Sometimes you just know things are not going to turn out well. When the economy hit the fan, I knew that the card industry was in trouble. Some industries have the clout to power through it, like video games or porn, but card collecting doesn’t seem like enough of a money maker to continue at its pace before the drop. Im also not convinced it was all the fault of the economy, as it seems as though the industry was getting way too far ahead of itself with what it was delivering. Players are now wanting more money than ever for their participation, and I dont think many people thought about what that would do when the going got tough.
That isnt the only large problem in our midst, however, as the mindset of the consumer may have adjusted to prices TOO much to give back enough to get it where it was before. What I mean is this. As of now, singles are at their lowest prices ever, and there is much to be had for the collector that still has disposable income. I mean, I just got a Peterson auto for like 50 bucks, and it wasn’t a bad one. Considering that I had 50 bucks in ad revenue from the site, this was a freebie that I couldn’t pass up. The scary thing is, what happens when the economy comes back around? Do we go back to the before prices or will people think, “Man, I saw this card go for fifty bucks a few months ago, I am not going to pay 150 for it right now.” Even though the pre-drop value may have been at 150 bucks, and would be able to sustain that with a now returned economy, the completed auction page may prevent it from going back to normal.
Of course, super high end cards should be back to normal, and I am not talking about cards that are $250-1000, I am talking higher. Mainly the ones that really never drop in value, but just fluctuate a little here and there. You know, the Jordan RCs, the Mantle cards and other vintage, and a lot of the cards that people will ALWAYS want. But, BUT, does a rise in super high end translate to a snap back for cards below that? Im not really sure, and I am beginning to think that if one of the big three dies out, Upper Deck being the front runner for some reason, they wont snap back. Then, when you have stocked up on cards that you knew to be WAY below their pre-drop values, where does it leave you? Not in a good place, right?
Now, I am not saying to avoid pulling the trigger on those deals out there, because some of them are just too good to pass up. However, before you go nuts, you might want to think about your own mindset once things go back to normal. Would you be willing to shell out twice what you are paying for the card at this moment once things change in your discretionary funds? Hell, for the first time in decades, Americans are saving money for fear of what is to come. Who’s to say that they wont continue to do so? If this type of recession happened once, what’s saying it wont happen again? All of these things will contribute to the value of your collection, so make sure to keep your head on a swivel while you are buying, IF you are buying.