Monday, December 22, 2008

Beckett's Sterling Break Response, Its Even Constructive!

Today, for the first time in a while, Beckett broke a few boxes of Sterling and got crap. It was refreshing, and thank you to Topps for not playing into this any more. I dont think I could stomach another Sterling break like last years Arod Auto/Dimaggio Cut scam.

A lot of you are either for Beckett or against them, and this one is for those of you who actually care about the future of this situation. Or, more specifically, how Beckett can fix all the problems they create on a regular basis. I have offered these solutions before, but I doubt you remember.

Really, if Beckett thinks that they dont need to fix any of the things listed below to stay in business, I promise they will be sadly mistaken. I think these solutions are no brainers.

1. DITCH THE PRICE GUIDE

There. Now you get rid of a lot of the conflict of interests that plague the magazine. Just dump it. Its completely off base and irrelevant, and the prices (even though there is SURELY a formula) have no bearing on actual value. Why keep up this charade? Even better, just put a big ad for eBay's completed auction page.

2. STOP ALL THE ARROGANCE

Face it, Beckett is no longer the #1 authority. Internet users are. That means that you need to stop walking around with your dick hanging out of your pants. We dont want to look.

You need to start embracing the internet revolution, rather than taking a big poop on it. We hate you because you are a company of asses. Dont belittle the fact that there are people who disagree with you any more, because that will be the end of you. That is the nature of this. Stop posting 5th grade type rebuttles to things you are obviously at fault for. Say you are sorry, offer amends, make friends not enemies.

An example here: when this website was first created and people were really pissed, you should have maybe sent an email saying that you wanted to make it up to us. Instead of posting fuck you after fuck you after fuck you on the site, you should have just came out and said "We are sorry, please forgive us." You didnt. Instead you adopted a policy of non-recognition, which only makes you look like assholes (which you are). Asking for forgiveness is the sign of a good person who has done wrong. If you stand fast and act like you are above the law, its the sign of a lack of character. FYI, I still have not received one olive branch, not even a sniff. Thats pretty interesting considering I come up in staff meetings. Its too late now, but you get the point.

Another example: After the national card show, Hackler laid a golden poop talking about how much people love his poops that smell like rainbows. He said something like, "our box breaks are the most popular things we do, and its now obvious that only a few people dont like them." That was completely pointless, because we all know how many of us really dislike them. Ill show you my inbox, it has close to 300-400 emails that say exactly the opposite of what Hackler says. All you gain by pulling this time and time again is more enemies.

Last example: Instead of addressing the issue like an adult, someone decided that making fun of Dave's graphic would be a better route. Yes, that worked out great right? Now instead of a website with 450 hits a day being pissed at you, you now have a website with 100,000+ hits a month that is pissed at you. Time to give it up.

3. NO MORE COMPANY SPONSORED BREAKS

Youtube is filled with breaks of boxes from people who are actually paying for them at real stores. Use those in a weekly forum post on the site rather than accepting loaded boxes from crooked PR reps at the manufacturers. Users will be pumped they are on the site, people will be happy, AND I WILL SHUT UP ABOUT IT. Also, it will be real people with real cards who have spent real money. Plus, the real emotions of a real breaker trumps your bad acting any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

This will also dump another conflict of interest from the business you run, and everyone can again have a realistic expectation of what is REALLY in a box of cards.

4. PUT REAL COMMENTARY IN THE MAGAZINES

Get some of the real collectors to write real articles, work with them, and create a true collector's magazine. Tackle real issues with real people, no more fake bullshit. If patch faking is a problem, publish a spread on it. If people love a product, tell us why by having them write about it in article form. Dont publish short paragraphs from people who post on the message board, start getting stuff from people who actually are vested in this hobby. Besides, we are tired of hearing from the same people over and over again. Stop thinking about how to stop the opponents and start thinking about eliminating the problems that cause opponents in the first place.

This also means when Mario and JV spend their time writing an article, you publish it as promised.

