Ever wonder if a bat could be bought in the market today and sold at a higher price at a later date? The simple economics of manufacturers limiting or ending production on bats definitely makes it possible. In reality, only a number of bats can be bought today for more than they were sold for new in wrapper just a few short weeks or months ago.
After patrolling the market and discussing inventory and demands from major vendors, this page keeps a running list of bats that have a real chance to go for premium prices in future years.
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2016 DeMarini CF8: The Prime Example
The most recent example of post-inventory skyrocketing bat prices is DeMarini's CF8 in a drop 10 2 3/4. That bat, which you could have found for under $300 a few short months, regularly goes for 2 to 3 times that number used. If you had a thick supply of those bats new in wrapper, and some patience, you could easily make $4 for every $1 you spent.
But, no doubt, the CF8 2 3/4 is an anomaly. Few bats are more expensive than they were originally and most are substantially less. This creates some real risk to packing your garage full of bats no one wants. Yet, there are a few helpful factors to consider when adding these bats to the list of potential investment bats.
Investment Bat Criteria
- Brand Name. Although it likely goes without saying, familiar brands carry an inherent price bump. This makes some obvious sense as secondary marketplaces (i.e. eBay) are controlled by search terms. And popular search terms get more eyeballs, bids, and ultimately, sale price.
- Popularity. Another seemingly obvious point, but bats that go berserk in the secondary post-inventory market were very popular bats at initial release.
- Novelty bats. We don't mean like gag gift bats, but bats that had a unique take on an old concept---especially when those bats are printed in short supply from a well known manufacturer. If you can't find that feature on any other bat, and the only place selling the bat is eBay, then expect higher prices corresponding to the supply shortage.
Predicting the future price of a bat is at best terribly difficult. But, we believe we have had enough conversations with vendors and manufacturers to understand demand and current inventory. Here is the list of bats we think could be worth more in the future. We may or may not have more than a couple of these still in wrapper just waiting for retirement.
Marucci CAT 6
Marucci's CAT 6 has been one of the most popular bats in the market since 2015. Now with the release of the CAT 7, Marucci's production of the bat has stopped. But, if you paid good attention, you noticed the price on the CAT 6 did not go down once the CAT 7 was released. This is a tell-tale sign of a bat that will be valuable post inventory.
As manufactures look to make room for the full line of 2017 Marucci bats and clear out their remaining CAT 6's we fully expect this bat to be difficult and pricey to find.
Easton Mako Torq
Remember that time everyone hated this bat? And by everyone, we mean not everyone, just most people. Well, the people that liked this bat still like it. And the inventory in the market is nearly dried up.
Notice as well, how in 2016 Easton unloaded these bats in the market, significantly lowering the prices. Now, compared to their non-torq counterparts, they are the same price if not more. We subscribe this fact to the reality that as inventory dries up, folks continue to look to acquire these. We suspect it will follow that today's prices will be a reasonable amount cheaper than what this bat will sell for come February of next year when vendor inventory is gone.
As a wood bat model, the AP5 is one of the most popular bats on the planet. And when Albert Pujols retires, will Marucci keep making his model bat? It is possible, but unlikely. If they do indeed stop making the AP5 when Pujols leaves the game, expect the guy who stocked up on these to have enough money to buy tickets for Albert's Hall of Fame induction.
We were never huge fans of the Combat VIGOR. As a performance bat we always felt it a bit lacking. But, by every user measurement, people rave about the bat's value. Few users rate the thing less than 5 stars.
Consider this, Combat is out of business and Easton reprinted the 2017 Combat Maxum. It would be very unlikely for Easton to reproduce the low end Vigor again. Add in the fact the Vigor can be bought for a song right now, and as inventory dries up, the only place to buy this highly rated bat will be on the secondary market.
Remember too, someone bought a truck load of crazy hot Combat B2 bats and sold them on eBay for years after everyone else ran out of inventory. They made a killing. The Vigor might be the best bat investment on this entire list.
2018 DeMarini CF ZEN
Although the 2018 DeMarini CF ZEN drop 10 (2 3/4) and drop 8 (2 5/8) were banned from USSSA and several other leagues, the bat is still legal in many that do not enforce bat standards. But the ban took the bat off the shelves of most major vendors. There are still a few of these that can be found on eBay at their slightly, gulp, premium price. But don't be surprised if come February of 2018, these bats are hard to find for less than $700.