CGC Concert Posters

New York Times says Multi-Million Dollar Explosion in Baseball Card Values a Result of Independent Third Party Certification!

Vintage Concert Posters Independently Certified by CGC Also Exploding in Value!

The New York Times today has a VERY interesting story titled  Trading Cards: A Hobby That Became a Multi-Million Dollar Investment. Now wait a minute you might ask, "Isn't this a blog about collecting vintage concert posters?"

Independently graded baseball cards have exploded in value. Many collectors believe CGC graded concert posters will be next.

Independently graded baseball cards have exploded in value. Many collectors believe CGC graded concert posters will be next.

The answer is yes, and so is this blog post!

The article reports on how the value of the most desirable baseball cards have exploded in value from being worth thousands of dollars, to several hundred thousands of dollars all the way up to TEN MILLION DOLLARS EACH!

Importantly, The Times reports, "The driving force in turning a card hobby into an investment opportunity has been the acceptance of a single recognized grading system for the condition of the cards. An independent company called Professional Sports Authenticator will rate any card and give a grade from 0 to 10. which assesses a card's condition and, in most cases, determines its price."

For regular readers of this blog, this explosion in baseball card values is not news, nor a unique event. We have repeatedly explained that in each and every collectible market where independent third party authentication and grading has been introduced, an explosion in values for the finest quality and most sought after items has followed quickly behind. 

This has occurred in the market for rare coins, stamps, paper money, comic books, trading cards.

Why has this happened? The answer is simple. In collectibles, very small differences in quality equates to huge differences in value. This sets up a conflict of interest between the seller and buyer as the seller is hugely incentivized to grade their material as high as possible.

In addition, authentication is always an issue, particularly in paper collectibles such as rare currency, stamps, comic books, trading cards and yes, concert posters. It's alot easier to forge something made of paper that a coin minted from gold. Professional restoration that makes an item appear to be in Mint Condition -- even though it's been heavily damaged-- can also be impossible for anyone but an expert to detect.

Independent third party authentication and grading solves these problems and allows collectors to participate in a hobby in a safe and secure way. Once these collectors enter a new market, demand quickly overwhelms the tiny available supply and prices increase.

CGC Graded Concert Posters - Where Are We Now?

Nothing in this world happens in a vacuum...everything is relative to something else. That's why many experienced collectors believe that vintage concert posters that have been independently authenticated and graded by CGC represent the single most lucrative collectible opportunity in the marketplace today!

( CGC is a recognized leader in the third party authentication and grading of collectibles. They have graded literally many billions of dollars in collectibles and has just recently begun offering their service for vintage concert posters.)

This market viewpoint is rooted in fact. Last week we completed our 9th Anniversary Auction of of 200 CGC graded concert posters. Included in the auction were two classic rarities, The World Famous Bill Graham #2 Batman and The Legendary Family Dog #2 King Kong. These two posters realized $14,376 and $31,051 respectively.

Each of these posters are so rare that they were the very FIRST CGC graded examples to ever be offered at public auction. They are also some of the most valuable posters in the entire marketplace. The fact that these Ultra Rarities can still be acquired for literally pennies on the dollars  compared to ever other major collectible tells you we are in the early days of this exciting collectible. 

There's an old saying, "that which cannot go on forever, will eventually end." This slogan can be aptly applied to the current, ultra affordable price levels of vintage concert posters. It's still possible to acquire beautiful Original First Printings in Museum Quality condition, featuring legendary bands performing at historic venues for less than a dinner for two at a decent restaurant. In fact, bidding on most lots in our auctions start at just $1.00!! And as described above, you can still acquire the very finest rarities available for well under $50,000. 

Clearly, the time to collect is now, while prices are still dirt cheap and before this window of opportunity slams shut forever!

Read the entire New York Times story here.

To learn more about CGC graded concert posters, read our blogs dated 4/3/17,  7/7/17, and 8/29/17.

