The Acaeum Valuation Board
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:51 pm 

Some time ago, I selected a group of Acaeum forum users to be part of The Acaeum Valuation Board. The Board has been charged with the weighty responsibility of managing the estimated values for all items on The Acaeum. Previously, these values were entirely derived from my personal opinion, random eBay price-history searches, and automated eBay price-tracking software.

Each of these previously-used methods has inherent flaws:

1) Personal opinion -- especially of only one person -- is subject to criticism that the person is biased, either as a collector or as a seller. Additionally, while I might have a very strong, valid, and knowledgeable opinion about some items, there's certainly a number of items where I do not. For these, I must then rely completely on one of the other methods, which effectively dilutes the reliability of those values.

2) It is impossible for random searches, by a human being, to be truly random. While this is not necessarily a bad thing (a human has the capacity to discard values that are aberrant), it also leads to accusations of bias. Also, this method is time-consuming, and was the method least-frequently used.

3) The automated auction-tracking software is probably the most accurate method yet devised, but lacks the intelligence of a guiding hand where necessary. Additionally, the software often misses auctions critical to the value of rare items, due to poor wording in the auction description or an inability of the software to definitively categorize a particular auction.

The Board members have been selected as the "guiding hand" -- a replacement of method #1 above. No, this does not eliminate the flaws in that method, though hopefully it will minimize them. In doing so, I hope to increase the acceptance of The Acaeum as a guide to D&D collectible values, much as Beckett's and Overstreet have done for their respective industries.

Valuation Board Membership

Additional members will be selected in the future, based in large part on their contributions to the forum, website, and/or hobby as a whole.  Any Acaeum member may volunteer for board membership; together with the Valuation Board moderator, we'll select the new membership.  Even if you were a past VB member and resigned / quit / passed out / for whatever reason, you're welcome to apply again.  Clean slate.  Our memory of your past performance on the Board, if any, has been wiped clean.

Initially, I was going to prohibit membership by anyone engaged in commercial activity -- i.e., resellers. However, I realized that resellers are simply one half of the equation that includes buyers -- it can be argued that both groups have a vested interest in seeing values move one way or the other. By having representatives from both camps here, I think it serves as a good counterbalance, and further decreases potential for criticism of the system.

The Board membership is not secret. Board members will now have "Valuation Board" as their rank, viewable underneath their avatar or via their profile.

Lastly, I am not a part of the Board, and am not involved in the valuations -- though I will be part of selecting new members.  If you're interested, please drop me an email at [email protected], or send me a PM on the forum here.  During the next "membership drive" (every six months?), your application will be considered along with any other applicants.


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