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Valuations Topping Out?

Discussion in 'Dollars and Sense' started by Nightfly, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Nightfly

    Nightfly New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Been following prices on vintage equipment over the last few months. Asking prices continue to be frothy, and seemingly, rather ridiculous for the Pio/Marantz/Sansui silver faces. But I've also noticed this: pieces don't seem to be selling, and the increases seem to be stopping. I've also noticed that prices on the next level; Kenwood, Onkyo, Sony, Yamaha, etc, where prices seem more reasonable, are also not trading, unless its an auction with no reserve and ends at a price seemingly lower than what we've experienced recently. Seeing more best offer options, and no offers being submitted. Many auctions end with no offers, and consequently, no trades.

    Also noticed the same thing with turntables. Some eye-popping asks on Denons, Yamahas, etc. And the tables are not selling.

    Lastly, R2R asking prices for "last produced" models has gotten positively silly. Saw a Pioneer RT 909 with a $2,500 number put on it. Would be very surprised if it sells anywhere close to that.

    Have prices peaked? Is it seasonal as we move into the holidays, and spending focus is not on vintage gear? Have the boomers who have accumulated multiple pieces of many units finally reached a saturation point where they may no longer be net buyers, but realize liquidation/lightening up makes sense?

    $1,000 tables and $2,000-$2,500 R2Rs are rather expensive to operate and maintain, let alone, buying the source material (albums both old and new as well as pre-recorded reels) and consumables (blank reel tape) to make sense just to listen to music. There are many more economical ways to listen, and certainly there is more to it than just $$$ for those who choose this route, but at what point are the dollars just too much when compared with digital storage and streaming? Particularly for potential new entrants into a market niche? And as digital quality continues to improve, the pricing continues to go down. Sure, other models and vintages can be had for less, but price pressure on the TOTL and hi-demand models will translate across---and down---the price spectrum and pressure the mid and bottom line units.

    Are others seeing this, or is just me?
     
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  2. hammr7

    hammr7 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    You are looking at a bunch of high profile pieces on high profile platforms. These items are still very desirable, but are susceptible to large (International) market forces. The growing trade war with China and the strength of the dollar relative to Chinese and Indian currencies are putting a temporary lid on dollar-denominated prices. This is also happening with commodities like crude oil. This may just be temporary, or may get worse if the trade war gets more serious.
     
  3. teal'c

    teal'c It's all moo Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,946
    Location:
    Michigan, N of Detroit
    And you can never predict the wax and wane of human interest. Just because something has peaked now doesn't mean it won't surge upward again. Or drop enough to make enthusiasts cream their jeans.
     
    EVBoy and peerson like this.
  4. Snow

    Snow AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,325
    You need to watch for years not months to get even a partial idea if something is close to topping out. And no I don't think there is a ceiling for collectable gear sure it may go up and down a bit but as inflation continues to increase so will prices. Eventually a cup of coffee will be $100.00 so it would not surprise me to see the TOTL units by the major brands selling for 100k if I live long enough
     
    roger2 likes this.
  5. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,276
    Location:
    West coast
    in California, for a long time, turntables were had for under $25 then all the 40+ YO TTs
    climbed to $100.

    they will all take a breather especially with the upcoming market changes, then when it
    all settles, will climb again.
     
  6. Ds2000

    Ds2000 All About every cool stereo component. Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,821
    Location:
    New York City
    The peak crazy for the Japanese units was 2013-14. Items were selling for the crazy prices. Since then, there has been a sort of correction on some of the mass consumer grade audio gear, actual sales price-wise. The rare and real TOTL Japanese vintage still gets similar bucks as it did then.
     

     

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  7. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,661
    Ebay is mucking with the market. The rules are stopping a lot of flips which means there is very little sales history. In real auction action, previous sales information helps to establish trends which could lead to speculation. Remember when ebay limited sales history to 30 days and tried to sell this info?

    Beyond this, the bigger problem is that many flippers hate ebay and are seeking other venues such as Poshmark for clothes. This fragmenting of the collectible market means sales history is harder to find. Again, bad.
     
    Leland47 likes this.
  8. HH-Bham

    HH-Bham Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Interesting. Could you please explain a bit further what rules are stopping what flips. Thanks.
     
