Suggestions for the Valuation Board to consider
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:57 am 
 

There's been lots of ranting/discussion regarding the new valuations, I figure why not stir the pot and give em a thread all their own.  :twisted:

First of all, I can appreciate all the hard work and effort involved, so I want to acknowledge that before I nitpick.  What I think would be useful is shrinking the charts horizontally (less grades), and expanding them vertically (more distinctions between printings for older works, adding some of the rapidly aging 2nd edition material, etc).  

Some finer points:
    As harami2000 has pointed out, it makes no sense that a (non-true) 1st Greyhawk is lumped in with a 12th, etc.  Perhaps group them by logo/presence of price on cover.  An 11th is not significantly different than a 12th, they're both wizard logos.

    Is the new "True First" DMG really worthy of a rarity 5?  I've got two.  There were about 10 copies reported to Stormber during his survey already, and we haven't really been looking that long.  I saw at least 3 more last year that I didn't bid on.  Doesn't sound like a rarity 5 to me.

    I don't think any item should be valued at $0.  Do we really need the Poor/Fair gradings at all?
Oh, and because I'm fairly unobservant, is there a listing of the Valuation Board members posted anywhere?  Haven't seen it.

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:17 am 
 

No listing but if a person is a member it will be listed under their member name.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:19 am 
 

Pretty much on the same wavelength here, including the point about appreciating the number of hours hard work involved (regardless of how misfocused I might view many of those efforts).

deimos3428 wrote:What I think would be useful is shrinking the charts horizontally (less grades), and expanding them vertically (more distinctions between printings for older works...

Amen, bro'; for many reasons.

And adding the UK, Oz, etc. books/mods to the "main list" would be good for extra "flavor", too ;)
If the GW Character Sheets deserve a prime position on the main rares listing, why not an Ozzie D3 mono?

deimos3428 wrote:As harami2000 has pointed out, it makes no sense that a (non-true) 1st Greyhawk is lumped in with a 12th, etc. Perhaps group them by logo/presence of price on cover. An 11th is not significantly different than a 12th, they're both wizard logos.

My "stab" at this was at;
Not-so-Recent Fun Finds • Page 20 • Collecting General •  The Acaeum
(as previously PMd/emailed... John then inadvertently re-tested it for me with those four wizard supps. ;))

Had tweaked those grades to match the then-current standards; for "M" read "NM" (leaving people to value "truly mint" however they wished), and for "P" read "Fair" (depending on personal definition of that) with the tail-off in prices possibly a bit harder for some items.

(The SW "values" were tokens, only guessing what they might fetch on eBay and based on the previous Acaeum estimates. I wouldn't touch them, personally).

deimos3428 wrote:Is the new "True First" DMG really worthy of a rarity 5? I've got two.

It's an ostrich-up.
That 2nd Alpha should've been corrected by now, as well...

People read what's written there and take them to heart (or worse, don't check back and use the data erroneously in future).

There were about 10 copies reported to Stormber during his survey already, and we haven't really been looking that long. I saw at least 3 more last year that I didn't bid on. Doesn't sound like a rarity 5 to me.

deimos3428 wrote:I don't think any item should be valued at $0. Do we really need the Poor/Fair gradings at all?

My solution was just to strike through ("--") any value below $5/$8/$10/half-original-sale-price/whatever.
Loads of $0s & $1s damages confidence and makes people want to have nothing to do with that item (or even "collecting", at large).
The Dragon bloodbath for issues #40+ (or #30+, or #20+) has yet to happen.

(all the above 02 cents, only, of course)

deimos3428 wrote:Oh, and because I'm fairly unobservant, is there a listing of the Valuation Board members posted anywhere? Haven't seen it.

I went through the entire member list playing "guess the valuation board member", in case some hadn't posted recently :)

  

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:39 pm 
 

The current valuation board membership is rather small. . . several could not (or did not want to) have an active role . . .

beyondthebreach (moderator)
stormber
dathon
dbartman
lawrenson
johnhuck
ralf_toth

darkseraphim is an "honorary" member in view of all the intitial work he has done as the original moderator.

