Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Archevillian Economics OR right now is a bad time to be buying blue robot dragons on eBay

iT'S A CONCEPT that goes back to caveman days-buy all of one thing so that you can artificially inflate the price of it on eBay, but up until this point I haven't actually seen it in practice. That was until I looked up how many Cryoteks eBay seller Playidia has up at their store. Cryotek is a blue dragon Transformer that was a Target exclusive sold at retail for about two months at the beginning of 2002 for $20. If you want a Cryotek now, you have to get it from Playidia if noobody else is auctioning one off and they're charging at least $119 for a loose one that's missing parts. And guess who is a winner of nearly every Cryotek auction not put up by Playidia? Playidia. Holy crap these Playidia guys are trying to drive up the market value of this toy by buying them all. What an evil little scheme they have going there. The only conclusion I can make is that Playidia is Doctor Archeville's eBay user name.

Playidia Cryotek market manipulation aside, I was wondering if there was any correlation between the secondary market value of an item and how many of said item exist. If I wanted to estimate, say, how many unopened Bumblejumpers still exist after all this time, could I infer a number using advanced mathematics based on the current market value of sealed Bumblejumpers? I do know that as of 1997 there were only around six known samples in existence. I saw one go at Botcon last year for $300. I wish I could come up with a formula so I can put some crazy flavor text in my upcoming ebay auctions like 2 SONIC ATTACK JETS MISB OMG VHTF ONLY 2 IN EXSiSTENCE! BIN $10,000! The problem with eBay is that a winning auction price only tells me how much the majority of people DIDN'T want to pay. So calculating the number of anything that exists based on how much one crazy guy wanted to pay on eBay would take math so complicated that even Doctor Archeville couldn't figure it out.


Rob said...

Cryotek seems like an odd, random figure for someone to decide to start hoarding. I'd never even heard of that figure before. Under normal circumstances, how much do you think a Cryotek would go for these days?

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I don't think they should sell for more than $35 still sealed. But this is Transformers, and whenever something is a store exclusive it is best not to cling to notions like "normal circumstances".

Store exclusivity when combined with even ridiculously overproduced toys seems to be some sort of magical ingredient that drives their secondary market value up. That Robovision Optimus Prime that's exclusive to Target (and on shelves now) is a big seller and I expect history to repeat itself with that one.

gargunkle said...

I am actually selling this figure right now on ebay.


Still like 5 days to go or something, how high do you think it would go? I watched one auction that I saw go for $87. If mine sells for that much I'd be more than happy. Then again I am trying to prune the collection.

Cryotek is a badass figure but I figured I could console myself with having TM2 Megatron only.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

I think that with yours and three other sealed ones up now (along with one loose) you'll probably get $45-$50. You were smart to start bidding at 99 cents along with that other guy. But that other guy starting at 99 cents has a lot of really nice pictures and great presentation. That oftentimes is enough to get some higher than average bids.

The ones starting at $40 and $75 will probably scare off bidders with their high opening asking prices. I'll guess the $75 one won't sell but only because it's ending soonest and people will see that there are other options. I think whatever it ends at will set the tone for the rest. If it does go high, then that's good for all the others but if nobody buys it, I'll bet people are holding off for their favorite of the five.

Right now I think there's too much competition to hope for an ending price in the $80+ range. I'm holding off on selling mine until the competition dies down.

gargunkle said...

I am sort of uncomfortable selling on ebay sometimes but I'm getting there. Still not sure if things like multiple photo listings, having an image appear in the search list, etc. are worth it. Seems like ebay wants to nickel and dime me to death.

$45-50 still wouldn't be bad. We'll see I guess.


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.