I'm proud to announce that as of the conclusion of this week, we will be within $100 of our goal of $1000 profit. Buy/Sell/Hold has been such an enjoyable journey so far, as its allowed me to document the activities which I had previously been doing for fun, to hopefully pass on some lessons, or different ways of thinking to those who choose to read. What the dynamic of this series looks like beyond the $1000, I haven't really figured out yet. I was confident starting out that we would be able to chip away at $50 a week for the rest of the year, to eventually hit our target. But as of writing, there's still 18 weeks left in the year. If you have any ideas of what you would be interested in following, feel free to let me know. I'm keen to keep this ball rolling for the remainder of the year, but I think it would also be helpful to set a new goal to chase to keep us on track.
Anyways back to focusing on the now, this week was interesting in the sense that how I predicted the market to behave didn't really eventuate. Which has unfortunately been the common theme during this 'GEM' release. I think this is mainly due to occurrences we haven't been privy to as AFL collectors,. Factors that I'll do my best to make sense of as we begin to move on from 'GEM' and begin to focus onto a potential Series 2 release. So without further ado, let us dive into the last 7 days and try to decipher what's currently taking place in the AFL trading card market.
Whether you've enjoyed 'AFL GEM' or not, from a market stance it's provided some interesting insights into the behaviour of collectors. None of us wanted to sit through extended delays and receive a product that has required recall on certain cards. But hey that's life. You can only play the cards you've been dealt, and I'm sure Select have acknowledged and now tried to rectify the discontent of collectors. However, did I think that the market would react more urgently when 'GEM' finally arrived? I for sure thought that the flood of singles onto the secondary market was going to be intense during the first 3-4 days of the release. Further compounded the following week once all break mail had been posted and delivered. These events however never took place, and honestly the most deals to be had occurred on Day 1. So why did this happen? From the point at which SCC members had purchased their first box, to the day in which boxes arrived, a FULL month had elapsed. During that time life went on for collectors, who would've been paid for their employment, forecasted monthly household costs, and to an extent probably forgotten that GEM was still on the way. So just like a holiday that you paid for months in advance, when the moment finally comes around to enjoy your trip, you feel far less guilty about the money you spent. Great for those who used that time effectively, but it sucked any sense of urgency out of the market, removing an element of that downward pressure on prices we usually see around release time.
Imagine buying an AFL trading card product in 2023 and not immediately 2x or 3x your initial outlay? For the first time in a little while, a majority of collectors were unable to recoup exponential returns on their box value, with some boxes struggling to return the retail cost of the product. Outrage! AFL GEM was maybe a reminder to some that the past couple of years have been a 'golden era' for cards, and it's unrealistic to suggest that every new release Select push is only filled with upside potential. It only takes a quick glance at other international hobbies to see the sometimes 10% returns on investment should the collector choose to rip a hobby box. Because of this expectation that collectors should be at least doubling their money, and the lack of market urgency described above, collectors have been unphased to shift prices downwards wanting maximum return on their cards when financial pressures are not an issue. I don't blame them, but it's probably the reason why buying "AFL GEM' cards has been so lean for this series. While collectors will eventually want to get rid of their remaining hits, what triggers this moment is hard to predict. What is usually the case with cards for previous releases, is that in the midst of another new product you see 'spot fires' of sales threads from bored collectors who have now focused on the next best thing. So are we going to have to wait for the release of Legacy for GEM cards to pose value for the series?
A final interesting observation moves back towards the current state of GEM cards on the secondary market. Pre-release if you told me that the Base cards would be the inserts that were to best hold their value, I'd tell you to keep dreaming. But despite the numbering and accessibility of these cards, 13 days since the release date they are still holding strong. On the other hand, the Sapphires, Emeralds and to an extent the Ruby's have progressively fallen in price in comparison. However this is potentially where I think future buying opportunities could present themselves. The AFL trading card hobby is underpinned by team set collectors, and whether you have a positive sentiment to these inserts or not, these cards will eventually dry up. Maybe even more so than their numbering suggests with the level of cards that are eligible to be replaced. Those Sapphire's to /70, could quickly turn into Sapphires /50, and so on. So with that being said, I'll continue to scope auctions with this logic at the forefront of my mind, and I suggest you keep it in mind as well.
