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  #1  
Old 05-26-2022, 02:21 PM
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Default Photo asking prices - just insane

Asking prices on eBay just seemingly off the wall. I guess there are a lot of collectors not really looking to move photos, but mark everything at $10,000 or $15,000 or $25,000 just in case. Buy something for $1,500, post for sale on eBay for $8,000. Buy a photo from one of the big AHs for $12,000; immediately list on eBay for $40,000. A business model for some. And of course people can ask whatever they want. Just seems like the aspirations of some have far outrun where the market actually is. I don't see people buying cards at auctions and listing on eBay for 3x or 4x what they paid a few days later, but maybe its happening.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2022, 03:02 PM
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I've noticed this as well. It's strange how the roles of auction houses and ebay is kinda flipped for photos.
Auction houses are the go to for selling big cards and getting record prices. While eBay you can get some decent deals on most cards.

While auction houses for photos are where you get the true price/good deals, and not an outrageous bin price like eBay sellers are asking.
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2022, 03:41 PM
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I see two different types of sellers. It applies to all Sports memorabilia, but is now really evident in photos.
1) Price them high and sit and wait forever. I have found on several that I won, the sellers accepted 50%, or less, of their listed price on a BIN.

2) Price it high and wait a week or two. If no bites, drop the price. Rinse ans Repeat until it sells.

Both start fishing for the whale with poor impulse control, more money than brains, or some combination of both. One is in it for the long game and is willing to wait, the other wants to sell it, but fishes first.
I have to say that I get the second plan more than the first. I guess if you have the ability to lay out the capitol and wait, you can bet that prices will rise to your asking price eventually.
I will say there is not much more annoying than someone who beats me out on a photo at an auction and then lists it on ebay for double, triple, or more, only to have it sit there for months or even years sometimes. Perhaps they think the people who lost will look to buy it from them. Perhaps, but not me. I have never bought a photo from a reseller that I lost it to in an auction. I'll just live without it.
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  #4  
Old 05-26-2022, 04:28 PM
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People will tell me I am an idiot or insane, or both, but my best purchases in photos in last year have been with Probstein. Maybe others are afraid to deal with him.

I have also bought some nice stuff from Brigandi out of NYC.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 05-27-2022 at 08:52 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2022, 04:31 PM
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It's gotten to the point where I almost never look at eBay anymore. The stuff I'm interested in is rarely run as eBay auctions and the fixed prices on most are ridiculous. While I agree that people can ask whatever price they choose, when said prices are routinely listed at 2x-5x what the same item last sold for at auction, I'm just wasting my time even looking.
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2022, 04:53 PM
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eBay seems to be a bit of a broken market on photos. Sure economists have a better team. But when the ask is miles from a reasonable bid, basically the market is not functioning.

I agree it almost not worth looking at eBay. RMY and some of the other AHs are
really the place to look.
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2022, 07:55 PM
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There’s another eBay guy who does the same thing with another specific memorabilia category (not photos)…buys from auction houses, doubles or triples what he paid and they sit forever…I don’t get it.
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  #8  
Old 05-26-2022, 08:33 PM
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About seven years ago I sold a photo of Briggs Stadium form a 1945 Negro League game which may have featured Jackie Robinson. I sold it on eBay and was thrilled with the price I got for it. The buyer immediately put it back on eBay for five times the sales price. I believe it continues to be available at that same price seven years later. It’s a business model I just don’t get
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  #9  
Old 05-27-2022, 08:54 AM
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Jackie is the most extreme example. Anything Jackie is priced to the moon and beyond.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason19th View Post
About seven years ago I sold a photo of Briggs Stadium form a 1945 Negro League game which may have featured Jackie Robinson. I sold it on eBay and was thrilled with the price I got for it. The buyer immediately put it back on eBay for five times the sales price. I believe it continues to be available at that same price seven years later. It’s a business model I just don’t get
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2022, 09:41 AM
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Scott Gaynor has a lot of really cool photos in his auction ending next week on eBay. All started at 9.99 opening bids. I did consign some items to him, but the cool photos are not mine. I saw early photos of several HOFers and some Bain images too. His ebay username is estate-finders.

