Whether buying or selling, everyone wants to make an informed decision about value paid and received. Psychedelic Art Exchange offers an extensive free Past Auction Results database which is an informative tool that can assist you with your collecting decisions.
The database is highly searchable by the venue, band, grade, CGC, artist signed, etc. We recommend searching by "All" our past auctions for the items of interest. Enter your search term, hit the "Submit" button, and everything we've sold in past auctions is shown. Each past listing includes a super high res photo of the lot, description, date sold, and the price realized.
Keep the following in mind when accessing this information:
1) Values can and will fluctuate.
The same poster can bring wildly fluctuating prices on different days depending on who shows up at any given auction to bid. In every auction we conduct, some lots slip through the cracks. They end up selling for less than they should have, or have previously sold for in the past. Also, in every single auction, will be lots that draw intense interest and bidding competition. This frenzy drives price realized above what market observers expect, or above a comparable item's price in the past.
This means that if you're looking to acquire a particular item, it may be unrealistic to expect to pick that item up for the same "steal" some other lucky collector previously snagged. Conversely, if you are consigning to an auction, it can be equally unrealistic to think your item will receive the same runaway bid that some other consigner enjoyed.
2) Size Matters! (Sample size that is…).
Because values can and do fluctuate widely as discussed in #1, sample size dramatically increases the accuracy of valuations. This means that if you have 3 - 5 previous auction results for a given item, you will have a much more accurate estimation of value compared to if just one prior sale has taken place.
3) Historical Context is Important.
It's no secret to readers of this blog that the market for vintage concert posters is exploding in popularity. Prices realized years ago can be no more relevant today than what shares of Facebook traded for at it's IPO, or what oceanfront homes in Malibu sold for long ago. Values can, and do, go up and down often, and it's essential to take into account where the market is NOW, compared to the dates of the previous auction sales you uncover.
4) Small Differences in Condition = Huge Difference in Value.
When researching past auction results, be sure to take the concert poster's condition into account. In today's quality conscious market, small differences in condition often lead to considerable differences in prices realized. When comparing a past sale to a current opportunity to buy or sell, be sure to take this into account.
5) Understand CGC Premiums.
When researching past auction results, it is critical to understand that the value of ungraded items to items that are independently authenticated and graded by CGC cannot be fairly compared. Like every other major collectible such as rare coins, comic books, baseball cards, and postage stamps, collectors are willing to pay HUGE premiums for material that has been independently authenticated and graded.
This is because CGC provides an unbiased opinion on the quality and condition of the poster, free from the conflicts of interest inherent in non-CGC material. Any professional restoration that is only apparent to the highly trained eye will be fully disclosed. Piece liquidity is greatly enhanced, and the airtight holder is the safest and most secure way to store the material.
Read our previous coverage on the benefits of CGC authentication and grading:
If you're buying an item that is CGC graded, do NOT expect to pay the same low price that an ungraded piece of the same issue sold for. If you're selling a non-graded item, do NOT expect to receive the equally high value that a CGC graded item realized. Whether buying or selling, comparing the values of CGC graded material directly to non-CGC graded material will lead to disappointment. Adjust your expectations accordingly and be realistic.
6) Collectibles are not stocks and bonds. Every item is unique!
When researching past auction results, it's imperative to remember that every single poster is different and every collector has different tastes and opinions about desirability. Because of this, we HIGHLY recommend that you carefully review the description and photo of each item sold and not solely rely on an item's grade, date sold, and the price realized.
For example, you can have a poster graded 8.5 that is considered DEAD MINT except for a single pinhole. Then, have another poster graded 8.5 that is free of any pinholes, but exhibits light handling. Some collectors are willing to pay more for the former, and others are willing to pay more for the latter. So be sure to take a holistic approach to research values and be sure to incorporate ALL relevant determinants of value. Including the most important factor of all…your own personal tastes!
7) When in Doubt Get an Expert Opinion.
Please know that whether buying or selling, we stand ready to assist you any way possible. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or information you need. You can be confident you'll receive the highest quality information and advice available today!