Another big strategy session again this week, but I think it was necessary to explain why some events haven't been occurring that we'd usually see come release time. Knowledge which we can again use and to gain the knowledge should things transpire similarly in the future (hopefully not).. We are so close to the final goal now, so let's keep it moving and chat about our transactions for the week.
Bundle Lot $110 - Chad Wingard Sapphire 60/70, Peter Wright Sapphire 54/70, Mitch Owens Base 29/90, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti Base 85/90, Sam Taylor Base 19/90
Our only purchases for the week. As alluded to above, finding value in the GEM market has been tough. Not much opportunity to present itself besides this mixed bundle which would've lasted less than 60 seconds on the market should I've not been active. So we could've easily gone through the past 7 days with ZERO purchases. Yikes. But luckily for us that's not the case, and the reason why this listing would've lasted only a matter of moments is because it presents extremely good value. You could probably break even on your outlay from selling just the base cards alone. Throw in the value of the 'Sapphires' at $80 a pop, and you've probably got $250 worth of cards This is a prime example of a quick flip, and I'll be pricing these cards aggressively to not get caught up in the 'race to the bottom' which will progressively continue the further we move away from the release. Either way, good result for the series, and thank the heavens we didn't have an empty 'Buy' section for the article.
Jason Horne Gold Draft Pick Signature 54/85, Optimum 2022 - $225 : $33.45 Profit, 24% ROI
Noah Balta Futures 55/95, Optimum 2022 - $32 : -$0.59 Profit, -2% ROI
Jason Horne-Francis Virtuoso 57/60, Footy Stars 2023 - $170
I'm actually filthy about this, as I was SUPER keen to add a Horne Virtuoso to the series just before this year's finals series kicks off. I took my eye away from this auction for a split second, cause yeah life happens, and bang... "you've missed out on this item." Annoying result, but congrats to the buyer, as I think this card has a good amount of room to grow should Port Adelaide make inroads in this year's premiership race.
Jack Steele Marquee 17/40, Prestige 2021 - $147
This was just a sloppy missed auction on my behalf, and to be honest I didn't even know it was listed until I saw it in the sold section of eBay. But wow, what a deal. We picked up a Nathan Fyfe Marquee /40 only a matter of weeks ago for this series and was able to sell it on quickly for $225. Given that St Kilda has a history of being a more collectable club, I feel as though we let a potential $300+ sale slip through our fingers simply by not doing our due diligence. Good wakeup call, but yeah that $150 profit would've been nice!
'DO WE KEEP IT?!
Throughout this series we've had decent success buying and selling predictors, but never would I have thought about potentially seeing one through to its conclusion. That was until we picked up this North Melbourne Gold Rising Star Predictor, which is redeemable should Harry Sheezel win the Rising Star award. That likelihood is increasing by the week, as Sheezel has reached levels that no other rookie has reached previously, breaking the record for most disposals in a debut season, and closing in on 600 possessions for the year. Kick-ins or not, it's still a crazy achievement which would suggest that there's a strong chance of him taking out this year's Rising Star race. So I leave this question for you. What do we do with this card? Do we sell it for slightly cheaper than the redeemed product would fetch, and save a considerable number of weeks. Or do we choose the riskier option and ride this predictor out until Grand Final week, and cross our fingers that the voting panel agrees with the mass majority and elects Sheezel as the rightful winner. Something to think about as we enter the last week of the 'Home & Away' season.
Could this be the last week before we reach the $1000 mark? For that to happen we'll need to sell cards for a total of $72.71 profit to 'raise the bat' on our first major milestone. Definitely not out of the question, but it might be at the expense of the decision as to whether to keep or hold our Harry Sheezel predictor. Either way it will lead to an interesting next 7 days, as always feel free to let me know which cards you've been buying and selling, as we report back this time next week. Ciao!