[CR]50th anniversary gruppi

(Example: Racing:Wayne Stetina)

From: "R.S. Broderick" <rsb000@hotmail.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]50th anniversary gruppi
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 00:57:10 -0600


Ok, just for fun I am going to approach yours as a somewhat rhetorical question and attempt to address it from an abstract macro viewpoint which is not necessarily specific to the Campy 50th Anniversary group that you mentioned in particular, but rather, offers an explanation which I believe has application far beyond that specific example.

Realize that I am only speaking for myself here, and therefore, my input will perhaps be considered debatable by others who are certainly entitled to their own esteemed opinions. And if theirs happens to differ from mine, and they feel compelled to articulate such, I am always willing to listen to well reasoned thoughts sharing a differing perspective so long as the presentation of same abides the rules of mutual respect and civil discourse.

My personal guideline with regard to profitable speculation in almost any type of collectible market (...whether that be bicycles, automobiles, pool cues, shotguns, hunting knives, watches, or almost anything else that I have ever dabbled in) is that some people (...certainly not everyone, but a substantial number none the less) eventually find themselves at a position in life where they have finally achieved a measure of financial success such that they are able to "go back in time" and basically attempt to purchase those meaningful items from their youth that they either once had, or more likely, wished that they once had. And while this is not in and of itself a particularly brilliant observation, it is VERY important in helping one to determine just where they might be best served to purchase and resell with intent to speculate in a collectors market. Implicit within the aforementioned guideline is the notion that there is an optimal time window during which the largest number of potential buyers will be active in a given market. This is simply due to the fact that one's age and income level will to a large extent be a prime determinant as to just what discretionary expenditures can be brought to bear in pursuit of such items - too young, and one's financial wherewithal is likely lacking, while past a certain age looms the prospect of fiscal restraint begot of retirement and a relatively fixed income. While a given item may be intrinsically collectible from the onset, its "life-cycle of value" often begins along a somewhat linear progression, then climb exponentially as demand resulting from burgeoning interest brought about in large part by generational demographics places undue pressure upon its dwindling and finite supply, and then finally cool down to progress in a linear path once again as that same demographic ages off leaving the market to only "serious" collectors of interest whose own age has little or no bearing on their pursuits.

So, if one assumes that the optimal window of opportunity exists when a generation of individuals are somewhere between the ages of 40 and 55 years old (...give or take a divorce, college tuition for your offspring, or elder care issues), then all one needs to do is analyze their prospective target niche and apply the simple principles of reverse engineering. In the instance of cycling related material, I would think that it is safe to assume a benchmark age of 15 as being that point in time when one is indoctrinated enough into our culture of consumerism to understand the concept of commercial desire yet are still not likely financially responsible enough to acquire everything that they truly covet. As of 2005 (...using last year only for the sake of making the math a little easier), those who are at the end of the aforementioned generationally optimal target group would have been born in 1950 whereas those on the trailing end of that same group would have been born in 1965. Now, add 15 years onto each of those dates and you have the years 1965 and 1980 respectively - and that to my own way of thinking is the current optimal sales targeted date range for speculation on any cycling related material that you may wish to consider fencing on eBay (...or just about anywhere else for that matter). Obviously, material dating both prior to and just after that range (...such as the Campy 50th Anniversary group you brought to everyone's attention which only falls outside the proposed model range by a scant three years) may be suitable for speculation as well, but your prospective target audience is prone to be somewhat smaller due to the fact that they have either "aged off" or are "too young" to have come of age as collectors. In fact, those profiteers amongst us who are not limited in their cycling interests by strict adherence to the CR timeline, and specifically those who are both actually in the "bike biz" and who have the financial wherewithal to do so, would be well advised to stock up now on items produced during the 1980's and even more so the 1990's since many can be purchased on the relative cheap inasmuch as they have not yet matured with respect to what is likely to be their peak demand.

For those among us who are intent on finding the exact pieces and parts which were originally affixed to our various bikes, whether that be as they came from the factory so to speak or as we actually rode or raced them, the devil is and always will be in the details - and that is where you can end up driving yourself crazy in an endless and expensive quest to find that elusive finishing touch. On the other hand, if one does not take things too seriously and is willing to be patient, the search process itself can still be half the fun of refurbishing and/or restoring one of these practical pieces of rolling artwork.

In any event, the hour draws neigh in my corner of the world and shall therefore conclude this lengthy missive by acknowledging that all of my speculative theorizing herein has been a rather convoluted attempt at answering a generalized version of your original question as to why the final sales price of various eBay items that are near and dear to this list often trade for seemingly preposterous prices. And as for my proposed generalized model for profitable speculation in various collector markets, should you or anyone else take overwhelming exception to its plausibility, I offer the ultimate disclaimer in citing that maxim once posited by Robert Louis Stevenson who astutely noted that "...no generalization is worth a damn - including this one".

Robert "oooh, it's late, and now my brain hurts" Broderick

..the "Frozen Flatlands" of South Dakota


It seems like crazy season is continuing on ebay with regards to

Campagnolo 50th anniversary gruppi. First there was the gruppo that Ray

Dobbins sold for $3000 (Good on you Ray!!), now there is this one:

http://ebay.com/<blah> http://ebay.com/<blah &rd=1&item=7211723048

Since when have they doubled in value?

Steven Maasland

Moorestown, NJ