5 Reasons to Get Your Concert posters CGC Graded & Authenticated Right Now!

Third party CGC grading and authentication offers an opportunity where you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. This blog examines why it is imperative to get any posters you now own graded and authenticated by CGC right now. And why any new acquisitions you make should be CGC graded and authenticated, if at all possible.

This poster was sold to a consigner as 100% Original and unrestored. This was false.

This poster was sold to a consigner as 100% Original and unrestored. This was false.

1) CGC Discloses Hidden Restoration. As with all collectibles, collectors are willing to pay premium prices for 100% Original material that is in superb condition with no restoration. In every one of our auctions, you will find posters that have been restored. In almost all cases, these are posters that were sold to our consigners as original, unrestored pieces. 

Modern restoration techniques can be all but impossible to detect. Tears can be restored and pinholes can be filled in. Why not find out now if the posters you own have been accurately represented.

You may not think this can happen to you, but every single day we have to break bad news to collectors. Most of these collectors are willing to take their lumps and chalk it off to a class at the school of hard knocks. Those are the posters you see as restored in our auctions. Others tell us to ship the posters back so they can remove them from the CGC holders and sell them in other venues where CGC authentication and grading is not considered important. 

This poster was sold to a consigner as an Original First Printing.It is not.

This poster was sold to a consigner as an Original First Printing.It is not.

2) CGC Discloses Mis-Attribution. It can often be difficult to tell the difference between an Original First Printing and a Reprint. Many times the differences can only be determined by a seasoned expert. In every auction, we have reprints that were sold to the consigners as Original First Printings. The difference in value between the two can be monumental.

We believe it's better to be safe than sorry. And like the consigners mentioned above in #1, some choose to take their lumps and sell the posters as reprints in our auction. Others ask for the posters back so they can be removed from the holders and sold in other venues.

This poster, while super clean, failed to get a 9.0 or better grade. It was purchased by our consigner as "Dead Mint".

This poster, while super clean, failed to get a 9.0 or better grade. It was purchased by our consigner as "Dead Mint".

3) CGC Provides Unbiased Opinion About Condition. Like all collectibles, for any specific issue, value is based largely on condition. The same poster can be worth multiples of the same issue in a lesser state of preservation. Given the price differences for small differences in quality, why not have an unbiased opinion from someone that doesn't have any skin in the game?

Every auction we feature items that were originally sold as "Near Mint" or "Mint". While these posters may be very clean, some are still graded 8.0 or 8.5 by CGC's very conservative standards. If you pay for a premium quality poster, you might as well be assured that you are receiving what you bargained for.

4) CGC Provides an Immediate Boost in Value to your Collection. Hopefully the posters in your collection are all accurately graded, correctly attributed and free from undisclosed restoration. If this is the case, then CGC grading and authentication will provide an immediate boost in value and liquidity to your collection. 

Demand is rapidly growing for CGC graded material. Many the collectors that we deal with demand CGC grading and authentication for any contemplated acquisition as long as it is an issue that CGC currently offers the service. In other collectibles markets, it's all but impossible to sell an item without third party authentication and grading. Most collectors see no reason to risk their hard earned money.This trend will continue to grow with each passing day.

5) CGC Creates Opportunities Make no mistake about it, many collectors are very happy to buy non CGC graded material. Every day we deal with experienced collectors that are snapping up gem quality material from sources they have cultivated and trust and that have proven to be reliable over time. These posters are then sent to CGC and are instantly worth more and are more liquid.

This is possible because in the great majority of cases, a poster without CGC grading can be acquired for less than posters with CGC grading due to all the risks outlined above. If you are an experienced collector that has sources to buy properly attributed material with out CGC grading, and you have verified this by submitting their material to CGC, then these sources can provide lucrative arbitrage opportunities. Our advice would be to buy all you can while this window of opportunity remains open.

If you are new collector that has not yet acquired years of experience and expertise, then CGC third party authentication and grading allows you to participate with with confidence in this exploding new marketplace. 

