Originally posted by Graham:
They need to be more worried about pricing collectors out of the market. Two price rises and a case creeping up to $1000 is going to stop a lot of people.
Stopped me already.
I'm a big sampler or I was a big sampler of titles. There are a slew of sets with really nice autograph cards just released or in process of release. I'm talking about Gotham, Arrow, Outlander, Flash, Orphan Black, Big Bang, Dr. Who, take your pick. Even though I follow none of those shows except BB, in the past I would have picked up a couple of boxes from all of them just for a base set and an autograph or two. Now maybe I will still do BB, maybe not. The only title I will try to half-way complete and will buy until the last season is done is Game of Thrones.
I get a small discount from my LHS when I buy boxes, maybe $5 or $10 depending. It used to cost me $65 to $75 for premium titles. Now it costs me $85 to $95 with the discount. That's not even considering the uber products arriving at $100 and better as an SRP.
At these prices I am not going to be randomly jumping around buying cards from a show I don't watch just because my wacky habit kicks in and I like the look of the cards. All of a sudden I'm focused on only one title and will buy a few single autographs directly from sellers.
So who cares? Not the manufacturers because they are increasingly constructing for case breakers and bulk buyers. I'm only a box buyer, two or three tops at best.
However that just shows how stupid this business has become because I am not just one box buyer. I am not unique. Many card collectors follow different titles and try random stuff for the heck of it. The total accumulation of what they might buy annually is huge, even if it is in smaller orders individually on the various titles.
Only now the cost of these products is too high. You don't have to be an economist to figure out you are losing too much money on an AVERAGE box when you are not absolutely committed to the title. And those master builders that are absolutely committed to the title, well their quitting that too because it is impossible to do on too many new sets.
So yes, cost is stopping many experienced card collectors now. The question for the card manufacturers is, do you think your new methods (super limited, ePacks, Kickstarter, NOW, etc.) will bring in enough new buyers to not only increase your sales, but also offset for all the collectors who have cut back spending on new cards or have completely retreated to the secondary market for old cards?
From where I sit right now, the answer is NO.