M131 Baltimore Newsboy Cobb to sell?!

Yastrzemski Sports
04-05-2019, 11:28 AM
A key to the hobby is the young players in the league. In the past 8 years baseball has thrived starting with Trout and Harper, Altuve, Baez, Bryant and a big swell with Judge and Ohtani. Getting kids into the hobby is a key and they are. I have seen Judge turn a lot of casual fans into buyers. I see more and more shops opening up and staying open. The other factor is breakers. They seem to be running the hobby and open a ton of product. Overall baseball is very strong. Basketball is stronger. Football is doing well and Hockey seems to hold its own. The young talent in sports brings people in who then branch out to the old stuff. Things seem to be going well.

darwinbulldog
04-05-2019, 11:53 AM
A key to the hobby is the young players in the league. In the past 8 years baseball has thrived starting with Trout and Harper, Altuve, Baez, Bryant and a big swell with Judge and Ohtani. Getting kids into the hobby is a key and they are. I have seen Judge turn a lot of casual fans into buyers. I see more and more shops opening up and staying open. The other factor is breakers. They seem to be running the hobby and open a ton of product. Overall baseball is very strong. Basketball is stronger. Football is doing well and Hockey seems to hold its own. The young talent in sports brings people in who then branch out to the old stuff. Things seem to be going well.

This is a bit of tangent, but is football really doing well? In absolute terms, sure, but my understanding is that the NFL is significantly less popular now than it was just 5 years ago. And even if that's not true, there are significantly fewer kids playing football, largely because of the greater awareness about CTE and about concussions in general. I certainly don't want my boys playing football.

darwinbulldog
04-05-2019, 12:12 PM
To the original question though, I'd say that the hobby (prewar baseball cards) is about as strong as I've seen now, but only in retrospect will I be able to say if that was a good sign or a bad sign.

There are some cards that I'm a little hesitant to pick up right now, just because they're behaving as if there's a bubble, and there are other things I'm buying up because I think they're undervalued, but again, who knows?

T206Collector
04-05-2019, 12:45 PM
To the original question though, I'd say that the hobby (prewar baseball cards) is about as strong as I've seen now, but only in retrospect will I be able to say if that was a good sign or a bad sign.

There are some cards that I'm a little hesitant to pick up right now, just because they're behaving as if there's a bubble, and there are other things I'm buying up because I think they're undervalued, but again, who knows?

This last point is key to me - sometimes you can find undervalued cards that are ready to takeoff. Other times, you should just stick with the blue chip cards that are trading at historically high prices, because they have shown a pretty consistent climb that shows no signs of a cliff.

I prefer to go after the undervalued ones because theyíre fairly constant with significant upside. I do worry about bubbles bursting.

oldjudge
04-05-2019, 12:55 PM
After a long hiatus I am seeing some new strong buying in 19th century cards. The supply of most sets is low so this could translate to some price spikes.

AGuinness
04-05-2019, 01:06 PM
Buying a card for $20 and selling it for $50 isn't going to change anyone's life but find me another area where the investment minimums are so low and the percentage returns can be so outsized. I don't know of one.

I flip cards at COMC and have been pretty successful at doing this, sometimes for not as great a profit, occasionally better and with a hit-and-miss sprinkled in, too. I'm not a big player there or in the hobby in general, but flipping at COMC in addition to my other hobby ventures makes for a diverse and fun hobby.
I think COMC's rise over the past 10 years, in particular, is a strong point for the health of the hobby (in general). The site's foundation is in buying and selling of lower valued cards and in set builders, and the company has grown tremendously. It's now one of the bigger sellers on eBay and elsewhere, I believe.
And here's a hair-brained theory on the state of the hobby, in general, and recent price increases...
Access to the hobby has increased dramatically over the past 10-20 years. eBay is now readily available on most everyone's phone, major auction houses offer numerous auctions every year and people can participate from anywhere in the world, and collectors have the ability to purchase and learn about the hobby at a level that is unprecedented. So, in terms of the demand side, it is easier than ever for a seller to access a greater population of the people who want a card. With the greater access to the demand side, prices have gone up - but perhaps this isn't a bubble for prices, perhaps this is actually more of an accurate representation of true price when it comes to supply and demand.
In this way, despite some high profile scams recently (forged T206s, trimmed cards in high-graded slabs, shilling, etc.), perhaps the state of the hobby is actually as healthy as ever.

clydepepper
04-05-2019, 03:59 PM
I'm still having fun, but I use far more resources before making purchases.

