Testing the Bear — An Experiment of Risk and Reward

TheDigitalCoy
5 min readMay 18, 2022

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The BEAR is real and I did an experiment to test it between 5/14 to 5/17/2022. I have learned a lot from this fun experience.

The background: After the relative success of my first auctioned 1/1 piece “#13 — Carrying 1981", I auctioned my second a few days later:“#12 — The World Behind Our Eyes”. Both pieces are from my ongoing collection “Publicly Private Life” and my goal was to test the ceiling of perceived value for my current work and give other bidders a potential chance to get the last piece in this cycle of my collection (thank you @artjedi1 and @chinfong for your bids on #12).

The “Failure”: However, not too uber surprisingly, I definitely found the ceiling and in fact, there wasn’t a single bid put in for #12…

So what did I learn from this experiment?

  1. My Ceiling: The current ceiling for and edition of my work is ~.15 ETH
  2. $ASH Ceilings: The current ceiling for the overall $ASH Community is likely between .15-.22 ETH (100–160 $ASH) — for example, looking at other pieces that dropped around the same time we see that “Memories of an Automoton” by Nyx, Secondstate & Dannyw3rains has an upper limit of 130 ASH (.18 ETH), Amy Alohi’s Genesis drop, “For You” sold for ~168 ASH (.22 ETH) and my first auction last week sold for .1455 ETH (113 ASH)
  3. Listing in $ASH vs. ETH: in the $ASH Community and during this bear market, $ASH is probably the better play if your goal is to sell your art/creations and sell out — this is mostly because people likely bought the dip OR have $ASH bags from the bull market. Now as to whether selling and buying in $ASH is definitely better for $ASH and the $ASH Community in the short and medium-term, that requires a longer piece and some deep soul searching conversation and analysis from greater minds than mine (see some of my thoughts on this topic HERE)
  4. Pricing Matters: Better to start an auction low than high, which I sort of knew. My logic was to test the upper limit because I would rather not sell at all than sell at a lower price than the previous piece — maybe flawed logic BUT I decided to go with this for now as I’m getting my feet wet in NFTs. Also, I have broader plans for this particular piece so would work out either way in the long-run.
  5. Timing and Other Peoples’ Drops Matter: People need time to shop and consider your works — leaving at least 1 week of lead up minimum to your drop is important so you can tell the story. Also, it’s important to pay close attention to what other projects are dropping at the same time and adjust accordingly. This is especially crucial during a bear market and in a smaller niche market like $ASH where there may be many overlaps between collectors and different artists/creators.
  6. Research, research, research: Do a really good survey of your current set of collectors or interested collectors to understand their perception of a piece and its specific value and do a survey of other potential competing drops ahead of time. As an example, though I anticipated and knew “Memories of an Automoton” by Nyx, Secondstate & Dannyw3rains was dropping, I did not anticipate Amy Alohi (one of my besties in the $ASH Community) would drop her Genesis, “For You”, at the same time. Alohi’s Genesis was not only also a 1/1 BUT perhaps more importantly such an amazingly touching and real piece from one of the most beloved members of the $ASH Community, which by the way I wish I could have collected but was too steep for me (Yay and congrats Amy!)
  7. The Medium Matters: Multi-media static pieces are likely not as popular in the $ASH Community and web3 at large and have lower perceived value — it makes sense. Static pieces unless they are clearly photography have more of a web2 feel than a web3 feel and moving pieces with sound stimulate more immediate attraction that draw in a collector and help make them more likely to choose your piece over another
  8. Storytelling Matters: having more lead time and engaging current and potential collectors with a story for the piece that can be understood and create a deeper connection to you and the piece matter — A LOT. Like falling in love IRL after a bad break-up, purchasing art/creations in a bear market requires more time to fall in love because everyone has just come off a painful relationship of sorts with the market
  9. Private is more valuable than Public: Because my collection is very private and intimate, #13 maybe didn’t resonate as much with collectors because it is a kind of bridging piece to my larger pocket universe and story arc and therefore, needs more explaining AND is harder to connect to on a personal level
  10. 1/1s are higher risk for absolute failure: This isn’t as much because there is only one since scarcity could make a piece more likely to find a collector, it’s more the fact that 1/1s tend to command a higher price and with that comes a higher risk than a lower priced multi-edition piece. This 1/1 risk is especially true if you don’t have a large enough set of long-term collectors in your orbit

So what now? Well, I had a feeling that listing at .2 ETH had a good probability of not selling so I’m not sad or upset about it and through this “failed” auction, I’ve collected some invaluable data. I have some plans for this specific piece that I had been thinking about in case this happened and am planning to make what I do with it a fun experience of sorts for my current collectors and those who have expressed interest in becoming collectors.

I’m excited to see how it goes but for now, need to take a vacation of sorts from creating for this collection, live a bit more IRL over the next two weeks and come back refreshed to create some more.

Thanks and GM/GN!

Screenshots of the pieces described above…

#13 — Carrying 1981 — sold for .1455 to @pixeljindo
#12 — The World Behind Our Eyes — no bids starting bid 0.2ETH
“Memoria” by Nyx, Secondstate & Dannyw3rains — 300 editions mint for 60 $ASH owned by me
“Automaton” by Nyx, Secondstate, & Dannyw3rains — 100 editions mint for 130 $ASH
“For You” by Amy Alohi 1/1 sold for 162.0675 $ASH to @artjedi1

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TheDigitalCoy

I create&collect, live to be a muse inspiring all I come into contact with to do good, live to eat, not eat to live,&my mantra is happy wife=happy life.