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Old 04-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #26 (permalink)
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When a bubble burst it's because the fantasy of whatever the bubble was made of is realized. The value of bubbles is based on perception not always reality and a lot of ignorance and willful self delusion. I find it silly to want something just because someone else has it.
I always find your answers intriguing...

Do you see a decline in sales? If so, why?
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I always find your answers intriguing...

Do you see a decline in sales? If so, why?
I don't really see a decline but I see a settling. There will always be those who will pay way too much but that's normal. As someone said earlier the prices the dealers want have inflated the value of the cards and any sort of false Inflation(bubble) of anything cannot be maintained. Why? Because the reasons behind a bubble can be misinterpreted and that misinterpretation can lead people to believe the hype of so and so artist, so and so community and so and so house, is the reason that this is worth what it's being sold for. Once the illusion is removed then things crash to a halt and values fall. Real Estate salesmen make money on the up and the down if they are good same as a dealer or comics shop or bank or stock sales person etc, etc etc. The term," buyer beware", is the phrase to always keep in mind..
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #28 (permalink)
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When a bubble burst it's because the fantasy of whatever the bubble was made of is realized. The value of bubbles is based on perception not always reality and a lot of ignorance and willful self delusion.
So if you want to call this a bubble bursting, I'd like to know what it is that was realized between Glebe at $275 per card and Glebe at $80-100 per card.

I mean, we're buying cards with art on them. What was the falsified value of these cards?

During the dotcom bust, everyone realized late in the game that the assumed revenue models of startups from that era were complete horsesh*t and would never come to fruition. There were other factors like how they spent money and how they failed to achieve solvency. The housing bubble was due to a subprime mortgage crisis whereby the reliability of bundled securities was realized too late and by everyone all at once. Those realizations came all at once and the valuations came crashing down. I fail to see how a recent decline in sketch cards could be considered a bubble bursting. What on Earth was falsified about buying a card with art on it and then ... continuing to have that tangible inventory?

It sounds like you're identifying a symptom rather than what caused it.

For a "bubble to burst" you need to have everyone suddenly and harshly realize that their "assets" are worth much less. Personally, I own hundreds of sketch cards and haven't had to adjust any sense of what I "own." Because I value the art on the cards by my own standards.

Could someone please inform me what, precisely, was falsified in regards to sketches that has only now been realized?
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:23 AM   #29 (permalink)
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So if you want to call this a bubble bursting, I'd like to know what it is that was realized between Glebe at $275 per card and Glebe at $80-100 per card.

I mean, we're buying cards with art on them. What was the falsified value of these cards?

During the dotcom bust, everyone realized late in the game that the assumed revenue models of startups from that era were complete horsesh*t and would never come to fruition. There were other factors like how they spent money and how they failed to achieve solvency. The housing bubble was due to a subprime mortgage crisis whereby the reliability of bundled securities was realized too late and by everyone all at once. Those realizations came all at once and the valuations came crashing down. I fail to see how a recent decline in sketch cards could be considered a bubble bursting. What on Earth was falsified about buying a card with art on it and then ... continuing to have that tangible inventory?

It sounds like you're identifying a symptom rather than what caused it.

For a "bubble to burst" you need to have everyone suddenly and harshly realize that their "assets" are worth much less. Personally, I own hundreds of sketch cards and haven't had to adjust any sense of what I "own." Because I value the art on the cards by my own standards.

Could someone please inform me what, precisely, was falsified in regards to sketches that has only now been realized?
Over production can also lead to a bubble bursting in collectible markets. That's the symptom here. What was "falsified" was a perceived sense of scarcity that was invalidated by over production of the assets.

Some examples: traditional artists mass producing work that devalues their earlier pieces, the 90s baseball card market, and the current football card market.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:28 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I'd also add that bubbles are built on speculation and the actual burst occurs when the speculators leave the market (regardless of the cause).
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:32 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Ahh the mortgage crisis was manufactured by the Congress knowing full well that when you push people who cannot pay for something into a mortgage they will fail but the Congress did this anyways. The bundled Mortgages was a way for the Banks to make money from worthless mortgages. The Dotcom mess was just a way for people with nothing but words to make lots of money. Happens all the time just look at Bernie Maddoff. All of these bubbles relied on the end buyer not knowing they were being sold a bill of goods but no goods..
Art is subjective in why there is a perception of quality. I told this story before but will try to recap it. Back in the comics boom I knew quite a few of the owners of some fairly large comic shops in south florida. These guys manipulated the value of comics. They jumped on the trend of hot artists and falsely over valued the prices of comics by claiming scarcity and these store owners also contributed to the Wizard and Overstreet Price Guides, comics and original art values, further manipulating prices. Some dealers were in cohoots with comics shop to sell variant products as if they had very few of them, at conventions. When in reality there was tons of the variants everywhere.
All these bubbles large and small were manufactured to make maximum money.

