Thursday, October 14, 2021

PriceCharting Has Premium Features for Retailers

PriceCharting has had a Pro membership for several years. Pro gives users access to improved tools on the site. These tools were focused primarily at collectors. Another core user on PriceCharting is retailers. We've added a second premium membership with tools focused on retailers.

The same "Pro" tools are still available in the new "Collector" tier. We just changed the name.

New Features Just for Retailers

Demand Reports (or Most Wanted List)

See a list of the most wanted items on the site. Which games or trading cards do people have on their wishlists? You can filter the results by category and even console/set.

This tool will help you know what games are hot and should sell quickly. You can click "Sell Yours" button next to any item and quickly list your item for sale. If your price is good, we'll email everyone with that game on their wishlist and let them know it's available.

See Historic Sales Volume

The historic price charts on every item page will show the historic sales volumes. You can see if supply changed and better understand the reasons behind price changes.

The volume shown in the total volume across all conditions and the data goes back to February 2021.

Retail susbcribers can also sort the Hot Item lists by sales volume as well and see which games are selling the most and which had the biggest change in sales.

Existing Features Only Available to Retailers

  • Download all price points (for games and trading cards)
  • Download UPC & Amazon Unique ID (ASIN)
  • Access to Gamestop Buy/Sell Prices
  • Access to our Suggested Buy/Sell Prices
  • Full access to eBay Lot Bot
  • Full API access to all data

We hope these new features are helpful to you. If so, please subscribe today (you can easily upgrade a current subscription too). Your support helps keep PriceCharting online.

Thank you for using PriceCharting. Please leave any feedback in the comments below.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Collection Total Cost/Profit & Category Level Details

You can now view your total collection cost and total collection profit. AND you can view category level details so you know how much your video games are worth, vs your Pokemon cards, vs your Magic cards.

The cost and profit are visible on all collection pages.

To see the collection value by category, you need to filter the results to a specific category.

* Click "Sort Filter"
* Choose the category from "Category" dropdown

See Cost & Profit by Console/Set

You can also view console/set level details to see how much your Nintendo DS or Pokemon Evolving Skies cards are worth.

* Sort by category first
* Choose the specific console/set in the "Filter by Console" section

Cost & Profit Are Private

The cost and profit values are only visible to you. If you share your collection with someone else they will only see the value and the number of items.

View your collection today and try out these new features.

UPDATE: Local Currency Supported Too

Thanks for suggestions from users in comments, we've added support for your local currency.

The cost will always be in your local currency since you are adding that value manually. The value and profit will be converted to your local currency.

Let us know if you have any feedback or new feature ideas by using the comments below.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Price Index Charts for Trading Cards

Trading card prices rise and fall over time as certain sets become popular or interest ebbs and flows for a hobby. We've added a tool that let's you see how the value of a trading card set is changing over time.

The SP 500 or Dow Jones stock indexes tell you if the stock market is increasing or decreasing in value overall.

Our trading card indexes tell you the same thing for a particular set of Pokemon or Magic cards.

For every trading card set, you can see a chart showing the current average and median price for every card in that set. You can see how the prices change over time as well. Is Pokemon Base Set becoming more popular? Has interest in Pokemon McDonald's 2021 set dropped since launch? Are Magic Beta cards hot or not?

The indexes include only the base cards, no parallels and the index only considers ungraded cards. You can read more details about the indexes and how they are calculated.

The index includes the average and the median by default but you can toggle either on or off. You can also touch/hover on any point on the chart to see details about the price at that particular point in time.

We decided to show both the average and the median because they show different summaries of a set's popularity/value. The median means the same number of cards are more expensive and less expensive than the median price. The median isn't impacted heavily by value changes in the most expensive cards. The average price is more volatile and will go up and down more when the most expensive cards increase or decrease in price.

We hope this tool is helpful for your trading cards collecting.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Retro Collectibles are Outperforming Your Stocks. Here are 5 Insights Why.

Author: Brady Haugh

Pokemon cards. Nintendo games. Football and Baseball cards. Magic the Gathering sets. You may have heard friends bemoan how they wish they had held onto a holographic Charizard Pokemon card a decade ago, as they’d surely retire from selling it today.

