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  #1  
Old 09-25-2021, 11:34 AM
Redleg25 Redleg25 is online now
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Default Why do many put so much emphasis on PAST sales??

As someone that buys and sells (to support my own card habit) almost daily, I'm constantly running across buyers and sellers who use past sales as definitive current value. I use to subscribe to VCP but I found the market move too quick these days. To shorten my point, PAST sales are just that, sales in the PAST. That particular deal is done, over, complete. There are thousands of completed sales that I'd love to have bought or sold a card at the price. Sure, using prior sales as a EXTREMELY loose guide can be helpful but what matters is how much can you buy a comparable card for TODAY. Another aspect that gets lost in "comps " is no two PSA 1s or SGC 3s etc are the same. Every 50, 70, 110 year old card aged differently.
I learn something from this site daily, curious how other far more seasoned, intelligent minds in the hobby than I feel about this.

Last edited by Redleg25; 09-26-2021 at 09:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2021, 11:44 AM
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What else would you reasonably use to value a card? If I'm looking at card X in Y condition and I see it's sold in similar grade 7 times over the last few months, using those 7 sales gives me a good idea of it's current value to discuss price.

Sure, the market can change, and no, one shouldn't use sales from long ago, and yes, using a single BIN can give a misleading value, but if a card sold publicly and recently for Z it's generally worth about Z. Especially when it's a more common item with numerous sales.

What else would you use to value a card if you completely ignore other sales and its sale history?
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2021, 12:21 PM
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People use comps for a reason.
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  #4  
Old 09-25-2021, 12:38 PM
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It is not a rule set in stone it is just a guide to see what similar cards and grades went for.
Both short term and long term past sales both help to set what is the appreciation rate or the depreciation rate(usually going up)
Otherwise how else can anyone have an idea what the card you want might be worth or what you want to pay
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2021, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyw8469 View Post
People use comps for a reason.
But in the pre war space the comps of a 2.5 and another 2.5 could be wildly different. I have paid more for some downgrades than the cards they replaced because of eye appeal. Average cards are easier to comp....but what are the comps on a T206 Young portrait in a 2.5 holder? Probably less than I paid for this when I bought it, and I would do it every time.
Buy the (aesthetics of the) card not the holder unless you are a registry person then buy the slab for that extra half point. And I am not dissing on registry guys. If they are having fun collecting then they should do more of it!!
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2021, 12:44 PM
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Because they were pushed and over inflated
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2021, 12:46 PM
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Past sales are probably the most important piece of info, but then there are a bunch of other factors to consider like how long ago the last sale was, where the market has moved in the meantime, eye appeal for the grade, etc.
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2021, 01:10 PM
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Well, it's certainly easier to use past sales as a guide than to use future sales.

Although, I have a number of items which will sell for a million dollars in the future, but I'm willing to sell them to anybody interested for 50% off, due my needing an infusion of cash to buy a new house.

I will sell for 90% off to the OP for the next 24 hours.

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  #9  
Old 09-25-2021, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
Past sales are probably the most important piece of info, but then there are a bunch of other factors to consider like how long ago the last sale was, where the market has moved in the meantime, eye appeal for the grade, etc.
I would also add: date the card was graded, frequency of sales, medium (for example 10 Ebay September sales ~ $100 and 1 $500 sale on PWCC).
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2021, 01:59 PM
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Comps are very important (just like in the housing market), but as Luke said, you also have to take into consideration how long ago the referenced sales were. A few weeks old is very relevant...2 years old, well, less accurate for current market value.
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2021, 02:13 PM
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Eye appeal for the grade is tough for me. I like centered but would prefer a sharp higher grade with mediocre centering over a perfectly centered lower grade. Some of the prices when looking at past sales show me that many people feel otherwise.
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2021, 02:17 PM
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Past sales can be useful but are not the end all be all.

Always remember when selling… it is your card and you can price it for whatever you want.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2021, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkplace33 View Post
Past sales can be useful but are not the end all be all.

Always remember when selling… it is your card and you can price it for whatever you want.

Great Point ! I see a lot of bullying/trashing/belittling on social media Facebook card groups in regards to asking price. I’m thankful Leon doesn’t tolerate it one bit on our BST Board. A lot of sick puppies on Facebook.

