I received an email from a Jordan collector asking what I thought about the Jordan market and asking for advice if he should continue collecting or sell his mid end inserts. Here’s what I rattled off:
Here is my opinion, from an outsider who does not collect cards anymore, but is still fascinated by the market and ebay and the internet chatter.
I think as long as Panini is the sole manufacturer of NBA cards and the lockout is happening, Michael Jordan cards are going to be at the forefront of the minds of the collectors/speculators who have money to throw around. Panini cards overall look blah, in my opinion, and the backlash of a lockout combined with the off-season, naturally makes current players out of the minds of collectors. Buyers, collectors, flippers, speculators all seem to have converged on the Michael Jordan ebay market all at one time.
EVERYBODY has access to ebay and everybody sees what is going on with Jordan cards right now. I think between the enthusiasm of seeing numbers rise and lack of anything else to supplant the Jordan market right now, the numbers will keep rising and/or plateau. I don’t see them dipping a whole lot. Certainly, I don’t see them crashing to any prices before 2010.
A word of caution though. I have been doing some research and a number of the ebay sellers are also buyers. So although you see the numbers rising, they are contributing to it and flipping cards. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. BUT, you shouldn’t presume that every single sale is ending up in a collection, to be locked up for the future. Sellers are both buying and bidding on auctions, causing collectors who actually want to lock up the cards, to pay more if they really want the card. This is snowballing and creating an overall upward trend.
Michael Jordan 90’s inserts aren’t the only cards being affected either. His autograph (especially early autographs, autograph/memorabilia) cards are rising as well.
Personally, if I had Jordan cards, I would sell and use the money for a nice vacation. It’s summer. A nice trip to Hawaii or elsewhere sounds mighty fun right now, especially if it could be help funded by some sales of cards.
If you have had those middle end cards since the 90’s or early 2000’s, then more than likely you’ll profit if you sell now. If you just bought those cards recently, then well, you may still make money, but I think its possible that you may make more if you hold a little while longer. There are about 10 prominent sellers who are actively selling, buying, flipping and they seem to be staying around for a while. Until they collectively stop being active, I don’t see a reason for the numbers to suddenly dip.
If you can’t afford the bigger stuff, don’t sweat it. We don’t all have to own thousand dollar cards. Just collect the .jpgs of them, like I do. A virtual collection is just as fun to look at.
I’d rather vacation.