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View Full Version : Do low production numbers really make kits more valuable?


BEC
08-14-2010, 01:11 AM
I just received an order from Semroc today containing Start #7, mini Aero Dart #12 and mini Hustler #17. I didn't order them to collect but to build.... is there a compelling reason not to build 'em and order others?

Just curious.

FWIW, Odd'l Rockets Squatty Body #20 is built and will likely fly for the first time in the morning.

(added: it turns out the Start kit I have is #9....ooooops )

Sunward
08-14-2010, 01:42 AM
Unless you are willing to wait 30-50 years and hope no one else saved their low number kit and there is a demand for it, OR unless you want to, nope.

BEC
08-14-2010, 01:57 AM
Thanks, Angelo. That's actually kind of what I had figured....but I thought I'd ask. It'll be interesting to see if others have a different idea.

I might manage to last 30 years more and still remember I have 'em. Not likely to make 50 (I'm 55 now). :)

Crocodile
08-14-2010, 07:52 AM
I just received an order from Semroc today containing Start #7, mini Aero Dart #12 and mini Hustler #17. I didn't order them to collect but to build.... is there a compelling reason not to build 'em and order others?

Just curious.

FWIW, Odd'l Rockets Squatty Body #20 is built and will likely fly for the first time in the morning.


Guess what?? I have a START kit and it's production number is "7" :cool:

hcmbanjo
08-14-2010, 07:54 AM
FWIW, Odd'l Rockets Squatty Body #20 is built and will likely fly for the first time in the morning.

Let me know how the Squatty Body launch goes!
I should be flying #0000 (prototype #4) again today at the N.E.F.A.R. launch in Bunnell, FL.

chanstevens
08-14-2010, 09:59 AM
I just received an order from Semroc today containing Start #7, mini Aero Dart #12 and mini Hustler #17. I didn't order them to collect but to build.... is there a compelling reason not to build 'em and order others?

Just curious.

FWIW, Odd'l Rockets Squatty Body #20 is built and will likely fly for the first time in the morning.

Hey, I finally get to use my economics degree for something :D !

What a low number is worth depends on supply and demand. The supply is pretty fixed/limited by the numbers. In fact, if you truly have a #7 (I kind of doubt it based upon having ordered it during/after NARAM), duplicated with Crocodile's #7, then you've got a really rare beast--a Semroc goof!

On the demand side, I'm not aware of much evidence of anyone actually trying to sell, so it's very hard to say. There are numerous cases where a Flis #1 will sell for 3x-6x retail, but a #1 is very different than a low number. With Semroc, the only market evidence I've seen is with the Tau Zero, where Semroc sold starting with higher numbers (26 and up) and the designer got to sell the lower numbers directly, starting out at about 2x the price but quickly dropping to 1.25-1.5x the price for lack of sales.

As a collector myself, I say go ahead and build it :p , cutting one out of the supply side of the market.

Seriously, though, I don't think there's ANY chance of a quick buck in the rocketry collectibles market, though if you have issues with getting around to building like many of us in the forum, at least with a low number there's a better chance if you want to sell it in 5 years you'll at least get full price for it as opposed to dumping at 25-50% off retail. About the only short term profit you could eke out would be to trade with another collector, maybe swapping a single digit version for a regular kit plus a 10-20% premium, in which case shipping and transaction costs probably wipe out the profit.

I'll put my theory to test in a few weeks, though. At NARAM, I picked up a numbered edition of Estes Saturn V. Had to pay full retail at $99, versus buying online at about $70, but it's #11 of 50. I'm hoping to sell that for at least a smidgen of profit, which I'd already spent on a couple of their special NARAM-edition Satellite Interceptors.

--Chan Stevens

BEC
08-14-2010, 10:36 AM
Hmmmmm......duplicate production numbers? Well that could be like the inverted Jenny stamp. Nah!

I wasn't thinking in terms of a quick profit at all...I was just surprised at the low numbers (order put in as they returned from NARAM) and wondered if there was much justification for holding these for some time (though I wasn't thinking in terms of 30-50 years certainly). Point taken about perhaps being able to resell for a smaller loss if I never get the requisite round tuits - which is certainly a possibility.

The answers are about what I expected, but then I've only been back in the the rocket game for less than two years and have never been a collector, per se, so I thought I'd ask.

