Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MANY 2015 UPDATES: Topps & Panini Redemptions +++


Well by now most know that Panini turned to a POINTS system (instead of REDEMPTION cards) to choose from cards they put up on a special website. At first I thought this may be an improvement UNTIL I found the OUTRAGIOUS SHIPPING & HANDLING FEE they charge to ship your card to you. It's over $4.00 to ship one card! That's certainly not worth it if you are trying to redeem 400-points or less since nearly all of those cards can be bought on eBay for $5.00 or so.

Plus Panini has been sending absolute CRAP replacement cards for older actual redemption cards they have owed to collectors. I was owed (4) FOOTBALL redemptions that were owed to me for well over 4-months and they send me four worthless common player STICKER basketball autographs. PANINI KNOWS THAT I HATE STICKER AUTOGRAPHS AND USED TO GET ME ON CARD REPLACEMENTS IN THE PAST (considering that 75%+ of all my redemptions since 2011 had to be replaced!).
No matter how many people tell them that they WANT THE REDEMPTIONS they sent in a good majority of the time and have no choice but to accept whatever card companies pick for you: they should go above and beyond to help you get a replacement you would prefer in order to keep this hobby alive!!!

Now just like Topps, Panini doesn't care at all about collectors anymore!


Topps is just as bad as ever with replacing redemption cards if you are LUCKY enough to get that done AT ALL!

Topps hasn't sent MOST actual redemptions owed from late 2011-late 2013 at all because: THEIR EMPLOYEES AT DURYEA, PA STOLE MOST OF THESE REDEMPTION CARDS! Both a CS Supervisor and regular employee told me this whole story personally by phone in 2012-13: it has also been told to other collectors and dealers by DIFFERENT C.S. employees until Topps told them to SHUT UP about this truthful story.
In the process of this clusterfrack Topps had all their Executive e-mails and phone extensions BLOCKED from any contacts OUTSIDE OF TOPPS communications! There are only two reasons for them to do such a thing: the Executives don't want to be bothered, or other Topps Managers want to hide these facts from Topps Executives. IN ANY CASE THIS IS BY FAR THE WORST SCREW-UP IN THE HOBBY IN AT LEAST A DECADE AND NATURALLY COLLECTORS GET SCREWED MORE THAN ANYONE!!!
About a year ago a Topps CS Manager told me- "don't accept replacements for cards you really want, we'll be replacing those autographs with the actual card you are owed when the season ends for the athlete."  That turned out to be just another of Topps' lies that are more often spewed by Topps than the truth since 2011. 
I've been waiting for two 2013 UFC Knockout ON CARD Autographs: Alistair Overeem and Antonio Nogueira. UPDATE- 5/13/15 STILL WAITING!
In very early January 2015 on Topps Redemption card UPDATE: http://toppscards.tumblr.com/  they stated that they are working hard to get these UFC autographs completed and shipped. WELL I STILL DON'T HAVE EITHER OF MY UFC AUTOGRAPHS AND THEY FINALLY UPDATED THAT STATEMENT IN EARLY MARCH AND THE PLAYERS LISTED THAT TOPPS OBTAINED WERE NOT THE PLAYERS I HAVE BEEN OWED FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS!
Then I received a BADLY damaged Blake Bortles Topps Finest STICKER Auto/PATCH card #/50 from a pack. There was a bubble under the sticker almost the size of a dime. COME ON NOW, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO QUALITY CONTROL?  This is the SECOND time in a year that I got a badly damaged $100+ Topps card right out of a factory sealed box. The first one I just donated because I was so stressed out by Topps that I couldn't handle it at the time. But I wasn't giving up on this Bortles. Topps was lucky I gave up on the damaged Eddie Lacy/Gio Bernard DUAL Auto/PATCH card numbered to /25. I don't even own a Lacy autograph now because of this screw up by Topps and I won't buy one because 95% are STICKER AUTOGRAPHS and the ON CARD autographs are TOO EXCPENSIVE!. It had a bad dinged corner AND a terribly scribbled Bernard autograph that NO ONE would be able to identify as his autograph??? 
So I spent like $7.50 sending the Bortles to Topps by Priority Mail/Insured to Topps because I DO NOT TRUST TOPPS AT ALL ANYMORE! A few months pass and I called Topps and after several tries I got MINERVA. REMEMBER THAT NAME BECAUSE THIS IDIOT IS NOW IN CHARGE OF ALL TOPPS REPLACEMENTS! She was confused right off the bat. It took her 15-minutes to find that I even sent them this card for a replacement (luckily I sent it INSURED w/TRACKING) and got a call back a day later. Then she said "I'll have to send you a replacement because we don't have any Bortles autographs to send you." WHAT HAPPENED TO TOPPS HAVING REPLACEMENTS FOR ALL CURRENT YEAR PRODUCTS TO RESERIAL NUMBER WITH A NON-DAMAGED CARD??? That in itself is very scary and makes me think Topps is in far more trouble that I ever imagined!


