Friday, June 26, 2009

Warning- Serious Post Ahead!

As you may notice from my last post, I am a bit moodier about card collecting the last couple days. I mean, who disses on there own team set? I am not really going to apologize to upper deck though on that one, their product speaks for itself and they could have done better.

I think one reason for my mood is a web page I read the other day that really has me thinking about how I purchase my cards, this a snippet from that page:

"Here is the product breakdown of 2006 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball. Note the bolded sentence. If you want to pull a cut sig or a signature card, you should not buy a box of 2006 Legendary Cuts Baseball on eBay. Here is the very common scenario why.
So a eBayer buys a case of 2006 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball on Ebay or somewhere else. After opening the 6th box, he hits the second and final cut sig of the case. Since his only reason to buy the case was to get two great cut sigs, he decides to sell the other boxes on ebay to get some of the money back that he spent. So he lists the boxes on ebay and all the buyers, who want to hit a cut sig, get a box that will not have a cut sig gareenteed without knowing that they don't have a chance at a cut sig.
If you are looking to buy a 2006 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball Box to hit a cut sig, your best bet is buying it from your local hobby shop or from a trusted sportscard source (such as Dave and Adams Card World), and not from some guy in a different state that you don't know.
Also, I would like to say that I have nothing against this product it is just unfortunate what some people do".

Now keep in mind that this "alert" is only eluding to the 2006 SP Legendary Cuts, but who is to say that ANY product is immune to this type of collusion?

As a new collector, I like to assume best intentions. When I make a trade through my blog, I assume that the other party will follow though just as they assume that I will follow through. There is that trust factor there.

I have to have that same trust factor with vendors, whether it be a hobby shop or a seller on ebay. I have purchased several hobby boxes online, and have also pre-ordered a couple boxes of A&G and was thinking of a third box from another vendor that offers steep discounts. I would love to assume that these vendors simply pull all the boxes from the case and ship them out without cracking open a few for themselves. Heck, I would even love to believe that when you order a full CASE, that it has not been tampered with by the vendor. After all, the product says 2 cut autos ON AVERAGE...whoops, yours had none? Well, their are always outliers to any average, tough break.

My skepticism is not helped when I see these amazing hits posted online by hobby shop owners. I struggle to pull a future prospect auto, and there is a cut Mickey Mantle on ebay! I have to assume best intentions with sellers, but really, these people are not in the business to make trades with us, there are out there to make money. And the above scenario makes a lot of sense. If you nail the "hits" early, then sell off the individual boxes full of sub-par hits.

Another item I notice on ebay is these so-called HOT PACKS. Guaranteed Cut Auto inside. Selling for upwards of 150-200 bucks. So a vendor reseals a package with a cut auto, do you really believe he is going to insert anything of value in that pack?

So, bloggers, where do you stand on this issue? Am I paranoid? Are some vendors more susceptible to this than others?

As a family man on a limited hobby budget, I want to make purchases with confidence that I have a chance to pull something nice. Am I going about it the wrong way. Leave some comments.


  1. Hmmm.... I think you're right to be very skeptical of ebay - it's simply too easy to fake or tamper with stuff these days. Since I'm in the same situation (soon-to-be family, limited budget) I stick to my hobby shop. Prices sometimes seem a little higher than online - and they are - but when you factor in shipping, and that tax is "built in" (at least at my shop, it is), it's almost always a better buy. (Technically, $1 packs are LESS than a dollar!!!)

    Certainly, it's always a safer buy.

    I'd consider something from Dave and Adam's, or another "big" online dealer, because if it ever got out that they searched, forged, etc, their business would crumble. These ebay sellers are fairly anonymous and don't have to worry about repercussions.

    As for bloggers, word would spread real quick if one of us was sketchy, so I think you're fairly safe. Of course, most of what we trade are doubles/unwanted teams anyway, so there's not usually money involved.

    Just my two cents.

  2. Being paranoid is a good thing when dealing with eBay. It's the wild west out there and getting wilder.

    Having banned myself from eBay for a number of months now (not necessarily for the reason you cited), I now focus any online dealing -- which really isn't a lot -- on D&A, etc.

    Bloggers are almost always safe (I think out of all the trades I've done I didn't get anything back one time. Maybe two, I lose track). But we bloggers have a reputation to uphold! Of course, as Joe S. says, we're not rich enough to be sending boxes of Legendary Cuts to fellow bloggers.

  3. I checked out that D&A site and actually already made a purchase from them. Seems like an upstanding little company. Even used an online coupon that knocked 10 bucks off the purchase. Never figured out where to choose my 3 free packs though....geez, those red sox cards really put me in a bad mood eh? Maybe I need to write some more history lessons!

  4. I would only buy unopened boxes from one of the big online dealers or my local card shop. The big online guys are Blowoutcards, D&A Card World, Atlanta Sports Cards and Big T's Sports Cards. The first three are much larger than the last one. They are all very legit guys and have the best prices on unopened boxes. D&A has slightly higher prices for new stuff than the other guys, but they have the largest in stock selection.

    As for ebay, there's a lot of scum out there, especially on the "unopened" boxes and packs. But I think someone can figure out if a pack is "hot". They don't even have to open or re-seal stuff. All you need is a scale. I tested my theory out yesterday on packs of 2009 Finest from a box I just bought with my mailing scale. The packs with the patches were an ounce or two heavier and the boxes with the rookie redemption cards were an ounce or two lighter. This is probably what the hot pack guys are doing. I'd advise only to buy singles or lots of individual cards on eBay and stick to the legit online dealers for unopened stuff.