Leon
04-06-2019, 08:50 AM
Good analysis. I remember about 20 yrs ago when I first started ebay. I knew it was a game changer. I remember putting quite a bit of savings into it, as such. It worked out fairly well back then. Just pick the right cards and don't sell short. And then try to time the stock market. :)

I flip cards at COMC and have been pretty successful at doing this, sometimes for not as great a profit, occasionally better and with a hit-and-miss sprinkled in, too. I'm not a big player there or in the hobby in general, but flipping at COMC in addition to my other hobby ventures makes for a diverse and fun hobby.
I think COMC's rise over the past 10 years, in particular, is a strong point for the health of the hobby (in general). The site's foundation is in buying and selling of lower valued cards and in set builders, and the company has grown tremendously. It's now one of the bigger sellers on eBay and elsewhere, I believe.
And here's a hair-brained theory on the state of the hobby, in general, and recent price increases...
Access to the hobby has increased dramatically over the past 10-20 years. eBay is now readily available on most everyone's phone, major auction houses offer numerous auctions every year and people can participate from anywhere in the world, and collectors have the ability to purchase and learn about the hobby at a level that is unprecedented. So, in terms of the demand side, it is easier than ever for a seller to access a greater population of the people who want a card. With the greater access to the demand side, prices have gone up - but perhaps this isn't a bubble for prices, perhaps this is actually more of an accurate representation of true price when it comes to supply and demand.
In this way, despite some high profile scams recently (forged T206s, trimmed cards in high-graded slabs, shilling, etc.), perhaps the state of the hobby is actually as healthy as ever.

swabie2424
04-06-2019, 10:55 AM
Fun thread. The age old question!

Lots of excellent points made so I won't rehash.

Allow me to say I totally agree about technology aiding in the success of the market these past 10-20 years. It's just quite simply way easier to buy and sell. My collecting life changed with the ebay app... not having to run back to a computer X number of times per day. Alerts, bid sniping, message boards etc etc. Basically the world is your card store/show and opportunity abounds to build a collection or invest in any way a person desires! Also, in the internet age, with ease of access to quick/solid research, there's just such an awareness of value to possessions for the average non-moron. What once may have been tossed in the trash or thrown into a yard sale bin for a quarter is now posted on an auction site for market value.

To add a new angle, and focus in on the vintage... I've been wondering at what point grading populations are going to begin to completely plateau on pre-war and then subsequently on the pre-70's post-war star player markets. Obviously there's a ways to go but at some point in the coming decades I have to imagine the vast, vast majority of the truly grade-worthy cards will have been slabbed (assuming the grading phenomenon doesn't implode/explode!) At some point, the days of finding major vintage collections in attics, in barns and at yard sales... or that co-worker staggering into work with his deceased dad's ungraded vintage collection... will come to end (with the rarest of exceptions becoming like unicorns.)

When those star player pop reports truly grind to a halt, and there are basically no more 1950's Mantles left to grade if you will... it's going to be very interesting to see what happens to the market.

frankbmd
04-06-2019, 11:44 AM
Fun thread. The age old question!

Lots of excellent points made so I won't rehash.

Allow me to say I totally agree about technology aiding in the success of the market these past 10-20 years. It's just quite simply way easier to buy and sell. My collecting life changed with the ebay app... not having to run back to a computer X number of times per day. Alerts, bid sniping, message boards etc etc. Basically the world is your card store/show and opportunity abounds to build a collection or invest in any way a person desires! Also, in the internet age, with ease of access to quick/solid research, there's just such an awareness of value to possessions for the average non-moron. What once may have been tossed in the trash or thrown into a yard sale bin for a quarter is now posted on an auction site for market value.

To add a new angle, and focus in on the vintage... I've been wondering at what point grading populations are going to begin to completely plateau on pre-war and then subsequently on the pre-70's post-war star player markets. Obviously there's a ways to go but at some point in the coming decades I have to imagine the vast, vast majority of the truly grade-worthy cards will have been slabbed (assuming the grading phenomenon doesn't implode/explode!) At some point, the days of finding major vintage collections in attics, in barns and at yard sales... or that co-worker staggering into work with his deceased dad's ungraded vintage collection... will come to end (with the rarest of exceptions becoming like unicorns.)

