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Each year that passes the older Wisdens do naturally become rarer, especially pre 1900 editions and a number from the early twentieth century (1916 and 1919 to name two). With original print runs being as low as 250 for a single edition it is no surprise that the law of supply and demand takes over.
It is also a sad and that word is used deliberately that with the uncertainty in stock markets since 2007 the canny investor is looking for something more than what his or her broker is eager to float their way. The number of buyers entering the market to purchase purely as an investment has grown alarmingly
It is also certain that as more and more local libraries are forced to close lots of books, possibly Wisdens included, will find their way onto the market or probably even discarded as an old cricket book that no one ever took out
So any collection that includes the rarer ones will over the course of time, grow in value and if Wisden prices over the past four years are anything to go by, this rise is certainly above the rate of inflation.
Of course, it could all change tomorrow
A rather polite, but important way of saying that any investment can go up as well as down. Recent experience and irrespective of online auction sites that entice bidders into believing that bargains can be found on a daily basis, shows that a basket of affordable modern Wisdens available in 2007 are now worth considerably more (based on prices at the end of April 2014).
The basket would comprise of the following hardbacks, all with original dust jackets were applicable and all with a rating of 9/10 or better:
Now in 2007 the basket above would have cost a collector buying from a main dealer between £1400 and £1600, based on main dealer catelogues and web sites. In April 2014 a collector would need to spend between £3300 and £3700 for the same basket. A growth of approximately 10% per annum, which after taking into account inflation over the same period is not to be sneezed at. More importantly these are some of the most readable and enjoyable Wisdens.
This is not to say or infer that any other years have lost in value or remained the same, but the years above have increased in value and they are not in particularly short supply. It is generally perceived that the rarer editions have grown quite a lot in value over the past seven years but not everyone has those rarer editions, the majority of collectors may have the years mentioned above
We will be publishing more information and details of past and present prices on an ongoing basis