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2020 Non-Sport Almanac #6 Now Available
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Now in the wild, and online, the 2020 Non-Sport Almanac is available.



I've only glossed through it so far. Did find my ad in there, so that was good. Lots of information in here to absorb.

Will have them at the Chicago Show in May. If you don't find a way to get one sooner.

Ed

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Posts: 4944 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Ed,

I received one yesterday and am just getting around to looking at it today. I noticed that the Bench Warmer section was eliminated and I don't even see the listings moved into the Modern section. The values printed in the 2019 edition are probably still largely valid as I haven't heard of any recent, substantial swings in value for any of the cards.

There is now a "Non-Sport in Sports" section to accommodate various Topps Allen and Ginter and Upper Deck Goodwin Champions cards. That should interest a lot of collectors.

I'm afraid my copy is no longer in mint condition as I've already written in some notes.

Jess
 
Posts: 3465 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Did they give a reason for removing Bench Warmer? I know those sets are insane to document, as are the promos, but the info is certainly needed.
 
Posts: 2351 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Todd,

We were talking about it in the thread about last year's edition. It was something that had been considered by the company. It could be that if the prices don't seem to change significantly, Beckett would rather replace the listings with another franchise with more action. Matt has said it's a work in progress. It's still a very young publication in search of the best way to list all the information while also highlighting different franchises in each edition. I can't imagine Beckett got complaints for listing Bench Warmer cards but maybe it did.

Jess


quote:
Originally posted by pcetodd:
Did they give a reason for removing Bench Warmer? I know those sets are insane to document, as are the promos, but the info is certainly needed.
 
Posts: 3465 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You think Beckett might at least include the most recent stuff by them. Are they still producing cards?
 
Posts: 2351 | Location: Maine | Registered: August 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This isn't the end of Bench Warmer. We just wanted to try listing some new content this year. While we understand that Bench Warmer has a devout following, it is also very niche. Replacing it with Non-Sport in Sports felt like a good call. Granted, Allen & Ginter and Goodwin Champions may be considered niche by some but they both cover a wide variety of non-sport subjects from presidents, animals, historical places and events, etc. We think we made the right call this year.

Now, the big challenge is figuring out how to incorporate both Bench Warmer and Non-Sport in Sports into the almanac without making the print too small and exceeding the budget. That may be something that is only feasible in a an all-digital release. Back to the drawing board!
 
Posts: 252 | Location: Dallas, Texas | Registered: June 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In the 2000's NSU started struggling with listing the known world of cards with each issue. It tried doing half-coverage every issue so that a collector could have an essentially complete guide every two issues, but with new sets coming out every year with an increasing number of sets having a much larger chase card total, it became like trying to stuff more clothes in a drawer already bowing. NSU started making decisions about what to start taking out of the guide: some of the cards from before the oldest of us were born, later 20th century cards with values that haven't changed much, and then even rather recent cards that don't move much anymore either.

What does a card collector want in a guide? Well, I want to be able to find a card that I have a question about whether what set or what value. In 2020 what would a guide like that cost to make and what would it have to retail for to make enough money to do it again in 2021? It appears that answer is at least $34.95

What Matt is seems to be saying is that there are limits to what Beckett can do with a guide. It may be tied to a page total every year to be able to sell it for $34.95, knowing there would be customer resistance at a $50 guide. With that in mind I think the larger, bold subheadings for chase card levels could be downsized to just bold without repeating the set title to tighten each set listing (at some point the set headings could just be bold too). Eliminate the line between the subheading and the breakdown. Eliminate the line between subheading groupings within a set. For the 40-50 card autograph levels, only list separately the cards that are selling for more than $15-20 - all others are commons in the <$15 range. For many sets maybe you just list the set value without the "common card" price line especially for factory sets or promo packs that are generally not broken up to be sold as singles. Maybe you get rid of the "common card" line for everything and let us do the math. Doing that would save a lot of space. Card collectors aren't grading a guide for style. They just want it to be as comprehensive as possible.

At some point Beckett would have to think about doing an old/vintage edition (ancient to 1980's cards) and also a post-1980's guide. You could do more with each one (color photos, additional description) rather than just trying to list everything.
The old/vintage edition might not need to be an annual. Each one could have an exclusive card shrinkwrapped to it.