When those star player pop reports truly grind to a halt, and there are basically no more 1950's Mantles left to grade if you will... it's going to be very interesting to see what happens to the market.


Grading will never end, thank God. Cracked slabs will be weaponized and constitute an essential element of national security. The most popular bumper sticker of 2026 will read

CRACK IT FOR UNCLE SAM

samosa4u
04-06-2019, 11:44 AM
I will stick with the old line "nobody knows nuthin. . . and if they do they ain't tellin' anyone."

+1

Leon
04-09-2019, 01:27 PM
Grading will never end, thank God. Cracked slabs will be weaponized and constitute an essential element of national security. The most popular bumper sticker of 2026 will read

CRACK IT FOR UNCLE SAM

More like CRACK IT FOR TPG's

.

Directly
04-09-2019, 11:51 PM
Several years ago I bought a Graded 8 1993 SP Jeter RC card in the $150 range--I was surprised that same 8's now commanding in the 850.00 + range--I wish I had bought 5,000 dollars at 150.00 each--33 x $850.00 = $28,000-- (28,000 -5,000 = $22,000 profit)--I would suspect several astute investors on here loaded up on this modern icon.

NYYFan63
04-10-2019, 11:34 AM
I flip cards at COMC and have been pretty successful at doing this, sometimes for not as great a profit, occasionally better and with a hit-and-miss sprinkled in, too. I'm not a big player there or in the hobby in general, but flipping at COMC in addition to my other hobby ventures makes for a diverse and fun hobby.
I think COMC's rise over the past 10 years, in particular, is a strong point for the health of the hobby (in general). The site's foundation is in buying and selling of lower valued cards and in set builders, and the company has grown tremendously. It's now one of the bigger sellers on eBay and elsewhere, I believe.
And here's a hair-brained theory on the state of the hobby, in general, and recent price increases...
Access to the hobby has increased dramatically over the past 10-20 years. eBay is now readily available on most everyone's phone, major auction houses offer numerous auctions every year and people can participate from anywhere in the world, and collectors have the ability to purchase and learn about the hobby at a level that is unprecedented. So, in terms of the demand side, it is easier than ever for a seller to access a greater population of the people who want a card. With the greater access to the demand side, prices have gone up - but perhaps this isn't a bubble for prices, perhaps this is actually more of an accurate representation of true price when it comes to supply and demand.
In this way, despite some high profile scams recently (forged T206s, trimmed cards in high-graded slabs, shilling, etc.), perhaps the state of the hobby is actually as healthy as ever.

This is a great point. With access to ebay from a smart phone, the demand side has probably increased over the years.

You know what happens when demand exceeds supply...

conor912
04-10-2019, 02:08 PM
This is a great point. With access to ebay from a smart phone, the demand side has probably increased over the years.

You know what happens when demand exceeds supply...

This is a great point. Never underestimate the power of the uneducated impulse buy.

Leon
04-13-2019, 04:44 PM
This is a great point. Never underestimate the power of the uneducated impulse buy.

Can there be an educated impulse buy? I think I have made a few of those.

Yes, hobby appears strong in a lot of places.

.

Goudey77
04-14-2019, 12:03 PM
I agree, someone stated fear of missing out. Sometimes you gotta make your best educated guess and buy with that uncertainty which is usually an impulsive reaction. Only speaking for myself :D

Can there be an educated impulse buy? I think I have made a few of those.

Yes, hobby appears strong in a lot of places.

.

irv
04-14-2019, 12:46 PM
This is an excellent point. I am in financial services and many advisors had been telling clients wait for the pullback to deploy cash and when the violent move lower took place they sat on their hands or the clients said lets wait and see what happens.

The other big issue with stocks is the daily volatility can shake you out very easily. With cards at least there is a longer selling cycle generally so in my view they are easier to hold and this is one of the appeals from an investment standpoint.

The hobby is very healthy. When it takes as long as it does to get your cards back from third party graders it isn't because they don't want to get them back to you quickly it is because there are so many being sent in.

