Frustrations of a Poster Dealer Part 2

As the market for Vintage 1960’s Concert Posters is now rapidly evolving, there is often an information lag among collectors as new developments take time to disseminate throughout the marketplace. 


One of the goals of this weekly blog is to provide a place where collectors can get the latest news and updates about this exciting collectible. Over the past year or two, we’ve seen a bifurcation of the market as the demand for posters in undamaged condition has skyrocketed. By undamaged condition, I mean a poster that exhibits no nicks, tears, pinholes, folds or restoration of any kind.

This increased demand has resulted in rising values for the posters have somehow survived the past 45-50 years in undamaged condition. And herein lies the rub. While the “word is out” among most collectors when it comes to top condition, the prices one must pay to acquire such pieces are only known by collectors on the leading edge of the market.

Why is this the case?

Because up until about 5 years ago, there was very little price distinction between damaged and undamaged posters. If a poster was worth $4000 in ANY condition, perfect examples, if found, could be acquired for $6000 -$7000. This works out to a 50-75% premium. Today, if a poster is worth $4000 in ANY condition, you can expect to pay 12,000-16,000 for a “finest known” example. This works out to a 300-400% premium. So you can see that premiums for the very best condition concert posters are expanding!

This situation often proves very frustrating for us when we finally end a years long search for a mint example of an issue and the collector is suddenly taken aback by what we paid and what we need to get for the item. Their brains are still firmly rooted in values and premiums that are circa 2005.

While many old-time collectors may consider today’s premium quality values outrageous, the “smart money” knows and understands that this is just the tip of the iceberg. And this is where an opportunity clearly presents itself.

A cursory look into other collectibles markets will show you that the finest premium quality coins, stamps, comic books and baseball cards ROUTINELY bring premiums of 20x to 50x the price of a normal surviving example. For example, in January of 2015, I sold the finest known 1793 United States penny for $2.35 million, while examples can be found for just $35,000.

The point is, quality never, ever goes out of style and the demand for it continues to grow, as well as the premiums that it commands. So you have a choice. You can turn your back on this trend and ignore it. Or you can embrace this as a lucrative opportunity that has been 50 years in the making. Which will you choose?