A Somewhat Perplexing Auction Now on Ebay...
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:01 pm 
 

Alright.  Sorry if I came across too strongly.  I appreciate the follow-ups and the emails.  In retrospect, you are right.  I did get too carried away on some of the items.  I guess the bidding is addictive...

I am planning on cataloging my rpg stuff.  It will be interesting to review the items against the information here on the site.  I still love some of the things even if they don't have any real value (like the silly AD&D coloring book).

Side question.  I was in a comic book shop looking for bags or anything that would be good to protect the books/supplements/boxed sets/etc.  They mainly had things that were too small.  Any suggestions on what you use?  I saw the article here on the site <http://www.acaeum.com/Library/Storage.html>, but I was curious which of the suggestion others here have used and had good sucess with.

Thanks,
Todd

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:15 pm 
 

For D&D style modules you can get magazine size plastic bags and backer boards. Check out some other comic book stores, or look up some on the net.

You can also get magazine storage boxes - just like those made for comics. Again, a larger comic shop will carry these. Store them in a cool, dry location out of sunlight and you should be good to go. :D

Boxed sets are a little more difficult. I use plastic storage tubs for all my non-module stuff. Protects from stacking, humidity, sunlight, etc.

It also keeps my wife off my back, as my "geek stuff" is nice, tidy and out of the way 8O


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:22 pm 
 

Here is a link to a thread in which polybags were discussed (back in 2002):

http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=47

  


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:59 pm 
 

This is a tough room!  I'm an idiotic millionaire building a house of white boxes.  Ah, well.  I've been called worse.

I'm an old D&D player with more money than sense, that I'll freely admit.  I am exploring something I love, knowing ahead of time that I can either spend money or take time to come up to speed.  This thing, this time: I decided to spend some money to learn.

And, I've learned a lot.  And I'm still learning.  I was curious what the real price of white boxes is right now.  I figured that if I won a bunch of auctions in a row, I would get a good feel for the market.  It worked!  Low feedback bidders tend in one direction, high feedback bidders in another.  Together, they make a very interesting market.

Good to meet you all!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:33 am 
 

Welcome David,


Fulsome glad to see you here.

davidvanwie wrote:This is a tough room!  I'm an idiotic millionaire building a house of white boxes.  Ah, well.  I've been called worse.


Better an idiotic millionare than me - and idiotic hundredare  :lol: Now if you bought them for all of your executives to use in a week long D&D marathon team building exercise - THAT would be cool! :)

davidvanwie wrote:I'm an old D&D player with more money than sense, that I'll freely admit.  I am exploring something I love, knowing ahead of time that I can either spend money or take time to come up to speed.  This thing, this time: I decided to spend some money to learn.

And, I've learned a lot.  And I'm still learning.  I was curious what the real price of white boxes is right now.  I figured that if I won a bunch of auctions in a row, I would get a good feel for the market.  It worked!  Low feedback bidders tend in one direction, high feedback bidders in another.  Together, they make a very interesting market.


Thanks for the insight. That's a novel way of paying for market research! That is what I love about this forum, learn something new everyday.

So, what direction do low feedback bidders trend? High feedback bidders? I assume an obvious observation would be that those with low feedback are new to the market and tend toward higher bids.


Futures Bright,

Paul


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:40 am 
 

Howdy Dathon,


dathon wrote:Hey Paul,

I think everyone's waiting to snipe for your current auctions since the folks who had high bids in the final hours last time almost all lost.  Hopefully you get good final bids... it should be interesting.   :D


Yeah, all that talk about sniping has people hunkered down in the small hours of the morning just waiting for the kill :)

dathon wrote:And since you're in touch with David Van Wie, can you tell us, if it's not private, his motivation behind wanting so many copies of the white box? I don't recall ever seeing anyone who kept bidding on the same item every time it came up when he's already won four copies of it previously.  He's not even picky about the condition, and could have bid more to get your woodgrain but didn't.  It's a bit perplexing.


