Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

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Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by jbonie on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:14 pm

I don't mean to rankle any feathers, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on the card market and what I see as the most overvalued issues in pre-war cards. I'm sure others will disagree, but this is my take, and others are welcome to chime in.

1. T206 Factory Numbers and Red Hindus. Personally, I understand that there are those who collect rare factory numbers, but I still find them trivial, and while they maybe ought to garner a slight premium, nothing like the prices we see for them today. Same for the astronomical price of Red Hindus - yes, it is red, and the color looks pretty, but it is still a Hindu. The real rare backs are the Uzit, Drum, and Lenox - those are the ones I would want to own, and other scarce backs like Tolstoi, Brown Hindu, and Cycle have appeal as well.

2. Faded OJ's - Especially ones in high grade. While authentic, wouldn't you want to see the picture on the card that you own? While OJ's in general are undervalued, perhaps considerably, I don't find the faded copies very attractive, regardless of rarity. Nevertheless, it remains the biggest and most important 19th Century set and documentation of players from that era.

3. E107's. It is a very interesting set, but the prices on these particular cards have been astronomical. In spite of its rarity, the condition of the cards is often very beaten. I've considered buying E107's in the past, but why buy an E107 Plank when you can have the same exact image on an E95 Plank, except in full, bold color, for 1/20th the price? I see a lot of the same players on E107's that I see on a lot of other pre-war cards from that era, so while the set is unique, I have to say that it is overvalued.

Well, that's my take. Agree or disagree, I'd love to hear your arguments either way! Very Happy
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by Bicem on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:55 pm

agreed on your OJ's, would also include N173 cabinets, gorgeous cards but not as rare as many people believe.





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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by sabrjay on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:37 pm

Agreed on the OJs and t206 backs. The main reason that t206 backs are getting such good prices is that the set less the big 4 is very easy to do. Once you've got that, if you like the set, then you start going after back variations or concentrate on one back. I saw this coming in the 80s and people thought I was crazy back then.

TPGs have totally missed the boat with grading OJs or any other card where picture quality is paramount. I don't really understand how OJs with a faded picture can still pull 7s and 8s but you submitted a nonphotographic card that was faded that badly, the grade would get hammered.

e107 commons are propably grossly overpriced, but HOFers are probably spot on. It's an important set with lots of HOF rookies.

There might be some caramel issues that you could consider overpriced.

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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by rholmes on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:50 pm

Jamie- I agree 100% on severely faded OJ's. Buying a picture you can barely see is odd, to say the least. Not sure I agree with E107's being on that list, however. The values can indeed be a bit wacky for individual cards when you consider condition, especially a few years ago, but this set was/is just so hugely important to the lineage and progression of baseball cards. Obviously, it was the bridge between old and new, 19th and 20th century...and for nearly a decade, between the late 1890's and 1908 if I'm not mistaken, it was the only 'standard' baseball card issued. And when it was issued, there you had it...the birth of the modern card. As for the actual pictures, this was the first time they were used on standard cards and not cabinets. At the end of the day, the E95 Plank is another card among a number of caramel issues that also feature Plank (no offense to you E95 Plank lovers, of which I am one), but the E107 Plank really is baseball and card history all rolled up into one neat little piece of cardboard. And they're beautiful, to boot. Not to mention rare!

History + beauty + rarity = $$$. I wish they were less expensive...but I understand why they aren't.
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by ullmandds on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:59 pm

While I agree that faded oj's are overgraded/overrated...I have to disagree with e107/red hindu argument.

While I agree E107's in horrid condition continue to garnish exhuberant prices...most are super tough...especially if looking for a particular player...and as the 1st big set of the 20th c...and it's great poses...they deserve it.

Red Hindu is one of the tougher backs...is a legitimate and visually arresting anomaly...is very difficult to find especially if looking for a specific player...is one of the many mysteries of the hugely collected...if not most popular set of all time...like it or not...T206 attracts crazies...interested in all of the intricacies and nuances of the set...whick includes backs and factory designations. RED HINDU is deserving! nahnahnah
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by terjung on Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:21 pm

I never got into the whole T206 craze, so I can't appreciate them like others can and do. This is expecially true when it comes to the backs. I remember seeing a Cy Young Cycle 460 backed T206 and it was on somebody's table with the back side up. Now, I completely understand why they did that since Cycle 460 will certainly raise eyebrows due to scarcity, but I personally don't want to have to flip a card over in order to be able to appreciate it. It was Cy Young and could've just as easily been Buford Turpentine! As to whether Red Hindu is overpriced compared to Drum, I'll just sit back, blink slowly, and yawn.

