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monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 09:44 AM

Sketch collectors attitudes towards sellers
 
I've noticed in the sketch world, there's a lot of negative attitudes towards eBay sellers and flippers in general. I know there's some of that in sports as well, but it seems more common (at least among people who post) in the sketch boards I've been watching.

I also hear a lot of complaints about what these sellers charge, but it seems to me from the ones I've looked at the prices are not that bad at all compared to other sales.

I'm just curious, has the influx of the big breakers and sellers in the sketch world been a recent development? Was there a stronger collector community before that has been weakened by these sellers?

Just trying to understand the context a bit more.

The Madbacker 12-06-2012 10:10 AM

Without big breakers, would there be such a selection of singles available?

monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 10:12 AM

[QUOTE=The Madbacker;3764081]Without big breakers, would there be such a selection of singles available?[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I'm with you on that. I don't know what the situation was before, but the large number of Bronze Age sketches that hit in 2 days after release is pretty insane.

I understand why smaller sellers would be pissed about the big breakers, but from a collecting standpoint I like it.

nabzy28 12-06-2012 10:14 AM

I've only been collecting the marvel sketches for about 3 years so, I can only provide my perspective from that general timeframe. However, I have collected sportscards since around 1990, so I do understand market valuations and other effects quite well.

From what I've participated in, it seemed easier to locate top end artist sketches a few years back. Now, whatever is posted on feebay, I am quite certain, is already the leftovers after the deep pocketed collectors have skimmed whatever these huge case breakers pulled. From that standpoint, they're likely pricing the remainder based upon what they were able to sell the others for, kind of creating a value guide from the willingness of those deep pocketed collectors to pay for certain artists.

As for what they charge, I couldn't care less. It's their cards and they fronted the $50k to break the product. Whether they actually sell them or not is their problem, though. There are a few on the 'bay that I've sent, what I feel to be, very fair offers based upon what I have paid in the past for certain artists / characters. Most continue to believe they've got the special card that, for whatever reason, should sell for $100 more than any other similar card has ever sold for. Hey, if they think it's that special, they can just go right ahead and keep it.

As I've posted on the other thread(s), I've reached the point where, if I am getting into having to pay $150+ for a regular release sketch card of a character just because somebody thinks it should be worth that, I'm going directly to the artist(s) and getting an Artist Proof done of exactly what I want instead.

The unique situation with sketch cards provides collectors with another option to overpaying for certain things, if you are okay with AP's versus a regular issue release. I totally am while some people don't seem to accept APs for whatever reason. For anywhere from about $75 to $300, you can get APs from the whole range of artists through the right forums. You have to be extremely patient in most cases, but definitely worth it in my mind.

nabzy28 12-06-2012 10:16 AM

[QUOTE=monkeymcgee;3764092]I don't know what the situation was before, but the large number of Bronze Age sketches that hit in 2 days after release is pretty insane.

I[/QUOTE]

Marvel Universe was exactly the same. Before that, I am not 100% sure, but I know there has always been a pretty good selection available right upon release from a few sets as well. I wasn't as tuned in immediately upon release with those older sets. I kind of wish I was as it now seems impossible to locate good artists / characters from the older sets.

monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 10:21 AM

[QUOTE=nabzy28;3764102]I've only been collecting the marvel sketches for about 3 years so, I can only provide my perspective from that general timeframe. However, I have collected sportscards since around 1990, so I do understand market valuations and other effects quite well.

From what I've participated in, it seemed easier to locate top end artist sketches a few years back. Now, whatever is posted on feebay, I am quite certain, is already the leftovers after the deep pocketed collectors have skimmed whatever these huge case breakers pulled. From that standpoint, they're likely pricing the remainder based upon what they were able to sell the others for, kind of creating a value guide from the willingness of those deep pocketed collectors to pay for certain artists.

As for what they charge, I couldn't care less. It's their cards and they fronted the $50k to break the product. Whether they actually sell them or not is their problem, though. There are a few on the 'bay that I've sent, what I feel to be, very fair offers based upon what I have paid in the past for certain artists / characters. Most continue to believe they've got the special card that, for whatever reason, should sell for $100 more than any other similar card has ever sold for. Hey, if they think it's that special, they can just go right ahead and keep it.

