The Michael Jordan Debate: 10-20 Years Later

I guess I’m stubborn. Maybe I’m ignorant. I have steadfastly looked at ebay and seen the completed sales auctions rising over the last 24-36 months, and even now as I they continue to climb at extraordinary and possibly unreal heights. Do I think it will climb forever? That’s a pretty bold statement, if I were to say so.

The truth is, I could definitely see it plateauing instead of it diving or crashing, as some pessimistic collectors and detractors are already predicting is imminent. There are way too many factors that I believe will keep the momentum or at least sustain the current market conditions for Michael Jordan inserts.

As pointed out by others – the combination of the lockout and public negative perception of current players may and probably will hurt their collectibility and end auction prices. The lack of Upper Deck and/or Topps to compete with Panini’s generally underwhelming products has turned some collectors to revisiting older sets and/or boxes instead. The continued devaluation of the US Dollar and strengths of foreign currency will allow non-US collectors to snatch up cards that previously were not attainable for them a few years ago. These factors combined with some other that I probably haven’t even thought of, will, in my mind, sustain the prices on the Jordan market on ebay.

The general stance from 90’s Jordan insert detractors seems to be that these cards have no reason to be rising in value this quick, and point presumably to crooked sellers who employ shill bidding, secondary accounts and even, me, to an extent, as the reason for the increase.

Some collectors have offered their idea that value-wise, an Exquisite Michael Jordan that has an autograph and/or patch should not be dwarfed by a 90s card that is simply serially numbered. A few have peered into the future and believe in 10-20 years (or sooner perhaps) that the total population of Michael Jordan Exquisite cards will not support the demand for them and they will actually reclaim their place in the Michael Jordan hierarchy of cards over the 90’s inserts. Who knows? They may be right. For those collectors, I hope that if they really believe that, that they are purchasing all the Exquisites of Jordan that they can, so that they can profit and re-sell if their estimates are right in 10-20 years. As it stands now, it seems collectors either are bored or feel over saturated withe the jersey/autograph market OR they already have filled their demand for an Exquisite card and are now looking to pick up 90’s stuff for their design and aesthetics.

The one flaw I see in that argument of Exquisites being atop the pyramid of Michael Jordan card is that those cards need bells/whistles to provide value. Meanwhile, Jordan 90’s inserts stand on their technology, design, nostalgic sentiments of collectors as well as their rarity, being at least 10 years older than Exquisites.

Will we see a cycle in 5 years where people start gravitating towards Exquisites and start selling off their 90’s stuff? It is possible, especially if Upper Deck never gets their NBA license back. It isn’t too hard to believe that the 90’s collectors who collect Jordan autographs and/or jersey/autograph cards will eventually fill their wantlist from 90’s autographs and look toward adding Exquisites that they don’t own, for the sake of expanding their collection. It is also possible that the 90’s stuff get so out of reach financially for the most collectors, that they resort to getting more affordable high quality cards, such as Exquisites.

Personally, I am much more fascinated by the 90’s Jordan market, especially as the numbers rise, because then it starts attracting wealthier potential buyers, who might see the cards not for their aesthetic beauty or rarity, but rather, for their status as high dollar sports collectibles. I think we have already seen some wealthy collectors grab some of the rarer Michael Jordan cards, and if there becomes a bigger population of wealthy buyers who feel like they “just have to have it” well, then, there is no telling what the market could be like in a few more months or years. I definitely hope to be listening, watching, blogging about it from the side and see how much higher things can go.

I have been debating in several boards and lately, it seems to be a pretty heated/informative debate on the credibility of everything – from buyers/sellers/me that I think I may just lay low off the message boards and post on my blog instead of interacting with the community on the boards. I think, it has gotten to the point where, some individuals want to argue and debate with me, simply for the sake of it. Maybe I am to blame. Maybe I can’t get it through my head to hear what they are saying.

The sports card community has always been about the enthusiasm and passion that I derive from being involved in it. Now, it is more fun to be sitting and observing from the side, without collecting. I think my blog allows me that freedom to just do what I want without having to feel like I am catering to what others think this blog SHOULD be doing as opposed realizing it is just me, one person, sharing my enthusiasm for one player, Michael Jordan.

I hope we see more ups than downs in the Jordan market as I love documenting, writing and discussing it. If it does crash, that will be one hell of a story too though, to start capturing everything as it happens on ebay, tumbling daily. Hopefully if that happens, I’ll be able to blog about that catastrophe as well.



One response to “The Michael Jordan Debate: 10-20 Years Later

  • Ben

    Bro I appreciate your site and I hope the best for it. MJ 90’s inserts and even the base cards were some of the most beautiful cards ever! No surprise to me that collectors finally opened their eyes to how special those were. Exquisites are just cheap cop outs by lazy card companies period… But I’d still love to own one lol šŸ™‚

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