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Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted
Good article by Bill DeFranzo in the Oct/Nov issue. I don't collect promos, but I read all of NSU and the part that interested me was the bit about sketch card pricing.

I totally agree with Bill. I don't know how any price guide can cover sketch cards. I don't know how you can even come up with a ball park figure unless its something like $20 - $450, which of course means absolutely nothing.

You can't go strictly by artist, the same artist will do sketches of varying quality and complexity. You can't go by hot artist, that just means hot now. You can't go by an original artist, that means its a known name, not that the sketch is exceptional. You can't go strictly by set, the quality of sketches is not equal in any set. You can't go strictly by the number any artist produced, so what if he/she did only 50 if they are not exceptional. You can't say color is worth more than B/W, B/W can be great although most people prefer color. You can't say that one character is worth more than another if it is not drawn better, although most people prefer to buy the major characters.

All of these factors come into play when trying to evaluate a 1/1 sketch. The question in the column - Is a Betty Boop dressed as a dragonfly sketch by Adam Cleveland worth $40? I don't know. I don't think an NSU pricing consultant would know. But if you showed me the sketch I could tell you if its worth $40 to me.

I think that's the only answer there is when it comes to sketches and all price guide values are pointless.
 
Posts: 6640 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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They usually say that the guide needs about 6 confirmed sales to set a guide price on something and as each sketch is a one off piece of artwork you cannot sell the same piece 6 times so you are quite right, there can be no price guide for sketches.

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Posts: 27501 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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As someone who collects lots of sketch cards I am confident that you could put reasonable ranges in for values of nearly sketches by set, then by artist.

Cleveland Cartoon Sketches: $10-30.

Sure, that's range, but it's meaningful, and it's accurate (at least according to eBay sales).

I mean -- Billy Drago autographs from Charmed are unique, yet they all have a value.
 
Posts: 4053 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Editor-in-Chief
Picture of A_Biegel
posted Hide Post
The value of sketch cards, like art, is in the eye of the beholder.

~Alan
 
Posts: 172 | Location: Bayonne, NJ USA | Registered: December 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Miss Lizzy
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quote:
The value of sketch cards, like art, is in the eye of the beholder.


That is so true. If someone is not a fan of the character on the card, they wouldn't pay 2 bucks for it, but someone who is a fan might pay $100.

quote:
I mean -- Billy Drago autographs from Charmed are unique, yet they all have a value.


I love Billy's autos! Always entertaining.

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Posts: 2070 | Location: Southern California | Registered: March 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Pricing Specialist
Picture of Bill DeFranzo
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jon@webjon.com:
As someone who collects lots of sketch cards I am confident that you could put reasonable ranges in for values of nearly sketches by set, then by artist.

Cleveland Cartoon Sketches: $10-30.

Sure, that's range, but it's meaningful, and it's accurate (at least according to eBay sales).

I mean -- Billy Drago autographs from Charmed are unique, yet they all have a value.


I agree that a Cleveland Cartoon sketch can have a price range of $10.00 - $30.00 although I bought one for $3.99 but what makes a Cleveland worth $30.00 opposed to $10.00? What does it mean? How does one use that information alone? If Cleveland's Betty Boops are going for $30 you could do someone a disfavor when he buys that Froggy sketch at that price. To supply a range for each is incomplete without telling the reader why the range exists? Why does Sean Pence Cartoon sketches sell in the $40.00 - $60.00 range? Guy Dorian only colored a few of his sketches. Might that widen his price range? I've only seen one sketch of Mighty Mouse with a yellow suit. Might someone "really have to have it" to complete their definition of a set of Cartoon Sketches? What's it worth if the artist's price range is $5.00 - $10.00? Another artist may have only done 6 sketches. Definitely, NSU could do a much better job on providing information on all sketches from all series but in my opinion it would take at least another 7,000 subscribers to overcome the added expense and space in the price guide would not be the biggest expense. Having said that, nothing can overcome the subjective nature of a sketch. This is solely my opinion (which is unique). I can't speak for NSU.

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Bill D.

AKA: Promo Czar (self-appointed)
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Hampton NH 03842 | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Publisher
Picture of Roxanne
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I totally agree with Bill and Raven. Raven showed a lot of understanding. There absolutely is not enough room in the Price Guide to do a thorough job of pricing sketch cards without turning the magazine into a Price Guide only publication--no articles and no columns.

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Posts: 56 | Location: Harrisburg, PA | Registered: January 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bill DeFranzo:
I agree that a Cleveland Cartoon sketch can have a price range of $10.00 - $30.00 although I bought one for $3.99 but what makes a Cleveland worth $30.00 opposed to $10.00? What does it mean? How does one use that information alone? If Cleveland's Betty Boops are going for $30 you could do someone a disfavor when he buys that Froggy sketch at that price. To supply a range for each is incomplete without telling the reader why the range exists? Why does Sean Pence Cartoon sketches sell in the $40.00 - $60.00 range? Guy Dorian only colored a few of his sketches. Might that widen his price range? I've only seen one sketch of Mighty Mouse with a yellow suit. Might someone "really have to have it" to complete their definition of a set of Cartoon Sketches? What's it worth if the artist's price range is $5.00 - $10.00? Another artist may have only done 6 sketches. Definitely, NSU could do a much better job on providing information on all sketches from all series but in my opinion it would take at least another 7,000 subscribers to overcome the added expense and space in the price guide would not be the biggest expense. Having said that, nothing can overcome the subjective nature of a sketch. This is solely my opinion (which is unique). I can't speak for NSU.