Alan
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  #11  
Old 05-27-2022, 08:13 PM
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Default Photos

I agree with a lot that has been said on this topic. I just assume that people are casting a large net on eBay. I scroll through sometimes with no intention of buying. That said, like postcards, photos are often 1/1 or very low pop unlike cards…so the cool images of key players will likely continue to be in high demand. I think that long term, photos that are historically significant are the best purchase in the hobby these days…lots of up-side and in some cases still somewhat affordable.

Last edited by LincolnVT; 05-27-2022 at 08:16 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-27-2022, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LincolnVT View Post
I think that long term, photos that are historically significant are the best purchase in the hobby these days…lots of up-side and in some cases still somewhat affordable.
As technology continues to improve, unique photographs will be able to be copied precisely; in fact, maybe even a little sharper than the original. They would be copies of course, but almost as satisfying for many fans and collectors.

My choice for best purchase in the hobby today are vintage (50+ year old) flannel game worn jerseys. Considering the limited supply, prices are still remarkably cheap, and they are very directly associated with the player. In fact, some probably have traces of DNA still.

Cards are mass produced on sheets in factories somewhere; photographs are taken near players and game action, but jerseys were actually right there in the center of the action (and the clubhouse, and the dugout, etc.)

Yes, jerseys can be copied too, but in doing so, the essence is completely lost. Replica jerseys have no historical significance whatsoever, although they might be interesting and nostalgic to look at.
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  #13  
Old 05-28-2022, 12:11 AM
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You forgot the most likely seller:

3. I bought it for way too much money and if I can't convince my wife it was a wise investment she is gonna kill me...so I better list it for sale at a price that will either make me look brilliant or let me keep it (which is what I wanted to do anyway).

We've all done it: float a card out there at 10X what it might be worth and see what happens.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 05-28-2022 at 12:12 AM.
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  #14  
Old 05-28-2022, 07:04 PM
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Several years ago I bought a cool piece of original art from a guy on ebay who listed his stuff for a million dollars. I bought it for $150.

His stuff stood out for the asking price, but was a very reasonable purchase ultimately. His work now sells for many multiples of the original price. Ask what you want. Offer what you want.
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  #15  
Old 05-29-2022, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LincolnVT View Post
I agree with a lot that has been said on this topic. I just assume that people are casting a large net on eBay. I scroll through sometimes with no intention of buying. That said, like postcards, photos are often 1/1 or very low pop unlike cards…so the cool images of key players will likely continue to be in high demand. I think that long term, photos that are historically significant are the best purchase in the hobby these days…lots of up-side and in some cases still somewhat affordable.
This is really it, I think. With really low pop items, sellers' greed can really go unchecked by reality for some time, often years. It might be nice to think your 1969 Topps Mantle PSA 7 is worth $25K, too, but the market provides enough information to deflate that notion rather quickly. In the Type 1 photo market, delusions of grandeur can demonstrate surprising longevity....

Now, to be fair, I think many dealers (and collectors) feel that Type 1 photos are significantly under-appreciated by the market and that things will come around. So, even though an amazing Type 1 Wilt Chamberlain rookie year photo sold for $200 last year, the one they have for sale now should be valued at $1200. I don't find that unreasonable, just a bet that collector (or even investor) interest will rotate into photos at some point.

Another data point for the low pop explanation is Japanese baseball cards. A year or two ago, I had a collector/dealer (really more of a speculator I guess) offer me some Sadaharu Oh rookie cards at a pretty steep price. They were very rare cards (even for 1950s menko) and in excellent condition, but the prices just seemed too high to me. Given the incredibly low pop in those conditions, he could really ask what he wanted. After I didn't buy them, I saw them appear on ebay at something like 5-10x the price I was quoted (and that meant over $100K each for a couple of the cards), though I don't believe any have sold. This just doesn't seem to happen with 52T.

This year, I've been selling some of my photo collection as a bigger move to just downsize in general and focus on fewer items I really love. I sold a few on BST but given the volume primarily just divided the sales up between several auction houses and consignors. My best experience was with Love of the Game auctions. Al featured a bunch of my photos in the Spring auction and did a wonderful, thoughtful job and got healthy (though not ebay aspirational) prices. Another great experience has been consigning items with Chris at Brigandi; they also buy items or collections, I believe, but I just went the consignment route. I believe Snapolit mentioned Brigandi, so I'm seconding them.