  9. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,238
    Location:
    SE PA
    180 day "I just don't want it return policy" might have something to do with it. But I don't keep up with the minutia of the bay rules but they are very definitely bias toward the buyer today.
     
  10. Snow

    Snow AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,325
    Ebay is hurting themselves with all their rules but the biggest issue is their search feature at times I cant even find my own current listings by doing a search with the exact title, hard to get buyers if no one can see what your selling
     
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  11. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,661
    That's a big problem. Listings used to show up in order of list date. Not anymore. Catch a return strike and your listing loses visibility. I suspect there is other preferential ranking going on such as for those with selling subscription.
     
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  12. Snow

    Snow AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,325
    Half or more of the searches I do wind up with many un related items which turns off buyers too, buyers do not want to have to spend hours looking through items.
     
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  13. 62vauxhall

    62vauxhall AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,939
    To some degree, I think supply has become greater than demand and turntables might be a good indicator. Lot's of them for sale on online classifieds which remain advertised for weeks or months. Most ads indicate "serviced" and are not exactly bargains.

    In my area, there have been a couple of specialty used/vintage audio businesses that have been around for a long time and are going gangbuster. Plus a few new shops have opened more recently. Those places back their sales up with servicing and warranties so my theory is, those with big bucks to spend on old stereo gear go there.

    Reel to reel is very much a niche market within a niche market. So much so that that those used equipment stores no longer deal with them. That said, there has been a local tech who has been refurbishing and selling them for quite some time and says he can't get them fast enough. But his prices are halfway reasonable.

    I believe the long time "flippers" now go to those brick and mortar shops to peddle their wares. Some that I got to recognize by ad content and composition don't seem to bother selling privately anymore. One, who runs 10 to 20 simultaneous ads on CL, seems to be asking a lot less for his stuff than he once did,
     
  14. peerson

    peerson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    725
    Location:
    Kansas City area
    It is my opinion that EBAY is drawing close to the end. There are other venues for buying/selling that are starting to get popular. Without significant changes to keep up with what buyers/sellers want, I think other options may eventually win out.
     
  15. markshan

    markshan Sir Thrift a Lot Subscriber

    Messages:
    13,294
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I quit using the eBay search and use google "item site: ebay.com"
     
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  16. Leland47

    Leland47 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,604
    HiFi Shark is a site I have to start using for valuations. I haven't joined the site...but should.

    Just checked and they have 588 listings for SOLD Fisher 500 tube amps...going back a couple years, from all over the world.

    I haven't used the site much...but it sure looks like one could make a graph if prices are going up or down from it.

    The site also lists what is for sale...worldwide, and on what site it is selling.
     
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  17. BilboBaggins

    BilboBaggins AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,418
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I’ve been tracking my sales since I started about 6 or 7 years ago. Around here, things are definitely selling for lower prices. The exception is anything that is considered special. Except for my Tangent RS8s. Those are sold, but to a friend.

    I think there is a lot more gear to choose from, and at lower prices, and that is driving the prices down for the middle range gear. As well, there are plenty of people who have bought based on the lowest price only to find that there was a problem they didn’t notice at the audition. Once burned, twice shy.

    My tech has been doing well this year, but he offers warranty for his work. He has also had to reduce his prices. The better record store that also sell gear has also dropped his prices quite a bit over the last year. I’ve dropped my prices drastically because, quite frankly, it just isn’t worth my time and money to continue. And even so, it has been slow to sell. It doesn’t help that I keep finding something I can’t resist.

    The exception seems to be cassette decks. There seems to be a resurgent interest in them. I know I am enjoying repairing them.
     
  18. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,661
    In my travels, I talk to flippers who do this for a living. Every single one of them hates ebay or uses ebay as a last resort. That's a big problem for ebay. Collectibles and rare and unusual vintage items are what differentiates ebay from Walmart.com and Amazon. Drive the pickers away and ebay will compete against the big boys who have warehouse and inventory assets to back up their operation. It's a bad business model.
     
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  19. EastPoint

    EastPoint Factory Code No. 4200 Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,613
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    What else are they using to sell gear?
     
  20. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,661
    Handbags, clothes, and shoes are going to Poshmark. Don't know too much about Etsy but I've heard the name mentioned. Anyways, I haven't given up on ebay but I am getting closer every day. When that day comes, I'll pay more attention to the shop talk.
     

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