Our Plan to Improve the Accuracy of the Price Guide

Ever since the beginning of PPG, the community has counted on an incredible Squad of Volunteers who have built the price guide from the ground up. We aren’t simply powered by bots or data dumps, it’s thanks to collectors like you who spend countless hours updating the guide to ensure it’s the best it can be for all of us.

Within the last few days, the incredible Squad has added the 900,000th item to the database. That’s hundreds of thousands of your favorite collectibles including 46,000 Funko products.

We’re also thrilled to announce that we’ve eclipsed more than 6,000,000 in price points for those 900,000 items! And that we now support 82 different sources for Prices.  This makes us the largest price guides on the web run by real collectors, rather than robots.

Over the past few years, a lot of things have changed when it comes to how we populate the Pop Price Guide.

 

 

We know that these changes have had a somewhat negative result when it comes to keeping the price guide as up-to-date as possible. Some of our Estimated Values are not as good as they once were, so we just have to fix it!  

 

And here is our plan

 

  • Our Shopify Integration is almost complete. This will allow auto-assigning sales from Shopify Stores (and we have about 20 Funko stores in the pipeline, including some that sell a wide variety of older Pops).
  • We will explore using the API for StockX and other ways to make it easier to add eBay and Mercari Price Points.
  • Continue our discussions with Whatnot that could lead to us developing a Whatnot-related Chrome Extension. This will allow a screenshot and a price capture that we can assign from a Whatnot auction – we will continue to only do that for high visibility channels
  • Adding more auction houses as price sources like we do with Pristine Auctions (for example adding Zobi prices).
  • Build more tools to make it easier for our volunteers to see Funko products that have not had a Price Point for 3 months or longer.
  • Most importantly in the short term  –  work with Isaac AKA Pops Galore & More (one of the volunteers, lead investor in our current Crowdfunding and frequent advisor to the hobbyDB team) to catch up with a lot of that list (special thanks here also for Darius from ToyCabal for his suggestions).

 

With all of these solutions in place, we expect the Price Guide to be in much better shape by the end of July. 

 

In order to do this and everything else we do we need your help. 

Our vision is to get to 100,000 Squad Members (we stand at 2,409). The Squad is our life source and we couldn’t build hobbyDB without them. Interested in getting involved? Email us at support@hobbydb.com and we’ll get you set up.

We also have multiple supporters who believe in us so much that they have become investors in PPG and hobbyDB.  

  • Anthony Castro | Pop Fiend
  • Chris Gast | Gastlecast
  • Dah Veed | Toyzilla
  • Isaac Thomas  |   Pops Galore & More
  • John Hamm  |  Founder, PPG
  • Lee Biars  |  7 Bucks a Pop
  • Paul Scardino |  The POPthusiast
  • Ryan Hilbert  |  Mystery Pop


With the power of the community behind us, we know that we can continue to be the number one resource for Funko collectors. 

It has always been our mission to be able to offer both our Squad members and community supporters an opportunity to benefit from the site they love. We wanted the business to be owned by collectors and this is why we do Crowdfunding, so that if PPG does well, so will you. 

We purposely kept the minimum investment to the lowest number our crowdfunding platform WeFunder allows. That way, Members can invest $100, $1,000 or however much they like. The last day to invest is this Friday, June 21.  

We would like to encourage you to own as much of hobbyDB as you can afford (keeping in mind that owning shares in a private business is risky). And if you have already invested, we want to say again a sincere thank you for believing in PPG.

 

– Alexandra, Chris, Christian, Isaac, Timo and the rest of the hobbyDB Team

 

10 thoughts on “Our Plan to Improve the Accuracy of the Price Guide

  1. I SURE HOPE THE OLDER OG POPS PRICES WILL BE UPDATED. THERE ARE A TON THAT SHOULD HAVE HIGHER VALUE. THERE ARE ALOS SEVERAL THAT HAVE A LIMITED PIECE COUNT WHICH SHOULD BE WAY HIGHER THAT WHAT PPG SHOWS. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT THE FAKES OUT IN THE MARKET SHOULD NOT HURT THE VALUE OF THE REAL FUNKO POPS. I THINK THE FAKE FUNKO POPS SHOULD HAVE THEIR OWN MEASLY GUIDE. I THINK IF THAT HAPPENS THERE WOULD BE LESS FAKES OUT THERE.

