Is it a buyer’s market?
We’re seeing some downward trends in the prices being realized at sports memorabilia auctions, whether it’s on eBay or in catalog sales.
Not for the premium pieces like high grade vintage baseball cards or Babe Ruth autographs. As we’ve chronicled many times, that’s a different animal. However, the lower tier items which may have once brought $100-150 are now selling for half of that.
Part of it, I think, is that such a large market has been made for sports memorabilia like autographs that it’s hard to find enough bidders to drive prices up. The other factor is the combined high cost of gas, groceries and other economic conditions that has plenty of folks cutting back on what they buy. Expectations will have to be lowered a bit until we all have more disposable income.
Seeing collectors quit the hobby completely is not something I’d expect to see on a major scale, although I’m sure some national pundits will jump to that conclusion.
We buy and bid on the things we like because it’s an escape from all of the not-so-fun stuff. We like to spend what we can spare on something that isn’t a bill. It’s part of what makes living fun. People turn to their collections and hobbies when times are tough to help them relax.
With a lot more of us staying close to home this summer because of the tank-filling ugliness, I suspect our sports card collections and memorabilia rooms will get more attention. Home seems to be the ‘in’ place to be this summer. And that’s not such a bad thing.
After all, when was the last time you actually took that album full of cards off the bookcase–the one collecting dust– and looked at the cards inside? It might be a good chance to renew acquaintances with your old friends.