(attempted) Flip of the Day!
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8 hours ago, MYNAMEISLEGION said:

Methinks they also had an ulterior motive to argue, because they wish to keep valuations artificially high for their own gain.

No doubt. Maintaining the illusion of expanding growth inflation is very important during a large distribution. The tremendous amount of grail-ios in every HA Signature sale is not due to a tremendous re-jiggering among high-end collectors, nor the Ds taking their inevitable toll extensively. Primarily, this is a managed distribution of several very large positions (call 'em corners if you like!) while the buyers are still buying (call 'em lemmings if you will, cuz I sure do). Nice art, for sure, but I stepped aside to watch the Third Act play out...a while ago.

As always, in collectibles especially, the easiest gauge for true bullishness is seeing what a dealer will pay cash on the spot for your collection. When there are many more buyers than sellers and dealer inventories are thin...the percentage they will pay approaches 100% of fmv (as measured by recent auction comparatives). After all, who wouldn't buy and sell privately at 90% to flip immediately at 110%, especially when short term bank safety isn't paying more than a few points, even in a rising rate environment. Right? But who is paying 90% cash? N O B O D Y professional. The wider the gap, the more bs is stinkin' up the whole room lol

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1 hour ago, vodou said:

No doubt. Maintaining the illusion of expanding growth inflation is very important during a large distribution. The tremendous amount of grail-ios in every HA Signature sale is not due to a tremendous re-jiggering among high-end collectors, nor the Ds taking their inevitable toll extensively. Primarily, this is a managed distribution of several very large positions (call 'em corners if you like!) while the buyers are still buying (call 'em lemmings if you will, cuz I sure do). Nice art, for sure, but I stepped aside to watch the Third Act play out...a while ago.

As always, in collectibles especially, the easiest gauge for true bullishness is seeing what a dealer will pay cash on the spot for your collection. When there are many more buyers than sellers and dealer inventories are thin...the percentage they will pay approaches 100% of fmv (as measured by recent auction comparatives). After all, who wouldn't buy and sell privately at 90% to flip immediately at 110%, especially when short term bank safety isn't paying more than a few points, even in a rising rate environment. Right? But who is paying 90% cash? N O B O D Y professional. The wider the gap, the more bs is stinkin' up the whole room lol

The issue with this is the definition of "FMV". Its not like there is a stock exchange for this, or some set of rules that dictate what the price can and cant be. I can show the same piece (in fact i just did last week) to multiple dealers/buyers/flippers/collectors and got price range estimates from 4500-18000 for the same piece. Non of them had what i felt was ulterior motives for low balling or over estimating its price. They all just , with their years of experience and reviewing the same data for current as-similar-as-possible auction results, came to different evaluations as to value.

Even using the something more stable like "recent auction comparatives" is dicey because some auctions do better on some pieces than others. I have a few times purchased items from one auction, and the next year put into a more suited auction to see a 40-60 percent price increase. Because of that and just normal site bias and overall competition for a specific type of piece based on items available ATM and available buyers ATM....nailing down 100% FMV within even 20-33% is rather dicey. As you clearly know pieces by the same artist from the same run with similar characters can vary wildly as you know just based on panel layout/eye appeal, historic significance, nostalgia, and availability of similar material at the moment and similarly motivated buyers ATM.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, zhamlau said:

The issue with this is the definition of "FMV". Its not like there is a stock exchange for this, or some set of rules that dictate what the price can and cant be. I can show the same piece (in fact i just did last week) to multiple dealers/buyers/flippers/collectors and got price range estimates from 4500-18000 for the same piece. Non of them had what i felt was ulterior motives for low balling or over estimating its price. They all just , with their years of experience and reviewing the same data for current as-similar-as-possible auction results, came to different evaluations as to value.

Even using the something more stable like "recent auction comparatives" is dicey because some auctions do better on some pieces than others. I have a few times purchased items from one auction, and the next year put into a more suited auction to see a 40-60 percent price increase. Because of that and just normal site bias and overall competition for a specific type of piece based on items available ATM and available buyers ATM....nailing down 100% FMV within even 20-33% is rather dicey. As you clearly know pieces by the same artist from the same run with similar characters can vary wildly as you know just based on panel layout/eye appeal, historic significance, nostalgia, and availability of similar material at the moment and similarly motivated buyers ATM.

