WATA's website does not say there's a cap on liability. It's been claimed in various places that there is one, but the website doesn't say there is. "** Liability is included in the base price for games valued below $1000. Games valued from $1000 to $2499 are gradually charged more on a sliding scale for liability. Games valued $2,500 and up are charged an additional 2% of their declared value. If we find games on an order are undervalued we may have to adjust pricing on the order for correct liability costs."
We've covered this already several pages back, but the point of a policy against 'employees' getting games graded has nothing to do with whether they spend many hours at the company's office. It's to avoid the very obvious appearance of potential bias in the grading. It doesn't matter whether Mark spends hours or no time at all at WATA's office. It's silly to argue semantics about the term 'employee' because it entirely misses the point of why such a policy exists in the first place. People with their name in lights on a grading company's website should not be getting their games graded by that company, because it makes it extremely difficult for anyone to believe the company is being fair and unbiased in grading games.
I agree that the video didn't actually prove anything illegal wrt the "Carolina Collection", but it seems fatuous to pretend not to see that there's a problem there. WATA isn't putting these "provenances" on labels for shits and giggles, they're doing it because they think it makes the items more prestigious in some way. It doesn't matter whether you agree or not, the point is that, again, there's an obvious issue of bias and conflict of interest if WATA is handing out these provenances to people involved with the company. Think how your argument would look made from WATA's point of view - "it's fine for us to stick a provenance on these games owned by a person involved with the company, because provenances are bullshit and nobody cares". The obvious response is "then why are you inventing them and sticking them on labels in the first place?"
You're eliding a key point in saying it's fine for Deniz/WATA to pump game values because they're a startup and that's what startups do. It's fine for a startup to talk up the value of its product. But that's not what those cases are about. They're talking up the value of the product they graded. WATA's product, ostensibly, is the grading service. They can go to town with talking up how awesome their grading service is, within the limits of not telling flat out lies and so on. But talking up the value of the graded games is a different thing. There are different opinions on how problematic it is for a grader to be talking up the value of the things they grade, but it's not the same thing as Bob's Apple Co. talking up the value of Bob's Apple Co.'s apples.
I also agree that the video didn't come up with much that people "in the industry" didn't know already, but it wasn't for people "in the industry". It was for people who keep seeing news stories about games selling for millions of dollars, to alert them to the stuff that you wizened oldsters already know.
The casting news is new, although the movie itself has been announced for several years now... Besides, I think a lot of the current "investors" in sealed videogames have factored the next 150 years of hype fuelled growth just into the current prices!
Maybe if the buyer of the 1.56 million dollar Mario 64 lives to the year 2250 he'll finally see a return on his "investment"! 🤣
A good friend won a Mario Party 3 recently. Several of us have noticed small differences when comparing it to another legitimate box. (pics provide)
- Color is slightly different and text on back too. Its not off in a way repro usually is.
- Color isn't full off, slightly "paler". very faint but noticed, especially back red strip.
- Major thing is it doesn't have built in tray like all the others.
- feel and touch is authentic
I'm thinking its a repro (very good one) due to the things mentioned about but others (deemed to be quite knowledgeable) claim it is legit and a rare "variant". I was possibly thinking misprint or error but a double whammy without a tray just makes it harder to believe.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
If more pics are needed, please let me know and I can provide.
Who wants to hear my opinion on Karl Jobst's video? Well here it is, I finally watched it.
The first thing I'll say is this guy must be new to YouTube because I saw his video when he first posted it but kept skipping over it because it blended in with the rest of the videos like:
OMG, LOOK WHAT HAPPENED! LOL WTF
DOCTORS DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW THIS!!!!!!
THESE FOODS WILL CUT FAT. NUMBER 3 WILL SURPRISE YOU!!!
He put WATA and SCAM! in huge letters across the front of the video, of course I skipped over it. My brain has been trained to ignore anything that demands my attention on YouTube, it's never anything worth looking at. However, today I finally watched it to see what it was all about and I have to say I'm now dumber for having watched it so I wasn't far off with my initial assertion.
