Monday, October 13, 2014

How expensive is 2014 Topps?

Tonight we take a look our second look at the price of Baseball Cards, specifically Topps Cards.  We will take a look at the price of 2014 Topps versus some different Topps sets that have been produced over the lasr 40+ years.

2014 Topps #4 Cody Asche

Column B is the Price of a Pack in the referenced year.
Column C is the number of cards in that pack.
Column D is what a 12 card pack would cost (Everything is relative to 2012 Topps Cards)
In Column E I produce the cost for a 660 card set build from 12 card packs under perfect collation.  I used 660 cards as a constant because it was the basic set size in 2012.

Column F in red is the Inflation factor. This is the Key to the chart.  2012=$1. That dollar is worth 97 cents today, but in 1972 a single dollar  had the buying power equivalent to $5.49 in 2012 dollars

Column H is the price of a 12 card pack with the inflation adjustument (product of columns D*F)
Column I is similar to H but for the 660 card set.

-To build a 660 card 2014 base set via Topps $1.99 12 card retail packs would cost 106.17.
-While building a 660 card set would cost one about 3 times as much as it did in 1972, the price of building a set really hasn't changed since 1995.
-I understand there are inserts and possible collation issues. I say trade people trade your inserts for base cards.
-The cost of 660 cards is slightly cheaper each of the last 2 years because Topps has maintained the  pack size and price point while inflation has been slight.
-Cards are cheaper then a decade ago by over 30%!
-This is because Topps went from a 10 card pack to 12 card packs AND reduced the price
-Despite Topps obtaining a monopoly on the MLB license  prices have dropped 16% since 2008. This is a difference of over $20 when building a 660 card set.

Sources & Links
2013 Topps Cost Analysis
Pack Prices 1997- present Baseballcardpedia
Pack Prices 1979-1995 - ebay (shown on retail boxes)
Pack Price 1972 my memory - Could be wrong on this one.

Bureau of Labor Inflation Calculator (For this article the inflation rates were captured on 2014 10 08 The data is approximately 6 weeks behind, the rates here would reflect data through end of August 2014 for a more in depth description click here)


Hackenbush said...

Great analysis. On a side note, cards are better made these days. The photography is better and the quality control is better as well, particularly regarding mis-cuts.

deal said...

Hackenbush, Excellent point. Some folks may argue that card quality is down, but in general Photography is much better. Production problems do occur, but my guess is that they are at a lower rate.

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