Pricing and Market ValuesAbout the service ...
The values that we publish are what we consider to be ‘appraisal values’ for a collection. We determine our values based on both actual selling transactions and asking prices from a variety of sources in the market, including but not limited to online auction sites, physical auction events, dealers, collectors, garage sales, tag sales and more.
In order to better understand the information we provide, let me take a minute to distinguish the difference between ‘price’ of an item and the ‘value’ of an item.
PRICE will always vary based on who you are working with and where you are located. There are ‘asking prices’ and ‘selling prices’ and ultimately, the final price is set and finalized by the buyer and seller involved in the actual transaction. While supply and demand play a part, there are many factors that can also influence a price, most of which are temporary or specific to the transaction, such as the motivation of the buyer or seller, access to the sale or information provided at the time of the sale. Many low values reported to us are from garage sales where the seller had no idea what they had or from auctions that were poorly attended. For these reasons, it is very difficult for us to predict for you the price at which your item will actually be sold or bought.
VALUE, on the other hand, is what an item is WORTH, or what it ‘should’ sell for in a fair market where all the information about the item has been disclosed, where all the parties present are interested in the piece and where access to the sale is equally open to those interested parties. Value is also strongly affected by supply and demand, but unlike price, it is not as affected by the short-term factors, such as swings in the economy or motivations of the parties involved.
The best way to illustrate this is to give an example: since 2000, the economy has been tough and for most people, extra money in the budget is harder to find. But just because someone does not have the cash to pay $200 for a figurine doesn't mean that figurine isn't worth $200. Its VALUE is determined by what the piece is, how many were made, how it was distributed and the demand for it in the secondary market. There are a variety of reasons why that figurine may actually sell for less than the value we have published, but the reasons why a seller would be willing to let it go for less than its worth are usually circumstantial and often temporary.
Our goal is to promote the collectibility of these items by assessing VALUE of the items for the purposes of insurance and overall tracking of your collection. Insurance companies typically have two choices when it comes to settling a claim. They can either settle for the appraised value you have documented for the piece, or they can opt to go into the secondary market with the intention of replacing the lost piece for you. In this current market, it is possible they could find and replace the piece for less money than if they were to agree to the appraised value. HOWEVER, they must find the IDENTICAL piece that you have documented as having. This is why it’s so important to document as much information as possible about the piece. The symbol on the bottom, the signature it may have, the original box in mint condition and/or still owning the original paperwork COULD make the difference in them being able to find and replace the identical item, or them having to settle with the appraised value for the item.