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Year End 2016
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Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted
So as 2016 draws to a close , once again we take stock of where we are and where non-sport cards are going. I'll put in more or less the same 3 general questions as usual and one extra for good measure.

I think its fair to say that we have seen a few new twists to the hobby this year including the expansion of digital cards, e-Packs, weekly sets made to order and enough Star Wars products to last a lifetime. We saw some old friends pass and NSU change hands. We bought cards, sold cards, complained about cards and hopefully still got real enjoyment out of our non-sport card collections.

So with a eye out for what 2017 will bring us, please post your comments after you vote. No arguments on this one, just your individual perspectives would be wonderful and who knows, maybe a few ideas from card collectors might even resonate with the people who make them. Wink

Happy Holidays to all. Smile

Question:
Do you expect to spend more or less money on non-sport cards in 2017 than you did in 2016?

Choices:
I expect to spend more money.
I expect to spend less money.
I expect to spend about the same amount.

Question:
What general area/type of non-sport cards are you most likely to collect in 2017?

Choices:
Base sets only.
Base sets and inserts only.
Parallal sets.
Master sets.
Certified autograph cards
Sketch cards.
Promo cards.
Relic/Material/Prop cards.
Vintage products.

Question:
Do you expect that the demand for non-sport cards will increase in 2017 as compared to 2016?

Choices:
Yes.
No.
Not sure.

Question:
How did you acquire the majority of your new non-sport cards in 2016?

Choices:
By pack purchases.
By retail box purchases.
By hobby box purchases.
By case purchases.
By individual purchases on the secondary market.
By direct purchases thru the manufacturer.

 
 
Posts: 9441 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
I think the main trend you are going to see in non sorts over the next year or two is the disappearance of mid range dealers. There is just no profit margin anymore on the majority of products, their prices are undercut by online auctions, and here in the UK the exchange rate is also a real problem.

The big dogs like Blowout and Dacardworld will survive as they can use their bulk buying to negotiate discounts with manufacturers but anyone smaller is going to find it tough.

I hope I am wrong as I like the personal interaction with like minded people but I fear the decreasing number of dealers is going to continue.
 
Posts: 2526 | Location: Sutton Coldfield England | Registered: August 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
So 17 members have voted, but only one comment? How about dropping a line or two just to say what you would like to see more or less of in 2017.

For my part, I would like to see a rollback on prices. Silly maybe to hope for, but card boxes/cases simply cost too much for the average value you are getting. My main worry is that most collectors will abandon busting boxes and retreat to the secondary market for individual sales, as the survey already kind of indicates.

All good and well as long as there are people who are selling new product that way. What happens when they don't make a profit and stop taking chances on anything that is not Star Wars? Do we go into direct buying from manufacturers? That is already going on with these weekly custom made sets and other exclusive offer sets.

What about the whole e-Pack buying, selling and swapping? That is a different world altogether and one that seems fairly secretive in terms of differences between the original product and what comes out in e-Packs.

There is really a heck of a lot to say about non-sport cards in 2016 because we are seeing some trends that have the potential to radically change how cards are being distributed, if they haven't done so already. No matter what directions we as card collectors decide to follow the only thing certain is that we can't have everything we want, but we can make smart decisions and still have fun no matter what anybody else is doing. Smile
 
Posts: 9441 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
posted Hide Post
Well i expect to spend about the same next year as i did this year, maybe less but certainly not more.
I expect the demand for cards to go down as more people drift away from the hobby. Dealers have been closing down or leaving the shows to take up residence on the internet but they are being shut out by the massive breakers who undercut their every move.
The hobby has lost touch with the young public who were going to be it's future, kids who want a fist full of cards in exchange for their pocket money, it now relies on a dwindling group of aging collectors who think nothing of spending loads of money on a single card.
I'm getting depressed just typing this stuff but i know it's true, i've watched it happen over the last 20 years getting worse and worse with every move.
For gods sake someone come on and paint a brighter picture. Big Grin

