Valuations ^^
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 51, 2, 3, 4, 5
Author

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1709
Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 23, 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:39 am 
 

A few things to keep in mind:



- While descriptions are beneficial and are the best way to judge an item you are bidding on, it isn't much help in establishing a price guide for others to judge value. For myself, in all my auctions, I grade the item in question and give a detailed description of all flaws.



- The question of "missing" components is one of the most  tricky issues. To grade it as "Poor" is one possibility, however, the sale prices of such items simply do not bear this out. This means that if you had a VERY FINE box set worth $100, but it was missing reference sheets the value would plummet to $10.00 (on the scale that traveller is using).  If I offered you the missing sheets to complete your set it would increase the value by $90.00. Thus, in a way, a set of reference sheets could then be worth $90.00? (in this situation)



- Different names in grading is just a question of semantics. Whether you assign Near Mint as 100% or Very Fine as 100% matters much less than what the definitions of these grades are.



- I do agree that all grading must be kept in a certain context. My own proposed scale is not intended as simple hard and fast rules . . . just a more detailed guideline for ascertaining grades.



- I've enjoyed reading everyone's input so far and there have been many viable suggestions and astute observations (especially when they are not laced with sarcasm)  :wink:


"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "

  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:03 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:
- I've enjoyed reading everyone's input so far and there have been many viable suggestions and astute observations (especially when they are not laced with sarcasm) :wink:




I agree with that.  It seems to me there is some lack of respect and trust between members in regards to the valuations.  We should all be trying to help each other out to get this thing right, because we are all really share the same love and the same goal  :D .  I think that the accusations and the defensiveness about the valuations are very counterproductive.


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 12, 2004
Last Visit: Jul 02, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:28 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:The question of "missing" components is one of the most tricky issues. To grade it as "Poor" is one possibility, however, the sale prices of such items simply do not bear this out. This means that if you had a VERY FINE box set worth $100, but it was missing reference sheets the value would plummet to $10.00 (on the scale that traveller is using). If I offered you the missing sheets to complete your set it would increase the value by $90.00. Thus, in a way, a set of reference sheets could then be worth $90.00? (in this situation)


I agree that missing parts is one of the trickiest issues, but here's the thing. The ONLY reason that you're not seeing the sale prices reflect their true valuation is that up until now, no one has attempted to actually attempted to set a specific price for a specific grade. They've used the prices that The Acaeum gave as guidelines, but there was no real rhyme or reason behind the price structure. Since there seemed to be a lot of confusion in that respect, the prices that The Acaeum posts on its pages were more often than not ignored by those who are not members of The Acaeum, or not aware of the existence of the site.



In regards to grading items missing parts as Poor, it's necessary to keep in mind that the item is not complete unless all the components are present. Regardless of the sales figures from ebay, which tend to be inflated due to unethical sellers and buyers, if it's missing parts, how can you even grade something as "Very Good"? Perhaps the only solution to the dilemma is to grade each individual component and divide the percentages I noted for each grade (using my system here) by the number of components. That way, if you are in fact missing a component, it hurts, but it doesn't hurt nearly as much as dropping the whole to 10% of Very Fine.



Now as I noted earlier, the grading system mentions the presence of dustjackets. However, very few RPG materials have them. The only ones I can think of that have dustjackets are 2d Edition RuneQuest and The Traveller Book. Since there are very few games with dustjackets, why not translate the dustjacket grading into map and box grading, noting that the absence of the box or map will affect the final grade.



Let's use an OCE as an example of how this might work. An OCE consists of five things:



  • Men & Magic
  • Monsters & Treasures
  • Underworld and Wilderness Adventures
  • Reference Sheets
  • Box

Let's say that the box is pretty trashed, no better than Good. The reference sheets are missing, and the three books grade at Very Good for two of them, and Near Fine for the third. Adding the percentages together and dividing by the number of items, we get...



35%+0%*+50%+50%+65%=40%



Since 40% falls between Good and Very Good, this OCE could in fact be graded as Good+ or something like that. So if an OCE at the high end is approximately $125, 40% of that is $50. That's a lot more fair than automatically reducing the value to 10%, don't you think?



If someone does in fact offer Reference Sheets, then the grade will improve because the item is in fact complete. Let's say we've got a Very Fine set of Reference Sheets mixed in with some miscellaneous auction and we add them to the set we've already graded. Very Fine is full price. Adding the percentages...



