The definition of fair market value is based on a relatively simple concept. It is the selling/buying price for an item to which the buyer and seller can both agree. If Todd McFarlane is willing to pay $3 million for the 70th home run that Mark McGwire hit, than that ball’s fair market value was $3 million.
Buyers are typically going to try to lower the asking price that is set by a seller, and often, it is because the seller is trying to charge more than the market value of the product. The market value is simply the amount for which something can be sold on a given market, but desperate individuals have a tendency to try to increase prices based on the fabricated prices set by others.
Many people use eBay to try to value their products. They will search eBay for the item that they are selling and convince themselves that it is worth what someone else is asking for it. They fail to see when that item last sold and how much it sold for. They fail to take the condition of the item into consideration.
Craigslist is full of pranksters and jokers, so it is hard to say if this listing was made by someone incredibly desperate or someone incredibly stupid/bored. Either way, research will show that the Peace Bear Beanie Baby can be purchased for as little at $5 online. The Peace Bear was always unique, since no two bears have the same color pattern, but that doesn’t mean the $30,000 asking prices have been justified.
Garcia, the same bear without the peace sign on the chest, was actually far more valuable when Beanie Babies had a significant value. Investing and collecting are all about staying on top of trends and knowing when to buy and sell. At this point, almost every Beanie Baby is worth little more than the material, or original asking price of $5. Accepting that you’ve missed a buying or selling window is just a part of the risk associated with collecting anything.