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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:34 pm 
 

This thread is proving my point exactly. There is no sure way to assign values to items.

I sell it to John for $1,500. Then I get a similar one in the same condition. It is still worth $1,500 to me, UNLESS another similar item has sold recently. Why? Because someone was willing to spend $1495 on it, as evidenced by John's $1,500 bid. That means there is another buyer out there who would most certainly spend the extra $5 for it.

My father was probably the best craps player I ever saw. One time I saw him roll a 9, and then take his odds off it. I asked why. He said that since he had rolled a 9, the chances of rolling it again were less. I said no, the chances are 4 in 36. He disagreed.

We were both right, depending on the context. If you look at every roll as an individual roll, the chances are 4 in 36. If you look at 36 rolls, every time a 9 is rolled, the chances of another nine are less.

It all depends on how the data is analyzed. And this works just fine for averaging prices, and figuring out what something SHOULD go for.

Now with eBay, the HIGHEST bidder wins. It doesn't matter if history shows a C1 goes for $900 average. The value is what the top bidders will pay. This theory doesn't necessarily work with common items, but with true rares, it absolutely pans out.

I am picking up a NM 1st print Dwarven Glory (finally). If someone offered me $420 for it, I would be grateful to them, since I am in need of a good laugh. I wouldn't even take $550. I don't care that Paul won the last one for $382. I would have bid $700 on it if I had the $$ at the time. So, Dwarven is worth $700 AT LEAST, whether or not anyone else would pay that, because I would. Treasures of the Dragon Queen is worth probably $1,000. No one else on the planet would pay that, but I know Groman would in a heartbeat.

Price guides with fixed figues are outdated. they worked fine when brick-and-mortar stores were the only outlets, but eBay threw that out the window.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:46 pm 
 

I don't think that's necessarily true . . . . If you are willing to have "value" be that subjective, then there is no point in even attempting to assign a value to anything, price guides are worthless, and even your initial question is completely moot.



If you want to define "value" as "the highest amount something could possibly sell for at a given moment," then yes, you're correct. However, I don't think most of us define "value" in that manner. You mention "what something SHOULD sell for," but I think a better response would be "what something NORMALLY sells for, based on past history."



Your craps analogy is interesting, but flawed - prices are not determined by random chance. Presumably, there are identifiable forces that are driving prices - the percentage chance of a Dwarven Glory selling for $300 is not the same as the percentage chance that it will sell for $500, although both are possible outcomes.



Your "value" should be the price that is, statistically speaking, the MOST LIKELY, based on past history, current trends, etc. With sufficient amounts of data, this will usually be a mean. With little data, though, that may or may not be true.



Your point about underbidders is well taken, but doesn't follow the data that we have - we have been discussing the scenario (presented by the polled data) that only one person is willing to pay $1500, and no one else is willing to go higher than $800 or so. If multiple people are talking about something in the $1500-ish range, then that might very well be the average price.



I think that might have been $.05 . . . .





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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:52 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:We were both right, depending on the context. If you look at every roll as an individual roll, the chances are 4 in 36. If you look at 36 rolls, every time a 9 is rolled, the chances of another nine are less.




Sorry to say that is not true. You were correct though, Frank. If you rolled a hundred 9's in a row, the 101st time chances are still the same than before the first roll. However, the chance to roll a hundred 9's in a row is very small.



Also, I fail to see the connection between the above example and why price guides are outdated. It's all a matter of the quality of data. With the rares you are quoting for your example it will be difficult to establish a value from a sales row including only two or three sales. (Actually, it is impossible).



However, after two or three years you might have a sales row including a dozen sales. After five years, two dozen sales. Now, the system starts making sense and you might even compute a trend from the data derived. It's all a matter of the quality of data. Peeks are inevitable. We see them all the time and make fun of them in the "Silly auction price" thread. Also, with this method you can never foresee the outcome of the next auction. But to derive values from sales data is absolutely possible. Actually, it is the only possible way and it is logical and natural. What do people without knowledge of a site like the Acaeum do, when attempting to assign a value to an item they want to sell? Correct, they do a search for completed items, look at the sold items and thus get a feeling for the value of it. Of course, i's a more primitive version of what we do, but it's basically the same.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:01 pm 
 

I'd disagree.  It's still worth $500 -- or whatever the average of sales, adjusted for condition, is saying.  The only time your individual purchase will have an effect is if the data points are so few that a single sale can distort it greatly.



