In a sad reflection of the state of rugby league, a rare pack of signed 1995 Kangaroos footy cards sold for a paltry $4.48 on eBay last night.
The market analyst firm ClarityCapital compiled a report on the auction price of rugby league paraphernalia on eBay and found that bids for retro rugby league items had more than halved in just five years, on average.
The firm found that a set of glow-in-the-dark Canberra Raiders ‘pogs’ was sold for to an Philadelphia-based Australian expat in 2006 for $38.00, but an identical set went for just $8.37 to a buyer in Queanbeyan last week.
At time of publishing, a signed Paul Sironen jersey sat at $16.00 with just five minutes left on the bidding clock, having not attracted a single bidder.
Earlier in the week a napkin that allegedly had been used by ex-Origin prop David Gillespie at a post-match function – according to ‘try09bears’, a seller with a 100% feedback rating – was listed at the BuyItNow price of $1.20.
To give context, a similar signed product in 2006 – a beer coaster that Noa Nadruku had famously used immediately before his well-documented ’22 schooners and one bottle of wine’ rampage in the mid-90s – sparked a 12-way bidding war, finally bought for $84.40 by an unknown buyer.
“You know the market is slow when great products that once attracted multiple buyers are now sitting there without attracting a solitary bidder,” said the report’s prinicipal analyst, Nick Marshall.
“It goes to show that rugby league is no longer in the top pantheon of Australian football codes.”
The news is not good for those punters who held out on selling rugby league paraphernalia in the hope that it would appreciate in value over time.
“I kept a discarded mouth-guard that I found after a Brisbane v Manly game in 1994, which belonged to the lesser Walters brother, Kerrod, in the hope the value would skyrocket in time,” said Andrew Hill. “People told me I’d make a few hundred out of that.”
Despite the grim forecast, Hill remained hopeful that his product – and rugby league products in general – would once again attract an interested buying market.
“My wife tells me ‘throw that filthy shit out’, but I still think it’ll go up in price one day.”
“I’m confident that history will judge Kerrod Walters to be the best hooker/utility back that ever played in the pre-super league era, and in 40 years I’ll be the one laughing when I collect my money.”
By Dave Edwards