6) The Bottom Line The bottom line is very simple. Submitting your posters to CGC is an opportunity where you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If your material has been correctly represented, you will enjoy an immediate premium that CGC commands. If you have acquired material that has been mis-represented, then it's better to know now, before you throw good money after bad. Either way, you will be in a better position to take advantage of what many experienced collectors believe is the most lucrative and exciting collectible opportunity in the world today!

If you have posters or handbills that you would like to submit to CGC, we will take care of everything for you. Email Scott@ConcertPosterGallery.com

2017 Q2 Concert Poster Market Update (Pt.2)

For every action, there is a reaction. Last week we discussed the intense focus on quality, originality and the widespread acceptance of CGC grading. These three developments have greatly influenced the vintage concert poster market in the following ways:

Exponential growth of new customers. During the first half of 2017 we’ve seen a huge influx of collectors that entering this market for the very first time. These are folks that are already active collectors of rare coins, comic books, baseball cards and other popular collectibles. They understand and are familiar with the advantages of third party grading.

These experienced collectors feel confident that they can now acquire vintage concert posters and know they are getting what they bargained for. Time and time again, we’re told that vintage concert posters represent an extraordinary value when compared to more mature collectibles markets that have already “been bid up.”

Widening premiums between grades. Now that CGC is grading concert posters, we are starting to see a widening of values between each individual grade. This should be a surprise to no one. The very purpose of any grading service is to distinguish differences in quality among examples of the same issue. Once these differences are established, common sense dictates values will be differentiated as well.

Record Prices. The influx of experienced collectors from other markets is steadily producing world record prices for the highest graded and finest known examples of various issues. This is simply the result of growing demand and a fixed supply.

The market has greatly increased the number of market participants, and these participants have greatly increased confidence to “pay up” when a special opportunity presents itself. While prices are just beginning to increase, premiums for high grade material continue to be a tiny fraction of what is commanded in every other collectibles market. Really great coins, comic books and baseball cards regularly bring over $1,000,000 each while the very rarest and finest quality vintage concert posters don't six figures at auction. Clearly, this is STILL VERY EARLY days for these wonderful pieces of art.

Huge media attention. In addition to the structural market factors previously discussed, this market is also growing fast due to huge tailwinds generated by the media. The 50th Anniversary of The 1967 Summer of Love has been extensively reported on and celebrated across the country. TV specials, concerts, museum exhibits and other special events commemorating 1967 continue to be enjoyed by literally millions of people around the world.

The triumphant and critically praised 2017 tour of Dead and Company, as well as the recent deaths of Chuck Berry and Greg Allman have also shined a bright light on the UNSURPASSED HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE of vintage rock concert posters. ( Chuck Berry and Allman Brothers posters are experiencing huge demand)

A perfect storm. All of the factors discussed i the past 2 blog posts have created a perfect storm that has been over 50 years in the making. It’s really exciting to be a participant in this marketplace at this unique moment in time.  Massive events are being held around the world in appreciation of the historical importance of the music and culture of the late 1960’s.

Vintage rock concert posters are the most tangible and collectible historic artifacts of this era. They are also beautiful, rare and dirt cheap compared to every other collectible. We recommend filling out your collection now, while most issue are still super affordable.

2017 Q2 Concert Poster Market Update (Pt.1)

The first half of 2017 is now over and it can safely be said that the market for vintage concert posters is evolving at an exponential rate! Activity and interest is at an all time high fueled by the following developments:

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Intense Focus on Quality. One of the signs this market is starting to mature is a heightened focus on state of preservation. Even though quality is the number one value determinate of every other major collectible such as coins, comic books, baseball cards, stamps,etc, this concept is still relatively new among vintage concert poster collectors.

It wasn’t that long ago that mint condition posters brought very little premium compared to damaged examples. Collectors now recognize that the percentage of posters that have survived in mint condition represent a miniscule fraction of what was originally produced.

