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  The market's reaction to Neil Armstrong's death (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   The market's reaction to Neil Armstrong's death
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-25-2012 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: Whether appropriate or not, Neil Armstrong's passing will have an immediate and possibly long-term effect on the market for memorabilia related to his life and missions.

Rather than have many different discussions spread across different collectSPACE forums, this thread can serve as a place for members to discuss the topic (as desired).

stsmithva
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posted 08-25-2012 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to accentuate the negative at this time, but sure enough: if you do an eBay search for "Neil Armstrong" and arrange the results by "Time: Newly Listed", you can actually see when the news broke. By 12:30 Pacific Time items started getting added every minute, or more than one a minute, including a "signed" Spitfire photo.

One guy had commemorative RIP t-shirts for sale in less than an hour. It's a little creepy to picture him with a 99%-complete RIP Neil Armstrong pattern, ready to lunge at the computer to fill in the year of death and get it on eBay.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

jmandell
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posted 08-25-2012 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jmandell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am deeply saddened by Neil's passing, but I am wondering how many opportunists will begin selling off anything Neil signed for a premium.

And I am sure there will be a million fakes, so watch out for those.

People who try to get rich by such a tragic event make me sick.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Fezman92
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posted 08-25-2012 06:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One guy is selling tomorrow's NY Times coverage about Neil's death.

Spaceguy5
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posted 08-25-2012 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...and in come the vultures. A current ebay search for Neil Armstrong (arranged price highest first) shows that right now, there's at least 100 items with a $500+ price tag (with about 20 around $10,000+).

I'm just waiting for a huge surge of forged autographs and autopens at $1000+

onesmallstep
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posted 08-25-2012 07:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I pity those people who don't take the time to research an item's provenance and are too eager to snap up a souvenir relating to Armstrong or Apollo 11. Unless it has a COA or it's bought on cS thru a trusted member, I wouldn't touch it. And yes, I do have an Armstrong signature together with the rest of the crew, obtained during the 10th anniversary celebrations.

Spaceguy5
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posted 08-25-2012 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not just a COA... but a COA from a trustworthy person.

COAs are easy to make. Anyone can slap some text, add a few pictures, and write a signature on a fancy-looking piece of paper. In my opinion, most COAs are worth their weight in paper.

For example, I'd be cautious of this, regardless of it including a COA.

jmandell
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posted 08-25-2012 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jmandell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This appears to be completely fake, with 20+ bids and no COA.

Doesn't look real to me, but please correctly if I'm wrong

SpaceSteve
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posted 08-25-2012 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceSteve   Click Here to Email SpaceSteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jmandell:
This appears to be completely fake, with 20+ bids and no COA.
I believe you are correct. It absolutely looks fake to me also.

benfairfax
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posted 08-25-2012 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benfairfax   Click Here to Email benfairfax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I too am deeply sorry to hear of Neil's passing. I hope the cS and collecting community retains integrity in this time. We need to set an example.

p51
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posted 08-25-2012 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was displaying my WW2 Jeep at a car show today when someone came up and told me the news. The first thing everyone around me started talking about once the shock went past, was how much signed stuff would go up, and none of them were space collectors. I advised them that he hadn't been signing for years and his autograph prior to today was considered the Mt Everest of autographs. One said, "Doesn't matter, whatever it was before, the cost will lot a lot more than that tomorrow." I hate to admit it, but he's probably right.
quote:
Originally posted by stsmithva:
One guy had commemorative RIP t-shirts for sale in less than an hour. It's a little creepy to picture him with a 99%-complete RIP Neil Armstrong pattern, ready to lunge at the computer to fill in the year of death and get it on eBay.
Make no mistake, several vendors of this type have all kinds of designs ready to go just in the fashion you describe. I've been asked in the past to work up t-shirt designs for several of the WW2 "Band of Brothers" unit veterans when they each pass. I told the guy where he could stick the idea.

Dougin SoCA
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posted 08-25-2012 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dougin SoCA   Click Here to Email Dougin SoCA     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also wish to remember his memories and service to our country. We all knew this event would take place eventually; the passing of one of the Apollo 11 astronauts. Besides the Beatles, I can't think of any other scenario that would thrust autograph prices and unfortunately fakes into the market place so forcefully. I think we are in for a wild ride as speculators and thieves try to take advantage of people who now are looking for a piece of space history. I hope many people will find this website, because of it's purpose and mission is to keep autograph collecting safe, and for appreciation, not greed.

Spaceguy5
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posted 08-26-2012 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Huh. Just a few hours later, one of the $25,000 BIN Armstrong items is now $27,500. Plus a $25,000 starting auction price (with a $30,000 BIN) for a University of Cincinnati letter he'd sent to a school teacher.

This is pathetic. It's ironic...

“I think Neil knew that this glorious thing he helped achieve for the country back in the summer of 1969 — glorious for the entire planet, really — would inexorably be diminished by the blatant commercialism of the modern world. And I think it’s a nobility of his character that he just would not take part in that.” - James R. Hansen, author of First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.

dbaker
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posted 08-26-2012 04:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dbaker   Click Here to Email dbaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Deepest condolences to the family and close friends of Neil Armstrong, a man accomplished in so many fields, an individual remembered by people around the world for one all consuming achievement but a person who triumphed in so many ways.