    1. A few quick replies –

      1. Piece Count is not 100% correlated with Estimated Values. In general we do not care about sentiment (“this should be more valuable”) but only about actual Price Points.

      2. As a policy we do not add Fakes as Price Points or add them as database items. You can read about what we include here – https://help.hobbydb.com/support/solutions/articles/36000279451-are-counterfeits-fakes-imitations-and-unlicensed-added-. The only thing we like to add is explanatory so called Fake Photos – here more on that https://help.hobbydb.com/support/solutions/articles/36000261872-database-item-photos-images#Fake-Images. If you ever notice a Fake (volunteers are human) flag it and it will get reviewed (when flagging please explain in detail why you think an item is fake).

  2. Your organizational philosophy towards valuation is fundamentally flawed. Price and value are completely different figures governed by different principals. Until this is understood and acknowledged, there is no hope for accuracy.

    When a seller sets their price, there are a ton of factors that come into play. For example:
    – How much did I pay for this personally?
    – Do I want a quick sale or am I willing to wait?
    – Is it more important to me that I profit off of this sale or do I simply need cash now?
    – What is the item actually worth?

    The true value of the item is often the least important element of this decision for a casual / hobby seller. Frankly, it is most commonly used as the basis from which to discount an item in order to promote ease / speed of sale.

    Your philosophy and policies allow for intentionally discounted listings to decreases the “value” of our collectibles time and time again! When a single seller decides that they are willing to sell something below value – every single collector who owns that item “losses money”.

    The under value transaction is ALWAYS the most frequent transaction. Given three equal options to choose from – an intelligent buyer will almost always purchase the lowest priced listing.

    On top of it – you’re talking about making it easier to add price points from Mercari as part of your solution………. In reality, the plan needs to including barring 100% of Mercari sales from being added.

    Mercari no longer charges fees to the seller – they are charged to the buyer. They are the ONLY market with this practice. These fees amount to 15% or more. This means that the basis for every single Mercari sale is 85% of value. Utilizing this data guarantees further artificial depreciation of our collections.

    This organization needs a 100% overhaul to its approach. More data absent careful consideration for the quality of that data is NOT the solution – it will only further each of this website’s problems.

    1. Thanks for your opinions. We love value discussions. That being said we totally disagree with you. The ONLY way to measure value is to look at transactions. Kelley Blue Book does it. Zillow does it. The New York Stock Exchange does it. Everybody does it. That is probably also the reason why you are not suggesting an alternative approach (we are always open to new ideas).

      The point re Mercari and their change in fee structure is a fair point and similar to shipping hard to control for. We have contemplated adding fees and some other strategies but have discarded that for now. As and when Mercari becomes a bigger force we might allow for some add-back as part of our Estimated Value calculation.

      1. I believe you’ve missed my main point – my comment was not meant to suggest that price points in the market should be ignored entirely. You’re correct, they are the only statistics available to us.

        My point is that not all price points are created equal or even carry any degree of relevance.

        A seller with 500+ feedback on eBay is able to achieve better prices than a brand new seller (eBay promotes their listings higher in searches). The transactions they conduct are not equally relevant.

        Professional sellers have overhead to cover and bills to pay in order to run their business. Their needs are completely different than my own when I decide to list an item. Their sales need to approximate value in order for their businesses to succeed. But a collector who picked up an item on release for $15 that is now worth $200 will often be perfectly content with a $100 profit on a quick sale.

        I believe this to be my most important point – if a seller elects to list an item for 50% off in their buy it now, that is simply their decision. The transaction can not exceed the listed price. It will sell for 50% value. It is not meant to be a sale that has anything to do with estimations of value – it is meant to be a deal, intentionally lower than value.