The competition for these beautiful Gems has really begun to heat up because knowledgeable collectors understand that the premiums commanded in today’s market for mint condition are STILL just a tiny fraction of what is commanded in every other collectible. These collectors believe this situation is temporary-- so the race is on to assemble mint condition collections while prices are still dirt cheap.

Intense Focus on Originality. Up until a few years ago, collectors would think nothing of taking a 100% original concert poster with minor problems and have it “improved” through restoration. This situation has changed drastically and has now also fallen in line with other collectible markets.

Today’s collectors are focused on 100% original posters with no restoration. Most collectors we deal with would rather have a poster that is 100% original and completely “unmessed with”, than have a poster in their collection that has had paper added to fill in pinholes or ink and color added that was not part of the original poster.

The thinking can best be summed up this way: When it comes to restoration, where do you draw the line between owning “the real thing” versus owning something that is “not 100% real’? The answer to this question must be answered by each individual collector for themselves. But collectively, the people and the marketplace have spoken. Today’s collectors are focusing on 100% original posters with no restoration. Values and demand for original posters are growing faster than those of comparable restored examples.

Widespread acceptance of CGC. Independent authentication and grading by CGC is a market development that was inevitable and long overdue. In today’s fast growing market for vintage concert posters, small differences in quality represent large differences in value. This generates an inherent conflict of interest between buyers and sellers that results in several problems. First, the seller, naturally, is incentivized to grade their posters as high as possible in order to sell it for as much as possible. Second, just because the dealer you buy a poster from grades it a certain way, that is no guarantee that anyone else will agree with that grade when the time comes for you to sell. Third, if you have a really superior “finest known” example of a poster you wish to sell, it will be hard to realize the extra value that is inherent in the quality of your item without independent verification. Fourth, if you have a poster you wish to sell that is not CGC graded, no dealer can give you an accurate quote without in person inspection. Lastly, if you are new to a collectible field, you won’t have the expertise or knowledge to determine for yourself whether a poster has been professionally restored or if it the actual printing (or reprint) that it is represented to be.

Psychedelic Art Exchange believes that third party authentication and grading by CGC is a major leap forward for collectors of vintage concert posters and handbills. CGC is an internationally recognized leader in third party authentication and grading of collectibles. They have graded literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of rare coins, comic books and rare currency over the past 20+ years.

We have made the decision that if a poster is eligible for CGC grading, we will ALWAYS have it submitted to CGC before it is offered for sale.(Unless the poster is of negligible value under $100)  Why? The answer is really simple. We want to be on “the same side of the table” as our loyal and highly valued clients. And we want to offer a safe and secure platform for collectors to CONFIDENTLY buy and sell. In other words, we believe that by doing what’s in the best long term interests of our clients, we are actually doing what is in the best long term interest for our company and the marketplace as a whole. It’s an old fashioned idea that often gets lost in today’s fast paced world.

Currently, CGC grades all of the posters featured in The Art of Rock by Paul Grushkin, (subject to size constraints), and all of the posters in The Collector’s Guide to Psychedelic Rock Concerts Posters, Postcards and Handbills, 1965-1973 by Eric King. (Again,subject to some limited size constraints). Mr.King’s encyclopedic Guide features the entire concert poster series from the Family Dog Avalon Ballroom, Bill Graham Fillmore Auditorium, Grande Ballroom, Neon Rose and Vulcan Gas. CGC has announced that in the future they will continue to expand the universe of posters eligible for their service.

If a poster is not currently eligible for CGC grading, we will offer it in a PAE certified package similiar to CGC, as we have for the past 10 years. Every PAE certified item is backed IN WRITING by a Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity and Grade. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the strongest guarantee available anywhere in the world and it’s a guarantee that has earned us a loyal clientele around the world before CGC grading was introduced.

