As most of you are aware, I have started a new company/site at CollectionStation.com. We have quietly launched v1 beta about a year ago and are finishing up v2 beta. If you are not aware of it, CollectionStation is a social network for collectors that allows you to catalog, showcase, value, sell, and trade your collectibles. v1 was to prove the concept and get feedback (thank you to those that have helped), v2 has expanded greatly and have addressed many issues. I won't get into details of everything now (you can always look at the CollectionStation blog on the progress) but I will say that we have incorporated a lot of the current social networking standards (status updates, friends news feeds, etc) and have made the cataloging part easier. We have a (crude) value feature on v1 and we are re-doing it for v2. Why a value feature? Personally, it's for insurance purposes. However, I receive DAILY e-mails from people asking how much something is worth. Whether it is for insurance purposes, selling purposes, or just simply curious, I always tell them it's worth however much someone is willing to pay for it. Yes, it's a pretty open-ended answer but it's the truth.
So, with CS (CollectionStation), I hope to help collectors by putting a total value of their collection. How do we do that? My answer is eBay. I believe that if people are buying a specific collectible on eBay, it's worth within a certain range it has sold for. We have developed a way get as close as possible to your collectible as we can but due a variety of different factors out of our control, it's not an exact science. I won't get into collecting politics about scalpers or anything as the bottom line is, people bought it and therefor it has a value. If people did not buy it, there would not be any scalpers (classic case of supply and demand). Now with CS, we have licensed the eBay marketplace data on items that have sold within the past 90 days. I think that is a good amount of data to obtain a real average value. We calculate an average value, which you can then save that value. CS will keep track of the value of each of collectible you catalog AND your ENTIRE collections so you can get a total value (as most people collector more than just 1 thing you are able to create multiple collection to keep organized as you catalog them).
Now this data is not free so we had to purchase it and it is not cheap. So, we will have a monthly subscription for those that want to access the values of items that have closed within 90 days. There will be a FREE version available as well. The FREE version allows you to search CURRENT items being sold on eBay within the past 10 days. We don't pay for this data so neither do you. As you can guess, having values up to 90 days will give you a much more accurate value. CS will output a nice chart history plotting the values.
So, here are a few questions I want to present to collectors... how many of you here would pay for something like this? What are the alternatives? How do you place a value on your collection?