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 28773 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Writer
Picture of Don Norton
posted Hide Post
I didn't vote, no offense Raven, but the questions to me anyway, are irrelevant. However, I do have something to say.
When I got back into card collecting in the early 90's, I went to my first show and an old time dealer was sitting near me and started telling me how the hobby was dying, it wasn't like the old days, e-Bay would destroy the shows, yada, yada, yada. Now after almost 25 years, the card hobby still survives. And it will survive, after all of us are dead, somewhere, people will be collecting trading cards. The hobby may be different, we have seen changes in the last few years, $100 packs, virtual cards, the end of brick and mortar card shops.
Rising prices? that's a problem everywhere, not just with cards. Young people not into collecting? That is a problem in my other hobbies, model building and military collectibles. Do today's kids want to build a model of an airplane or tank, or collect helmets or insignia from WW II? Probably not, although there are a few out there, and we have to find them and help them in the hobby. I recently met a young man in his 20's who is interested in models and militaria, and I have been giving him advice and help when I can. We have to do the same with card collectors.

We'll spend more money on cards, because the price is going up. We have to support the dealers we have, and the shops we have, and our favorite manufacturers. The hobby will change, maybe not to our liking, but the hobby will survive.
 
Posts: 2868 | Location: Crystal Lake, IL | Registered: December 04, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Diamond Card Talk Member
Picture of hammer
posted Hide Post
I certainly won't be spending more next year. Exchange rate killing me. I hope our hobby keeps going but some of our better companies seem to be struggling and I hope they weather the storm,.
 
Posts: 12066 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
Well Raven, between trying to get my project at work to a good place before the break and prepping to travel for the holidays, 'yer lucky I even had time to do the survey this week, LOL. Wave

Anyway, I expect to spend about as much in 2017 as I did this year, meaning that I'll only buy what interests me, if it interests me. And sometimes I don't know what that is until I see it!

I see by the survey results that I'm still the only one who selected "acquired most purchases directly from the manufacturer" but it's true; the sketch card sets from Perna Studios, stuff I bought directly from Tom (Breygent) and Mark (MNS Cards) at Con and just recently the Dr. Who Tenth Doctor set from Topps. I did purchase a couple of autograph cards from dealers in person and from Ebay, but that was it.

And you didn't ask but I'm one of those folks who loves the Premium Pack format. I just think that there's so much more bang for your buck there. Not talking about the $100, 4 card packs from UD and the like, but more the 'classic' premium pack, like how Tony and Elaine do their sketch sets. For $35-$40 you get gorgeous base cards, a chase chard and a high quality sketch card (my primary collecting focus). So for the price of a premium box you get a beautiful base a chase set, and four premium sketch cards. All killer, no filler. Thumb Up

____________________
Debi

Reliving my childhood one piece of painted plastic and slab of cardboard at a time.
 
Posts: 968 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Don Norton:
Rising prices? that's a problem everywhere, not just with cards. Young people not into collecting? That is a problem in my other hobbies, model building and military collectibles. Do today's kids want to build a model of an airplane or tank, or collect helmets or insignia from WW II? Probably not, although there are a few out there, and we have to find them and help them in the hobby. I recently met a young man in his 20's who is interested in models and militaria, and I have been giving him advice and help when I can. We have to do the same with card collectors.

Hey Don, so you're a scale model builder? Do you compete at IPMS shows?

I'm a resin statue painter, myself. Mostly busts ranging from 1/4 scale all the way up to 1:1. I have built and painted a few 1/8 scale plastic figure kits and dioramas, but for the most part it's the painting and finishing that I enjoy most, not the building and prepping part. In fact I've often told the sculptors at shows that I'd gladly pay 20-30% more for a piece that was already sanded, filled and primed!

As to the young fella that is interested in modeling - that's great to hear. We always host a figure modeling contest at the Monsterpalooza show up in LA each spring. One guy's niece is an extremely talented painter and she always sweeps the junior division. We are all dreading the day when she ages out of that category and we have to compete against her. I'll be lucky to nab a bronze in any one category when that happens. Big Grin

____________________
Debi

Reliving my childhood one piece of painted plastic and slab of cardboard at a time.
 
