New price records
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:30 am 
 

Thought I'd start a new thread for this because in this case it's not necessarily silly - it's just very high. (Well it's still silly according to the acaeum prices but in this case I think the acaeum prices might need adjusting.)

Aaaanway, it's a second print Basic set, not in shrinkwrap but certainly in mint condition - dice still sealed, box with no split corners. Went for $222.50!
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3172836116

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Post Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:43 am 
 

The bidders all seem to be newbies.  These new bidders may signal along with pitttbulll a resurgence in our hobby of D&D collecting.  If this trend continues then Scott is going to need to adjust many of his price estimates upwards.  Still, I'm shocked the basic set went for over $200.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:47 pm 
 

Nice idea for a thread.
:)

The hobby of D&D collecting is small enough that big swings in prices are neither predictable nor surprising.  I sold a WGR1 on eBay in the fall of 1999 that went for over $220 (not shrinkwrap).  Others I've sold since then (after the official introduction of .pdfs) have gone for $12-$120, and that scale is not based on a logical condition-based ascension.

The golden rules as I see them:

[1]  The exact worth of any item is equal to what the highest bidder is willing to pay - provided both the buyer and selller are happy with the transaction.

[2]  All it takes is two emotionally-invested collectors, wanting the same item at the same time, to create a bidding war.

[3]  Concrete values, referred to by both those in the know and those who are learning, can be set at any level and influence the market.  For example, the choice rares, such as Vampire Queen, skyrocketed in value once dollar figures were assigned to them at the Acaeum, and cited by sellers.  Before this, values were lower, even when the rarity of the items was known.  The lesson - Bid what *you* personally feel the item is worth, whether your bid is higher or lower than the "posted" amount.

[4]  Prices for an individual item, sold alone, will always be higher than the price paid for an exactly identical item found in a mixed lot.

[5]  Globalization of the hobby has increased both supply and demand - and instead of stabilizing prices, it has exacerbated the differences, because currencies do not stay constant in relation to one another.  (If you're European or Australian, for example, US auctions are a good buy right now.)

I've been guilty on both sides - see my WGR1 example above; as a buyer, I've paid $10.50 (bid, bad auction title) for a mint module B10, and then later happily paid $100.00 (private) for one in the same condition (it was a birthday gift for an old friend who had just re-entered the hobby).  There's too many variables to assign fixed prices, but I think this thread will be a good idea to track fluctuations over time - as long as it's not used to set "new values" without careful thought.
8)

And so, without further ado ...

City of Greyhawk
$102.50
3172541534

FA1 Nightmare Keep
$64.00
3170962438

Fighting Wheel
$92.00
3171508096
(record or low?)

S1 Tomb of Horrors
$71.00
3168958130

T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil
$178.50
3168958148

Time of the Dragon boxed set
$102.50
3172520217

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 5:25 pm 
 

The fighting wheel was a record in recent auction history. Watching the market, auction prices for the RP3 have dropped as low as $20-$30 (too low). Then the auction you mentioned happened.

I think the value of NM RP3 is around $40.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:14 am 
 

Interesting points here. Here's what my experience has been lately.  I occasionally sell items on eBay for a local game store and had difficulty selling NM copies of WGA4 and H4 for the expected price (based on the values posted in the Acaeum).

If I remember, I only got $23 US for WGA4 and $25 for H4. The copy of H4 took three auctions before the reserve was finally met. At the same time, I've managed to find some real bargains for myself on eBay (WGR6 for $8 and FOR4 - Code of the Harpers for $7, both in the last two months).

Perhaps it's just luck (both good and bad) on my part, but I'm seeing a bit of a downward trend on some formerly "hot" items, and a few wildly over-priced auctions.

Timing and emotions seem to play a huge part in things. The $220 paid for the Basic Set seems high, but if the person buying it just HAD to have it, then it's worth that much to them. I would have happily paid a lot more for WGR6, but was glad that it went so low.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:15 pm 
 

To correctly analyze a current trend with stochastical formulas one would need:

- an accurate sales history (auction prices) plus
- a description of condition of each item.

