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Old 10-15-2012, 01:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default So What Happened.. Trying to track where the Bball Hobby Went Sour

So, I'm sure this topic has been discussed from time to time, but I'm on fall break from school and interested in starting an internet discussion about the current state of the hobby of basketball trading cards.

I'll start with a little background: I collected cards as a kid, basketball primarily, as most here would also say they did. This was the 90s, when the internet was still a luxury (preBay), and new products were only discovered by happening into the LCS. This was mid-90s, and lavish inserts were becoming all the rage. Autographs were rare, and really did not comprise the chase cards in a given set. Fleer, Topps, and Upper Deck, with their various spin off brands, were equally as revered and provided comparable quality in their products.

I admittedly spent a period of greater than 10 years away from the hobby. Not tracking anything. Not looking at eBay. Not buying Beckett's. Fast forward to earlier in the summer of this yea - Got back into the hobby, expecting basketball to still reign, but I've become a little perplexed about the current state of the hobby genre. The NBA is as popular as ever. The internet has allowed for more stars and favorite players, I'd argue, than the late 90s/early 2000s did. Yet I would argue that basketball collecting, as a whole, is rather a joke.

The same inserts I loved from the 90s are still as sought after and as prominent as they were when I was a kid. Even the sets from the early-mid 2000s have some heavily sought after cards. But I feel the product today leaves a lot to be desired.

I am sure that the glaringly obvious reason for this is Panini's exclusive NBA contract since 2009, and their saturation of the market with less than stellar products. I think the even greater testament to this is the outlandish popularity of Fleer Retro this year. The autographs in the product were a joke, yet the inserts were/are the chase cards, and the product is more successful than I'd imagine UD thought it would be.

Is that really all it would take to revive the market? Instead of Panini releasing bi-weekly basketball products, they focus on making 2-3 high quality products bi-annually? Put inserts in the product that dont come 1/pack but 1/case+. Put the odds of pulling these inserts on the back of a pack so you have an idea of what youve gotten your hands on. Instead of making a 1000 unnumbered stickered autos, put 2-300 on-card autos of given players in a given product.

Now this is all whimsical. And I'm sure plenty of avid Panini supporters will poke holes in this off the head rant I've posted. But I am interested to hear/banter with people on what they think. Is it possible to bring basketball back to the forefront of the card collecting hobby? Or are we doomed to wander in Panini Purgatory for countless years to come?

Thanks for reading/contributing.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Doomed with Panini having monopoly in general, but I love what UD has done lately.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As much as I hate Panini, I think the trouble started around the mid 2000's when card companies started to mass produce GU/Auto's and guaranteeing hits in boxes. That's also around the time when quality inserts started to die off. Things got worse when they started making manufactured lettermans (SPA, Topps Letterman), patches (premier).

Panini taking over with their weak designs, more manufactured junk (logomans), over production of patches, numbering almost everything, terrible price point for products ($60-70 for low end), non-existent high end, was just the nails in the coffin.

Basketball is not completely dead, but something's definitely missing and would be nice if some changes come along.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree that basketball card hobby is not going well. Perhaps, it has a lot to do with the sport itself.

Baseball: Even a non-star player at #8 batting position still gets 3 chances at bat. Compared to superstar at #1~#4 spots, the number of at bat is almost the same. When it is in fielding, they all share the same game time. So, non-star player and superstar have almost the same playing time.

Football: On average, you get to see defense player about 50% of the game time, and same for offensive players. So, that's like 20+ players with the equal playing time.

Hockey: I don't know much about the state, but from what i read...Superstar get like 25ish minutes for time on ice. It is not a big portion compare to the whole game. So, bench actually gets to play good amount of time.

Basketball: man.. you can get Lebron, Wade and Bosh to play 48 mintues in a playoff game. The reminding 96 minutes would have to split to 9 players. And very often, we get to see them play 0 minutes (when coach rotation is limited to 6~7 players). The focus on this sport is on superstar, not player. Yes, as a sport, it looks better because you get to see the best player playing for 100% game time.

