I have held off buying any cards for about a year and recently have a very strong itch to buy again. Lifson and I were discussing his next auction and he told me there will be a Red Hindu Cobb, Uzit Cobb, and a slew of rare back hall of famers in the next REA auction. After the conversation, I felt I should probably start saving, cause I'm getting hungry to add to my collection.
Does anyone know of any other kick ass cards that will be available this year in any other auctions? Do you think prices for these rarely seen gems will sell at a discount or continue to amaze us?
Edited to add: I should have used the word rarity rather than quality, because some perceive quality to mean a high, somewhat arbitrary number printed on the flip of a grading slab. That's fine if you do, but my definition of quality leans much more to the rarity of an item than its "ultra high grade" condition.
Being a collector, I wish you were right. But just because the media and politicians -- two groups who probably are the least qualified to make such a declaration -- tout our current economy as being one half-step away from a depression, that doesn't make it so. I think we have a long way to go before you'll see true rarities in our hobby sell at deeply discounted prices.
Just to echo Rob's point - in the past week or so, I was watching about 10 $200+ cards on eBay and all went for prices at or above what they have sold for in the past. None were T206s, but there was a nice spread from different pre-war issues. I'd love for the prices to be depressed so I could buy more, but I'm not seeing it.
Rob- I get it. These "whales" have so much money that it's coming out of their ears, but the competion has to be slowing. Not everyone is secure in their job or their finances like they were a year ago. I don't care how much money any of us have, all of us are thinking twice before we purchase items we don't need. It has to slow down, the question is when, not if.
When I was buying with both hands, I was running into the same cats going after cards. If I stopped, it made it a little cheaper for my comrades. If some of the "whales" take a break, it may change quickly.
Edited to add...
I agree about the quality thing. I think rare is a card of few known to exist, not the flip number.
I really can't believe every single one of us is OK with their finances and beleives that they will continue buying as if everything is kosher. 2 million people lost their jobs last year, and we are headed to exceed that amount this year. Everyone is concerned, if not for themselves, for others. I would never wish ill will upon anyone, but it seems that some of the big time buyers must have been effected and will be acting different come auction season. Auction season... That's funny. I seems there is an auction ending every week.
While I am a T206 collector, I have never been a "backs" collector. That being said, however, it's clear to me the rare backs are still hot. So things like T206 Uzits, Red Hindus, etc. will I'm sure do very, very well in REA 2009 (as will the T206 big name cards: Wagner, Plank, Magie, Doyle). If anything, my guess is the prices for T206 "near complete sets" (i.e. 500+ T206s in a single lot) may drop a little.
Do you collect OJs? If you do then my recommendation to you is to RUN from this hobby as it's starting to fall apart and you don't want to be in the middle of it when the seams split.
If you don't collect OJs then, welcome back and have fun finding those nice non-OJ cards.
Honestly, I don't know how anyone can predict how the economy will impact everyone. Someone with a substantial collection could fall on some very tough economic times and be forced in liquidating their cardboard. Nobody wants to see this happen but this could be the reality for some. The next couple of years could be an interesting time in sports collectibles. I do feel that the more rare or sought after stuff will have a greater chance of retaining the most value as opposed to the material that is very common (for example, a T206 Cobb in average condition).
This is just my opinion. If anyone wants to say I'm an idiot for having that opinion, please feel free to do so without expecting a post that says you're an idiot for not agreeing with me.
I get the sense that for most people who collect actively and post here things are about the same. Many of us are in businesses that can adapt to the times. I was doing a ton of real estate transactional work two years ago; right now it is collections litigation. I am just as busy as before. Many of the people here own businesses and when things get tight they (we) put other people on to the unemployment rolls, although it is a bit cold I admit to actually verbalize it.
My hunch is that great cards will fetch great prices--it only takes two combatants to make an auction sky.
Actually, doctors are not recession proof. I work in the medical field and doctors are my clients. Many are extrememly slow. Yes people are still getting sick but many are not going to the doctor. They don't want to pay the co-pays, prescriptions and those that have been laid off may not have insurance. So they just try and stick it out and use over the counter meds to get through. I also have had many Docs say that can't get loans due to the credit crunch. Plastic surgery and other "elective" surgeries are down as well. So I think just about every profession is being affected. Some more than others but all to a certain degree.
A T206 PSA 5 selling for $66 is an outlier. I will buy all the PSA 5s you have at that price.
Some people (myself included) view vintage cards as a relative safe haven, which makes them more inclined to buy and less inclined to sell. I have watched my stock portfolio decline 40%+ in the last six months while I would only take about a 10% hit if I sold my collection. Plus, I think it is better to hold cards than dollars when the coming hyperinflation hits ....
The whole recession is just blown out of proportion. It is very simple there is a huge credit crunch going on. The only reason the economy was booming is because people were borrowing money hand over fist and did not have the means to pay it back. Talk to any small banker and i have and most will tell you they had no choice in giving certain loans to people. Now the bankers are worried about the insurance being to high and their is not enough of a profit margin to give the loans to warrant the insurance. The reason prices are dropping and they are even artwork is down and that has not happened since 1963 is because the borrowing power is not there, either you have liquid or you don't.
I'm going to back that up again. I had a conversation with someone from a major bank as well and they just aren't handing out unsecured credit like they used to. I'm not sure what the percentage of people buying high dollar stuff on credit was, but it sure seems to be making a difference now.
Seriously, I don't think too many "advanced" collectors buy on credit except for convenience/security (i.e., sending money electronically; if I'm paypaling someone $500 and I don't know them I like my chances of recovery a lot better if my CC company is involved) and paying off the debt every month. That said, lots of people have had the market crashes and credit crunch affect other other aspects of their lives and that certainly has had some spillover into their collecting habits. Most of the collectors I know have opined that they expect their 2009 card expenditures to be less than in prior years, maybe even a negative as they look to sell more than they buy. A lot of my friends have decided to focus only on certain issues, meaning that they won't just say WTF and bid on a card outside that area of focus that they happen to like. Me, I'm still doing the unfocused kid in a candy store routine but I've cut way back and am hoarding discretionary cash in case something I really want surfaces.