Sports Illustrated Blog #104 – High Value Pricing Explained

Sports Illustrated Blog #104 – High Value Pricing Explained


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

 
High Value Pricing – Why is it such a mystery?  Why do so many sellers price in such a way that only makes sense to them?  

It’s a frequent question asked of me and a topic of particular interest to most graded mag hobbyists.  So…This blog will explain my pricing criteria and thought process in an attempt to help buyers understand the driving forces behind High Value Pricing.  

First, let’s define a HV magazine.  I suggest any magazine with a tier one athlete (usually a first appearance) with a very high or highest census grade, tough acquisition compared to others in its category, and one highly perceived to be of above average investment potential.   The driving force behind the pricing of such mags is “not to leave any money on the table, both now and in the future” and that’s a tough task but I think it is consistent across the population.  When sellers make maximizing their sell prices their number one consideration, inflationary pricing occurs.  Just like the stock market, if it sells at one price, raise it.  If it sells at the raised price, raise it again until it stops selling.  Sellers hate to sell at one price, only to see it double in value in 30 days.  It’s a conundrum.   

It’s also important to remember that we are not dealing in sustainable inventories.  Many times these mags are one of a kind so you need to be right the first time making it best to err on the high side.  The lack of comparables also contributes to pricing inconsistencies.   

I’m not saying I agree with this method of pricing, but I am saying that’s the general thought process.  So when researching a HV magazine, keep in mind there’s a very reasonable chance the seller is just feeling out the market and would entertain some negotiating, with respect.  

My Blog # 104 thru Mailchimp (let me know if you would like to added to the distribution) will list a collection of HV mags from my inventory.  Some are posted on EBay, some are not.  If you are interested in any of these mags, mail me at [email protected] and let me know what you thinking with regard to price.  I am a serious seller and am in the business to sell, not collect.  Maybe you can work that to your advantage.  

Feel free to submit any questions/comments you may have on these subjects to [email protected] .    

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

Great collecting to you in our second century of blogs and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit
  www.sportsillustrated98.com  

Sports Illustrated Blog #103 – Significant Upgrades on Very Significant Issues


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

 
In 2022, CGC issues hit their highest mark on some of the most coveted SI issues in the hobby and the frequency with which this has taken place is remarkable.  CGC 9.8 grades of any year or issue are no small feat yet this year has produced 9.8’s on the 84 Jordans, other later Jordans, 86 Tyson, 96 Manning, 14 Messi, 03 James SLAM, 80 Olympic Hockey, and just as many others. 

In addition, grades continue to creep ever higher on most other major issues of interest – 56 Mantle (tied), 75 Ryan, 86 Renaldo, 91 Shaq, 90 Sanders, 77 Bird, most later Jordans/Johnsons/Birds/Bradys/James, etc etc etc.   My apologies to the many new and superior grades I have not included above but the point is upward movement of the most valuable issues is still, even at this late date, not only possible, but probable.  Still looking for a 9.8 56 Mantle, 77 Bird and 83 Jordan.  

A surprising element of this upward movement is how much of it can be attributed to just three collectors.  I have had a relationship with CGCsportsillustratedking, Lou McCollum, for approximately two years, and in that time, he has amassed a collection that qualifies him, in my playbook, as the current SI King.  He posts his new grades on Instagram and a check of his recent postings will confirm his place at the top.  It’s amazing to me, in that we all have the same opportunity to find and procure new issues, that he has so convincingly outperformed the entire hobby.   

CGCsportsillustrated/Jim Kehoe and Dan Pingree are not far behind.  They both also post on Instagram while Jim hosts a random “Box Opening” podcast and bi-monthly meeting with interested collectors.  Their current contributions to significant issue upgrades are considerable.  I know sources are strictly kept secret but I’ve been thinking of following them around to see if some of their brilliance will rub off.  

These three have proven that “finds” are out there.  Very infrequently, if you are diligent in your efforts, you will overturn the right stone but they seem to be able to consistently outperform the odds.  

One sector of the hobby that has not changed is the rarity of the 60’s high grade newsstands.  Even though CGC grades are creeping upward, that is not true for SI newsstands between 1959 thru 1969.  I know of no major issue that has increased during that era in 2022.  

So there you have it.  Our hobby still produces grade improvements keeping our most avid collectors on their toes.  It’s a fun time to be a graded magazine collector.  

Feel free to submit any questions/comments you may have on these subjects, as my contact add-on is now working.  

