The Great Collectibles Bubble: Waiting To Pop?
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This pretty much sums up what I have been thinking for awhile about this sudden spike in prices that everyone sees as "value" isn't sustainable. "What is happening lately?", people ask. "These auction prices are nuts!" Well, here is an article which pretty much sums up the phenomenon. Very insightful.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/20/style/spending-rich-people.html?smid=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR1RJTaW8qYfw7XbZ3icwXag8DBDr2wULGKg2_WtU9xrMVDfj6H4I0LVPaQ

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While there might be some truth, the article is poorly written. It jumps all over the place. One third of the article is about Mr Abouzeid. We start the article with $90k earrings and $69 million NFT art. The last third is about Rally Road and Pokemon. Mr Abouzeid is quoted as saying he made “more than what somebody should make in a year,” in the stock market (the number in my head is a big one when someone says that). The article then listed his big wins in Slack, Stitch Fitch, Shopify and Fastly. Later in the article, it is said he made $13,500 on Rally Road buying shares in a Pokemon Booster Box. That gain was 300% more than he made in Slack! One of his big wins is four figures, in the context of making "more than what somebody should make in a year." He is not a "Bored Rich Person" as the article claims. He did well, but bragging about $3000-$4000 stock market wins does not qualify you as rich. 

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4 minutes ago, Wally's Comics said:

I can't complain honestly, I got laid off before Covid and it has been a bare, but with this comic key frenzy I'm back in the black!

Is this a Bubble? or was the market just too low to compensate for a Millennial Age that grew up on marvel movies and are investing?

It's so funny a few months ago, I was contemplating lowering prices, now I have to beat the bush and go buy collections to replenish...

(:

I'm sure! I think if it were collectors who are genuinely interested in comic books, we could justifiably say it isn't a "bubble". But when wealthy neophytes get involved and start buying formerly worthless things at stupid prices, it is no longer the "market" trying to "correct" itself. It becomes a speculation thing and that DOES create a bubble. It happened with the housing market and kaboom. In SPITE of the differences between the two, it was eventually devastating. It happened to the comic book market in the 1980's as well. Nothing ruins a good thing like speculators who take advice from other people who know nothing about the history of a collectible market other than its ups and downs. I mean, just last year or the year before, sports cards were dead as a door nail. It wasn't the collectors of sports cards that suddenly made it boom. It was speculators.

I guess make hay while the sun is shining. What goes up always comes down.

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It's kind of funny, I was doing an associate a favor and helped him with his collection about 5 years ago...
With a good heart I bagged a boarded all of his stuff and I told him what it was worth online, showing him the price guide.
He had an ok collection and he liked to buy #1's as a kid in the 70's. I did the tally for him and I told him that with work and fees you'd do well. He just wanted money now and I looked as just breaking even except one. So funny that he loved (and they were worn and read) most of the 1's except his biggest book. So he took my OSPG offer on the set and was thrilled to do so. I sold all of it and covered the tab except for the book he hated an never read. He said he "didn't like x-men" and it was a beautiful VF copy of GSX1 when all of his other books were VG.
 

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I have had more fun in this hobby in the last six weeks than I have had in a long time. I don't mind paying more for books especially when I can make a bit more on stuff I am trading out of. The activity is exciting and higher prices are good for the category. The rate of increase has been extreme and not sustainable, but these things go in cycles. Prices will settle for some books and fall for others. Others will pick up in price. This feels like the 1980s, in a good way. In the 1980s, silver age books suddenly exploded in price after years of dormancy. That time brought about many new silver age keys, many of which have lasted through today.

I have enjoyed picking up the hot modern books (now copper) from that time period as well.

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9 minutes ago, the blob said:

can you please stop it with the doom and gloom? I have a lot of comics that are suddenly worth something that need to get sold

No doom and gloom here bro. Just loving the LOOT!

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2 minutes ago, Shrevvy said:

I have had more fun in this hobby in the last six weeks than I have had in a long time. I don't mind paying more for books especially when I can make a bit more on stuff I am trading out of. The activity is exciting and higher prices are good for the category. The rate of increase has been extreme and not sustainable, but these things go in cycles. Prices will settle for some books and fall for others. Others will pick up in price. This feels like the 1980s, in a good way. In the 1980s, silver age books suddenly exploded in price after years of dormancy. That time brought about many new silver age keys, many of which have lasted through today.

I have enjoyed picking up the hot modern books (now copper) from that time period as well.

I agree - this feels like the late 80s / early 90s which was followed by the collapse of the 90s.  My sales have essentially doubled over the last few months so I can't complain but there is no way I'm buying these key books at these prices - way too much risk of being stuck holding the bag.

