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Auction prices - impacts not only automobiles and automobilia


Terry Bond
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Don't want to get into a long-winded discussion (that is probably inevitable anyway) but noticed that our frequent conversations about rising auction prices encompasses a lot of other areas as well.  I noticed a recent report about this half-missing/damaged card that sold for (are you sitting down now?) $475,960.00.  To put it in perspective, a mint example of this card, considered the Holy Grail" among baseball cards was sold not long ago for $6.6 Million.

 

I guess $246,400 for a nice Model T doesn't sound bad after all. 

Terry

Honus Wagnet.jpg

Edited by Terry Bond (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

Did you put a comma in the wrong place!!!

Yes, I fixed it, but somehow it still doesn't lessen my shock.

 

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Prices - auctions. Like the cars and trucks themselves - the real ones. "Automobilia" is being looked at by investors . People looking to still have their $ but also not keep it in a bank where it can then be reported ,claimed as income because of the interest paid on it .  SO do they ever look at what they bought or invested in? Perhaps some - to see if it is safe and still there.

Then you have the types like Terry, me, and several others - Metropetro, and some people who I won't name because they don't want people alerted to their very personal collection/passion. Like I have stated in other areas on here, what we have always enjoyed ,looked for, and collected for decades was once considered junk by most people, now we are considered wealthy collectors. But the fact is I still view the stuff for the pure joy of its history, how it looks, or feels to the touch, and marvel at how it was made - most by hand labor.

I am currently restoring a badly rusted and bent toy Graham sedan that is about 14 inches long. Not complete ( grille, two hubcaps and one wheel are gone)  I will post photos some time soon of the process to bring it back to the way it was in 1932-1933 in the "what are you working on " thread. I just spent the better part of 90 minutes getting it apart and hammering out dents  while inhaling flying rust. This is what most people do not see nor think about when they see one restored.

SO do the auction prices reflect the $ per hour that it took to bring it back? No. It is why I rarely ever bother looking at auctions , the prices asked/realized. Kinda the way I also look at concours - pristine , dustless examples of automotive art that are treated like that - carried to the event in a case, shown, and returned to the case to go home. That is some peoples way of having fun. If it has wheels be it a toy or a real car I have always believed they need to be exercised, played with, not just admired for their possible sale price.

Edited by Walt G (see edit history)
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Honus Wagner card.  He later refused to be featured on cards selling tobacco products so not many with his likeness were produced.  Yes, prices are nuts.  If you have young kids or grandkids ask them about Pokémon cards and prices for early ones.  Absolutely insane prices! 

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My son is of age for the first gen Pokemon cards. He still has albums full of them. We looked through them a year or so ago for the million dollar card. He did have a few that were supposed to be worth a couple of hundred dollars but what one sees as an asking price and advertised and what they actually sell for are separate things. Theres a mom n pop grocery store down the street I stopped in last week. They still have untouched case lots of baseball cards dating back to the 80's. I thought about buying them all but then I would have to go into the baseball card business.

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I have a great fake I bought for $5. Rich adults ruined baseball card collecting for kids; and now all that is left is the super rich trading a few dozen cards back and forth. Thankfully, the millennials don’t buy into this, so when this class of super rich are super dead- the fad will fade.

I watched the explosion of prices for signs and other automobile collectibles- and now I don’t even bother to look at the stuff at Hershey. There is an eBay company in India that is knocking off super expensive signs with built in “faux patina”. Folks buy them and later complain they got scammed?!? But $476k for half of Honus Wagner? He would be so pissed.

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17 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

My son is of age for the first gen Pokemon cards. He still has albums full of them. We looked through them a year or so ago for the million dollar card

I work with a guy who basically has a side business trading collector cards, its pretty much like a stock exchange these days. He’s made a lot of money off it

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3 minutes ago, hidden_hunter said:

I work with a guy who basically has a side business trading collector cards, its pretty much like a stock exchange these days. He’s made a lot of money off it

Hope it makes up for the losses in the Great Beanie Baby Crash. 

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There are several categories of "owners of old things". 

1. The person who likes an old something or other (car, chair, book, baseball card) and buys it for the personal pleasure of owning just it (i.e. not a collector). In our hobby we all likely know someone who has just one nice old car and no interest in accumulating anything else automotive.

2. The "Investor", who looks at old stuff with the primary objective of eventually selling the item when it appreciates in value. This person is very selective and careful in what they buy, and may have little passing interest in the "hobby" aspects. Car may never be shown, driven or maintained, simply put in safe keeping.

3. The "Specific Make/Item Collector", those who have great desire for a particular make, period, or body of items, and only have passing interest in other makes. An example is some one who only collects the 210 issues of Automobile Quarterly because he appreciates the quality of the editions and wants all of them from 1962-2012. Or the guy who has 1/2 dozen Franklins, or only collects Radiator ornaments, badges, hubcaps, or metal signs.

4. The " Full Spectrum Collector" who when money permits, buys anything interesting in the hobby, cars, automobilia, souvenirs, etc, and shows/displays them everywhere possible.  This type collector usually has few limitations, except usually trying over time to upgrade their collections as better quality versions show up.

5. The "Curator Collector" or museum types, who buy for the primary purpose of creating an experience for others, these types can be model/make specific (Ford products, Brass era), or type specific (roadster only, trucks only etc), and may be able to justify their investment thru generating public revenue.

6. The "I'm going to have it at any cost" collector, who may really like what they are buying, but may be motivated primarily by the ego trip/bragging rights or sheer personal satisfaction associated with having something no one else has (or almost no one else), These collectors may pay $60M for a Ferrari GTO, and put it away where no one might ever see it. Or pay $100K for a Faberge Egg (or whatever the going rate is).

7. The "as long as it's old" collector, which likely includes many of us, those who are fascinated with the "hand-made"  quality of 100 year old stuff, cars, furniture, houses, books, automobilia, cards, you name it, and become wonderful sites for "American Pickers".

 

There are probably other categories and sub-categories, and I suggest whenever we see someone has bought something automotive on AACA and we are stunned by the price, we remind ourselves that there is a wide range of "collector types", all of whom have their rationale for buying what they want and paying what they want. It is some of what makes our hobby, (and other collecting hobbies) so fascinating.

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It may help recoup on the Beanie Baby's but there is still the collector plates, prints, Royal Dalton, telephone pole insulators to name a few that folks  collected at one time then went bust.   

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I'm a card collector primarily. The hobby has gone insane over the past few years, since the pandemic started. Boxes of brand new cards which were overpriced at $85 are now MSRP at $600. 

 

People who collect because they love the hobby are being forced out by flippers who don't even know who the cards are of. There are many instances of people posting videos and not knowing how to pronounce the players names. 

 

Most of us who are long time collectors are really looking forward to the day when these flippers move on to something else and the hobby goes back to how it should be. 

 

I have my own website documenting my collection. cardboardhistory.fotki.com. yes, these are automotive trading cards and yes, they are on there. 

 

I've been collecting since 1988 with no breaks. 

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36 minutes ago, greenie said:

Thankfully, the millennials don’t buy into this, so when this class of super rich are super dead- the fad will fade.

I'm pretty sure people buying restored 1968 Broncos for $500,000 will fade pretty quick too. The only bad thing to this is that every person who has a broken down bronco in their field is now listing them for sale for $40,000....

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