The high price of seeing Godzilla Minus One
Godzilla: Minus One is an amazing movie

The weird world of collectibles/antiques

Classical economics teaches us that the price of an item is based on the conjunction of supply and demand.  Of course, in the real world other factors come into play, such as the cost of production, which is in turn influenced by scarcity of materials and effort/skill needed to make the thing.

Thus: the reason why aged wines are so expensive is in part because it takes so much time and effort to produce them.

That being said, the demand for the given item is usually the decisive element in price discovery.

One thing I've learns in collecting antiques (including firearms) is that in a lot of cases, supply is irrelevant in determining price; demand is what matters.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this can be found in the prices for M1 Garand rifles and M1911 pistols.  These things were made by the millions, yet demand for them remains strong enough to make them far more expensive than much more rare (and therefore collectible) firearms.  I can think of a couple of firearms whose production total was a full digit less than either of these, some maybe two digits less (that is tens of thousands vs millions), but since no one knows, no one cares. 

It's like vintage cars.  More than a decade ago I saw an AMC Pacer in perfect condition driving to a summer auto show.  It was the first one I'd seen since the 1970s, and I bet that if it were possible to do an actual tally, Corvettes or Firebirds form the same period would absolutely outnumber the surviving Pacers.

The thing is, who wants a Pacer?  Demand matters more than supply.

The same is certainly true of sports card, books and anything else one wants to collect.  The comic book bubble is a great example of what happens when demand suddenly collapses.

The lesson to the discerning collector is to buy based on what you want, not on what you think someone else will want later.


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