I invited David to join us here - see the above post. Hey he posted! Someone actually listened to me. :P

I told him we were all curious - see his response above.


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Paul


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 1:39 am 
 

So, what direction do low feedback bidders trend? High feedback bidders? I assume an obvious observation would be that those with low feedback are new to the market and tend toward higher bids.


You guys probably have this all figured out already, but I've found three breeds of cat so far...

There are the collectors, who have medium-high feedback scores and semi-random behaviour (not to themselves, of course, but to an analyst like me).  The pattern is highly individualistic, is another way of looking at it...

Then there are the retailers gathering inventory, mostly very high feedback.  They are more predictable: they bid once, low enough to make a profit on resale no doubt.  They cast a wide net and cover their markets systematically.

Then there are the low feedback types.  Most of them are there to buy, not bid.  They want it!  They are treating the auctions as a retail market with hidden price tags, not as auctions per se.  They don't want to do research and compare and figure it out; they want what they came for.

I have been very surprised by the amount of headroom on some of the bids in the white box market.  I was recently mocked because I ran the bid on this one up to $501:

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

The real surprise to me was that neilflora201 wanted it that badly.  The bidding was in the low $200's when he placed that bid.  As others have pointed out, he could have just gone after me at:

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

Which was sitting at $86 when he placed his bid.  Sure, it is missing Blackmoor and Eldritch Wizardry, but those are easy to find.  My conclusion: he came to buy, found what he wanted, and placed what he thought was an unbeatable bid.  I was curious how much that bid was, and I was willing to pay to find out.

You don't have to monopolize the market for long to influence this segment of the market, and appropriate marketing can eat up a lot of this headroom.  I paid a few bucks for that info but I wouldn't have figured that out unless I drew an envelope line over the top of the market.  It may come in handy some day.  Besides, it's fun!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:40 am 
 

The obvious difference is that the first auction is a Fourth printing in excellent shape, which is relatively rare, while the second is an OCE (later printing) with a box in mediocre shape, which is not really that rare.  The Acaeum is an excellent source of info concerning different printings of course.

I am curious why you would be so interested in the White Box sets.  I suspect most of the collectors here would consider them a distant second choice to any woodgrain set.

By the way, I'm sure the members of the forum who sell items would love to know the next time you decide to do some market research.  :)

  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:48 am 
 

tclayton wrote:Alright.  Sorry if I came across too strongly.  I appreciate the follow-ups and the emails.  In retrospect, you are right.  I did get too carried away on some of the items.  I guess the bidding is addictive...

I am planning on cataloging my rpg stuff.  It will be interesting to review the items against the information here on the site.  I still love some of the things even if they don't have any real value (like the silly AD&D coloring book).

Side question.  I was in a comic book shop looking for bags or anything that would be good to protect the books/supplements/boxed sets/etc.  They mainly had things that were too small.  Any suggestions on what you use?  I saw the article here on the site <http://www.acaeum.com/Library/Storage.html>, but I was curious which of the suggestion others here have used and had good sucess with.

Thanks,
Todd


I use these:

200 (2 PACKS) MAGAZINE SIZE BAGS/COVERS 2220248291 $7.25 - Smaller magazine sized items
200 (2 PACKS) THICK MAGAZINE SIZE BAGS 2193430585 $7.25 - Thicker magazine sized items
100 (1 PACK) DIGEST SIZE  BAGS/COVERS        2221090242 $4.95 - Paperback books 300 pages plus
100 (1 PACK) PAPERBACK BOOK BAGS/COVERS 2221083552 $4.95 - Paperback books up to 300 pages
100 (1 PACK) SHEET MUSIC SIZE BAGS/COVERS 2231677002 $6.25 - Hardcover books & really thick adventures
100 (1 PACK) TREASURY COMIC SIZE BAGS/COVERS 2231683727 $6.50 - Most standard boxed sets up to 1 3/8.
100 (1 PACK) ORIGINAL ART/TABLOID COVERS 2219627534 $14.95 - For those really thick boxed sets & large books such as the AD&D coloring album.

This seller also carries backing boards.

Here's a link to his eBay store:

eBay listings

Hope this helps.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:48 am 
 

A distant second choice????? OCE's are barely fit to line a birdcage with compared to a brown box.
David, do you happen to have a bird......... I have a brown box available.
I did notice that a slew of white boxes have been up for sale since people discovered auctions with high bids.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:14 am 
 

The obvious difference is that the first auction is a Fourth printing in excellent shape, which is relatively rare, while the second is an OCE (later printing) with a box in mediocre shape


Sure, but do you think neilflora201 knows that much detail?  I don't think so, but I could be wrong.  The box condition is an obvious issue, but a $500 bid?  I suspect that he decided he wanted it, and he believed $500 was as good as infinity.  I see that as someone who went into a retail store, saw something they wanted without a price tag on it, and brought it to the checkout counter not caring how much it cost.

I suspect that this is a different market segment that does not, and never will, behave like the collector segment.  The retail purchasers are yet a third group with distinctive buying patterns.  The blend of the three makes the market.  Individual buyers may migrate between segments over time, but the segments themselves seem distinct.

I am curious why you would be so interested in the White Box sets. I suspect most of the collectors here would consider them a distant second choice to any woodgrain set.


White boxes are a commodity, woodgrains are truely rare.  I can't anayze the market without a nice stream of contemporaneous data...  My bid on the recent woodgrain auction was heartfelt, not research!  I didn't go higher on that one because I was unsure of the real value.  Still am, actually.  Need more data points...

None of this means that I don't love this stuff, by the way!  I do.  I am collecting for my own account as well as probing around a little bit.

I also love markets, though.  And, I think that this market will grow significantly over time.  We are still 5-10 years away from the "golden age" in my view.  At that time, we will have a large number of the original D&D players in their 50's.  Old enough to be nostalgic, young enough to still have sizable current incomes.  Prime collectors...

Those with inventory will do pretty well financially.  Those with collections will be able to gloat!  That gloating is the heart of collector-oriented marketing, no?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:40 am 
 

Welcome to David!

I appreciate your coming to the forum and explaining the reason for the OCE collecting. I guess I am the hurler of the "idiot" in the idiot millionaire with OCE bricks. I really was not calling you an idiot, just the philosophy of collecting for reselling (middle-end) D&D products in the distant future 10 years or so to reap high rewards on so-called big ticket items.

I disagree with you on the 5-10 year forcast. Comic book collection hit its high when the demographic was in the 25-35 year-olds. And comic books were much more mainstream than rpgs. That is about where D&D/TSR is now. Just reveiwing the demographics of this forum validates this point.

People may overpay now for items that they percieve as rare (they really are not), but that will end. Values will also cap. Now if you can find something to buy for relatively low dollars today, it might pay in the future. However, spending hundreds to purchase a low quantity of inventory is doomed to failure. Like I said in my earlier post. Putting $500 in a mutual fund or IRA would net much more of a return with little to no risk. Granted, it sure isn't as sexy as ebaying for cool TSR stuff. But every financial planner will tell to keep emotions out of finance.

Of course, this is only my opinion. I hope I am still interested enough in 10 years to check up on the status of TSR collecting, but who knows. My kids will be in high school then, so who knows. 8O


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:59 am 
 

Welcome to David!

I thought perhaps you were buying all these white boxes because you were going to have a 20th anniversary get-together with the old gaming group and wanted to have party favors for all of them!  
How cool would that be?   8)

  

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 2:25 pm 
 

I HAVE IT!
He is snagging all the Whiteys to corner the market, kind of like someone we know with shrinked orange B3's......... He'll wait 10 years, then sell 1 a year to keep the price high, like a D&D version of OPEC. Am I right?


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 5:17 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:I HAVE IT!
He is snagging all the Whiteys to corner the market, kind of like someone we know with shrinked orange B3's......... He'll wait 10 years, then sell 1 a year to keep the price high, like a D&D version of OPEC. Am I right?


