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Collectible prices skyrocket, to the dismay of hobbyists

4 Comments
By KEN SWEET

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I’ve had to more or less give up on my old baseball card and comic book collecting because of this.

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Google about it seems like a few companies are inflating the prices to create a market, mainly on video games.

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I've been collecting what is now considered "retro games" since the late 90's, but I'm pretty much done with the hobby. Back then, you could just go to flea markets and thrift stores, pick up some interesting or unusual games for a few bucks, and the community was still pretty tight-knit and made up of people who actually wanted to play the games.

Now, prices are just going out of control and too many people are seeing gaming as their ticket to a livelihood and a big payout. Less and less, game collecting is about playing and enjoying the games, and more about just owning physical objects that will sit on a shelf and be expected to gain value perpetually. (I'd wager a huge number of high-dollar game purchases these days will never or hardly be played; and sealed games by definition cannot be opened without losing the vast majority of their value.)

So I'm slowly starting to sell off my collection piece by piece and starting to look for a new hobby. It's just not fun anymore, and too many people are involved looking for a quick ticket to Easy Street. It won't end well for many, if not most.

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All collectibles have mini-bubbles. They are generated by dealers to stir up a bit of profit, don't last long and most people lose money.

US grading companies tried to move in on stamps, sealing them in little plastic pockets and charging to rate them. Much mirth on the philatelic forums at such idiocy.

'The five steps in the lifecycle of a bubble are displacement, boom, euphoria, profit-taking, and panic.'

Make money off mugs at the start. Collect again when it all collapses.

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