Are Values Really Broken?
Everyone collects for different reasons, but I’m willing to bet one of those reasons just might be the value of your collection. Some collectors will disagree here, so let me make this point before you get upset: I’m not stating value is what drives you to collect, but just think of it as a cherry on top of the collecting experience. Most people see Pop! Collecting as an easy investment into things we are fans of and no one wants to see their investments lose value unless you’re a Dorbz collector.
This article isn’t only meant to identify decreases in Pop! value but call attention to Pop! with overinflated values as well. We often see values balloon because of rumors: “Hey they only made 3K of those,” or “Man I heard there’s NO RESTOCKS on this release.”
Anyone can make up a story to drive up value without knowing the truth, but they’ve already made their money by the time anyone finds out. A great example of this would be how the Metallic Children of the Forest prices have almost doubled overnight. All of this because of speculation and rumors surrounding the Pop! never being released again.
Developing accurate values is important because even small errors can begin to erode the entire marketplace. If an item sells for too low, you drop the price floor, too high and you raise the price ceiling. So why are Stashpedia (Stash) and Pop Price Guide (PPG) lazy, slow and sometimes even negligent on getting the prices correct? Especially when people place almost a Biblical level of faith in the use and validity of these tools.
How these tools effect market pricing
Iron Patriot, Martian Man Hunter, and other Pop! are subject to mass counterfeiting and sold at ridiculously low prices and are great examples of negative spikes in the market. Those sales show us how quickly markets adjust and how pricing errors can have a seismic effect on one item’s value.
People often take a risk on a counterfeit Pop! when it’s listed at a rock bottom price and I don’t blame them. But when people sell and trade at the new faulty value it establishes a new VALID price and my hair starts to fall out. These errors combined with the recent lack of updating
Pop! values typically follow value trends throughout each year which has remained true for the past 4-5 years:
- Values trend positively from March – June, Aug, Sept, and occasionally in Dec
- Values trend negatively from January to mid-March, October, and November
- Values trend negatively around major conventions with exclusives (ECCC, SDCC NYCC)
What really grinds my gears more than anything is how the new “Bot” crowd has attempted to highjack the marketplace by controlling supply, thus increasing both demand and price. They use this tactic by purchasing large amounts of stock for a particular item, shill bidding, eBay hacks to get more views on their listings and cooperating with other sellers on baselining their prices. You may think this doesn’t affect the larger market but it only takes is a few eBay sales to kick this problem into high gear.
How do we correct the value issue?
Do I write my congress person? Local Government? The god of Stash and PPG? Santa? Funko? How do we change this? Simple, do the research and compare Stash and PPG values with trending sales on eBay and even in Facebook Groups. Listen to the Pop Collectors Alliance podcast to help establish a value for your Pop! and even get some pointers on navigating eBay. Don’t sell anything unless you are ready. But here are four pointers to get you started on preserving the true form of Funko collecting:
- Like I said above. Be informed. Know what you are selling. Know what it is selling for and use all the resources available even if you have to send me an email. (I’ll respond firstname.lastname@example.org ).
- Stick to your convictions and know that PRICE MATTERS because it’s what drives value. If you are selling a great item don’t always compromise and sell it for less than what it’s worth because someone says you’ll take a hit if you sell it on eBay ( I know going against my own advice here ). If you need money do what you need today, just know that all price has an effect on value.
- Avoid pressure sales situations or people trying to back you in a corner over value. In any sales transaction the seller trying to get the most value out of the Pop!, while the buyer is attempting to get the best deal. Just know to take into account condition, exclusivity, eBay sales and Stash / PPG pricing.
- Buy from reputable sources. Check out the user name on the eBay listing or whichever platform you choose, to see if they have 20-50 items available. Find another buyer if that’s the case. We need to take the power away from the bots by making their owners suffer with tons of stock, thus limiting their ability to control the market.
NOTE: PPG and Stash establish their values from eBay sales and never, I repeat NEVER care about damage (unless you flag it on PPG). When dealing with older, limited pieces the PPG / Stash prices should be considered as a median price. If you have older items in flawless condition their value should trend higher because they are WORTH MORE THAN THE MEDIAN.
Summing everything up, value matters whether for trades, boasting, or selling on a rainy day when you may need it the most. We need to fight back by demanding better products from (stash / PPG tools) and having them maintained regularly. Also, help maintain the integrity in the collecting community by taking every opportunity we have to not purchase from flippers or scalpers, because in the end the collectors are the ones that will make a difference.