Also, in other sports (other than basketball), the team still has identity and characteristics even a superstar left or retire from the team. In basketball, look at 1999 Bulls, 2010 Cavs, and current magic, these teams are d-league level.

The focus for basketball hobby is mostly on the top 5% players. The rest gets very little hobby love even for a local fan. Even the card show is in New York, you can see the similar selling in card show that people would line up mj/lebron/kobe/durant/rose/griffin... in front of NY Knicks cards. However, you don't see the same in baseball nor in football. You see big logo from yankee, mets, jets, and giants.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes people want stars but I have seen and traded with people who want cards of the lesser known players. For example someone may PC Thomas Robinson because he went to Kansas and they are a Jayhawk fan of JJ Reddick because he went to Duke and they are a Blue Devil fan. There is plenty of room in the hobby for newbies but I do agree that Panini needs to step their game up and the NBA would be better served by having a second or prehaps 3 company produce its trading cards.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Top 3 reasons why basketball/collecting/prices seem to have gone out of whack

1. Internet/ebay
2. influx of collectors turning into investors (more than any other sport)
3. Limited population made it easier to collude.


Basketball collectors are more "Social status" collectors. They yearn for attention and entitlement more so than any other sport. I do baseball now and have notice the stark differences. In baseball a collector will chase down a player and genuinley collect them out of interest. In basketball, you rarely get this. If the player isnt an all star, he isnt collected at all. In my opinion much of the basketball cards that see "action" are based on other peoples popularity

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Old 10-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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And I agree that there may be exposure for baseball or football players during a given event, but I would argue that nearly every NBA team has at least one marquee player. Sure, Jordan was and is the big name from all of the 90s sets, but other players are still highly sought after from the 90s. I'd say the same is true with today's NBA. Sure, Lebron is the start amongst stars, but there are plenty of other players on multiple teams that are loved. Hell, Lebron was #4 in jersey sales this past season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrveggieman View Post
There is plenty of room in the hobby for newbies but I do agree that Panini needs to step their game up and the NBA would be better served by having a second or prehaps 3 company produce its trading cards.
Just like in the game of monopoly, its no longer fun when the same player starts setting up hotels on all their properties. Competition, naturally, brings out the best in it's competitors. Panini doesn't have to worry about creating a high quality product because there are no other companies to challenge them. And as long as theyre seeing sole profit, there is no reason to make changes.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangejello727 View Post
Top 3 reasons why basketball/collecting/prices seem to have gone out of whack

1. Internet/ebay
2. influx of collectors turning into investors (more than any other sport)
3. Limited population made it easier to collude.


Basketball collectors are more "Social status" collectors. They yearn for attention and entitlement more so than any other sport. I do baseball now and have notice the stark differences. In baseball a collector will chase down a player and genuinley collect them out of interest. In basketball, you rarely get this. If the player isnt an all star, he isnt collected at all. In my opinion much of the basketball cards that see "action" are based on other peoples popularity
i just start gettin into football alot more, and it seems taht bball collectors always want higher then ebay or what the cards sold for at its highest point not its current market value. plus bball collectors are investors now not collectors, along with panini got the game in a choke hold. u need compete to be the best and panini only competes against itself. sadly enough.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It happened when $5 cards became $500 cards within a week, when certain people joined the hobby and started pumping prices. When ebay removed the ability to leave negative feedback to scum buyers
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To keep it short.... it's alive and well! Give Panini a chance to get even better than they;ve already been! It's just a matter of time that Topps, and/or UD gets the NBA licence back. If not, all three!
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomiamigo View Post
Doomed with Panini having monopoly in general, but I love what UD has done lately.
This is the only correct answer...
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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100% agree with the above---Upper deck did well with an insert product!!! imagine that..
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangejello727 View Post
Top 3 reasons why basketball/collecting/prices seem to have gone out of whack

1. Internet/ebay
2. influx of collectors turning into investors (more than any other sport)
3. Limited population made it easier to collude.