I don't know much about Allen & Ginter or Goodwin Champions. If they're covered in a sports guide, they don't need to be repeated in a non-sports guide. I understand trying something different in each edition, though. There were Funko Pops included one year. Maybe Beckett should try sell sheets next year.

Maybe in the future an all-digital guide will be great assuming some teenagers of today become card collectors in the future, but for the generation that started collecting cards in the 50's-60's, the one that started in the 70's-80's, and maybe even within the one that started in the 90's-2000's, there is an ingrained preference for something that can be held in hand and flipped through using our fingers - something that never needs a charger.

Jess



quote:
Originally posted by BeckettBible24:
This isn't the end of Bench Warmer. We just wanted to try listing some new content this year. While we understand that Bench Warmer has a devout following, it is also very niche. Replacing it with Non-Sport in Sports felt like a good call. Granted, Allen & Ginter and Goodwin Champions may be considered niche by some but they both cover a wide variety of non-sport subjects from presidents, animals, historical places and events, etc. We think we made the right call this year.

Now, the big challenge is figuring out how to incorporate both Bench Warmer and Non-Sport in Sports into the almanac without making the print too small and exceeding the budget. That may be something that is only feasible in a an all-digital release. Back to the drawing board!
 
Posts: 3465 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"All-digital release" are dirty words! Big Grin

It isn't feasible to sustain printing an ever growing database at a $34.95 price. I think we all recognize that by just trying to keep our own records up to date on our selected card titles. It's also of no use to have an Almanac with font too small to read.

I think you have to take a cue from the Encyclopedias. People used to buy a set of Encyclopedias for their kids, usually Britannica. They did that once because it was so expensive and most of the information in those books was never going to change. However new events always happened and sometimes they even changed the subjects already written about.

So to stay current, you could subscribe to buy an annual book or books every year from the same Encyclopedia maker. These days I don't know how many families bother with their own books, but I can tell you that I plagiarized many a report from my trusty Encyclopedia in grade school. Wink

Since the prices on the majority of older cards don't seem to change, and collectors take them with a grain of salt anyway, why not make the Almanac reflect only new products for that year and any cards that have significantly changed in price from the basic full Almanac, which would be any Almanac already made, including 2020 and all previous Editions? The yearly published Almanac would then fully cover all new cards released and have edited entries of already published sets that highlight ONLY those cards that have had big swings in value.

That's the only way I can think to keep it in print besides putting out two Almanacs. One for vintage that will never have another edition and one that covers only a span of a certain number of the most recent years that will drop sets as the years go on. That's a different version of making the yearly book manageable. Did I mention that there is no way I'm going digital for anything?

I think so. Big Grin
 
Posts: 9502 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Now, the big challenge is figuring out how to incorporate both Bench Warmer and Non-Sport in Sports into the almanac without making the print too small and exceeding the budget. That may be something that is only feasible in a an all-digital release. Back to the drawing board!


Maybe a digital appendix for some of the fringier stuff?
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Pittsboro, NC | Registered: September 16, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So I picked up my new 2020 Almanac a couple of weeks ago, but really haven't looked at it since. Happy that most of the printing seems readable, although font size seems to change on certain pages.

Anyway my big change interest was in the new section of Non-Sport in Sports and its a good news, bad news thing. It gives us a lot more information than we had, but also less than it would if it was as inclusive as I expected it to be.

The section really covers only Topps' Allen and Ginter and UD's Goodwin products. What happened to all those non-sport autographs that wind up as extras in sports card sets? Signed cards from The Fans of The Game series for instance. Or some of that Canadian Hockey stuff that had Evans or Shatner signatures? It wouldn't take much room to list them, because there might have only been a few such applicable hit cards in there. Much of that slips by our notice, where as A&G and Goodwin checklists are fairly well distributed.

So that would be my suggestion for the next Almanac if this section is repeated. Expand it to also identify those non-sport hits that are really buried in single sport card products.
 
Posts: 9502 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was wondering if there were any plans to publish a 2021 Non-Sport Almanac. The 2020 came out in September last year.

Normally its just the set additions that people really look for, but there has been a lot of volitivity and price changes in the past few months on older issues and both older and newer modern big hits. The next Almanac should reflect those adjustments on listings that may not have been updated in awhile.

So will we be getting a 2021 or is it skipping?
 
