I would like nominate panzerfuzion for Internets User of the Century of the Week. Serious win in every post. Where have you been all our lives?
Onto the topics at hand.
Concerning the reselling/flipping trend, 10 years ago, we had these things called TRADEBOXES and we actually TRADED with them! Crazy, I know. Sure, you can make direct bank for more purchases but you give up the true community aspect that builds by trading with people where both parties get something they want out of it and you talk with someone more than you haggle with them. Believe it or not, 10 years ago, we didn't price everything here for a reason. WTT has given way to FS.
You can't look at black box sealed games as a secular bubble that won't affect general loose prices. Anything that increases the perception that NES is valuable and a worthy investment will bleed out to loose and complete titles. The one idiot who is buying up said black box games like very expensive candy, is the reason why. Based on what others posters have said here, since he seems to be one of the uneducated masses who use eBay as the sole metric (likewise, Etler's list as a guide - yes, these people still exist), you have to wonder what motivated him to spend so much on what we, the educated masses, would call a foolhardy investment.
And what's to stop the next person like this one to do the same, but spend more? Or what is going to stop him from using his wallet as a weapon on loose and complete titles? People like this will just follow the ones before them as they don't know any better... and things keep going up. You can't really say that these people will keep blinders on to other areas of collecting as well as be discrete with their purchases especially when they are not as educated collecting-wise as everyone who has posted in this thread. If you don't know any better, and you just saw someone spend $25k on a sealed Baseball (if you're not involved in the community, you'd never know he negotiates down!), would it make sense that you could think the value of baseball is even some percentage of that now?
Next: Why did sealed blackbox man make that decision to go wild with his money?
Due to the recession, traders and investors have moved from stocks and commodities to collectibles. And game collecting has made itself the perfect environment to enter. Prices show strong growth. There is a perfect dispersion of rare titles and popular ones to keep your options open. Nostalgia fuels bringing new collectors (and their disposable income) into the fold. VGA has arrived and made more quantifiable tiers to approach beyond loose, complete and sealed. Not to mention the Nintendo method for sealing games brings an identifiable (H SEEEEAMMM!!11) and relatively easy (compared to Genesis especially) way to confirm legitimacy.
So here are people like Braveheart69 (complete black box hoarding and prices), Mario's Right Nut (complete copies of SE hoarding) and gwyidion (homebrew prices and hoarding) with large bank accounts and opportunity to take hold of and so they did. And they are still around and not going anywhere. Also, this blackbox guy is proof more are on the way.
As someone who has benefited, and might I say greatly, from the increase in prices, I don't necessarily like it. The entry point to NES is constantly going up and new collectors are constantly having to short change themselves to collect like a lot of us did in the past. I am an old collecting fart, no doubt about it, and I know times change but I would want nothing to stop new collectors from experiencing what I did because it was great. It really has gotten to the point where old timers like myself are the ones who got driven to school and the new collectors had to walk 5 miles in the freezing cold to get there. That just doesn't jive with me and it all goes back to the point of skaar's posts.
Collecting is no longer a hobby. A hobby is for relaxation and enjoyment. Collecting is now an investment. And see how that worked out for the comic book investors back in the 90s. Which is why, if you are concerned with the value of your collection, you should have the trigger finger on Turbolister to sell everything locked and loaded. It's like the Price is Right, as close to without going over. I don't have my trigger finger on anything - I'm just observing now and trying to collect while dodging the insanity. I hope when the dust settles, everyone who posted here is too, fwiw, it'll show me that you were here for the right (that being, what I feel is right) reasons.
I genuinely hope it crashes down so it goes back to being an accessible, fun hobby again.