5. ADMISSION OF GUILT

Again, apologize for the wrongs, stop doing bad things that cause wrongs, and run a respectable publication. People will admire you for being brave enough to say you are sorry, and they may even start buying the magazine again. Dont give some half assed excuse like, "We are sorry you feel the way you do, it was not meant to be like that."

Instead say, "We broke a lot of a rules in the book, and we are sorry for what we did. We understand why people are angry, and we will make the practices of the magazine reflect a better and more ethical way of functioning."

See? Dont blame us for feeling the way we do, say sorry and admit to what you did.

Dont just say it either, DO IT.

6. STOP SELLING ON EBAY

Another conflict of interest - gone. Its not cool to sell Beckett graded cards on ebay. Do you not see what is going on? Just stop, we will all be happier.

There are a lot more, and I will discuss them as they come up.

9 comments:

  1. This is great, and what's amazing is that it's all common sense. You can think of these ideas in 5 minutes of your free time. People are actually getting PAID to run Beckett, and look at their results!

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  2. For the record, I wrote two articles they told me would be published long ago and it never happened.

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  3. Awesome job on this. I wasn't even aware that they were selling on e-bay. There is hope for Beckett, but they need to evolve. The pricing is such a joke. It single handedly drove me out of collecting years ago. I would sit there and look at my cards, and say OK, Beckett says it worth this much, but the frustration of only being able to sell for well below half of Beckett's book value became frustrating. Pissed off, I said screw this, and left collecting. Another thing that kills me is watching Olds and Hackler open boxes. It seems like they grabbed 2 random guys walking down the street, who don't even collect. There is absolutely nothing informative in their breaks.

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  4. I've been thinking about Beckett and its problems. What if we (the collectors) came up with a web site where we (the collectors) could collaboratively build and maintain a price guide along with articles from popular card bloggers, sort of like Wikipedia, but for cards? Do you think something like this would work?

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  5. sruchris-

    The first thing that would have to be done is to somehow set some sort of groundrules for listing a product. It would be somewhat simple to compile a running average of sales of a specific card if the listing words were similar. Problem lies in that people list things using all sorts of descriptors.

    I am currently collecting sterling gold patch autos. I have to search 'sterling auto', 'sterling patch', 'sterling autograph', and 'sterling dual' in order to see most cards. Even still, some people don't even use the word 'sterling' in their description.

    If that was honed down, building the site wouldn't be that difficult. That is, other than licensing and such from ebay. Not sure what the rules are on that one. I ain't no lawyer.

    Gellman, your thoughts on this are solid as usual. But I see the chances of this happening as zero. I see a better chance at Beckett receiving a Gov't bailout. Afterall, that's what we do for failing business's these days.

    Beckett has simply become a huge freakin trumpet of the industry. The Companies blow tons of wind (ie. money) into the Beckett Mouthpiece, and out the other end comes lots of 'mojo-rific' noise. The thing about a trumpet though, is that they are great at making noise, but really suck at listening.

    Just a start would be for every "Best Pull" article showing some insane card that ONE person pulled, they could include an article called "Biggest Screwjob". This article would be filled with box breaks like, I don't know, Gellman's Topps Chrome break without an auto.

    Just my thoughts.

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  6. I think #2 should be #1. I commented on that new website being useless and non user friendly. They responds with 'watch these videos and learn, this is the future'. That's the last time I tried anything over there. I am of the age group of computers, have degrees and have a high stress job, being called a moron by some failing card magazine editor pisses me off. I think ending the arrogance would solve the rest of the issues you highlight. I think #4 is a great idea.

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  7. Gellman ... you can pic up you e-gift at my blog.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

    CHUCK

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  8. Jeff W,

    One of the first things I learned as a web designer is that is a user has a problem using your site, it is ALWAYS the fault of the design. If a design is so complicated that you have to watch videos to get it, then you throw out the design and come up with a new one.

    I haven't seen Beckett do anything right in a long, long time.

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