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Don't talk to me about resale values!
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Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of btlfannz
posted
My recently deceased brother-in-law left behind a stamp collection. So vast was the collection that Auckland's most prestigious stamp dealer sent someone out to pick it up. This is a dealer from where most of the stamps were originally purchased.
Before we submitted them we catalogued them at just over $60,000. I warned my sister not to expect more than about 20% of catalogue price (about $12,000). After reviewing all of the stamps for 3 weeks they finally cam back with an offer of $2500. I went into pick the stamps up today and the bulk filled my boot and up to the roof in the back of my large car.
As I've said before, anyone who collects anything at all should only ever collect for the sheer pleasure of collecting, forget all about financial return, it's just pie in the sky.

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My dog is a RotweillerXLabrador. He'll bite your leg off but he'll always bring it back to you.
 
Posts: 509 | Location: Auckland New Zealand | Registered: January 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't think about resale value. All my non-pack purchases were bought because I want and like them. I never thought of buying just because of their value. If it will make me happy and is within my budget, I go for it.
 
Posts: 69 | Location: Earth | Registered: November 01, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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You only have to go through the completed auctions on ebay and see the prices that things sell for now compared with five years ago to make yourself go and cry in a dark corner somewhere.

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Posts: 27934 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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I've noticed on ebay a ton of chase cards on the early 1990s Marvel Comics related sets by SkyBox and Fleer, going for $1 or less. Frown
 
Posts: 4232 | Location: Bayonne, NJ, USA | Registered: May 06, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Logan
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On a similar note, does anyone go through stretches where they get bored with collecting? I feel I'm in a bit of one right now. Tired of spending money, frustrated with cards not holding the price I paid for them weeks before, bored with a lot of the upcoming releases. I think I need to take a step back from buying so I don't totally burn myself out. Smile
 
Posts: 1929 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of beamer
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It's not that I get bored, but more like there is nothing out there that whets my appetite. I am a big Disney card collector and there is so little out there I don't have. When the new Transportation cards were released a few months ago (series #3) I was back in the grove. But for the most part collecting non-sports cards for me is like being a hibernating bear. One minute I am up and out searching, the next I am sleeping thru the dead of winter.
 
Posts: 755 | Location: FL | Registered: January 28, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Contest Czar
Picture of barobehere
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I got through phases. Right now I really want to complete the last 27 sets I am looking for so I am trade happy. This time last year, I was ok with not doing much trading. Don't know why.
 
Posts: 5589 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by btlfannz:
Before we submitted them we catalogued them at just over $60,000. I warned my sister not to expect more than about 20% of catalogue price (about $12,000). After reviewing all of the stamps for 3 weeks they finally cam back with an offer of $2500. I went into pick the stamps up today and the bulk filled my boot and up to the roof in the back of my large car.


I'm happy you took the lot back. That offer of less than 5% of catalog is an insult. Unless your brother-in-law bought stamps that somehow have no market, that is a cheating bid. The stamp dealer would put those stamps up for sale at catalog price and make a hefty profit even if he only sold one out of five to his customers.

As for resale in general, whether its stamps, cards or coins any bulk sale to a dealer will net you less than 20% of value. And that's only on what they actually want, the rest you are basically donating.

Here's how it goes.

Assuming there is a price guide or catalog price, cut it in half. That's what a dealer will say he sells it for.

Then take that 50% off price and cut it in half again. That's the double profit margin the dealer wants to maintain.

So now you are getting 25% of value, but its a bulk sale and he's not really interested in all those common or average items that may be in there. So instead of adding value he starts dropping the percentage, because he's doing you a favor by taking it all off your hands. Big Grin And to a certain extent he is, because you want to do this fast and convenient. So now you take it or leave it.

Please understand I'm not against dealers making a profit, they should, its a business. I'm just stating the facts. Bulk sales to dealers will get you a small amount of what you paid, almost to the point of not being worth it.
 
