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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions

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  #1  
Old 06-27-2013, 08:35 AM
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ullmandds ullmandds is offline
pete ullman
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Default Is the baseball card market a "perfect" market? The Demise of the "price guide"

There is no doubt to me that "price guides" have become totally obsolete in regards to vintage baseball cards in this day and age. Their only value is the checklists...in my opinion.

So should the big catalog(The Standard Catalog) even offer value "suggestions" any more...or should it just be a book of checklists?

A vintage card is worth what someone is willing to pay for it...period. And these hammer prices usually have no relation to what is listed in the price guide.

Opinions?
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2013, 08:51 AM
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agreed. If they spend less time worrying about the prices they could spend their efforts each year to better organizing the cards and maybe even redo some of the sets (like mentioned in the Old Judge thread).
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  #3  
Old 06-27-2013, 08:55 AM
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I haven't needed to use a price guide or VCP type service to determine T206 buy/sale prices. I remember pre-Internet my dad would get the latest price guides when working on our 80/90s cards.
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Last edited by atx840; 06-27-2013 at 09:03 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2013, 08:56 AM
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I would think that a "perfect" market would only be possible if all potential buyers of a card were aware and able to place a bid if the card comes up for auction. This is obviously impossible unless there is a single marketplace - which will likely never happen in this hobby.

Regarding price guides, this has been the case for at least a decade... people are finally starting to realize it. That said, the dealers who pull out a catalog at a show to give you a price are still plentiful.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:58 AM
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I use VCP somewhat often to find recent sales prices...this is definitely helpful for more "common" cards...for both buying and selling. IT's the tough stuff that u can just throw the book(s) away for.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2013, 08:59 AM
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cardtarget...you are correct re. my "perfect market" comment...I def spoke in error!
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2013, 09:08 AM
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I've always thought that the standard catalog(and most price guides) did a poor job of pricing. Obviously, I don't think that their intentions was to necessarily have accurate pricing though. For what it is, I think they did a good job. But it's fairly obvious that for the most part the cards in any set were pretty much just priced in "suggested tiers"... common, semi, low end HOF, typical HOF, and then the high end guys (like Ruth, Gehrig).. Very little attention payed to specifics(especially in pre-war) for things like Rookie consideration... In many pre-war listings, there are rookies of HOFers(or cards that could be considered a rookie depending on an individuals criteria) that are just lumped in with the typical comparable HOFer price-wise. When in reality, they seem to command a little more of a premium in the open market, due to their being a growing number of rookie collectors. I'm sorry, but a (reasonably considerable) "rookie" of a HOF player is worth more than a comparable HOFer who is in his 16th season...

Yes, I know the rookie thing in terms of pre-war is somewhat subjective, and almost a taboo topic with some collectors, but to completely ignore it as a factor in this suggested pricing is kinda silly.. If a premium can be given to Yankees/Dodgers in the pricing, then one should also be given to actual (or potentially acceptable) rookies...

If this same pricing were applied to modern cards, then I guess a 1982 Topps Cal Ripken rookie would be worth the same a 1982 Topps Nolan Ryan.. Or the 1978 Topps Paul Molitor rookie would be worth the same as a 1978 Topps Rod Carew... Ridiculous, right?

For the record, I really only use these as checklists too...

Last edited by novakjr; 06-27-2013 at 09:10 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2013, 09:12 AM
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The last Beckett guide I looked at, 1 yr ago, was spot on for vintage pricing. I tried my hardest and couldn't find an error. We gave out around 10-20 of them at the last dinner and I never heard from anyone that said there were glaring errors in the vintage section. I didn't look at the newer cards as I have no interest in them. As for the Krause big book, it's hit or miss, imo.....LL
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:27 AM
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I think the prices in the price guides are still good from a relative standpoint. For example, you might not realize that the Stengel is a short print in the Maple Crispette set unless you saw the price for that card relative to the other cards in the price guide. Another example is Moe Berg in the 1933 Goudey set, who a collector new to the set may just think should be priced like a common.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2013, 10:02 AM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Default As a person who did pricing for many years

No, no guide can ever be perfect because we are in many cases shooting at a moving target.

In addition, especially in the thinly traded sets, one or two big sales or sales below expectiations can certainly change the perception of what something is worth.

As for VCP remember that not all "6's" are truly alike as some may be technically a six but not look as nice as cards which are 4's.

Where cataloguers and pricers have to make sure they are correct is in the checklisting of information. Because pricing can always be adjusted but bad data is much harder to fix.