I was just having a brief discussion last night with a neighbor about the rate of return that can be achieved in cards and it is astonishing. You don't have to have a lot of money to at least see a positive return on the funds you spend and you get the benefit of owning the hard asset. Buying a card for $20 and selling it for $50 isn't going to change anyone's life but find me another area where the investment minimums are so low and the percentage returns can be so outsized. I don't know of one.

I also, like Octavio, agree with Dpeck's post above.

Although, obviously, not conclusive, I have noticed card shops/sellers popping up more locally now as well. In my big metropolis, there has mostly just been one which focused mainly on hockey cards but just recently another one opened up as well. Also, while searching the Bay, I have also encountered a few local sellers that I have never noticed before.

Leon
04-15-2019, 11:37 AM
There are a few new ones in DFW too. The one I went into not long ago didn't have any vintage though. I think I might have seen a few 70s Topps but otherwise I didn't really know what anything was. :)

I also, like Octavio, agree with Dpeck's post above.

Although, obviously, not conclusive, I have noticed card shops/sellers popping up more locally now as well. In my big metropolis, there has mostly just been one which focused mainly on hockey cards but just recently another one opened up as well. Also, while searching the Bay, I have also encountered a few local sellers that I have never noticed before.

egri
04-15-2019, 05:13 PM
Not sure what this is an indication of, but on eBay I have noticed fewer auctions and more BINs with museum level price tags.

ullmandds
04-15-2019, 05:16 PM
Well gentlemen...I've had a change of mindset personally. I was itching to buy something the last few days...I scoured ebay...the internet...I could NOT find anything that suited my desires to SPEND!!!!!

To me...this is an indication of the strength of the hobby! There is nothing for me to buy!!!!!!!!! Yes there's crookery around every turn...yes there's manipulation going on...SHILL bidding...it's all happening...BUT...the hobby is still strong...because I cannot buy what I want!

Republicaninmass
04-15-2019, 07:09 PM
Hey Pete, was it due to high prices or lack of material?


Just curious for my annals of 2019

ullmandds
04-15-2019, 07:11 PM
Hey Pete, was it due to high prices or lack of material?


Just curious for my annals of 2019

Both...but mostly lack of material.

Republicaninmass
04-15-2019, 07:13 PM
Preaching to the choir Pete. The auction cards do seem to be selling as the ones I am going after with low bids, I'm not winning. Though I'm notoriously cheap on anything but signed 52s

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

Dpeck100
04-16-2019, 08:03 PM
I have been actively following card prices from late 2009 of all genres and I think the hobby has never been more healthy during that time frame. It is getting stronger not weaker. We can all debate prices and why one card is worth X and another is worth Y and each might be over valued and so on but the number of active participants is rising and that is what is most important to the health of the hobby.

Look at the cards like Pokemon and Magic The Gathering. This segment has been absolutely on fire for years and single handily disrupted the third party grading business. I get it very few on here care for this segment but there are people out there that do and they are card collectors. Getting more people to actively participate in the hobby of trading card collecting is critical. There are so many cards that have a very limited number available and all it takes is a few more market participants and prices rise. If you have this kind of scenario across numerous segments it is a tremendous positive.

One of the things that I suggested would happen with wrestling cards is we would eventually get a lot of cross over buyers. People who might not want to dive in head first but wouldn't mind owning some cards. Perhaps of the biggest stars or someone they just really liked. This is what happens when you get more collectors interested in cards. They run out of stuff to buy or see something that catches their eye and buy cards from other genres making the fire spread even further.

The fact that there is almost turn away business at third party graders is arguably the best sign. It shows cards from so many sets are getting graded and there is an expectation that those cards can be either sold or kept and with that number growing there is no way to look at the market in an overall negative manner.

Simply looking at the prices of the most popular cards and using them to gauge the market is really not the best way to determine the health. There was a very serious run up and then collapse of some cards in the hobby but many of those are firming and so this is no longer a negative but what is more important is seeing things like unopened explode. Signed rookie cards go for crazy money. Many registry sets get chased. Many dealers trying to fill those cards. Message board activity staying high. Facebook groups popping up. All of this is showing a bigger audience and to me that is the best sign of health and confirms the hobby is very strong.

Peter_Spaeth
04-16-2019, 08:25 PM
David, I like that you made all those points without using the "I" word (invest lol).

