1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

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1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by Bosox Blair on Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:44 pm

Hey,

As I collect cards from various pre-war sets, I have been struck by how far off any "price guide" the asking prices for 1915 CJs are.

More specifically, I've observed: (1) the prices asked on Ebay (BIN)...I know...but still..., (2) the prices paid on Ebay auctions, (3) the prices asked and paid on forums like Net54, and (4) sale prices from major auctions. Pretty much all of these far outstrip the listed "values" in the 2009 Standard Catalog and the recent SMR. And they have for a long, long time. I have only seen cards in lots from #4 above that have gone for remotely close to the price guide valuations.

Some of these cards I have seen go for 10 times or more what the price guides say. One example - in SMR, Smoky Joe Wood is barely more than a common (and commons are already underpriced in SMR). However, multiple auctions of Wood's '15 CJ have brought prices as high as or higher than Tris Speaker.

Firm asking prices on commons in 3 to 4 grade are regularly 50% above SMR.

Any thoughts or experience to share? How can price guides remain so far off for so long?

Cheers,
Blair


Last edited by Bosox Blair on Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by mwieder on Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:53 pm

SMR is a joke when it comes to most pre-war issues, including CJs.

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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by sabrjay on Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:08 pm

Smokey Joe is a bad example to use for a "common". His cards command close to HOF prices, if not more. He has never been cheap, even back in the 80s.

Jay

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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by Bosox Blair on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:22 pm

mwieder wrote:SMR is a joke when it comes to most pre-war issues, including CJs.

Hi Matt,

Thanks for posting on this! I agree that SMR is not the most accurate. But I guess it keeps striking me that SMR and other guides with long-standing reputation seem to be the furthest off-base when it comes to pretty much all 1915 Cracker Jacks. I can't quite figure out why that is?

Cheers,
Blair
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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by Bosox Blair on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:27 pm

sabrjay wrote:Smokey Joe is a bad example to use for a "common". His cards command close to HOF prices, if not more. He has never been cheap, even back in the 80s.

Jay

Hi Jay,

Yes - that example suffers because it is so extreme. And yet...if Wood has been commanding unusually high prices since the 1980s, why would current price guides fail to reflect this?

In the 2009 Standard Catalog the T207 Wood is listed at quite a healthy value...and not extremely far off real selling prices. And yet the 1915 CJ in the same guide is way low.

And I guess that is what puzzles me - it seems like certain pricing info is pretty accurate or at least ballpark (...ahem), but the 1915 CJs are constantly shown at a value way below the market.

Cheers,
Blair
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SMR

Post by hrbaker on Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:21 am

I would agree that it has a long-standing reputation but I am not sure it is reliability. You do raise a very good question. I have long thought that most '15s were way overpriced on ebay as most of the BIN sellers try to get close to 1914 prices for the same card in the 1915 set. However unlike you I never checked the realized results for 1915 at auctions, et al.
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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by mwieder on Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:01 am

Jeff - I think the '14s are undervalued, but '15s and '14s with identical poses usually sell for similar prices. Those prices are nowhere near SMR; but outside of T205s and T206s, not much pre-war is.

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CJ

Post by hrbaker on Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:08 am

Matt,
Thx, like I said I have made no study of the sales results. I would maintain that for mid-grade and up examples there should be a major difference in price btw '14s and '15s based on the fact that you could order the '15s direct. Does that not make sense? Why should they be similar in price?
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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by mwieder on Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:19 am

hrbaker wrote:Matt,
Thx, like I said I have made no study of the sales results. I would maintain that for mid-grade and up examples there should be a major difference in price btw '14s and '15s based on the fact that you could order the '15s direct. Does that not make sense? Why should they be similar in price?

Jeff - I agree 100% - I started a thread about a year ago on Net54 stating that the 1914s are very undervalued considering the scarcity. The response was that collector's don't usually differentiate between teh sets since the fronts are the same on most cards, so little premium is given to one over the other - a CJ Cobb is a CJ Cobb.

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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by glenv on Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:12 pm

In the last Huggins and Scott auction, a couple lots went for under $100/card w/ a number of HOFers. Common SGC 40s don't hit $100 on eBay. A couple weeks ago I won an SGC 40 off eBay for $50 and last week got an SGC 30 for $38. Maybe a few '15 Cracker Jacks are off in the price guides, but I'm sure someone can find other sets that are much more off base.

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Re: 1915 Cracker Jack - Are the price guides way off, or...???

Post by Bosox Blair on Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:02 pm

glenv wrote:In the last Huggins and Scott auction, a couple lots went for under $100/card w/ a number of HOFers. Common SGC 40s don't hit $100 on eBay. A couple weeks ago I won an SGC 40 off eBay for $50 and last week got an SGC 30 for $38. Maybe a few '15 Cracker Jacks are off in the price guides, but I'm sure someone can find other sets that are much more off base.

Hi Glen,

Those are good deals - so congrats to you - but not the general rule. I just went through the most recent Ebay results.

A group of SGC 20 (Fair) cards sold between $42-46 each. The price guides put these about $20.

You said common SGC 40s don't hit $100 on Ebay, but that is not correct. Hoblitzel just sold for $102.50. And I've seen lots more. Saier in a 40 just sold for $90 on a BIN. These cards list in price guides at about $60. [*Edited to say I just looked at the December 2008 SMR and they list these at $38.]

Three SGC 30 (Good - 2) commons (Groh, Blair, and Cady) just sold for $80, $77 and $61. In the price guides, these are no more than $30 cards.

These results all confirm what I've been seeing - the price guides are way, way under on 1915 CJ.

As for other pre-war sets that may be more off-base, it is possible. But what is striking to me about 1915 CJ is that it is not a rare set at all. There are lots out there. And they are popular - many transactions. Somehow the guides manage to be pretty accurate with T206, T205, etc., so this is why the 1915 CJ "values" really stick out to me.


Cheers,
Blair
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