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-   -   Is ebay helping our hobby or hurting us? (http://www.blowoutcards.com/forums/baseball/391939-ebay-helping-our-hobby-hurting-us.html)

LegSpoLim 11-01-2012 04:27 PM

Is ebay helping our hobby or hurting us?
 
I am constantly in the conversation at shows and at card shops and I always hear - "well I can get it on ebay for this". It "irks" me when a kid comes up to me at a show and starts to try to get me to lower my price on 2012 Rc Autos (of anyone you name it) by saying well on ebay this auction just closed for $5.00 free shipping and you are asking $18.00. Can you sell it to me for $5.00?

What do you think about this? This topic has got to have been opened up on here in some thread but I wanted to just see as of today - what do you think?

Is ebay helping or hurting us in this hobby? From a dealer perspective?

XL5 11-01-2012 04:29 PM

The proper repsonse is "Cool, go get it on ebay."

Anyone who says "I can get it cheaper on eBay" 1) obviously doesn't have the card and 2) hasn't gotten it on eBay. Just call their bluff. If they don't buy, so be it.

That said, eBay has increased the supply and made pricing more transparent. The hobby has matured in a market sense. It hasn't been diminished.

calculusdork 11-01-2012 04:31 PM

I am always up for better competition. Despite the flaws and some of the baggage that come along with it, I think eBay has made the hobby better overall.

Ajax1723 11-01-2012 04:35 PM

Think of it this way. Most of our collections wouldn't be half the size they are without eBay.

And think of all the cards we would have never seen if eBay hadn't existed. The prices on eBay vs. everywhere else really shouldn't be as high of a priority as the hobby should be more about the cards, not the percentage higher or lower that fees or the cards themselves are. I have found no huge difference buying on eBay vs any other site (COMC, Sportlots, BO) because they all have a different sort of Identity (COME is for 1-5 inserts, Sportlots is mostly for common base and inserts, BO Forums are for singles, and eBay is for mostly singles above 3-4 bucks, and boxes/cases)

Tugarpj 11-01-2012 04:42 PM

Ebay brings the world literally closer together in the sense of buying and selling. If it ended tomorrow I'd dump my cards as fast as possible. The market for them (post 1970's) would crash.

KEARYCOLBERT83 11-01-2012 04:43 PM

It has hurt LCS all over the country

tajikey 11-01-2012 04:45 PM

I think eBay is the #1 reason why this hobby has become a business (thus, creating tyrants that often poke their heads around the Off Topic section) for some. It's much easier to rip and flip with the avenue and exposure eBay has provided.

But to answer your question, I don't think eBay hurts the hobby. Ajax made a good point in saying that the hobby side of our addiction would only be half or less as large, if eBay weren't around, seeing that we can easily list a card on eBay to recover the funds we spent looking for items to add to our hobbyist collection.

Metsfan1121 11-01-2012 04:46 PM

It is has hurt the value of wax but has increased the efficiency of the hobby.

Tugarpj 11-01-2012 04:47 PM

[QUOTE=KEARYCOLBERT83;3574621]It has hurt LCS all over the country[/QUOTE]

That is definitely true, but shops that don't gouge and work their resources online as well as in the brick and mortar, learned to adapt and thrive. The weak died.

LegSpoLim 11-01-2012 04:57 PM

For collecting ebay and the web have greatly helped us acquire rare and hard to find cards. It is amazing how when there is a card with a serial print run of 10 that 6-8 of them end up on ebay. I feel that everyone uses ebay in some way shape or form. I think the day of the card shop is just about over (unless it is a retail location for blowout or others). Locally at a card shop the prices on Bowman Chrome boxes are $79 and on ebay a recent close sale was $61 (includes shipping). I remember the day my local card shop closed in St Clairsville Ohio after 15+ years and he said ebay was the reason. That shop closed in the late 1990's. I miss the Ball of Fame next to Dairy Queen!!!

Keyser Soze 11-01-2012 04:59 PM

Absolutely it helps collectors. It does not, however, help dealers and card shops who used to be able to get away with charging more than market value simply due to lack of other buying options.

vc15jrich23 11-01-2012 05:02 PM

it depends, it has helped people get the cards they want I mean what are the odds of you going to a local show and finding an auto patch of player a /5 vs. looking for it on ebay?
but with ebay and everyone selling it lowers the value (altohugh that could be mass production as well)

I like to buy from shows to help local friends out but there are just some cards that I would have never found locally and my only choice is to buy it on ebay.

calculusdork 11-01-2012 05:03 PM

[QUOTE=Tugarpj;3574639]That is definitely true, but shops that don't gouge and work their resources online as well as in the brick and mortar, learned to adapt and thrive. The weak died.[/QUOTE]

Might seem cold to some, but I completely agree with this. The heart of capitalism is to provide the best possible options for consumers. If you can't adapt ... well, that's just the way it is.

speedmasterp 11-01-2012 05:04 PM

I wouldn't have anywhere near as large of a collection if it wasn't for eBay. As many have already pointed out, many of the cards I own I probably would have never seen (not sure if this is good or bad).