The idea is to get an accurate range of value. . . once you have the range then it's up to the buyer to use their own judgment.

The $10-30 range is very useful. . . if it's priced at $5, it's a good buy, regardless of the subject, if it's priced at more than $30 the seller better have a very good reason for the price. . . other than that -- art is in the eye of the beholder, we are saying that typically we expect Cleveland's Cartoons to sell for $10-30.

I'm a bit baffled that everyone is so hung up on dialing in on an exact price. I mean, I just bought a Camryn Manheim autograph from Ghost Whisperer on eBay for $.99 -- obviously a deal, but it lists at $91. There are several for sale on eBay right now with Buy-It-Now prices from $30-50. So why is listing Cleveland $10-30 any worse than listing Camryn Manheim $91 when they are selling consistently for less than half of that figure? What is a valid price guide price for Manheim? The only sale in the last 30 days was $37.95, but a bunch didn't get any bids at $29.95, I picked up mine for a buck -- that's a bigger range than Cleveland.

It's hard to put a value on most cards. . . but there only seems to be resistance to try for sketches.

Jon
 
Posts: 4053 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Batman
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As pointed out, sketches are 1/1, while autos are not. I actively collect sketch cards, and the prices are all over the spectrum, it's tough to tell what a sketch will sell for. Even the top sketch card artists are selling for a lot less than they were not that long ago. I think a listing of "speculative" or "market" would suffice, why attach a price that is meaningless? I agree with Bill, he works hard on the guide.

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Posts: 5595 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Sci-FiPlanet
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Just reposting this because it seems even more relevant now.

quote:
Actually the answer is very simple, and you already do it in the guide now. Lets take a set for example say.. Harry Potter, it's not relevant which one pick any set they are all on the same page anyway.

You don't ever list EVERY card in the set, because hey they have a lot of costumes and prop cards and a lot of them are around the same price... ish.. so you list the really valuable ones and then just under that you have Others: $25-$50 or whatever the price is. You could even put Speculative down on some of them. It's not going to take up much space and it means the sets are recognised.

This is something else to keep in mind, the price guide, as good as it is is also used by many folks as an identification guide. If I have a card in my hands and I have no idea how many are in the set or anything else about it but the name, the guide means I can find out a lot of info about the set. I and I'm sure lots of others have used it like this many times. That is unless the sets not listed.

Listing sets also adds an element of credence to a release, which I am sure you recognize. It means that dealer who may not have run across a product before can look it up and realize yes it's a real product. Hell even if you list it as $50-$150.00 I mean while that's not ideal something is always better than nothing.


Oh and lets not make the mistake of personalizing this, it's not about how hard people may be working, I am sure everyone at NSU is working hard in a down turning industry, print is a very hard place to be working these days, but talking about and disagreeing with ideas is not a personal criticism.

I don't understand the view that this sort of thing would only be done if you had more subscribers... This is the sort of thing that in MY OPINION you should be doing to GET more subscribers. On a cost and space basis's well I can understand that everything needs space, but with more sets being added every other month I would love to see the guide acknowledging the existence these sketch sets with an least an entry.

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Posts: 884 | Location: UK | Registered: October 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Pricing Specialist
Picture of Bill DeFranzo
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sci-FiPlanet:

Oh and lets not make the mistake of personalizing this, it's not about how hard people may be working, I am sure everyone at NSU is working hard in a down turning industry, print is a very hard place to be working these days, but talking about and disagreeing with ideas is not a personal criticism.


I don't understand the view that this sort of thing would only be done if you had more subscribers... This is the sort of thing that in MY OPINION you should be doing to GET more subscribers.


First, a company can go belly up real quickly by over-spending in what you call "... a down turning industry" especially in an economy like ours. if NSU were competing for a bigger slice of a shrinking pie that would be another story but there really are no other competitors.

To do a series of sketch cards justice, it might require a completely different format to include some or all of the following for each artist:

A price range (throwing out absurdly high/low prices judged to have been realized under less than knowledgeable circumstances e.g. many Buy-It-Nows)

Average price (to get some sense of the mode, assuming one has access to the price range) => a price range of $10 - $30 does not necessarily result in an average of $20. If the average were $15 vs. $27 it would tell two different stories about the price range.

Number of Sketches drawn in the series (availability)

Info about the artist that may affect price
(e.g. the artist has a pre-existing 'relationship' drawing characters X, Y and Z)

A scan of 4 to 6 sketches with their selling prices

If a "price" guide were to report just one of the items that I listed, which would you prefer? Which would be most helpful in making your next sketch card purchase knowing that what you are about to buy is, in itself, unique but in some respects, kinda like some others?