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

Great collecting to you in our second century of blogs and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

Sports Illustrated Blog #102 – 2023 State of the Hobby

Sports Illustrated Blog #102 – 2023 State of the Hobby

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

 
It’s been about a year since my last “State of the Hobby” blog. Much has changed in 12 short months from values to interests to growth of the hobby itself.  Let’s review a variety of the most, in my opinion, significant events influencing our hobby today over one year ago.  

The first and perhaps the most influential event is the change in values, perceived or otherwise, graded or raw.  I believe many of us are watching the daily sales/auctions events like we watch the stock market, or the clock.  Every uptick in actual sold sales, is a good thing for our collection and for our hobby – right?  The answer to that is – in the long term yes, in the short term maybe.  The reason for my reserved optimism is that I think there are certain pitfalls that accompany short term unrealistic expectations.  

By unrealistic expectations I mean making the assumption that a sale of one item automatically adjusts across the market.  Many things go into the foundation of each sale – cover athlete, esthetics, scarcity, date, timing, demand, and many more subtleties not expressed.  Therefore, the sale of one doesn’t necessarily translate to the sale of another although, the interest is always is to maximize every opportunity.  This process feeds on itself until sale prices inflate to the point of implosion or market correction.  We are now at the leading edge of that event.   But also know,

Cadillacs never go into recession.    

I see no problem with unrealistic pricing, as long as those buying have an informed knowledge of the market – which may be difficult in a fledgling environment.    Consequently, I suspect those showing temperance in their value expectations will do very well going forward because the hobby is still very investment worthy and buyer population is growing.  Those with short term, unrealistic expectations will have a more difficult time establishing trust and therefore will more likely be part of the correction.  I’ve seen this before.  A few will try to piggyback on the success of the pioneers but you, as an educated buyer, know who to trust.  Best bet is to stay with those you trust and have done right by you in the past.  References are helpful as well.  

Social media is really supporting hobby interest and growth.  There are videos, blogs, podcasts, etc, Jim Kehoe and Bradley Griffith are two amazing contributors.  Please look them up.  They’re awesome.  I highly recommend.  You can now get great pressing work from a variety of reputable agents in a matter of weeks instead of years.  Opinion articles will give you a more in depth understanding of trends and pitfalls from a cross section of authors.  Much of this stuff wasn’t available one year ago.  

After another year, our hobby still needs more buyers.  To me, it seems the resourceful buyers are quite content with their collections until something new and interesting comes up for auction or a new record breaker appears in the CGC census.  I believe our hobby is in the first generation of a multi-generational journey.  We still need more resourceful buyers, more willing sellers of top grade specimens, and time for all this to deliver a consistency we feel we can trust.  You’ll see how this works when two resourceful buyers want the same specimen.  

Overall, I think it’s been a really good year.  I’m pleased with how things are progressing including the speed with which they are progressing.  We always want good things to come quickly but when you’re least expecting it, that’s when we’ll see a break through.   Feel free to submit any questions you may have on these subjects, as my contact add-on is now working.  

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

Great collecting to you in our second century of blogs and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

Sports Illustrated Blog #101 – Understanding 1954 SI’s, SI “Dark Era” Explained

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

 
 SI 1954’s and the “Dark Era” period are mysterious, surprising and very collectable and here’s why.

1954 SI’s have a particular allure to many SI collectors.  Its 20 issues comprise year one, beginning with two of the most popular of all issues – #1 – Night Baseball with Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews and #2 – the first Masters review with the exclusive Mantle card (Mantle did not have a TOPPS card in 1954).  These first two issues also start the printed baseball card set (4 mag set, 70 cards, with the 1955 Mays and Rosen issues), a novel approach to card collecting and very popular even today.  

With issue #3 appears the first swimsuit cover (later to be popularized as a yearly event), again, very popular in its own right.  Next, issues #4 thru #14, are a series of commons – horses, football, rodeo, car racing, hunting, fishing, covering the perceived topics of interest of the day.   

The final 6 issues, #15 thru #20, mostly mundane subjects with the exception of issue #15 – Y. A. Tittle, are printed in short series meaning they are significantly shorter runs AND printing quality suffers – two reasons why few high quality covers have ever been graded.  A high grade, high series cover, is probably 10 times scarcer than earlier issues. 1954 SI’s can be found in singles or sets at very reasonable costs considering age other unique factors.  I have the highest 1954 registry for sale as well as many middle grade singles and all raw issues.  

