What’s your opinion on books like the chip rack?

The Chip Spa

Dan Madrigrano
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I have found that either chips sell well above the value published in the book or the book doesn’t get close to any thing close to actual historical sales. I’m pretty sure the pricing in the chip rack is trash. Well that and some of the stories I’ve heard and practices I’ve seen.

A weaponized tabloid to affect chip values to help themselves and others. Hell one of the authors is a chip dealer, chip seller and chip manufacturer along with being in cca club leadership. How the blaring conflict of interest doesn’t smack you in the face on them at one I’ll never know.
 
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I've always thought to myself that the book price doesn't really reflect what's actually out there or what chip prices should be. Sure there are TONS of people that "live by book price" and I see it everyday. I see it at chip shows, online, when people talk about certain chips and more. These people honestly live by that book. I understand it's a price guide, but you have to understand "price guide" doesn't mean that's what the price should be. If you see a chip selling for a third of book price online, then that's got to say something. If you know of something that's out there, out there in quantity and you know that someone didn't pay anywhere close to book price for it, then it's NOT worth book price.

Not sure of what example I could throw out there, but it's crazy seeing some people live by book price for said chips. I understand it can be used for higher end chips that aren't sold often, but chips that are sold constantly online, "more common" chips and so forth those you have to go off what the most recent chips have sold for. Chips that haven't sold in years is where you go to the book or another source to figure out what price to put onto it or what you might want to sell it for.
 
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Okku I believe that ultimately a chip is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it.. I agree with most all of what you said but there is one thing I have to disagree with, and only to an extent, what someone paid for something as there are to many variables.

Valuation of chips is a tough thing for sure, but recent sales of a chip and historical sales have to be taken into account broadly, since its a current topic lets take these Cotton Club $5 chips, historical sales of the chip have seen from $2400/chip high, and $800-$900 frequently, these chips have been in the "book" as a Z1 (8-11 hundred) for quite some time with the notation that 2000 were made, Now, a rack surfaces and sells for $3000 on a platform with a minuscule view (hundreds) as compared to eBay (millions), Sold 3K on PCF, how do we now value the chip?, is it worth less because there is a rack? yes that factors, is it further driven down because we know the unusually low price paid for the rack? I'd have to say NO, why? because the price paid was skewed by the fact that there was very few informed buyers competing in the auction.

At PCF there is far to many undo influences, such as the admin restricting who can freely bid. There are people like myself who have been restricted due to personal issues the admin has with me (but there is obviously ways around this), other bidders who for one reason or another could not bid due to posting requirements to use the service, and lets not forget the tumultuous relations between "Sets" and "singles" collectors that have come to be due to a handful of people on both "sides" of that causing a further audience limitation (a topic for a whole different thread), but 100's of less participants. This drove the possibility of those chips selling at a "true value".

Now if on eBay (wide audience) or ChipChat auction (focused audience in the high end arena) I believe theres no way 3K would have stood. But I say that the skewed sale at 3k was a highly unusual price and factoring value simply because that price is known is in error. If everyone is looking for a Riviera $5 brown balloon chip in mint condition with a high value sees that one paid $25 from an uninformed seller do you now get to tell the new owner that his chip is now worth $100 bucks because you know what he paid for it? NO you don't because there was a very unusual circumstance. If you were the new owner looking to sell it you would contest that because we "Know what you bought it for" isn't a factor.

Now add to that some crack pot who for whatever reason may not like you decides to make a public case that because you bought it for $25 your chip is worthless now. That just idiotic. There is many examples of chips that exist in quantity (many 1000's) that sell for upwards of $200 a chip (say Blurple NL $25's, Mapes $100's etc.) but no gripes there. I suggest that certain collectors try any avenue possible to lower the value of chips based solely on their opinion of the owner, jealousy of a find, or want of the chip which should not be a factor. Ours is a small (drop in the ocean) hobby which leads to bad acts from influential or self proclaimed "experts" affecting values with biased information and statements.

Anyway, in the end and with many factors not discussed in my long winded Blackbeard book here, a chip is worth exactly what the seller and the buyer agree to and is based individually from buyer to buyer. One chipper asked me "How are your beloved Felix chips" in a feeble attempt to insult me, and "Why not put a cotton club chip on ebay and let it fly"?, My response to that? Do you want a mint condition Felix? Do you want a mint condition Cotton Club? and at a cheap price, I suggest you buy one from a willing seller. at a cheap price.

As much as I love chipping I have to say the personalities in this hobby are definitely diverse from great chippers to, well, maybe we can just say "Not so great".
 
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I have found that either chips sell well above the value published in the book or the book doesn’t get close to any thing close to actual historical sales. I’m pretty sure the pricing in the chip rack is trash. Well that and some of the stories I’ve heard and practices I’ve seen.