Correct there is no liquid and (most important) stable exchange for this material. (Which is why reserve lots flop and no reserve lots are 'supported by friends' or...flop.) You've made my point; thank you. A number of, I assume, qualified (in your estimation) folks offered you "price ranges estimates" that ran 400% low to high, wow, at least one or two are insufficiently_thoughtful_persons clearly, but none of them were actually offering cash in hand? So not insufficiently_thoughtful_persons after all. Hey, I don't even have to know of the piece or see it, only leaning on my nigh 30 years in the hobby (yup!), to suggest that it "might go as high as $22,500, possibly even $30k if the right two people are bidding that day!" Feel any better? No. So it's all bs. If you have the nerve, solicit for actual cash on the table from people...watch that $18k evaporate, maybe even that $4,500 will too :)

But...surely Mr. $18k would LOVE to buy it for $4500, all dirty small bills please? EZ 400% flip. Hmmm betcha...no!

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1 hour ago, vodou said:

Correct there is no liquid and (most important) stable exchange for this material. (Which is why reserve lots flop and no reserve lots are 'supported by friends' or...flop.) You've made my point; thank you. A number of, I assume, qualified (in your estimation) folks offered you "price ranges estimates" that ran 400% low to high, wow, at least one or two are insufficiently_thoughtful_persons clearly, but none of them were actually offering cash in hand? So not insufficiently_thoughtful_persons after all. Hey, I don't even have to know of the piece or see it, only leaning on my nigh 30 years in the hobby (yup!), to suggest that it "might go as high as $22,500, possibly even $30k if the right two people are bidding that day!" Feel any better? No. So it's all bs. If you have the nerve, solicit for actual cash on the table from people...watch that $18k evaporate, maybe even that $4,500 will too :)

But...surely Mr. $18k would LOVE to buy it for $4500, all dirty small bills please? EZ 400% flip. Hmmm betcha...no!

See I don't think that proved the point, at least the one I was speaking about. (on a side note, i also explained i just wanted an estimate for it and not an offer because i don't want any conflict of interest when i ask your price opinion. And if you do make an offer im always a little unsure how to proceed or take your evaluation).

"As always, in collectibles especially, the easiest gauge for true bullishness is seeing what a dealer will pay cash on the spot for your collection. When there are many more buyers than sellers and dealer inventories are thin...the percentage they will pay approaches 100% of fmv (as measured by recent auction comparatives). After all, who wouldn't buy and sell privately at 90% to flip immediately at 110%, especially when short term bank safety isn't paying more than a few points, even in a rising rate environment. Right? But who is paying 90% cash? N O B O D Y professional. The wider the gap, the more bs is stinkin' up the whole room "

Since FMV can wildly swing based on the who is determining it, how can anyone determine FMV and what 80-90% of it is? Especially on rare items where a sale might not have occurred in 4-5 years for anything similar to it (publicly or acknowledged privately)?

My point is simple, We cant use the notion of FMV when it comes to comic art so basing any judgements on what someone might pay against that imaginary value i think isn't helpful. Since this isn't a regulated market with set prices where no item can be 100% accurately priced due to every item being unique we cant judge the health of the market based on what people will pay based on this imaginary number. Even if a dealer feels in their heart an item is worth 1000 dollars and they would put that on their site, no one would want to pay 900$ for it without it being pre-sold. What if the right buyers for it don't see it, or there are other items that come out of the woodwork that day that takes their dollar? It might take a year or two to make that sale. For many thats not a slam dunk buy and its just tying up money. 

You  know what really i think might have more of an effect then this all being some sort of scheme? That folks are conditioned now to only buy items in public auctions because they fear unless there is open auction competition for an item they might be getting ripped off. I will routinely offer items for say 1000 on my CAF that collectors wont buy. I put it in the item appropriate auction, and the vast majority of time i meet or exceed that value. I pay for premium access, i use a high resolution scanner, Im known, and I put all appropriate key words in the searches on the hobby's biggest platform (aka im doing whats needed to make the sale). The only reason i can find why this happens so often is that folks want to feel sure its a fair price and dont want to commit til that know they will miss out on it if they don't pony up before it ends.

This is always a fun topic to me, sorry if it seems a little dry to others. After 30 years of buying and selling this stuff it still fascinates me, talk about sickness LOL. 

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4 minutes ago, zhamlau said:

See I don't think that proved the point, at least the one I was speaking about. (on a side note, i also explained i just wanted an estimate for it and not an offer because i don't want any conflict of interest when i ask your price opinion. And if you do make an offer im always a little unsure how to proceed or take your evaluation).