What is “Dark Era” print?  To be very clear, “dark era” print is a term that I invented and copyrighted 10 years ago, to label a period of time in Sports Illustrated printing chronology that has produced a lesser percentage of high grade covers due to inferior printing processes and materials.  It is not a term that Sports Illustrated uses to describe this era’s distribution.

From many 1000’s of samples, I have pinpointed this era to begin with issue July 11, 1956 and running thru December 31, 1969.  The years between 1959 and 1961 are notable as being the worst of the worst.  Issues such as Aparicio, Unitas, Brown and Maris are specific examples of printing that just haven’t held up over time.   Any high grade cover during this period carries with it a premium in value over comparable covers outside this era.  For this reason Maris, Unitas, and Brown are a few of the most prized high grade, collectable, and sought after SI issues over its 75 year history. The only way to beat a CGC 8.0 is to find a cover which had been shelved since its printing, and never distributed or read.  

Feel free to submit any questions you may have on these subjects, as my contact add-on is now working.

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

Great collecting to you in our second century and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit


www.sportsillustrated98.com

Sports Illustrated Blog #100 – Site Changes, Toughest Cover Offers, Goldin Auction Gems

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

 
 

We’ve hit the century mark!  Many thanks to all that have supported this blog and have accepted it for what it is – A Sports Illustrated opinion blog.  It has been my honor to bring my opinion to you and I’m ecstatic our hobby evolution has hit every expectation and more.  But we’re nowhere near done…..

As Chris Berman used to say about Jerry Rice “touchdown number X, on our way to touchdown 200”.

Great news – This blog (www.sportillustrated98.com) is now able to communicate directly with me thru the “contact me” portion of the site.  You can speak directly to me thru the site with your questions and opinions.  Give it a try.  I answer all communiques.

News on the Graded SI auction front – Goldin Auctions has some beautiful, high grade, SI consignments currently open for bid.  Take a look – some really nice, hard to find first covers, as well as special event issues.  You can bid or find out sale details by clicking the link below.  Don’t miss this one – Jordan, Ohtani, Jeter, Maris, SI #1 – cgc 9.8, and more.

https://goldin.co/account/watchlist

I am offering for sale nine (9) of the toughest, most in demand SI, first covers out there – mid-grade.  These gems are priced to sell.  These are the covers collectors hold but I sell.  Just email me at [email protected] with your buying preferences. 

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

Great collecting to you in our second century and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit
www.sportsillustrated98.com

Sports Illustrated Blog #98 – The Next Big Thing

Sports Illustrated Blog #98 – The Next Big Thing

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

 
 Congratulations to all SI believers.  Your hobby has come of age.  Currently, there are 220,000, yes 220,000, individual Sports Illustrated auctions currently on ebay alone.  With the hobby developments of the past year, my customers have experienced a serious upgrade in the value of their investments/collections.  

But, at the same time, your well-kept secret is out.  Graded SI’s are the darling of the graded mag hobby but that could be bad news if you’re still looking to jump in.  Everybody loves the concept, esthetics, and investment potential of SI.  Following Ebay, Heritage and other graded auctions, record sales are being recorded every month.  Good for those who have, not so good for those who have not.  

But when one door closes, another opens and that is what this blog is all about.  Approximately five years ago, I was a voice in the wilderness, crying out to the collectability of Sports Illustrated.  In the beginning there were few believers but interest has steadily grown.  Now we have raw mags routinely selling above $500 each and the scarcity of vintage newsstand is no longer a secret.  The word is out.  

As SI grows in popularity, I hear and read many collectors/investors are totally committed to SI, which leaves a whole spectrum of other opportunities open for those not so narrowly focused.  

Let’s talk SPORT (and there are others), for example.  Do you like first covers?  Compared to SI, SPORT magazine has the first Mantle, Mays, Musial, Aaron, Clemente, Williams, DiMaggio, Maris, Chamberlain, Unitas, and on and on and on.  These vintage covers are just as iconic as SI.  Here’s a few must haves for the post war collector – 46 DiMaggio, 48 Robinson, 47 Williams, 48 Musial, 53 Mantle, 55 Mays, 56 Mantle, 51 Berra, 53 Cousy, and there are plenty more.  

This is an opinion blog so here goes.  I love Sports Illustrated.  SI has been a great investment for me but….. with all its success, it’s getting expensive.  If you are like me, shelling out $500 for a raw mag can be a bit draining and is more risk than I would like to take on.  For me, it’s time to head in a different direction.  

And that direction is SPORT magazine and my prediction is this – SPORT magazine WILL follow the SI lead.  