Finally, I have to plead guilty to having purchased a few highly marked-up AH flips off ebay. A seller had two photos I liked at pretty high prices. Some research showed he had purchased them for about 20% of his asking price a couple of years earlier at auction. I ended up offering him half his asking price (so still 2.5x his purchase price, or 150% profit), which he accepted. To this day, I'm still very happy with those photos! So I guess the flipping and listing sky high strategy does pay off sometimes....

Last edited by Frankish; 05-29-2022 at 08:13 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-30-2022, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LincolnVT View Post
cool images of key players will likely continue to be in high demand. I think that long term, photos that are historically significant are the best purchase in the hobby these days…lots of up-side and in some cases still somewhat affordable.
I agree. Lots of variability in listing too, which makes for some fun outcomes. It can be really, really hard to ID what you have, exactly. Take this small (4 x 5) team issue photo:



it is a 1984 Chicago Bulls TI. But my example was used so much for publication that it is impossible to date merely from the press use notations on the back.



Looks like an '88 but the clippings are covering over the original sets of notations.

Now, as far as pricing goes, I'd probably list this in mid-four-figures and if it doesn't sell happily keep it. Not aspirational pricing as much as "I don't really want to sell it" pricing. Most of us old-timer collectors (yeah, I am not even 60 but I've been at this since I was a kid, so old-timer applies) have things that we got into ahead of the wave(s) and won't replace, so they have to go if they go at a price that overcomes the sadness that they went.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 05-30-2022 at 01:55 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-31-2022, 12:04 PM
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Some of the prices are quite ridiculous but I just offer what I am willing to pay and go from there. I have gotten photos at amounts nowhere close to the list price.
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  #18  
Old 06-06-2022, 10:43 AM
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Default Jackie

Pretty cool that that 1947 photo in SCP went for over 100k recently.
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Old 06-06-2022, 12:00 PM
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I've found this not just for photos but for other types of memorabilia too.

It's frustrating because these people are keeping items from true collectors. First they've done it by buying something at an AH when they clearly have no desire to own it. Secondly, when create their ridiculous eBay listings it won't get bought by a collector.

Eventually these numpty's will run out of cash and it'll come to the market a reasonable price when they need to sell.
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Old 06-07-2022, 04:06 PM
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The flippers are jackals, but they die off quickly when the market turns. What will be really interesting is what happens when the later Baby Boomers who were really into this hobby for a lifetime start dying or downsizing.
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Old 06-07-2022, 04:58 PM
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For me photos are tough. Ones that look similar by year or content can be the same type (ie Type 1) and such big price differences. So with lack of experience and knowledge I am a little gun shy getting into them
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Old 06-09-2022, 07:47 AM
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Those guys mostly don't know what they are looking at either, Jeff. They rely on image quality and printing and attribution notations. With big money coming in, definitely an issue how photos are dated. I mean, a thief might not bother to forge a press release slug, or press and printing notes on the back of a $20 photo, but on a $2,000 photo, yeah, that tracks. The other issue is that some of the 'best' photos are not Type I as PSA defines it. PSA says Type I are the best. Team issues are Type III:



I'd rather have a 1960 team issue Chamberlain than a random original photo from the same era.

What is the scourge right now are the scanned and printed fakes on eBay. I've bought a few of those on eBay. Run a search for a vintage photo subject in sports and you will come up with tons of cheap knock-offs. The good news is that they are obvious in hand and from the price. The bad news is that when they are sold as originals you have to get them in hand. The worse news is that those doofuses who buy them thinking they are genuine and don't know better then drip them into the resale market so that even if the maker discloses he printed it the next seller puts it out as an original.
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At ten all I thought about was card collecting. At twenty all I thought about was women. At thirty all I thought about was success. At forty all I thought about was money. Now all I think about is retirement...because all I want to think about is card collecting!

Last edited by Exhibitman; 06-09-2022 at 08:10 AM.
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