Posts: 9502 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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As far as I know, nothing, including a pandemic, could stop the 2020 Non-Sport Almanac so expect the 2021 later this year. The complication is the volatility in prices. Some things are not selling at the same prices in June as they were in January. Some things don't seem to be selling at all. Are they worthless now?

Somebody just bought more cards on Ebay. Beckett will make a note.



quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
I was wondering if there were any plans to publish a 2021 Non-Sport Almanac. The 2020 came out in September last year.

Normally its just the set additions that people really look for, but there has been a lot of volitivity and price changes in the past few months on older issues and both older and newer modern big hits. The next Almanac should reflect those adjustments on listings that may not have been updated in awhile.

So will we be getting a 2021 or is it skipping?
 
Posts: 3465 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by catskilleagle:
The complication is the volatility in prices. Some things are not selling at the same prices in June as they were in January. Some things don't seem to be selling at all. Are they worthless now?
[/QUOTE]

Hey Jess,

I think everyone accepts that any price guide, even if it tries hard to be accurate, is at best somebody's estimate and only a snapshot in time. The ranges are always pretty broad, even throwing out the stupid high and low sales.

Many collectors don't even feel they need price guides anymore, but I'm not in that camp. I like the printed page. I like to see the main checklisted cards. I do refer to the last Almanac and to the latest guide supplement from time to time, not because I think its Gospel, but because its more data and sometimes you can chart a trajectory up or down.

So the Almanac should be looking at a lot of older entries that may have increased in the current market now, without trying to figure out how long the bubble will last. I have seen for myself that on quite a few mid-range and upper tiered autograph cards, prices have jumped 50% and sometimes 100% since January. Not on all cards, but on many important cards.

Those dirt cheap, average and overproduced Marvel cards that took off is more a reflection on grading speculation, the hype machine and market manipulation, but if it has raised the price of the Marvel cards in the wild, that counts and should at least tick up the price range a little in a guide.

One of the valid complaints that some collectors can have with the Almanac is that too many of the older issues seem like a permanent template that remains even when some cards are way off. I think the swings in the current market should make Beckett take a hard look at some of those titles and it would be a positive thing to force updating.
 
Posts: 9502 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Probably could point a few singles and sets here or email Matt Bible to follow up on for updating in the Almanac.
Of course, some might be already update in the Online Price Guide (OPG). I did notice some updating on 1996 Marvel Masterpieces in the latest issue of the NSU so there’s already been some updating in print form.
 
Posts: 647 | Location: Long Beach, CA | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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At one time NSU and Card Talk readers were encouraged to email in when they thought a price guide listing was too far off. I sent in a few myself, but I couldn't say if it resulted in any changes. I can't remember ever hearing back really.

The problem is, its easy to say I could never get that card for that price, it's too low. But then you'd have to prove it by submitting a series of recent sales. And its a range, so now you have to prove the high price too, because the low end is generally some percentage of the high price. And you have to disallow both the lowest and highest sales that don't represent the average range of normal sales.

In other words, you'd have to be a full time, card price analysis expert with the tools to evaluate confirmed sale transactions on a consistent basis. Either that or be a card collector with way too much free time, whose input may or may not be any good. Big Grin
 
Posts: 9502 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
Normally its just the set additions that people really look for, but there has been a lot of volitivity and price changes in the past few months on older issues and both older and newer modern big hits. The next Almanac should reflect those adjustments on listings that may not have been updated in awhile.


Completely agree! There should be a bunch of adjustments in the next Almanac after that crazy Covid year of price volatility.

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
So the Almanac should be looking at a lot of older entries that may have increased in the current market now, without trying to figure out how long the bubble will last. I have seen for myself that on quite a few mid-range and upper tiered autograph cards, prices have jumped 50% and sometimes 100% since January. Not on all cards, but on many important cards.


I’ve noticed quite a few with Marvel cards over the last year. I’ve emailed about some of the cards that had multiple sales that were higher than the Almanac HI price to Matt Bible just in case he didn’t catch them. Although there was probably a few not so important cards mixed in there, too.

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
One of the valid complaints that some collectors can have with the Almanac is that too many of the older issues seem like a permanent template that remains even when some cards are way off. I think the swings in the current market should make Beckett take a hard look at some of those titles and it would be a positive thing to force updating.


Yes! That’s why I send emails about older Marvel cards that have multiple sales higher than the Almanac price range to bring those cards to the attention Matt.

