Hobby Musings: Hobby veteran Ken Goldin on current market – While the coronavirus pandemic has brought many things in the world to a halt, it hasn’t stopped the hobby from continuing to perform well. One area this has been apparent in is the auction world, where Goldin Auctions has seen a number of recent high-profile sales. At the forefront was a Mike Trout card that wasn’t far away from reaching seven figures when the auction concluded. I had the chance to catch up with Ken Goldin, who weighed in on this and a variety of other topics. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: Ken, I wanted to start off with some recent news as one of your auctions made big news with a Mike Trout card going for $900,000. What was your reaction to the final sale price?
KG: Obviously, I was thrilled we got the card. We were hoping to get it worst case $400,000 and best case $500,000. Once it got over $500,000, I was just pinned to the screen watching it go up. The best part of it is when we got the wire transfer the very first day possible! On Tuesday.
KS: A Trout Bowman superfractor sold only a few years ago for $400,000. If that card were to hit auction today, what do you think it would go for?
KG: Well considering if it hits auction I’m gonna be the one selling it, this is a very important answer. I don’t see the card selling below $3 million, I certainly expect it would break the all-time record that we set for a trading card at 3.1 million. How much higher it goes than that remains to be seen.
KS: The Trout sale continues a seemingly recent trend of modern high-end cards commanding big dollars. How has the auction market for modern cards changed/evolved over the past few years?
KG: Oh I noticed the modern cards are taking off in 2016, and I really started to concentrate on it. A lot of vintage card collectors simply don’t get it, and they make foolish comments regarding the prices of modern cards. What they don’t understand is the year of junk wax is long over, and that there are a lot of wealthy individuals that would rather own a trading card of somebody they loved to watch play, or let’s say in the case of Michael Jordan or LeBron James or Derek Jeter, was their hero growing up asopposed to somebody who hasn’t taken a pitch in 90 years.
KS: Speaking of modern card sales, Michael Jordan has been an incredibly popular figure. How has The Last Dance affected the market for his memorabilia?
KG: The Last Dance has been very, very good to Goldin Auctions to use an old Saturday Night Live line. We set the record for the highest price Michael Jordan 1986 rookie at $99,000. There definitely has been increased demand for Michael Jordan cards and memorabilia since the documentary. While I do not know if it will stay at the peak, I definitely believe it has elevated all of his product going into the future at a higher level.
KS: With the coronavirus pandemic going on, a lot of people were nervous about how it would affect the card and memorabilia market. How do you think it has fared all around through all of this?
KG: I feel like my company is the Amazon.com of the auction world. I am very happy that our business is not only sustaining itself, but actually growing. I think a lot of people out there do not have other places to spend money since they’re not going out and not getting on planes, and therefore they are collecting sports memorabilia and trading cards, and I am glad I own an Internet-based business at this moment in time.
KS: Who do you think is currently the most collectible person in sports memorabilia and why?
KG: After my Mike Trout sale it’s certainly difficult for me to say any other name besides Trout, but I would say it’s a trio of Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Mike Trout.
KS: What do you think is the best thing to invest in from a sports memorabilia standpoint as we sit today?
KG: I have been sending a ton of modern basketball cards overseas. I think people would be in shock to know what percentage of items go in private sales overseas and what percent of items in my auction go overseas with respect to basketball. It’s truly an international sport, and I think it has the most growth potential.
KS: What’s an underrated category/person that you think collectors should be keeping an eye on right now?
KG: We saw what happened with the Michael Jordan documentary. We’ve seen what happens with even players like Dennis Rodman and Scotty Pippen and now Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire with their upcoming documentary. I think the greatest baseball player of all time is Barry Bonds, and I think five-10 years from now, people are going to be looking back on Bonds and his stats and record and wish they bought now. It would not surprise me to see that stuff go up three or four times in value.
Hobby Musings: Hobby veteran Ken Goldin on current market
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