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Lack of pop reports and inadvertent market manipulation


GPX
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I witnessed something in the recent weeks that I expect to see more of, but unfortunately, not in a good way. 

It was an eBay auction listing of a graded game, new but opened box. It was sold with the pretense of “the only new copy in the world”. Granted, this game was rare to find graded, but there are a lot of misleading points here:

1. It’s more meant to say “the only new copy, and a version specific to this country”, because there has been at least a dozen graded new copies in Pal/US form.

2. Also more specifically, it's “the only copy that has been graded so far, but I can’t be sure if there are other new copies that exist, that hasn’t yet to be graded”.

3. This game isn’t actually the only graded copy of a country-specific region! I have witnessed at least one other graded copy (in a different grade) about 6-7 years ago. 

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The third point in the above is what I find more disturbing. Because both the seller and the bidders may be completely unaware of the fact that other copies may exist. But because nothing has shown up over the past 5 years in the public forum, you can easily assume that this may genuinely be the only country-specific version of a graded game. So assuming the seller is unknowing of another one in existence, may describe it as such. Then the bidders bid according to the presumption that this is seriously rare, one-of-a-kind.

What has happened here, the TLDR version, is that market manipulation has occurred (false information) and the world is none-the-wiser, apart from maybe a handful of collectors who have witnessed 2 different graded copies existing in their lifetime. Values are going up due to false information, and this is likely to be propagated into the future until that second copy shows itself one day!

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Administrator · Posted

People lie on ebay all the time, I'd not try to use that as my smoking gun for market manipulation, personally.

That said, yes, we absolutely need pop reports. There's a lack of transparency in the market in general that will simply continue to harm hobbyists and only benefit investors.

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1 hour ago, obnoxious said:

Was it Wata graded? After all that's a very rare item.

Oh yeah, 5 years from now EVERY billionaire is gonna want the grilled cheese sandwich that sold on eBay for 16 grand! 😜

 

As for the OP, you know what, GOOD! The sky is falling and the chickens are coming home to roost. And let me tell you those birds are COOKED!

The more people get burned, the hotter, the harder, the faster, the sooner this freak market gets cauterized and settles back into the realm of logic.

Fuck dentists.

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23 hours ago, Gloves said:

People lie on ebay all the time, I'd not try to use that as my smoking gun for market manipulation, personally.

That said, yes, we absolutely need pop reports. There's a lack of transparency in the market in general that will simply continue to harm hobbyists and only benefit investors.

Yes, people lie and hype their items all the time on eBay. The example in the OP just irked me more than usual because anyone can easily say “only graded copy in the world” for a reasonably rare game, and without a pop report or being in the collecting scene for a few years, no one would know. Not even the seller, or the future sellers of the same game (until others surface). 

So there are intentional lies and there are unintended ones. A pop report could rectify most of the unintentional lies.

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20 hours ago, OptOut said:

Oh yeah, 5 years from now EVERY billionaire is gonna want the grilled cheese sandwich that sold on eBay for 16 grand! 😜

 

As for the OP, you know what, GOOD! The sky is falling and the chickens are coming home to roost. And let me tell you those birds are COOKED!

The more people get burned, the hotter, the harder, the faster, the sooner this freak market gets cauterized and settles back into the realm of logic.

Fuck dentists.

Firstly, not all dentists are bad. My uncle was one and he helped me did a filling once. Anyway..

Secondly, the example I gave in the OP isn’t actually anyone getting burned as such. The seller made a profit (likely), and the buyer is likely to resell at some stage absolutely believing that this is the only graded country-specific version of the game. There’s every chance the resell value might go up rather than down, due to the “one-of-a-kind” apparent status.

 

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Administrator · Posted
5 minutes ago, GPX said:

Yes, people lie and hype their items all the time on eBay. The example in the OP just irked me more than usual because anyone can easily say “only graded copy in the world” for a reasonably rare game, and without a pop report or being in the collecting scene for a few years, no one would know. Not even the seller, or the future sellers of the same game (until others surface). 

So there are intentional lies and there are unintended ones. A pop report could rectify most of the unintentional lies.