Posts: 968 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
NSU Writer
Picture of Don Norton
posted Hide Post
Hi Debi, that's great that you are a figure painter too. I do mostly 1/35th armor, 1/16 figures and 200 mm busts, mostly military subjects, and I do participate in IPMS shows, I've only been at one national but my club holds a local show every year.
You must do the large Sci Fi and TV subjects, bet they look good. That's great about the young woman you mentioned, there are young people interested in our hobbies, just not enough of them.
 
Posts: 2868 | Location: Crystal Lake, IL | Registered: December 04, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wolfie:
Well i expect to spend about the same next year as i did this year, maybe less but certainly not more.
I expect the demand for cards to go down as more people drift away from the hobby. Dealers have been closing down or leaving the shows to take up residence on the internet but they are being shut out by the massive breakers who undercut their every move.
The hobby has lost touch with the young public who were going to be it's future, kids who want a fist full of cards in exchange for their pocket money, it now relies on a dwindling group of aging collectors who think nothing of spending loads of money on a single card.
I'm getting depressed just typing this stuff but i know it's true, i've watched it happen over the last 20 years getting worse and worse with every move.
For gods sake someone come on and paint a brighter picture. Big Grin



My son is 8 years old, in second grade, and sadly neither he nor any of his classmates, from what I can see, have ever seen trading cards or expressed interest in collecting them. I have never even met young kids in my town who collect cards

I am 48, and the majority of folks I see who collect cards are my age or older
 
Posts: 3274 | Location: NY | Registered: August 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Contest Czar
Picture of barobehere
posted Hide Post
Each year for me is totally new. I never know what is going to come my way. As I have said in the past, the day of picking up a box of anything "just because it was a good day to open up packs" has gone away due to the current price of a box vs. my budget. I have to be more selective but there are plenty of sets being produced that I am interested in.
I was able to get a mini master of both The Flash and Big Bang Theory 6/7 for under 15 bucks (That is including the shipping). I will chip away at the autos/costumes/props. I used to try to finish a set within a year of release. Now, my goal has been pushed to several years to finish a set. 2 years and I have all but a mini sketch card to finish Downton Abbey. I am content, If I ever find that mini sketch card that I like at the price I like I will have put a full master together, however, no telling how long that will take. \

This year I spent 50% less then last year and it would have been almost 80% less if I did not buy a few boxes on the Dave and Adam's Christmas clearance and the Topps Online Doctor Who set.

Space has also become a personal issue, finding the space for it all.

I talk with a couple of sports card collector (cause that is all I got in the town) and the consensus is that all collectible markets are down. Kids are more into digital. I tried to get my son into the hobby. He has a nice collection. He said he was leaving it at the house when he goes to college. Looks like he has grown out of it. My six year old daughter like pokemon cards but nothing else on cards interest her.

Hopefully, it a new generation will pick up on the hobby in 2017 and beyond.
 
Posts: 5744 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Jason00
posted Hide Post
It's hard for me to say what 2017 will bring. If I had to guess now, I would say I will spend less for sure.

Right now I plan on buying a Game of Thrones season 6 binder, quotable set, and a couple of autographs if the actors I want sign in the bordered style. I would buy an Alycia Debnam-Carey autograph from a possible Topps Fear the Walking Dead set. I might also pick up a box or two of a random Star Wars set (either Rogue One series 2 or Episode VIII). I have retired from Star Trek collecting, but I keep hoping that Rittenhouse will do a Legends type set for the new movie cast. I am interested in the MST3K set from RR Parks, but I think their sets are mainly sketch based and I have zero interest in sketch cards, so I have to wait and see.

Over the last year or so, I have just gotten to the point where I am done with being surrounded by 'stuff'. I want the clutter gone, and not just so I can replace it with other stuff. In the new year, I plan on selling off all of my binders other than the Game of Thrones ones, Legends of Star Trek (still my favorite cards ever, barely beating out the original Topps Lord of the Rings movie sets) and the Serenity one I won in a contest from Inkworks years ago. I will probably sell all of my Trek autos in lots except for the 2009 movie cards (I am keeping them), and then we'll see what's left. I know I won't get a lot of money, but that clutter will be gone and I haven't even opened any of those other binders or looked at those cards in years.

