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Auto cards.. Investment potential..
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I am certianly not trying to bust anyone's bubble, but after spending quite a small fortune on autograph cards and still planning on spending another small fortune, I was wondering what is the real investment potential on auto graph cards..

I personally dont buy for investment, purely for the fun of collecting, but as the actual amount I have spent grows and grows, I question the sanity of my expenditure.

Will I be able in 10 or 20 years to sell and get my money back or will the value (bubble burst) in auto cards have come and go?

How long have auto cards actually been around.. will they go up over time or is just down to popularity of the celeberity or show now.. in the future will the value be destroyed by lack of new collectors or too many fakes?

Food for thought..
 
Posts: 162 | Location: UK | Registered: December 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've had a lot of the same thoughts. I've been considering the amount of money that I've paid for autograph cards over the last 10 years and, to be honest, I've written it off.

They're never going to seel for that amount again.

But... and this is the crucial bit... I don't really care. Cause I like them.
 
Posts: 213 | Location: SY, England | Registered: October 26, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Simon is absolutely right. I don't care either because I like them. It's nice to see the values go up and kind of dissapointing to see them go down, but none of us gets out of here alive so in the long run just do what makes you happy.
 
Posts: 2510 | Location: USA | Registered: November 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think there will always be a demand for top autographs like Johnny Depp, Daniel Radcliffe, James Bond actors and GC. But the rest of the 95% autos produced are unlikely to increase in value, and probably drop.
 
Posts: 1120 | Location: UNITED KINGDOM | Registered: December 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I believe the autographs that will hold their value the most are from the properties that have stood the test of time (like Star Trek, Twilight Zone, James Bond, etc.). I'm not sure how much of an investment autograph cards are but those properties with long term appeal are the least likely to drop.
 
Posts: 2147 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh this is a great topic with lots of room for all sorts of valid opinions. Thumb Up

First of all, I would forget the word investment because, unless you think you can buy 500 Harrison Ford Indy (insert any big name star here) autograph cards low and sell high, it won't qualify as an investment. The best autograph cards are very rare and already command considerable prices as soon as they appear. Many really have no where to go but down. Sure you can make a great profit if you pack pull one and then sell it, but to buy at market price, and then sell a couple of years later will not make you rich. You might even lose money if the reputation of that formerly hot star has not held up (Megan Fox anyone?).

Secondly, now also consider that some current autograph cards are pricing high not because of the person signing, but because of its importance to the set. You know the ones I'm talking about, like an ultra rare Star Trek auto of a guy no one else but ST fans ever heard of by name. The value here is only for collectors making master sets, so how much increase can you expect on the price of this sort of autograph? Its more likely to come down in the long run because the demand is narrowly limited.

Third point, we now have a lot of certified autograph cards on the market and most are commons going for under $20. They began in the early 90's, took off in sports cards around 97 and took off in non-sport around 2002. That's just my estimation, the year could be give or take a couple, but that is when certified autograph cards became more than just a rare hit. They began to be guaranteed in a box and that changed how collectors bought and it flooded the market. Like everything else that becomes overproduced, including sketches, prices go down. Things are high only when they are new, six months later just the ones most in demand still hold the value, everything else has dropped once the initial wave of buyers has passed.

Now I love certified autograph cards. This is what I collect, everything else is just stuff I keep because its in the box. Wink Like everyone else I would like to have a valuable collection, but it is more important that I like what I have regardless of the price someone else thinks its worth. I understand investment potential, but I don't buy for it. Most of the time you can't because, as I said, the best are rare, so its not like you can corner the market. Occasionally you will find an exception where a common signer becomes hot and increases, but that is an exception to the rule.

This is long, so I'll close it up with this advise to collectors. You can waste a lot of money trying to pack pull rare autograph cards these days and that money will not come back to you. Buy only product that you are interested in and don't bust boxes/cases with the idea that you will come out ahead somehow. Dealers make the profits on cards, not collectors. We get to enjoy our collections and our empty pockets. Big Grin
 
Posts: 10509 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by drofdarb:
I am certianly not trying to bust anyone's bubble, but after spending quite a small fortune on autograph cards and still planning on spending another small fortune, I was wondering what is the real investment potential on auto graph cards..