Posts: 7494 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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I think that first of all you shouldn't go by a price guide because who knows how accurate that is. Go to eBay, and research what they are actually selling for. After this you can probably expect to get 50% of that value if you don't sell them all individually yourself.
 
Posts: 860 | Location: Alaska | Registered: May 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by Chuck Bartowski:
I think that first of all you shouldn't go by a price guide because who knows how accurate that is. Go to eBay, and research what they are actually selling for. After this you can probably expect to get 50% of that value if you don't sell them all individually yourself.


Dealers only talk about price guides when they are buying from you, anything not listed in the guide is a common to them. Ebay prices don't enter into it, and unless they know that they have customers for your items, a dealer won't even make a offer.

Now we're talking about a bulk sale of many items here at once, a lot of dealers don't do that anymore. They will try to talk you into cherry picking the best cards off. If they entertain everything it will be at 25% of book and that is the BEST offer you will get. Some bad types may really try to bleed you.

With individual high end cards you will do much better, even if you are selling to a dealer you can expect 50% to 70% of book. Not with a large bulk sale though, you are paying for the privilege of getting rid of it all fast.
 
Posts: 7494 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law and his collection. But stamps is one thing that is very hard to collect and catalog. Selling straight to a dealer is also a big no no if you don't know the market. And catalog values don't mean much, even in non-sports card. If you really want to sell his collection and get some decent money out of it, you will have to do lots of research and sell them piece by piece to collectors not dealers.

Also when it comes to collecting, I believe that value should come secondary. You really have to enjoy and love something a lot to invest your time and money into it.
 
Posts: 97 | Location: United States | Registered: November 04, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Also when it comes to collecting, I believe that value should come secondary. You really have to enjoy and love something a lot to invest your time and money into it.


I agree to a point, I collect knowing my cards do have a value though maybe not what I paid for them. I get frustrated when some boxes I open have a much lower value than purchase price when considering the cards inside.
 
Posts: 457 | Location: Raleigh | Registered: April 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Chrisahend
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Part of the problem with selling a collection that size is that the dealer is considering how long it will take to recover their investment. A large quantity of lower priced items can take a very long time to sell. The dealers I know price large collections based on the handful of items they know they can turn over reasonably fast or items they need for their inventory. They pay pennies for the rest even if it is decent quality inventory. It seems to be the same for just about any collectable.
 
Posts: 869 | Location: Birmingham, AL | Registered: November 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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In addition to the factors mentioned, there's also an ever increasing amount of competition for the collectibles money out there. There's only so much to spend, and an awful lot to spend it on.

Ebay is offering many sellers 100,000 (!) free listings this week, which leads to a lot of bargains to be had there. There's only so much money for this stuff we collect, but they keep making more and more of it, and a lot of the stuff from before remains popular, too. The money collectors can allocate for it all can only be spread so far.

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Posts: 2923 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of Chrisahend
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quote:
Originally posted by chesspieceface:

Ebay is offering many sellers 100,000 (!) free listings this week, which leads to a lot of bargains to be had there. There's only so much money for this stuff we collect, but they keep making more and more of it, and a lot of the stuff from before remains popular, too. The money collectors can allocate for it all can only be spread so far.

That would explain all the junk I was looking through today.
 
Posts: 869 | Location: Birmingham, AL | Registered: November 07, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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Have you tried collecting Disney cards that are not from the USA? There is a never ending amount of stuff. If you also collect food premiums and promo items from all over the world I am sure you can find quite a number of things you don't have. How abou some Incredibles promo postcards put out by Toshiba in Singapore? Are you only looking for 9 pocket size cards?

quote:
Originally posted by beamer:
It's not that I get bored, but more like there is nothing out there that whets my appetite. I am a big Disney card collector and there is so little out there I don't have. When the new Transportation cards were released a few months ago (series #3) I was back in the grove. But for the most part collecting non-sports cards for me is like being a hibernating bear. One minute I am up and out searching, the next I am sleeping thru the dead of winter.
 