35%+100%+50%+50%+65%=60%



The total grade of the item jumped from Good+ to Near Fine-. The value then would be $75, or a $25 gain compared to the same set without the reference sheets. And that is certainly less dramatic an increase than what you illustrated in your example.



*Missing items, being missing, have no value whatsoever.



  


Active Collector

Posts: 41
Joined: Feb 21, 2005
Last Visit: Apr 23, 2005
Location: Portland, OR

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:31 pm 
 

Traveller, you make a lot of sense (and have been more helpful than I would have believed possible). I have one more question for you (well, for all of you I suppose). I am currently gathering pictures of my stuff but find it VERY difficult to get my digital camera to get a good, close shot. One that would show ALL of the small imperfections and allow the buyer to judge for themselves if they wanted it or not. Is it better to SCAN the covers (if not to thick), change them to jpg (great info on doing that from Traveller) and utilize those? My scanner seems to show more of the small imperfections than my camera does, but only gets one page. Is it worth it to try and take a picture of the spine to show the staples and any warping that may be present? Do any of you ever take pictures of the INSIDES of books?

Specifically, my Referees Screen has two, three sectioned pieces, with info on both sides, plus all the paper reference sheets and modules included. How can you get good views of all that? Especially when the screen is laminated and gives me a big white blob from the flash but doesn't come out too well without a flash? Some of the pictures I have seen  on ebay have the sheets (books, etc) fanned out like a hand of cards, but that doesn't show all the parts of the books. Is it simply a matter of knowing your seller and if not, taking the item (albiet with a less then perfect view) on faith?


Scouts out!

  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:46 pm 
 

Cav, here's a couple of thoughts:



1. Scanning covers usually works great. You're right, the imperfections really pop out, but I've found that to actually be a positive. Many buyers have commented that they appreciated the chance to judge the cover for themselves, nicks and all, rather than have me write a highly subjective two-paragraph description.



2. Could you beg/borrow/steal a camera that has a better telephoto feature?



3. For #3, I'm assuming two things: first, you're planning on multiple photos per item; second, you're leaning toward eBay as a venue.



If both of the above are true, keep in mind that eBay LOVES to make extra money from sellers posting multiple photos. This can eat into your profits, especially for lower-end items. There are ways around this, though: image-hosting services or embedding photos into a description can both "trick" eBay into thinking you're only listing one photo.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5634
Joined: Jun 30, 2003
Last Visit: Jul 27, 2021
Location: New Hampsha

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:51 pm 
 

Scan them. My scanner is amazingly anal, it picks up imperfections that you can't even see normally.

Trav, your formula makes sense, except for one thing. Take your boxed set sans ref sheets. What would YOU pay for it? 40% of full price? I don't think anyone would, especially since the rest of the set is in poor condition. There is only one grade for a multiple-component item that is missing parts. INCOMPLETE. You really can't put a $$ value on it. Long ago I bought a whitey for $8, because the ref sheets were missing. That is all it was worth to me, because I knew getting the ref sheets would be a huge task. It took me almost 2 years to get sheets for it. I won't do that again.

Now for things like brownies, it might be worthwhile to bid on an incomplete item if the components are better than one you currently own. Let's do the math.

I buy a 3rd print brownie, NM books/sheets, box Fair. I pay $650.

Another brownie comes up. Books are fair, sheets missing, box is VF. What would I bid on this? If I throw $260 at it (40%), I end up with a VF box/NM books brownie (say $750), and a Fair set with no ref sheets. I could hope to get $200 for the Fair set (I personally wouldn't pay that much), so I profit say $20 after shipping, fees, blah blah blah, if I am lucky, plus I upgrade my set. Some collectors do this, I have in the past, but I think very few actively seek to upgrade their collections unless they can do so at a cheap price.

I think any way you look at it, incomplete is just that, not Fine+, not Fair. Incomplete.


If you hit a Rowsdower, you get to keep it.

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 41
Joined: Feb 21, 2005
Last Visit: Apr 23, 2005
Location: Portland, OR

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:05 pm 
 

Xaxaxe, thanks for your input.

1) I am leaning towards the scanner exactly because it shows everything. I have read enough here from TRUE collectors (unlike me) to not want to be accused of over stating the condition of an item plus the fact that I am so new at this (my ebay rating thing hasn't even reached 10 yet) that I am relying on Travellers help in teaching me the proper way to grade my stuff.

