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Do you think that sports card sales will stay strong or do you think a fall is coming?

swish54_99

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2012
1,020
I don’t think the bottom will just all of a sudden fall out, but I could see it leveling off some. I think this is the new norm for the most part.

I am a bit concerned however that Topps didn’t learn from the junk wax era and it will repeat itself. It’s so tempting to just produce more and more in the short term. I haven’t seen any production numbers, just what a few YouTube breakers have mentioned on their channels about how gold parallels are still #d for the year of release, but are harder to pull because more product was printed. Also, there’s just so many damn releases all year long. I’m speaking purely on baseball because that’s what I follow. Now you have Topps UK, bowman 1st edition, A/G chrome, stadium club chrome, Steve aoki, multiple high end releases and so on. Does a multi-colored patch or hof auto /10 really mean as much anymore when another one will be coming out in a few months?


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nappyd

Active member
Sep 24, 2012
1,207
I don’t think the bottom will just all of a sudden fall out, but I could see it leveling off some. I think this is the new norm for the most part.

I am a bit concerned however that Topps didn’t learn from the junk wax era and it will repeat itself. It’s so tempting to just produce more and more in the short term. I haven’t seen any production numbers, just what a few YouTube breakers have mentioned on their channels about how gold parallels are still #d for the year of release, but are harder to pull because more product was printed. Also, there’s just so many damn releases all year long. I’m speaking purely on baseball because that’s what I follow. Now you have Topps UK, bowman 1st edition, A/G chrome, stadium club chrome, Steve aoki, multiple high end releases and so on. Does a multi-colored patch or hof auto /10 really mean as much anymore when another one will be coming out in a few months?


Sent from my iPhone using Freedom Card Board mobile app
I think it'll be a mix of some stuff falling out while other things level off. It could vary depending on the sport and product though. Things like some of the newer product offerings might not hold up.
 

smapdi

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
4,289
I think for most collectors who joined the hobby in the last year or so, it's a fad. That's just how things go with hobbies. Most aren't throwing down thousands on a box of NT or whatever, they're just rekindling a childhood interest or seeing what all the fuss is about. Most will eventually get bored, especially if prices on any nice things stay high.

However, the models card companies have for selling product these days are bound to keep the wheels churning a lot harder and longer that they did in the early 90s. In 1991, you had mail order from ads in magazines, or maybe you could call long distance and give a credit card over the phone. Now, you've got a global 24-hour card show with the ability to buy a card from anywhere in the world instantly. The card companies also have gone deeper into selling direct to the collector, and I think that will only go further (which puts a lot of pressure on the traditional hobby infrastructure). The card companies are selling things with appeal to all sorts of people, from club kids to artsy types to tech nerds, and real money has entered the arena. That money that comes in all volumes. A year ago, only top copies of the Wagner (and maybe a super-high-end 52T Mantle) had sold for a million dollars. Now there have been, what, a dozen? And most of those were cards from this century. But cards that would typically sell for $20 sell for $50, and $500 cards sell for $2500. Most of the new collectors that have come to the hobby in the last year or so are unencumbered by history or prejudices, so they've driven up prices on things like Panini baseball (they don't know or care that they don't have logos, they just know that a 2012 Heritage Trout is $100 while a 2012 Prizm Trout is $5, so maybe the Prizm is undervalued), and slabbing has driven the price of something like 1991 Topps from $10 a box to $40. It's not just stimulus money, because $1400 doesn't get you a whole lot in this market, but people with good salaries or deep pockets from selling off other assets contributing to the churn.
 
Jun 17, 2009
939
Gamecock Country
(they don't know or care that they don't have logos, they just know that a 2012 Heritage Trout is $100 while a 2012 Prizm Trout is $5, so maybe the Prizm is undervalued), and slabbing has driven the price of something like 1991 Topps from $10 a box to $40.

not to get nitpicky but the 2012 prizm trout bv has been fluctuating between 120 and 150 since last winter (i got 125 for mine when bv was 150 so fairly solid cash value) and box prices of junk wax era stuff are even higher than your example...just as another example , 2 years ago i bought 10 boxes of 91=92 fleer basketball ...paid $1 each...last month d&a had a "clearance sale" on them - at $209-229 per box...
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
4,152
not to get nitpicky but the 2012 prizm trout bv has been fluctuating between 120 and 150 since last winter (i got 125 for mine when bv was 150 so fairly solid cash value) and box prices of junk wax era stuff are even higher than your example...just as another example , 2 years ago i bought 10 boxes of 91=92 fleer basketball ...paid $1 each...last month d&a had a "clearance sale" on them - at $209-229 per box...
That is one of many nutty things we are seeing right now (and discussing). The junk wax is not diminishing in quantity to the point of justifying the price hikes, but high grade cards seem to be skyrocketing, so people are willing to pay a lot more at that gamble.

You can see the very heavy influence of gambling that this hobby has taken on since the early 90s, exploding even more so today. I see guys offering $10-20 cards on facebook groups in 10 spot "raffles" or "wheels", at $5-10 a spot. They score way over value on their card and some gambler gets a deal (unless he buys up half the spots, which some do). It seems the wheels fill up fast, every time.

Maybe it's time to test that market on a much higher risk/reward scale.

1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson PSA 4 selling in the $35K range now. 10 spots, $10K a spot. Winner makes out at 1/3 market value, the other 9 lose $10K at the shot. Who's down for a few spots? Kidding, kind of, well maybe....
 

Dilferules

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2012
1,162
Auburn, WA
I blame that little "stock market going up" icon you can put in eBay auction titles. It made everybody realize sports cards are a can't-miss investment.

