I also collected loose back in 2000 and I find it staggering how much certain figures are going for now a loose Vinyl Jawa now in high grade is not far off the price for a carded one back then. I think grading has had a significant impact on prices as new or returning collectors (like myself) will choose a graded item every time as you know what you are buying without any prior experience or knowledge, this has increased the price of higher grade items, its amazing the price differential between an 80 and an 85 grade. I think the MOC prices would be significantly higher if virtually all of the high end sales of rare and thereby expensive MOC's weren't done behind closed doors. I think the sale of loose items is more open and the prices are recorded or at least known and that is what is pushing prices up. Star Wars Tracker is a usefull tool for loose sales or common MOC's, any rare MOC's it is of little use. I also think since disney took control over Star Wars this has also led to a significant increase in prices, I was looking to buy a Star Wars Vol 1 35 Cent comic (the 35 cent is the rare variant, the 30 cent is the common one) Pre Disney this comic was selling for £2600-£3000 (CGC9.0) and now this same comic in the same grade would be £10,000 to £13,000 I attribute that price rise directly to Disney.
Because he's holding a thermal detonator!!
Then I'll see you in Hell!