As I've posted on the other thread(s), I've reached the point where, if I am getting into having to pay $150+ for a regular release sketch card of a character just because somebody thinks it should be worth that, I'm going directly to the artist(s) and getting an Artist Proof done of exactly what I want instead.

The unique situation with sketch cards provides collectors with another option to overpaying for certain things, if you are okay with AP's versus a regular issue release. I totally am while some people don't seem to accept APs for whatever reason. For anywhere from about $75 to $300, you can get APs from the whole range of artists through the right forums. You have to be extremely patient in most cases, but definitely worth it in my mind.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for your perspective on things. I've run into a few situations like you mentioned with someone just not wanting to go with market price and I have to let those pass unless I really, really want it.

I agree with the APs as well, but I'm not the most patient person :) So I've been doing a mixture of the two ways to get these for now. But I can see some of the repetitiveness that others have mentioned with the releases, so once I build up my collection I think PSCs and APs will be more of what I spend my money on. I do like that you can actually support the artists you like in this way, since from what I gather they don't make much off the packed cards.

dd316 12-06-2012 11:05 AM

[QUOTE=monkeymcgee;3763986]I've noticed in the sketch world, there's a lot of negative attitudes towards eBay sellers and flippers in general. [/QUOTE]
What do you mean? I don't notice this. If someone wants to hold a sketch card for a king's ransom, then so be it. That sketch card will be keeping them company for a looooooong time. ;) I don't recall seeing any complaints about this, though. The only instance where I see it being an issue is when a collector has 1/2 of a sketch puzzle and the other half pops up on Ebay for 5x what one of that artist's sketches would normally sell for.

BHotz 12-06-2012 11:08 AM

[QUOTE=monkeymcgee;3763986]I've noticed in the sketch world, there's a lot of negative attitudes towards eBay sellers and flippers in general. I know there's some of that in sports as well, but it seems more common (at least among people who post) in the sketch boards I've been watching.

I also hear a lot of complaints about what these sellers charge, but it seems to me from the ones I've looked at the prices are not that bad at all compared to other sales.

I'm just curious, has the influx of the big breakers and sellers in the sketch world been a recent development? Was there a stronger collector community before that has been weakened by these sellers?

Just trying to understand the context a bit more.[/QUOTE]

It's really not that bad... it just probably seems that way to a newer collector.

I suppose there's slightly more "hate" than sports cards. It's mostly a "mentality" thing with 1-of-1 art passionate collectors. However (again though it might not seem like it) most sketch collectors do appreciate the big breakers. If anything the "hate" is because of specific eBay sellers and that's a long story that for the most part isn't important (over-pricing and a lot of other issues) - if you have concerns, check feedbacks @ Scoundrel/eBay/etc.

But, I have noticed more negative reaction lately which is strange because there are a lot fewer case breakers. Personally, I broke 5+ cases of XMA, SPA, and Marvel 70th. However because of the significant drop in value/prices and my financial position, I stopped or at least pick and choose now (I broke about 5 cases of Avengers Assemble). In actualit there probably is a small void but with how market saturation is and is becoming... it's definitely messy and less profitable/worthwhile.

monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 11:11 AM

[QUOTE=dd316;3764324]What do you mean? I don't notice this. If someone wants to hold a sketch card for a king's ransom, then so be it. That sketch card will be keeping them company for a looooooong time. ;) I don't recall seeing any complaints about this, though. The only instance where I see it being an issue is when a collector has 1/2 of a sketch puzzle and the other half pops up on Ebay for 5x what one of that artist's sketches would normally sell for.[/QUOTE]

I see it more on another site than here, but I've heard complaints when new products come out and also concerns about new flippers moving into this part of the hobby.

I've also had some private exchanges with more experience collectors where they expressed some of these thoughts about sellers.

I absolutely understand the factor of supporting artists with APs and other commissions, but was just wondering about the context.

I guess I'm just curious about how things were previously since it seems there was a time that some people preferred. Maybe when sketches were less common? Or companies weren't putting out so many products?
Before the case incentives?

monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 11:15 AM

[QUOTE=BHotz;3764336]It's really not that bad... it just probably seems that way to a newer collector.
[/QUOTE]

Yeah, you're correct--I didn't mean to suggest it's super bad, it was just a little puzzling to me since I don't know the history of this part of the hobby very well (like I do on the sports side since I've done that for much longer). I just wanted to get a better understanding of how we got here.