On the appeal question, I will agree with you on faded OJs. Some of the OJs can be phenominal looking... including those of a board member or two. When the contrast is high and the background is interesting, I can appreciate them. When you can barely see who it is, it loses a lot of appeal to me. I doubt that I will ever collect OJs - for numerous reasons, but mostly because I just can't get excited over the set.

To the value question...

Having said that, the value of a card or set is determined by what people are willing to pay for them and for what people are willing to sell them for. So, while I scratch my head at multiple bids for a 6 figure California League OJ, others are happy to pay it since it is worth it to them. So, is that market inflated? Probably not since that is what multiple people are willing to pay. The key is whether a card is "worth it" to the collector. With the E107 Plank vs. E95 Plank comparison, I'd much rather have one E107 Plank than a quantity of E95 Planks to equal the value, but that really speaks to what something is worth to me... and not necessarily to you.

To me, the question comes down to whether the appeal of a specific set justifies its cost enough for me to want to collect it. It sounds as if Red Hindu T206s, OJs, and E107s don't present enough appeal to you in order to justify their cost to you, but that other cards like the beautiful Ewing and Mascot N173 that you showed do. That's cool and is what makes this hobby so fun is that certain cards are worth more to some of us than others. Using a stock market analogy, we (and not institutions) are the market makers and we determine the values. So, discounting the shilling and other shenanegans that can obviously affect it prices, the fact that we, the buyers of this stuff, are the market makers are the reason why we see crazy high and low fluctuations in prices as specific cards fall in and out of favor with regard to demand.

I guess what I am saying is that we don't have any kind of metric like profit-to-earnings ratios for stocks in order to determine whether something is overvalued or not. Realistically, every one of these pieces of cardboard are overvalued once they surpass the value of the cardboard itself. With that said, it comes down to the collectible market and how that market values it and why. There is no question that E107s are certainly an expensive set. It is a very important set in terms of the hobby for numerous reasons - some of which others have listed. ...and it probably goes without saying that it is worth it to me.



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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by BigGuy219 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:54 pm

I think the M110 set was overvalued, given these sales reports.

Interesting tracking I did on my Mathewson SGC 30.

2007 REA: 8,225
2008 REA: 16,450
2009 REA: 9,988
2010 REA: 5,875
2010 National: Considerably less (me)


Hey, it can only go back up, right? nahnahnah
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by caramelcard on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:44 pm

Hard to think about overvalued items in these times since so much is cheap, but a few things come to mind.

T206 Demmitt and O'Hara are way overvalued. They're not nearly as tough as folks make them out to be. Same with Smith variation and Lundgren and Kleinow, etc.

In fact, I think most T206 are overvalued, but NOT red hindus. Those are really difficult. I've had two red hindus out of around 1500 T206s. I don't think of them as even close to the same back as brown hindus. The Piedmont fac. 42 which gets the most attention is harder, but I agree that it's at least overhyped.

Also think these are overvalued:

E90 Jackson
D322 Dreyfuss (cuz i want one nahnahnah )
E103 commons (want those too)
Black Sox especially Gandil cards and strip cards
1911 Zeenuts
T204 Walter Johnson


A few things that I think are undervalued right now include:

E cards especially (E90 commons, E97-1 E97-2, E98, E101, E104)
T213-2
T205 tough backs (always have been)


Rob



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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by jbonie on Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:32 am

First off, thank you for all the great responses because I enjoy hearing other people's opinions, especially coherent ones, about different cards and their prices. Sometimes people want to act like price shouldn't matter, but who are we really kidding?

I'm not surprised by the consensus on the faded OJ's, nor the factory backs, and some of those prices already seem to be correcting (along with many other things in this market). E107's and Red Hindus are my two more controversial calls.

Both are intriguing issues, and both certainly have value. My argument on the Red Hindus is that I consider it a color variation, not a back variation, as no one ever bought a pack of "Red Hindu Cigarettes". Therefore, I don't consider them as historically important as the Lenox, Uzit and Drum backs.

