October 25, 2011

Dear idiot eBay sellers...

Why do you list OBVIOUS fake "patch" cards online that no one believes are real? Actually, one person did believe that they were rLinkeal because they were dumb enough to spend $66.00 hard earned dollars on the most insanely fake card.

See the $66 stupidity by clicking here. Let's call that Dumb Ass #1.

The next card I discovered last night while doing my usual search. It is /740 yet contains the only patch card with that serial number in the entire set. Wow! What a great pull, right? Not so much. Here is the ULTRA RARE patch card. Dumb Ass #2. BUT WAIT!! The SAME seller has another patch card for sale.... Look at this nonsense. Only $99.99! Oh. My. God. Must buy. NOT.

I linked all of these auctions to Topps on Twitter and they have yet to respond. Several other people also asked about the cards last night in tweets and from what I have seen there has been no response to anyone.

I know for a fact that companies like Louis Vuitton and Coach have people monitoring eBay for fakes and knock-offs because I know people who have gotten letters from eBay and the companies saying that they are not allowed to sell knock-offs online even if the auction explicitly states that they are NOT real. Where is the protection for sports memorabilia collectors or card collectors, Topps? How do they get alerted to this and do nothing and have no response?

I honestly think eBay needs to give their employees a class on this stuff because they supposedly have people who patrol auctions looking for things of this nature but it seems like they have no idea what they are doing when it comes to this particular topic.

None of the card companies have ever had an archive of pictures of the cards they produce that have patches or are 1/1 types of cards and they really should. How about maybe just an e-mail devoted to report fakes or investigate fakes? Then at least we could think that someone is looking out for us and more importantly protecting the integrity of the company. If you just started collecting and didn't know any better, bought one of those cards then found out... It probably would turn you off to collecting or to buying from that company even if they say they had nothing to do with it. At least for me it would be a turn off.



  1. I can't agree more! The best advancement I've seen recently is Tracy's work at Panini doing all the cutting board blog posts showing the cards as they're being assembled. Since Topps stopped putting authentication stickers on ALL auto's and 1/1's we're just asking for more.

    I could see a REALLY easy solution. Take a high resolution picture of each release set. For instance, you've got an auto/patch of Joe Girardi /50. Take a single picture of all 50 of them in numeric order and make all the images easy to search. Yeah it would take some manpower, perhaps one full time person working 40 hours a week but at least then you could go to topps.com, search for 2010 Tribute Joe Girardi, click on the /50 release and zoom in to see what #18/50 looked like prior to packout. I don't think a single image of each card is needed as most of the fakes are so gaudy and blatant that just seeing the color swatch in a 200pixel zoom-in square would be enough for a potential ebay purchaser to call BS prior to bidding or buying.

    Hey Topps, want to hire me? I'd do the photos, website, SQL server back end, and content up keep.

  2. Great post... and I totally agree. I've heard many people argue the fact that if someone is dumb enough to spend the cash, then it's their fault. And although there may be some truth to that... since a buyer should do some research of their own... at the same time I feel bad for people who are new to the hobby.

    For example... what about all of those grandmas who were tricked into buying all of that garbage on Shop at Home from Don West in the 90's for their grandchildren.

    These ladies thought they were getting deals of the century... but in reality they were getting scammed. Veteran collectors knew this... but newer collectors were deceived.

    The fact is... if we ever want the hobby to grow, we need to retain as many new collectors as possible. Scam artists hurt the hobby and need to be dealt with.

  3. my thoughts... nothing's going to change.

    Topps has the money from when people purchased their product, Ebay has the fees from people selling cards.

    If you could financially harm topps or ebay, things would change, but I don't see that happening.

    I do applaud Leaf for their Ichiro patch picture that recently was released. It will at least help people when buying Ichiro patch auto cards that are relatively low-numbered.

  4. At this point in time, there is no conceivable excuse for Topps, Panini, Upper Deck, or any other significant company to avoid cataloging the hits in their product, and putting them up for visual reference online. This is the 21st century, the last time I checked. Has been for a little while now.

    Nobody expects 100% coverage overnight, but certainly for product that costs over $200 per box, yet still has woefully alterable duds in it, it should be an industry requirement to at least start there.

    For a hobby that is so brand conscious, it is amazing to the degree that card companies are ambivalent about the erosion of their brand validity. The parallel with the fashion industry is apt.

    Just like nobody actually *needs* expensive brand name clothing in order to cover their bodies with something clean and useful, people still *want* fashion for a variety of reasons. However, to continue charging for that label premium, they have to be diligent about brand protection--otherwise solid yet fraudulent products benefit at the labels' expense.

    It's a fact that not a single person *needs* sports cards to live. You could say that sports cards are even less relevant and more discretionary that fashion. *gasp*

    Even when the card companies aren't screwing you with barely relevant 'event' worn items that may have never touched athlete skin, these aftermarket fraudsters are using the companies' "certification" authority printed on the cards for a now altered and overt fake.

    It's also not enough to just say 'buyer beware'. That's like telling somebody, "Yeah, don't go out in that neighborhood alone at night. You gonna git raped." Yes, that's common sense, but not everyone can be perfectly informed (like someone from out of town that doesn't know the area).

    Why should we, collectively, allow someone with a new or rekindled interest in the hobby get raped financially, just because they're more gullible? You want to help create a world that prevents rape, not one that permits it and hopes that people can manage the problem individually.

    What I think needs to happen is that somebody comes up with a process / device / system that a card company can buy or adopt and merge into their production process at less cost than it would take for them to pay to scan the cards individually.

    I think Topps would be interested in using a "Scan-O-Tron 3000 DX" that would:

    - take stacks of cards and scan both sides without damaging them
    - coordinate / combine the images for the individual card
    - and then auto-upload to a web repository

    It's just a matter of someone providing that service or capability, at a price that's attractive to them, that might make them more interested, for once, in protecting their brands than being afraid of costs.

  5. there are a few people who post videos on youtube, showing proof that patch cards are being altered. kind of easy for someone at topps, to say, 'yeah thats been altered, hey ebay pull that card.'

    ebay already has a policy if three items get pulled in one month they just close the sellers account

    all we have to do is complain to ebay, post videos with proof and include the links, js