____________________
"For a universe that's supposed to be half Chinese, Firefly sure doesn't have any Asians." -- The Uncomfortable Truths Well
 
Posts: 1559 | Location: Milwaukee, WI | Registered: November 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of AWR
posted Hide Post
As a small time collector (I buy some packs at places like Target and Walmart, and an occasional box at the Philly Show or on E-Bay), I plan on spending around the same amount. It all depends on what sets are released.

I did by a few of the TOPPS Now Baseball Cards that they sold on a daily basis during the Baseball season, and will probably pick up a few here and there again if there is a player (Lets Go Mets) or event that really wows me that day. But I am not so interested in the non-sport sets that TOPPS tried to print to order (Preacher / Rogue One) that they released an a weekly basis. These seem more of a money grab to me and don't know if this will be profitable for them in the long run

As far as what I would like to see is a better balance of insert cards to base cards. They seem to be either to few (like the Star Trek 50th Set, with only 2 insert sets, there were to many base only packs in a box), or way to many (All the newer TOPPS Star Wars Card with the 1/500, 1/100, 1/50, 1/10 and 1/1 parallels). As I have stated before, this leads to confusion and annoyance as now you have super rare cards that nobody wants. And this doesn't help the hobby as its tough to explain to a new collector that this Darth Vader base card is not a good card to collect, but this rainbow bordered 1/1 card of a character only the true die hard fan has ever heard of is what you really want
 
Posts: 369 | Location: Califon, NJ | Registered: October 26, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
Yes, this has already happened on the west coast. It's hard to find a non-sports card dealer at a California comic book/collectibles show. There used to be at least three guys with mostly non-sports and several others who specialized in stuff like Disney souvenirs who also had a display of cards. Those shows disappeared in the early 2000's when Ebay seemed like the most efficient way to sell while also reaching the widest possible field of customers.

However, Ebay pushed its position too far by raising fees and raising them again and forcing dealers to get paid only through their payment window (Paypal) so some have left to look for other places to sell.

Some shows have opened and a couple have even expanded (used to be 1-2 times a year; now 3-4 times a year) but you might see just one card dealer now. Some of the others are still selling but they have their tables covered with toys or Pokemon with maybe a small box of assorted non-sports for sale.

These small shows have worked on hosting higher-profile celebrity signers so admission fees have increased from $3-4 to $10. There is even a Comic-Con for this area which wanted $25 for admission though it didn't deliver the same level of celebrities, panel discussions/movie previews, nor freebies as the original San Diego Comic-Con.

Yes, it is great to talk face-to-face with a dealer you know. You get some news that might not be on a website. You can try to arrange a package deal and get an instant answer. On Ebay you go an extra step to ask for combined shipping or to make an offer and sometimes you don't get a response. Because the dealer knows you, you might be offered a couple of oddball things along the line of cards you've bought before.


quote:
Originally posted by Triple-Frog:
I think the main trend you are going to see in non sorts over the next year or two is the disappearance of mid range dealers. There is just no profit margin anymore on the majority of products, their prices are undercut by online auctions, and here in the UK the exchange rate is also a real problem.

The big dogs like Blowout and Dacardworld will survive as they can use their bulk buying to negotiate discounts with manufacturers but anyone smaller is going to find it tough.

I hope I am wrong as I like the personal interaction with like minded people but I fear the decreasing number of dealers is going to continue.
 
Posts: 3386 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
I wish that were the case here. Can't speak for the whole East Coast, but in my local NY area neither neighborhood hobby stores or any type of small card shows have come back.

There is the annual NY Comic-Con, which is an event with few actual card dealers, and Hofstra has sports card shows periodically. Some dealers set up small shows at Long Island hotels, but go find a non-sport dealer among them. I have one local hobby store left and its been in business for at least 30 years, all the others closed up. I see no indication that this is a growth industry, only that more full time dealers will turn part time or shut down altogether.