As SI grows (and it will continue to grow and become less affordable to the average collector), other pubs will fill the void.  Who wouldn’t want to own the first issue of DiMaggio in the highest grade?  And the list goes on.   In my next few blogs, I will explain why SPORT is, not only a good investment, but a great investment.  Do you think kids would have used the 52 Topps Mantle in between their spokes had they known the future?  They couldn’t make an informed decision.  Readers – my opinion is your information.  

Just like I was “ALL IN” for SI, I am “ALL IN” for SPORT.  SPORT has my strongest endorsement.  

I know there will be deniers.  I know change is tough.  But if you followed my advice about SI, I’m pretty sure you are happy.    There is so much to like about SPORT, for example, instead of paying $500 for a raw mag, you can pay $10 or $20, which makes the cash flow and the risk much less.  

OK – I’m done endorsing.  Next I will be explaining and illustrating the why behind the endorsement.  

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

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit

www.sportsillustrated98.com

Sports Illustrated Blog #97 – Pricing and more…Part 2

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.
 
 This blog is meant to be an experienced voice, guiding interested investors/collectors down the path of the most informative decision making possible.

As our hobby expands, “fair pricing” has become a hot topic.  I hear and read about the lack of comparables (the holy grail in the card hobby), but that objection is easily remedied.

Mags are a little different in that exact comparables are scarce but indirect comparables are readily available.  It makes a lot of sense that there are certain issues and grades that can logically be compared to each other.  Using these parameters – athlete, year, POP, and grade, you can easily and accurately, arrive at a “comparable”.

So when you see a 64 CGC 9.4 Brooks Robinson for $33,000, you can use these parameters to gauge if it’s a good buy or not.

Graded SI mags have experienced such growth in buyers that the demand is catching up to the supply.  That has long been the drag on the hobby. 

It’s important to note, there are such low levels of supply that once this supply/demand concept starts to turn, issues at the top of the scale (most valuable) will become unstable, and rise in price, until a balance, again, is reached between supply and demand.

The message here is that the high grade SI vintage newsstand magazine is no longer a secret.

And when everyone is buying Mickey Mantle, that’s the time to buy Willie Mays.

Stay tuned in my next blog for the next big thing.

Sports Illustrated Blog #96 – Pricing and more…

Sports Illustrated Blog #96 – Pricing and more…  

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

 
 
Today’s blog will run the gamut on opinions, emotions, hobby updates and advice.  As my readers will attest, this is mostly an opinion blog and I make no apology for my thoughts on the hobby.   

First thought – the hobby is exploding with excitement however, I believe pricing, in some cases, has accelerated faster than actual value.   In my mind, value has three components – comparison pricing based on yesterday, today’s value, and future pricing.  In a fast growing market, comparison pricing can be antiquated and not reflective of what’s happening now.  Today’s pricing feels the safest for buyer and seller.  Then there is future pricing.  What the heck is that? 

As a seller and investor in this hobby, I think I understand the concept of selling too early.  If the hobby (selling prices) is growing faster than inflation, than it makes sense to either hold or try to sell at the forecasted/estimated value – 3 mo, 6 mo, 1 yr, etc.  For example, I sold the 81 Gretzky for $8000 four years ago.  If I were to obtain another, what would be the selling price – $8000 plus inflation for four years?  I don’t think so.  We’re talking $100,000 plus.  Why?  Because as the hobby matures and more investors become intimately involved, there are collectors who want the best, the only, the most coveted.  Price is not an object.  When you have one of these, patience is a virtue and today’s pricing has very little relevance.   

But what about those pieces on the fringes – the one’s that draw interest but are certainly not destined to lead the hobby?  I am seeing future pricing on these that I will not live to see the value.    Some have perceived an opportunity but have not invested the time, the energy or the analysis to justify their pricing.  Yes it’s a fledgling market, prone to speculation but you must do your homework and trust your instincts.  There are great opportunities out there – there are also not so great opportunities. Speculative buying is just that – speculative and it’s buyer beware.  

Second thought –   CGC’s walk through is now 21 days.  I will never understand (maybe those in manufacturing can help me deal) how I could place an order today and be quoted a lead time of 9 days and then be told, without explanation a day later, it’s now 21 days.  Either they moved orders which came in after me, ahead of me, or they had no idea what they were quoting in the first place.  And the get out of jail free card is – “we don’t guarantee our deliveries”.  Too bad our hobby is so dependent on this type of mediocre performance.  

