Today, three full years into the PSA Set RegistrySM program, there is no doubt that the collectors have spoken and made it clear that The Registry is here to stay. The success of the program is also due in part to general market maturity. When the program began, there was no doubt that we would see strong participation on the hobby classics and other traditional categories but the expansion occurred in a variety of areas, some expected and some not.
Beyond the traditional sets, player runs and a variety of specialty sets are a huge part of why The Registry has become so successful. The Registry, like the market for collectibles itself, is ever-evolving. As we march into the future, we realize that part of the appeal is encouraging creativity when it comes to starting new set categories. The potential themes are virtually limitless and, as The Registry grows, you can see the diversifi cation in interests.
Now that The Registry is established and growing in the area of trading cards, both sports and non-sports alike, keep an eye on the expansion into other areas of collecting. Tickets, autographs and other collectibles will all inhabit The Registry eventually. The concept applies to all of the above and more. Collectors enjoy building upon a theme and working towards completion. It is part of the natural collecting drive that we all share. The chase is fun but reaching that goal provides ultimate hobby satisfaction.
One of the most enjoyable results of this program is the fact that collectors are finally getting the kind of recognition that they deserve for putting forth the effort in assembling these sets. Set registrants are part of something special, a growing community of hobbyists that are laying the foundation for future generations of collectors. The Registry provides a forum where collectors can receive confirmation that their efforts will not go unnoticed, it's a place to share their accomplishments with others who possess the same passion.
Even from a financial perspective, The Registry has changed the market. It was tradition that, when it came time to sell, sets were broken up and the cards were sold separately. All of that time and effort in putting the set together was destroyed in an instant. It was just the way it was. Sets were just not sold intact. Recently, the approach to selling has changed.
Finally, people are paying premiums for complete, intact sets and sellers are reacting accordingly by offering more and more of them. That is the way it should be. The effort is now being recognized and appreciated. It just makes sense. When you take the "blood, sweat and tear" factor into account, a buyer should be expected to pay for the product of those efforts. It is clear that more buyers are not only accepting this notion, they are embracing it.
The bottom line is that the PSA Set RegistrySM would be nowhere without the great support that many of you have given us over the past three years so, from all of us at PSA, thank you for making our program such a big success. We look forward to improving the program and adding new categories. This is a concept that we all believe will have long lasting, positive effects on our wonderful hobby. In 2005, let us know how we can further enhance the Registry.