The video started by talking about how the most expensive video game sold at that time was $30,000 and it was the same Super Mario Bros. that sold for much more less than a year later. What? No it wasn't, where did he get this information? I followed an Atari Age sale of the first complete Air Raid ever found and it sold for $30,300, making headlines the following morning. This prompted others to check their stashes and then a more complete copy (with instructions) was discovered and then sold for $33,000 to the same buyer. This was WELL before that Super Mario Bros. sold for $30,000.
Then he spoke about how the grading cost of more expensive games was 2% of the game value so on a $2,000,000 game it could be $20,000!!!!!!!!! No it isn't, Wata specifically states a grading cost cap on their website and any basic research would have uncovered this but he was lazy.
He then speaks about how Heritage Auctions was trusting a grading company with no history to back it up instead of going to VGA and partnering with a company that has a history of trusted grading. He says the only way they would allow this is if someone from Heritage was involved with the creation of Wata which he then points out is the case. I've got a secret for you guys, sometimes all it takes to partner with another company is to simply ask them and VGA just never asked. So Wata comes along, they're new and they ask to partner with Heritage. Heritage does what any established company would do and says, "Sure but only if one of our directors can sit on your board to make sure you're making all the right decisions." And that's what happened. This happens every day, when 2 companies partner, the larger company puts someone on the board of the smaller company to ask the right questions and make sure they don't fuck it up. This isn't new.
He spoke about how Deniz took his game on Pawn Stars and claimed it was worth a million dollars, thus artificially inflating the market. First of all, Deniz never gave it a value, he literally said the sky was the limit. Second of all, how? If I tell you my games are worth a million dollars, is that inflating anything? Nobody's going to pay 6 figures for an item just because someone on the television says so unless that person is a moron. So if you're admitting you would do that, you're a moron. Pat Contri went on Pawn Stars and claimed his 2 games were worth more than $35,000 which at the time they were not. Does that mean he was inflating the market? I'm going to give you a secret about Pawn Stars, they just bring in people with rare collectables to get content for the show, they line up outside and the show brings them in for filming one at a time. Deniz came in as an expert grader and Rick acted like he just called Deniz up but Wata is in Colorado, Deniz was already standing outside just waiting to be called in, it's all set up. That's how shows work, it's all staged, do you actually believe these people are strolling in off the street?
Okay, then he says he has a problem with these buyers not being true collectors. Why? Who cares? Do you think anyone buying rare comic books is going for a full set? I don't understand why that matters.
Then he complains that a printed article notes this dentist guy is one of the most avid collectors in the hobby but then Karl uncovers the truth that this guy didn't even start collecting until the previous year, he's just in it for the money! DUN DUN DUN! Dude, this no-name that wrote the article doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to video games, he's just freelancing content to get paid and does the most minimal research possible to get the story printed. You can't complain he got such a minimal point incorrect that this person hasn't actually been collecting his whole life, journalists are constantly printing things that just hype up whatever they're writing about, don't obsess about that.
Throughout the entire video, Jobst talks about how much Deniz hypes up the market any time he's interviewed and complains how Deniz constantly says these games should be selling for millions of dollars or how there will eventually be a million dollar sale soon. And? He's the owner of a startup company, people do this shit all the time. I'm working for a company that's less than 10 years old, if you asked our CEO about our product, he'd tell you it's the coolest shit ever made and you should invest now before the company sells for a billion dollars. That's how startup companies work, you hype them up until they either succeed or fail but you don't do an interview in a national news story and say, "Yeah, it's pretty cool I guess but you probably shouldn't buy the games because they're not really worth that much."