I'm not too surprised that my E107 call drew some consternation. I prefer cards that are high grade, visually attractive, and don't care about whether a card is designated as a "rookie card". Thus, an innate bias against E107's. E107's are definitely important cards, and do have value, yet I find prices extraordinary compared to the visual appeal and condition of the cards. That said, if I had $120k to spend, I would certainly take the SGC 30 Matty sold in Heritage (which was quite appealing) over a California Old Judge any day. Those Cali OJ's are a classic example of an incredibly overvalued card, in this case maybe only two different collectors driving up prices to extreme levels. And, over or undervalued, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a fantastic collection of E107's like Brian does.
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by Bicem on Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:02 am

jbonie wrote: I prefer cards that are high grade, visually attractive, and don't care about whether a card is designated as a "rookie card". .

you should collect high grade T3's, nothing more visually attractive than those!
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by sabrjay on Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:11 am

t3, t205, n162, n42/3 and Duke cabinets. Doesn't get much better looking than those sets.

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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by jbonie on Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:55 am

T205 is the best set from the era, imo, and Duke cabs are very attractive. I don't care as much for the n162's because while they look nice, it is really a multi-sport set. Not crazy about the artwork on the T3's. Plus, I'm a sentimental type, so if it's a praying pose, or with a mascot, or with a dog, that's something I'm really gonna like. Smile
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by bowlingshoeguy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:26 am

Couple of comments about the thread, very interesting to date. The T206 set has been in my collecting for quite a few years but after collecting up to the Demmitt/O'Hara I kind of got bored with the Piedmont and Sweet Cap backs and began focusing on the Cycle 460s which I had a good jump on. I figured I probably would be the first to accomplish this and thought it would be cool. I also like the fact that many of these are very difficult to obtain and 4 yet to be confirmed to exist.

OJ's are really a curious bunch to collect/buy/ and sell because the actual technical grade to these cards can almost be thrown out the window, when the photo clarity seems to be the most important factor to the collectors.

The e107 set to me is as mentioned a transition set for the modern era that is very difficult to collect. I own one of them (the only black and white card I own). The E95 set seems to be a very common set and thus much easier to obtain a Plank, a nice one at though.

I think the most over valued card in the hobby is the E90-1 Jackson, ugly damn card (did he not have a nose when they did the picture). The only thing I like about it is that he is a Philadelphia A's.

You don't happen to remember who the dealer was that had the Cycle 460 Young?

Thanks

Lee
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by the-illini on Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:53 pm

bowlingshoeguy wrote:

OJ's are really a curious bunch to collect/buy/ and sell because the actual technical grade to these cards can almost be thrown out the window, when the photo clarity seems to be the most important factor to the collectors.

Amen. Give me an SGC 20 with a superior image and writing on the back any day of the week over an SGC 80 with a clean back, sharp corners, and a picture you have to squint to see...
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by rman444 on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:29 pm

caramelcard wrote:

Also think these are overvalued:

T204 Walter Johnson

Rob



Rob -

Wow, surprised that this made your list, and would be on anyone's list. The Ramly Johnson comes from one of the most popular, beautiful and difficult of all prewar sets. It is arguably the only rookie of perhaps the greatest pitcher to ever live and inaugural HOF inductee.

I don't think there is remotely enough supply of this card to meet the demand.

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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by sabrjay on Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:38 pm

I was surprised to see it too. You don't see it come up often and when you do it is going to cost you a lot if you want it because there just are not enough for everyone that wants one. I don't collect Ramleys but I'd love to have one if it was cheaper.

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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by mwieder on Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:06 pm

I think maybe what was meant is that the T204 WaJo is overpriced, but not overvalued. There has been one that's popped up on eBay from time to time over the last year as a fixed price listing and the asking price is well out of line with previous sales. That one is overpriced, but the card itself has a lot going for it and certainly deserves strong value.

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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by smtjoy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:01 pm

Nice thread.

I agree on the N172 and N173, how they present is everything, technicial grades mean little. Many graded card collectors who jump into these dont really know that and end up paying extra for a graded faded card with nice corners. It pays to know the issue you are collecting/buying.

