01August2014

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How big is the Football Card Industry

How big is the Football Card Industry (2008)

I have often been asked how big the hobby industry is with football cards as it is a very hard market to gauge, so here are a few facts and details to show how much money turns over in the AFL trading card market through eBay, Wholesalers, retailers and hobbyists.

For the figures shown some assumptions have had to be made to be able to work out some of these figures.

On eBay over the last 10 days - 10000+ auctions have been completed with approx 56.5% of the items (5645 items) being sold. The final prices ranged from a 1 cent sale unto the prize sale of the Gary Ablett snr Ardmona card which sold for $2325. The average sale price for items was $15.82 however for people who know statistics the average value is higher because of the larger sales, over half of the 5646 sales were $5 and under.

What about wholesale/retail. Lets look at Select AFL Classic Series to get the full price of this series 6000 boxes (216,000 packs) could be sold at their retail price of $4.99 per pack which would be $1,007,840. Although we know many boxes were sold under their retail price this could be seen as their nett worth.

If these figures have interested you read on.

 

 

eBay

Currently on eBay there are 6299 auctions running in the AFL Trading Cards section, however on average this figure will vary between 4000 items and 6000 items with peaks during the releases of sets up to 8000 auctions. How does all this impact on me well imagine the work to grab as many completed auctions as possible and them get them into price guide pages, considering although I have it partly automated most of the process is a manual process.

As mentioned above over the last 10 days over 10000 auctions have been complete with about 5650 auctions actually selling the items, these auctions included 100 auctions of items that sold for under $0.95 cents, hardly worth the trouble considering the fees to list the items.

The fees what will eBay make out of these 10000 auctions, here are some rough figures just on insert fees and averaging them off eBay will make about $3500 and 5% fees for the completed sales you are looking at another $4500, now most people are starting to use Paypal so if 2 out of 3 people paid with Paypal there is another $4000. All up ebay have just made about $12000 in 10 days JUST in the AFL trading card section. I havent counted any extra feature fees. Now if only I could get a job that paid that much per fortnight I would be set.

The overall sales amounted to about $90000 dollars with another $70000 of items unsold. This would account for approx $2,340,000 industry on the secondary market on eBay

Below are the 10 highest priced sales.

2008 AFL Select Classic Predictor Set of 16 cards    $440.00
1984 V.F.L. SCANLENS SET MINT MINT    $455.00
2008 Classic Medal Signature (S1 & SR1) Gary ABLETT Jnr    $458.00
2008 Select Classic GARY ABLETT Signature Redemption    $482.00
SUPER RARE 1954 FYNA FOODS - B ROSE COLLINGWOOD    $499.00
SUPER RARE 1954 FYNA FOODS - B HUTCHISON ESSENDON    $499.00
SUPER RARE 1954 FYNA FOODS - R WRIGHT RICHMOND    $499.00
SUPER RARE 1954 FYNA FOODS - J COLEMAN ESSENDON    $499.00
2005 SELECT DYNASTY GRAND REDEMPTION CARD VERY RARE..    $800.00
Gary Ablett senior Ardmona Rookie card Hawthorn    $2,325.00

And the top price 10 that didnt sell were

1933 VFL CARDS. FULL SET OF 200 CARDS { RARE FULL SET }    $550.00
2008 Select Classic Draft Pick Gold set of 17 Cards    $675.00
2006 select supreme gary ablett unparalleled signature    $750.00
2007 AFL SELECT SUPREME REDEMPTION KEVIN BARTLETT CARD    $800.00
2006 select supreme gary ablett unparalleled signature    $800.00
John Coleman 1950 Kornies set of 64 cards Bob Rose    $845.00
2008 SELECT CLASSIC ROOKIE DRAFT-SIGNATURE SETof 17    $849.95
COLLINGWOOD 1958 PREMIERS SIGNED CARDS    $1,000.00
RARE! 1999 Select SIGNED LOCKETT Record Breaker card    $1,600.00
1954 Argus VFL Football Caricature Complete Set **RARE*    $2,999.99

Retail Market

If you assume that Select Champions sold 12000 boxes and Teamcoach sold 15000 boxes add in 6000 of Select Classic and probably 10000 boxes of Topps Chipz, a million tazos, Select Stickers and a few misceallaneous sets you have plenty of product out there for collectors.

Money wise this would all amount to a few millions dollars of nett worth for the industry being add EVERY year.

Select Champions $1.2 M
Select Classic $1.0 M
Teamcoach $1.6 M
Chipz $0.95 M
Tazos $0.75 M (assuming about half the price of the pack of chips)

The values above are retail price for the complete product being sold out but will average out with sales of individual items and some being sold of cheap as boxes/cases, but as an estimate the industry is approx $5,500,000 per year on what would be classed the primary market. And I didnt even add the Select Figurines.

Plus the buying and selling that retail shops will do through collectors walking into the shop/market stall/online shop etc. This value would be extremely hard to gauge or calculate as most dealers will not disclose how there sales have been over the year (well not truthfully). As an idea on my online shop since it was setup (less than 12 months) I have had 200 customers and 400 orders totalling over $18000 of sales (average $45 per sale) this does not count most of my case sales, trades, email sales, eBay, regulars, walk ins and phone orders or sales through the group (cases and boxes). This is down dramatically from previous years as I havent done the card markets which can add $1000 to $4000 per card show depending on how good a day it is.

The above will show that if you look at the full range of business Card zone to Footycards.com.au to Trading Card Heroes you couldn't imagine the size of the secondary market and the figures that could be turning over.

Summary

Ok so the money changing hands is quite high and even with the changes to eBay  that made many people say they were never going to use it again you can see that it is as popular as always and making a nice little profit of the industry along with Select, Teamcoach, JHL marketing, Icon Collectibles, Croftminster and all the retail shops, online shops, dealers and part time sellers. All these people make this industry  $10,000,000 (10 Million Dollar) plus industry per year and that is ONLY AFL trading cards.

What about other industries that are profitting from our hobby, look at Australia Post who most people use to send their items that they have sold. If the items mentioned above that sold on eBay were posted in approx 2500 evelopes at $1.00 postage and $0.85 for the packaging, there is about $120,000 of their yearly revenue just from AFL trading cards and that doesnt count the hobby shops sales etc, eg out of the 400 sales I mention above for Trading Card Heroes 95% of those were posted individually and many other dealers would have similar figures.