Third thought – Pay attention to registries or “a set within a set” – all covers of certain athletes (not just the first) – Jordan, Magic, Bird, Rose, Clay/Ali, Mantle, Mays, Brady, James, and more will outperform the market.  All these high grade covers have more than a passing collector interest.  

Fourth thought – Raw mags.  Raw mags have always been risky – hidden restoration, stains, inside damage but they are the excitement of the hobby.  It’s like the lottery.  If you get lucky, you can make some money.    As sell prices for graded reach new heights, month after month, more hobbyists are willing to bet the risk/reward on raw mags hoping to strike graded gold.   Vintage, raw, high grade, newsstand SI mags are VERY hard to find.  Early on, the cover athlete was first consideration, then grade.  Now it’s reversed.   

Almost any vintage, high grade, newsstand, cover is worth a certain amount of speculation.

Fifth thought – Recently, I participated in an on line video chat organized by Jim Kehoe with about nine other joiners.  It was fun, entertaining and informative.  I hope Jim continues with this event.  

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

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit


www.sportsillustrated98.com

Sports Illustrated Blog #94 – High Grade, Subsequent Issues.

Sports Illustrated Blog #94 – High Grade, Subsequent Issues.

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

 
 
Collectors love Michael Jordan.  Who wouldn’t want to own every (50) SI Jordan in CGC 9.8?  Of course, we all would and there are a few collectors out there intent on making it happen.

How about Brady?  James?  Mantle?  This blog is written to put forth the premise that subsequent superstar covers have a value, a real value.  We all want to own the first issue of all superstars but there are serious collectors that want to be the #1 Registry in Jordan, Brady, James, Mantle, etc., etc., etc.

Many first covers are not esthetic, unworthy of their lofty status, or shared with other athletes.  For example, Jordan, LeBron (Slam), E. Smith, Alcindor, B Jackson, and many of the newer covers exhibit these features.  In these cases, subsequent covers may actually out-price the first cover.

That means any CGC 9.8 of these stars has a serious value.  There is and there will be none higher.  For example, many of the 50 Jordan’s, in raw, are widely available in public auctions – but in 9.8??? it’s a gamble.  The availability is the allure.  So the competition is on for the best collection.  Watch and see how the Jordan etc., highest grade buy prices trend in the near future.  My suspicion is that they will easily out pace a fast escalating market.
       
   Right now, subsequent covers are available at what I consider bargain prices.  The grade is the key.  Lower grades (9.6 and below) will not fare as well.  My specific reference for this blog refers only to CGC 9.8 on post 1990 issues.   Earlier vintage issues – pre 1980 – may not have a CGC 9.8 available.  For example, most of Mantle’s do not.     

Don’t automatically pass on High Grade, subsequent covers without taking a closer look.  You might be passing on gold.
   
Best of luck.

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

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit
www.sportsillustrated98.com

Sports Illustrated Blog #93 – Raw SI Issue Sales Shattering Records

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

Recently, a raw third cover, Magic Johnson, which I estimate the grade to be CGC 6-7, sold on eBay for $887.  As you know, I am the biggest proponent of vintage, high grade, SI values, but this one even impressed me.  And it’s not an anomaly because two bidders were in that range.

Folks, this hobby is on a rocket ship flight.  Even now, there are many, many, value buys out there.  What you thought was impossible, has become the routine.  But with these bold statements come with a caveat – all good things come to an end and collectables are very susceptible to that axiom so be cautious in your investments.

The rapidly escalating prices of SI raw mags is a solid indicator of the market’s view of the rarity/scarcity of high grade, vintage SI, SPORT, SLAM and other major pubs current availability.  With cards, rare could mean 1000’s.  In mags it could easily mean one!

At this point in the SI graded mag evolution, I’d say “be careful”.    I think, with the escalating prices we’ve seen in SI, my opinion is to look in the obvious next progression of the hobby – SPORT, BASEBALL, RING, SLAM, GOAL, and others for the real values ahead of the curve.  Sports Illustrated is still King but the King is not cheap, however I have a saying – “Cadillacs are not affected by recession.”

If you plan on entering the hobby for fun or investment, know that if you’re looking to score a CGC 9.8, you’re not operating in a vacuum and your purchase price will, more than likely, be commensurate with market values.  But today’s prices, for the most part, still seem to be a bargain when compared with future estimates. 

The landscape is evolving.  Be careful on the extent of your participation but intuitive investors will still find gold, and lots of it.

Best of luck.

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

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit 

www.sportsillustrated98.com