By all accounts, 2018 was a remarkable year for the Vintage Concert Poster Market. Let’s take a look back at our exact predictions from 12 months ago and see how many panned out — our report card and current comments are in italics.!
1) Record Prices fo the Finest and Rarest!
Increased demand and dwindling supply will lead to record prices across ALL categories.
There is no question that 2018 marked a tipping point where demand greatly increased supply. This led to record prices across all price categories from $100 posters up to $50,000.
2) The Number of Market Participants Multiplies...Again!
This is a market that clearly has the wind at it's back. (See 2017 year in review blog post for reasons why) At PAE, our goal is to bring at least 1000 new clients onboard.
A variety of factors that have been reported here led to a major influx of collectors, many from that are experienced in other collectibles categories. For this prediction, we deserve an A. However, PAE came a little short of generating 1000 new buyers, lowering our grade to A-.
3) A Focus on Tangible Assets Will Fan The Flames.
The White House is committed to spending money like a drunken sailor. This is already leading to a fall in the dollar and a rise in gold. What does this have to do with vintage concert posters? Plenty. This is the very beginning of a cycle of renewed inflation and desire for "hard assets".
Trump did spend like a drunken sailor, and interest rates rose to reflect a red hot economy. However, these monetary moves have not yet filtered into financial markets. Gold, which is a fair barometer for mainstream America’s taste for tangible assets moved sideways the entire year. It looks like the move in gold we predicted in 2018 is may now be underway as the price has increased 10% in the past 90 days.
4) Continued Growth at PAE
2017 was year of growth for PAE, growth in clients, growth in volume and growth in staff. In addition to our two principals, Glen and Scott, we now have 2 full time employees and 3 part time employees that each log about 20 hours each.
2018 represented records for us in terms of dollar volume, number of posters and number of customers. our team has grown to 3 full time and 4 part time members to assure that PAE remains the safe and secure place to buy, sell, and learn about Vintage Concert Posters.
5) Severe Supply Shock Hits Market.
There's a sound in the marketplace that started 2017 off as a murmur but has slowly grown into a roar. We're talking about a giant sucking sound of rapidly dwindling supply that has become pervasive in the marketplace.
Overall, there is a dramatic drop in the number of desirable posters that are 100% Original with no restoration. It’s commonplace to see major offerings where over half the top listings have restoration of some form or other. That being said, PAE had a record year of sellers and consigners that wanted to tap into our worldwide clientele that believe current prices remain ridiculously dirt cheap and are willing to pay whatever it takes to secure the best quality posters in existence. We were proud to offer collectors an incredible selection of high quality items in every price category.
6) Premiums for Artist Signed Material Explodes.
This is a trend we have seen steadily gaining steam over the past several years and we see an acceleration of this trend in 2018.
Big deal. Anyone could have predicted this trend. A total “No Brainer” trend that will continue to gather steam. Stay tuned for a future blog on this subject.
7) Interest in Grande Ballroom, Vulcan Gas and Armadillo World HQ Posters Climbs.
As more and more collectors enter the marketplace, interest will gravitate to areas that are currently under valued. Over the past 2-3 years we have seen an explosion in interest for all three of the venues listed above.
We nailed it when it comes to Armadillo World Headquarters posters. Demand for these went into thermo nuclear overdrive, as hot as any category out there. Grande posters have ALWAYS been popular and in demand. We saw an uptick, but no more of an uptick than the general market. Grande posters are a powder keg ready to EXPLODE, but what we envision didn’t fully happen in 2018. These are VASTLY under valued at today’s price levels, in our opinion. Vulcan Gas posters represent a fertile area for anyone that wants history, rarity and mind-blowing art for pennies on the dollar to what they may trade at one day. Stupid cheap compared to their San Francisco brethren.
8) and 9 ) Values of Large Size Fillmore and AOR Posters Explodes
Up until now, CGC has not had the capabilities to grade the large size Fillmore and AOR posters, but this situation is about to change. Look for these massive posters to command substantial premiums once CGC commences grading in the coming weeks!
We jumped the gun on this one. We thought CGC would start grading these posters much earlier in the year, and that collector demand and commensurate prices would jump forward. CGC didn’t get started on this until the second half of the year, and little supply has entered the marketplace so far. The large format posters that have appeared have been VERY well received, watch for fireworks in this category in 2019.
10) Renewed Focus on Handbills and Postcards
It's no secret that a concert handbill is far easier to counterfeit than a concert poster. Third party authentication and grading by CGC has brought much needed integrity to this overlooked area of the market. With the introduction of CGC, we have seen an explosion of interest in concert handbills, now that collectors can acquire them with confidence.
Another no brainer trend that is in it’s VERY early days. This segment of the market had been left for dead due to a multitude of authentication issues. Independent authentication and grading by CGC has solved all this with a beautiful package. Collectors can get the same iconic art, the same legendary bands, and in some cases rarity that EXCEEDS the poster for a fraction of the money the posters command. A Grand Slam that leaves collectors with an insatiable appetite for these historic artworks.
Or next blog, to be published shorty, will disclose our predictions for 2019.