A weaponized tabloid to affect chip values to help themselves and others. Hell one of the authors is a chip dealer, chip seller and chip manufacturer along with being in cca club leadership. How the blaring conflict of interest doesn’t smack you in the face on them at one I’ll never know.
The chip rack is the best guide we have along with James book too but they not perfect. I believe they do the best they can based on the knowledge they have but it's a real guessing game.
The chipping hobby if they ever want credibility needs a grading system that helps with accuracy, rarity and authenticity! Until then it will never be more than a few hundred people trading chips and people buying on eBay and stores, flea markets just guessing on values. Coins and cards and stamps have grading and that's why the industries and much more trusted and the money and people goes there!
 
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I just bought a Cotton Club $5 on Ebay for $837. I know there are 100 new ones out there somewhere but I think I got a good price. My snipe was set for a max of around $1200. I love the history of this casino and really wanted this chip. Until those 100 get released this is still a rare chip.
 

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I just bought a Cotton Club $5 on Ebay for $837. I know there are 100 new ones out there somewhere but I think I got a good price. My snipe was set for a max of around $1200. I love the history of this casino and really wanted this chip. Until those 100 get released this is still a rare chip.

Baller
I quit that $200+ chip stuff ages ago
Too much money

Now I build $1500 racks
🤣🤣🤣
 
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To add: IMHO in collectibles the economic theory of supply and demand does not hold true. In coins, the recent auctions of the Fairmont hoard of over 400,000 higher grade gold coins has helped increase the prices of gold coins in general, because it has grown the number of collectors. Popularity plays a role: the 1909-S VDB is not a rare cent yet it commands a premium because of its iconic status.
 
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If you share an interest in the Cotton Club chips, an interesting article posted back in 1998:

It is my opinion, and the opinion of others, the first chip used at The Cotton Club was a $5.00 rectangle mold-inlay. A beautiful chip with a picture of a cotton ball in the middle of the inlay. The second chips ordered for the Cotton club were small crown hot stamps ordered from T.R. King in 1953. 300 $5.00 yellow and 300 $10.00 blue bearing the name "Cotton Club" Las Vegas on the obverse and the denomination on the reverse. These chips were confirmed being shipped to Jody (Jodie) Cannon, one of the owners, for use at the club. The Cotton Club closed in 1957. Pressure from the newly constructed Moulin Rouge was just too much to overcome. With the opening of the Moulin Rouge, Blacks had a quality establishment that could compete with the finest hotel/casinos on the strip. Business at the Cotton Club fell off to the point it was no longer profitable to operate. When it closed, it also closed a page on Black casino history thereby giving chip collectors some of the rarest collectable chips ever produced for any casino. During the latter part of 1997 my friend and fellow chip collector Dick Price was able to obtain from an individual who lives in Corvallis, Oregon the following number and types of Cotton Club chips:

3- $5.00 rectangle mold; cotton ball inlay.
12 - $5.00 HS yellow; small crown mold
13 - $10.00 HS Blue;small crown mold

The individual who sold them to Dick did not collect chips or any type of casino collectable. He obtained these chips from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s during his many business travels to Nevada.These were all of them. No other Cotton Clubs have surfaced prior nor do I believe any will surface in the future. From everything I have researched over the last few months I have concluded these chips are probably all there will ever be. Of course no one can say for sure. The best any of us can do is give an educated guess based upon the evidence and SOURCE of the information. At this writing Dick had only:

5 - $5.00 yellows
5 - $10.00 blue

The inlaid ones found a home in a hurry to the very deep pocket collectors. He is asking $600.00 for the $5.00 and $750.00 for the $10.00 or $1,200.00 for both. Are they worth it? Each individual has to decide this question for oneself. All I intended on doing was to give anyone who may be interested all the information available to make an intelligent choice. Whether you want the chips or not give Dick a call.​

 
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An inciteful "post", (were we "posting" in 1998? 😂 ) Well, Maybe, I found this:

Six Degrees

The first recognizable social media site, in the format we know today, was Six Degrees – a platform created in 1997 that enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users.

Back to the topic at hand:


This posting was obviously a post to help "Dick" sell his Cotton Club Chips, and provide some type of provenance as to their legitimacy. I would love to have a sample of the $5 and $10 Scoown to add to my display of the CC chips! I especially like the respectful manner in which chippers behaved in all those years ago as opposed to the way the hobby and the participants seem to have developed in recent times. ( a topic that will be among the first discussed video sessions here when launched)

Maybe a separate thread asking an inciteful question on the opinions that identify us and how we participate in a great hobby collecting cool things would be interesting!
 
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