        Presently, you’ll upload that 50% off price point all the same and the item will stand to lose upwards of 40% of its value instantly as a result. We’ve all seen it happen on this site time and time again. Subsequently, sellers that rely on your figures will then list based on this updated evaluation and further the pattern of depreciation.

        In short – intentionally discounted sales have absolutely nothing to do with the value a buyer is ultimately willing to pay for an item in an open market.

        Your existing system makes it incredibly hard for any pop to increase in value. In order to do so, it has to sell above value multiple times without selling below value a single time. In a secondary market filled with Hobby sellers – the under value transaction is always the most frequently occurring transaction.

        Re: Mercari: This really is a massive failure. The vast majority of price points on this app will be lower than in every other market. This is by design. Price points added from Mercari will stand to only pull values down – never up.

        There are a number of reasons that I did not suggest alternative approaches in my last comment – chief of which is the fact that I’ve already tried. In early 2023, I interacted with your executive management directly in the hopes of helping to improve the accuracy of end evaluations.

        I’d be happy to do so once again – however – it is simply a waste of my time if this organization believes that more of the same is the answer to its existing problems.

        1. Thanks for the further explanations.

          The suggestions sound like we will have to interpret the intentions of the sellers (which is impossible) or not use Price Points that are under our current Estimated Value (which in turn would mean EVs would never go down). Your assumption that an item has to sell multiple times above the current EV and no time below it to increase in value is not correct, in general the items decreases and increases in the same way.

          I already addressed your Mercari point. We are aware of the buyer fees and are monitoring this to see if we have to react – the same we monitor traditional auction houses (basically when we add a very large number of Mercari price points).

          We love to hear your suggestions (here or per email) and will consider them as we do with everything that our Members propose (and much of it has made it into changes on the site).

          1. Again, there seems to be a lot of misinterpretation of my message. In an effort to avoid further confusion, I’ll speak more plainly.

            Any assessment is only as good as the data used to calculate the end result. Bad data leads to bad results. You have captured a lot of bad data. Your policies will result in the continued collection of bad data.

            You do not have to “interpret the intentions of the sellers”, you only to observe and evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding a sale.

            Here is an example: 31 Harry Potter on Broom Summer Convention Variant
            – Most recent price point: $15; buy it now listing; June 23, 2024
            – Average of preceding 35 price points: $64
            – Average of preceding 5 price points: $52
            – June 27, 2024 Evaluation: $70
            – Current Evaluation: $38

            Prior to the addition of this $15 sale, your evaluations from June 2020 through June 2024 (four years and dozens of price points) supported a consumer tolerance range of $50 – $80 ($65 midpoint, as supported by your price point graph).

            In the context of evaluating how much buyers are willing to pay for an item, this $15 price point is an example of bad data.

            As illustrated above, at the time of this sale PPG was $70. This was not a listing for which a buyer could show their willingness to pay $70 – it was a buy it now listing for $15. It could only sell for $15. This price point was 80% below your assessment at the time it occurred. A very clear discount.

            It would have been very easy to omit this buy it now price point set by the seller at only 20% of your evaluation at the time of sale from consideration. However, your policies result in this sale being considered the most relevant in the items history as a result of it being the most current.

            If this $15 price point was never added, the average of your most recent five price points ($52) would have provided a much fairer representation of what a collector is willing to pay. The most recent sale of this item on eBay as of this message was $55 (July 14th – buy it now).

          2. There is no misinterpretation of your message and there is no bad data here. That was a valid sale and is part of a wider trend of Funko POPs in mid-range (between $30 and $150 losing value over the last few months). There have been more sales and this item is now on a lower value projection (here is the link – https://www.hobbydb.com/marketplaces/hobbydb/catalog_items/harry-potter-on-broom). We are not here to keep prices high but to reflect changes in the marketplace.

  3. I noted that you updated many more Pops recently and am glad to see it. Yes, values are coming down but it seems that values are now much more aligned with what I see a lot.

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