One final note. CGC grading is a new market development and just a tiny fraction of the posters that have survived the past 50 years have been CGC graded and authenticated. Just because a poster does not have CGC grading does NOT mean there is anything wrong with it. Like all collectibles, it’s simply a matter of the condition you receive and the price that you pay.

Are you knowledgeable enough to tell an Original First Printing from a reprint? Are you experienced enough to detect expert restoration that can be almost impossible to detect? Are you confident enough to “pay up” for a high condition example based on the opinion of the person selling it to you? Do you know collectors that will pay YOU top dollar for your collection based on solely on your opinion? Certainly, we know many experienced and sophisticated collectors that are regular readers of this blog that can answer “Yes” to these questions.

But the great majority of today’s market participants would be better served, for all of the reasons outlined above, to stick with posters that have been independently authenticated and graded by CGC. Third party grading is the defacto standard in every other collectibles market, and the numerous advantages are now readily available to any collector of vintage concert posters that seeks them out.

Part 2 of this market update will be posted 7/13/17.

CGC Concert Posters Bringing Record Prices!

Every poster we offer is independently authenticated & graded by CGC (if eligible) — Here's why:

This Jefferson Airplane/Jimi Hendrix (BG-69) Fillmore Concert Postcard CGC graded 9.8 sold for a record $357 in our auction earlier this year!

This Jefferson Airplane/Jimi Hendrix (BG-69) Fillmore Concert Postcard CGC graded 9.8 sold for a record $357 in our auction earlier this year!

The collectibles marketplace is buzzing with the news of greatly increased activity and record prices that are being recorded for Vintage 1960’s Concert Posters that have been independently authenticated and graded by CGC.

CGC does not currently grade every concert poster ever produced. However, every poster eligible for independent authentication and grading will be submitted to CGC prior to sale or auction by Psychedelic Art Exchange.

This blog will examine who is buying these posters and handbills and why ......

Psychedelic Art Exchange has seen a huge influx of new collectors that are entering the market. These collectors are already knowledgeable and familiar with CGC and independent third party authentication and grading.

CGC has graded literally BILLIONS of dollars worth rare coins, comic books and paper money. There services are so ubiquitous, that NO SERIOUS AUCTIONS are held for the aforementioned collectibles without third party authentication and grading!

After all, why would a buyer want to “take the sellers word for it” when it comes to condition, especially when small differences in condition can mean such huge differences in value?

This beautiful Monterey International Pop Festival Concert poster CGC graded 9.6 sold for a record $4611 in our auction 2/17.

This beautiful Monterey International Pop Festival Concert poster CGC graded 9.6 sold for a record $4611 in our auction 2/17.

However, for collectors of Vintage Concert Posters, the advantages of third party authentication go way beyond this basic leveling of the playing field of buyers versus sellers.

First, Vintage Concert Posters have been can be broken up into two main categories, Original Printings that were produced before the concert, and Reprints that were released after the concert.

The differences in value between Original Printings and Reprints can be huge, but the differences in determining a Reprint from an Original can be miniscule.

CGC authentication solves this problem and allows the new collector to acquire these beautiful pieces of art with confidence, knowing they are getting exactly what they pay for.

Secondly, there is the matter of restoration.

In every collectibles market, a premium is placed on Originality. Many Vintage Concert posters have been expertly restored to “look Mint” and this restoration can be hard for the begging collector to detect. CGC solves this problem too.

 

 

 

 

This beautiful Doors Concert postcard (FD-D-18) CGC graded 9.8 sold for a record $241 in our recent auction.

This beautiful Doors Concert postcard (FD-D-18) CGC graded 9.8 sold for a record $241 in our recent auction.

The bottom line is that CGC has broken down the barriers and removed obstacles that have prevented new collectors from entering this exciting field.