2) No go on a different camera.

3) Not at all sure about ebay being my choice to sell. I certainly want to get as much as I can for what I have without screwing anyone (or being screwed) which is why I joined this forum of obvious professionals to gather information. But if I find someone here who wants what I have and will give it a good home, I certainly wouldn't balk at selling privately.

On a personal note: I just moved here from Reno a year and a half ago. Grew up in Incline and did the SR431 commute for ten years. Saint Mary's in the Mountains (VC) was built (the brickwork anyway) by my great-great grandpa. Nice to talk to someone from my hometown (but glad I am not commuting this year!)


Scouts out!

  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2639
Joined: Jan 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 11, 2006

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:43 pm 
 

(re. "estimated value" trends 2001-5 on previous page)



Deadlord36 wrote:Where did you come up with that, Harami?


Sorry... Forgot to reply to that, Frank!



Current Acaeum listing, the pages which were still in the Google cache when the site was refreshed w/o notice, plus the older stuff from Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine .



I'm still trying to fathom out the steep drops in the tourneys & 1st Dwarven, but some of the older estimated values are rather interesting too.

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 12, 2004
Last Visit: Jul 02, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 6:53 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:I think any way you look at it, incomplete is just that, not Fine+, not Fair. Incomplete.


I hear you, and believe me, if I had my way, anything missing parts would grade Poor at best, because Poor is the only grade that allows for incompleteness.  Fair allows for a missing dustjacket, but everything else is there.  However those of the valuation board do have a point in that low grades are not trending at 10% of Very Fine as I note in that grading scale.  What they should do is find the average of every single item in a specific grade (recommended is Very Good as it falls in the middle of the grading scale), average those values, and determine values for the other six grades from that value.



However, there is a flaw in your thinking regarding woodgrain box sets, and this is another thing that will give people heart attacks.  Age should not play a factor in the grading of a book.



If we start to apply exceptions and caveats due to age, the entire grading system will be thrown off kilter.  If I were to go into an antique book store right now with my 1st print copy from 1846 of "Pictures of Travels in the South of France", do you believe the book dealer would make an allowance for me because the book is over 150 years old with the spine and bristol board both gone?  On the contrary.  He's going to grade it with the same standards as he grades any other book, and with the spine and bristol board gone, it's not going to grade high (reminds self to take that book to be rebound).



If the valuation board is to grade books, they need to do so without allowances for age or rarity of a specific book or set.  Otherwise, the values will be biased, and useless.



  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2639
Joined: Jan 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 11, 2006

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:12 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:If the valuation board is to grade books, they need to do so without allowances for age or rarity of a specific book or set. Otherwise, the values will be biased, and useless.


*nods*. Which is why the prices need to be transferred into the correct grades, or some vague attempt at that, if the whole system is going to be overly grade-driven (eight bands with a heavy bulge in between VG & VF, inclusive, seems that way to me).

$2,200+ for a Mint 1st print woodgrain by the new scale would be interesting to see...



Any attempt to leave the numbers/prices "as they are" probably cannot work for quite a few older items in the longer run without grade fudging.



And for such items the scale might as well leave a blank in the NM/M price columns and leave the buyer to work those out for themselves.



(Is there a lack of older items in the higher grades on for that reason, especially on comic-book grading scales?

Aside, I'd say that stb-NM X1 doesn't actually make the written grade, either; confuses me if it does...).



Traveller wrote:If we start to apply exceptions and caveats due to age, the entire grading system will be thrown off kilter. If I were to go into an antique book store right now with my 1st print copy from 1846 of "Pictures of Travels in the South of France", do you believe the book dealer would make an allowance for me because the book is over 150 years old with the spine and bristol board both gone? On the contrary. He's going to grade it with the same standards as he grades any other book, and with the spine and bristol board gone, it's not going to grade high (reminds self to take that book to be rebound).


That would be the hope, although the temptation to play the "for the age" game is pretty strong...



(Throws up some interesting anomolies, too; for example, older paper (say, 17th century) ages better than new, yet leather bindings will have dried and likely cracked. Kinda like the problems we've got with grading boxed sets; excellent contents with poor containers).