Unfortunately, that's exactly the case with many of the class-5 rares, which makes valuing them so difficult.  I'll agree with you there.  In such cases, we're trying to avoid taking a knee-jerk reaction, and raising values slowly (case in point: R7-10 sells last year for over $3k; what would you value it at?)



However, for the vast majority of items we cover, there's plenty of price points to deal with.  Individual sales that are "aberrant" -- either too high or too low -- have little to no effect on the average price.  Only sustained sales at a lower or higher price will effect the value.



In re-reading your post, I think the issue you have with eBay is that it seems to "disregard" what ALL the bidders are willing to pay, except the last two -- and these two guys are the ones who get to set the final sale price, and therefore the value, right?  Again, that scenario only works out if there's only two copies of the item for sale.  If there's ten copies, then unless those two guys bid high on all of them, it's going to take at least ten people bidding high to raise the average value.



In a brick-and-mortar store, if there's a super-rare Magic the Gathering card for sale, and it's priced at $50, it will sell in a day.  And that buyer will probably sell it himself, but this time, will price it at $100.  And so on, until the card has (theoretically) achieved the highest price it's going to get.  And since it's super-rare -- let's say, there's only five copies known to exist -- and since the Magic collectors are all aging guys in their 60's, who have lots of cash -- those cards max out at $10,000 apiece.  eBay simply accelerates the process, but it doesn't change the fundamental principles behind collecting: rare items, that are in demand by lots of people (for whatever reason), will continue to rise in price.  You assume the rarity will never change, so the only true motivator in prices -- up or down -- is collector interest.  As it should be.  And a price guide's job is simply to state the average prices things are selling for, accounting for condition, and reflecting upward/downward trends in the long-term market.



The methods of that data collection and calculation are certainly in debate, but that's a separate issue.  Your issue seems to be that eBay is not a good price-point database to be drawing from, but I think it's the pinnacle of free-market competition.



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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:11 pm 
 

Wow 8O, between this tread and the valuations thread things have really heated up in here. Building on Frank's point about EBay:



Deadlord36 wrote:Price guides with fixed figues are outdated. they worked fine when brick-and-mortar stores were the only outlets, but eBay threw that out the window.




I also believe that Ebay certain has changed the landscape considerably, but as much as I hate to do it there is a variable involved in any EBay auction that can not be factored into any valuation. The one factor in question that can cause probably the BIGGEST price flucuation hasn't even been really discussed yet. That factor being TRUST. One thing about Ebay, is that the auctions DO NOT exist in a vacuum. To give an example of what I am saying, one needs to look at something we discussed very heavily here just a couple of weeks ago. Newbie Seller on EBay selling a monochrome Inverness. Seller had a multitude of red flags, each one causing the actual value anyone is willing to bid to decrease exponentially. The one thing about that, is the value of that monochrome was decreased substantially based on the risk factor involved in that particular auction. The thing that was never addressed was the simple fact, that what if that seller ended up being on the level? What if that monochrome Inverness was Near Mint as it was described? The thing of it is nobody wanted to touch it with a 10 foot pole after the seller was deemed to be shady. Now the question that arises from that is,"Does that really affect the actual value of the Inverness?" Well the answer to me seems to be both yes and no.  Truth of the matter is beacuse of that same trust factor a near mint Inverness on the auction block is most certainly going gather a lot more interest and thus a lot more bids if burntwire or eyeamgawd is selling it, because people have more trust in the established auctioneers. I dont think that the trust factor can be accounted for enough when you are placing a HIGH value on an item particularly a VERY RARE ITEM. The rarer the item the more trust is needed to max out your(in general) bid. So with that, if that Newbie sellers auction went throught to conclusion to the tune of a $200.00 bid, I think everyone here knows that that a truely NM monochrome Inverness is worth a lot more than $200.00, but using auction figures simply in a vacuum, would say exactly that. Just more of my .02. I think that I am down a $1 now :wink:


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:16 pm 
 

That's an excellent point, yes.  However, the shady-seller-getting-a-low-amount factor should be reduced or eliminated with many price points (as will the "bonus" factor given to a truly excellent seller, unfortunately).  It's only where price point data is lacking that things get sticky, and that's where the Board comes in to play, to provide a "guiding hand" and a sanity check to values.



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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:33 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:We were both right, depending on the context. If you look at every roll as an individual roll, the chances are 4 in 36. If you look at 36 rolls, every time a 9 is rolled, the chances of another nine are less.


