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These were all sold in December and the realized prices were previously posted. You are correct, the prices were very high in most all cases. Rock Island has “found” the A2, and has been offering a smattering of jackets throughout the year for the past couple years now, and most of these have been selling for much more than they would in other venues. This coupled with the upcoming Masters of the Air series leads me to believe the market for original A2’s will continue to be hot for the next few years. Just my opinion. Now other dealers are referring to the high prices commanded by Rock Island and suggesting their lower prices are a bargain, (when in fact their prices are definitely going up as well). I have been following the market pretty closely over the last two years and have added a couple of original A2’s to my collection as I had re-focused and sold some other items to concentrate on AAF. None of what I have purchased came from Rock Island, but i still secured a couple of nice examples and they still weren’t cheap!
Also important to remember is that some auctioneers use as their starting prices the high-bid prices from previous auctions. It's important for individuals to recognize this trend and not confuse this practice with perceptions of what a market actually is.
How much does an item cost? Well, that depends on what somebody is willing to pay.
I would argue that a market would consist of that space where enough buyers and sellers could convene and determine item prices. Additionally, there would be enough items available for an understood supply to exist that may satisfy the needs -- or at least the desires -- of interested participants.
So how many auction results and/or ebay sales need to transpire before a market is created? I don't know the answer.
I dont disagree with you at all….however, some dealers will get their hands on a nice painted jacket now and refer to the most recent realized price on Rock Island suggesting that is its “potential” value. Whether it sells or is another thing. Seems to me that the painted A2 is picking up interest again across a variety of selling platforms though, after the big Japanese buys in the 1990’s and the “slump” that seemed to follow.