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 12, 2004
Last Visit: Jul 02, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:01 pm 
 

An incorrect grading scale in my opinion, plus the tendency to "play the age game", plus the individual desires of the members of the valuation board all raise red flags in my mind. If grading is to happen, it needs to be impartial, and I think part of the problem that has some objecting is this: the members of the valuation board are not being impartial in their grading. Some of them are resellers themselves while others are collectors. All of them though have a vested interest to maintain the highest prices possible. For the resellers, to maximize their profit. For the collectors, to say "my book is valued at X" and to maximize their profit if they sell.



If you look at any pricing guide out there, whether it is coins, books, baseball cards, whatever, you find that the publishers of those magazines do not buy or sell whatever it is they are pricing in their price guides. They certainly do offer advertisements from people that do in fact buy or sell, but they don't do it themselves. It's this issue of possible price manipulation, more than the grading scale or even how to grade, that is going to cause the valuation board the most headaches. Because no matter what the valuation board does in that regard, there is always going to be someone out there who is not going to trust the values that they generate, because some of them are themselves involved in buying and selling.



It's this issue of possible price manipulation, more than the grading scale or even how to grade, that is going to cause the valuation board the most headaches. Because no matter what the valuation board does in that regard, there is always going to be someone out there who is not going to trust the values that they generate, because some of them are themselves involved in buying and selling.



I'm reminded of an incident from the Antiques Roadshow program that was reported on in the news. It seems that one of the antiques dealers on the program was secretly getting people to bring the items from his shop onto the show. He would look at them and determine the price range, hoping that someone would fork over the amount of money he quoted on the show.



What that gentleman did was to manipulate the prices of his items to maximize his profit. It bothers me that the same thing may happen here.



  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:16 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:
harami2000 wrote:That would be the hope, although the temptation to play the "for the age" game is pretty strong...




An incorrect grading scale in my opinion, plus the tendency to "play the age game", plus the individual desires of the members of the valuation board all raise red flags in my mind. If grading is to happen, it needs to be impartial, and I think part of the problem that has some objecting is this: the members of the valuation board are not being impartial in their grading. Some of them are resellers themselves while others are collectors. All of them though have a vested interest to maintain the highest prices possible. For the resellers, to maximize their profit. For the collectors, to say "my book is valued at X" and to maximize their profit if they sell.



If you look at any pricing guide out there, whether it is coins, books, baseball cards, whatever, you find that the publishers of those magazines do not buy or sell whatever it is they are pricing in their price guides. They certainly do offer advertisements from people that do in fact buy or sell, but they don't do it themselves. It's this issue of possible price manipulation, more than the grading scale or even how to grade, that is going to cause the valuation board the most headaches. Because no matter what the valuation board does in that regard, there is always going to be someone out there who is not going to trust the values that they generate, because some of them are themselves involved in buying and selling.



I'm reminded of an incident from the Antiques Roadshow program that was reported on in the news. It seems that one of the antiques dealers on the program was secretly getting people to bring the items from his shop onto the show. He would look at them and determine the price range, hoping that someone would fork over the amount of money he quoted on the show.



What that gentleman did was to manipulate the prices of his items to maximize his profit. It bothers me that the same thing may happen here.




I agree 100%, but I think at this point the problems with the valuations may not be that sinister (its not like the infamous fuzzball is part of the valuation board). I do think it is an excellent point about playing the "age game" though. It is actually a trap that I find myself falling into as well. I find myself, instead of saying this book is X condition, I find myself saying that this book is in X condition for its age. I think part of the problem is just a simple "back of your mind" compensation that you make without realizing that you are doing it. In the end, I think by not playing the "age game", that if we get items to proper scale, that it really won't affect the total value of the listed item. To give an example, based on the grading system as it stands a 1st print woody that was listed as NM was purchased at a cost of $2,200.00. I don't think that same 1st print woody automaticaly looses value because we adjust the grading scale so that it fits more properly with the correct scale (i.e downgrading it to Fine for instance), because it still is the same 1st print woody that everyone saw and bid on to the final winning total of $2,200.00. The only thing adjusting the grading scale might do is increase the possible value of another different 1st print woody that is even better condition. Just my .02


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 12, 2004
Last Visit: Jul 02, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:08 pm 
 

Which is why when they do valuation, they should pick the median grade (in the case of the book grading system, Very Good), average out all examples in that grade, thend determine the other price points based on that.



Now, using harami's chart for Very Good, which as he notes, was pulled from Google's cache of this site, a 1st print Woodgrain is valued at $1000.  As that is the baseline, what are the values of all the other conditions?



