Lessons Learned from VCP

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Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by Bosox Blair on Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:28 pm

I was wasting some time researching card prices today on VCP and found a pretty extreme example to show:

a) The fall in prices on D-cards
b) The fall in prices since late 2008
c) The risk of getting carried away bidding in auctions
d) The risk of losing money "investing" even in high-quality items in this hobby

Using the example of D304 Brunners Cy Young in SGC 80=6 holder...

In May of 2008, Goodwin auctioned one example of this card, which closed at a whopping price...just over $80,000.00!

http://www.goodwinandco.com/LotDetail.aspx?lotid=4611

Then, in September of 2008, Memory Lane auctioned a different example of the same card (same grade) for almost $22,000.00. Perhaps that buyer thought he got a great deal, on the basis of the recent result at Goodwin? Oh, but he did not - as it turns out...

In late 2011 (about 3.5 years later), the card previously sold at Goodwin hit the block at Legendary and went for...get this...$4,780.00. Yes, that's right...in 3.5 years the card went down 94%!!!

What about the Memory Lane card? Well it also hit the auction block again in 2011 (a bit more than 3 years later) - auctioned once again by Memory Lane. This time it sold for about $5,900.00. It lost about 73% over 3 and a bit years.

Finally in 2012, Legendary took a second crack at selling the Young previously sold by Goodwin...down again...to about $4,500.00...

Honestly, looking at this I first felt a bit shocked and then a bit queasy (even though I did not buy any D-cards back in the peak years). Certainly for me a cautionary tale about assuming "investments" in quality cards are in any way safe!!!!!!!!

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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by ullmandds on Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:16 pm

that's some crazy sh*t there!!!!!! there's someone who frequents the other board who consistently buys cards from major auction houses only to attempt to resell them at a profit immediately following the auction. I know he has taken a few baths over the years...but nowhere near the magnitude of this example!!!!
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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by Z-NUT on Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:13 pm

This is a prime example that all investments carry some risk. Makes me appreciate that I collect the low grade stuff.

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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by Z-NUT on Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:18 pm

If D cards are down, then I should keep my eyes open for some affordable D303's! Smile

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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by fisherboy7 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:29 pm

ullmandds wrote: there's someone who frequents the other board who consistently buys cards from major auction houses only to attempt to resell them at a profit immediately following the auction.

IMO that's simply a poor strategy if profit is the goal, regardless of market conditions. No surprise that guy has taken a few baths. Gotta sit on your eggs a while before letting them hatch!

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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by BigGuy219 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:02 pm

I do not have a VCP subscription at the moment, because while I'll gladly spend $1,299 on a card I want, I will not spend $12.99 a month to see how much it's worth.

That being said, I remember when I began collecting the M110 set. The VCP on the cards were daunting. Most $15,000+. Now $4,000 or less.

Granted not the same drop as that young, but pronounced all the same.
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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by Bosox Blair on Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:04 pm

BigGuy219 wrote:
That being said, I remember when I began collecting the M110 set. The VCP on the cards were daunting. Most $15,000+. Now $4,000 or less.

Granted not the same drop as that young, but pronounced all the same.

Hi Chris,

True - I remember seeing crazy drops on some of those too!
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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by jbonie on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:09 pm

With REA coming up, I think everybody's starting to look at prices, and people are curious. What's surprised me is that the card market, for the most part, hasn't really rebounded with the stock market. The stock market is back, but for the most part, card prices are still down, and in many cases, have gone down further.

There are a couple of exceptions, like T206 rare backs and Babe Ruth cards, but pretty much everything else has been in the toilet. Not helping things has been the release of some major collections - the Sullivan Collection and Dreier Collection. We saw E107's go for major discounts last auction, and the Dreier Collection has really put a pounding on OJ and other 19th Century prices. A gorgeous G&B O'Rourke only went for around 6k.

There just doesn't seem to be enough cash out there to mop up the ever-growing supply of cards for sale.
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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by sabrjay on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:33 am

I think too many collects bought into the idea that if you had the highest graded card of a top tier HOFer that the investment was safe. The points out the while within our little world of advanced collectors cards like this carry a lot of cache, but among casual collectors and the outside world, they could care less. They only cards they tend to be interested in are what they know, t206s, Goudeys, etc. Basically, high profile public cards.

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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by BigGuy219 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:26 am

If I viewed my cards as an 'investment' I do not think I would enjoy them in the slightest.

If I spent $1,000 on a vacation I'd have memories, some pictures, and a story that maybe a few people would listen to. Then, it would be over, and the money would be gone.

I understand that sports cards are more than simply a 'hobby'. Especially at this price level, but to me this will always be a way to relax, unwind, and socialize.

If the day comes where I sell my collection the money I lose will simply be what I paid for the enjoyment of owning the cards and the pleasant memories I have in the hobby.

I realize that may sound a bit naive, but I don't want to play the cardboard stock market. I want to collect cards.


Last edited by BigGuy219 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by jbonie on Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:29 am

BigGuy219 wrote:
I realize that may sound a bit naive, but I don't want to play the cardboard stock market. I want to collect cards.

That sounds like a healthy way to view it!
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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by Z-NUT on Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:13 pm

^^Amen to that^^

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Re: Lessons Learned from VCP

Post by Bosox Blair on Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:24 am

BigGuy219 wrote:If I viewed my cards as an 'investment' I do not think I would enjoy them in the slightest.

If I spent $1,000 on a vacation I'd have memories, some pictures, and a story that maybe a few people would listen to. Then, it would be over, and the money would be gone.

I understand that sports cards are more than simply a 'hobby'. Especially at this price level, but to me this will always be a way to relax, unwind, and socialize.

If the day comes where I sell my collection the money I lose will simply be what I paid for the enjoyment of owning the cards and the pleasant memories I have in the hobby.

I realize that may sound a bit naive, but I don't want to play the cardboard stock market. I want to collect cards.

This is true...but...

Even if I had $80K to spend on a single piece of cardboard (I think one would have to be very well off...I'm not...), my personality does not allow me to accept paying $80K for something that sells 3 years later for $5K...that would rot me to the core!!! Even if I didn't buy it as an investment, I'm too cheap too let myself feel like I got a horrible deal and pissed away $75K.

It would be hard for me to let something like that go...
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