Hobby Musings: Collectable’s Ezra Levine talks – The hobby has seen a lot of new ventures recently. One that has gained steam, thanks to Collectable, is fractional investing. While prices have soared, Collectable’s concept has allowed people to own a piece of the unique at a portion of the cost. To find out more about how it works, I had the chance to catch up with CEO Ezra Levine.
KS: Ezra, for anyone who doesn’t know, what is Collectable?
EL: Collectable is the #1 fractional ownership platform that is exclusively dedicated to high-end sports memorabilia. Our mission is to democratize the sports collectibles industry and make iconic pieces that have been hard to reach affordable and available to any collector, investor, fan, etc.
KS: How exactly does it work?
EL: We consign these amazing pieces and create mini, SEC-registered companies out of each one. This allows us to create shares in these items, just like you can buy shares of public companies like Amazon. We then sell these shares to the public through our platform, Collectable. For example, if we value the item at $100,000, we can issue shares to the public at $10 apiece. Instead of needing $100,000 to own this item outright, you can now own a share for just $10.
KS: Where are all the physical assets stored?
EL: We have three vaults across the country. Every item is fully insured, protected and maintained. We go to great lengths to make sure all of our items are up to the highest of industry standards.
KS: If someone wanted to buy the item itself, is that something that can be done?
EL: Once items have been taken public on Collectable, and all shares have been sold, collectors can make offers to buy items outright. If someone wants to buy the item outright, they can make an offer to the shareholders. So far, we’ve had four items bought out, with a bunch of other offers declined. Our most notable buyout was the 1980 Topps Larry Bird/Julius Erving/Magic Johnson Scoring Leaders PSA 10 card. We listed the IPO at $352,000. A collector later offered and bought it for $720,000. That’s a 104% return in two months to Collectable shareholders in that item.
KS: What do you think the reception for your company has been so far?
EL: We’ve been pleased with it. It’s funny, before launch, we were forewarned the hobby is reluctant to accept new ventures that don’t necessarily fall under the traditional structure. Two good examples of that were grading companies and breakers. Many believed these concepts were flashes in the pan, and treated them as such. That skepticism was certainly applied to fractional ownership. I do believe Collectable is gaining the hobby’s trust and confidence quickly, as people recognize our genuine love of the industry and that we’re actually complementary to physical collecting. We’re creating widespread interest and participation in the hobby, which is good for all participants.
On the demand front, we’ve been blown away. Many of our offerings have sold out in a matter of seconds. We have over 25,000 collectors on the platform at the moment. Overall we’re pleased with where we are, but we’re just getting started.
KS: What is the most valuable item you’ve offered up so far?
EL: The most valuable item we’ve completed so far is a Mickey Mantle 1953 Topps PSA 10. We listed the IPO at $2.5 million, and it’s currently trading on our platform at $3.5 million. We have a 1916 Babe Ruth Sporting News PSA 7 coming up that will IPO in April. It’s priced at $3.69 million. Once completed, it’ll be the largest fractional sports collectible transaction in history by a good amount.
KS: What do you think is the coolest item you’ve offered so far?
EL: Definitely a matter of personal preference. I love cards, but personally find the game worn memorabilia to be more exciting. For instance, the Muhammad Ali Rumble in the Jungle title belt and Wilt Chamberlain’s photo-matched game-worn high school jersey, both from the famed Sports Immortals collection.
KS: Is there a dream item you’d like to be able to offer?
EL: There’s so many. I grew up a huge Yankees fan, so something related to Derek Jeter and the 1996 World Series would be great. His ‘96 championship ring, or the jersey from Game 6 of the ‘96 World Series, would have to be up there.
KS: What do you collect?
EL: I grew up in a household of major collectors. My dad has been collecting since I was a kid, and I remember him going to the National and coming back after a few days. He’s mostly a vintage baseball guy, so he’d collect guys like Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle. On the card front, I share my dad’s love of those icons of the 50s. I’m also a big Jeter guy, so I love chasing his stuff. As I said, I also love the game-used items and think they’re pretty special to see up close.
KS: How are you hoping to grow Collectable in the future?
EL: We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We want to continue to present unique opportunities for our users. We’ve secured over $40 million of consignments in our first six months of business, but that’s just scratching the surface of what we can do. We want to grow our inventory and our user base.
In addition, you’ll see more liquidity and trading on the platform. We’re also improving the user experience on the platform to make it easier to search for items.
You’ll likely also see a few more product lines and major athlete partnerships.
KS: If you were going to try convincing someone to use your platform, what would your pitch be?
EL: If you love sports and a bit of action, you’ll love our platform. You can own some of the greatest treasures of sports with ease and convenience. The platform is unique, soulful, and interactive. We’ve gone to great lengths to provide opportunities to people that they normally wouldn’t have. In a number of ways, I think it’s a superior way to express your sports fandom compared to sports gambling and playing fantasy. It’s a great way to get exposure to sports, its legends, and the history of the game.
Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
Hobby Musings: Collectable’s Ezra Levine talks
- Hobby Musings: Catching up with All-Star pitcher Matt Capps - September 19, 2021
- Hobby Musings: Historic Autographs brings 1945 to trading cards in a big way - September 12, 2021
- Hobby Musings: A dive into Panini Legacy Football ahead of NFL season - September 8, 2021