Thanks.

JRThro
08-14-2010, 11:47 AM
Hey, I finally get to use my economics degree for something :D !

--Chan Stevens
Cool, Chan! What were the odds of *that* happening!?!
:p :rolleyes:

Carl@Semroc
08-14-2010, 03:27 PM
We have been working on a project to try to locate some of our early production numbers. We consider them missing (http://www.semroc.com/Store/Scripts/missing.html). The idea is to let the server randomly pick a model and serial number and post it for a week. If the number is located built with a serial tag, we will offer a $25 gift certificate and if it is unbuilt, we will offer $50 gift certificate as bounty for locating the missing rocket. (Kit does not have to be returned, just a photo will be required.

bob jablonski
08-15-2010, 11:09 AM
We have been working on a project to try to locate some of our early production numbers. We consider them missing (http://www.semroc.com/Store/Scripts/missing.html). The idea is to let the server randomly pick a model and serial number and post it for a week. If the number is located built with a serial tag, we will offer a $25 gift certificate and if it is unbuilt, we will offer $50 gift certificate as bounty for locating the missing rocket. (Kit does not have to be returned, just a photo will be required.
Cool Idea.
Mr. Bob
Starlight Model Rockets LLC
www.starlightrocketry.com

UCBadger
08-15-2010, 04:24 PM
We have been working on a project to try to locate some of our early production numbers. We consider them missing (http://www.semroc.com/Store/Scripts/missing.html). The idea is to let the server randomly pick a model and serial number and post it for a week. If the number is located built with a serial tag, we will offer a $25 gift certificate and if it is unbuilt, we will offer $50 gift certificate as bounty for locating the missing rocket. (Kit does not have to be returned, just a photo will be required.Carl, do all of your kits have numbers or just the early production runs? I just got two kits from you that (as far as I can tell) don't have numbers on them.

Carl@Semroc
08-15-2010, 07:27 PM
Carl, do all of your kits have numbers or just the early production runs? I just got two kits from you that (as far as I can tell) don't have numbers on them.Only the early kits have numbers. They have ranged from the first 100 to the first 25, depending on the guessed popularity. We always keep the first 5, send #6 to the person most responsible for helping us get the kit out, then the numbers in order to the early orders. We generally limit the number of kits with production numbers to one per customer and do not ship production numbers to dealers. Usually there is not much demand for numbers over 25. This is one of the reasons we are trying to get this promotion in place.

stefanj
08-15-2010, 07:36 PM
Also, one early serial number kit has a Platinum Ticket, which grants the finder a tour of the underground laboratory where Semroc uses alien technology to fabricate parts and ship orders before the customer is finished ordering.

Carl@Semroc
08-15-2010, 07:40 PM
Also, one early serial number kit has a Platinum Ticket, which grants the finder a tour of the underground laboratory where Semroc uses alien technology to fabricate parts and ship orders before the customer is finished ordering.
Shucks, every kit has one of those! :chuckle:

BEC
08-15-2010, 08:34 PM
Only the early kits have numbers. They have ranged from the first 100 to the first 25, depending on the guessed popularity. We always keep the first 5, send #6 to the person most responsible for helping us get the kit out, then the numbers in order to the early orders. We generally limit the number of kits with production numbers to one per customer and do not ship production numbers to dealers. Usually there is not much demand for numbers over 25. This is one of the reasons we are trying to get this promotion in place.

So.....how is it that I have production number 7 of the Start, but so does "crocodile" in Huntsville? :) From your description above it would be the first one after whoever it was that helped you create it. Certainly some of them left your hands at NARAM?

BTW, I just wanted to toss in here that I'm so happy that you've that huge lawyer-delivered concern off your shoulders so you can pop in here and answer silly questions like this one. :D

The mini Hustler from the first post is now under construction, BTW.

tbzep
08-15-2010, 08:37 PM
We always keep the first 5, send #6 to the person most responsible for helping us get the kit out, then the numbers in order to the early orders.

Best I ever got was a #8.

But it had a personal note from Sheryl, which makes it better than a #6, IMHO. :cool:

Carl@Semroc
08-15-2010, 08:40 PM
So.....how is it that I have production number 7 of the Start, but so does "crocodile" in Huntsville? :) From your description above it would be the first one after whoever it was that helped you create it. Certainly some of them left your hands at NARAM?