Last edited by Johnny630; 09-25-2021 at 02:24 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2021, 02:50 PM
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Past sales are used in every market place. That's why price guides have developed over the years. Whether you're talking about cars, houses, or baseball cards, we have used price guides. The guides aren't perfect. They are only guides to help you arrive at a price. Most of the guides used to only come as monthly updates, but now you get nearly daily updates on the web based guides. But the accuracy of these guide depends on the amount of data fed into the guide's database. But if that's not fast enough for you, I guess you can look at the latest ebay sales.
If you aren't going to use some kind of past comparison, how do you ever have any idea what to pay for an item? If you find yourself saying, "This card just sold for x dollars last week on that online auction. I can't sell that cheap." Well, then you are basing your value on past sales.
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  #15  
Old 09-25-2021, 02:56 PM
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All I know is I like the signature block of the member that says today’s overpay is tomorrow’s overpay. I’ve had to take comfort in that thought many times.
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2021, 02:56 PM
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Tomorrow’s underpay I meant.
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2021, 03:38 PM
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A well-known collector I know says, “You never pay too much, you just pay too soon.”

Last edited by MVSNYC; 09-25-2021 at 03:38 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-25-2021, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVSNYC View Post
A well-known collector I know says, “You never pay too much, you just pay too soon.”
That’s perfect.
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  #19  
Old 09-25-2021, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVSNYC View Post
A well-known collector I know says, “You never pay too much, you just pay too soon.”
I just don't want to pay tomorrow's price when tomorrow is long after I am dead. I see more and more people asking "Dean's Cards" prices for their cards.
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2021, 05:09 PM
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I just don't want to pay tomorrow's price when tomorrow is long after I am dead. I see more and more people asking "Dean's Cards" prices for their cards.
Hopefully Dean’s does not see this. They will raise theirs even more……
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  #21  
Old 09-25-2021, 06:15 PM
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Past sales are definitely a really good starting point if there's enough consistency there.

It's always very helpful to eliminate one or more of the most expensive and least expensive recent sales when determining the average price of similar cards. This will nullify some of the BS high prices coming out of the ridiculous card doctor/shilling d-bags on eBay, as well as the low price aberrations that can occur for a variety of reasons (seller not truly understanding the 'value' of his card when he listed the BIN price, etc.).

The worst part of the past sales conundrum is never being sure what's going to happen tomorrow. Before the COVID explosion of the card market, we all can see now that we would've done extremely well to ignore past sales data and waaay overpay for the big name (for me, post-war) cards - Mantle, Clemente, Mays, Aaron, Ryan, Koufax, etc. - before their prices went crazy. But now that the same market has softened a little/lot, past sales from a couple of months ago are way out of whack with the reality of where prices are probably going today.
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  #22  
Old 09-25-2021, 07:23 PM
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Don't forget the often-cited (but completely irrelevant) data point:

"...but I have XXX into it...
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  #23  
Old 09-25-2021, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric72 View Post
Don't forget the often-cited (but completely irrelevant) data point:

"...but I have XXX into it...
That response is not irrelevant to the seller, so it is not totally irrelevant, just irrelevant to you as a buyer.
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  #24  
Old 09-25-2021, 07:39 PM
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How about just using your brain. If you have been in the hobby long enough, are an active collector and/or buyer or seller and sleep with your want list under your pillow, you know what the game is all about. To become fixated on a key card with a specific grade in mind, becomes frustrating. The population of cards that we all hold that is tiny compared modern production. Regardless of price, within reason of course, buy the 1.5 Goudey Ruth and not the 4 you have been dreaming about. Just as Leon rightly points out, eye appeal should be the ultimate decision-maker not the TP Grade. I hope you land what you want. Nobody gets in at the absolute low and sells at the absolute high. Just ask some Wall Street guys about the Crash of 2008.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
That response is not irrelevant to the seller, so it is not totally irrelevant, just irrelevant to you as a buyer.
I suppose you're correct about that. Pardon me for being momentarily self-centered there.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric72 View Post
I suppose you're correct about that. Pardon me for being momentarily self-centered there.
LOL

Wasn't picking on you, just have to remember there two sides, and neither is wrong.
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  #27  
Old 09-25-2021, 09:53 PM
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Default A number of factors

As a number have said - my opinion is past "public" sales (lacking all the private sales data which borders on impossible to accurately collect and track!) are 1 relevant piece of information to consider. More relevant when there are more sales in a recent shorter block of time and of cards of equivalent eye appeal (sometimes difficult to tell from digital pics). Supply/demand/availability? Many try to boil pricing down to a science and it is so far from it - much more art. At the end of the day - buy what you like and pay what you like as long as you have a seller willing to sell it to you!
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  #28  
Old 09-25-2021, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
LOL