Basketball collectors are more "Social status" collectors. They yearn for attention and entitlement more so than any other sport. I do baseball now and have notice the stark differences. In baseball a collector will chase down a player and genuinley collect them out of interest. In basketball, you rarely get this. If the player isnt an all star, he isnt collected at all. In my opinion much of the basketball cards that see "action" are based on other peoples popularity
BINGO!!!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristan20 View Post
It happened when $5 cards became $500 cards within a week, when certain people joined the hobby and started pumping prices. When ebay removed the ability to leave negative feedback to scum buyers
Another BINGO !!!!

KAZZAAM!!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It happened when $5 cards became $500 cards within a week, when certain people joined the hobby and started pumping prices. When ebay removed the ability to leave negative feedback to scum buyers
What cards went from $5-$500 in a week? I don't know of any MJ's or 90's cards that have done this. I have been in this hobby for 15 years and the 90's trend has been very gradual for the last 4-5 years with the typical ups and downs.

The only time I have seen a card go from $5-$500 in a week was Jeremy Lin. And when that happened I don't remember seeing anything about shilling. Everyone made it seem like it was totally normal that he would go up that high that fast. But when the Greatest of all Time's rarest cards go up crazy amounts over time it must be manipulation.

The 8 people on this board who have some strange agenda that I have yet to figure out are ridiculous and are ruining this board.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Mickey Mantle highest graded RC's have gone up exponentially over the last 25 years... Must be manipluation. There is no way it has anything to do with higher levels of interest or people who grew up watching him haven't made money in there life.

I guess some people paid 10's of thousands years ago for old Mantle's and needed to re-coup there investment so they created a fake market with fake sales. Yes, this must be the reason why the most iconic baseball card of all time has shot up in value over time.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clipperfan3 View Post
What cards went from $5-$500 in a week? I don't know of any MJ's or 90's cards that have done this. I have been in this hobby for 15 years and the 90's trend has been very gradual for the last 4-5 years with the typical ups and downs.

The only time I have seen a card go from $5-$500 in a week was Jeremy Lin. And when that happened I don't remember seeing anything about shilling. Everyone made it seem like it was totally normal that he would go up that high that fast. But when the Greatest of all Time's rarest cards go up crazy amounts over time it must be manipulation.

The 8 people on this board who have some strange agenda that I have yet to figure out are ridiculous and are ruining this board.
Not Gradual, it is exponential. For years, the same red MJ PMG is $200 to $400 range. Since 2009, it jumps to what now? Look at Exquisite, it jumps to what now? Look at 90's insert. Look at jamabalaya for Penny hardawa, it used to be $150 in 2009. Now, it is $500. I really don't see "gradual" is the right term.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristan20 View Post
It happened when $5 cards became $500 cards within a week, when certain people joined the hobby and started pumping prices. When ebay removed the ability to leave negative feedback to scum buyers
Must have missed this.... Yes, definitely a BINGO!!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristan20 View Post
It happened when $5 cards became $500 cards within a week, when certain people joined the hobby and started pumping prices. When ebay removed the ability to leave negative feedback to scum buyers
But now at least eBay added the "report buyer" option when leaving feedback as a seller. Still messed up that a seller can't neg a buyer.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by xavieronly1 View Post
Not Gradual, it is exponential. For years, the same red MJ PMG is $200 to $400 range. Since 2009, it jumps to what now? Look at Exquisite, it jumps to what now? Look at 90's insert. Look at jamabalaya for Penny hardawa, it used to be $150 in 2009. Now, it is $500. I really don't see "gradual" is the right term.
Exactly!!!

eBay Feedback Profile for sammythebullski

Check this out! 1997-98 Michael Jordan Flair Row 3 Legacy Collection (#140148390850) US $80.23!!!!!!!!!

