Vast price differences between Beckett Basketball and Beckett Vintage

SymphonicMetal

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I think I am going to need Claudes take on these values and anyone else who want to weigh in.

I was able to get my hands on a February 2021 Beckett's Basketball Guide and a Feb/March 2021 Beckett's Vintage guide this weekend and noticed some shocking differences in listed values for the same items. Here are the bvs for complete Topps basketball sets from the two current guides.

Beckett Basketball
71-72 $4,000 (not a typo)
72-73 $1,500
73-74-$325
74-75 $600
75-76 $400

From Beckett’s Vintage Collector
71-72 $750
72-73 $700
73-74 $325
74-75 $325
75-76 $400

As you can see three of the five sets there is a huge price difference. And spot checking some singles one guide has the Dr J RC at $150 where the other has it at $1000, The Rick Barry RC is $30 in one and $150 in the other and the Moses Malone RC is $40 in one and $150 in the other.

Any thoughts or explanation for the huge difference in values between the two Beckett's guides? Is the Vintage Publication just a litle behind or are these prices consistantly different?

Another strange value gap is in the mid 90s Metal sets in the regular basketball Beckett's Guide. Comparing apples to apples (or in this case base Michael Jordans to base Michael Jordans) the 1995-95 #13 Jordan is $40, the 1996-97 MJ base #11 is only $8 and the 1997-98 Metal Universe #23 MJ is a whopping $400!!!! Any reason these three similar cards would be priced so vastly different?
 

mm1sub

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This is just a guess but in the Beckett Vintage the prices for Football, Basketball and Hockey never seem to move. Baseball skyrockets. I am looking at the Beckett Vintage and even the prices for baseball complete sets have went up. That hasn't happened in a while.

I just cannot explain it.
 

SymphonicMetal

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This is just a guess but in the Beckett Vintage the prices for Football, Basketball and Hockey never seem to move. Baseball skyrockets. I am looking at the Beckett Vintage and even the prices for baseball complete sets have went up. That hasn't happened in a while.

I just cannot explain it.
I noticed that too with the vintage baseball. Koufax, Killebrew and Banks RCs all doubled from what they were this Fall. That was making me think that Vintage Beckett would follow suit with basketball. The one exception was the 1953 Bowman Color Baseball set that dropped from $15000 to $12000 in the guide I saw.

A friend of mine is opening a card store here in town this week and I was able to borrow those two copies for a few hours over the weekend. He is getting copies from Beckett to sell in his store and I will be buying the Basketball and Vintage for starters and the football and baseball soon after.
 

GotMelky

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It probably has to do with when they were printed. In a short amount of time things have taken off and the one was probably published before that happened or just at the start, whereas the second publication had time to adjust.

A lot of the new "investor/collectors" are starting to buy up high grade vintage - it's considered the safe "blue-chip" stock. Their definition of vintage probably varies from what most of us use (anything older than 2010 it seems) but the price creep is pretty much hitting every part of the hobby right now.
 

SymphonicMetal

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It probably has to do with when they were printed. In a short amount of time things have taken off and the one was probably published before that happened or just at the start, whereas the second publication had time to adjust.
I'm thinking along those lines too that the Vintage will catch up in the next issue assuming the regular basketball guide is printed first. . I'll be keeping an eye out for that next issue to see if the Vintage prices match the regular Beckett basketball ones. . One thing that makes me a tad skeptical is that I know the Rick Barry RC jumped from $30 to $150 back in the early Fall and it is still not showing that in the Vintage. I traded for a Barry RC last March when it was $30 and in the Fall the guy who trded it to me wanted it back because it had gone up so much in value........talk about chasing the market!!

You'd actually think that the Vintage Guide would show vintage values at a higher level then the regular basketball guide but in fact it is exactly the opposite.
 