Many of the above suggestions are my own as well.

- I would tend to agree that Poor grades are not necessary to post.
- I would also like to see more separation with the prints of things such as a Greyhawk  supplement. . . . keep in mind, that the data gathering process is only just getting underway and it is often hard to distinguish printings (some are easier than others).
- I think Near Mint should be the "standard" of value (100%).  I believe Foul is thinking along these lines as well.  (I am going to "bump" his site update where he mentions this).


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:42 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:The current valuation board membership is rather small. . . several could not (or did not want to) have an active role . . .

beyondthebreach (moderator)
stormber
dathon
dbartman
lawrenson
johnhuck
ralf_toth

darkseraphim is an "honorary" member in view of all the intitial work he has done as the original moderator.


A small group which needs assistance and you don't invite others like Harami?  Hmm... one has to wonder why one of the most knowledgeable members of the forum is not included in your little party?

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:52 pm 
 

improvstone wrote:A small group which needs assistance and you don't invite others like Harami? Hmm... one has to wonder why one of the most knowledgeable members of the forum is not included in your little party?


My understanding is that others will be invited to the group when foul comes back from his trip.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:53 pm 
 

improvstone. . . it is not like that at all. More than half of those invited have either left these boards or couldn't participate. This project was almost trashed. . . at this time I would be pleased to see the few that remain successfully work together for a little bit of time. Along with that, Foul has been unavailable due to work for much of December, January and half of February. (and he, ultimately, makes membership decisions)


Membership does need to be increased, there is no doubt of that. I am sure it will be soon. . .

Paul


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:18 pm 
 

I was very interested in participating, but I just haven't made the time to do the research/etc., due to too many conflicting priorities---so that's why I dropped out, FWIW :/


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 5:10 pm 
 

improvstone wrote:A small group which needs assistance and you don't invite others like Harami? Hmm... one has to wonder why one of the most knowledgeable members of the forum is not included in your little party?

Actually, it's not inviting Frank which amuses me the most given that he's owned almost all the obtainable Rares at one point of another, has a good feel for the behind-the-scenes market and also no longer has such a "vested interest" in price trends.

But given that not one single word from either of us has ever made it onto the official listings pages this is not really a surprise, I suppose. ;)


(I presume Mike <invincible> was also "too busy", though?).

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 5:51 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:
improvstone wrote:A small group which needs assistance and you don't invite others like Harami? Hmm... one has to wonder why one of the most knowledgeable members of the forum is not included in your little party?

Actually, it's not inviting Frank which amuses me the most given that he's owned almost all of the obtainable Rares at one point of another, has a good feel for the behind-the-scenes market and also no longer has such a "vested interest" in price trends.

But given that not one single word from either of us has ever made it onto the official listings pages this is not really a surprise, I suppose. ;)


(I presume Mike <invincible> was also "too busy", though?).


I can't comment on why Scott singled out those he did because I don't know.  I'm not sure if Mike was a member at the time though.

FoulFoot wrote:About six months ago, I selected a group of Acaeum forum users to be part of The Acaeum Valuation Board.


I was certainly more active six months ago.  And some members have certainly been much more active since!  :wink: (That was meant as a compliment)

FoulFoot wrote:At the present time, the membership of the Board is closed. This is due more to the fact that I'm not sure if this Board concept is going to work yet! Within the next several months, I hope to select additional Board members, which will lighten the workload on the Board as a whole.


I hope it does work.  And I hope we have more members.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:21 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:
dbartman wrote:
First, I'm afraid you have blown this out of proportion.

A $200 difference, mental or real, is worth discussing/debating.
Please don't tell me I'm blowing anything out of proportion in that context.
And at the least you're giving me a very bad taste to go with this win...

*waves to <dbartman>*

Are you just going to leave me in limbo, then, with two serious unanswered messages about grading?


Harami, I was following the recent thread regarding the PoVQ -- perhaps I can help address some of the questions you have with grading.

You mentioned two serious questions were left unanswered . . . I think that one of these questions was in regards to what grading scale is being used as it is different that what is posted on the Acaeum. I believe dbartman was referring to my own grading definitions -- these are available to anyone if they go to my website .