And I've definitely picked up that there's some drama with certain people, but that's not too surprising knowing collectors and forum psychology :)

eldavojohn 12-06-2012 11:27 AM

[QUOTE=The Madbacker;3764081]Without big breakers, would there be such a selection of singles available?[/QUOTE]

Personally as someone who's just starting out in collecting sketches, I think they're great for the community. But an important caveat is that I feel it's unfair when that entity gets dealer prices on cases that aren't available to all.

I come from a very small town that had one card shop in it and I became good friends with him. One day I saw him putting out Star Wars Galaxy packs (I think 4 or 5) and he opened the box and shuffled the packs on the counter and put them back in. I asked him what he was doing and he said that the sketch cards were in a particular place in every box and so he did this to randomize the chance for his customers. In fact, he told me that some dealers open the boxes, remove the sketch packs and put the boxes out for sale :( I see these lots of galaxy packs online for "cheap" prices on ebay because the hits have been removed (although they never seem to spell that out in the description). That sort of stuff really makes me sad.

I guess the flip side of the coin is that monolithic collections can be detrimental as these sketch cards become more rare and sequestered ... but then that just means the manufacturers would strive to meet demands and, well, that's capitalism. So no, I don't feel bad about people who collect huge collections of sketch cards after they have been pulled. I don't feel bad if they have the same opportunity as buying the "hit" packs as I do. I do frown upon people who acquire packs at dealer prices and break them down. Also, I do think people who remove "hit" packs and sell the rest without fully disclosing what they've done are terrible people for the community.

dd316 12-06-2012 11:29 AM

[QUOTE=monkeymcgee;3764350]I see it more on another site than here, but I've heard complaints when new products come out and also concerns about new flippers moving into this part of the hobby.[/QUOTE]

Well, you'll certainly get the new sellers who see Non-Sports as the land of milk and honey, and grossly inflate their re-sell prices. But hey, without the big guys buying up all the product, there probably wouldn't be any product at all.

From a rip-and-flipper's standpoint, I can see where they're getting upset with saturation - more of the same product means diminishing returns. But as a collector, these low prices are welcome! :D The problem is box prices continue to rise, and it's tough to get more value out of something that's been done before.

I wish more of the sets would be more specific on what the artists can or cannot draw, mainly with the subject matter. Rittenhouse is pretty good with policing this (Bronze Age sketch cards feature characters as they appeared during that time, plus it looks like the artists had a great time on the set - the sketches look great!), but it's a free-for-all at UD. Every Marvel set gives the artists carte blanche to draw whatever they want. What the heck were Venom sketches doing in the Kree-Skrull War set, the character hadn't even been created yet! Same thing with Cap, Thor, Iron Man... the sketches were of just about anybody in the Marvel Universe and not limited to characters who actually mattered to the main subject. Heck, I think it's silly that the Marvel movie sets include sketch cards that don't even pertain to the movie. I do like the Premier sketch cards with the character names printed on them.

Nicnac 12-06-2012 11:32 AM

I'm with dd316... you're attributing it specifically to sketch cards but it's the entire non-sport industry. And, some of the complaints are true, that sports guys are getting into non-sports just to make a buck and out of no love for any of the product they get in to.
If they help the product sell that's fine. If they drive up prices (or hold cards at unreasonable prices), or drive DOWN prices, then there's a problem.

aggie4ever 12-06-2012 12:11 PM

I don't think it's ebay sellers or big time breakers in general that they don't like. I think they are complaining mostly about the influx of non-collectors who don't know much (and too often anything) about sketch cards who have started breaking multiple cases and flipping the cards on ebay. I think they have a mostly negative perception of sportscard guys who they view as coming in and breaking non-sports as a way to make a quick buck.

The biggest amount of complaints have been with Marvel Premier, the set you started with, so I think you are seeing a lot more negativity than if you had started with a different set. A lot of the traditional sketch collectors viewed Marvel Premier as a money grab by Upper Deck due to the high price. And a large percentage of the breaks seem to be by sportscard collectors who are trying a pack or two in the hopes of a big hit, and alot of these cards are then being listed on ebay with fairly high BIN/BO prices.