GotMelky

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I think OPG (Online Price Guide) tends to be more up to date but if you're really wanting market value, consider checking eBay sales. I use a site called 130point to check completed listings (it's free).
 

cmcjr99

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ive never actually seen a copy of beckett vintage...by any chance does that version list the values based on a different condition ? if that is not the case i would think either publication date or simply poor editing (updating thedata in one place but not the other)
 

SymphonicMetal

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ive never actually seen a copy of beckett vintage...by any chance does that version list the values based on a different condition ? if that is not the case i would think either publication date or simply poor editing (updating thedata in one place but not the other)
That is a good point. When I FINALLY get my hands on my copies of Basketball and Vintage, I will research if there are any differnces in how the 2 publications are valuing their cards by condition. One thing that makes me think they are grading the same is that the 1973-74 and the 197-76 set prices are exactly the same in both guides where the other three are very much different.

I know the Magic/Bird RC shot way up in value in the regular basketball guide. That year was the cutoff for the vintage so that value is not in that magazine

I'm wondering if OPG has an even different value for these complete sets?

Claude do you have any thoughts in the wildly differetn values for the base Michael Jordans cards in those 3 mid 90s Metal sets?? Luckily for me the one I need for a set is the 1996-97 one which I assumed was hundreds of dollars once I saw the 1997-98 value of $400.
 

cmcjr99

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regarding the metal sets...

95-96 is touted by some as "first metal" , but as a brand it still doesn't carry the same weight as "first topps' or "first bowman" so (at least right now) while it is much higher than the 96-97 , it doesn't get as big a bump for that as itmay in yars to come if all the craziness continues...i also recall seeing that product available on the retails aisles of k-mart even up to 2 years later with very few interested in the product so i can only assume it did not catch on quickly in terms of collector appeal...either that or production numbers were just that high...i assume the former...

as for 96-97 , i don't recall ever seeing any of it in my area so i figure that could mean they produced less or that the outlets in my area just didnt do anything with it...if it were a case of lower production numbers , i dare say we would definitely be seeing that right now with massive bv's and prices on the set as a whole but especially the jordans and rookie cards...i do think there is room for increase , but i just think this was not a very popular set...

now for 97-98...first up i think production was cut a bit...what i think is a much bigger factor though is the style of the cards...note just from the name as the product goes from simply "metal" to "metal universe"...the art went from mere randomness to a much heavier comic theme and i think that drew in a much broader audience...add in the condition sensitivity of the softer micro-etch foil and you have a winner...by comparison , the metal universe championship from the same year is far less popular...i THINK it has a lower print run and a similar comic-themed art , but i KNOW it has a much more common surface instead of the micro-etch...aside from lack of knowledge of the set , that printing technology is the primary difference so it has to be a factor in championship being a fraction of regular metal universe...

you didnt ask about the next couple years of the metal line , but i'll mention them briefly too...

98-99 kept the name metal universe and the cool micro-etch technology but the actual card design was pretty bland and didnt have the same look of most "universe" sets ... when i hear metal universe , i really hear marvel universe and envision all the super-hero/comic themes and designs and that carries a lot of weight i think...this set lost that...

they also added in a "molten metal" set for 98-99...it didnt seem to be all that popular as a base set...it looks a bit like the bastard offspring of fleer mystique and flair showcase ...mystique was already nothing to write home about and the similarities to showcase couldn't save it...nothing factual in anything i just said there , just my personal opinion...the fact the brand only appeared one year though is telling...

for 99-00 they just did the metal universe set , BUT - and i think this may be one of the most telling things - beckett simply went back to calling it just metal instead of metal universe and once again the design became generic and consistent across the entire set...the card still feature the micro-etch and do have eye-appeal but they are boring since they all look the same...

so to sum up my opinions...the micro-etch foil is a big thing but the comic factor is likely the key... 95-96 had different designs for every card but it wasnt the micro-etch foil and 96-97 introduced the micro-etch but neither had the comic themes...only 97-98 had both the micro-etch and a unique comic-themed image for every player and it created a perfect storm if you will that they failed to even attempt to repeat in the final few years of metal
 

SymphonicMetal

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regarding the metal sets...