I do not maintain that these are "official" designations, but I decided to make this web page in the very early stages of the valuation board. I have kept them in line with previous Acaeum standards and also the standard to which Foul wanted to go to. To the best of my ability I have simply tried to "qualify" common defects and how they might affect the overall grade of an item and I believe they serve as a good reference tool for other board members (and anyone else) to refer . . . as you mentioned, the current Acaeum descriptions are not very extensive.

I agree completely with your view on the item being taken "as a whole" -- but, at the same time, certain flaws that prevent an item from attaining a particular grade must be considered. If Near Mint is considered the "standard" (with Mint being the pinnacle and almost unattainable) then a flaw such as a crease, staple rust, small tear, etc. would "knock" the item out of that category. Conversely, several "bends/creases" (such as on the folder of the PoVQ in question) might normally be associated with a lower grade, but if the rest of the item is in beautiful condition the overall grade could still be Fine, F/VF or VF.

It is not an exact science and even with a good eye, unbiased judgement and the item right before you, there is no way to determine the exact grade . . . opinions will always vary slightly . . . ideally, a general consensus will be reached and the final grade of several different people will be within one category (perhaps two) of the other.

So, when evaluating something, we often find ourselves viewing an item with a brief description and small scan and trying to determine the final grade based upon what we see (the same dilemma that bidders, themselves, face). This is the position that dbartman found himself in and he was attempting to gain a better insight into the final assessment. Subsequent discussions have led us to the conclusion that grading is best done on the judgement of the board member based on what they read in an auction description and the pictures provided (after all, these are the criteria that potential bidders are using).

In end, there is no way to determine the definitive grade from this method (as there is never a definitive grade to begin with). However, I have confidence that every member of the board can make an accurate and reasonable assessment of any item in question. Whether or not something is graded as Fine, or even Very Good will have minimal effects on the valuation prices of an item due to the number of auctions (even of rare auctions) and the way the system is designed to weight these values.

  . . . Yes, you are right, they will have a strong impact on the value of one particular item . . . whether or not an individual item is considered VG or VF may change the value by hundreds of dollars.

Let's let the issue of the PoVQ rest . . . to be completely honest, I can see both sides of the issue. It appears to be a very sharp copy, however, the creases/bends are obviously apparent and this item is clearly not Near Mint. Dbartman is initially inclined to see the creases as a somewhat significant detractor . . . you admit that the item is not NM, but because of the overall condition of the entire contents, that a VF grade might be more appropriate. Myself? I can only give my best guess . . .when evaluating something with as little info as the auction provided I couldn't discount the creases (which could be worse than anticipated on the items arrival.) Conversely, they could be less extensive than apparent (in my experience many items, especially "black" covers appear worse in pictures). I probably would have split the difference and gone with FINE or F/VF. In the end, it would have had minimal effect on the overall values of PoVQ (the final sale price has a much bigger effect).

It is unfortunate that this item has become such a topic of conversation and some might recall this debate if ever you were to sell it . . . however, I think that is unlikely and hopefully, with this explanation, others can see the great difficulty in assigning grades and not be inclined either way (in all likelihood, most already would feel this way without my explanation).



Well, there goes my lunch break then . . . back to work! Glad to answer any further questions/comments.  8)


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:58 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:Let's let the issue of the PoVQ rest . . . to be completely honest, I can see both sides of the issue. It appears to be a very sharp copy, however, the creases/bends are obviously apparent and this item is clearly not Near Mint. Dbartman is initially inclined to see the creases as a somewhat significant detractor . . . you admit that the item is not NM, but because of the overall condition of the entire contents, that a VF grade might be more appropriate. Myself? I can only give my best guess . . .when evaluating something with as little info as the auction provided I couldn't discount the creases (which could be worse than anticipated on the items arrival.) Conversely, they could be less extensive than apparent (in my experience many items, especially "black" covers appear worse in pictures). I probably would have split the difference and gone with FINE or F/VF. In the end, it would have had minimal effect on the overall values of PoVQ (the final sale price has a much bigger effect).