Goudey77
04-16-2019, 08:28 PM
Good write up David. I have also seen the potential crossover between genre's. I always say get kids started on Pokemon. I asked my niece recently what she loved about opening packs, her response..."its just satisfying".

The hobby will always evolve. It's in our nature to collect.

Dpeck100
04-16-2019, 08:28 PM
David, I like that you made all those points without using the "I" word (invest lol).

The investment element doesn't bother me.

I was an investor at 6 in 1985 Topps and Fleer. We all cared about the values.

A Dwight Gooden card said I am rich. LOL

Peter_Spaeth
04-16-2019, 08:31 PM
The investment element doesn't bother me.

I was an investor at 6 in 1985 Topps and Fleer. We all cared about the values.

A Dwight Gooden card said I am rich. LOL

I think most of us care about values, but I still cringe at threads asking what cards are the best investments blah blah, and at some of the marketing that goes on.

Rhotchkiss
04-16-2019, 11:10 PM
Nothing was better in 1985 than pulling a Doc Gooden. Clemens, Puckett, Hershiser (we didnít know McGuire then), were nice. But pulling that 1985 Topps Gooden was like winning the lottery to a 9 year old! Great call

Gradedcardman
04-17-2019, 08:15 AM
The good thing about the hobby is you will meet a few people along the way that make the hobby fun. Just make sure you look for them because they are hard to find. As far as the fun of the hobby its all in what you make it and what your expectations are.

Jewish-collector
04-17-2019, 07:59 PM
Other hobbies are based on skill and/or technique (where money is not a huge issue) such as gardening, cooking, computer gaming, playing sports, music, etc,...

The thing with this hobby is a lot of it is based on money (cost, prices, market values, investment, etc,...)

Sometimes you gotta say WTF and accept it. :D

Dpeck100
04-17-2019, 08:42 PM
Nothing was better in 1985 than pulling a Doc Gooden. Clemens, Puckett, Hershiser (we didnít know McGuire then), were nice. But pulling that 1985 Topps Gooden was like winning the lottery to a 9 year old! Great call


The next year a card from a pack hit $120 and there were neighborhood millionaires!

I was just a working class stiff with a top card of $15 and the guy with the 86 Donruss Jose Canseco was the man.

I honestly think this experience was awesome because it exposed me to money and that it can grow.

The investment aspect of cards has always been there and always will be. I am happy when I hear about hobbyists that have had great success buying cards that have performed well. We all hope when we buy cards that they will go up. Even just a little.

conor912
04-19-2019, 11:07 AM
I feel like I've seen more press on the hobby in the last year than I have in the last decade, so that's gotta say something right there.

Also, I can't really speak specifically to the flood of new collectors, but from what I have seen and heard, there seems to be an uptick in show attendance in a lot of places. Not only with the cost of shipping going through the roof, but now that more and more collectors are getting squeezed for sales tax, there's a ton of appeal to paying the price on the sticker and not a penny more.

AGuinness
04-19-2019, 11:58 AM
Other hobbies are based on skill and/or technique (where money is not a huge issue) such as gardening, cooking, computer gaming, playing sports, music, etc,...

The thing with this hobby is a lot of it is based on money (cost, prices, market values, investment, etc,...)

Sometimes you gotta say WTF and accept it. :D

I think it can be easy to undersell the skills in cards, most notably developing a keen eye for condition and the "people" skills (including negotiating). Both of these are also translatable into other areas of life.
Those other hobbies that you note have their skill components, but there are certainly financial considerations, too. Many plants are very expensive and require maintenance, while musical instruments and sports equipment price out a decent number of people, for instance.

Johnny630
04-20-2019, 11:22 PM
I believe that most of the smart money invested in vintage baseball cards are sellers. Except for a few very specific names in higher grades. Iíve sold off a lot this year.. itís been great.

If you have Trouts sell them all, theyíre ridiculous right now.

Leon
04-25-2019, 07:22 PM
IF we could time the stock market or the card market we would all be millionaires.

I believe that most of the smart money invested in vintage baseball cards are sellers. Except for a few very specific names in higher grades. Iíve sold off a lot this year.. itís been great.

If you have Trouts sell them all, theyíre ridiculous right now.