And now the problems start. First, the sales history must include enough sales. Then, if there are enough sales, standard deviation of the sales array must be within an acceptable limit. Many of the rarer or higher priced items will fail here, simply because the outlier percentage is too high (see the many described peaks and lows for specific rarer items on this forum).

For the more common items with many and rather regular sales, the sales data could be analyzed, but then each auction must be graded by condition of the item and condition must be considered when comparing the sales data. Finally there might be other factors to be considered, like auction description, time of the auction, shipping costs, offered ways of payment and shipping, allowed countries, etc.

It would be interesting to set up an algorithm, which accounts for all these problems. Maybe it is possible. However, I think it could only analyze past trends and compute a current value. I do not think it will ever be possible to forecast future trends.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:31 pm 
 

I created a D&D price guide in 1999-2000 at the request of several people who were worried about devaluation of their collections with the WotC takeover.  I learned that such a tool, even with repeatedly-expressed reservations, was viewed as a godsend by many people; but I eventually pulled it because I felt it was self-fulfilling and deceptive.

By self-fulfilling, I mean that if a value was statistically set way too high (say, I only have 2 auctions of note on WGR3, and I felt they were both emotionally-motivated bid sums that would not reflect future activity accruately), that people were bidding according to the value I set.  If a value spiked from $30 to $60 and I pegged it at $60, then future bidding would range from about $60-75, because people felt it was a "hot item on the rise."  Other bidders would take note and follow along.  I was not comfortable influencing the market in this manner.

And by deceptive, I mean a lot of things!  There are too many intangible variables that make keeping an accurate price-condition grading scale impossible.  Ralf brought up some of the big ones, here are some more:

[1]  Dishonest buyers.  If a bid goes extremely high, we as outside observers often never know whether the buyer actually paid.
[2]  Dishonest sellers.  Shill bidding is invisible unless closely analyzed.  When dealing with a database of this scale, this activity cannot often be detected.
[3]  Multiple venues.  The eBay main site is not the only arena for buying and selling; you also need to include the UK, German, and Australian sites, at the least.  (If there's an Italian one, that's important too.)
[4]  Non-auction sales.  There are major resellers online who set prices quite high, and have a considerable following.  When a very good S4 sells for $40, how do we know of it, and how do we factor it into the current values?
[5]  Condition is subjective.  My "excellent, in slightly damaged shrinkwrap" is not the next person's.
[6]  Items sold in lots can't be valued.  If a lot of fair S2, mint S3, poor T1 pastel and 3 X1s in various condition sells for $28 -- how is that quantified?
[7]  Excessive shipping devalues items subjectively.  If a module I really want has an outrageous shipping charge of $15 attached, then I'm going to bid $12 less than my maximum.

It's not worth the hassle; any price guide that we could come up with would be inherently flawed, and, if widely adopted, would have a bad effect on the market.  The Acaeum's is a nice rule of thumb, but it is not reflective of reality, because it cannot be.  RPGs are not coins, or stamps, or even comic books -- the collector audience is too small, the components are too easy to lose, the gamer-vs.-collector mindset skews values in two directions, and "mythic" items (such as Deities & Demigods w/Cthulhu) have a perceived worth far out of proportion with their actual print run.  A rigid system cannot be created, and should not be.

Having said all that, I think it's still a wonderful idea to watch prices informally over time.  This captures trends without corrupting them, and without giving people the false impression that rigid values exist.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:52 pm 
 

This is a very accurate perception and shows that Kent knows the market and has put a lot of useful thoughts into his theory.
However, as much as I agree with everything said, I disagree about the necessity of a price guide. Such a guide is very much needed for all newcomers to the market who do not possess the knowledge that a collector can call his own. These people are able to rely on information given in price guides (such as the Acaeum) which is a great advantage for them. Of course, many choose to do not.