BTW, I just wanted to toss in here that I'm so happy that you've that huge lawyer-delivered concern off your shoulders so you can pop in here and answer silly questions like this one. :D

The mini Hustler from the first post is now under construction, BTW.
I do not know how there are two #7's. There should not be a way for that to happen. :confused:

We never take kits with production numbers to events, since ltvscout wound up with #5 of the BatRoc because of this. :chuckle:

BEC
08-15-2010, 08:41 PM
Let me know how the Squatty Body launch goes!
I should be flying #0000 (prototype #4) again today at the N.E.F.A.R. launch in Bunnell, FL.

It went nicely but landed pretty hard. I flew it on an Estes A8-3. The streamer partly melted and mostly shredded and the little plastic widget glued into the nose cone popped on landing. Also the stuffer tube was damaged. The fins came out OK though.

Dan Meadows, another BEMRC club member (and the fellow who actually ordered 'em from JonRocket) also flew his and suffered similar damage, especially to the stuffer tube.

Note that our flying site is dead grass at the moment - no real soft places to land.

My Squatty Body is back in flying shape with a bit bigger streamer of the metalized streamer material that BMS uses in the School Rocket and a rather more well-filleted nose cone-to-shock cord attach fitting installation.

BEC
08-15-2010, 08:51 PM
I do not know how there are two #7's. There should not be a way for that to happen. :confused:

:o :o Well, I went to take a picture to post and....um.....I somehow read it wrong the other day. I have Start #9 :o :chuckle:

..... never mind......

stefanj
08-15-2010, 10:53 PM
I do not know how there are two #7's. There should not be a way for that to happen. :confused: :

Someone ran a kit through the matter replicator after the serial number plate went in rather than before.

Mark II
08-16-2010, 12:50 AM
My view is that the owner imbues whatever value there is in a numbered kit. In other words, any value that it might have is as a memento, a personal reminder of a particular place and time. I have a couple of numbered kits, and I'm keeping them in the bags purely for personal reasons, and not because of any anticipated resale value. I don't collect kits that much anyway, but I keep the few that I have not for any investment purpose but rather simply for the memories and the aesthetics. They mean something to me, but I don't expect them to ever convey any of that meaning and value to anyone else. BTW, an unnumbered kit can just as easily assume this same type of value for the owner. The majority of my "collection" kits are not numbered. Any rocket, whether built or not, has whatever value the owner gives it.

Royatl
08-16-2010, 02:22 AM
Just looking at the bin that's here in the office, I see a Defender #16, a Point #10, and (probably the most interesting of all, considering what's been going on) an Orbital Transport #36. I know I had a couple of early versions of other rockets, but have built them (and lost them!).

Ltvscout
08-16-2010, 09:01 AM
We never take kits with production numbers to events, since ltvscout wound up with #5 of the BatRoc because of this. :chuckle:
Hehe. ;)

ghrocketman
08-16-2010, 10:01 AM
Pretty sure one of my Semroc Saturn 1B's is number 10. It has not been opened.
I have SLS Explorer #6 or #7; I built it and put the production# decal on it. That one has flown like 20+ times.

Doug Sams
08-16-2010, 11:17 AM
I have SLS Explorer #6 or #7; I built it and put the production# decal on it. That one has flown like 20+ times.That's the spirit!

Doug

.

BEC
08-21-2010, 01:55 AM
We generally limit the number of kits with production numbers to one per customer ......

In response to this discussion and sort of "just because" I decided to stash Start #9 and ordered another (along with some other stuff). It arrived today. It's #12. I'll have to take a group picture before I open #12 and start building it.

miniHustler #17 is ready for filler. I have some hopes of having it to fly at next weekend's Pasture Blaster. If I do, it will have the production number decal on it as with ghrocketman's SLS Explorer.

It will likely be the test mule for a comparison of several small peak-reading altimeters I'm planning to fly simultaneously - probably at Rolling Thunder next month - where optical tracking will also be available.

Mark II
08-22-2010, 12:01 AM
I recently received Mini Optima #17.

Hmmm. What to do, what to do..... :rolleyes: