Sunday, June 27, 2010

Perception Or Misconception?

Does perceived scarcity affect the price of a card? When a card is numbered we know exactly how many are out there floating around the universe but when a company releases a card with no numbering all we can base numbers on is what we see, hear or read about.

Case in point, the 2007-08 Chronology “The LeBrons” Blue Bordered card. There are currently 6 of these cards up for auction on eBay ranging from $4.99 to $800. Between May 24th and June 21st 8 of these cards had been put up for auction, some selling and some not. The highest card to sell was at $31.00 and that was in early June. Now there is one that has hit $46.00 on 18 bids and there is still 2 hours left on the auction.

After I pulled the card 2 weeks ago I began researching it, reading through a number of hobby entities including Upper Deck and Beckett’s Facebook pages and blogs, various sports card blogs and forums I came up with roughly 50 posts of varying degrees stating that they have this card. This would lead me to believe that we are looking at probably 100 or more of these cards out there, and considering that UD is inserting them in to 2009-10 UD Basketball Blaster Boxes I expect it to be even more common then what I have found.

I laughed when I came across the guy selling one for a BIN of $800 and even claiming that people have told him that there are possibly only 10 of these. He posted a couple of the questions submitted to him, one guy states that there may only be 2 of these and another guy claiming UD told him there are probably less then 10 around. We all know that is BS considering UD does not make a statement on the print run of any card that is not serial numbered.

I was hoping to shed a bit of light so this seller would be informed; I contacted the seller on 6/21 with my findings, which I have posted here. The seller’s response was to add another sentence to his posting: “It has come to my attention through some eBay members that there are under 10 of these cards in existence. This may be possible but I cannot confirm or deny this information as of yet.”

To add to the horror, the guy actually received an offer that is awaiting approval. Hopefully it is a levelheaded collector who is making a mockery of the posting and not an ill-informed person buying in to the perception.

Right now the hobby is running amuck with Strasburg cards selling for insane amounts, do people just arbitrarily believe what is being told to them? If I hold up a card and say this is limited will people toss money in my direction?

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