Originally Posted by premium1981
It is because of all of the new prospectors. The hobby is going away from collecting, and moving to investments. More buyers = higher prices. The trend will probably continue with future prospects and products until the bubble busts and the hobby shifts again.
Lots of great points, but this one probably hits the mark the closest. I got into a conversation about cards with a very investment savvy individual a few weeks ago. He assumed baseball cards were still a 'hold for 30 years then sell" type investment. I explained about prospecting, color refractors, grading, rip and flip and he was amazed. The real money is to be made on players who 99% of the world has never heard of.
Investors buy cards now for the very short term investment. Where Buxton's prices are today is really irrelevant compared to where they might be when he gets called up. Where they might be when he makes his first all-star game. Where they might be when he helps the Twins to 5 consecutive World Series championships. Or where they might be when he's a first ballot HOF. The majority of his cards will be bought and sold before he's even out of the minors.
The nature of our hobby is the quick flip investments right now, not long term collecting. So Buxton's prices compared to other prospects shouldn't be taken as "Buxton is better than XXX prospect", it's just a reflection of what the flippers think they can flip Buxton for compared to what the flippers think they can flip XXX prospect for. Price is no longer an indication of talent. Price is an indication of current value compared to tomorrow's expected value. Just like day trading has changed the stock market. No one buys stocks based on the company's long term vision anymore, they buy stocks based on estimations of next week's earnings report. Collectors buy cards based on estimations of next week's BA Top prospect report.