Dpeck100
04-25-2019, 07:53 PM
IF we could time the stock market or the card market we would all be millionaires.


There are times when cards reach prices that feel unsustainable or hard to believe and in theory would be a good time to sell.

But if you actually like owning the card that is a tough call because so many can't easily be replaced.

I don't know how one times super low pop cards because unless a new one surfaces you probably will have to try and buy it back from the person you sold it to.

When it comes to cards in my view market timing is better with modern where so much is speculation. I went to high school with a guy that I know has done well playing the prospects and he puts in the time to study the players and make calculated bets.

One of the best barometers for the card market is the 1986 Jordan. PSA 9's are pressing back above 5k again so the market is definitely strong right now

LincolnVT
04-25-2019, 08:31 PM
So many people have $1,000,000...only so many people can have the best / scarcest cards. Many cards just aren't for sale / available. Must just kill those that are with resources and able to pay.

jchcollins
04-25-2019, 08:42 PM
Ignoring mostly the investment aspect, my curiosity is around how many generations of true collectors can continue to be spawned if kids never get back into the hobby on the ground level (I don't believe they will). Folks my age (I'm 42) that collected in the 80's and early 90's have that nostalgia impulse to get back into it because of what we remember as kids. But what about increasing generations of kids who don't have that experience? Does it mean that the hobby continues to exist for those that latently find it as adults but that is just becomes smaller and more segmented? Everyone today who considers themselves a "collector", even those that spend investment type bucks on their collections - has a past rooted in the hobby at least to an extent before it became totally self-aware and pretty much ceased to exist for kids as it does today. That's just what I wonder - what happens to the cards a century from now when they are ONLY expensive things that you bought because of later interest, and not something people first remembered at the corner store for cents on the dollar?

groundskeeper
04-25-2019, 11:06 PM
Ignoring mostly the investment aspect, my curiosity is around how many generations of true collectors can continue to be spawned if kids never get back into the hobby on the ground level (I don't believe they will). Folks my age (I'm 42) that collected in the 80's and early 90's have that nostalgia impulse to get back into it because of what we remember as kids. But what about increasing generations of kids who don't have that experience? Does it mean that the hobby continues to exist for those that latently find it as adults but that is just becomes smaller and more segmented? Everyone today who considers themselves a "collector", even those that spend investment type bucks on their collections - has a past rooted in the hobby at least to an extent before it became totally self-aware and pretty much ceased to exist for kids as it does today. That's just what I wonder - what happens to the cards a century from now when they are ONLY expensive things that you bought because of later interest, and not something people first remembered at the corner store for cents on the dollar?


I'm a little younger than you and agree that lots of what drives me now is my childhood experience. I was sort of casual back then, and that meant about 1000 cards in the collection. I think my generation will keep it going another 30 years anyway, but I also know my younger relatives (in their 20s) were into cards also. And I saw a bunch of kids last time I went to a card show. It might not be the mania it was in the late 80s, but I think as long as *baseball* is popular, the cards will be too.

Leon
04-30-2019, 07:04 PM
+1 As stated above,

As long as baseball is popular there will be kids (young and old) collecting cards.

I'm a little younger than you and agree that lots of what drives me now is my childhood experience. I was sort of casual back then, and that meant about 1000 cards in the collection. I think my generation will keep it going another 30 years anyway, but I also know my younger relatives (in their 20s) were into cards also. And I saw a bunch of kids last time I went to a card show. It might not be the mania it was in the late 80s, but I think as long as *baseball* is popular, the cards will be too.

joshleland
05-01-2019, 04:42 PM
With the current prices not much chance for the young ones to get involved with pre 1950 for sure. :(

Not necessarily true. You can buy low grade T206's for $10-20
And similarly other issues in low grade. Besides on entry level not sure if the kids want to collect vintage. They are identifying more with Brady and Jordan than Anson and Kelly. Change is a bitch.

Leon
05-05-2019, 08:13 PM
It is what it is but we don't have to like it :). Long live vintage. Heck, a lot of us are vintage now, ourselves. Some more so than others.

Not necessarily true. You can buy low grade T206's for $10-20
And similarly other issues in low grade. Besides on entry level not sure if the kids want to collect vintage. They are identifying more with Brady and Jordan than Anson and Kelly. Change is a bitch.