So MINERVA asks me what I would prefer so I told her- any ON CARD AUTOGRAPH or AUTOGRAPHS of established players of retired semi-stars or better, or Hall Of Famers from products like Topps Museum, Gypsy Queen, or Topps Tier One from any year that equal the $150 value of the Bortles card.
I don't think I could have possibly made this any easier for MINERVA because every product has about 5% overage on Autograph Inserts after all boxes are finished being packaged. In short, if there are 400 autographs made of any particular player, they have at least (20) leftovers and times that by the (50) or more different players I would have liked and they have at least 1,000 ON CARD autographs laying around just from overage from each product from each year! Plus Topps has around 50% of all redemptions left-over after the expiration date has expired. So Topps has tons of Museum and Tier One autographs from 2014 on back and she could find $150 worth of cards from those products for my replacements??? OF COURSE SHE COUILD HAVE, but she knows nothing about OUR hobby and is a MORON in general, period!
So she tells me "I have to talk to my manager and I'll call you back." Guess when that was? NEVER! I had to call her back after waiting a month. Then she says "I have a 2013 Bowman Sterling Carlos Correa/Springer dual auto #/35 worth $150, do you want that?" I said yes considering how little I trust Topps, I'll be glad to get anything at this point, so send me that card."
So I waited and waited and FIVE WEEKS LATER after hearing nothing, I call MINERVA back again on 3/17/15. I was told she was not working today. So I told the CS employee that I want to speak to her boss. he said "she is the boss".


So I explained all the problems I had with her spanning over 6-months and whenever she says she will do something, SHE NEVER DOES. So the guy takes my phone number (with over 2-hours left in the day at Topps) and says the Manager will call me back. UPDATE-AS OF 5/13/15 NO ONE EVER CALLED ME BACK!

If all of this doesn't scare you away from buying new Topps product boxes, then you deserve whatever happens to you!

