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Did You Know... that collectors of movie paper put far less emphasis on condition than collectors of other collectibles?

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Added: 02/29/2016

Whenever a person who collects ANY other collectible enters the movie paper hobby, they are almost always immediately struck by how collectors of movie paper put far less emphasis on the condition of what they collect than do collectors of whatever else they collect (comic books, baseball cards, stamps, coins, etc). In those hobbies, an item in wonderful condition can easily sell for ONE HUNDRED TIMES what that same item might sell for in average condition!

Yet with movie paper, an item in wonderful condition rarely sells for even twice what that same item might sell for in average condition. And most hobbies put a huge premium on items that are completely unrestored. Yet in movie paper, items are routinely restored (many times when they really didn't even need it), and not only does this often make the item sell for the same as it might have in similar unrestored condition, but sometimes it even results in their selling for more!

Why is this? Because much movie paper is far more rare than any other collectible. All those other collectibles were made by the hundreds of thousands or millions, and all were sold directly to the general public, so ANYONE could have bought them, and literally anyone could discover a cache of them when emptying out Grandpa's basement. So lots of almost everything survives, and with so many to choose from, the only true rarities are those in wonderful, unrestored condition.

But with movie paper, the vast majority of it was NEVER available to the general public. It was never sold to the public, and even the theaters often only leased it, and had to return it after use (and often they had to send it to the next theater showing that film, so they could not even sell it if they received a generous offer).

It was not until the 1980s that the people who printed movie posters starting running a lot of "extras" for sale to dealers, and that explains the huge rarity difference from before that time and after that time. And those collectors who mostly collect post-1980 posters often DO put a much higher premium on condition, and many won't even consider buying a restored poster at all!

Will we eventually see the kind of valuations put on older movie paper in wonderful unrestored condition that we see in other hobbies? I doubt it, because someone who said "I want to only collect 1930s one-sheets in wonderful unrestored condition " would not make very many purchases at all, and many titles they could never locate even one example in wonderful unrestored condition!

But I have been doing this far too long to ever say "It will never happen", and only time will tell if the movie paper hobby becomes more like those other hobbies over the coming years!

See Also:
Did you know... that unlike other hobbies, there are no widely accepted grading services in movie paper collecting (Part II of II)
Did you know... that unlike other hobbies, there are no widely accepted grading services in movie paper collecting (Part I of II)
Did you know... that it is difficult to get quality insurance on collectibles?


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