The meat of the entire argument seems to hinge on the fact that Wata's directors are manipulating the market by grading their games with Wata and then selling them on the open market, somehow going against Wata's terms that employees shouldn't be allowed to sell games. Ya........EMPLOYEES. Company directors aren't employees, have you ever seen a board director strolling through your office? I'm on the board for multiple companies and I don't do shit with them, I'm either just a financial investor or I'm an adviser to the executive team or they just want to use my name on their marketing material because I've been doing this for 20 years and I'm well known in the industry. If you asked if I was actually an employee of any of these companies, I'd say no but I'm listed on all of their websites. Mark Haspell has probably never (or rarely) been to the Wata office and I'd be willing to bet that Wata simply put him on payroll as a formality just to put his face on their website to gain other investors. He does not work there.
Then the worst offender, he claims how upset he is that Wata gave the special name of The Carolina Collection to Jeff's collection he bought from Dain, thus adding value to those games and artificially inflating the value of them. Da fack? Has anyone EVER paid more for a graded game because it was from The Carolina Collection? I have openly participated in discussions on this forum and read multiple responses from people how they would prefer not to have that written on their game and would avoid buying them if another was available. Seriously, I'd like a show of hands if you would pay $500 more for a game because it's from that collection. What is he smoking?
Then he goes on about how sometimes people will get a game graded and if it doesn't come back high enough, they'll repeatedly open it and re-submit it until it gets a higher grade as some mistake from the grader. But then that was it, he didn't show any examples of this happening, he didn't accuse Wata of it, I was left confused why he even mentioned it. The entire segment could have been removed.
This is one of my favourite parts, he complains about how Mark Haspell was buying up these popular games prior to Wata blowing up and then benefiting from selling them after the prices increased. But then he says, "While this isn't actually illegal, it's bad form." If it isn't illegal, why should anyone care? I thought this video was about how there was illegal collusion and market manipulation, now it's about morals?
And then the question everyone seems to be asking, why doesn't Wata have population reports like every other grading company? Why are they holding back the reports? Why are they manipulating the market by not letting people know how common these games are? I have 2 problems with this, my short answer is that none of these other companies had population reports on the day they started grading. Wata has been a company for 2 years, did VGA provide population reports in year 2 or did it take a few years before that got rolled out? People act like Wata has been around for decades. And the long answer is that this is common knowledge for anyone that is actually into collecting so it doesn't matter anyway. I've been doing this for more than 10 years, I can tell you with near certainty how many graded Super Mario 64 are out there and also what those grades are. I can tell you how common all of these games are in sealed format and tell you some of the persons whom own them. But now because you came into the market a year ago to try and do what I've been doing for a decade, you're getting your panties in a twist because a decade's worth of knowledge isn't handed over to you? Too bad, if you want to go to school, you have to pay your tuition.
I just think it was inaccurate, amateur and referenced a lot of things that anyone in the industry for long enough would know the difference on. I hope I don't have to watch anything as bad as that for a long time.
I only have one more thing to add. He kind of touched on it in the video but Pat seems to have a huge problem with this.......apparently people from Heritage aren't allowed to be on the board at Wata because they're selling the same games they're grading? And? Let me ask this question, imagine you started a MASSIVE online auction store like eBay and you just went live, you're making a killing on it. Then you have some pretty high end artwork in your home that you decide you would like to sell but also use to get some attention on your new auction company. Would you sell that artwork on your competition's website or would you sell it on your auction website? Not one person here would go to eBay because it's ridiculous, you'd sell it through your own company to get the attention and raise your company's profile. So if you had high end graded games and needed to sell them, you're going to use your own Heritage Auctions company to do so. And so did Jim.
Oh boy, here we go! Chris Pratt, Jack Black and Seth Rogan have been cast in a new Mario movie scheduled for release on December 21st, 2022.
I wonder if this is going to add even more fuel to the whole Mario/video game collecting madness!?
Stock up on/Buy all things Nintendo before prices really go crazy, lol!!!
Nintendo casts Chris Pratt as Super Mario for 2022 movie (yahoo.com)
After an exhausting comparison search between all the listings of the 2 usernames, none of the wata case id's match. Coincidence it is than. Now I can focus back to finding out who the rest of the bidders are.