The British Interplanetary Society sends its message of remembrance to all those for whom the name Neil Armstrong will be forever synonymous with service, duty and uncompromising fortitude, one among many but tall among the few called upon to place their lives in danger for a noble calling.

albatron
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posted 08-26-2012 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just for the record, any Neil signed Spitfire photograph is fake.

Steve Zarelli
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posted 08-26-2012 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by albatron:
Just for the record, any Neil signed Spitfire photograph is fake.
Almost any. He did sign a handful of these before he decided to not sign them any longer. I know one reputable collector who had this image signed TTM and I have seen maybe 2 or 3 others that I believe were authentic.

But in general you are correct, Al. Almost all of the Spitfire images signed are fake. The stock image company, Movie Star News had this image in stock for years. So, back in the 90s, it was a very popular image for forgeries.

Wehaveliftoff
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posted 08-26-2012 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So where are the Neil Armstrong WSS's and other things signed for sale here on collectSPACE?

Tykeanaut
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posted 08-26-2012 01:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If there is one time you should keep out of the Neil Armstrong autograph market, it's obviously now.

YankeeClipper
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posted 08-26-2012 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a particularly bad example destined to go straight to the Hall of Shame, Neil Armstrong Hand Signed Lunar Landing Record eBay Item 130755939704

jmstar1955
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posted 08-26-2012 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jmstar1955   Click Here to Email jmstar1955     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was with great sadness I heard of the passing of one of the greatest men of the 20th century.

The day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon I had just arrived in Russia to visit my parents for the summer holidays. My Dad was in the petrochemical industry and was working out there.

On the way from the airport I made comment about the moon landing to the Russian driver and asked him how he felt about the Americans getting there first! He went very red and I got a telling off! It still makes me laugh to think about it!

I very nearly put a bid in for the eBay Spitfire photo, I emailed the seller about it and he told me about the email he had just received from someone in the States telling him it was a fake. So hats off to the guy for being upfront about it... he can't end the auction because there's less than 12 hours to go (15 minutes to be exact!) but he will tell the winning bidder about the email he received. An honest seller it would appear!

I am looking to buy a signed Neil Armstrong photo though and have been for a couple of months now. The photo of the bootprint would be perfect!

I did buy one from our most reputable and expensive autograph dealer here in the UK (Frasers) of Neil's boot and another photo of Buzz descending the steps of the Apollo spacecraft, that signed by Buzz and Mike, both in one frame... I paid well over the odds and when it arrived it had a huge palm print right across the boot that they never mentioned! It's an autograph minefield out there!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-26-2012 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jmstar1955:
...of Neil's boot
If you referring to this photograph, or one like it, you should be aware that it is Aldrin's boot. Armstrong did not photograph his bootprint or boot while on the moon.

fredtrav
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posted 08-26-2012 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As far as Armstrong material for sale here on cSpace, I have listed a crew signed piece that is still for sale. I am not going up on the price. I think it would be wrong to do so at this time. I did have an offer for my signed cover but I think I am going to keep it for now.

lunarrv15
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posted 08-26-2012 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jmandell:
This appears to be completely fake, with 20+ bids and no COA.
He was quick responding from my email 10 minutes ago.
Thank you kindly for asking. The card was signed through the mail back in 2008 (maybe early 2009). Thank you kindly for asking.
Hmm...

jmstar1955
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posted 08-26-2012 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jmstar1955   Click Here to Email jmstar1955     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Armstrong did not photograph his bootprint or boot while on the moon.
Thanks for putting me straight! There's me thinking he took a photo of his own boot! Possible but not the case... I stand corrected!

jmstar1955
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posted 08-26-2012 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jmstar1955   Click Here to Email jmstar1955     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lunarrv15:
Hmm...
Hmm indeed.

I thought Neil stopped signing autographs in 1994?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-26-2012 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The only thing easier to fake than a COA? A story about how an autograph was received...

albatron
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posted 08-26-2012 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Zarelli:
He did sign a handful of these before he decided to not sign them any longer.
Someone off list shared with me someone who had one, that we both know and respect so if you and he say so I'll modify my claim.

THIS one on eBay however, IS a fake.

Greggy_D
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posted 08-26-2012 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jmstar1955:
Hmm indeed

Especially since the seller claims in his own auction that he has "obtained them all in person". But now the story is through the mail?

I check your Hmm and raise you another Hmm.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 08-26-2012 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my opinion, there will inevitably be a plethora of overpriced items, many faked, put on the open market by chancers wanting to cash in on the death of Neil Armstrong.

Consequently there will be some pretty extravagant pricing going on in the days and weeks to come.

But those wishing to profit by the news should know that to all intents and purposes, Neil passed away 20 years ago; it was around 1992 that he stopped signing.