Posts: 921 | Location: WESTWOOD NJ | Registered: May 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
Picture of beamer
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I limit my Disney collecting to trading cards only. I never got into food items or post cards. I have no interest in those types of Disney items.
 
Posts: 755 | Location: FL | Registered: January 28, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had been collecting comics since 1979. I started with Justice League of America. Up until 2yrs ago I was buying every week. I had over 6,000 comics. Then I realized that a majority (95%) are worth almost nothing. So I sold most of them for $800 to a comic wholesaler. I kept all of my Justice Leagues and other comics I had enjoyed. I also kept some of my most valueable (Brave & The Bold #28. The First appearance of the Justice League). But, it was very depressing at the time.
 
Posts: 526 | Location: nj | Registered: April 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I get frequent questions from inexperienced collectors who find cards they think might be valuable. Except for the short "maybe a nickel" answers, I feel compelled to tell them a little bit about the market to reduce their expectations. Like, selling to a dealer won't get you much because (except in rare cases) it's speculation -- You might say that a dealer will sell a card for 50% of guide, and that he needs to keep a profit margin so you'd expect 25%, but the dealer might have no idea whether items will actually *sell*. Before the internet the traffickers in rare items were connected by networks, and had lists of buyers who might be interested. Today, unless there's a quick reference for a sought-after item, they may reduce the offer another 50% to cover dusting the spec cards for a decade.

I also have known dealers in "rare and antiquarian" books, who can't compete because they no longer have much control of a network. People can go to the internet and find an item at a fraction of the cost, from somebody who doesn't even know what the "book value" is. A while back on Card Talk we were discussing a ~$100 cost somebody saw for the last edition of the Chris Benjamin Guide 4. That made me note that my copy was falling apart, so I went to the web and picked up another copy for $4. Once I saw a juvenile book in a rare-book store with a certificate and a price-tag of $1200, while a friend found me up a copy in a flea market for 35 cents Canadian. (Nice friend!) Pardon the digression - but it leads to a strategy I use for high-value cards I look for in my own collection: I don't try to be in a hurry, but I might check frequently to see if I can find it for 10% of what people usually ask.

It's kind of fun if the questionner asks about a card where you can look up some selling history. For most cards, though, including those that might have a guide price of US$50, I say the best they can do is look at eBay and see what a card actually sells for (not what it's offered for). If they don't have ties to a "distribution" network, where else can they go? They might do better at shows, if they invest the time and cost. They might find a blog where fanatics for a specific subject congregate. They might have an item with crossover appeal that might lead them to check (say) Elvis or Disney collector websites.

But I know my advice will almost always disappoint them - though I admit that a few questions are about gems, and the asker just wondered if it worth *anything* before they tossed it in the trash.

Since most of these people don't go to card shows where somebody might sort through their bulk collection with an eye for the unusual, if they have a boxful of stuff, I usually end up saying they could donate (appropriate) material to a suitable charity and maybe make a kid happy. Or find a flea market booth that will try to sell it on consignment first, because it's possible to get lucky from impulse buyers. I know a bunch of people who have donated card or comic collections, and if they itemize deductions for their taxes, they put in the price-guide values. A 28% return may be better than anything they could get elsewhere, if they don't have the time or knowledge to take the cards to where the people who might want them will show up ...
 
Posts: 2293 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of eng621
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I have NO plans on selling my collection (Star Wars). With that being said, when I lost my job a year ago, I almost had to. So that is always in the back of my mind when buying.

I collect with the thought that my family will sell them when I’m gone. I collect what I like first, but like in autographs I don't get them personalized anymore. I also have an inventory done in an excel program with pictures hyperlinked to each one. I also told them who to contact so they won’t get bent over the rail. Educate your family. If they listed my ESB series 1 on ebay, but didn’t know that Ralph McQuarrie signed all of the art cards someone would get a great deal!

I know I can’t retire on my collection, but I won’t give it away either.
 
Posts: 113 | Location: Yorkville,IL., USA | Registered: April 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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