What would be a good deal in bad times? What kind of savings would you give your customer in bad times? I'm purchasing some cards from a dealer, and want to know how much less than retail I should expect. The same for selling.
This is just my opinion, but if the customer him/herself is feeling the pinch in these economic times, they should probably be looking at whether or not they actually need the cards or simply want them. The people should not be using the economic problems as an excuse for a discount.
The dealer also needs to make a living and for many, selling cards is what they do. The dealer can only afford to give so much of a discount before it might hurt them. Many dealers I'm sure will help out a good customer, but keep in mind that they can only go so far is assisting.
I wouldn't so much as "expect" a certain level of discount. First, look at what you can actually afford to part with before even starting to look. Second, look for bargains and do the usual negotiations but just keep in mind that the dealer needs to make a living as well and not all dealers are well off financially.
Good times, bad times... Price, demand and the dealers wife wanting a diamond bracelet could influence the price a dealer charges for their cards. The same could be said for anyone that is dealing cards.
If someone has a greater/immediate need for something besides thier cards they may be willing to cut a deal at a discount to get the funds to them faster.
Nobody likes to be in a position to "have" to sell something but if it happens then the buyer may get a good deal.
Whether you are the buyer or the seller, it's acceptable for the buyer to make a lower offer. The seller might accept it, he might not, he might offer a price in between.
I would look for, but not expect discounts from everyone. If a dealer is able to hold cards until prices go back up, he doesn't have to sell anything at a discount right now. If market price is $50 and the dealer figures it will be back up to the old $100 in one year, the dealer may not have reason to lower his sale price to $50. He may figure $50 is the price for people who have to sell, and he doesn't have to sell.
But, again, there's nothing wrong asking for a lower price. Even the above seller might accept an offer, as he's used to people making offers in good times and bad.
Also note that dealers are usually well aware of what they paid for the item, and that value is often more important in a sale than going market price. Their profit is calculated as sell price minus buy price, not market value minus buy price. You're going to have an easier time bargaining down the price from someone who found the genuine Mickey Mantle signed baseball in a trashcan than someone who paid $1,000 for it.
I really don't see the times effecting most serious collectors. Some of the people who collect new stuff will probably cut way back but most of the true collectors are older and will not fade away with the times. In fact, collecting is a good diversion from the bad times. Don't think it will slow me down. Frank
I remember hearing an economist saying that, when they see the stock market plunge, some general population people sell their stocks. Then when they see the stock market go back up with accompanying fan fair, they put their money back in. He noted that, of course, this is the opposite of you're supposed to do it.
A collector saying, "I'm not going to buy baseball cards until the prices go back up," is following the same logic as the investors.
before you make an offer or expect a discount, check VCP, closed auction results, or ask specific questions about the card(s) value. your question on this thread is to vague to offer the best answer. nothing can replace your own knowledge of what you buy and paid.
Cash is king these days....and forget the nonsense that serious collectors haven't been impacted. They might still have $'s but many have a decent % fewer dollars. Check out the retail results for Tiffany's this CMAS.
You can and should be getting the most for your money. You aren't a charity and neither are dealers. I didn't see any auction houses say geeze this lot sold for three times what we thought it was worth so we'll only charge you 5% BP. And I haven't seen anyone on EBAY send emails saying "I only paid $50 for that card you just won for $461 so just send me $200 and we'll call it even".
To put this in perspective. Right now you can go to large national retail chains and haggle, especially if the item is more than $300. Chains are matching any and all prices and then some. You should extrapulate for Baseball cards.
Dealers who are stubborn and will not go below their buy prices on certain cards are forgetting about the opportunity cost of holding that card in their inventory - if they would sell it they can turn around and purchase other cards that they could likely turn a profit on.
Fear of taking a loss hurts people in many financial areas - if you bought JDS Uniphase stock at $100 in 2000 and stubbornly refused to sell at $90, $80, or even $50, you're regretting not just taking your loss and moving on. I'm not saying baseball cards are going to drop like tech stocks - just making the larger point that being stubborn can cost you good money in the long run.
As general hobby advice, it never hurts to ask for a discount. Just don't be a pig about it, either in terms of how much you ask for or how you ask. No one worth dealing with gets offended by a polite and reasonable inquiry. However, if the card is something you rarely see, do not be surprised if the seller sticks to his guns and refuses a discount. Personally, if I have a desirable and difficult card for sale, I see no reason to sell it on the cheap. I'd rather just keep it. And please don't cite VCP to me; that's yesterday's news. All it proves to me is that you can read. I've told a number of buyers that if they can find the card at that price, buy it. Don't assume that your seller "has to" sell the card. He may be perfectly content to keep it for the future. Not everyone who sells cards does so on a need to eat basis.
I think now is the perfect opportunity to do some trading! That's what the cards were meant for after all. I don't have any money left in my checkbook after putting gifts for three kids under the tree, but I have a box full of cards...pick a couple of key sets or cards to chase and let some of the others go.