As for the pricing on ebay, I think there is a big difference in mentality on the BIN/BO prices. For sportscards, a large percentage of the cards get listed with outrageously high BIN's, and a lot of the cards get sold for offers of 50% (or less) of the BIN price. On sketches, in my limited experience, the serious buyers make offers of 70-90% on realistic BIN prices or hit the BIN outright... but have very little interest in making an offer if the BIN is more than 50% above the going rate. So for Marvel Premier, we are seeing a fair amount of sketches that are listed with a BIN/BO of double the usual price, probably because it is being sold by a sportscard guy who is afraid of selling the card too cheap, and probably expecting offers of 50% of the asking price... while the sketch card guys are complaining about the high price and refusing to make an offer.

monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 12:14 PM

Thanks for the info [B]aggie4ever[/B]--that's very helpful for me to understand what's going on.

Deathgate 12-06-2012 12:36 PM

Personally, I rip and flip football cards to buy sketches. (I also collect Panthers and Steelers, which is why I stick almost exclusively to football). As far as prefering box seeded sketches over AP, I don't understand it. But then, I collect for the art, and I'm just as happy with a great Personal Sketch Card, which is the bulk of my collection, as I am with an official released sketch card or an AP.

nabzy28 12-06-2012 12:40 PM

[QUOTE=aggie4ever;3764605]... On sketches, in my limited experience, the serious buyers make offers of 70-90% on realistic BIN prices or hit the BIN outright... but have very little interest in making an offer if the BIN is more than 50% above the going rate. So for Marvel Premier, we are seeing a fair amount of sketches that are listed with a BIN/BO of double the usual price, probably because it is being sold by a sportscard guy who is afraid of selling the card too cheap, and probably expecting offers of 50% of the asking price... while the sketch card guys are complaining about the high price and refusing to make an offer.[/QUOTE]

Absolutely spot on. I sent an offer of about 60% that a sketch was posted by a seller and got back a counter that was $15 below what they had it posted for. It's still sitting in their feebay store after 3 weeks. It's easy to see who the ones are that jumped in to make a buck with their outrageous BIN's.

Rian Fike 12-06-2012 12:45 PM

The blog linked in my sig has been going for 2 years and 2 months. Before that, I am not so sure although Scoundrel forums go back all the way to the beginning of sketch cards if you want to research.

There is no more outcry for this set than any other set in my experience.

The big dealers have been rolling like this for at least two years, and the small dealers always moan a little about it.

I don't know what goes on behind the scenes with the high rollers, but lots of the best sketches get sold before the general public ever sees them.

One thing that has changed in two years: Market saturation to the max. Look what Bronze Age does to Marvel Premier. Multiply times ten. All these Bronze Age sketches left over on eBay will be 70% off in a couple months.

Anyway, I think the original premise of this thread is flawed. There is no more complaining for this set, it is just human nature in a hobby like this.

nick9819 12-06-2012 12:47 PM

i use to collect sketch cards pretty heavily, i more bad vibes towards the sellers when it comes to the more independent releases and smaller runs. i have seen some of the big sellers buy a large % of the product run and shutting out the smaller buyers/ collectors. i have also seen some buyers buy up AP and then sell them for a profit. i can see the collector being heated when either of those things happen. in the case of the marvel releases there are still boxes available so if a collector wants to roll the dice they can.
i think the non sports card community is still very small compared to the sports card community and pricing sketches cards will always be very tricky since no two are the same and you have a mix of different collectors ( some collect only specific characters, some make master sets, some only collect specific artists, and some just complain about how expensive base sets are becoming) and as much of these things are the same in sports cards a hand drawn 1 of 1 masterpiece is not the same as a 1of 1 in the sports card biz.

with sketch cards buyers and sellers know most of the cards that are coming out and know which ones will demand a premium to which buyers. it only takes two buyers to drive up the price of set, character, or artist and sellers know that.

and this is the internet so attitudes are always higher

but not everyone is like that, there are some great collectors and sellers, and artists.

monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 12:58 PM

[QUOTE=Rian Fike;3764778]
[B]Anyway, I think the original premise of this thread is flawed. There is no more complaining for this set, it is just human nature in a hobby like this.[/B][/QUOTE]

Sorry if I wasn't clear about that, but I wasn't trying to say this was specific to Bronze Age or even Premier for that matter. It sounded like this has been an issue for a little while and I just wanted to get some background on it. I appreciate all the feedback about it and I think I have a better understanding now of the issues involved.