The iconic cards can always maintain value due to people with deep pockets, but for the rest of the market this is clearly unsustainable and anybody who tells you different is either a moron or a huckster trying to hype up the market so they can sell their stuff at a higher price to a bigger sucker as if it were Gamestop stock or Dogecoin.

I do think once the fad is over prices aren't going to drop back quite to pre-pandemic levels since a few of the new investors will stick around as collectors and provide a wider base of card buyers. But the card companies might be in a pickle when they can't just sell out of any old crap they poop out.
 

banjar

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2015
1,953
Lafayette, Colorado
This is probably true too.

I blame that little "stock market going up" icon you can put in eBay auction titles. It made everybody realize sports cards are a can't-miss investment.

The iconic cards can always maintain value due to people with deep pockets, but for the rest of the market this is clearly unsustainable and anybody who tells you different is either a moron or a huckster trying to hype up the market so they can sell their stuff at a higher price to a bigger sucker as if it were Gamestop stock or Dogecoin.

I do think once the fad is over prices aren't going to drop back quite to pre-pandemic levels since a few of the new investors will stick around as collectors and provide a wider base of card buyers. But the card companies might be in a pickle when they can't just sell out of any old crap they poop out.
 

Dilferules

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2012
1,162
Auburn, WA
Well it's not dropping quite yet...


1997 Ultra Platinum Medallion Jose Canseco sold for $224 yesterday, and the card has noticeable edge chipping on front and back. That's actually the last card I need for my team set, so that one's not being completed any time soon. Yet there's a 1998 Platinum with half the print run sitting there with a $63 BIN? People are going nuts because they're afraid the card will go up or they won't see it again. I've been guilty of this on a lesser scale, but not a $224 scale.
 

mouschi

Featured Contributor, Bridging the Gap, Senior Mem
May 18, 2012
3,068
Well it's not dropping quite yet...


1997 Ultra Platinum Medallion Jose Canseco sold for $224 yesterday, and the card has noticeable edge chipping on front and back. That's actually the last card I need for my team set, so that one's not being completed any time soon. Yet there's a 1998 Platinum with half the print run sitting there with a $63 BIN? People are going nuts because they're afraid the card will go up or they won't see it again. I've been guilty of this on a lesser scale, but not a $224 scale.

That was me, and not due to FOMO - it is legitimately a super tough card that is on an extremely short list of wants that I have. I've only seen 2 other copies in decent condition. This is a case of the print run not telling the whole story - the '98 Platinum you mentioned could very well be seen 10 times before we see another nice 97 Ultra plat. Good luck on your search! There is one with some snow ebay right now.
 

Dilferules

Well-known member
Aug 10, 2012
1,162
Auburn, WA
That was me, and not due to FOMO - it is legitimately a super tough card that is on an extremely short list of wants that I have. I've only seen 2 other copies in decent condition. This is a case of the print run not telling the whole story - the '98 Platinum you mentioned could very well be seen 10 times before we see another nice 97 Ultra plat. Good luck on your search! There is one with some snow ebay right now.

Yeah I wonder if there is something specific about the Canseco, I know I've been trying to finish up both the '97 and '98 Ultra Platinum team sets in the last year and a half and as I've had a lot more luck finding the 1997 cards. I still need 5 '98s but Canseco has been the last '97 I need for at least 6 months now. In that time there have definitely been more of the 1998 Canseco available so maybe something is up with his 1997 print run or maybe it's just random luck over the last couple years.

I can't bring myself to buy that damaged one, and one of the 1998 cards I need is Rickey, so I think both team sets are going to be incomplete for a while. And I need TWO Rickeys from 1999. At least I have the 2000 Ultra Platinum team set?
 

mouschi

Featured Contributor, Bridging the Gap, Senior Mem
May 18, 2012
3,068
Yeah I wonder if there is something specific about the Canseco, I know I've been trying to finish up both the '97 and '98 Ultra Platinum team sets in the last year and a half and as I've had a lot more luck finding the 1997 cards. I still need 5 '98s but Canseco has been the last '97 I need for at least 6 months now. In that time there have definitely been more of the 1998 Canseco available so maybe something is up with his 1997 print run or maybe it's just random luck over the last couple years.

I can't bring myself to buy that damaged one, and one of the 1998 cards I need is Rickey, so I think both team sets are going to be incomplete for a while. And I need TWO Rickeys from 1999. At least I have the 2000 Ultra Platinum team set?

I think the key determining factor as to why the Jose is so hard is not because it is Jose, but rather because it is series 2. PSA POP reports show 83 series 1 platinums as having been graded compared to only 8 for series 2. Clearly, this is all speculation, but my thinking would be that the super weak checklist may not have boded well for collectors, and retail outlets may have literally dumped unopened product ... or perhaps put them in storage. Not climate controlled storage + Fleer Ultra = brickage. The /200 platinum cards of Series 2 may be more accurately /25 at this point (or /10, or /100 ... just throwing numbers up, lol!)
 

theplasticman

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2008
3,905
I've simply pivoted my collecting pursuits. Focusing on my player collections and being pretty aggressive there. Started to prospect a bit again. There are some bargains IMO in this years rookie crop. Instead of spending $125-150+ on a box of Topps series 1, I've bought $150 of a few different rookies I like. If one pops, I'm way up. If not, I just busted a box of Topps and have a bunch of commons.

This years rookie crop, especially Series 2 and Update could be one for the ages depending upon call ups. That mixed with high demand... could stay strong.

I suspect a long slow evening out of things but it may take a few years to settle down. Hopefully the card companies can adapt to weakening demand.
 

mouschi

Featured Contributor, Bridging the Gap, Senior Mem
May 18, 2012
3,068
To answer the OP, I think some segments of the hobby may cool, but for things like key vintage, I think they are good as gold. That's just me though!
 

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