I personally dont buy for investment, purely for the fun of collecting, but as the actual amount I have spent grows and grows, I question the sanity of my expenditure.

Will I be able in 10 or 20 years to sell and get my money back or will the value (bubble burst) in auto cards have come and go?

How long have auto cards actually been around.. will they go up over time or is just down to popularity of the celeberity or show now.. in the future will the value be destroyed by lack of new collectors or too many fakes?

Food for thought..

I bought a Chris Pine auto card,and found out two months later it was a fake. I was lucky Paypal worked with me....the experience was nerve racking. I've only bought one card since then because of money concerns,but mostly fear. Eek I don't expect to make any profit from the cards I do have.....I do it because I love the hobby. Smile I agree with you about too many high-end fakes. Frown

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Posts: 1491 | Location: Panama City Beach,FL | Registered: June 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ultimately I think it's all about what autographs you are buying and what you are paying for them, and that's all about speculation.

Justin Bieber could be a steal at $80 if he turns into the next Justin Timberlake, or he could disappear from the face of the earth and become a recluse.

The same could be said for just about any autograph. . .

Look at Robert Pattinson. . . a great buy before Twilight, but if there anywhere for it to go now?

Hayden Panettiere . . . Heroes autograph: $100-200, Pop Century autograph $40-65. . . Which one is 'right' long term?

I think most trading cards are produced in insanely small numbers compared to many collectibles, they are produced in numbers that could potentially lead to real value in the future, if anyone cares. Think of this. . . if you distributed a very limited autograph at a sporting event you could give 1 copy to what. . . 10 rows of a single section? That's not many. . .

Jon
 
Posts: 5429 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you are purhasing autograph cards as investments and don't mind waiting, a good place to start is with autographs from kid actors as they can usually be had inexpensively, and sold for more later should the actor go on to bigger and better roles.

A good example of this is the Kirsten Dunst card from Inkworks "Small Soldiers" set. I had chance to pick up a few of them for not too much right around the time I heard she was being considered for the "Spider-Man" movie trilogy she eventually did land the role for. I was able to sell 4 of the 5 I bought for all the money I spent on them (and then some), plus I got to keep one of them for my collection.

More recently, there was a card or Anna Sophia Robb in the "Charlie and the Chocolate Fatory" set from Artbox. I believe the card has sold for as low as $20 in the past, but it is already up on the news that she will playing the younger version of Carrie Bradshaw in the "Sex and The City" prequel "The Carrie Diaries". If that turns out to be a big hit, look for an even bigger jump.

And how about going back in time and putting aside some of those (at-the-time) reasonably priced Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory autograph cards from Artbox Harry Potter? I think that worked out pretty well for those who did!

Now the vast majority of kid actors won't necessarily go on to these types of choice roles, but certainly, if you pick up 20 of those kinds of autos for say, $5 each, on average, I would say the likelihood of at least one of those actors going on to fame large enough to make their card worth $100 in the future (thus paying for all 20 cards, in effect) is pretty decent.

But ultimately, I think there are many investments other than cards better suited to those who can wait a significant amount of time to "cash" in. As always, the old lesson remain as true as the day it was arrived at: collect only what you like, and you can't lose.

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Posts: 3347 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi everyone,
My advice when people asking if the price of a card will rise in the future is 'if I knew that I wouldn't sell it now'. Smile
I usually tell people to buy what they like and keep within their means. Over the last few years most of the hot shows have finished, and demand has fallen, even for the big names, bringing prices down.
If you are looking to invest rather than just enjoy the hobby, then as with stocks and shares, sometimes lower priced cards can give a higher return, but buying at a shows height of popularity can be a risk, particularly if a trading card manufacturer is likely to get the people to sign again in a later release (Supernatural, Star Trek etc.)
Don't forget that a card has to increase by at least 50% before any 'profit' can be taken after selling fees or dealer mark up.
Maybe a savings plan is safer, but not as much fun Wink

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Singles!
 
Posts: 128 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: September 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi,

Thanks for all the comments, some intersting points raised.

