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What is driving up the price of collectibles?


Gold Member
Dec 11, 2011
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the value of many things has gone up tremendously. Real estate for one has gone up in many places. Anyone who follows the world of retro games will know that prices have gone up a lot in the past year, even for games that have been released not too long ago. Some Switch games already go for $200+. I've never seen this before in my life so soon after a game's release.

I went to this friend of mine yesterday. First time seeing him in over a year because of the pandemic. He had been collecting Hockey cards since his childhood, for over 35 years. He had a wall full of binders, close to a hundred of those 3" thick ones, full of cards. He had been looking to sell for a while.

He told me at the beginning of the pandemic he was afraid the value would go down so he wanted to sell quickly. He eventually sold it for 25k. He told me at the time, that's pretty much what it was worth. Maybe he would've been able to get 30k but not much more. He told me right now, a year later, his collection would be worth 3 times as much. He said the Wayne Gretzky rookie card was worth around 700-800, now worth 4k. He was a little depressed talking about it. I tried to cheer him up saying there was no way to predict this would happen.

So why is this happening? Why has the price of collectibles gone up so much in the past year?

My purely speculative guess is that many activities have stopped, or were dramatically scaled down. No more concerts, no more restaurants, no more bars or night clubs, most leisure travels, local and international, have all but stopped, to name but those. The people whose job was affected by this, received help from the government. The people who continued to work and whose salary was not affected, had all of a sudden lots of disposable income ready to be spent on the used market, which drove up demand. Demand went up, supply stayed the same so prices went up accross the board.

That would be my explanation for it. Is that it? Is there some other reason I'm missing here?
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Aug 10, 2011
Hong Kong
People found about hobbies while stuck at home. And what's a better hobby than just buying and collecting stuff, it requires low effort and you feel accomplishment just by having spent money.

That plus people discovering eBay and thinking that everything has a collecting value; $1000 blistered Mario game still available at Walmart, $99 nicotine covered Xbox 360 controller with missing stick, $80 broken cassette walkman, $100,000 Pokemon cards...
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Neo Member
Jun 8, 2021
I don't know what's behind it but there are speculative bubbles in Pokemon, MTG, Video Games (Especially WATA graded), Cards, Comic Books etc.
The thing is there is a lot of cross pollination between speculators ATM. If for instance the sports card bubble were to POP there's a significant likelihood it spooks speculators and drags down the other markets simultaneously.
As for your friend he should feel lucky because nobody can time a market. The only loser is the one left holding the worthless asset (sports cards in this instance). The rest of the people who sold along the way are the winners.


Aug 18, 2017
Mount Olympus
Price raises doesn’t freak me out you know good players rookie cards are going up so that’s a bad example. Someone who is quarantined could be having a moment at home and discovers a collectible. eBay wants everything listed, ancient nazi artifacts, motorcycle parts etc. Collector sellers are loving the price raises.
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