Poor = $200

Fair = $400

Good = $700

Very Good = $1000

Near Fine = $1300

Fine = $1600

Very Fine = $2000



To me, there's no way to maintain the 1st print Woodgrain's value of $2200 without fudging the numbers.  That woodgrain isn't mint, which would be 100% of value, so what grade is it actually?  What is Near Mint?  In reality, it's the same thing as Fine in this scale, so in (my version of) reality, that NM Woodgrain is valued at only $1600 instead of the $2200 it used to be at.



Them's just the facts man.



  

User avatar

Site Admin

Posts: 2105
Joined: Oct 19, 2002
Last Visit: Jul 30, 2021
Location: Honolulu, HI

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:13 pm 
 

traveller wrote:An incorrect grading scale in my opinion, plus the tendency to "play the age game", plus the individual desires of the members of the valuation board all raise red flags in my mind. If grading is to happen, it needs to be impartial, and I think part of the problem that has some objecting is this: the members of the valuation board are not being impartial in their grading. Some of them are resellers themselves while others are collectors. All of them though have a vested interest to maintain the highest prices possible. For the resellers, to maximize their profit. For the collectors, to say "my book is valued at X" and to maximize their profit if they sell.


Just a quick reply to this.

We've discussed this issue ad-nauseum, both on the forums here as well as on the site proper.  You could also make a convincing argument that the resellers/collectors in question want to keep values down, so they can obtain items at a reduced price for their own collections, or to sell at an inflated value later.

traveller wrote:If you look at any pricing guide out there, whether it is coins, books, baseball cards, whatever, you find that the publishers of those magazines do not buy or sell whatever it is they are pricing in their price guides.


First of all, I seriously doubt that claim.  They don't buy and sell publicly, perhaps, but these are all people who are heavily invested (psychologically, at the very least) in a hobby, and I guarantee they've got collections at home.

The difference between the comic/baseball card industry and our own is that those industries are large enough to actually employ people in the price guide business, and (theoretically, at least) require those individuals to not participate in buying/selling items themselves.  The RPG hobby isn't anywhere near that stage yet, and it's doubtful we could find anyone who would be willing to be an impartial collector/assigner of values.  Especially on a volunteer basis.

The best we can do, IMHO, is to have a fairly large number of people on the Valuation Board, all of whom have oversight on the process.  While you could claim that the entire Board is being collusive, and manipulating prices... let's have a little faith in humanity.  The few bad apples out there will be spotted and removed.  I honestly believe that we're developing the best system that we can, and minimizing the potential criticisms.  But as stated above, there's no way we can ensure a completely independent, impartial process.

traveller wrote:It's this issue of possible price manipulation, more than the grading scale or even how to grade, that is going to cause the valuation board the most headaches. Because no matter what the valuation board does in that regard, there is always going to be someone out there who is not going to trust the values that they generate, because some of them are themselves involved in buying and selling.


Well, once we have A) made the process as transparent as possible, and B) identified to everyone the potential pitfalls in this system, I'll direct you back to one of The Acaeum mantras: Use the values on this site as a guide only.  It is my opinion that offering values on items provides more useful information for collectors.  I realize that not everyone will agree with those values, in part or in whole.  Therefore, you're free to continue to post your opinions and criticisms, and we'll do our best to consider them for future improvements.

However, if the crux of your argument is "I think there's price manipulation going on here" (and when I say "your", I mean it as a collective "you", the reader), then I suggest you stop visiting.  There's obviously nothing that I, or anyone else, can say that will change your opinion.

Foul

  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2639
Joined: Jan 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 11, 2006

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:16 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:Them's just the facts man.




Aside; spike-bidding is difficult to allow for, especially in "one off" auctions.

Taking only the final price, without noting how "strong" it is, may also be problematic when setting "marks"; especially high ones.



In the case above, the very last snipe (4 seconds before close) increased the price from $1,800 to $2,280; and the bid before that was only $1,280, although the $1,800 bid may have "covered" one or two other snipes in the last few seconds.

*

One of those bidders hasn't bid on anything for the last six months and the other seems to be an eclectic collector.

Yet, at the end of the day, it's only "final price" that counts, no?



There are certainly more people with $100 in their pockets, than $250, or $1,000.