The increase in prices normally seen when a hero passes away has already been reflected in the prices of genuine Neil Armstrong signed items.

fredtrav
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posted 08-26-2012 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking over the current eBay offerings, there are many "autographs" that would be candidates for the hall of shame, some even have bids.

spaced out
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posted 08-27-2012 03:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although my initial reaction to the small flood of Armstrong-related items coming to market was one of mild distaste I've since changed my mind.

Since Armstrong stopped signing years ago his passing has no impact on the overall supply of autographs. It's not like the death of an ongoing signer where an ever-growing supply of material is suddenly cut short.

Now obviously there are some items appearing on eBay that are poor forgeries. Other items that are attempts to create commemorative material could certainly be considered to be in very poor taste.

Some professional autograph dealers have clearly put Armstrong signed material up for sale in attempt to cash-in on short term demand, which I'm sure they do for any celebrity. While this may smack of opportunism I'm not sure you could really argue there should be a moratorium on such things. If people are prompted by the news to want to buy Armstrong's signature should they be denied the chance?

What struck me most is that I've seen clear cases where the news of Armstrong's passing has reminded people that a grandparent or parent worked at NASA and that they left a signed item or presentation of some kind. These people then do some searching online and find that these items could be worth something.

In these cases the news has made them aware of a family heirloom that had been forgotten and which they hadn't realized was so rare or valuable.

Individual circumstances will decide whether the person decides to keep the item as a treasured memento, or to sell it in order to raise funds for the family. In the latter case I don't believe this should be seen as opportunism. We shouldn't judge all items being listed as poor taste attempts to cash in on a celebrity's passing.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 08-27-2012 07:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
The increase in prices normally seen when a hero passes away has already been reflected in the prices of genuine Neil Armstrong signed items.
I admire your lack of skepticism, Rick, but I think the next 12 months will see plenty of competition on the serious auction sites and more hyping of those "they-just-don't-come-better-than-this" prices from dealers. There will be a lot of anonymous unloading at the next set of auctions and no-doubt suspension and repricing of items on existing dealer websites.

jmstar1955
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posted 08-27-2012 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jmstar1955   Click Here to Email jmstar1955     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since mentioning on here that I was looking to purchase a signed Neil Armstrong I have been contacted and offered items for sale by Astronaut Archives. Are these reputable?

The two that interest me are a Neil Armstrong signed, unpersonalized spacesuit photo and an Apollo 11 signed unpersonalized spacesuit photo.

Could anyone give me a guide price that I should be looking to pay. All advice gratefully received...

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 08-27-2012 08:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gerry Montague of Astronaut Archives is a top guy. Very reputable and trustworthy. As for the price tag...?

capoetc
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posted 08-27-2012 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure, but eBay item 251140375474 might be a Peachstate forgery.

Even if it is not, folks need to be aware that there are a bunch of these still out there, and they fooled a lot of experienced collectors when they first appeared in the 1990's.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-27-2012 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jmstar1955:
Could anyone give me a guide price that I should be looking to pay.
Personally, were I in the market for a Neil Armstrong autograph (and for the record, I'm not, no solicitations please), I would not pay any higher a price than what the same item was available for on Friday (Aug. 24), the day before Armstrong passed away.

For all intents and purposes, Armstrong ceased signing in 1994; his passing has not made his autograph any rarer. And while the news coverage of his death may have temporarily increased demand by the general public, that interest will pass.

benfairfax
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posted 08-27-2012 08:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for benfairfax   Click Here to Email benfairfax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick Mulheirn:
Gerry Montague of Astronaut Archives is a top guy. Very reputable and trustworthy. As for the price tag...?
I have had many dealings with Gerry, all excellent and his prices I think represent fair market value.

jmstar1955
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posted 08-27-2012 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jmstar1955   Click Here to Email jmstar1955     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the advice and the reassurances about Astronaut Archives.

I have been looking to purchase an Apollo 11 signed photo for about three months... and I think that task has been made harder now with Neil's sad passing.

He was a great man and I don't want anyone to think I am trying to capitalize on his memory. At the same time I don't want to be taken advantage of either.

I was left a small inheritance recently and I thought the best thing I could do with it would be to buy some iconic autographs that I can put away for the future, for my kids. I might just wait now until all the furor has died down and the market has stabilized.

This site is an invaluable resource and I'm glad I found it.

Aztecdoug
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posted 08-27-2012 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A friend of mine and I have speculated about this day several times over the past 10 years or more. We were forming an opinion that once this sad day came, people would start reaching into their attics and pulling out some of the 100's of thousands of things Neil had signed over the years, start selling them, and flooding the market.

Sadly we have reached that point in time to see if it plays out like that.

Steve Zarelli
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posted 08-27-2012 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Zarelli   Click Here to Email Steve Zarelli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think we'll see a lot of previously unseen unpersonalized examples. Over the weekend two really nice unpersonalized WSS went quickly for $2300 and $2500 BINs. I was trying to figure out how I'd pay for the $2,500 example, and in the 15 minutes I was internally debating it sold.

Also, a number of nice index cards have BINed in the $500 range.

That said, it seems the landmines far outnumber the bargains.


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