Sports Illustrated Blog #76 – Second Qtr. Update – Prices and Lead-times.

Sports Illustrated Blog #76 – Second Qtr. Update – Prices and Lead-times.

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

Prices continue to rise, lead-times continue to grow.  I use Heritage Auctions as a barometer for current buy price valuation.  Consistent with the collector hobby, some auction items remain steady or see marginal increases but if you are selling the popular covers such as Jordan, Mantle, swimsuits, any 1954’s – commons or stars, or high grade first covers including newer covers (DeChambeau, Lawrence, Herbert, Prescott, Mahomes), you’ve seen exponential increases in value over the past month or two.  Also keeping pace with hobby growing interests are the major non-Sports Illustrated pubs – SPORT, BASEBALL, HOCKEY Illustrated, Sports Digest, RING Magazine and others.  Obviously, the major interest in RING is the ALI-Frazier-Foreman era and HOCKEY is Gretzky. 

Many of these pubs feature the most iconic athletes, years ahead of Sports Illustrated.  For example, Clemente, Aaron, Maris, Chamberlain, Gretzky, Clay, Mantle, Mays, Berra, Chamberlain, Unitas, Robinson, DiMaggio, Williams, Munson, all appear on other pubs first.  Pretty impressive list especially if you like original first covers.  And these non-SI covers generally feature bright prime colors which tend to accentuate the already eye-appealing esthetics.  As I’ve been blogging for some time, many of these first cover pubs will favorably compete with or exceed the value of later SI first covers.  Some of them are out there right now.

If being ahead of the curve is where you are looking to be, these major pubs will put you there and when the market figures it out, you’ll already be there with the best stuff.  If you believe, it’s a simple formula.

I finally figured out how CGC calculates their delivery lead-times.  If you are like me, when someone tells you the “turnaround time” for your purchase is 4 weeks, you expect delivery in about a month.  That’s not the way CGC figures or quotes their “turnaround time”.  Turnaround time is the amount of weeks today’s shipped orders have been in house.  If an order was received on February 1st and it was shipped on May 1st that equates to a 13 week turnaround and that is what will appear on their website for turnaround time.  Every week, based on this calculation, turnaround lead-times are updated.

What is missing is the calculation of time FORECASTED (looking forward, not backward) between submission receipt and the time of shipment.  If you submit an item today, that item may have a year’s worth of orders ahead of it, but the turnaround time is quoted as the weeks in house of today’s shipments.  CGC can’t or won’t even commit to a ship date.  If CGC would just be a little more forthcoming, it would be less frustrating for their customers.  I’ve found in my career, that when things get tough, the best policy is to be honest with your customer.

And here’s a head’s up.  For the first time ever, the first 25 SI swimsuits (1964 – 1989), all inclusive, most with the highest grades ever posted, are headed for Heritage auction beginning right now.  Don’t miss this one because most of these are one of a kind and cannot be purchased anywhere else.  If you want something your friends don’t have, this is it.  Best of luck on this one.

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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