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Thoughts on NSU Price Guide
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Administrator
Picture of H_Toser
posted
Hi All:

As most NSU readers know, we had to split the price guide at the beginning of this year. This was done out of necessity due to the ever expanding listings. While all new card sets are currently listed in the guide (and new series get listed in more detail then previously), card series issued more then 5 years ago are listed every other issue depending on the whether they begin with the letter "A" through "L" or "M" through "Z". We are continuing to evaluate this. So to that end, we would like to know everyone's thoughts on some possible further revisions to the price guide.

Listed below are four options up for consideration. Please choose one and vote. We welcome your comments. Please give this your serious consideration. Thanks all!

Question:
If the price guide was further revised, which of the four choices would you prefer:

Choices:
A) Leave the magazine as it is now with the split A-L / M-Z price guide
B) If we were to offer two versions of Non-Sport Update: A "deluxe version" of NSU with the complete price guide and a "standard version" of NSU without a price guide. Please bear in mind that a deluxe version would necessitate an increased cover price
C) If we were to offer Non-Sport Update with the complete price guide and ads only (i.e. no articles)
D) If we were to offer the "deluxe version" of NSU only (as described in option B above with the increased cover price/subscription rate).

 
 
Posts: 13005 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Picture of H_Toser
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I was not able to include everything in Choice B above (choices may only be so many characters long).

As it says, if we were to offer a "deluxe version", that would necessitate an increased cover price and subscription rate. The cover price might be somewhere around $7.99 to $9.99. If we were to also offer a "standard version" the price for this would be similar to the current rate or perhaps slightly less.

Thanks again.
 
Posts: 13005 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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I voted A.

I think it is fine the way it is.

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Posts: 29012 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of steshell
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'A' for me as well.

As I buy NSU for the articles and mostly use the price guide as a checklist, option 'C' would be my least favourite choice. If the aticles were to be dropped I have to say that I would only buy the occasional copy.

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Posts: 234 | Location: Telford, Shropshire, United Kingdom | Registered: September 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have to go with "A" also. Gotta have the articles and since I use the price guide mostly for reference, the current 'split' method is just fine!

Greg

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Posts: 1358 | Location: Iowa | Registered: January 12, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've gone for option A as well.

As long as you have the previous issue as well (and if you haven't it can easily be ordered) then you have the full price guide anyway.

The newest sets are always included and the older sets don't tend to change so drastically so it works for me.

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Posts: 1723 | Location: Brentwood-Essex-UK | Registered: April 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"A" also. I think that's the best way to go, while I buy NSU for the articles, I do refer to price guide now and then, so it is handy to have in conjunction with the overall magazine. Separating NSU into two issues, one with all the articles and another one with just a price guide, is an interesting concept but I could see quite a few subscribers/buyers not being happy with that set-up. I think the current format makes the most sense and keeps most readers happy.

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Posts: 5791 | Location: Brielle, NJ | Registered: April 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A for me! I like it the way it is.

What if you looked into a "Show special" issue as a deluxe version that had a complete price guide listing once or twice a year or something?

Maybe an SDCC issue, and an Allentown issue or something? Just a thought...

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Posts: 1226 | Location: Vegas Baby! | Registered: September 21, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I voted A as well.....

Mike.
 
Posts: 5347 | Location: Warrenton, Virginia, USA | Registered: January 08, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is it possible to make prices available via subscription online via subscription therefore enabling the format to stay as is?

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Posts: 1178 | Location: Nanaimo, BC | Registered: November 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Redemption
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Some questions...

Would a deluxe version have different promos and hence make it necessary to buy both issues for all the promos per issue?

Would the variant cover issues still be made thus making it necessary to buy three issues for all the promos?

Or would the deluxe version take the place of the variant issues?

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Posts: 8466 | Location: Tormented Space | Registered: July 31, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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I voted A, I don't think the pricing on older sets changes so often that every other issue is not enough.

I would like to mention that it would be great if the decease in pages saved by the split Guide were used to provide more articles and not just get filled up by huge printings for new sets.

I realize that some of these sets will look like this for the 1st time only, but to try to individually break out numerous inserts is not only time consuming, it can be counter productive. For example, to price multiple n/a's after listings doesn't really help anyone to establish a price. If the market hasn't been determined yet or the number count hasn't been released, why not just leave that card or artist out until there is something solid to print?
 
Posts: 10479 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think that it is an A+ idea to leave it as it is now.

Smokin'

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Posts: 6113 | Location: Illinois | Registered: March 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A for me, I like the new format of the Price Guide, although it is secondary to the articles as that is my main focus (plus the promo's Smile).

If another option was ever chosen it would be the standard version without a guide.

