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.

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