I appreciate no-ones here really buys cards for investment, purely for the pleasure of collecting, which is also why I collect. Maybe the term "investment" is wrong and I should have used "value".. or "market" ie. will the market for autograph cards still exist in 10 or 20 years.. will they still be making them? But I think these topics have been covered in other forums before.

Either way, I have decided to re-evalute my collection and clear out some cards that I bought on the spur of the moment and dont really appreciate, this way I can focus on what I really want. Although actually parting with any card is harder than I realised.. I looked through a few folders already and only found a promo card I am willing to part with, and that's only because I have two of them.. oh well, Like cardaddict said

"none of us gets out of here alive so in the long run just do what makes you happy"

I couildn't agree more..
 
Posts: 162 | Location: UK | Registered: December 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Picture of steve j
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I have a little mathematical equation which i apply to my card collection.

Cost of cards bought = final value + enjoyment

When the enjoyment value drops the need to sell will follow.
 
Posts: 1776 | Location: Wales, UK | Registered: June 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a method.for every dollar or pound that is spent on cards,spend the same on gold or platnuim.over a 5-10 year period.you wont lose a penny!!

In fact im sure you will score a profit!!this works for me anyhow.
 
Posts: 174 | Location: Liverpool | Registered: October 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lots of Pros and Cons here!

I collect for the fun of it and always from reputable people when its autographed trading cards. There has been a decline of collectors in recent times which for re-sale would hamper return value.

The popularity of shows can wane - even Buffy cards have gone down considerably and that show has one of the most hardcore fan bases in recent decades of television!

As for individual autographers - the return value can be dependable on their own popularity/how well know they are. It may not be a good return if they were popular on say a show like Lost which was hit but didnt act in anything else/of note since.

Similarly how sarce an autograph is from a set or how reluctant (or generous) a signer might be to sign for one or multiple sets for the same or different series can seriously affect value. Example: Billy Drago as Barbas in Charmed signed for at least half (3/6) of the sets. Signing his name different and with little messages his autographs sky rocketed in value for most of these sets - quite a feat for a supporting character. People actually began sets collecting ONLY variants of his autograph cards. Then of course they became so common and the novelty wore off so you can pick up many different variants of his autograph from all the sets are a mere fraction of what they were say 5 years ago.

A sad example of an autography value sky rocketing again would be in a case such as David Carradine who played Tempest the in Demon in Charmed. He signed for Season One was an uncommon but not rare autograph at a similar value to other supporting characters. After his death this autograph card trippled and has stayed at least twice its original value ever since. Carradine did sign for other sets such as Alias Season 3 but this isn't nearly as valuable as his autograph for the Charmed set.

Like I said, I collect for fun and not future value. Autographs are just my all time favourite kind of card! Drool I've had some lucky pulls in the past that were of a lot of value at the time like Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns and Jon Reheams (??) in Star Wars Galaxy Series 4 Lost Yoda Autograph-Promo. What the book values for these are versus what someone would be willing to pay for them at todays prices I have no idea. I just feel lucky to have pulled them at all Big Grin

Great question!
 
Posts: 937 | Location: UK | Registered: December 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The good thing about the price dropping on these cares is that it makes it easier to fill the gaps in our collections Smile

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Posts: 176 | Location: Kent, England | Registered: August 02, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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and...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

Life's a piece of ****
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.
 
Posts: 162 | Location: UK | Registered: December 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One depressing thing that I conclude is that the value of an autograph card is tied not only to the prominence of the signer, but also to the number of people who want it to complete the trading card set. If people leave the card hobby, then the cards might be valued about the same as other autographs.

That might be okay for a Ford or Depp or Shatner card because they don't sign much elsewhere. However, Radcliffe/Watson or Pattinson might last as icons, but they signed huge amounts of stuff back when they were flattered to be asked. As card sets have aged, people are bidding rare autos up to the sky, when there are equally "striking" signed items selling for ten bucks. Sometimes I wonder whether I should post my rarest items for insane prices and see if somebody's more insane than I am.

When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
 
Posts: 2424 | Location: North Augusta, SC, USA | Registered: November 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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