This has nothing to do with valuations, but your second argument (your father's actually) is mathematically unsound.



The probability of a single roll of a 9 with 2d6 is 4 in 36, no problem there. These are mutually exclusive events, they in no way depend on each other.



For only 36 rolls, there is absolutely no guarantee that each of the 36 possible combinations will come up once and only once. In fact, it's exceedingly improbable. (No, I don't feel like calculating it exactly, either break out the calculator or just take it on faith.) If that were true I'd be gambling a lot more.



Given an infinite number of rolls, the distribution gives a result of 9 precisely 4/36 =~ 11.1% of the time. As you take the limit to infinity, the distribution of 9 approaches 4/36. That's a long time to wait.



In short: Your first instinct was correct, your father's was not.



(Doh...in the time it took me to write all that Ralf covered it.)

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:49 pm 
 

FoulFoot wrote:I'd disagree. It's still worth $500 -- or whatever the average of sales, adjusted for condition, is saying. The only time your individual purchase will have an effect is if the data points are so few that a single sale can distort it greatly.





Once again..there is the subjective side of things to be taken in account.  An average would on one hand solve that problem as this handles the view of all at once.  The problem is, as Frank stated, that if the average is $500 over say 10 insantces of a rare item, and then some silly person with mad cash decides...I really want that item...and throws out $1500 (course, this would assume that someone else does the same at the same time..or gets in a bidding war).  Well, at that point of time on a timeline, the item is worth $1500.  And overall, the value has risen from an average of $500 to $590 or so.  But..lurking out there is a person that will bid $1495 if necessary to grab the next one (course, he could get it for less than $500 if noone else bids or its missed or its in the wrong section, or he gets an unofficial BIN, or he finds it at a used book store...or...or...or the possiblities are endles.....



End of rant...point is, a guide is a guide is a guide is a guide.....



Can you tell me that a taser stock is still worth what it was a couple of months ago?  What a bout Phizer?  Just because people bought that stock for an average of x dollars over the past y years does not mean that someone will pay x dollars NOW!  And that is the crux.  What the item will sell for now is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yawn....


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:52 pm 
 

Put another way...I agree with all of you on certain aspects.  However, there are just too many variables to consider to solve the equation correctly each and every time.  The only thing that will be more inconsistent than the data will be opinons.  And I believe that these should all be taken with equivocal weight.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:51 pm 
 

I will put it yet another way. I will pay whatever I can, when I can. If I have that sort of money available at THAT time.



As long as the wife is not looking over my shoulder at that moment that is, otherwise, I will just have to leave for work a little early tomorrow morning and bid on it before I start the day...... :wink:


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:43 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:


The probability of a single roll of a 9 with 2d6 is 4 in 36, no problem there. These are mutually exclusive events, they in no way depend on each other.



For only 36 rolls, there is absolutely no guarantee that each of the 36 possible combinations will come up once and only once. In fact, it's exceedingly improbable. (No, I don't feel like calculating it exactly, either break out the calculator or just take it on faith.) If that were true I'd be gambling a lot more.




I agree it is exceedingly improbable. BUT, the math is simple. 36 rolls 4 9's. No one can argue that. that is how statistics work.

I think everyone missed my point. If you look at each sale as it comes, the value of an item is what was last paid for it. Simple as that. If you look at 3 years worth of sales, the AVERAGE value is the median. However, the chances of you getting the median are a lot less than 50%.

No one looks at eBay and averages prices for the last two years. They look up the last 30 days and go from there. Hence, if an item sold once in 30 days, the seller will expect what the last one sold for, conditions being similar, and a buyer will expect it to go for the same amount. No one can deny this. We all did it, and still do, especially when it comes to items we are not very familiar with. "Gee, I don't know what this Tegel Manor goes for. Let's search eBay and I'll sell it to you for the average." I've done it a million times, we all have. If a Tegel sold for $100 and $90 in the last month, the seller charges $90-$100, plain and simple. It doesn't matter if it was selling for $50 4 months before that.

Realistically, I should just leave this issue alone. I don't particularly care whether or not values are assigned to items, since I know what to expect for the vast majority of items out there, and I have never really used the Acaeum as a pricing guide.

I might have missed it earlier, but what exactly are you guys using for pricing criteria?


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:46 am 
 

BTW, Aneoth hit the nail on the head, exactly what I have been saying. An item is worth what the highest bidder can and will pay for it.