"As always, in collectibles especially, the easiest gauge for true bullishness is seeing what a dealer will pay cash on the spot for your collection. When there are many more buyers than sellers and dealer inventories are thin...the percentage they will pay approaches 100% of fmv (as measured by recent auction comparatives). After all, who wouldn't buy and sell privately at 90% to flip immediately at 110%, especially when short term bank safety isn't paying more than a few points, even in a rising rate environment. Right? But who is paying 90% cash? N O B O D Y professional. The wider the gap, the more bs is stinkin' up the whole room "

Since FMV can wildly swing based on the who is determining it, how can anyone determine FMV and what 80-90% of it is? Especially on rare items where a sale might not have occurred in 4-5 years for anything similar to it (publicly or acknowledged privately)?

My point is simple, We cant use the notion of FMV when it comes to comic art so basing any judgements on what someone might pay against that imaginary value i think isn't helpful. Since this isn't a regulated market with set prices where no item can be 100% accurately priced due to every item being unique we cant judge the health of the market based on what people will pay based on this imaginary number. Even if a dealer feels in their heart an item is worth 1000 dollars and they would put that on their site, no one would want to pay 900$ for it without it being pre-sold. What if the right buyers for it don't see it, or there are other items that come out of the woodwork that day that takes their dollar? It might take a year or two to make that sale. For many thats not a slam dunk buy and its just tying up money. 

You  know what really i think might have more of an effect then this all being some sort of scheme? That folks are conditioned now to only buy items in public auctions because they fear unless there is open auction competition for an item they might be getting ripped off. I will routinely offer items for say 1000 on my CAF that collectors wont buy. I put it in the item appropriate auction, and the vast majority of time i meet or exceed that value. I pay for premium access, i use a high resolution scanner, Im known, and I put all appropriate key words in the searches on the hobby's biggest platform (aka im doing whats needed to make the sale). The only reason i can find why this happens so often is that folks want to feel sure its a fair price and dont want to commit til that know they will miss out on it if they don't pony up before it ends.

This is always a fun topic to me, sorry if it seems a little dry to others. After 30 years of buying and selling this stuff it still fascinates me, talk about sickness LOL. 

So the gist is...it is what it is?

400% space between "guesses"...the definition of useless information.

Do you feel like you wasted your time asking? I feel that way for even reading about it! (not being snarky)

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8 minutes ago, zhamlau said:

That folks are conditioned now to only buy items in public auctions because they fear unless there is open auction competition for an item they might be getting ripped off. I will routinely offer items for say 1000 on my CAF that collectors wont buy. I put it in the item appropriate auction, and the vast majority of time i meet or exceed that value. I pay for premium access, i use a high resolution scanner, Im known, and I put all appropriate key words in the searches on the hobby's biggest platform (aka im doing whats needed to make the sale). The only reason i can find why this happens so often is that folks want to feel sure its a fair price and dont want to commit til that know they will miss out on it if they don't pony up before it ends.

This is always a fun topic to me, sorry if it seems a little dry to others. After 30 years of buying and selling this stuff it still fascinates me, talk about sickness LOL. 

Behavioral economics is endlessly fascinating to me too. Identifying that the herd is jigging and why, so I (the contrarian) know when to responsibly* jag is the payoff. So far, so good.

 

*from a risk management perspective

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3 minutes ago, vodou said:

So the gist is...it is what it is?

400% space between "guesses"...the definition of useless information.

Do you feel like you wasted your time asking? I feel that way for even reading about it! (not being snarky)

No, my point is FMV is an imaginary and ever changing number so its not fair to base any reading on market health on it. I asked multiple sources, and it became clear some knew more than others. I ask usually to see if they might have some hidden insight or knowledge about a piece of art i wasn't aware of, and if they do to get their impression of value.

I didn't waste my time at all because I learned no one has seen a piece like this sell in 4 years, and that the general opinion was it was to uncommon to try and move normally and that it really should be an auction item (which i'm sure it will be).

You aren't being snarky IMO anyway, this is just the way you communicate with others. You mean no harm, you just tend to be a little strident in how you communicate at times. I value your opinion and wouldn't engage if i didn't. 

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2 minutes ago, zhamlau said:

No, my point is FMV is an imaginary and ever changing number so its not fair to base any reading on market health on it. I asked multiple sources, and it became clear some knew more than others. I ask usually to see if they might have some hidden insight or knowledge about a piece of art i wasn't aware of, and if they do to get their impression of value.

I didn't waste my time at all because I learned no one has seen a piece like this sell in 4 years, and that the general opinion was it was to uncommon to try and move normally and that it really should be an auction item (which i'm sure it will be).

You aren't being snarky IMO anyway, this is just the way you communicate with others. You mean no harm, you just tend to be a little strident in how you communicate at times. I value your opinion and wouldn't engage if i didn't. 

Thanks for that last bit.

Correct, you did get some valuable information after all!