95-96 is touted by some as "first metal" , but as a brand it still doesn't carry the same weight as "first topps' or "first bowman" so (at least right now) while it is much higher than the 96-97 , it doesn't get as big a bump for that as itmay in yars to come if all the craziness continues...i also recall seeing that product available on the retails aisles of k-mart even up to 2 years later with very few interested in the product so i can only assume it did not catch on quickly in terms of collector appeal...either that or production numbers were just that high...i assume the former...

as for 96-97 , i don't recall ever seeing any of it in my area so i figure that could mean they produced less or that the outlets in my area just didnt do anything with it...if it were a case of lower production numbers , i dare say we would definitely be seeing that right now with massive bv's and prices on the set as a whole but especially the jordans and rookie cards...i do think there is room for increase , but i just think this was not a very popular set...

now for 97-98...first up i think production was cut a bit...what i think is a much bigger factor though is the style of the cards...note just from the name as the product goes from simply "metal" to "metal universe"...the art went from mere randomness to a much heavier comic theme and i think that drew in a much broader audience...add in the condition sensitivity of the softer micro-etch foil and you have a winner...by comparison , the metal universe championship from the same year is far less popular...i THINK it has a lower print run and a similar comic-themed art , but i KNOW it has a much more common surface instead of the micro-etch...aside from lack of knowledge of the set , that printing technology is the primary difference so it has to be a factor in championship being a fraction of regular metal universe...

you didnt ask about the next couple years of the metal line , but i'll mention them briefly too...

98-99 kept the name metal universe and the cool micro-etch technology but the actual card design was pretty bland and didnt have the same look of most "universe" sets ... when i hear metal universe , i really hear marvel universe and envision all the super-hero/comic themes and designs and that carries a lot of weight i think...this set lost that...

they also added in a "molten metal" set for 98-99...it didnt seem to be all that popular as a base set...it looks a bit like the bastard offspring of fleer mystique and flair showcase ...mystique was already nothing to write home about and the similarities to showcase couldn't save it...nothing factual in anything i just said there , just my personal opinion...the fact the brand only appeared one year though is telling...

for 99-00 they just did the metal universe set , BUT - and i think this may be one of the most telling things - beckett simply went back to calling it just metal instead of metal universe and once again the design became generic and consistent across the entire set...the card still feature the micro-etch and do have eye-appeal but they are boring since they all look the same...

so to sum up my opinions...the micro-etch foil is a big thing but the comic factor is likely the key... 95-96 had different designs for every card but it wasnt the micro-etch foil and 96-97 introduced the micro-etch but neither had the comic themes...only 97-98 had both the micro-etch and a unique comic-themed image for every player and it created a perfect storm if you will that they failed to even attempt to repeat in the final few years of metal
Interesting! I do seem to come acorss a lot more of the 1995-96 Metal than the following two years as I have several complete sets of those I have come across enough of the 1996-97 Metal to have a 95% completed set and i have not come across enough of the 1997-98s to even start a set. I gotta check to see what RCs, Kobes and MJs I have from that 1997-98 set. Only the Duncan RC would have gone into a top loader and the rest would have gone into sheets. You are correct about the 97-98s being more prone to damage do to their more delicate stock (or technology)

I know the 1998-99 Molten Metal you are talking about but I'm drawing a complete blank on the regular 1998-99 Metal Universe set and what it looks like. I have a set of the 1999-00 Metal and that is a boring set to be sure! That set also has a thicker, sturdier stock and does not look at all similar to its Metal/Metal Universe predessors. I'll always remember the last card I needed for that set was a common card named Michael (or Chris?) Ansley and I was trying to replace his Emerald parallel card with a regular one. That search took several years too!

Imagine my relief when I saw the Michael Jordan I need for that 1996-97 set was only $8 after seeing the next year's MJ at $400!!

Thanks for the explanation on those. I really appreciate it.
 
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