Quoted from Russell:
I agree, the bubble has not burst yet. My post is more of a prediction, based upon my perception of the mood of the average collector.
My prediction is that the main impacts are all on the high end. I see and increasing rate of new people still coming into the hobby on a weekly basis. For some antedotal data >>> 3 years ago we started routing games and I made a website. I used to get 1 message every few months askingabout buying games. Now I get 1-3 messages a week. These are complete newcomers looking to buy their first game. They all want to spend 2-4k on a game.
My prediciton is that the hobby base continues to grow and is stronger than ever with more people coming in than leaving.
At the sma etime I see lots of people that have gotten in over the past 3 years and bought for higher prices and build NIB collections. These guys are getting the cold hard reality of seeing those HUP games taking a 500-1k hit. I think many of these guys wont be selling which means no bubble. They will just hold on to what they like and work trades.
I think there is the initial gut reaction like you are having " oh crap, the sky is falling" "why do I have 40k of real money wrapped up in a hobby when I could pay down the house?" "I can go play great games on route so why have 40k of toys at home?" All the natural things that will make some people re-evalute what theya re doing in the hobby. I expect some people will reduce form 8 to 4 while others will take advantage of the sell off to grow form 4 to 8. In other words a net wash that is just being fueled by the resurgance of a new player and colelctor base.
In short I see:
1. NIB games have gone crazy! The cheapest new game seems to be a Stern pro at 5kish.
2. With NIB games too expensive that means new hobbyists will focus on the 2,3,4k range and those continue to go up, remain stable. Supply continues to dry up.
3. Used prices on recent HUO games take a 500-1k drop. XMle and AVLE were not annomolies and more of the norm, esp since some of the more popular games like TWD ans ST sold much better and have higher supply. Some people are trying to sell out on HUO titles at 5k and thinking that they can take advantage of the new Stern price hike to upsell their used game, but it does not seem to be working out.
4. Some manufacturer is going to find a way to solidly step into the sub 5k arena and then others will have to follow. I am honestly surprised that Stern has increased prices when they should be trying to take market share and kill the startups by underselling them.
5. There is no bubble but the collective hobbyist vibe has changed, that is for sure. I see a stabalization but no real 'bubble'
6. If you have a colleciton of expensive high end stuff then NOW is the time to re-evaluate. If you also are spoiled with good playing games on route local to you and playing/competing is your main joy, then why not down size a little and put the extra funds towards paying off the house and earlier retirment??? Seems like a good plan. I would just put a couple non-keepers up for sale and let go whatever sells. Now is the perfect time of year (aside from all the excitement of expo likely causing many to sit on funds for the immediate future)
Godo luck in whatever you decide. I know if I had as many great route gamaes locally (that I did not have to maintain), I would be thinking of selling a few of the more expensive games.