A few months ago while I was playing Oldschool Runescape, a popular Runescape Youtuber posted a video claiming he was the first in the world to get a specific item in a time limited mode. He wasn't, however - I had it well before he did. I'm just not a popular Youtuber and he's out there tryna get them views.

It's the same thing here. We know it's not the world's only copy of whatever game, this and that, etc.. But like with the Youtuber, it really wasn't worth me wasting my time typing out and potentially having to then defend my position on the situation, and at the end of the day who gives a shit; it's just a game. Dude's on ebay tryna make a buck, so he's gonna hype his wares. Same deal as R@RE L@@K HOLY GRAIL bullshit, they're just trying to get any attention at all on their item.

I'd focus my energy on the bigger fish, personally.

Not that I think this thread or your thoughts are moot or pointless or anything, by all means continue to discuss; just my thoughts. Your time is valuable!

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2 minutes ago, Gloves said:

A few months ago while I was playing Oldschool Runescape, a popular Runescape Youtuber posted a video claiming he was the first in the world to get a specific item in a time limited mode. He wasn't, however - I had it well before he did. I'm just not a popular Youtuber and he's out there tryna get them views.

It's the same thing here. We know it's not the world's only copy of whatever game, this and that, etc.. But like with the Youtuber, it really wasn't worth me wasting my time typing out and potentially having to then defend my position on the situation, and at the end of the day who gives a shit; it's just a game. Dude's on ebay tryna make a buck, so he's gonna hype his wares. Same deal as R@RE L@@K HOLY GRAIL bullshit, they're just trying to get any attention at all on their item.

I'd focus my energy on the bigger fish, personally.

Not that I think this thread or your thoughts are moot or pointless or anything, by all means continue to discuss; just my thoughts. Your time is valuable!

It’s kinda the same but kinda not. In your example it’s more the popularity that is gained by the lie/hype. In my example, it’s the monetary gain and neither party might actually know for real the actual truth.

It’s also not so much I’m getting all irky over one such example, but the thought of potential other lies that can propagate the collecting scene. Eg. “Only 3 graded examples exist” when there might actually be 10. “Only less than 10 graded copies known” when there could be actually 30.

It’s very easy to deceive in a sales pitch, and the lack of pop reports can assist with the deception, intended or otherwise.

 

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It's really unfortunate but people will try to "manipulate" the market via their listings all the time, regardless of pop reports. The difference of course (as explained by others) is that when pop reports exist, you have a clear reference to the validity of someone's claims. All other claims of population/scarcity are more or less left up to an individuals market awareness/exertise and other subjective things like when sellers say "the game graded low" or "would cross to a high grade at X grading outlet."

Anyway, my point is that individual listings may attempt to manipulate the market, and may be successful for a single sale, but that isn't representative of the whole market. It would certainly happen _less_ if we had pop reports, though.

Fun fact: I've seen sellers/morons try to argue that pop reports are confusing and wouldn't help the market. The balls to make such a provable terrible claim.

1 hour ago, obnoxious said:

I believe the Achilles heel of pop rep is the lack of a unique identifier on the outer side of boxes.

What do you mean? Like the variant data? I would think Wata (for example) would provide some filtering mechanism when searching a pop report. Wouldn't be too hard either. But then again, "not too hard" for Wata proves to be a challenge these days.

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18 minutes ago, inasuma said:
1 hour ago, obnoxious said:

I believe the Achilles heel of pop rep is the lack of a unique identifier on the outer side of boxes.

What do you mean? Like the variant data? I would think Wata (for example) would provide some filtering mechanism when searching a pop report. Wouldn't be too hard either. But then again, "not too hard" for Wata proves to be a challenge these days.

Not sure if this is what he meant but it immediately made me think of a game once graded by WATA that ended up being crossed over to VGA. I'd assume that's already a factor in other collectible pop reports though. Not sure how you would combat that. 

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3 hours ago, Silent Hill said:

Not sure if this is what he meant but it immediately made me think of a game once graded by WATA that ended up being crossed over to VGA. I'd assume that's already a factor in other collectible pop reports though. Not sure how you would combat that. 

Yup, that's what I meant. Crossed over.

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