I guess, on a piece by piece basis I can see where you're coming from (FMV doesn't exist for useful purposes or maybe at all) but I was writing from more of a global perspective. Your example is singular; market health is more of a "dump it all right now" matter, a global matter ("market") not that I wrote that to begin with though. It's what I'm monitoring, a large position is what I'm managing, that's where I come from and it's my mistake to not specifically state it!

Of course a strong opinion shouldn't be held in a vacuum. I also note how much inventory is and has been sitting for years (over a decade, nearing two in some cases) "in the public eye". That's really bad news re: market health imo. That's also informing my viewpoint, coupled with wide spreads from dealers, "wide" being based (I'll allow) more on my "gut FMV" than some sort of empirically arrived at number. And yet...it's not total bs, fmv, is it...after all, there that phenomenon (in the aggregate) that we always have to pay a lot to win, but nobody ever wants to pay us a lot to sell...right? Globally, not singularly, that is. That's supportive of my view too.

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all things being equal, (accounting for the vagaries of title, artist, content, age, layout, etc as pertinent factors in determining FMV of a specific page of art) sellers heavily and selectively reference  past auctions results, which have a lot of fees and taxes factored into it- easily 30% to justify their determination of FMV.  That's why I have to agree with @vodou that unless the other party is willing to cough up cash (real cash, not trade) their estimates are meaningless, whether they are a dealer or individual. Furthermore, using past auction results as a basis for determining FMV is highly suspect, for the reason discussed, but even more so by the manipulations that occur during auctions (which has been alluded to here, but let's just put it out there...) that is to say, price fixing.  If you have a piece of art for sale, in the same auction, or to sell outright in the future, it is common for a some to bid up similar pieces in auctions to "create" FMV perception.  The D's use it constantly. Tack on the 25-30% due to taxes and fees, and the next price you will get quoted will be 50-70% more than the last consigners actual net.   I call BS.   

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4 hours ago, MYNAMEISLEGION said:

all things being equal, (accounting for the vagaries of title, artist, content, age, layout, etc as pertinent factors in determining FMV of a specific page of art) sellers heavily and selectively reference  past auctions results, which have a lot of fees and taxes factored into it- easily 30% to justify their determination of FMV.  That's why I have to agree with @vodou that unless the other party is willing to cough up cash (real cash, not trade) their estimates are meaningless, whether they are a dealer or individual. Furthermore, using past auction results as a basis for determining FMV is highly suspect, for the reason discussed, but even more so by the manipulations that occur during auctions (which has been alluded to here, but let's just put it out there...) that is to say, price fixing.  If you have a piece of art for sale, in the same auction, or to sell outright in the future, it is common for a some to bid up similar pieces in auctions to "create" FMV perception.  The D's use it constantly. Tack on the 25-30% due to taxes and fees, and the next price you will get quoted will be 50-70% more than the last consigners actual net.   I call BS.   

In theory than is any appraisers opinion worthless unless they offer to buy it around that price? And on the other side if they make an offer with their evaluation wouldn't that cause you to feel a little suspect about their "price appraisal" in the first place?

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48 minutes ago, zhamlau said:

In theory than is any appraisers opinion worthless unless they offer to buy it around that price? And on the other side if they make an offer with their evaluation wouldn't that cause you to feel a little suspect about their "price appraisal" in the first place?

My feeling is gathering more than one appraisal is very important, not just one (to start). Then, an analysis of the spread between not just the two or more appraisals but the "buy it now" cash from each (or lack of interest) is telling, very telling. For a few pieces, or a tight focused collecting (x50 from the same artist/book, let's say) that's going to give you equally narrow view of "the market", just a slice, and while three are down, seven can be up. But the larger (by piece count) and more varied the collection being appraised (and likewise 'offered cash for') the better sense, especially among numerous competing opinions/offers, one would get of health of "the market".

Basically repeating myself above, I think, but the bigger point is: I'd be little interested in the opinion of somebody that's not making a market, enough to invest themselves directly in, on a market. I'd never ask the Dave Sim Cerebus or My Little Pony guys what 2nd run Cockrum X-Men 'in costumes but no action' pages are roughly going for. Why? Because they will just got to CAF and HA, same as I could and already have and they probably would have such little experience in that market that they would only offer (if at all) a true lowball (against those same obvious public price points) to make a super easy quick flip out of stuff they do not want to actually have sunk cost in and no interest in owning! Would doing so be much different than going to an antiques appraiser and pulling out your portfolios? No. You want the guy that knows the (or "a") market in and out, knows what he can sell for and to who and how long that will take, and make an offer. Run that up against his appraisal and other similarly qualified appraisals/offers, toss the outliers (greedy cheapskates!) and youv'e got something to work with.