I would say my buying on eBay has ZERO impact on any local card shops in my area. The stuff I buy on eBay is so specific that I hardly come across the cards at shops or card shows. If I wasn't buying them on eBay I don't think i would be spending the money at all, therefore having zero impact on my LCS.

Coug46n2 11-01-2012 05:31 PM

[QUOTE=Tugarpj;3574639]That is definitely true, but shops that don't gouge and work their resources online as well as in the brick and mortar, learned to adapt and thrive. The weak died.[/QUOTE]

Absolutely true in every sense. I just left my LCS (LCS1) and can point to his model as one that embarces ebay/COMC and understands how to use them to price and market wax and singles in his shop. He gets it and is doing very well.

The other shop in town (LCS2) has 200% better singles and wax selection than LCS1. However, he is still stuck in the Beckett/pre-ebay mind set. His prices are Hi book value (where is bronxbomber when you need him) and his idea of a discount is to drop $1.

If I could sum it up in one sentence it would be that LCS2 still prices each of his cards individually. With price tag stickers. I mean really? LCS1 uses up to the minute supply/demand/ebay to set prices and is willing to negotiate and price to the market. He sees a kid come in asking about Mike Trout and will give the kid 3 free base Trout cards knowing that same kid will bring in his Christmas money and drop $50 on a hobby box in 2 months. Ebay helps increase the hobby's popularity, it's up to each LCS to use it to their advantage.

Positivity 11-01-2012 05:36 PM

[QUOTE=Tugarpj;3574639]That is definitely true, but shops that don't gouge and work their resources online as well as in the brick and mortar, learned to adapt and thrive. The weak died.[/QUOTE]

This. I've never had anyone come into my shop and say "well it sells on ebay for...." because I'm fairly close to ebay on my pricing on singles. I only mark up a little more on popular local stars.

That being said, I'm sure ebay has hurt the old school dealers who swear by Beckett pricing and don't budge from their prices. I haven't even touched a Beckett in almost two years, yet I continue to sell things.

Wax is a different story, however. But as a previous poster stated, I'll tell them to go ahead and get it on ebay if it's that much cheaper. I've never understood the point in coming into a shop, KNOWING that you can get a box for $20-$30 cheaper at auction (thanks to the guys who order too much and have to dump fast), and STILL complaining about my price.

natbornkiller 11-01-2012 05:38 PM

as a seller hurting
as a buyer helping

friarbolt 11-01-2012 05:40 PM

This hobby is dead without Ebay. As in it might not even exist without Ebay. The only reason to bust wax at the obscene prices boxes are at is the gamble of pulling a high dollar card. The only way cards get to those levels is through flipping. Nobody is buying a Bryce Harper auto for hundreds because they really like him, at that point it's easier to wait and get a cheaper card down the line or an IP auto or TTM or something. They command those prices because investors are willing to pay big in case they can sell it for a lot more down the line. Those prices also rise because of the attention and bidders a card can get through the network of millions of users that Ebay has. If Ebay wasn't there to sell cards across the globe at crazy prices, nobody buys wax and the hobby dies.

It ruined the purist side of the hobby, but it has also kept it alive. It is a necessary evil.

darealstunna 11-01-2012 05:45 PM

helps the collector find anything

DaBaddestHic 11-01-2012 05:57 PM

I voted no (and was surprised that as many people voted for no as they did), but I guess the answer is yes and no.

(I apologize, I am really tired right now and my brain isn't working correctly.)

From my own perspective of what I like/used to like about this hobby, even with being a supercollector who relies on ebay to get hard to find cards, ebay has done more harm to the hobby than it has good.

When I was younger, the highest value card I had booked for $30, and that was a lot to me. I used to keep my collection organized by price and would every now and then total its book value and watch that value grow over time. While I never had any intention of actually selling any of the cards then, it was extremely gratifying to watch that number increase. Every single card of mine had some sort of value to me. Even damaged cards I wouldn't throw away most of the time because I thought they might hold at least some value. I collected because I love baseball, and enjoyed pulling cards of my favorite players/team, and because I believed I was building something that had an actual monetary value to it.