I think the current format makes for a GREAT Non-sport Magazine Thumb Up
 
Posts: 12164 | Location: England | Registered: September 16, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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I think the vote is showing that, even though these decisions are difficult, Harris and the rest of the NSU staff are "in tune" with their most vocal and visible customer base. Big Grin

I like some of the options that aren't listed, but which aren't under company control. Like, let's double the number of collectors and get a bigger fraction of them to subscribe. How about a large endowment from a mysterious donor?

A big part of the problem is the future of magazine subscriptions as a whole. With the decline of hobby shops, there goes one outlet for regular sales. The unwashed masses just aren't reading as much as they used to, and the future might require more multimedia.

So how do you invigorate revenue in the electronic world? Perhaps Ryan's point about a subscription-based online guide is almost inevitable. The print version will need to have at least an abbreviated guide, perhaps without as much space for 1/1's, or you will be giving up on many of the in-store sales.

One idea might be a "deluxe subscription" that includes an annual supplement to the Encyclopedia or an online subscription. The trick is to make any online service easy enough to maintain so that it doesn't require doubling the staff. That's tough to do if you have to support two versions of a guide.

It wouldn't hurt if more people volunteered to write articles, too. I would hate any option that reduces the pages devoted to news and views just to make room for more guide pages.

The trends in traditional publishing will still be there. One obvious answer is to work on leveraging the "franchise," but after sponsoring books, shows, variant issues, and a vigorous online community like CT, what's left? For the time being, I encourage everybody to recruit more subscribers. Wink
.
 
Posts: 2424 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Kennywood:
Well, as of now, it's still at 100% for option A. I think the people have spoken.


I just added my two cents' worth, and the vote is still at 100% for A. I think the current format works just fine. I read all of the articles, even for cards that hold no interest to me, as I never know when "the fever" may strike on a set that I have not previously collected. I also use the guide, but only as an occasional reference.

Between my NSU subscription, the Non-Sport Encyclopedia, and the Promo Guide, I think I have the cards lists covered pretty good for the sets I need to reference.

My thanks to the editors, publishers, and other contributors to this great magazine! It is one of the few magazines that I will read cover to cover as soon as it comes in.

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Posts: 1459 | Location: Prairieville, LA | Registered: May 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Contest Czar
Picture of barobehere
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Can I vote for "E"? I am not trying to be difficult but before this tread was posted I was talking about this issue with another collector.
One thing that we both talked about was just dropping the A-L and M-Z list and make a magazine with just these prices and have it as a subscription incentive. Each year you could take out the oldest year from the newest NSU and add it to the collector's checklist and update it every year. So, you could get the 2008 edition of the back list if you subscribed. I think it would increase subscriptions. This would leave more room in the regular issues of NSU if you wanted to add something like UK sets or Non-sport subsets from sport card releases.
 
Posts: 5777 | Location: Meridian, Mississippi | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Picture of H_Toser
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Thanks everyone for the votes and comments so far. Please keep them coming.

I am surprised that there is not at least some opposing opinion, though we're very happy that everyone here feels we are on the right track. Part of the reason we posted this, though, is that though we have received very few complaints about the split guide, the other day, we received 4 complaints/comments in the same day. Again, these weren't the first but it was surprising to receive them all at once.

As for some of the questions/comments~

Ryan- That's a good idea and something we'll take into consideration with all of the other comments here.

Redemption~ If we were to do the "deluxe" and "standard" editions, I would assume that the promos would be included with both. It would just be the price guide that would be either included or not included. And variant issues will continue to contain their own exclusive cards.

As for some of the comments about subscriptions incentives...the thing that makes that tough is that some people "subscribe" via their favorite retailer. In those cases, we do not have those readers on our role books like we do for those of you who send in your $23 check every year. We don't want to do anything to discourage collectors from "subscribing" the other way so to have something that is a subscription incentive gets tough to manage. I know there are ways around this like having people send in receipts or whatnot but that takes manpower too.

Thanks again and please keep voting (those of you who haven't already) and keep the comments coming too.
 
Posts: 13005 | Location: Harrisburg, PA, USA | Registered: November 29, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I voted A.

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Posts: 4594 | Location: Liverpool, UK | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I voted A.

I think it was a brilliant move to split up the listings the way NSU did. I wish other price guides (hear me, Beckett? Wink) would do the same. All they did was put all four sports into one jumble of a magazine that only offers pricing for sets released in the last year, and other sporadic sets if they include a card that's hot right now. I'm just letting my Baseball subscription run out and I'm not renewing, it's a waste of money for me now.
 
Posts: 1576 | Location: NJ | Registered: August 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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