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Old 04-10-2013, 11:39 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I don't really see a decline but I see a settling. There will always be those who will pay way too much but that's normal. As someone said earlier the prices the dealers want have inflated the value of the cards and any sort of false Inflation(bubble) of anything cannot be maintained. Why? Because the reasons behind a bubble can be misinterpreted and that misinterpretation can lead people to believe the hype of so and so artist, so and so community and so and so house, is the reason that this is worth what it's being sold for. Once the illusion is removed then things crash to a halt and values fall. Real Estate salesmen make money on the up and the down if they are good same as a dealer or comics shop or bank or stock sales person etc, etc etc. The term," buyer beware", is the phrase to always keep in mind..
A settling? That really sounds like a nice way of saying a decline in sales.

Now a false inflation by dealers? We must be talking about a BIN on ebay and forums? That's on all collectibles - not just related to sketch cards, so I don't see how that is relevant at all. I see that with action figures, sports cards, coins, stamps, etc.

There are real problems attached with the sketch card industry and if it needs to survive - there are some steps that should be taken. The incentive program needs to be done away with for one. That's pure garbage.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:40 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Fact of the matter is Rittenhouse releases two Marvel products a year, and there is just too much out there.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Why a certain once hot artist's card sales lowers may be as simple as perception. If I do a search for say an Acar, I may see about 100 on ebay, unsold. Now I may not look closely at the actual art since I'm looking to buy an Acar, and the auctions may be re-lists. The re-listed art may be at a lower value. When I search for anything I look through all the auctions, completed, active and sold. if I see an Acar re-listed too many times, my perception is that the value of an Acar is not there. Now the card may just not be that good or it was pulled months and months and months after initial release and the market has moved on to the next or more recent release. The perception of value of an Acar is forever lowered. Not bashing Melike or the Glebes but whom is it that determined they are top artists? The collectors, the manufacturers who made them incentive artists or the dealers who inflated their card prices on private sales or the fact that a lot of those artists did very few cards at the beginning?

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Old 04-10-2013, 11:47 AM   #35 (permalink)
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A settling? That really sounds like a nice way of saying a decline in sales.

Now a false inflation by dealers? We must be talking about a BIN on ebay and forums? That's on all collectibles - not just related to sketch cards, so I don't see how that is relevant at all. I see that with action figures, sports cards, coins, stamps, etc.

There are real problems attached with the sketch card industry and if it needs to survive - there are some steps that should be taken. The incentive program needs to be done away with for one. That's pure garbage.
Like I said there has to be some ignorance willfull or not for the buyers to accept false prices but eventually these things will be found out. Back in the days before the net or ebay it took a long time to find out that something you paid a lot of money for wasn't worth squat. Back then you had to either do a lot of leg work or believe the dealers and the price guides.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Like I said there has to be some ignorance willfull or not for the buyers to accept false prices but eventually these things will be found out. Back in the days before the net or ebay it took a long time to find out that something you paid a lot of money for wasn't worth squat. Back then you had to either do a lot of leg work or believe the dealers and the price guides.
Okay, explain your false price to me. To me, the price has always been set by what the market will withstand (or not withstand).

You're an artist, so you have AP's and there is a price you charge. Are you telling me that if I don't do my due diligence - I could be paying for squat?
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Fact of the matter is Rittenhouse releases two Marvel products a year, and there is just too much out there.
Welp fear not, Disney will not be renewing licenses for Marvel to UD or RA after 2014 as the rumors go. Disney wants to do these things in house but in reality they will get rid of that just like they took Lucas' stuff and started closing down parts of Lucas' empire. Look for UD and RA to move away from Marvel over the next years if the Rumors are true.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Welp fear not, Disney will not be renewing licenses for Marvel to UD or RA after 2014 as the rumors go. Disney wants to do these things in house but in reality they will get rid of that just like they took Lucas' stuff and started closing down parts of Lucas' empire. Look for UD and RA to move away from Marvel over the next years if the Rumors are true.
Maybe that's why UD Marvel prices jumped so much. I think Iron Man went up something like $18 a box, compared to previous releases.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Okay, explain your false price to me.