I have a number of T206 and have no desire to worry about any of the factory #, its cool that others do but I would not pay extra for any of them. Now the Red Hindu I see totally different and would love to own a copy someday and place a heavy premium on it. I want to have a Red Crofts one of these days too and thats kinda in the same boat.

I dont think E107 are overpriced, 3-4 years ago I remember commons going for $1500, the same cards are now in the $800-1000 range so I think a price correction has already happened to the easier cards in this set.

On other cards overpriced/overvalued, I think a lot of common mid grade T206 are still a bit high, same goes for T205 and T207. I would agree that many of the black sox cards are over priced. I do think vintage cards overall are in great shape compared to graded 50-70's cards.

I think scarcity trumps everything else and the truly tough cards have plenty of upward movement, just look at the prices on the recent T207's, I have seen the same with E90-1 toughies and certain exhibits bring big money while other more common ones will not even sell at 30% off.
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by Bicem on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:12 pm

Put me in the t204 Johnson being overpriced camp. Not that difficult and not even his earliest card for the rookie card collectors.
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by ullmandds on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:16 pm

1911 zeenut halla...way overpriced...seems to be relatively common within the set...nice pose...but way overpriced!
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by rman444 on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:21 pm

Bicem wrote:Put me in the t204 Johnson being overpriced camp. Not that difficult and not even his earliest card for the rookie card collectors.

Jeff - what do you consider his rookie? the Novelty?
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by jbonie on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:33 pm

My take on OJ's is that it's about 50/50 how the card presents and technical grade. Grade still matters, and the high prices for high-grade n172s/n173s bears that out. But due to the issue of fadedness, some of that high grade material is overgraded, and thus, overvalued. But the ones that have bold images I view as incredible keepsakes, and they've continued to garner strong (and rising!) prices in spite of the recession. You can see that in the results of Goodwin's summer auction (The n172 Delahanty and the n173 Ewing). There's a lot of popular demand for that type of material, and it attracts a lot of bidders.

Factory 42's are the most flagrant example of an overvalued factory back. Cycle 460's I have less of an issue with, at least you have the Cycle back, a cool back, and then just a slight uptick in price for the numerical variation, no biggie.

I'm guessing that when Rob said he thought the T204 WJ is overvalued, he meant it. It's an expensive card. I have no opinion on it either way, but my general opinion is that top cards of HOF'ers in the 19th Century are cheaper, and a better deal, than 20th Century cards with tons of issues and so forth. I believe cards made by Goodwin and Co, plus the Mayo's and Kalamazoos, are the most important of the real baseball cards (not multi-sport) in existence.

Folks sometimes talk about baby boomers leaving the hobby and thus, prices will crash. Some of those people were flush with cash, sure, but they are mostly selling 50's and 60's stuff, which is garbage except for the '52 and '55 (and maybe '53) Topps sets. I don't think it will effect prices of pre-war stuff nearly as much.
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by Bicem on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:47 pm

rman444 wrote:
Bicem wrote:Put me in the t204 Johnson being overpriced camp. Not that difficult and not even his earliest card for the rookie card collectors.

Jeff - what do you consider his rookie? the Novelty?

yeah
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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by sabrjay on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:52 pm

jbonie wrote:...Folks sometimes talk about baby boomers leaving the hobby and thus, prices will crash. Some of those people were flush with cash, sure, but they are mostly selling 50's and 60's stuff, which is garbage except for the '52 and '55 (and maybe '53) Topps sets. I don't think it will effect prices of pre-war stuff nearly as much.

The reason pre-war cards are pretty safe is that the people that collect the cards are true fans and historians of the game. People that only bought and collected cards of their childhood don't really care that much about the history of the game beyond what they have actually seen and heard all of their life.

19c cards don't have the popularity of early 20c cards because there just aren't that many recognizable names for the average person. More people know who Young, Cobb, Mathewson, Johnson etc are than who know about Anson, Brouthers, Connor, Clarkson, etc.

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Re: Most OVERVALUED Pre-WWI Cards

Post by rman444 on Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:00 pm

Bicem wrote:
rman444 wrote:
Bicem wrote:Put me in the t204 Johnson being overpriced camp. Not that difficult and not even his earliest card for the rookie card collectors.

Jeff - what do you consider his rookie? the Novelty?

yeah

You won't find any argument from me Very Happy

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