Wasn't picking on you, just have to remember there two sides, and neither is wrong.
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  #29  
Old 09-26-2021, 12:36 AM
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As someone who makes predictions using data and mathematics for a living, I always try to think about pricing cards (both as a buyer and as a seller) through that lens by asking myself 'what would I predict the next one of these to sell for?' If you are only considering one data point, then past sales are without question, the best predictor of future sales prices, so it makes for a great starting point. However, it is certainly not the only factor one should consider. If it's a relatively rare card that sells infrequently, then it gets much more complicated, whereas something like a PSA 9 modern card that sells with high frequency doesn't really need any data points beyond what the last handful of them sold for on average. But if you're looking at a card that only sells once or twice per year, then you would benefit greatly from analyzing other related market factors that are highly correlated with what you are selling (how have other cards in that same set moved since your card was last sold? or how has the market for the player you're selling moved since the last time this card was sold? or how has the same card moved in other grades?). Other aspects that are especially relevant with vintage obviously, might be things like eye-appeal or when the card was graded (is it an old PSA label from the days when modern 8s got 10s and modern 6s got 8s?, etc.) Obviously, you can make it as complicated as you want, but if you start with past sales prices and then make market adjustments from there, you'll be pretty close to how the broader market values that card and what it's most likely to sell for in a future sale.
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  #30  
Old 09-26-2021, 01:17 AM
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Yep...that's my favorite line on this board. Oh, so you made a bad purchase and you want me to bail you out? What if you had $500 into it, and were selling it for $1000? Would you then take $550, since that's all you had into it? What you paid is irrelevant to the current value. Just like a stock on the NYSE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric72 View Post
Don't forget the often-cited (but completely irrelevant) data point:

"...but I have XXX into it...
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  #31  
Old 09-26-2021, 02:06 AM
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I agree with the op. I don't look at past sales. I keep bidding until the other guy stops. Usually, I'm the other guy that stops. I think I have not accepted the inflation, like when my aunt used to send me $5 for my birthday, because to her, $5 was a lot of money.
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  #32  
Old 09-26-2021, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post

But now that the same market has softened a little/lot, past sales from a couple of months ago are way out of whack with the reality of where prices are probably going today.
Exactly. You have to be very careful, because a blue chip card that sold for $7,000 USD eight months ago could be worth a few thousand less in today's market.
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  #33  
Old 09-26-2021, 09:08 AM
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All past sales are a barometer for a current price that fluctuations with every sale. Haven’t used a price guide in over a decade and have never been a paid member to any company that shares previous sale results. I have at times looked at eBay history along with HA history.
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  #34  
Old 09-26-2021, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
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Well, it's certainly easier to use past sales as a guide than to use future sales.
Beat me to it!
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
I agree with the op. I don't look at past sales. I keep bidding until the other guy stops. Usually, I'm the other guy that stops. I think I have not accepted the inflation, like when my aunt used to send me $5 for my birthday, because to her, $5 was a lot of money.
But isn't your bidding informed by the price you think you'd need to pay to purchase another similar item? And what would that be based upon, if not some sense of what other such items typically cost. Of course, if it's hard to find a comparable item or if sales are sporadic and not recent, then there's less relevant info available, but the greater the number of recent sales of comparable items there are, the more you'd want to know and benefit from that info.
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  #36  
Old 09-26-2021, 09:33 AM
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You know, ya gotta use something. I collect a lot of different stuff and it's funny to watch people who are trying to buy someone who is hot like Vlad or Soto complaining that people are not selling at month old comps.
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  #37  
Old 09-26-2021, 09:55 AM
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A vintage baseball card is like a boat. You're only happy when you buy it and when you sell it.
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  #38  
Old 09-26-2021, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GasHouseGang View Post
Past sales are used in every market place. That's why price guides have developed over the years. Whether you're talking about cars, houses, or baseball cards, we have used price guides. The guides aren't perfect. They are only guides to help you arrive at a price. Most of the guides used to only come as monthly updates, but now you get nearly daily updates on the web based guides. But the accuracy of these guide depends on the amount of data fed into the guide's database. But if that's not fast enough for you, I guess you can look at the latest ebay sales.
If you aren't going to use some kind of past comparison, how do you ever have any idea what to pay for an item? If you find yourself saying, "This card just sold for x dollars last week on that online auction. I can't sell that cheap." Well, then you are basing your value on past sales.

I agree with the OP, past sales seem to be a way to not have the courage or ability to read the people and desirability of your product to set your own price, even in the housing market.

I had someone do a cold call on me to buy my house. They pulled up some market comps to come up with their offer price and mine was not even on the market.