For those thinly traded vintage sets my goals were thus

1) Get the checklist IN and correctly
2) Get an image for the card so we could see what said card in a set looked like
3) Get the pricing right.

Remember Step 3 is easier to do when steps 1 and 2 are completed.

And for Beckett, getting Steps 1 and 2 right are even more important since BGS and COMC, among others, needs to use those checklists.

Step 3 is also important but can wait for 1 and 2

Rich
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2013, 10:52 AM
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I agree they are growing in obsolescene from the days when a price guide was the primary source of such information. It seems almost comical when you see auction descriptions say something like, "The card is worth $1500." It is worth what it sells for at auction -- something you will find out conclusively in 6d23h. Auctions are not a perfect market but they are far more reliable as a price determination than a price guide which may be based on total speculation.

I wonder why price guides like SMR have to be published every month? They seem to be using up a lot of content space for reprinting the same list (which is dubious to begin with) each month -- and they never change. They only list certain sets and then refer you online for other sets. Why not vary which sets are included in the price guide each month?

The thing that bugs me in price guides are the modern card listings (I have said this before so it is almost like my mantra). They throw around values that you know are totally made up and it is what leads to ridiculous bubbles. How does anyone know what the limited edition, signed, orange chrome, refractor card of the next supposed superstar rookie would really be worth when it has only been printed and available for two weeks and has never properly been exposed to the market? Yet they'll stick some number like $10000 next to it. Who would pay $10000 for a card printed last week of a player who probably has 3,000,000 different cards in print anyway?
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2013, 10:57 AM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Default Andy actually

there are far more people interested in those happy shiny cards then they are in vintage cards -- and the market is actually very active on those cards.

While we can discuss the merits of planned scarcity/rarity against the natural selection of scarcity/Rarity; just remember that is a very active market (obviously not on this site) and those cards and players are traded very actively.

In many cases (not all) a Mike Trout signed to 25 is going to be priced farily closely to another signed Trout of 25. This does not work for all sets but more than you think there is.

In oither words, for about 99 percent of the market; NEW is where it is at and if you don't get pricing up ASAP -- the natives get very restless.

Rich
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CardTarget View Post
That said, the dealers who pull out a catalog at a show to give you a price are still plentiful.
True that.
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2013, 11:40 AM
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Default Always have been irrelevant

in the vintage market on many/most items.
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  #15  
Old 06-27-2013, 11:44 AM
arc2q arc2q is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Klein View Post
there are far more people interested in those happy shiny cards then they are in vintage cards -- and the market is actually very active on those cards.

While we can discuss the merits of planned scarcity/rarity against the natural selection of scarcity/Rarity; just remember that is a very active market (obviously not on this site) and those cards and players are traded very actively.

In many cases (not all) a Mike Trout signed to 25 is going to be priced farily closely to another signed Trout of 25. This does not work for all sets but more than you think there is.

In oither words, for about 99 percent of the market; NEW is where it is at and if you don't get pricing up ASAP -- the natives get very restless.

Rich
Rich-
You're absolutely right; I am being a vintage card snob in my comments. It is true that they are very popular (and I like them too -- I have a couple of the latest higher value cards of players I like). It just seems that reliance on pricing guides was more relevant/necessary when knowledge was harder to obtain. But with eBay and other online sites that track actual sales it would seem more appropriate to base value on what these cards actually sell for rather than what one magazine says it ought to be worth.

I shouldn't disparage modern card so much though. I do secretly still buy them.
Andy
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  #16  
Old 06-27-2013, 11:49 AM
tschock tschock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arc2q View Post
I wonder why price guides like SMR have to be published every month? They seem to be using up a lot of content space for reprinting the same list (which is dubious to begin with) each month -- and they never change. They only list certain sets and then refer you online for other sets. Why not vary which sets are included in the price guide each month?
I think there are at least 3 reasons for this.

A ) To promote TPG (specifically, PSA).
B ) To promote the idea that there is "real" value to TPG cards.
C ) To act as an actual TPG "price guide".

This is my view on order of intent, but that can be argued.

And speaking of never changing...

I have March 2003 (monthly) Beckett VINTAGE magazine (remember those?) that I carry around to shows. Not as a price guide, but more as a reference. The interesting thing about the price guide aspect, as it relates specifically to POST-war cards, is that for all but a few star cases and some commons, the prices are NO different in this 10 year-old magazine than they are in one of the latest monthly baseball Becketts. Food for thought as to the "value" of those cards or the necessity for monthly "update" price guides.
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2013, 12:35 PM
Rich Klein Rich Klein is offline
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Default Because of the Graded Card Price Guide

There has been movement in the vintage card world and that will eventually get into the magazine and annual guides as well.