PRESS PASS IS GONE FOR GOOD (bankrupt) AND I GOT SCREWED OUT OF A TRE MASON GOLD RC AUTOGRAPH THAT I WAS OWED FOR 8-MONTHS! So I e-mailed the only executive left at press Pass and told him my whole story. if he had a heart he would have sent me something for the $15 I paid for that card. But he never even responded, but the e-mail did go through correctly and I e-mailed him very soon after the end of Press Pass was announced. THE BOTTOM LINE: NO ONE CARES ABOUT ANYONE ANYMORE NO MATTER HOW MUCH GOOD THEY'VE DONE FOR THIS HOBBY MAINLY TO BENEFIT HOSPITALIZED  CHILDREN. If they don't care about people who've dedicated their lives to helping others for nothing in return, then they don't care about anyone! I GUARANTEE THIS EXECUTIVE IS STILL GETTING HIS PAYCHECKS OR AUTOGRAPH INSERTS IN PLACE OF HIS PAY!   5/13/15 UPDATE- NO ONE EVER CALLED ME!
Something very scary has been going on in the Certified Autograph Insert area on eBay since Feb. 2015. Cards that have been in PERMANENT COLLECTIONS for a decade or almost two are all of a sudden being put up for sale AND auction on eBay in numbers far greater than I've ever seen before (at least for the last TEN YEARS). I'm talking about especially; superstar ON CARD autograph/jersey cards from the very early 2000's that almost never found their way onto eBay in the last several years. Plus it's not just certain cards, it seems like many collectors are giving up on collecting and are getting rid of their very best/rare cards in their collections. Short term this will cause the prices of these cards to drop eventually as long as this lasts (and I think it will). So if you are a gambler, now's the time to start looking for cool Certified ON CARD Autograph inserts you couldn't find for years.
I already saw the effect of this as a friend just sold a very rare/expensive Auto RC Insert. It was a 2001 Elite Albert Pujols RC autograph #/100 which was the Holy Grail of RC Autograph Inserts for a decade. Low Beckett=$900, High Beckett= $1,200 (and those prices haven't changed in MANY, MANY years).I thought she'd get at least $800 for it. The bidding started at $599 and it only got two bids and ended at $655. The card has a very minor corner ding, but few of these cards don't have any corner damage due to the entire holo-foil front that has handled by the players.  
If you saw the way many players ship cards back to card companies you wouldn't believe it unless you saw it. WELL I SAW IT. I've literally seen players send (400) cards in an (800) Count box back to Playoff totally loose with absolutely nothing to keep the cards from bouncing all around the inside of the box from left to right and back again. So this literally destroyed the first 20-30 cards on each side, plus can ding corners on nearly every card in the box depending how many times a Post office employee drops the box.  When Playoff would send (400) cards to a player, they'd send them in a box that fit them as snugly as possible or they'd add black foam padding on each side to stop the movement of cards during shipping. But some players get careless, don't use the padding to ship cards back and collectors wonder why they pull autographs with dinged corners. This is also the reason that rarely some autographs had to be replaced entirely. Plus some players man-handle cards while they are signing them. ALL OF THESE FACTS WOULD BE GREAT TO PUT IN A AUTOGRAPH INSERT ONLY PRICE GUIDE, DON'T YOU THINK? If you agree, then e-mail EVERYONE at Beckett and tell them you want a Certified Autograph Insert Only Price Guide!!!
5/13/15 UPDATE - I bought a 2001 Fleer Legacy Albert Pujols RC Autograph in MINT Condition for $150.00 which I may get graded by BGS. This is the Pujols Autograph RC I always wanted because it's the ONLY one where he signed his last name clearly with the "o"! Plus it's a nice white background card where the autograph jumps out at you. It's just a really nice looking card. It's serial numbered higher than most of his RC Autographs, but so what??? Not many people care about the difference in serial numbers anymore as a new breed of collector has taken over the hobby:


I predicted this over 16-years ago and it finally has come to pass. If the people at Beckett had half a brain, they'd make an AUTOGRAPH INSERT ONLY PRICE GUIDE. But I've been telling them to do this since at least 2000 and they never did, so I don't expect them to do anything intelligent ever anymore which is why I haven't bought a Beckett Price Guide in years. 
PLEASE KEEP REPORTING SPORTS CARD SELLERS WHO ARE CHARGING .50 CENTS OR MORE FOR EACH ADDITIONAL CARD YOU WIN (whether they mention it in their listings or not)! This is totally against eBay's Reasonable Shipping Fee rules and these sellers MUST BE NOTIFIED BY EBAY THAT THEY ARE BREAKING THESE RULES. You need to tell eBay this or the seller will not stop overcharging! The only way to do that is for at least THREE different buyers to complain about the seller using those extra fee profits for paying their eBay/PayPal fees! That's the one rule that eBay NEVER let sellers get away with.
So this is how you need to explain it to eBay (AND YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND AS A SELLER):
Since it's a FACT that using eBay's PRINT SHIPPING LABEL service is by far the cheapest way to get postage ($1.93 for a 3-OZ package, and only $2.25 for a 6-OZ package), and being that quality bubble envelopes (poly or paper) are .25 cents each RIGHT ON EBAY w/FREE Shipping, plus all other expenses don't add up to more than $3.00 total ($2.25 +.25 +.30 for cases/penny sleeves +.05 for tape ) 

