Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fleer, Leaf sales had little effect on Topps 1959-63

This is the last installment of my rudimentary analysis of baseball card sales history that I discovered in a 1965 Federal Trade Commission decision against Topps in an anti-trust action.

As before, you really need to read the introductory piece that I posted on May 12 for context and general information.

The FTC document included basic sales information for Fleer 1959-1963 and Leaf 1960 baseball cards.

I've charted the figures they presented and, for comparison, have added Topps baseball card total sales for the same years. 

I don't think it can be definitively cited as the principal reason for the decline in Topps baseball card sales 1959-1961 (the only years' data available in the FTC report), but it seems likely that competition from Fleer and Leaf was at least a minor factor in that trend.

As with the other baseball card sales data from the FTC findings, the figures are presumed to be wholesale sales. In quoting the Fleer sales numbers, the FTC examiner stated they represent sales "before returns and allowances."

As with the other sales data that has been presented here since May 12, you are welcome to do your own analysis and draw your own conclusions as to what the sales figures tell us 50 years later about quantities of cards produced. 

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