Some cards will move up. some will move down -- but overall if you think about that, a 1960 Hank Bauer is not really going to change much in price for a long long time.

Ridh
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  #18  
Old 06-27-2013, 12:50 PM
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Default Card pricing

I was just thinking about this yesterday. With VCP and ebay completed listings, there is so much more price transparency than there was in the past. I see many cards of similar grade sell for almost exactly what the previous one had on VCP (for graded cards, of course).

For this reason, I think card prices will likely stay around their current values for some time, despite or regardless of the state of the economy.

Access to markets for everyone (esp via eBay has really tightened up the disparity, although I feel that many folks simply don't know about the auction houses, so there is still a little slippage at times because some buyers don't know that there are other avenues to get cards thy want and they only buy on eBay.

Of course, this is just my opinion.
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2013, 07:33 PM
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In 1982, when I became aware of my Dad's collection, we bought a price guide from the bookstore (imagine that). We will never know if those prices were close, because the thought of selling the cards did not enter our minds.

What that price guide did accomplish was to highlight the high dollar cards.
No matter if the prices were accurate, when you saw a couple extra zeros, you knew you had something good.

With all the information readily available in this day and age, that book seems pretty basic (I think we still have it somewhere). I wonder what it is worth?
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2013, 08:02 PM
mrvster mrvster is offline
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Default 1000 percent....

AGREED
I have never used a price guide.....market determines price
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  #21  
Old 06-27-2013, 10:07 PM
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And speaking of never changing...

I have March 2003 (monthly) Beckett VINTAGE magazine (remember those?) that I carry around to shows. Not as a price guide, but more as a reference. The interesting thing about the price guide aspect, as it relates specifically to POST-war cards, is that for all but a few star cases and some commons, the prices are NO different in this 10 year-old magazine than they are in one of the latest monthly baseball Becketts. Food for thought as to the "value" of those cards or the necessity for monthly "update" price guides.[/QUOTE]

Interesting. I actually do the same thing In a way. The only price guide I use as a reference is a modern card checklist from 1999. If the price in the checklist is around $50, I know I should be able to pick it up for less than $10. If the price is $100, I can probably find it for $10-25. There are however a handful of cards that are actually worth more than they used to be.

My wallet is always thanking me for not collecting heavily during the late 90's - early to mid 00...
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2013, 11:38 PM
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Price guides are a joke.

The sellers who rely on them to establish the price points for their merchandise are the same people who have the exact same cards at the exact same prices showing in their display cases year after year after year, show after show after show...
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  #23  
Old 06-29-2013, 05:58 AM
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Agreed, price guides can be/are ego inflators. They don't determine actual value. The market does that. Speaking of markets, my definition of the perfect market would be seller sells an item at price point they're happy with, buyer buys an item at price point they're happy with.
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  #24  
Old 06-29-2013, 07:28 AM
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Price guides are exactly what the name suggests: guides. They are often not accurate but can still be useful to help one determine which cards are valuable within a set. You may not, for example, be able to accurately price T-206 by using a price guide. But you will recognize that Demmitt and O'Hara are key cards, that they are worth more than Elberfeld, which is worth more than G. Brown, etc. So they are not entirely worthless, but by themselves not sufficient to determine market value.

I would say use everything available to you- guides, ebay and auction sales, VCP, prices, retail lists, and anything else you can find. The try to interpret these numbers as best as you can. Somewhere among all that data are accurate values.
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  #25  
Old 06-29-2013, 09:09 PM
Delray Vintage Delray Vintage is offline
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Default Guides have their place for comps, but limited in value

I only use VCP to see the distribution of past prices. If I really want a rare card I might pay much more. We need some way to quickly check the comps, even though for pre 1900 comps might be difficult given the poses, variations of many cards. PSA is not good at pricing pre 1900 and they basically just list past sales in addition to their rather static price lists.

For example, I have the only Old Judge PSA 7 Connie Mack. Somehow PSA decided to reduce the value a few years ago from 10k to 9k. Based on what I do not know. Their price for the anson in uniform is way below what it would sell for. Useless for most high grade pre 1900 cards.


Guides that tell you what things sold for like VCP are very useful, especially when several have sold recently.
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