(Although the way the OCEs are going, I'm not sure, some days ;))

  

User avatar

Site Admin

Posts: 2105
Joined: Oct 19, 2002
Last Visit: Jul 30, 2021
Location: Honolulu, HI

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:19 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:To me, there's no way to maintain the 1st print Woodgrain's value of $2200 without fudging the numbers.


"Fudging the numbers" is why we have a Valuation Board in the first place.  If you simply used straight math, you'd have a much worse situation: obviously, the value "curve" on a B2 Keep on the Borderlands is going to be vastly different from that on a woodgrain set.  The Board applies the math, yes (and the formulas are certainly still "beta", a fact which I posted on last month and which most people are continuing to ignore), and then applies common sense and judgement to determine the final values.



Again, if it were as simple as applying a formula to a baseline average, we wouldn't need to go through everything we have been.  And your Mint B2 would be worth $15, and Mint woodgrain $1600.  Both of which are hopelessly erroneous.



Foul

  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2639
Joined: Jan 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 11, 2006

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:22 pm 
 

FoulFoot wrote:(and the formulas are certainly still "beta", a fact which I posted on last month and which most people are continuing to ignore)


Obvious question: why post "beta formula" values in public, especially as the only set of values for (inevitable) "public consumption"?

  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:30 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:
To me, there's no way to maintain the 1st print Woodgrain's value of $2200 without fudging the numbers. That woodgrain isn't mint, which would be 100% of value, so what grade is it actually? What is Near Mint? In reality, it's the same thing as Fine in this scale, so in (my version of) reality, that NM Woodgrain is valued at only $1600 instead of the $2200 it used to be at.



Them's just the facts man.




I do not necessarily agree with that assesment only because IIRC strormber won the woody last year that went for exactly $2,200.00. Whether or not you agree at that point what the perceived grading of the item was, the cold hard facts state that it sold for $2,200.00. Now in retrospect, that could end up being an abberation, that it was high on the scale of actual value, but at this point what else do you really have to go on? The only thing to debate in regards to that particular auction, is the actual grading of the set.



This was precisely my point in my previous post.  Regardless of the what condition that the set ends up being graded at after it is all said and done, it sold for $2,200.00, period.  So, if we adjust the grading scale so that that particular set ends up with a fine grade, the basis for the value of the fine grade should be the $2,200.00. With that in mind, that would, according to scale cause the value of a truly NM set(and I would be very very leary in giving any set this grade, as in my opinion NM for a box set would be a set that you open the box and looked at its contents, put the top back on, stored it safely and never touched it again) a higher value, say $2,500.00.


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:45 pm 
 

One thing I also wanted to add was I think it would be beneficial to make this process more scientific. In order to make a legitimate pricing guide if that is the actual goal here, most "opinions" on values actually need to be removed. By saying that I mean this, most opinons should be provided simply on setting the grading scale itself. In order to have a effective price guide you can only use real life sold item values based on the grading scale to make it a legitamate guide. I would also propose a pretty scientific and detailed grading scale. To give an example of what I mean a near mint(if you choose to use this as a grading level) should mean the item is flawless. The next step down on the scale would be say Very Fine. In order to have a Very Fine item the item should have 3 or less minor flaws. I would set up a very specific guideline to define a minor flaw (i.e each very small scuff, very minor rubbing instance, or very small crease would count as 1 minor flaw). The next step down would be a Fine item. To qualify as a Fine item, an item would have to have 3 or less minor flaws and no more than 1 moderate flaw, or say no more than 6 minor flaws (with a moderate flaw being a medium size scuff, a moderate size, crease, some light rubbing in a small area, or maybe a very small tear, say less than 1/8"). Without going all the way through the scale right now, but just to give examples of exactly where I am coming from. The more scientific you make the scale the less "speculation" that will occur to its grade. Then, once you have your very scientific grading scale in place, the numbers themselves should all fall into place based only on previous and current sales history. The only time once the set scale is in place, that there would be room for "opinion" would only be in very, very rare occurances, where an item is clearly either exceptionally high or excessively low, and then only if there is at least an 80% concensus of all people doing valuations. That to me would insure a very scientific and hopefully less speculative guide. Once again just my .02

_____________________________________________________________



BTW, I think BTB's grading scale is at least a good start to the scientific grading process, I just think you have to a bit more specific as to what flaws qualify as minor, major, etc. and set exact numbers of flaws to down grade an item.