Is a white box worth $300? Does anyone recall David Van Wie spending money like a sailor in port on whiteys for a period of time? I say it definitely WAS worth $300, AT THAT TIME. Now, it is worth less than 1/2 that.


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:29 am 
 

It seems to me that when defining the value of an item it needs be established if one is talking about a single item or an item in the plural sense.



How much is item X worth right now?

The simple answer seems to be what the highest bidder will pay.



The general question, how much are item Xs worth?

The answer becomes more complicated as averages, variables and a defined time period needs to be put in place.



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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:44 am 
 

I think one point being missed here in this discussion is the fact are we talking about the "value" of something or are we talking about "how much someone is willing to pay". Both I think are totally different amounts and I think there is some confusion to that point. Fact of the matter is just because some JACKASS is willing to pay $450.00 for a Warriors of Mars, does not mean that it has that "value" :?. I mean using that logic, I could say well sh*t, "I'd pay $20,000 for a second print B2!!!", but as everyone clearly knows, that sure in hell does not mean that it has that "value". That is were I think the valuation board comes in, and establishing figures on what items actual values seem to be based on previous sales history. I know this has been beat to death, but a price guide is simply a GUIDE. The guide itself is supposed to be just to establish the relative particular "value" of an item and it is not set up to say that is what you have to pay. It is also not to determine "How much is somebody willing to pay". As stated before, I know we don't live in a vacuum, and I know instinctually a lot of people view price guides as saying that is what you have to pay, but in order to have an effective price guide you have to do it based on the averages. Just another of my .02(I am going to have to start selling off my collection if this keeps up :wink: )


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:13 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:The guide itself is supposed to be just to establish the relative particular "value" of an item and it is not set up to say that is what you have to pay.


Now there's a thought, take this relative idea literally and measure everything relative to a standard D&D unit -- the beat up B2.  So a mint 1st woody might be worth a 1.5 to 2.0 mega-B2s...you get the idea.

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:18 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
bclarkie wrote:The guide itself is supposed to be just to establish the relative particular "value" of an item and it is not set up to say that is what you have to pay.


Now there's a thought, take this relative idea literally and measure everything relative to a standard D&D unit -- the beat up B2. So a mint 1st woody might be worth a 1.5 to 2.0 mega-B2s...you get the idea.




Are we going to use a Big Mac standard then?



:lol:

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:27 pm 
 

D20's. The standard should be D20's.

"i'll give you 500 D20's for that 3rd print brown box.)


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:23 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:D20's. The standard should be D20's.

"i'll give you 500 D20's for that 3rd print brown box.)


So, we can even make that idea even easier, by seperating the D20's by type.



Copper D20's;

Silver D20'; (=10 Coppers)

Gold D20'; (=200 Coppers)

Electrum D20's; (=400 Coppers) and

Platinum D20's. (=1000 Coppers)



That way one would not have to ship 500 Copper D20's to the seller to buy that 3rd Print Woody, instead it would only take half a Platinum D20. Cuts down on shipping costs too.



Instead of paying the shipping company a few dozen Copper D20's just to mail the seller enough additional Copper D20's to make up the full payment for the Woody, you would only need a Half Platinum to pay the seller, and a Copper D20 or two would be enough pay the shipping company to ship the Half Platinum D20 to the seller for the payment price of the Woody.



Now we just need to find an easy way to cut a Platinum D20 in half.... :? 8O


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:24 pm 
 

well, we could just send him a Platinum d10, no?

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:43 pm 
 

tsrart wrote:
So, realistically, it is worth $1,500, since everyone else's bids would be destroyed by John's. You can't take the average, which seems around $800, because the Huckster just made it worth $1,500. Do you see?




Well, only if you are talking about a very limited time span and circumstance. What if the Huckster is the only person on the planet willing to pay more than $800? Say he buys one for $1500. No one else will pay more than $800 - so is the value for the NEXT copy $800? Or $1500 (which no one will pay)?



Valuation on any non-unique item has to be based on an average, not an isolated abberrant price. Otherwise, you end up with a VERY unstable market, with no item really having a true "value."



Besides that, valuations based on "assuming finances weren't an issue" aren't worth much. If finances weren't an issue, I'd offer $25k for the Robh Ruppel painting I'm trying to get away from the owner. However, if finances weren't an issue, he wouldn't need the money . . . . Real world dollars are the only ones that matter. And that's even more true in the case of the Tamoachan, which isn't a unique item.



Just my $.02!



Pat




Nicely said.


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