I know my title looks like labels for a post, but after Aron's comment on my last post I decided to do some digging. Ready for a really long winded post? I thought not, but soldier on anyway.
People always want to know if its the right time to buy. First of all we as collectors want every card ever made. I know some of you are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd worlders, but that is more a result of the realities of collecting. Anyway, if there is a box of 07 masterpieces baseball out there and a box of 08 masterpieces we want them both I think, but we seem to want the 08 more. When I'm not sure that it matters as a collector. I mean the cards are similar. The hits are similar, the parallels are similar. So my question is: Why would, assuming they had purchased neither previously, anyone buy the 08 over the 07 assuming the 07 is priced significantly less than the 08's? Yeah, think about that. Its not like the 07s have nothing compelling in them. For example, 07 has the rookies of Daisuke Matsuzaka, Akinori Iwamura, Tim Lincecum and most importantly Andrew Miller.
Which gets me to Aron's post. He was inquiring about whether I thought he should pick up some Masterpieces hockey. Settle down Peanut Gallery. I like hockey and I like the Masterpieces. The price is a bit high right now. In his case there is no 07 version. So he doesn't have a comparable product to purchase. So what is he to do. At this point, I say wait.
If you think about it there are some nice new products for 2008 that might put you in this quandry: Masterpieces with the exception of Baseball, Heroes, Icons, Threads Baseball; but there are many products that are the same year after year: Chrome, the Heritage concept, all donruss and leaf products, etc. I guess my point is, as a collector, wait for the market to settle a bit before diving in. You can often find a comparable product from last year or the year before. There are some idiots out there that snap up Chrome right when it comes out. They pay up to a $20 premium to get it right when it comes out. In addition, I have yet to see a huge premium on boxes a year or two after they come out over and above what they cost upon release. Chances are, Aron can get the masterpieces hockey for quite a bit less in a few months, if not he probably won't pay any more then than he would now.
Take Finest for example. If the boxes upon release are $100, in two years there is little chance that the boxes will be much more than that. Plus you don't run the risk of have a drawer full of Smush Parker Finest rookies, when you traded away the guys that turned out to be stars. Look back a few months: Which rookies would you have rather had: McFadden? or Ryan, Flacco, Royal, Forte etc. Now which would you rather have. I totally over looked my Icons Flacco die cut rookie /75. Not a huge dollar amount but a nice card to have. Back to 07, Peterson is a great player and will hopefullly have a long great career. But what about Marshawn Lynch and Anthony Gonzalez? 2006, Leinert, Young, Bush anyone. Not saying that none of them will have a great career, but people were paying car payment and mortgage amounts for these cards. Thus, I think it is better to wait and see on box prices.
Its easy to see where box prices are going too. I use two tools, besides being one myself: I look at completed auctions and throw out the top and bottom. Believe it or not, there are people that will pay a BIN price that is significantly higher than other BIN and auctions. The other thing I do is look at the BIN prices over the last couple of weeks. Then I will see how many are being sold. If none are being sold then that tells me that prices are going to drop soon. You might even be able to call them and get a much better price. If the wholesaler doesn't have to pay ebay fees, then they might cut you a break. Lots of these big wholesalers have, it seems, 50-100 of these boxes. Time is money. Of course, nothing can help Upper Deck X. That set is so Pinnacle (sorry Mario) that $10 boxes can't help it.
If the prices are trending down, chances are there will not be some even that causes them to double in price over night. Ya, I'm looking at you chrome. Chrome boxes bottom out at $22-$35 plus shipping. You will have your exceptions like 04 Chrome Football, 03-04 Chrome Basketball. Those were expensive from the get go and the number of boxes you don't overpay for will more than offset the one you miss on by not buying right away. Most of the time you can pick up singles anyway. No you weren't and aren't going to pull that /50 Roethlisberger or Manning gold auto. It just doesn't happen, sorry. You are more likely than not going to end up with a bunch of Jonathan Vilma, Josh Harris, John Navarre, and PK Sam autos. Yeah! WORTHLESS CHROME AUTO MOJO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SICK!!! /25 CODY PICKET PATCH!
If you follow those steps, you might save yourself some cash if you can keep the collector in you from caving to that little collector voice that screams "BUY IT BUY IT BEFORE IT GOES UP!" and "I WANT IT NOW!"