BHotz 12-06-2012 01:01 PM

[QUOTE]Anyway, I think the original premise of this thread is flawed. There is no more complaining for this set, it is just human nature in a hobby like this. [/QUOTE]

You have to look at it from OP (monkeymcgee) perspective. It is different than Sports Cards which is probably why he posted here. And, IMO, it has gotten "slightly" worse.

Hopefully Monkeymcgee got some perspective from the above posts.

Not to divert the topic a lot... but about Marvel Premier... sketch prices have been ALL OVER THE PLACE. If you look or have followed completed eBay listings, there is little coorelation between #-of-hinges, Artist, Character, or Quality (compared to other UD/Rittenhouse sets). Not only are these "factors" hard to decipher but the prices themselves have ranged from ~$50 all the way to $500+ for nearly identical "factors." So it's somewhat understandable about the high BIN/BO. Yes, Premier brought a lot of non-sketch-dealers into the mix but the set itself has been the poster-child for "eye of the beholder value." Eventually prices will level out similar to other sets.

nabzy28 12-06-2012 01:17 PM

I look through completed auctions of the Marvel Bronze age sketches and just shake my head in amazement. The things people shelled out $250 for is beyond my understanding. A lot of the $50 stuff that was gone on BIN's goes to character collectors who can't wait and overpay. Just have patience and you'll still be able to collect a very nice assortment of works by various artists.

Rian Fike 12-06-2012 01:39 PM

[QUOTE=monkeymcgee;3764852]Sorry if I wasn't clear about that, but I wasn't trying to say this was specific to Bronze Age or even Premier for that matter. It sounded like this has been an issue for a little while and I just wanted to get some background on it. I appreciate all the feedback about it and I think I have a better understanding now of the issues involved.[/QUOTE]

Cool cool, no problem. When people care about something, they get attitudes. It is actually much better now than it was.

The worst offenders got really ugly on Scoundrel about six to twelve months ago, and you might be surprised to know that many of the haters were [B]the artists themselves[/B]. It seems a few of them were very jealous of the most popular selling fellow artists and they started attacking anyone who said anything good about the artists that they were jealous of.

It was horrible.

We worked it out, but we lost a lot. Participation on the Scoundrel boards dropped drastically. Thanks to you and the new influx from Marvel Premier, things are building back up.

monkeymcgee 12-06-2012 01:40 PM

[QUOTE=nabzy28;3764936]I look through completed auctions of the Marvel Bronze age sketches and just shake my head in amazement. The things people shelled out $250 for is beyond my understanding. A lot of the $50 stuff that was gone on BIN's goes to character collectors who can't wait and overpay. Just have patience and you'll still be able to collect a very nice assortment of works by various artists.[/QUOTE]

Well, I'm sure once you see what I picked up there will be many ones like that :D

Basically, I look at it as is this something I want and will I pay that price to get it. I'm not as concerned about what it's "worth" unless there's an obvious massive discrepancy between what it's going to cost and normal selling prices. Like there was a Glebe I picked up that probably wasn't worth what I paid for it, but in order to get it it's going to cost what it did as long as their stuff sells for what it does.

However, I like the Glebe's style. There are some other artists in the Glebe neighborhood price-wise that I just don't understand why they are so highly valued. But I'm sure someone feels the same about a few of the artists I really like too :)

Rian Fike 12-06-2012 01:47 PM

[QUOTE=monkeymcgee;3765040]There are some other artists in the Glebe neighborhood price-wise that I just don't understand why they are so highly valued. But I'm sure someone feels the same about a few of the artists I really like too :)[/QUOTE]

This part is really fascinating to follow. The high-end collectors can push an artist up (or down) in price with each new release. Detail and skill are usually the first criteria when a new artist becomes the "hot valuable" artist. The painterly style of the Glebes and Charles Hall is usually good for value. Many of the high prices are carry overs from the past five years. When an artist gets a reputation for high values, it takes a while before the prices fall back down to average even if the quality of the cards is not what it once was.

As an artist and an art teacher, it is really interesting to watch the trends.


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