Paul,

Perhaps you could clarify something for me as a 'newbie'.
I have a PoVQ, the one previously owned by the Brothers Burn', and it is listed as NM, both in the auction and on Acaeum.
I do not dispute this, as there is only the slightest rubbing to one corner of an otherwise pristine copy. However, the ziplock bag is not NM. It is a 29 year old ziplock bag after all.

Is there not a comparison to be drawn between a PoVQ in NM condition in a non-mint bag, and a PoVQ in NM condition in a non-mint folder?

If not, then by default, you are saying that that the folder is part of the product as a whole, and the ziplock bag is packaging. As the folder version and the ziploc bagged version are the same with the exception of the additional folder, it must surely follow that the foldered version has higher value?


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:30 am 
 

I would be inclinded to say that the zip lock bag is more akin to shrinkwrap and thus, "packaging".  It's presence increases the value of the item in question, but the lack of the bag does not make the item incomplete.

Your reasoning is sound and I would expect the foldered version to sell for more at auction . . . ideally ongoing valuations will determine how collector's feel  about this and if the "foldered" version, ultimately proves the more valuable.  



There has been much discussion of PoVQ on these boards -- I am without a doubt - not the best qualified to answer this question . . . there are many who have greater insights into the issue of PoVQ than myself.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:32 am 
 

Breach, I don't think Harami's issue was necessarily with you grading the copy as VF, I think it was that you graded it based on a crappy auction picture, without even asking him, and that you graded it publicly. Now if he were to try and sell it, he could get the old "well, the Acaeum board said..."


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:44 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Breach, I don't think Harami's issue was necessarily with you grading the copy as VF, I think it was that you graded it based on a crappy auction picture, without even asking him, and that you graded it publicly. Now if he were to try and sell it, he could get the old "well, the Acaeum board said..."

Was Doug in the first place;
dbartman wrote:Also please let me know your assessment on the condition. It appears to be VG to Fine condition based on the sellers description and the photos.

<btb> is still at "F" or "F/VF" per above, however...

(Thanks for taking the time to respond; have had a look at your site and some of the scans "don't work" for me in the context of the stated gradings... a few as "missing", too. Will revisit later).

And Ralf has said there's a consensus opinion, although I also think he means the idea of public grading rather than amongst the board members as to the actual grade.

Deadlord36 wrote:Now if he were to try and sell it, he could get the old "well, the Acaeum board said..."

Correct...
No plans to sell, but also just looking at it on a day-by-day basis isn't a particular reassurance in that context, either.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:00 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:Your reasoning is sound and I would expect the foldered version to sell for more at auction . . . ideally ongoing valuations will determine how collector's feel about this and if the "foldered" version, ultimately proves the more valuable.

For a long time we've been stuck with the unfoldered version as the official "first print" despite several dissenting voices in previous discussions, PMs and emails.
The near-blanket insistence on not valuing a "second print"/perceived "second print" higher than the "first" has also been unhelpful. (Scott's comment about "collecting mystique" (paraphr.) and all that jazz...).

Ian followed the "status quo" and got that one in the neck.


(aside: "Ongoing valuations" would of course now follow the false premise which led Ian (and many others) to bid so high... Has become a self-fulfilling prophesy, there.
The GenCon auctions would have been a better indication, perhaps. $275 was their limit and people there weren't short of a few dollars).

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:07 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:And Ralf has said there's a consensus opinion, although I also think he means the idea of public grading rather than amongst the board members as to the actual grade.


What I meant is: Ideally, we would like to use the condition the buyer is assuming, based on the information available to the him at the moment of placing his winning bid. This should be the grading used for the valuation process. For high-value items such as the one you bought, we try to get this information from the buyer directly. Ideally, this happens before the buyer receives the item. The guys doing the valuation of the rares do have a much more difficult job, because they will have to address the buyer directly to get a better result.

Don't worry, I am not involved in valuating the rares  :wink: , cause I know nothing about them. I'm doing the Greyhawk modules, and I surely won't ask the buyers about the condition they expect the item to be in. Instead, I just take a look at the auction description, and use the condition I expect the item to be in. For common items like those modules, that's OK. With the rares, it is different, much more difficult and much more work.