You're an artist, so you have AP's and there is a price you charge. Are you telling me that if I don't do my due diligence - I could be paying for squat?
Yup. My price is what I believe my time is worth. When I did architectural renderings I charged anywhere from 250 to 3500 dollars for one rendering. Now the total time for me to draw a rendering was about 8 hours so it's about 30 dollars an hour for a regular rendering. The more pricey renderings where more commercial stuff so they took longer but the 30-50 dollar and hour rate I charged was maintained. So for an AP it takes me about 4 to 8 hours or more to do so I charge about 20 bucks an hour to do them. It's a fair price to me. I don't expect anyone to buy anything I sell, my ego isn't inflated.
I wouldn't accept any price any seller puts up when I know what i know and that is there is more of that still out there and will eventually come down in price. My AP's are few and far between, so if they don't sell oh well. If it was important for my AP's to be sold I wouldn't have any but I have a ton. It's not a big deal to me.

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Old 04-10-2013, 11:57 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Maybe that's why UD Marvel prices jumped so much. I think Iron Man went up something like $18 a box, compared to previous releases.
Still just a rumor but the evidence it may be true should be evident in how many releases the companies do and how quickly the licenses for other products get introduced. Keep an eye out.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #41 (permalink)
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From what I've seen over the past year, low end sketch cards have softened, and the high end sketch cards have dropped (and for some artists the drop has been significant). But it doesn't seem like the mid range sketch cards (ones that sell for around $50) have been hit as hard, they are mostly steady. And as Amber pointed out, some artists have actually gone up in price, as they develop a bigger collector base by putting out nice quality work over several sets.

I usually sell my sketch cards on ebay when they offer free listings. Last month they had free listings twice, and I listed and sold a bunch of sketch cards I had accumulated over the past 2 years from breaking boxes/cases. The last time ebay had free listings was about a year ago, and I sold a good amount of sketch cards then too. My sales from last year compared to this year were fairly similar. Some artist's sketches had gone down some, most stayed about the same, but others had gone up, so overall the prices were almost the same. Of course, I don't have a lot of high end sketches, so maybe that's why I haven't really seen the big decreases in prices as much. Now, I have noticed the drop in prices on a few artists, since I've wanted cards by Charles Hall, the Glebe brothers, Melike Acar, etc. in my collection and follow some of their auctions on ebay. But I've been too cheap to pull the trigger on any, since I can't bring myself to pay much more than $50 for a sketch card, and their cards have sold for more than that. So in that sense I've been lucky not to pick any up since their prices have dropped. Luckily I finally pulled a Glebe sketch out of Blood and Glory, and I pulled a Charles Hall from Captain America, so I was able to add sketches by those artists to my collection by pulling them.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Yup. My price is what I believe my time is worth. When I did architectural renderings I charged anywhere from 250 to 3500 dollars for one rendering. Now the total time for me to draw a rendering was about 8 hours so it's about 30 dollars an hour for a regular rendering. The more pricey renderings where more commercial stuff so they took longer but the 30-50 dollar and hour rate I charged was maintained. So for an AP it takes me about 4 to 8 hours or more to do so I charge about 20 bucks an hour to do them. It's a fair price to me. I don't expect anyone to buy anything I sell, my ego isn't inflated.
I wouldn't accept any price any seller puts up when I know what i know and that is there is more of that still out there and will eventually come down in price. My AP's are few and far between, so if they don't sell oh well. If it was important for my AP's to be sold I wouldn't have any but I have a ton. It's not a big deal to me.

I'm glad you touched on this!

Now lets go to the dealers and case breakers. You value your time right?

Now as those case breakers who do 10-50 cases - are they allowed to value any of their time when it comes to sorting, listing, packaging, shipping, etc? I mean it can literally take someone a week to get it all done depending on the amount of product they break. I get the feeling the time consumed by people breaking the product, has no worth?
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Ahh the mortgage crisis was manufactured by the Congress knowing full well that when you push people who cannot pay for something into a mortgage they will fail but the Congress did this anyways. The bundled Mortgages was a way for the Banks to make money from worthless mortgages. The Dotcom mess was just a way for people with nothing but words to make lots of money. Happens all the time just look at Bernie Maddoff. All of these bubbles relied on the end buyer not knowing they were being sold a bill of goods but no goods..
Art is subjective in why there is a perception of quality. I told this story before but will try to recap it. Back in the comics boom I knew quite a few of the owners of some fairly large comic shops in south florida. These guys manipulated the value of comics. They jumped on the trend of hot artists and falsely over valued the prices of comics by claiming scarcity and these store owners also contributed to the Wizard and Overstreet Price Guides, comics and original art values, further manipulating prices. Some dealers were in cohoots with comics shop to sell variant products as if they had very few of them, at conventions. When in reality there was tons of the variants everywhere.
All these bubbles large and small were manufactured to make maximum money.
You're conflating bubbles with price fixing, lying, collusion and predatory practices. A bubble is a market wide phenomenon, the others are localized.