These new collectors already understand how quality and rarity effects value. They understand these posters are historically important. They understand these posters were ssued in numbers of just hundreds or a few thousand, compared to the millions of coins, comic books and baseball cards that are regularly produced for just a single issue.They understand that paper is fragile and that a tiny percentage of the original issuance still survive today, 50 years after they were released. They understand that the premiums commanded for the very best quality pieces are incredibly small compared to other collectibles. They understand how to research and buy collectibles over the internet and at auction.

Most importantly, these new collectors understand that with independent, third party grading, they can use their skills and knowledge to participate in what many are calling the most exciting collectibles opportunity in the world today.They understand they can acquire a large, World Class collection for a fraction of just one major rarity in other collectible markets.

This influx of new collectors is now eagerly snapping up whatever CGC graded concert posters and handbills that become available. This growing demand is overwhelming the tiny available supply. And that's why prices are moving up at this time.

Stay tuned for future blog posts that will examine exactly which Vintage Concert posters these new collectors are targeting for acquisition.

New Opportunities for Vintage Concert Poster Collectors

Every collector should be aware of this lucrative short term opportunity to acquire certain Vintage Concert Posters at a significant discount.

The famous Aoxomoxoa concert poster is just one of hundreds that are too large to be currently submitted to CGC for third party grading and authentication

The famous Aoxomoxoa concert poster is just one of hundreds that are too large to be currently submitted to CGC for third party grading and authentication

It is now common knowledge in the collecting world that the marketplace for Vintage Concert Posters has received a huge injection of interest and new participants with the introduction of independent third party grading and authentication by CGC.

CGC is the very same organization that has graded literally billions of dollars of rare coins, paper money and comic books over the past 30 years.

CGC has changed many of the market dynamics, many of which have been examined recently in past articles on this blog. These changing dynamics include an increased focus on quality and originality (posters that have not been altered through restoration), and a commensurate increase in values for the same.

Today, we wish to make you aware of a brand new opportunity that involves acquiring posters that have NOT been graded by CGC, an opportunity that is quite lucrative and won’t last for very long.

Currently, the list of posters that CGC authenticates and grades is relatively limited. First and foremost, there is a size limitation of 15”x 23” or smaller. This is the largest size poster that CGC can currently fit into their airtight, archival holders.

Secondly, there are category limitations. CGC currently grades the following posters: The BG Fillmore Series, the FD Family Dog series, Grande ballroom posters, and posters that appear in The Art of Rock. While these posters represent a large group of the entire universe, there is still a huge number of posters that CGC does not grade including many very desirable and classic images and series.

Some of the posters that CGC does NOT currently grade include: the oversized Fillmore issues, the Kaleidoscope series, the Vulcan Gas Series, The Rock Garden Series, The Grateful Dead Translucent poster, the Aoxomoxoa and Hawaiian Aoxomoxoa posters the Beatles Candlestick poster,the original Acid Test Poster, The Vanessa Grande poster, the Trip or Freak poster, and hundreds of other rare and desirable posters.

 Good News for Collectors of Vintage Concert Posters!

We have just received notification from CGC that a larger holder is under development and will be introduced this year. This is obviously great news for collectors that wish to collect posters that are not currently graded by CGC, but want the confidence that third party grading and authentication offers.

More importantly, this announcement represents a major opportunity for the savvy collector that has the wherewithal to act when they understand what is going on around them. Let me explain:

As early as spring, 2009, we have implored  collectors to acquire 100% original posters with no restoration, in the highest possible condition they could locate and afford. You can review past issues of our blog, and see dozens of articles on this yourself.

Our prescient advice is a matter of public record. Some of the first posts on this subject can be found here:

Our logic was simple.  In other collectibles, the very best condition examples ALWAYS trade for  25x, 50x, or 100X the cost of a run of the mill example. At that time, you could buy the very best condition pieces for a small premium of 25-50%. We knew this was a situation that could not and would not continue. We also mentioned that it was only a matter of time before third party authentication and grading would revolutionize this marketplace.

Those collectors that have acted our advice, are very happy today. They have built collections comprised of posters that are a) much harder to find today, b)more expensive to acquire today.

