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  #1  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:07 AM
Yankeefan51
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Default Is there a market?

We have been collecting rare baseball memorabilia for more than three decades.

Rarely does one have the opportunity to view an entire collection. Nor, to the best of our knowledge,
is there a way to search a photo and description of an item unless one goes through the catalogs of all the major auction houses.

Whilst selected collectors randomly post items from their collections on Net54baseball com,
researching individual items, is difficult at best.

We have given this a great deal of thought, and wonder if you believe there would be a business opportunity for the following:

1.Ability to see all items from a selected group of very important collections
2. Cross reference all the Auction catalogs from the past 10 years by item- again limiting to rare, unusual and/or valuable items.
3. Be able to download pictures/descriptions for one's own files.

The business model would be to form a company. Collectors who supplied photos would receive a percentage of
the revenue. the auction houses would receive credit on all their postings. There would be a list of all auction houses supplying items on the site.

Those who wanted to view the site, would pay an annual membership fee and there would be a fee for downloading.

Media who wished to download for use in an article or tv show would pay a royalty fee.

Do you believe that this could be a $5M or more business, if properly structured? Do you believe the auction houses and major collectors would cooperate?

Look forward to your opinion

Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want

Last edited by Yankeefan51; 02-13-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:11 AM
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Jeff
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Bruce,
What kind of demand do you see for this kind of a service? It would seem to me to be fairly limited.
Jeff

Last edited by HRBAKER; 02-13-2010 at 10:13 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeefan51 View Post

Do you believe that this could be a $5M or more business, if properly structured?
My numbers show closer to $6.5M.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:28 AM
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I see Jeff spent the last ten minutes really crunching the numbers.

Bruce- don't many of the auction houses, such as REA and Legendary, already have their past auctions archived? I refer to them often and am able to get good images along the way. How would your business model differ?
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:44 AM
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Whenever I see annual Membership Fees, I usually don't bite. Unless it's directly related to my business, I don't see paying an annual fee for something that I might use a couple of times per year. Then you throw on a "per download" fee in addition to it? I would say you would have to pick one or the other. Either an annual membership fee w/ unlimited downloads, or a free access to the site with a "per download" fee, but not both.

I also think that your customer base would be very limited and when you ask people to pay for your content, it becomes even more limited.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:47 AM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
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Good point. The way the internet has evolved, people expect their information to be free. Once they see a charge, unless it is something they must have, they walk away.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:03 AM
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I don't use cardpricer or VCP or one of the similar services, but isn't this basically it? At least as far as research is concerned, it seems that role is filled by such already existing services.

And I doubt the profit from licensing of photos for cards from Media outlets will bring much of anything. The only card that ever gets shown in media outlets with mild consistency is the T206 Wagner, and why pay when you can buy and photo a repro for like $5. I don't see this as a big hit.

Basically, I'm denying your application for a start-up loan.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeefan51 View Post
1) Do you believe that this could be a $5M or more business, if properly structured?


2) Do you believe the auction houses and major collectors would cooperate?



3) Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want


1) To hit $5M, you'd need 25,000 paying customers contributing $200.00 each year, whether that came in the form of a membership fee or download fee. I don't think the hobby is that big, nor that deep. You might have to sell banner ads. I hear that's where all the big money is!


2) Auctions houses? What's in it for them? I don't think the exposure warrants any work on their part, but if all you're asking for is permission to use their images, they might.

Major collectors? I'd guess not. Certainly, some would, but many are extremely secretive about what they own. Even the registry guys don't always make scans of their stuff available. Again, what's in it for them? The exposure is something they don't want.

3) "America's Toughest Want"? Is this your new signature? I like it!
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:56 PM
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Google Images. Learn it, know it, live it.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:24 PM
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Bruce--I think there might be a business, but it would probably take a while to generate any significant earnings. You could provide low resolution scans in a data base that would require a small fee for use. High resolution scans of items could be purchased for an additional fee. This is what some libraries, and the American Numismatic Society, do.
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