These once scoffed-at retro collectibles are experiencing a financial heyday that are rewarding their owners with upside that has meaningfully outperformed most financial markets in the past few years. COVID has forced us to find new hobbies to keep us occupied during isolation, and in the process has ushered in a tidal wave of new cash-infused collectors into the retro collectible markets, spiking prices for collectible items of all shapes and sizes.

So, if you haven’t been paying attention, here’s your chance to catch up, perhaps just in time to hop on the bandwagon…

Before we get to the insights… a quick background on collecting.

So what exactly are retro collectibles? The answer to that is… just about anything that evokes a sense of nostalgia. That being said, there are a few major categories in the retro collectibles market including sports cards, video games, comic books, and vintage branded memorabilia from companies such as Disney. These categories are some of the most popular, and each boasts a swarm of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of passionate collectors across the globe actively buying, selling, discussing, and evaluating each day.

Most collectors started off small, perhaps nostalgic for a Nintendo game played as a kid, or through a group of friends that all collected and traded the same Pokemon cards. Collectors often quickly evolve into a multitude of unique collecting pursuits. Some will aim to complete a full set - perhaps to collect every game ever made for the Super Nintendo. Others will aim to collect just the “grails” - the rarest and most valuable collectibles - like an original Honus Wagner baseball card which sold for nearly $7M. Most collectors construe their own collecting passion project and hunt their items down online or in-person at local or national swap meets. Often it takes years to finish a “set.”

Insight #1 - The demand for collectibles has skyrocketed during COVID.

The isolating nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many individuals to re-evaluate their daily pursuits, or perhaps just encouraged them just to clean out their home, and in the process a swarm of new collectors have emerged. PriceCharting, a site used to view price trends for all types of collectibles, has witnessed an explosion of growth: a 250% increase in monthly active users compared to February of 2020, the month before the pandemic truly began.

Many of the new collectors are simply picking back up collections that they’ve started in the past, equipped with the newfound time and cash to pursue them further. Moreso, the pandemic has witnessed the rise of many new content creators who have driven viral spikes in the many unique collectible markets (have you heard about the $300K Pokemon card?), and their shocking headlines have captured the attention of curious onlookers who have since entered the hobby themselves.

Insight #2 - While common collectibles have earned solid price growth, top-end collectibles have gone to the moon.

As this new wave of collectors has entered the markets, they’ve brought with them a new treasure trove of capital. Retro collectibles by definition have a fixed supply; they’re not making any more 1992 original copies of Little Samson (one of the more expensive Nintendo games with a $5,000 price tag). Yet there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of new collectors hoping to one day add it to their collection to help complete their full set. This phenomenon has put pricing pressure on nearly every single collectible item, from common items up through the grails.

According to PriceCharting’s historical price indices, average collectible video game prices have grown by 56% when compared to the month pre-pandemic. Average trading card prices have followed a similar growth in value during the same period. Part of this effect comes from a generation of collectors that have grown up and now boast a bit of disposable income to spend on the more expensive pieces of their collections. On top of the generational component, COVID has added an additional positive pricing pressure entirely.

This index includes the average price of all retro video games, across all systems

If we isolate the pricing effect just to the top end games we see an even more dramatic trend, where price growth for top-end NES games in 18 months averaged 59% from Feb 2019 - Aug 2021, and price growth for top-end SNES games averaged a whopping 119% increase:

This index includes the avg. price for the basket of top-10 most expensive standard release games from NES and SNES consoles:

Console Game Feb 2020 Aug 2021 % Change
(18 mos)
NES Bonk's Adventure $424 $741 75%
NES Little Samson $1,107 $1,761 59%
NES Flintstones $752 $1,370 82%
NES Zombie Nation $286 $574 101%
NES Kid Klown $275 $570 107%
NES Panic Restaraunt $537 $881 64%
NES Power Blade 2 $416 $889 114%
NES Dragon Fighter $292 $571 96%
NES Bubble Bobble $285 $474 66%
NES Cowboy Kid $247 $398 61%
SNES Hagane $385 $1,010 162%
SNES Aero Fighters $524 $887 69%
SNES Pocky & Rocky 2 $289 $582 101%
SNES Final Fight Guy $185 $473 156%
SNES Harvest Moon $151 $376 149%
SNES Earthbound $164 $329 101%
SNES Castlevania Dracula X $180 $323 80%
SNES Mega Man X3 $150 $287 91%
SNES EVO $131 $340 160%
SNES Mega Man 7 $124 $286 131%

While one might think that this intense pricing pressure might die down once the world opens back up and collectors return to normal hobbies, it’s likely that won’t be the case, as a new generation of collectors has emerged, and they have new tools to better integrate their hobby into their daily lives.