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 851
Joined: Jun 12, 2004
Last Visit: Jul 02, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:44 am 
 

Allright Foul, I will buy the counter argument that they could keep prices down. Yet that still proves the point that price fixing can be (please note I did not say IS) a problem. I'm sorry, but you can keep talking about it until blue in the face. It still doesn't change the fact that the possibility can occur at some point along the line.

I have been a baseball card collector for some twenty years now, a coin collector for a lot less time, and a role playing gamer for most of my life. If there is one thing I absolutely know, it is that these publications absolutely have to remain neutral in order for the collectors to trust them. There's nothing preventing you from doubting that claim, but then again the evidence is right in the pages of the price guides. Without that trust, the price guides likely would not exist.

Unless you can guarantee with 100% certainty that there will be no price fixing within the D&D market, there is no reason to trust the values that are generated. We can continue debating this around and around and still reach no resolution in the end. The best that can realistically be hoped for is that the inevitable price fixing that can occur is kept to a minimum.

The issue is trust, not having faith in humanity. I have faith that humanity will finally grow up in some three hundred years, but that's a completely different issue from trust. With one exception, I absolutely positively trust no one completely. Everyone has hidden agendas and motivations. Many are so cowardly that instead of telling you up front what they think of you, they will wait until you are out of earshot and then cut your head off at the knees. Without going too far into politics, the federal government isn't any better.

You tell everyone to use the system as a guide only. From personal experience, having gone to enough baseball card shows, guides aren't used as guides. They are hard and fast rules to both the dealer and the collector, despite all the disclaimers to the contrary. I am convinced that on this issue, the site is heading in the wrong direction. I'm getting nothing but negative vibes from this, and that's not a good thing.

It's a fortunate thing that I only come here to chat on the forums and pay little attention to the prices, but I take offense to the thinly veiled invitation to leave over the expression of a VALID criticism. Price fixing, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, is a legitimate concern here. To me, you have issues to address, and I really do not believe I am the only one who feels that way.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

On fudging the numbers, why oh why does anyone feel the need to have a curve here? Other collectibles environments, from toys to antique firearms, do not have pricing curves. A B2 cannot be graded any differently than a 1st print Woodgrain or the numbers mean absolutely nothing! Print runs, rarity, and age do not play a part in providing an accurate assessment of an items condition. A B2 which in typical condition goes for about $2 will go at most for $4, not the $15 you state. I've already covered a pricing structure for a 1st print woodgrain based upon the previous version of the valuations page, which notes the Very Good value. It is absolutely impossible to justify maintaining a $2200 price point for the 1st print Woodgrain unless it was absolutely minty fresh. It's not minty fresh, therfore it's simply not worth $2200.

It's because of this very issue of trying to maintain the value of the 1st print Woodgrain at $2200 that I pointed out that ONLY a median grade should be used in actually determining the prices of items. By doing that, it reduces or even eliminates the possibility of price fixing, because you're not looking for anything in grades other than the one you're using to determine the values. There is no doubt that in the case of that woodgrain, somebody is going to take a hit in the proverbial pocketbook, but it's a lot more fair and impartial to use a middle grade as your baseline and determining the price points for other grades using percentages than to utilize the highest grade and work down. It's also far less work for the valuation board if you think about it, because then they don't have to worry about chasing after some schlep only to find out that the guy bought a piece of crap.

One added thought. If you had read what I said earlier in this thread, there is no such thing as mint when it comes to book collecting. The best you can hope for is that the book hasn't been read, which is what Very Fine entails. These are books, and should be graded using the same criteria that is used in the book collector market. If that's not obvious, well there's very little I can do to change your mind. The system is flawed, and there are no two ways about it. Time to take the valuations back for reworking, because as they stand right now, they aren't working.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I believe I have made my position quite clear, but in case I haven't...

  • Switch from a comic book based grading system to an actual book system, since you are dealing with books.
  • Use Very Good as your median price and compute the prices for lower and higher graded items based on the average of all items in Very Good grade.
  • Be impartial in your grading, and do not take print runs, rarity, or age into consideration when grading an item.
  • Incomplete items cannot grade at anything more than Poor, or whatever the lowest grade is.
  • Make sure safeguards are implemented to prevent price fixing. What those safeguards are I leave to you, but if you want us to trust your pricing structure, those safeguards need to be present, and need to be communicated to everyone.



  
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 2 of 51, 2, 3, 4, 5