I told them, "there is a reason you are asking to buy MY house and not the others that you are using comps for," and basically told them to pound sand.
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  #39  
Old 09-26-2021, 10:11 AM
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Those that think recent sales results of the same item are generally irrelevant to price and value should have the courage and ability to make me some offers. Who cares the last one a week ago sold for less than half, show your courage.
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  #40  
Old 09-26-2021, 10:20 AM
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  #41  
Old 09-26-2021, 10:22 AM
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As I mentioned in the open, I can see using past sale as a VERY loose guide, but too many consider previous sales the gospel. One, those deals are gone. Can't buy shares of Microsoft for $100 a piece anymore. Two, no two vintage cards are the same. Here's an example: first 54 Mick is mine. No underlying issues, back as clean as the front. Second is another PSA 1. Hey, both are PSA 1 so accurate comps!🙂
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  #42  
Old 09-26-2021, 10:27 AM
G1911 G1911 is offline
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The problem with these Mantles is that they are not fair comps - a cards condition and the number put on the slab by a company are different things. You’d need a beater comp for the second, beat up poor. Obviously cards in different aesthetic conditions will sell for more or less, but that has nothing to do with using comps as a concept. Like everything in the world, if one does it wrong, it will seem wrong.
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  #43  
Old 09-26-2021, 10:29 AM
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Snapolit1 Snapolit1 is online now
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Looking at past sales of other cards is obviously important.

Would you feel comfortable bidding on a house completely blind to what other homes in the neighborhood and street recently sold for because "hey, all houses are different when you think about it." Well, sure, but certainly doesn't mean median home sales in the neighborhood and on the street are not critical data points to consider. Not the be all and end all of course.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 09-26-2021 at 11:34 AM.
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  #44  
Old 09-26-2021, 11:25 AM
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Obviously, you put much emphasis on past sales. Otherwise, there would be no prevailing price.

Though the OP did say "so much emphasis."

I am of the philosophy that one sale does not make market price.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:49 PM
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Your Mantle example is a good one. You should price that well above a typical 1, and any serious buyer would expect that. Anyone who tried to tell you about VCP for that card doesn't need to be taken seriously. I would just politely tell them I'm not interested in selling for the prices they are quoting.
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  #46  
Old 09-26-2021, 01:58 PM
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Many many many of the new cards are softer than a sneaker full of dog crap. They've been pumped 300% over the past 2 years, and there are no more buyers at these levels. Add in the millions of modern at psa, and makes for a perfect storm of GTFo before the bottom is in.


Vintage rarities may only have one buyer. You can wait like Dean's cards for prices to catch up, or make a deal.

There is no other way to come up with a price, other than using past sales. However, a seller can pick or choose they way they read into those sales!
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  #47  
Old 09-26-2021, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCMcKenzie View Post
I agree with the op. I don't look at past sales. I keep bidding until the other guy stops. Usually, I'm the other guy that stops. I think I have not accepted the inflation, like when my aunt used to send me $5 for my birthday, because to her, $5 was a lot of money.
With all those sweet fivers around from your aunt, you should be able to bid higher than the other guy, no?
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  #48  
Old 09-26-2021, 04:00 PM
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The market is imperfect. 2005 Topps U&H Verlander. Last sale was for $49. Prices on eBay BIN $51-115.

I got one via auction late last night for $20.50. Does that mean it’s worth 50% less (or more) than everyone thinks? Did I just get a good deal? Both? Neither?
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Old 09-26-2021, 05:33 PM
jefferyepayne jefferyepayne is offline
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I subscribe to VCP and use it as a loose guide for a card's trend and price. But as many other have said, it is only one data point in a sea of other considerations.

One thing I do do is take out ALL BIN prices in VCP and ALL sales from a certain large seller as well. I personally don't believe much of that data with all the shenanigan's that go on in our hobby.

Obviously a conservative approach but it has worked well for me. I think I suggested to VCP at some point that they allow you to 'ignore' particular sales when looking at their pricing data but don't think this functionality exists right now. So I do it by hand. I'm hoping some day this feature appears (hint, hint).

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Old 09-26-2021, 05:40 PM
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I don’t know about imphasis but I do know about emphasis. It gives you a basic guideline on where to start on price. If something is worth a certain value and a seller wants twice what it is worth then it gives a buyer an idea what to offer. Same is true on the opposite side where a buyer offers half of what a card is worth then negotiations can proceed from there. Both sides need to be reasonable if a deal is to be made.

It always gets me when a seller has a card but wants a buyer to throw out a price without the buyer having any idea where the seller is at. If there is really interest in selling a card, at least shoot back a realistic offer. The game of guess the price is really not fun or fair to anyone.

My two cents

Kmac
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Last edited by kmac32; 09-26-2021 at 05:41 PM.
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