Even though it is much tougher to set fair values for RPG items than for stamps, it should always be attempted by us serious collectors.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 4:14 pm 
 

No problem, Ralf.  There's no doubt that the public is clamoring for a more time-indexed price guide for D&D.  I get those requests all the time.
:)

I can't participate personally, because of my dislike of potential market manipulation and a conflict of interest (I'm both a heavy buyer and a heavy seller), but to those who want to undertake the project, more power to you!  If enough caveats are attached and enough problems worked out, many people out there would be very, very grateful to you.
8)

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:36 am 
 

Congratulations burntwire (I don't feel like I know you well enough to refer to you as the more informal burnie  :wink: ).

£92 for GW Character Sheets must be close to a record given the current exchange rate.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 3173954979

And similarly for the GW softback PHB at £47.25

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 3173955847

Had you already spotted these (burntwire,chromaticknight, dbartman, stormber,etc.)?  Or did my post on "Interesting Items" alert you?  I would be interested to know if I'd been of any help.  And maybe ask the seller for a commission  :wink:

  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 4:22 am 
 

Hi All,

yikes!

A set of GW character sheets went for £6.00 last month.

Ebay is a weird place....

Cheers,
Malcolm




johnhuck wrote:Congratulations burntwire (I don't feel like I know you well enough to refer to you as the more informal burnie  :wink: ).

£92 for GW Character Sheets must be close to a record given the current exchange rate.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 3173954979

And similarly for the GW softback PHB at £47.25

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 3173955847

Had you already spotted these (burntwire,chromaticknight, dbartman, stormber,etc.)?  Or did my post on "Interesting Items" alert you?  I would be interested to know if I'd been of any help.  And maybe ask the seller for a commission  :wink:

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 9:02 am 
 

I got my GW character sheets for about $80

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:44 pm 
 

johnhuck,

I was tracking them prior to you posting and had actually been in contact with the seller ahead of time (as had a few other people) to get the whole scoop on the items.  I didn't have quite the desire that burntwire had, but, he did get all of them in one fell swoop!

These postings do help, though, if an item slips through without being notice.  Here's one that did slip through though.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... %3AIT&rd=1

Might not be of interest to a lot of collectors here but these are quite rare.  I think the seller had a few other odd-ball items still for sale if anyone is interested.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:48 pm 
 

Here's a few more that might be records.  I recall a Tiamat selling for over $300 a few years ago, but don't have substantiation.
8)

Deities & Demigods w/Cthulhu
$130.00
3172091801

GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar
$56.00
3172353550

LC6 Procampur
$260.55
3173964103

Tiamat (toy)
$172.50
3172962923

  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:28 pm 
 

Maybe not as impressive as some of the other auctions, but of everything I have ever sold, this shocked me the most.

Deities & Demigods WITHOUT Cthulhu & Melnibonean Mythos: $40.00
3173141454        

cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem& ... T&rd=1

I started with a Buy it Now of $12.50

Does Deities & Demigods seem to be increasing in demand to anyone else?

  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 4:54 pm 
 

John Huck,
I actually caught your post on here at the last few minutes on those auctions. I guess I need to be more vigilant in my searches  :oops:  :D

keep up the posting though  :D

  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 4:56 pm 
 

Yes, I had seen the auctions for the GW items a few days earlier. I emailed the seller and asked if he would ship to the US.  Man, Paul you are killing me :) .

  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 5:19 pm 
 

And pitttbulll was verrry good to me today. . . I guess it's Valentine's after all :D

  


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:17 am 
 

Man, I felt ripped off paying $70 for my LC6 until I saw that auction.  Again, like somebody pointed out, it was a bidding war if you look at it...  it got bid up normally to about $50, then jumped to $200, then up in incriments to $260.  All for a dozen quite possibly zeroxed pages with a single staple (which anybody who had a copy could run off 2 dozen copies, and I'm sure almost NONE of you would know the difference).

  


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Post Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:11 am 
 

Bernie makes a fortune - Wild things SW goes for $182.50 :
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3174936690

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