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Further thought, aside from that major ASM cover that CLINK had their guarantee called on, I don't think we've seen the fine art mess of guarantees migrate over to comic art. Yet. I'm sure we will, or they are already there but little publicized/utilized. That's the next step in the financialization of the thing, to help counter the consignor fear of no reserve auctions on high ticket (read: cost basis) items where the House is taking quite a bit out of one or both ends of the transaction. I mean, really, in substance is the fact that Jim Halperin wins a notable number of big ticket lots annually, every year (?), on bids that as an employee he must place before the live session any different than HA offering guarantees? Only if the consignors and Jim haven't had any prior conversations on the pieces in question...ever. Right? Those lots that Jim bids on but loses...aren't those bids the same as a guarantee or floor also? We'll likely never know if there are ever any conversations at/after the point of consignment, but I think it's reasonable to assume to big ticket folks know what Jim "likes" and Jim has a generally good idea where** the big targets recently or currently sit. Again...right?

 

*by Jim's own admission on Felix's podcast

**as all of us that specialize in certain eras, artists, titles, genres, and styles do

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On 1/26/2019 at 4:30 PM, Sideshow Bob said:

Even more frightening, in that scenario, the new consignor gets hit with a Heritage sellers fee of 15%

There are persons who do not get hit with 15%...

Some of these persons actively arbitrage between auction venues...and apparently 'flip' profitably...

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7 hours ago, First Upgrade said:

There are persons who do not get hit with 15%...

Some of these persons actively arbitrage between auction venues...and apparently 'flip' profitably...

While that does happen, I think that's only for the big pieces, and not the $400-600 pages. That's what makes the flip so hard to profit; the transaction costs just destroy you. Shipping of $100 on a $10,000 piece is just 1%, but shipping of $50 on a $200 piece is 25%. The bigger you are, the less likely the same rules don't apply when using the auction house route. But wow, you get clobbered when you're a little guy who lives in a high tax state. Not for the faint of heart...

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6 hours ago, Sideshow Bob said:

you get clobbered when you're a little guy

More often than not, I agree that this is demonstrated to be the norm...

7 hours ago, Sideshow Bob said:

I think that's only for the big pieces, and not the $400-600 pages.

The lack of or lower seller's comission percentage rate can be determined by sales volume over time & not just on one or more 'big pieces'...Suppose that a potential consignor, established client or not, has a dozen ~$400 pieces of art. It is hypothesized that this person could successfully 'negotiate' a seller's comission well below 15%. But, they would be required to 'negotiate'...

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3 hours ago, First Upgrade said:

More often than not, I agree that this is demonstrated to be the norm...

The lack of or lower seller's comission percentage rate can be determined by sales volume over time & not just on one or more 'big pieces'...Suppose that a potential consignor, established client or not, has a dozen ~$400 pieces of art. It is hypothesized that this person could successfully 'negotiate' a seller's comission well below 15%. But, they would be required to 'negotiate'...

I don't have direct personal experience, but is this correct that $5k consignment, 12 x $400, is valuable enough for HA to give up some/all of their cut? That's a very low barrier imo and was not my impression at all. Anybody that knows want to chime in?

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27 minutes ago, vodou said:

I don't have direct personal experience, but is this correct that $5k consignment, 12 x $400, is valuable enough for HA to give up some/all of their cut? That's a very low barrier imo and was not my impression at all. Anybody that knows want to chime in?

I was under the impression you could get 10% for $10K and 0% for $20K but that info was gleaned from reading these boards, not directly from HA (although HA may have told me about the $20K threshhold, I am not sure).

I would also like to know "for sure" if anyone here can shed some light on the subject.

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5 minutes ago, Bird said:

...and 0% for $20K but that info was gleaned from reading these boards, not directly from HA (although HA may have told me about the $20K threshhold, I am not sure).

I would also like to know "for sure" if anyone here can shed some light on the subject.

$20k? In this hobby that's like...nothing. 0% is exceptionally attractive. Are so-called quality consignments that hard for HA to get? Wonder what it takes to get negative (piece of buyer's premium)?

Anyway, if those are (veracity TBD) the dynamics at work...I think this hobby...whew...puts a new spin on things I've been thinking about already.

What about ComicLink, ComicConnect, and Hake's...anybody have direct experience negotiating $20k+ consignments and where the power in the relationship sits?

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I can think of several examples where a collector consigned more than $20k and paid a seller's commission. 

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4 minutes ago, Ironmandrd said:

I can think of several examples where a collector consigned more than $20k and paid a seller's commission. 

Case of ignorance? I doubt HA begs to give up their end.

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