What do these "sell" for now? $1,000.00 to $3,000.00+!? smh

I'm glad I found this old forgotten auction, or else people out there would keep saying these cards were selling for the high book prices all along... smh Once ebay made it easy to buy these cards, they all went down hill.............. So what can you do when you spend a ton on a card that now sells for just 80 bucks!? Well....... you shill it of course! smh

Glad more and more people are realizing all the bs price jumps and coming out and speaking up!
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:37 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Mickey Mantle highest graded RC's have gone up exponentially over the last 25 years... Must be manipluation. There is no way it has anything to do with higher levels of interest or people who grew up watching him haven't made money in there life.

I guess some people paid 10's of thousands years ago for old Mantle's and needed to re-coup there investment so they created a fake market with fake sales. Yes, this must be the reason why the most iconic baseball card of all time has shot up in value over time.
Thats a bit of a reach man. Comparing 50s cards to 90s cards is a totally different game.

If you dont think certain auctions have been manipulated, thats fine, but atleast compare apples to apples.

I bid on this card
KOBE BRYANT 97-98 ULTRA STARS GOLD PSA 10 VERY RARE INSERT CARD!!! | eBay

It sold for $1540.

It was relisted 2 days later and sold again for $1600.
KOBE BRYANT 97-98 ULTRA STARS GOLD PSA 10 | eBay

So what you are trying to tell me is that this card sold twice? Because the first auction was legit with a 0 feedback buyer and relisted in 2 days and sold?

Yep nothing fishy here! Its pretty legit
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah the hobby definitely went down once Panini took over. They have produced mostly crap since it is a monopoly now SMH
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Fake sales, Panini, and corrupt people. Ive been trying football cards and its been much more fun.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sals_cardz View Post
i just start gettin into football alot more, and it seems taht bball collectors always want higher then ebay or what the cards sold for at its highest point not its current market value. plus bball collectors are investors now not collectors, along with panini got the game in a choke hold. u need compete to be the best and panini only competes against itself. sadly enough.
Football, is like this.

Hockey is a little different especially with Canadian fans. Montreal,Toronto, Ancouver, Winnepeg, Edmonton, Ottawa collectors are borderline rabid when it comes to just abut any player.

Baseball is all about prospecting. People will bust cases of Topps/Bowman Chrome and sit on hundreds of prospects sometimes for years waiting for a player to get called up and hit a home run or pitch a gem of a game. Much more patience is involved.

With regards to basketball, I'll make this observation. It seems that a lot of cards command high prices as of late (last couple of years.). I think this is because of how GLOBAL NBA is vs any other sport. With the mega evolution of the Chinese economy there is a lot of new found wealth that is finding its way into NBA cards.

An example, You can't argue that Wayne Gretzky is not one of the greatest if not the greatest player to date. I've got a Black Diamond 1/1 Platinum Parallel that Would probable sell for $150-$250. If that card were Jordan. Double or triple that?

In any event, Panini has really screwed As someone said by realeasing a new product every 5 minutes with a guaranteed auto in it. When I crack stuff I'm more excited to get the low # parallel or crazy patch than an auto ( in most instances)
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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So I gather that, rather than let panini shoulder the full weight of the decline, instead we should point a very guilty finger at eBay. If that's the case, then unless something drastic changes in the operation of eBay, we are probably staying on this same path.

However, regardless of what has caused the exponential price increase in 90s inserts, those same methods are not working for cards pulled from products over the past 2-3 years. Even Kobe autos with low number rarely fetch more than a couple of hundred dollars. You pay $100 for a 5-card pack and consistently get $10 of sell value in return. Yet if you we're lucky enough to get on the original 299 retro price tag, you were practically guaranteed to make a profit, even if you broke and didn't resell.

It's a lopsided system when there are no checks and balances. And there cannot be checks and balances without competition. Simple as that.
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