Once my collection got to a size that keeping up with reorganizing my cards by price became unmanageable, I even put every single one of my cards into an excel spreadsheet with the intentions of using that to help me keep my collection organized.

When I came back to the hobby and saw what ebay had done to the prices of cards, it was pretty disheartening. I'd built up a collection for all those years with the belief that they had some sort of actual worth, and came back to see that they were only worth a tiny fraction of what I'd thought they were. Now, organizing them by price made no sense anymore. Beckett no longer mattered, only what recent sales on ebay were. No longer did going to buy packs of cards at the store mean I'd be getting anywhere close to my value back, unless I got extremely lucky. Those few $20 cards I held in my hands in awe while young could now get me $3 if I'm lucky.

Is ebay solely to blame for the price of cards going down? No. Have I adapted? Yes. Now my cards are organized by player, partial sets, refractors, etc. It's not all bad, but somehow it still just seems wrong. Ebay killed the price of lower end cards, so now to get value out of a box you have to hit it big, and companies keep pushing out harder to get cards which just make the spread from worthless cards to valuable ones even worse.

And the thought of local card stores all over the country dying out kills me. I don't care about the weak ones dying out and capitalism and all that; I like my instant gratification and being able to go to an actual store and look at what's available and know that it can be in my hands as soon as I've paid for it. I spend a lot more on worthless retail than I should because of that fact. When I probably end up in California one day it'll be even worse, unless a big store opens up out on the west coast. Sometimes I want some cards cause I've had a bad day and want to reward myself with something, and by the time I'd get cards from ordering them online it'd no longer be relevant.

I know that people think that lower prices on everything is great, but I would only see it as a great thing if box prices were also lower. But they aren't; they're just higher than they were when Beckett was king and ebay wasn't around. We're paying more and on the average getting a lot less out of it. I wouldn't mind paying $8 for a common jersey card of a player if I knew that I could sell the next jersey card I got out of a pack could also be sold for at least that much. But when the hit in a box can't even pay for the cost of that single pack, then something is wrong.

But yeah, ebay is great and all for finding cards you'd never see otherwise.

LegSpoLim 11-01-2012 11:06 PM

The only way I have found to be in this hobby as much as I am is to have an Ebay store. I dont have a marketing team to help me put a wonderful website together and maintain it. I dont have a CPA to help me track sales. I dont have anytype of advertising dollars because I just like to buy cards and the more cool cards I have the better I feel. Ebay has helped me with all of this, but also has helped themselves to about 18% of what gets sold and what really pi$$es me off is that they even take a % of what I charge for shipping. But it is the only way I have found to be "out there". I use Youtube now and the Forum very heavily. I do know to have a store and it be my full time job feels like a fantasy world that can never happen. Thanks everyone for sharing on this thread. All the comments and stories help me feel like I am not alone. James

Jrb1 11-01-2012 11:09 PM

[QUOTE=LegSpoLim;3574547]I am constantly in the conversation at shows and at card shops and I always hear - "well I can get it on ebay for this". It "irks" me when a kid comes up to me at a show and starts to try to get me to lower my price on 2012 Rc Autos (of anyone you name it) [B]by saying well on ebay this auction just closed for $5.00 free shipping and you are asking $18.00. Can you sell it to me for $5.00?[/B]

What do you think about this? This topic has got to have been opened up on here in some thread but I wanted to just see as of today - what do you think?

Is ebay helping or hurting us in this hobby? From a dealer perspective?[/QUOTE]

Ebay hurts the aspect of retail.

711 Cards 11-01-2012 11:20 PM

Greed ruined the hobby, not eBay. Plenty of people are successful in the industry during the eBay era. Either lower your prices or go sell jewelry. I cannot stand LCS that jack up their prices and rip off kids.

Tugarpj 11-01-2012 11:23 PM

[QUOTE=711 Cards;3576836]Greed ruined the hobby, not eBay. Plenty of people are successful in the industry during the eBay era. Either lower your prices or go sell jewelry. I cannot stand LCS that jack up their prices and rip off kids.[/QUOTE]

Exactly......I worked for one in the late 80's. Total cardboard pimp.

nera20 11-01-2012 11:25 PM

[QUOTE=Tugarpj;3574615]Ebay brings the world literally closer together in the sense of buying and selling. If it ended tomorrow I'd dump my cards as fast as possible. The market for them (post 1970's) would crash.[/QUOTE]

I agree with this comment


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