We believe the same opportunity is presenting itself all over again right now! A huge variety of Vintage Concert Posters can be now acquired for significantly less than they will probably bring once they are eligible for CGC grading.

Only this time, the timing and payoff for the opportunity is much more certain. CGC grading is now a reality, more posters will become eligible for CGC grading in the coming months, and we have already seen prices rise for posters that have been graded by CGC! (Although current premiums for CGC posters of 1.5x-2x compared to non CGC posters, are still incredibly tiny compared to all other collectbles. Where you can expect to pay 10-20x or much more for the finest condition examples).

So our advice at this time is clear – and urgent.  It’s absolutely okay to pursue posters that have NOT been graded by CGC. Buy the highest quality condition posters you can locate and afford now, before they become eligible for CGC grading in the coming months. Just make sure authenticity is guaranteed and that there is no undisclosed restoration.

If you follow this advice, and the past is any guide, you will be rewarded with the ownership of a poster, or collection of posters that could cost a lot more to acquire in the future!

2016 Vintage Concert Poster Year in Review!

2016 was an exciting year for Vintage Concert Posters and the people that collect them. Let’s review the trends and events that have impacted this marketplace over the past 12 months:

1)   Major Museum Exhibits

Grateful Dead Vintage Concert poster.jpg

One of the most exciting developments in 2016 has been the proliferation of major museum exhibits around the world featuring Vintage Concert Posters. This is exciting on many levels. First, major museums would have ZERO interest in staging these types of exhibits if there was not an interest and appeal by the general public. The fact that these museums stage these exhibits tells you that the mainstream interest in our beloved concert posters is immense.

Secondly, these major museum exhibits have the effect of creating a huge amount of additional interest and exposure for these artworks. Literally millions of people are being educated and exposed to vintage concert posters that would not have otherwise known about them. This speaks volumes about the future health and interest in our hobby going forward.

Lastly, when major museums are constantly promoting Vintage Concert posters, they are implicitly providing an imprimatur on the quality of the artwork and the historical importance of them. Knowledgeable collectors understand the major importance of this type of endorsement—it cannot be bought, it can only be earned, and it makes Vintage Concert Posters 100 times more appealing to collect and display for oneself.

2)  Third Party CGC Grading

2016 is the year that independent third party authentication and grading of Vintage Concert Posters really started to flourish. CGC, the same organization that grades rare coins, paper money and comic books has become popular among collectors that are looking for an independent, unbiased opinion of what they are acquiring. CGC has become particularly popular with high grade material and for posters and handbills that have been frequently bootlegged and pirated.

3)  New Market Players

The result of major museum exposure combined with the availability third party authentication and grading has led to a large influx of new collectors into the marketplace. Collectors of most other collectibles are used to third party grading and understand the opportunity it presents. Now, someone that is just getting started, who is interested in these posters, can collect with confidence, knowing that they are getting exactly what they paid for.

4)  Record Prices

When you combine numbers 1,2, and 3 above, with a fixed and dwindling supply, you get record prices. To be sure, 2016 saw an increase in values as a larger number of collectors were chasing a constantly diminishing supply.

5)  Focus on Quality and Originality

By definition, third party grading differentiates the quality of one poster to another by assigning each poster a numerical grade. Before CGC, posters were described as either damaged or undamaged. Now posters are graded on a 10 point scale, in .1 increments. In addition, there has been a huge focus among many collectors on originality. This again, is a carryover from what is going on in other collectibles. There is a huge appeal to owning “the real thing”, not some doctored up Frankenstein piece that is part Vintage and part Modern. If all you want is something that looks cool and is undamaged, it’s far easier and less expensive to buy a Second or Third printing.

With the launch of our new website and blog, we have enabled readers to leave their own comments and observations. We would love to hear your comments about what you see as the important trends going on in today’s marketplace for Vintage Concert Posters. Feel free to join the conversation below!