I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one.

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Over production can also lead to a bubble bursting in collectible markets. That's the symptom here. What was "falsified" was a perceived sense of scarcity that was invalidated by over production of the assets.
Please cite your sources that falsified production numbers and availability.

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:25 PM   #44 (permalink)
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From what I've seen over the past year, low end sketch cards have softened, and the high end sketch cards have dropped (and for some artists the drop has been significant). But it doesn't seem like the mid range sketch cards (ones that sell for around $50) have been hit as hard, they are mostly steady. And as Amber pointed out, some artists have actually gone up in price, as they develop a bigger collector base by putting out nice quality work over several sets.
This seems to be pretty accurate. The mid range cards have been pretty stable - the only problem with those, is they never cover the cost of the product you open. I think this tends to still be the kicked to collectors.

There seems to be a couple of issues going on from what I've noticed. There is an over saturation. Production gone up and collectors have left, and while new collectors show up - the acquisition on new collectors to the main stream sets still appear to be shrinking.

I've been privy to a few manufacture buy outs on non-sport cases, and can actually tell you - that it's been ugly for a while. Avengers Kree Skrull (not a great example) - went for less than $12 a box to D&A and they purchased 6,000 boxes.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:28 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I'd also add that bubbles are built on speculation and the actual burst occurs when the speculators leave the market (regardless of the cause).
In this case it was not built on speculation, it was built on competition amongst wealthy collectors. The speculators, as much as they had anything to do with it, came later.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Please cite your sources that falsified production numbers and availability.
I'm not saying production numbers were falsified. I'm saying buyers had a perception that sketches by Cook, Acar, Hall, or the Glebes were very limited and then suddenly there's a bunch available and the prices drop. Then even after the glut has been sold off, the prices remain depressed.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I'm glad you touched on this!

Now lets go to the dealers and case breakers. You value your time right?

Now as those case breakers who do 10-50 cases - are they allowed to value any of their time when it comes to sorting, listing, packaging, shipping, etc? I mean it can literally take someone a week to get it all done depending on the amount of product they break. I get the feeling the time consumed by people breaking the product, has no worth?
Well since I don't know what a dealer is, could be a comics shop owner or collectibles shop owner or just some guy who buys and sells huge lots. I can't assume they don't get a paycheck whether they do this or something else in their business. Besides any good business prices in labor and other costs associated with doing business. I do. I price in supplies, gas, electricity,
etc.etc.etc. into anything I do. It's pennies per drawing but it does add up and will eat away any profit you make if you don't take it all into account.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:47 PM   #48 (permalink)
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I just went back and checked. Top sketches were still selling in the $400 range into 2011.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:49 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I'm not saying production numbers were falsified.
But you did say:

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What was "falsified" was a perceived sense of scarcity that was invalidated by over production of the assets.
So tell me where this was done. If person A buys a product at one value and turns around and offers it to anyone for a higher price and person B voluntarily buys it, that is not falsification of anything. It happens all the time and is, in fact, a function that occurs in healthily functioning markets.

It appears to me that you are identifying symptoms as an epic failure of the entire system of this market when, in fact, those symptoms are a result of merely supply versus demand of a product that has a very subjective valuation.

Quote:
I'm saying buyers had a perception that sketches by Cook, Acar, Hall, or the Glebes were very limited and then suddenly there's a bunch available and the prices drop. Then even after the glut has been sold off, the prices remain depressed.
Then help me ferret out where exactly this perception was established! Did some manufacturer rep come out and say "Yep, we only have five cards in the set from Glebe and also a contract signed with them that says this is the only art Glebe can ever do."?

Do you think that when consumers drive demand up amongst themselves, it is always a bubble? Because all I'm seeing is normal market fluctuations from my point of view.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:50 PM   #50 (permalink)
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You're conflating bubbles with price fixing, lying, collusion and predatory practices. A bubble is a market wide phenomenon, the others are localized.

I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one.



Please cite your sources that falsified production numbers and availability.
No no conflation. This is just the history of these bubbles. Just go back to the 80's and look through the congressional history for when the housing bubble started. Trying to remember the law that was passed but it told the banks the mortgage lenders and other entities that they must allow minorities to purchase homes even if they had no verifiable income or assets or credit. The things that happened from there on are direct results of that Congressional act.
The tech boom was based on hype, speculation and lots of flim flammerry. Legit companies bought into the hype. The brokers saw a cash cow and went to town. It's just a series of steps that eventually imploded. Same as comics in the 90's.
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