I don't think this is being helped by card maker policies either. Some are selling to small authorized dealers as a network. Some products are being sold exclusively and directly by the card makers. The current trend to short print product makes a wide net unnecessary. When print runs are so low for hobby boxes, you don't need many outlets. And sports cards are still getting the lion's share of attention, whatever that may be.

Not trying to appear negative, but I just don't see the clock turning back as regards face to face dealings. We are a small community and we have the internet. The best we can do is forge our relationships with trusted dealers and fellow collectors there.
 
Posts: 9441 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
posted Hide Post
I'd like to see a trend going away from Star Wars (or other) retreads. They must sell just well enough to keep making them. That "Journey to the Force Awakens" set was just another repackaging of repackaged images. I thought "Star Wars Chrome Archives" and "Star Wars Heritage" was enough though I do like the occasional "Star Wars Galaxy" set. I like that recent series of books on Topps cards too.

I would to like see a "Topps 80th Anniversary" set because that 75th anniversary set was a great idea sampling all the vintage sets. They might consider a Widevision level of chase cards this time doing it with special box-topper because a few of those Widevision sets are at least 20 years old now.

We can see how a manufacturer would want to sell directly to collectors. Markets have always become more efficient over time which means eliminating layers of middle-men. A friend was mineral dealer in the 90's. He used to drive into Mexico (as far as Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi) to buy directly from the miners and sell to collectors at the larger trade shows in the western states. It wasn't long before collectors started doing the same thing. Meanwhile, the miners had relatives in the states reporting back what dealers were getting at shows. Soon, collectors were paying near what the specimens cost at the shows. By the 2000's my friend stopped making those trips because it was no longer cost-efficent and it was just starting to become more dangerous to do that anyway.

However, manufacturers should keep in mind that not every one has a good internet connection nor is on top of every 24-hour sales opportunity. I tend to think that Topps still needs local dealers to show product in some relatively remote areas but maybe someone has run the numbers and doesn't think that's enough money to worry about.

I'm into e-packs nor premium packs but older collectors have never been into what the kids are buying. I will still pick up singles for some of the older sets and there are still a couple of boxes I'd like to track down eventually. I don't need to have all the autographs (and all the parallels) of Topps 75th but I might fill a 9-card page and grab a good deal beyond that. I'm mostly buying promos these days as part of my interest in determining updates for listings in Promo Card Encyclopedia 2008. I'm finding cards I haven't seen before and some going for a lot less than they used to sell for.

I tend to think that promo collecting will never get back to where it was with hundreds of collectors being into it. In fact there maybe be less than one hundred serious promo collectors worldwide because I see 1 of 25 and 1 of 50 cards going unsold even when the price is less temptingly than expected. The downturn in the economy of 2007-2008 hurt collectibles in general as people started selling more than buying with some large collections going up on the block. Collectibles are still down so our collections are not worth as much in cash but the good news is that even if you have just a little extra cash (as little as $2-10), you can pick up some oddball things cheap if you put in the time looking for them.



quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
So 17 members have voted, but only one comment? How about dropping a line or two just to say what you would like to see more or less of in 2017.

For my part, I would like to see a rollback on prices. Silly maybe to hope for, but card boxes/cases simply cost too much for the average value you are getting. My main worry is that most collectors will abandon busting boxes and retreat to the secondary market for individual sales, as the survey already kind of indicates.

All good and well as long as there are people who are selling new product that way. What happens when they don't make a profit and stop taking chances on anything that is not Star Wars? Do we go into direct buying from manufacturers? That is already going on with these weekly custom made sets and other exclusive offer sets.

What about the whole e-Pack buying, selling and swapping? That is a different world altogether and one that seems fairly secretive in terms of differences between the original product and what comes out in e-Packs.

There is really a heck of a lot to say about non-sport cards in 2016 because we are seeing some trends that have the potential to radically change how cards are being distributed, if they haven't done so already. No matter what directions we as card collectors decide to follow the only thing certain is that we can't have everything we want, but we can make smart decisions and still have fun no matter what anybody else is doing. Smile
 
Posts: 3386 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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