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  #1  
Old 01-13-2010, 04:36 PM
bbeck bbeck is offline
Bob Beck
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Default Who will be the buyer of our vintage cards in 20 years?

I have followed the boards for quite some time and this is my very first post. I find the boards to be informative, funny and full of varying opinions. Everyone has their biases and such is life. I have been a vintage collector for over 30 years(one of every Hall of Fame member as nice as I could find it since I started in 1976) and left investment banking to open a collectibles shop in New Jersey over 18 years ago. I always wanted my own business and why not enjoy going to it every day?

The past year was extremely rough and the majority of the kids have left the hobby for other diversions.( I used to actually have a club in the store with over 300 kids as members.) Today, when a child enters the store and sees an Al Kaline card he asks his dad, who's alkaline? With all the negative press in baseball and very few clean heroes beyond the likes of Derek Jeter, who or what will actually inspire these kids to collect the greats of the game beyond the obvious Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Mantle , etc.. Granted, you will always get the kid who loves the vintage and will collect it all, but baseball has changed forever and is very different from the days of "us" baby boomers. Baseball was pure and passionate when we were kids, or at least seemed so(I named my dog Gibby after Bob Gibson) and the extension to collect vintage material was a natural when we reached adulthood and wanted to continue our quests and obsessions with the national pastime. I do not see this in today's kids, not one bit (to many diversions, video games, technology, etc.), and I wonder, "who will buy our cards" in 20-25 years. After all, they are the buyers of all of our memorabilia/cards/etc. in the future. As previously stated, the best will always sell, along with the greats of the game, but what about the rest? Personally, my collection will be handed down to my son to do as he chooses. But what about those who would like to sell? I see first hand the apathy towards cards and collecting with today's kids. I try to explain the history but most just don't seem to care. Where does this hobby/business stand in 20 years, will these kids have half the passion to collect like we do?
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:01 PM
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Mrc32 Mrc32 is offline
Michael C
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Couldn't this question be asked about most collectibles? Coins?

I think there will always be buyers.....but I also scratch my heads at the REAtype values some cards bring today. If I were a buyer at such levels, the question you ask would keep me up at night.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:14 PM
BleedinBlue BleedinBlue is offline
BRIAN C0ATS
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Default Not a problem for some buyers

My guess is the REA type buyers in general are not all that concerned about the future value of their collections. Their cards do not constitute a major portion of their overall net worth. For those of us who have collections more valuable than our homes and our 401k's this is a greater concern.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:21 PM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
Rich Klein
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Default BBeck, where is your store

I was from Jersey until I moved to Dallas in 1990 to work for Beckett Publications and yes, that is something I thought/think about often.

Yet, when I read boards such as the Beckett message boards, most of the posters are in their 20-30's so there is a future generation that will, I believe move to vintage. And I would not be surprised if that move happens in the next two years.

Regards
Rich
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:29 PM
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DixieBaseball DixieBaseball is offline
JeR@Me
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Default The Rub...

The rub here is classifying the best from the rest. I agree, that rare to scarce stuff will always have decent demand, but a 57 Al Kaline probably will come down in value over time. I still think it will have its place, but probably worth some percentage less. When I think of what a 57 Al Kaline may be worth, I don't think it will matter if is goes down 20-35% as the dollar amount will be relatively small. I think we have already witnessed this to some degree as I remember a Nolan Ryan rookie being worth more 10 years ago than it is today and so on.... I think Pre-war may have the sticking power, but post war will slide. Then of course the 80's and up never had its place with exception to unique insert type cards that may be scarce.

2 cents...
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:38 PM
Tim Fritz Tim Fritz is offline
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I'm one of those guys in his 30s that has just started in the last few years to move to pre-war. I still collect 50s and 60s also. Have just about everything from the 70s and 80s.

It will be very interesting to see what collecting will look like in 20 years. Who would have thought 20 years ago that the internet would have changed collecting like it has. Stores and card shows are just about gone.

For my sake I hope the bottom falls out and I can pick up T206 HOFs for a buck.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:47 PM
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Matt Wieder
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I think we'll see a continued decline of most cards from the 1950s+ as in addition to fans of baseball history (who should always exist), those cards are currently collected by those who saw those players play in their youth. As that generation dies out, that demand will go with them and we'll be left with just the folks who collect across all eras. The pre-war market for the most part shouldn't suffer any such drop-off as there's no reason 20 years from now people will be less interested in Ty Cobb or Christy Mathewson then they are today. That's not to say it's a guarantee, but I see a strong reason to expect a fall in the 1950s stuff and no such reason for the earlier stuff; if anything, as people from the baseball card boom of the late 80s and 90s become wealthier, there should be a rise in the pre-war market as more will be able to get in.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:52 PM
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Johnny S
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Detroit fans and set builders will care about Al Kaline, and HOF collectors. Post war has taken a pretty big hit in price over the last few years and could continue to slide but will always have spikes. When Nolan Ryan and other greats pass away they will have an immediate spike in price and then slowly come back down. Look at what happened when Ted Williams died, his cards shot way up and now they have dropped way way down in price, but over the past year his rookie is increasing in value. There will always be a buyer for whatever cards you may have, just maybe not for the price you were hoping for. I don't see prewar dropping in price anytime soon, if anything will keep rising as more and more collectors 25 and older get into it and have the income to support it. In a day and age of hundreds of channels to surf, the internet, and laptop cellphones, holding a piece of America's Pastime history is very peacful and entertaining in these fast times we live in.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:03 PM
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Kawika Kawika is offline
David McDonald
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"...holding a piece of America's Pastime history is very peaceful and entertaining in these fast times we live in."
Couldn't say it better.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:05 PM
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T206Collector T206Collector is offline
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Default Who will be the buyer of our vintage cards in 20 years?

Me.
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