The following is information shared by eBay at the 2003 Summit from surveys and research done by the company. As collectors we all know how much the Internet has changed the world of collecting, things that were once rare have been discovered not to be so rare after all. New manufactured collectibles can be easily found for less than suggested retail and if there is an excess inventory, they become even cheaper, to the dismay of the person who might have purchased at retail.
Written price guides that were once the bibles of a collectible niche can can become quickly outdated. Especially true for those that do not factor in the different marketplaces: online auctions, shows, stores, publication advertisements, etc. So the feeling among many collectors is the market is dead and dying. But after attending the Summit I now have a few facts to back me up when I dispute that comment.
The market may be different and evolving, but it's not dead!
eBay has commissioned Market Research studies and found:
- the "Passionate" collector is as passionate as ever (in spending and acquiring), but "we're" getting older.
- Many of the newer collectors do not collect by acquiring (one of every variation, but by decorating (only what fits in their space).
- About 37% of the population is a collector of some sort, but 1/3 of those don't realize they are collectors until pressed further with an explanation of what is considered a collection.
- It's interesting to see the breakdown on how folks shop for the collectibles, 19% buy at regular stores, 18% specialty shops, 8% online, 5% antique stores, 3% flea market/yard sales.
- eBay Collectibles Gross merchandise Sales for the 2nd quarter of 2003 were over $280 million.
- At the peak in the 2nd quarter, there were more than 2.9 million collectible items listed for sale.
- In 2003 - one day's worth of coin sales on eBay would add up to $690,000.
- In one month (2003) more than 5,700 lunch boxes are sold; more than 199,000 comics are sold; and more than 7,1000 PEZ Dispensers are sold. Most popular purchase on eBay is a collectible. Over 35 percent of eBay users bought a collectible in 2002. Most new users visit the Collectibles category on their first eBay visit, more than any other category.