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:14 am 
 

just an additional thing. dunno if anyone is even bothered about this, but it would be nice to know if there was a way of finding out, specially with the more "rare" items. just apart from the "rating" system, could you not have listed the appx number of that item that was circulated in the first place, that one (forget the name off the top of my head) that has 300 of them printed. i think this is also good to know, if you happen to be considering bidding for them. i personally would be more tempted to bid for something that there are only 300 of, to an item that has 40000 etc...

just a thought if it were possible?

Alan :)



  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:32 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:
beyondthebreach wrote:Your reasoning is sound and I would expect the foldered version to sell for more at auction . . . ideally ongoing valuations will determine how collector's feel about this and if the "foldered" version, ultimately proves the more valuable.

For a long time we've been stuck with the unfoldered version as the official "first print" despite several dissenting voices in previous discussions, PMs and emails.
The near-blanket insistence on not valuing a "second print"/perceived "second print" higher than the "first" has also been unhelpful. (Scott's comment about "collecting mystique" (paraphr.) and all that jazz...).

Ian followed the "status quo" and got that one in the neck.


(aside: "Ongoing valuations" would of course now follow the false premise which led Ian (and many others) to bid so high... Has become a self-fulfilling prophesy, there.
The GenCon auctions would have been a better indication, perhaps. $275 was their limit and people there weren't short of a few dollars).


I am a little confused as to what criteria was used to establish the printing order in the first place on PotVQ. To me it would seem to be the priniting with the black folder should be the first printing based on what has been discussed here as well as other factors. Even on the afterglow site (and discounting the printing he owns that is spiral bound he claims as the first print) that is attached to Acaeum, seems to acknowledge the black folder version is the earlier version:

Second Edition. Rhea Shelly sent me this description:
The cover (also courtesy Rhea Shelley and a good hour of playing with my image processing software) is an all black folder with red letters that say "Dungeon Masters Kit - Number 1 Palace of the Vampire Queen". The Palace of the... part is written in all capital gothic type letters. There is a small drawing of the left half of a tower (cut vertically) with a mountain in the back ground (left side only). All of this is done in the same red as the letters. The back of the folder is blank. It's on white loose leaf paper, except for the contents sheet, which is yellow. The paper size is 8 1/2 x 11. It says "1st Printing June 1976, Copyright June 1976" on a piece of paper taped to the inside of the folder.
Third Edition. Still labeled "First Printing", this one is a number of loose pages in a plastic bag. Compared with the first edition, there are a few differences - first, it has the player's and GM's maps put together on five pages (front side GM's, back side player's maps of the five levels) whereas the first edition had the maps printed on one side of the paper only. Second, there is an additional cover page with the title and a crude drawing on it. The page with the printing and distribution information is the same as in edition one.


To me it makes a lot more sense that the original printing would be included in the black folder. I have a sneaking suspicion that the second printing(if you want to even consider it that) was probably released at the same time or immediately after the black folder version was produced, as there probably more actual interior pages printed than the outside folders. The printer, rather than just dispose of the extra pages, released those as well, and in needing an effective vehicle to hold them, distributed them in the zip lock bags. IMO from a printing perspective, it would make more sense to print the extra interior pages than the outside covers due to the fact that the interior pages are much more likely to be ruined in the packing process than the more durable outside cardboard covers. Also, from an expense perspective, it would also make sense particuarly to a small printing/distributing company to sell any extras that they had left as well rather than just sh*t can the extra material.
Just my .02


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:07 am 
 

If the 'first' and 'second' prints of PoVQ were printed at the same time, surely they are both first edition prints?

We don't say Jade Hare first print and Jade Hare second print.

Surely what we have here is 'first edition with folder' and 'first edition without folder'?

Why is there an arguement here about the order in which these were printed. I'm sure my Jade Hare came off the presses before some of those owned by some of the collectors here, and I'm sure it came off the press after some of those. But we're talking about a single print run here.

Why the need for a priority of one over another? Why a need to value one over another?

They should both be considered first edition copies, with and without folder.


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