There's absolutely no justification to charge more than $3.00 TOTAL shipping (NO MATTER HOW MANY SINGLE CARD ITEMS ARE WON) in the Sports Card area if the package weighs less than 6-ounces (which 99.9% do). 

My friend had a seller tell him that he didn't have a printer and that's why he charges $4.00 S&H (TO START) and then charges .50 cents for EACH ADDITIONAL item the buyers win! THAT'S THE LAMEST EXCUSE I EVER HEARD! Plus you need to know that this seller actually SELLS (not lists and doesn't sell) over (100) items to DIFFERENT BUYERS a week, had a sports card store for decades. YET HE DRASTICALLY OVERCHARGES FOR SHIPPING & HANDLING ON EBAY BECAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE A PRINTER TO PRINT HIS OWN SHIPPING LABELS AND SAVE EACH BUYER AT LEAST $1.50 IN SHIPPING FEES! Have you ever heard anything as ridiculous as this before?
Maybe you should know that an HP 1010 printer at Best Buy costs around $35 (with all taxes included), and comes with FREE ink cartridges. Then you need to set your printer print setting to DRAFT and you'll be able to print at least five times more labels. In addition, replacement ink cartridges (you only need BLACK) cost less than $10 each (with FREE SHIPPING) right on eBay!
Plus so many bidders stay away from sellers who charge ANYTHING for additional cards won, so calculating in just ONE lost bid and that's .25 cents you lost on ONE CARD!!! Many buyers will buy a few extra cards just to justify paying the $3.00 S&H fee, so that's THREE MORE BIDS YOU ARE GETTING WHETHER THEY WIN THE ITEM OR NOT (another free .75 cents). Are some sellers that ignorant and hard-headed that they can't see how much money they are LOSING by overcharging for S&H???
Even most sellers who live on BLOWOUTCARDS message boards are finally agreeing with me that charging those extra per card fees are senseless as they lose bids, get lower seller ratings, and get angry buyers so why risk any of that (and that's without ANY ONE of them mentioning that it's AGAINST EBAY'S RULES AND THEY CAN BE SUSPENDED FOR OVERCHARGING S&H!)? This was the attitude on a thread where just a few idiots out of dozens (flydisco being the main ignorant JERK instigator) thought I was currently on eBay which I haven't been for many, many months now. When I want something on eBay, I have a friend bid for me- so I don't need to be on eBay! Then there's the couple of morons who said "cardcop's been dying for 15-years now." I pity anyone who makes comments like that about a truly terminally ill person (like myself)- one day they may say something stupid to a very ill person face to face and I hope they wind up sicker for life than the person they made the stupid comment to.
BTW- I've been terminally ill since 2009 when I was told my illnesses (main ones are severe General Myasthenia Gravis with Hyperthymusism blocking all medications from working right if at all) will only get worse and I'll be lucky to make it past 50-years old (I'm 48 now). I've been homebound and 99% bed-ridden since 2009 as well. I'm in severe-excruciating pain with severe weakness 24/7-365 and no I have no family, and offline friends prefer "out of sight, out of mind" with someone as sick as I am. So I've been terminally ill for almost 5-years now. If any of these morons knew the first thing about any of my illnesses (or cared) they'd never post such comments. The sickest thing is that the worst of these people believe in god... what would your god do to you for making fun of a terminally ill person? INSTANT DEATH sounds about right to me...