Collector Empowerment

The collector is the hero.

Successful collectibles markets thrive on the contributions of a sea of individual collectors.

These individuals, often nameless and faceless compared to larger, prominent players, contribute in a myriad of essential ways. Here are just a few:

  • Demand Perpetuation: individual collectors pass down item mythology, providing the necessary context and narrative to make old collectibles culturally significant and valuable to the next generation of collectors. This “information service for tribal knowledge” is essential to seeding future demand, which is itself essential to sustaining the market over long time horizons.

  • Aftermarket Liquidity: individual collectors provide essential online and offline liquidity so that once meaning and value are established, prospective new collectors have reasonable means to acquire sought-after items. Large collectibles companies, sports leagues, even online auction platforms don’t do that directly, or at all. Consider for a moment the thankless, but vital act of attending a card convention. Collectors transport their collections, display their wares at booths, engage in valuable discourse with attendees, and often sell off their items to keep the hobby humming. This act, performed by thousands of collectors on countless Saturday afternoons, is, in aggregate, the real engine of a collectibles market.

  • Social Fabric: individual collectors create and maintain the social fabric that binds the community together. More than just making items appealing on a mass scale – i.e., establishing a consensus of worth – and facilitating the exchange of them – i.e., delivering the payoff of ownership – individual collectors create the “social world” of collectibles. In particular, the relationships that bind collectors to each other act as an essential retention mechanism. Exiting a market is just that much more difficult if one’s identity and friendships are tied into it.

And yet, these individual collectors, while perhaps the sole entity responsible for thwarting the oft-predicted “death of trading cards”, receive little in return for the collective value they have protected and grown over the years. Worse still, given the essential role and services these individual collectors play – and the little they get in return for it – what is happening to collectors could be considered a form of exploitation. Stated simply, collectors do not receive value proportional to their efforts.

It is now time for these collectors to have a seat at the table in order to reap greater returns from the markets that benefit so greatly from their contributions.

Quidd’s new cooperative economic model is designed to empower collectors to earn more, and to do so proportionately to the value they add. This shifts the paradigm from collectors as buyers to exploit or from collectors as sellers to power liquidity, and into collectors as participatory partners with which to cooperate for the betterment of the overall marketplace.

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