Didn't the Hunt brothers try doing that with the silver market years ago?
I don't think it worked out quite the way they anticipated... kinda like those people who bought cases of classic Coke before the switch to New Coke....

  


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:43 am 
 

He is snagging all the Whiteys to corner the market, kind of like someone we know with shrinked orange B3's......... He'll wait 10 years, then sell 1 a year to keep the price high, like a D&D version of OPEC. Am I right?


Didn't the Hunt brothers try doing that with the silver market years ago? I don't think it worked out quite the way they anticipated...


Well, I'm not out to corner the market, but it is interesting to me that putting a little bit of pressure on one of the better known commodities had a noticable impact over the course of a week or two.  Alas, my experiment is coming to an end.  I have answered all of the questions I can with this test.  Had some fun too!

I disagree with you on the 5-10 year forcast. Comic book collection hit its high when the demographic was in the 25-35 year-olds. And comic books were much more mainstream than rpgs. That is about where D&D/TSR is now. Just reveiwing the demographics of this forum validates this point.

People may overpay now for items that they percieve as rare (they really are not), but that will end. Values will also cap. Now if you can find something to buy for relatively low dollars today, it might pay in the future. However, spending hundreds to purchase a low quantity of inventory is doomed to failure.


Thanks for the welcome and the advice!  I have my reasons for believing as I do, but that reminds me of the old adage: for every seller, there is a buyer.  I sit on my side of the transaction thinking happy thoughts, and someone else sits on the sell side and says good riddance!  None of us knows the future, and that makes it more fun!  Put a little bit of money on it just to keep it interesting...

I wouldn't do it if it weren't enjoyable, so I don't mind if I lose my shirt.  I have another.  :D I suspect that the demographic that is here will be 5-10 years older in 5-10 years...and still here!  With more money to spend, as incomes tend to rise with age, and with more company because nostalgia also tracks pretty well with age.  An important part of my thinking is that early D&D players had a shared experience of such intensity and uniqueness, I don't think the comic book guys can even begin to imagine...

But, I could be wrong!

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:46 am 
 

David;

No, I don't think you are wrong. There is just no way to tell, which is cool. I do disagree with the shared experience thing. Comic book collectors also came in groups. My particular group of friends loved arguing about who was stronger, cooler, etc. We did that for years and cross read each other's favorite comic books just to rip on them.

Also, comic books made the transition from print to other media such as TV and movies. While some sucked, others have been extremely successful. That creates a shared experience that D&D could never achieve on a mass market scale. Oh my god, the damage that Dungeons and Dragons movie did (a couple years ago) can never be repaired. Positively the worst movie I have ever seen. If I would have seen that movie before ever playing the game, I never would have even looked at D&D! 8O  8O  8O

You are 100% correct in the aging and more disposable income thing. But, I think we are there now. Yeah, income rises with age, but spending habits change radically. I am not saying there won't be a market in 10 years, but it will be different.

Anyway, I actually appreciate your experiment. It was and is interesting to say the least.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:34 am 
 

David may have something here, everybody is talking about the 30 - 35 year olds being the primary buyers but they have forgotten one thing.

D&D is still very alive and well.

It has not stopped yet.  The Early common and rare items will continue to rise in value as each generation of roleplayers age and get better jobs with higher pay.  Even if you have never played using the white box set, there is still an erge to collect this type of item, not only for nostalgia, but just to have a piece of the earliest versions of this game.

I for one started with the basic boxset in about 1979, after playing for years and leaving the hobby after 2nd edition ruined the game :? , I came back several years later, picked up 3rd ed and started again.  Soon I was looking for that basic set that I started with on ebay; there I discovered the vast amount of material printed before the basic set and I decided to get it all as well.

The early items and rare items should see some type of growth over the years as long as there are new rules, gamers, game collectors etc.

David may be on to something.  Remember comics like action #1 and the like saw there biggest increases in value in the nineties through to today way after the kids that read them were 30 - 35 year olds.

Let David have his fun.

Hmm,  I think I am going to go bid on some white boxsets now :wink:


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