This was a question posed to me in the comments section of one of my Buy/Sell/Hold In Action articles (yes, I read them!), which deserved an answer longer than Facebook would allow! The question focused on determining the "sweet spot" for selling your 'Predictor' cards in order to maximise your bottom line!
And from those experiences, I must admit there are plenty of safer ways to turn a profit on trading cards. However unless you're buying predictors for the long haul, either for set collecting, or simply rolling the dice (which is 100% fine!), you might find yourself stumped wondering when EXACTLY the right time is to sell your various types of predictors?
Take for example the Tim Taranto Platinum Predictor (Richmond Wildcard) I recently both bought and sold for Buy/Sell/Hold! I knew at the "buy price" of $112, that there was immediate potential upside given the fact I thought Richmond had a decent chance of beating St Kilda that weekend. Plus Taranto had been in great form in the lead-up to that game, so cementing his credentials with another strong performance wasn’t out of the realm of possibility! The potential downside is also capped to an extent, as Richmond cards numbered to 60 are always going to have currency when factoring in team-collectors bedding this card to finish their sets!
But anyways, you're reading this article on the assumption of already owning a predictor, most likely purchased at the start of the season or pack pulled, and are eager to learn the optimal time in which to sell your predictor! I'll try to keep the complicated math at a minimum, HOWEVER there are simple ways where you can calculate whether selling your predictor poses great value!
Collectors love referring to betting odds as a way of determining how valuable a predictor should be on the secondary market. However no one talks about the reference points they create, which can be then applied to the buying and selling of different predictors! When referring to betting odds, I usually use 'Betfair' as a resource due to the fact that it's other participants in the market accepting price points to 'back' or 'lay' a certain result, instead of a corporate bet-maker determining their odds.
Using Tim Taranto as the example again, Betfair currently have him backed at $6.50 to WIN the Brownlow Medal. Instead of seeing that number as simply 6.5 : 1 odds, what I tend to do is turn that number into a winning percentage. By using that $6.50, it leaves Taranto's winning probability at just over 15% (100 / 6.5 x 100 = 15.38%)! However, if you're a part of any trading card Facebook groups, or recently checked the sold section on eBay, you'd assume that the winning probability would be much higher! But that's common practice with predictors. Due to their scarcity and desirability they generally fetch MORE than their true values!
So what can you do with that 15% winning probability? By determining the potential value of a successful redemption, and using that percentage as a framework, you will uncover the predictors TRUE value. If that 'true value' number is significantly less than the current selling price of the predictor, then that might be a good indicator that it's time to sell! Hopefully that reference point is of use to you, but that's all the math I'm going to endure you with! What are some other indicators that it's potentially time to sell up?
Hype is a major driving factor in predictor prices, which can sometimes take predictors well outside their true values. Take for example some of the Nick Daicos Gold Brownlow Predictors which surpassed $900 after his ANZAC Day heroics! Fast forward 9 weeks, and those cards are commanding less than half that price! Daicos' Brownlow chances haven't really changed from that point, but the supply of his predictors on the market definitely has.
Another potential factor I use when deciding whether to sell a predictor, is forecasting the player or teams next 4 weeks and determining whether they'd be in a weaker or stronger position at its conclusion. Most of the predictors currently available are underpinned by games won, so therefore fixture difficulty is an important factor to consider. Available player personnel is another variable which can influence predictor outcomes. A perfect example that comes to mind is Christian Petracca, who's performing well without his fellow superstar teammate Clayton Oliver. When Oliver DOES eventually return, what will that mean for Petracca's Brownlow credentials? Melbourne also have 3 of their 4 next games against Top 8 teams! Will the Dee's come out of the stretch of games unscathed, and allow the likes of Petracca to poll well?
Following on from the point of hype, sometimes it's more beneficial selling predictors earlier off the back of strong performances, than holding until the dying stages of the season! We saw early this season Brisbane Rising Star Predictors reaching great heights before a game had even been played! To put it simply, the community thought he was a ‘moral to take out the award! Fast forward to the end of Round 2, the narrative had completely shifted and it was in fact Harry Sheezel, and North Melbourne Rising Star predictors becoming the hottest commodity. Since then, due to the hype surrounding Sheezel quietening down, both teams' predictors have entered a stalemate with no true leader emerging in the race! But by selling early in both instances, you could’ve pocketed yourself a handy sum simply by selling into the hype! So while you might leave money on the table on the occasion of selling early, in my experience a vast majority of the time doing so was the right call!
Finally I'd like to touch on when NOT to sell your predictors! My advice is DON'T get caught holding predictors you're trying to sell during the dying stages of their lifespan. By the time that individual and team awards are being decided, a lot of the value in those remaining hopeful predictors is already priced into the cards! I find that it's much easier to move predictors when the buyer feels like there's still room to grow in terms of the predictors value. Plus, you also have to consider the fact that there will be plenty of other predictor holders trying to sell at that exact point in time. So you may end up with more money selling slightly earlier than participating in the mad rush to sell!
So hopefully after reading all this, it's given you somewhat of an idea of the factors to consider when deciding when to hold or sell your various predictor cards! I'm sure as predictors continue to be innovated with, so too will collector transactions!