Regardless of which item you chose, how long would it take you to find, gather and create that piece of information for each of 100 artists in a series and make sure that you can back up each piece of information in a court of law (figuratively speaking of course). Did you account for having to adjust your information over time, until prices have stagnated? Now multiply your timing estimates by your current hourly wage to get a feel for the cost of maintaining one series. Smile

Threads like this are healthy for the industry and for the magazine. In more ways than you could imagine, your posts in Card Talk are shaping opinion and change at NSU even though change may come slowly.

____________________
Bill D.

AKA: Promo Czar (self-appointed)
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Hampton NH 03842 | Registered: March 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Member
Picture of Heroes For Hire
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
It's hard to put a value on most cards. . . but there only seems to be resistance to try for sketches.


Can't believe that I just saw this thread eight years later Eek

Interesting points of view, but I believe a market report of complete sales of a specific artist from a particular set could formulate a price range just like other limited cards. Isn't a price guide just reporting just past sales anyway? If there is enough data (6 sales? That's could be interesting) on one artist in a set then it should make the price guide.

If someone is willing to pay twice as much for a Venom sketch than a Loki sketch by the same artist that sold last month then that's up to the buyer. The price guide isn't predicting future sales anyway. It just a reflection of past sales. If that Venom sells for a high price then add that sales data into the mix of past sales and maybe the next price guide reflect some up arrows in the LO and HI columns.
 
Posts: 400 | Location: Long Beach, CA | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Very good of you to pull this one back up because it contains a lot of Bill DeFranzo's own words on a subject he knew best. I wouldn't change a word of my own 8 year old post. It's how I felt then and nothing has happened since that would change my opinion.

I will say that it would be great to have more articles about sketch artists in NSU. To identify hot names, to identify classic original artists, to display their signatures so that pieces can be recognized, to list what sets includes their art, to just educate readers more on what's available if they like a particular artist's work and who they should know about if they don't know them.

But to apply prices to sketch cards in any meaningful way can not be done in a guide. You can estimate a range that would be based on the artist's work or the set or a combination of both, but how close that comes to the worth of a particular sketch is anybody's guess. The ranges are usually so broad, it will fall somewhere in there, but that just makes the range itself meaningless except as an identifier of the artist's name. No matter how you try to spin it, sketches can't be accurately priced in a guide because there are too many factors involved, so why waste the resources trying to do it?
 
Posts: 6640 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of cardaddict
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My own 2 cents worth (probably less) way to judge the value of a sketch card is what it's worth to ME, and me alone. Some artists whose sketches I would be tempted to toss in the trashcan if I pulled one (and I have!) sell for big money. Some, which I think are minor masterpieces, go for 10 whole dollars (or less!). In other words, the value of a sketchcard is purely subjective.

I KNOW that's not completely true, of course, but it's as close to my personal truth as I can get.
 
Posts: 1712 | Location: USA | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Heroes For Hire
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
I will say that it would be great to have more articles about sketch artists in NSU. To identify hot names, to identify classic original artists, to display their signatures so that pieces can be recognized, to list what sets includes their art, to just educate readers more on what's available if they like a particular artist's work and who they should know about if they don't know them.


Yes, that would be great! Even something smaller than an article would be nice like a half page "spotlight" would be nice. Paging Chris Mixer ...

quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
But to apply prices to sketch cards in any meaningful way can not be done in a guide. You can estimate a range that would be based on the artist's work or the set or a combination of both, but how close that comes to the worth of a particular sketch is anybody's guess. The ranges are usually so broad, it will fall somewhere in there, but that just makes the range itself meaningless except as an identifier of the artist's name. No matter how you try to spin it, sketches can't be accurately priced in a guide because there are too many factors involved, so why waste the resources trying to do it?


I understand what you mean that there many factors to consider when it comes to sketch cards. I get that same feeling when I read the median home price in Southern California. I just read that it was $530,000 in July 2018. That's nice number to know, but that didn't tell me if the home had 2 or 3 bedroom with 1 or 2 bathrooms or if it was in Los Angeles or San Diego Counties. That number just told me that half the homes sold for more that price and the other half sold for less in Southern California. And yet every month that median home price is compiled and reported. But if I look a little beyond the headline, it does break down the home prices by county so I can tell that Orange County ($735,750) has the highest prices and San Bernardino County ($325,000) has the lowest in the region so I guess I gain a little more insight ... but I'm still not sure how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are in these homes Confused

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Heroes For Hire,
 
Posts: 400 | Location: Long Beach, CA | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
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Lovely to see Bill's posts. He WAS the pricing expert and a lovely man. I agree with what he said
 
Posts: 11528 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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Maybe one way to try to reflect the value of sketches is to showcase one artist every issue with several on a page or two along with what they sold for. There'd be a somewhat wild range based on franchise popularity and the popularity of the subject within that franchise but that's okay. Let the reader decide whether, say $50, for a given sketch is too much or way too little. The various sketches would give an idea of the consistency of the applied skill level and inform us which artists to watch out for.

Yeah, it's great to see Bill's posts reappear. He's can still talk with us.

Jess
 
Posts: 653 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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