Sports Illustrated Blog #47 – Graded SI’s a Hit at the NSCC Show in Chicago.

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

For my readers interested in graded SI trends, I have much to report. 

Five days exhibiting in Chicago proved to be much of what I expected – lots of questions and starry eyed intrigue.  The “National”, as it is called by the annual attendees, consists mostly of window shoppers, curious strollers out for a day away from home, and autograph seekers.  But also, there is a dedicated group of serious buyers that come from the four corners of the USA to buy or collect anything and everything.  Don’t let the low key, good ol’ boy conversations fool you, there is some high stakes, serious money at this show and they say if you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist.

Our reason for attending the show was simple – to introduce the hobby of graded magazine collecting to as many and as much of the world as possible.  Yes, if I sold something that would be nice too.   I spoke with about 100 former/current card collectors interested in finding the next new investment potential.  I answered questions mostly regarding an explanation of the hobby, added 50-100 names to my blog, and took in a few new customers too.  Here’s hoping that the 100 interested parties with which I spoke will each tell 10 friends of their encounter and we’re off to the races.

Once the world understands that collecting graded SI’s is much the same concept as collecting graded cards, there will be an urgency to buy in as early as possible.    

Investors are intrigued by is the newness of the opportunity.  I heard over and over, investors have been mired within a very stable card collecting market and there is a pent-up demand for the next big new thing.  Card prices are almost like currency.  You can count on them.    If you have a Grade 6, 52 TOPPS Mantle, it is worth x amount given within a small range.  The only variation is at the very top end of the spectrum.

Graded SI’s are something quite different.  First of all, SI is the TOPPS of magazines.  It’s one of a kind – nothing out there like it.  That’s a big plus to collector’s seeking to find any small advantage. 

Imagine, it’s the year 1979 when you could buy a 52 TOPPS Mantle, in any grade, for $100.  That’s where we are in Graded magazines.  I started grading SI’s three years ago.  I began blogging and educating on the subject two years ago.  In that time, I have bought, graded and sold the top graded, most popular SI’s known to the hobby, many at a tenth of today’s value.  That’s been the price trajectory over these two years. 

But interestingly, even with early values skyrocketing, none – not one, of my highest value sales has ever been re-auctioned.  Why is this you say?  It is because investors make money by understanding the product life cycle – knowing when to buy and when to sell – and we are definitely on the front side of “Buy and Hold”.  If you are interested in an opportunity to invest in the latest, high grade acquisitions before they are made available to the hobby, send a request to be added to my investor list.

In fact, the whole graded SI concept has become so intriguing to early investors they can’t get enough – within 24 hours of my acquiring new high grade SI inventory – it is sold.  If there is a problem, it’s that the supply continues to fall short of demand.

That is the reason I have devoted such an effort to educate the world to the hobby.  I want you, my readers, to be the first exposed to the opportunity on the front side of the curve.  If you are someone who’s been weighing that investment decision, I think the simple fact that investors are buying but NOT selling, should be received as a very positive indicator.  

So the recap of the show is:

  1. SportsIllustrated98 was the first and only exhibitor devoted to graded magazines ever to attend the National.
  2. 100 more interested collectors have been brought into the family, and in time, we hope each will tell 10 friends.
  3. There’s still time to get in on the front end of the investment cycle.
  4. I saw nothing at the show in conflict with anything I have been saying.  My opinion – the hobby interest level will be advanced in the next year at least 3-5 times the interest level today.

I hope you have found this blog consistent with my stated intentions – to educate my readers as to the evolving status of the hobby.

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

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