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Soft Market

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When I got into the hobby

Mk Bumble Bees .25-.50/ea

Normal Akro Corks 2.00-4.00/ea

I watched over the summer as marble King marble prices started to rise. Bees got to around .75-1.25/ea and it was dragging even the normal rainbows up to .10-.15/ea.

I was told that marbles drop in the summer and go up in the winter

Winter time and corks have been running me .50-1.00/ea, Bees are down around .50/.ea again and fancy corks (What I call 2+colors) are 1.00 and up. A superman was a minimum of 20.00 over the summer but now they can be had from 5/8-3/4 for 10-15.00 a pop.

I sold a cork for Sylvia, a true 4 color, for 165.00. I saw an auction end a week ago with 3 corks, all 2 were 3 color and VERY bold, no mini-color lines, just sharp, proportioned 3 colors and a single 3 color with a mild 4th color, sell for 160.00

Germans, in General, were 2.00/ea and up. Now I find them for .50-1.00/ea

Is the window narrower than I was led to believe ? Could it not be winter, but more towards spring before the market firms up again ? I am just noticing nothing but a decline in pricing, in-general.

Now, for me buying, this is great. I am actually able to pass up piles that contained some of what I wanted and able to find lots of specifics for nearly the same pricing. Corks...I picked up 240, 19 were NM, rest were M/M- for .50 a pop, I was happy.....BUT....these thousands upon thousands of marbles I could care less about, potentially offsetting my investments are devaluing to the point of being jar fodder.

I sold several Michaelangelos for 12-18.00/ea, now, would be lucky to get 8.00 for a "normal" coloring and 10.00 for a wilder 3 color. Oxblood patches have literally plummeted.I have been buying those up as I love Akro Ox, but to see marbles I was having to pay 3.00-5.00/ea for, now around 1.00/ea makes me worry about the investment end of the hobby.

My collecting, no matter WHAT hobby I am in, has always had to rely on 2 factors.


Intrinsic value

I know a lot of people will not understand that since if you enjoy it, that should be enough, but I was raised by a very odd man. Dad's view was EVERYTHING has to have a value or it is worthless. Now, while I know this is not true I still find myself checking prices,re-checking,comparing and deciding what to buy based on price vs intrinsic. So yah, anything I collect is an investment. I may never sell something I collect,but in my head it has to have value beyond my pleasure......it's just how my brain works.

With that said, the market seems to not be leveling out, as I expected based on what people said over the summer,but getting softer and softer

Does anyone see this as being normal, based on their exposure to the hobby or is the hobby devaluing based on a diminishing demand ? I was noticing that items i felt were rare back in April..........after being in the hobby nearly 9 months, aren't so rare now. Easier to find and more common place.

I have...so many Slags it is almost annoying :P I am moving out some of the larger one's on the bay and noticed more pricing drops. People who deal with me here know that I RARELY care about marbles over 3.4 unless it is an oddball Akro so moving out some of these 7.8-1"+ slags is no big thing. What I am seeing is minimal interest in marbles that half a year ago were bringing 30-50.00 a pop

So again, is this the norm or does anyone else see a market that keeps going soft ?

I will keep buying, I enjoy it too much...but with the pricing dropping I may just have to stop buying anything that I feel will help me offset other costs. If I see a lot of X going for half of what it's value, to me, is, I will grab it and try to trade it or sell it....or give it away (haha) but it may that such an event is becoming less and less viable.

Sorry for the ramblings, I do that a lot and I am sorry if I keep going in circles here. Sometimes you have to throw several pieces of gum against the wall to get 1 to stick :P

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Could it be as simple as fewer new faces in the hobby? Veterans are picky. After five years in the hobby I don't think I need to own another white-based cork, two-color WV swirl, or 5/8" slag unless they are exceptional examples.

That being said I still rarely win anything on eBay. People still seem to be overpaying for the stuff I want. I only make one show a year so I can't comment on show prices. I did notice some great deals in March at the show and regret I didn't arrive earlier and with more cash.

I'm still trying to land a "complete" NLR collection in wet mint condition.

I never touched Germans due to price but they're starting to look reasonable now.

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I may have an interest in your 7/8 and up slags ............ Email me when you have the time.

All my best ...... Danny

Danny, I have several listed on the bay right now.

Look and LMK. Have a few more here that aren;t listed.

Bee, I think you may be right there.

I got another local friend into the hobby and he doesn;t bother with ebay

he likes EVERYTHING though. I give him any newer stuff I end up with and he goes to Rhynes and sons and buys pound after pound of Jabo classics

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Markets are strange counter-intuitive things.

For those who enjoy buying marbles and aren't likely to stop

regardless of current conditions, I'd suggest being happy

about a 'soft' market. In the 'dollar-cost-averaging' approach,

you wind up with more marbles for your money.

For those who are at least halfway hoping to make some money,

you should probably find a better (almost anything) vehicle than

marbles. But if you can''t resist trying to do it, the secret that

no one talks about (why should they?) is to stop trying to 'buy low

and sell high'. That's a suckers' game, and this goes for all markets.

'Buy high and sell higher' when there's momentum! B)

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IMO lots of reasons for the "soft market", the main one being there are a lot fewer collectors and a greater knowledge about how common many marbles are. Supply and demand says it all. It has happened to many collectibles, EBAY and the internet being the main influence.

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Yep,its all relative.Especialy with the internet influence.

You could probably pin a million reasons for the "soft" market,in anything right now.

Unstable economy,unstable government,unstable weather,unstable marble collectors like me!--LOL

Key word,unstable------I dont know anything in antiques/collecting that ever has been stable.Sure,certain things have "maintained",for extended periods of time,but over time,have fallen back down the ladder.Kind of like being on top of the mountain,so there is no place to go but down.


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