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
At one time NSU and Card Talk readers were encouraged to email in when they thought a price guide listing was too far off. I sent in a few myself, but I couldn't say if it resulted in any changes. I can't remember ever hearing back really.


I remember that post encouraging emailing feedback so that’s why I email prices. Often times I don’t receive a reply about the cards that I point out. But that’s fine. I’m not looking to get acknowledgement, just trying to help out the lone non-sport card price analysts a little bit. Who knows how the cards prices that I point out move the price guide algorithms though. Sometimes there’s up arrows and sometimes there’s not.

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
In other words, you'd have to be a full time, card price analysis expert with the tools to evaluate confirmed sale transactions on a consistent basis. Either that or be a card collector with way too much free time, whose input may or may not be any good. Big Grin


The way I view it, collectors of certain cards and sets are much more the experts of the cards that they collect than the card price analysis. That’s why collectors are more likely to notice upward trends on cards that they collect than what the price guide reflects. Unless there are noticeable spikes on some individual cards or sets, I’m sure that the card analysis probably aren’t actively searching out the majority individual card prices because the non-sport card category is too wide ranging a genre to look at everything except for those cards that have been somehow brought to their attention. If you want to see change in the Almanac and NSU price guide then help be the change. Help out the price guide analysts identify which cards that could use a bump up in their price ranges by pointing out cards by sending an email or post them here on Card Talk.
 
Posts: 647 | Location: Long Beach, CA | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, collectors are experts on what they like but NSU and the Almanac need updates for everything on the pages and for whatever sets/hot cards they should add. With the crazy prices of the last 12 months, you needed to do a complete sweep of price checks every couple of months and that's on top of keeping up with whatever is being released every month in order to get a feeling for what was going on. It's a lot of tedious work so some sets are probably going to be missed as attention is focused on the cards that are really moving. Keep sending updates. They are being appreciated.

Some other cards not being talked about have also doubled, tripled and even quadrupled in price over the past year (e.g. the Kayo Boxing #5 prototype, Mike Tyson, went from being a $20-25 card to a $80-120 card with an outlier sale of over $300).

Some cards don't seem to have caught the wave or maybe they got a bump last year but then slid back to about what they were going for the previous year before anybody checked on it. Some people made some money; some paid hundreds for something they can't sell now for $200.

Jess
 
Posts: 3465 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember many years ago at a show a guy asking about the price of a certain card from a dealer who was set up there. The buyer then produced a price guide to point out to the dealer that he was asking too much for the card.

When i moved on the buyer was still trying to extract his price guide. Big Grin

Price guides may be of slight intrest to a few people but don't ever wave one in front of a seller, the price is what he is selling it at not some strange price in a guide that was out of date even whilst it was being published.

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Posts: 28798 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:


When i moved on the buyer was still trying to extract his price guide. Big Grin


Was that when you stopped buying the Almanac? Big Grin
 
Posts: 12068 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:
I remember many years ago at a show a guy asking about the price of a certain card from a dealer who was set up there. The buyer then produced a price guide to point out to the dealer that he was asking too much for the card.


In the history of card shows, I'm not sure that waving a price guide under the nose of any dealer ever got any buyer a dime off. Big Grin

However dealers did pull them out occasionally, going back awhile. Now they are more apt to run to PCs and Smart Phones to check eBay's sold listings or even online guides, but honestly the average card dealer is no different than the average card collector. They have areas of expertise, depending on what they buy and sell most. Once they get out of that area, or have a card or autograph card that doesn't fall into common knowledge, they are as lost as a novice buyer.

A majority of the time dealers work on what they paid for something and just add on what he/she thinks is the profit margin they can get. That's why they are happy to dump cards once they have made enough on a product, but then want to inflate common card values when the product sales have come up short for them. Their own cash flow and pre-order payments due effect their pricing the same as collectors are effected when they have more or less money to spend.

Its why you can get good deals and bad deals on the same cards from different sources, not just based on guide prices, but based on current activity too. Its also why the only price that matters is the asking price. Some people think that's only a starting point, which is why we get all these hagglers. I never liked that, just make me a fair offer and I'll leave it if I think its too much.

I think a printed price guide is another resource that may or may not help that much depending on what you are after, but it can't hurt. Smile
 
Posts: 9502 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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