Everyone was of course shocked on 1/26/20 when Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash.
What ensued in the following minutes and hours was a mad rush to pick up his autograph.
There is almost never a good time to talk about topics like this, but it is a part of the autograph industry. Many of you have asked about my opinion on the Kobe Bryant market, so I put together my thoughts below and in video format above.
Let's talk about 4 things related to this topic.
#1 WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MARKET RIGHT AFTER HIS DEATH?
What you saw was a mad rush to eBay, Amazon, and Panini's site to try and pick up as many autographs as possible. Panini was the exclusive memorabilia provider for Kobe.
Sellers were increasing their prices. Auctions were started. Sellers were trying to capitalize on the market and buyers trying to get the best possible deal.
Items quickly became out of stock, especially the limited edition Panini items.
When I made this video on 1/31/20 there were 7 Panini jerseys that sold for an average price of $7,000 (via eBay auction). Pricing ranged from $4,600-$12,445.
There were 33 PSA DNA authenticated custom jerseys that sold. Average price of $2,900 (via eBay auction) and a range of $999-$8,000.
Really never seen anything like this in the industry. A super star die at such a young age during the autograph era.
Even when Roberto Clemente or Thurman Munson died, there wasn't a mad rush like this. Mainly because autographs just weren't signed as much and no internet.
#2 WHERE IS THE MARKET CURRENTLY AS OF 1/31/20?
Still no inventory on Panini's website. The highest Panini jersey being auctioned off was at $8,300. Highest PSA DNA one was $4,050. You had the option of buying signed jersey numbers (just the #, no jersey) for $1,075.
#3 WHERE DOES HIS MARKET GO FROM HERE?
All depends what Panini does. If they have product to sell they will set the going rate since no one is going to pay over what Panini is asking for the same exact product.
I am speculating they do have product, but I do not know for certain.
Looks like there is just a TON of these PSA DNA certed numbers and jerseys on the market. Be very careful with these. While yes, they are authenticated by PSA DNA, it just seems that there are WAY too many of these on the market. I would buy a Panini authenticated item over a PSA DNA item.
If you can wait, I would suggest giving the market some time to settle down. Yes, some items will go out of stock and pickings will be slim. But, you may save some money. However if you do see something you 100% love and have the money for it, buy it. You don't want to be kicking yourself later.
I can see the market coming down about 25% as sellers post a high asking price, then drop it when no sales come in. If you can be patient, it might pay off for you. Do not buy an autograph on the anniversary of his death as prices will be raised during that time.
Kobe signed a lot of product, so there will be autographs available. Just be willing to spend.
#4 WHAT SHOULD YOU PAY?
The million dollar question. Unfortunately, I do not have a crystal ball. Just going off of my knowledge and experience in the industry.
I would think paying $2,000-$2,500 for one of those custom PSA DNA certed jerseys would be a good price. There seems to be more of those out there than Panini jerseys.
Panini ones I do not see coming down in price. Those are in high demand and very few out there. If you have the money, I would spend it on a Panini jersey, 100% authentic and officially licensed. Not going to get any better quality than that.
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