Insight #3 - Social media has created new, sustainable communities within the collectibles realm.

Did you know that you can now watch YouTube videos of guys that livestream their experience hunting down collectibles at garage sales (see American Arbitrage)? Did you know that there are eBay “resellers” that create YouTube videos about how they buy and then “flip” collectibles for big profits (see Phoenix Resale)? These social influencers have created devout sub-communities within the collecting sphere, and they’ve earned a full time living and then some doing it.

Collectors are eager to see these behind-the-scenes views into life as a full time hobbyist, eager to share in the thrill of the hunt for rare items, and they additionally gain insights that they bring to their own pursuits.

It’s not just YouTube that collectors are leveraging, however. Instagram has become a hotbed for collecting activities. Many collectors use Instagram as their primary platform for sharing new acquisitions, discussing rarities, congratulating other collectors on finds, and leveraging the platform even for buying and selling. Popular retro gaming account @supersparkster recently hosted a “claim sale” - where the seller posts a photo of a collectible and its price, and the first to comment “claim” wins the right to purchase it - and users “claimed” each $200+ item literal moments after each post went live.

Insight #4 - Authentication services have enabled investors to enter the arena.

One of the primary tipping points of growth within coin collecting occurred when private companies emerged to authenticate and grade collectible coins. These grading services would encapsulate the coins in a nearly unbreakable plastic “slab” which would include a numerical grade of the coin’s quality. Nearly overnight collectors gained a new trust in online dealing, and began to purchase more expensive slabbed coins remotely, without needing to see the coin in-hand. These grading services trimmed out the risk of purchasing a counterfeit, and the relatively objective grading standards enabled collectors to quickly compare one coin to another with just a single number. Once a hobby dominated by in-person transactions, coin collectors could suddenly “hunt” for their missing coins with confidence online.

These same grading services have emerged in nearly all other collectible spheres. For retro video games you have WATA and VGA. In sports cards you have PSA and Beckett. Comics have CGC. Other players existg or are quickly emerging in other collectible domains. These services have enabled online transactions to flourish, particularly in the top end of the collectible markets, and it enabled larger institutional money to enter the arena with heightened confidence.

A factory-sealed Super Mario video game for the original Nintendo system recently sold for nearly $2 million. This magnitude of sale could have never occurred without authentication and grading services. Even premier auction houses have begun to partner with grading services, most notably Heritage Auctions partnering with WATA to authenticate and grade all of their retro video game items up for auction.

Insight #5 - There are easy ways to enter the collectibles market, but it’s critical to leverage free tools to avoid making costly mistakes.

There are two unique forces in the retro collectible world: the incumbent collectors and the more nascent investors. To an extent collectors are naturally engaging in investment, and to an extent investors are themselves curating a collection. As the collectibles industry continues to mature and grow, new tools have emerged to help conflate the two spheres: collectors now have tools like PriceCharting to help understand the value of their collection including its individual pieces, and investors now have many online services like VinoVest (for wine) or Rally Rd (for buying shares of collectible grails) available to help them acquire unique collectibles at higher investment-grade price points.

An old coin collecting adage applies very cleanly to the newcomers in the collectibles market: “always buy the book before you buy the coin.” It’s critical to learn the nuances of the hobby before throwing my money at it. These days online collector tools are now readily available, and it would be a critical mistake not to consult them when evaluating a transaction. Make sure to at least understand an item's trading volume, pricing swings, even historical trending before you lay down your hard-earned cash.

So hey, go buy yourself something rare and interesting. Once you get hooked, it’s far more fun than traditional investing. And with the right research, it might even pay out more too. To start, go see what your old games or sports cards are worth - you might be sitting on a gold mine!



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