Value, Market Value and Hype.

Three terms that regularly appear when discussing Michael Jordan cards are the three that I’ve titled this post after. I think these three words are used so often, but their definitions, in regard to the Jordan market, are interpreted differently, depending on who is using it. I’d like to offer my opinion, which may differ from the next person, about what these terms mean in accordance with the prices reflected in the ebay completed sales auction for Michael Jordan insert cards.

Value. To me, value is established based on historical accomplishments. In the basketball sense, this is tied directly to player stats, individual awards, team success, and essentially, it is everything the player has done (past tense) as opposed to what is he currently doing or will do in the future (expected or perceived).

In a broader sense, whether it is stocks, cars, items found at Wal-Mart or whatever you can think of, I think value is determined by function, previous performance, dependability, a wide range of support, as well as other factors that I can’t seem to think of at the moment.

Michael Jordan’s value is unquestioned. The fact that he is widely considered The Goat, speaks not only of his tremendous individual and team success related to sports, but it also is in part, a reflection of his off the court success in business, as a multi-product pitchman, shoe icon, and now, a basketball owner.

Market Value. To me, this term is a reflection of the NOW. It is based strictly on supply and demand. It is derived from value, but it is more a product of what is available NOW, and who has the most capital to acquire that product NOW. The demand may come from the buyer’s belief in the value of that product and/or the future value of that product. It may differ than the value, but that does not mean that the market value is off. As more opinions sway in accordance with market value, that may swing the true value to be more in line with market value. Or it may not. The more transactions that occur within market value, the easier it becomes to determine if the true value is outdated or in line with market value.

Currently, the Michael Jordan insert card market on ebay is booming. Honestly, I believe it has been booming for at least 24 months, whether you choose to believe that or not. Personally, I have been following it, closely during at least 10 consecutive months, and from afar for at least 6 months off and on, twice. I can confidently say that since 2009, overall, the prices on ebay completed sales are up at least 20% above what they were 24 months ago. Some cards are absolutely above 75%, while others have exploded to 200% or more above their 2009 realized prices. Are they all real? Probably not. But does that mean that the market as a whole should be dismissed? Absolutely not.

Hype. Hype is a term that applies only from the person/people directly selling a product. It is a marketing tool that the sellers use to promote product that they look to profit from, financially, usually. It is MOSTLY centered on the notion of value now and future value. Very little of it is based on historical value. Who hypes items? Card company manufacturers, ebay sellers, card shops owners, to name a few. Why? The hope for profit, duh.

Am I a guilty of it? I think I’m guilty of hyping Hupe Royalty, in the sense that I like directing people to my blog, to see what I’m writing/sharing about. I hype the content of my blog, not the data provided. Personally, I can’t assume every single completed auction is legitimate, but I don’t have the inclination to dig into each and every single one to verify their legitimacy either.

My profit? Viewership, subscriptions, more knowledge/understanding of the Jordan card market, debate/camaraderie among other Jordan fans/collectors, I guess. Money? Ya right. There are no ads on my blog, no cards I sell on eBay.

With regards to the Michael Jordan market, I think a few detractors seem too quick to replace the term hype with the term market value. They seem to want to cling to completed auction sale prices from over 24 months ago even though data over the last 2 years shows an overall increase. Why? I don’t know. Maybe some individuals have grudges against specific sellers and want to see that certain sellers don’t profit from the current boom. Maybe some individuals are trying to purchase Jordan cards below market price, and believe that by talking them down, they may find sellers who will agree and sell their cards under current market values. Maybe they sold off early or don’t have any Michael Jordan cards and feel the need to prevent others from gaining. Who knows? I don’t, but I can speculate. (Grr, women call this gossip)

There are a tremendous amount of Michael Jordan fans out there and for whatever reason, the current market on ebay is booming for Michael Jordan 90’s inserts, and it seems to be snowballing onto his rarer 2000’s Bulls cards and from what I am starting to pay attention to – his 2000’s rare Wizards cards now as well.

How long will it last? In my opinion, we are already 3 years into this even though some choose to think it has only happened in the last few months. I can’t picture it slowing anytime soon, especially if the high end super low numbered stuff gets to be so high, that they are unattainable financially for the majority of Michael Jordan collectors.

This would lead to their money getting thrown at the medium tiered cards (which we already see happening) and lowered tiered cards, just for the fact they want anything Jordan related.

Want a number? I think we are looking at a minimum, two more years of steady increase across the board. I think a potential lockout could only help Michael Jordan sales, as it would give negative press to the current crop of players and as long as Panini isn’t producing cards that the majority of collectors want to purchase, they will continue to put their money into 90’s and Michael Jordan cards.

On a different note, I asked posted a thread called “Jordan Skeptics: your opinions wanted!” on several message boards and it brought up a TON of very well thought out responses from many collectors/detrators/fans of Michael Jordan 90s inserts cards and where they believe how the current market got to where it is at, where the market could be headed and explanations of “what” the current market it. VERY informative, interesting stuff.

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