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1 minute ago, Wally's Comics said:

No doom and gloom here bro. Just loving the LOOT!

referring to RR. Folks have been predicting a bubble bursting for a while. as i like to repeat here often, 97% of the books out there have not gotten inflated. no "heat" so to speak. but yes, some of the 9.8 prices are a bit nuts and we are seeing a lot of $75-100+ raw books that a couple of years ago probably would have been $25-30 due to some TV/movie hype. it seems any hype is more inflated right now. But let's look at a title like West Coast Avengers. For years I am not sure if any issues in the run were really better than $1-2 book material. And now there are 4 or 5 books in the run worth something... out of 102 + the mini. Still a pretty small %. A title like Defenders, Marvel Two In One...a few books popped, the early issues are worth something, but a lot of wasteland, still. VAST chunks of DC from the 70s on up are all still bargain bin books. 

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5 minutes ago, Shrevvy said:

I have had more fun in this hobby in the last six weeks than I have had in a long time.

Love this. For me it was schilling 75 odd newspapers a day with quadruple  that on Sundays through snow or rain in the late 70’s so I could afford to buy my pull list which included 5/3 each of X-men and Asm at the time. I was obviously ahead of my time because then everyone thought of me as a comic book nerd. 

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21 minutes ago, the blob said:

the collapse of the 90s did not happen because of back issues popping. it happened because of million copy print runs and such...vast inventories... the realization that collectibles are not collectibles at that scale, etc... in other words, it is different. comic shops were structured on selling 3-4X as many new books as they were selling by 1998 or so. today we have relatively low print runs. We're not running into a glut scenario.

I agree the current market is nothing like the early 90s in terms of the reason for the bubble but it sure feels like a bubble never the less.  If prices are doubling and tripling for no real reason other then people are throwing money around like it is worthless then I'll have to call bubble when I see it.  The early 90s bubble was caused by excessive production of books which led to a crash once E-Bay came in and showed how supply exceeded demand.  Now we have prices exceeding reason which will probably give us the same results as the early 90s.  But until then I'll just keep selling books as quickly as I can.

Edited by 1Cool
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7 minutes ago, Buzzetta said:

I have a suspicion that certain segments of the market will recede to a significant degree.  I am mostly talking about moderns, their variants, and lower tier 1st appearance chase books.  With the upcoming 2022 threshold of $600 on eBay and through PayPal, I suspect that you are going to see a decline in people speculating and flipping these books.  This will remove a significant portion of buyers and sellers as a decent amount of the market has been supported by such speculation.  I am figuring that this is felt around 2023 - 2024 to a noticeable degree.

GA books and higher tier 1st appearances such as X-Men 1 and AF15 may experience a market correction but I do not see them suffering the decline that the moderns and the variants will.  AF15 seems more for the long term collector while the Virgin Cover Gold Foil Variant of the Third Printing of Venom 284 are the books that are going to be left in the dust more often than not. 

Who knows... it's always a wait and see approach. 

at the current levels it seems that $20K is a number that is going to get hit by a lot of flippers/collectors, particularly anyone selling 9.8 slabs regularly. i am on pace for $12K and I have barely done any work listing stuff ... I have listed a short box of hot raw books and sold maybe half of them. I didn't think the $600 reporting # had actually been passed yet, just proposed. I'd hope ebay and maybe amazon give a bit of pushback on that, though probably it is more on ebay's shoulders. Ebay likely realizes that a collectibles seller selling $10K of stuff is likely spending $5-10K on ebay themselves they might not without those sales, thus ebay gets fees in both directions. amazon not as much.

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1 minute ago, 1Cool said:

I agree the current market is nothing like the early 90s in terms of the reason for the bubble but it sure feels like a bubble never the less.  If prices are doubling and tripling for no real reason other then people are throwing money around like it is worthless then I'll have to call bubble when I see it.  The early 90s bubble was caused by excessive production of books which led to a crash once E-Bay came in and showed how supply exceeded demand.  Now we have prices exceeding reason which will probably give us the same results as the early 90s but for a different reason.  But until then I'll just keep selling books as quickly as I can.

The books in question had already crashed by the time ebay was in vogue. 1996-1999 were great buying times. If anything, ebay getting popular in 1999/2000 helped create liquidity and prop up prices. I could sell any kind of junk comics for $1-2 a pop on ebay then, bunches at a time, and shipping was so cheap.

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I'm thinking this may be a perfect time to move a ton of personal collection stuff that I have been sitting on a long time.

Not to "liquidate" mind you, but sell at nutty inflated prices.

It's so ridiculous, but I consigned tons and to keep me from having to babysit the market I put insane 3–4 X guide prices on them...
(I'm not greedy, just lazy...) but they've all flippped. now I gotta work! LOL!
 

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