Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Desperation is a Funky Odor

Whether its suspending and refunding members for linking to non-beckett sites, requesting that message boarders give opinions on stuff to get them into the magazine, crying to manufacturers about not getting special exclusives that are instead being given to blogs, or stealing from blogs all together, I am happy that Beckett is not afraid to fart out their desperation internet wide.

Personally, I love the smell of desperation in the morning. It smells like...


Just for fun, I am going to go through a short history of Beckett here, and maybe you can follow along at home.

1984 - Beckett founded by Dr. J. Beckett a statistics professor who desired to create a resource for collectors in the form of a price guide.

1989 - Upper Deck created, first mid end product released, 10 year old boys everywhere rejoice in full bleed photos and Junior Griffey greatness. Beckett creates frenzy over price, people sell cards at book value or just under due to supply vs demand and the guide's relation to the hobby.

1995 - Ebay is created, within months, collectors have a place to sell their cards that is based on a free marketplace system. As we come to find out, Beckett's prices are skewed dramatically due to the fact that collectors find out something is only worth as much as someone will pay for it.

2000 - Ebay turns five and there is close to a billion dollars in sales yearly of all items on the site. With close to a million members, cards become a bigger part of the pie. Book value becomes even more unrealistic as eBay becomes the preferred mode of sales for the majority of the hobby.

2005 - Beckett is sold, but everything is STILL the same as before. Very little has changed. The guide and pricing process has not changed in over 20 years. Ebay is now one of the most visited sites on the internet. Millions upon millions of people are now selling their stuff on the site. Book value becomes completely irrelevant the minute Ebay becomes the way to sell. People wont pay book value because individual collectors can now sell their cards for close to nothing, not pay rent on a storefront, and buyers don’t need to leave their homes. It is as close to a fair market as possible. Beckett launches OPG, but no eBay component is featured. Sales and distribution of the magazine drop.

March 2008 - Youtube box breaking hits full stride. People are no longer looking to a magazine for info. Its all internet based. Beckett has online materials, but their magazines are still the focus. They still offer all services as they did before, but people are starting to go elsewhere to learn about the hobby. To try to bring people back, they break boxes like the users of Youtube. Instead of getting real boxes, they open free product for the manufacturer on camera. In march, this blows up in their face when they pull 3 1/1s and close to $10,000 in cards out of 2 boxes of Exquisite. They are called out on getting loaded boxes by half of the net. Upper Deck football stops sending boxes to Beckett, though stands by its "mistake." SCU is born.

July-December 2008 - Chris Olds takes over Beckett's blog, trying to resurrect the fallen by stealing from blogs and message boards. To help him out, Beckett runs crying to DLP and Topps to take back missed exclusives that have since been given to blogs like Wax Heaven and SCU. Beckett offers daily pricing updates to the "fee for service" OPG, but still refuses to go by actual sell value, prices remain irrelevant. In essence, Beckett becomes worlds biggest checklist site as the message board is shut down.

Guys, people villify me all the time. I am the devil, I ruin things, I argue things that shouldn’t be argued. Well, I have to say, I may be all those things, but I do it for free and I do it for the right reasons. Beckett makes things a shitty place with their arrogance, constant conflicts of interest, and their deception, and they do it all to take your money. They don’t have your interests at heart, they have their bottom line at heart. What fucking responsibility do they have to you to provide an objective magazine? None. Because if they did, it would take all the things they have done and issued an admittance of guilt. That’s bad for business, though it would solve most of the problems I present on a daily basis.


  1. People who still believe in Beckett's relevance to anything anymore are the people I refuse to associate with anymore. I love this site because I like reading articles by people who understand that you dont need to make friends to do well in the blogosphere. Your site is paramount for that.

  2. funny enough, I have made quite a few friends despite my takes on what is happening. Luckily just about every blog that exists has posted an anti beckett post, and most feel the same way I do on a lot of things. Beckett realizes that they have started to build more enemies with their practices than they had in the past. Thanks to blogs, people arent as ready to consume all the bullshit they put out.

  3. Here's my hope for what's next:

    Sometime around March 2009: After royally screwing up its web site in 2008 and pissing off collectors with its loaded box breaks and irrelevant pricing, Beckett's readership plunges to an all-time low. The card manufacturers pull their advertising from Beckett, forcing the company to go out of business. Collectors around the world rejoice as a group of bloggers pour a big bucket of Gatorade over Gellman from SCU...

  4. I will be having a celebration when, not if, they go under.

    Free box breaks, give aways, tons of stuff. I have a feeling I wont be the only one celebrating. After that, this blog becomes an "I hate Topps High End" blog.

  5. It's just a matter of time...and time is running out for Beckett.

  6. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  7. Beckett is not going anywhere. What is with the fascination lol. Who cares anyway what they do. If they go down wont change a thing in my little collecting world. I still spend about 500 a month with or without Beckett. I do not use their site but I subscribe to the monthly. It is a good read. Great for my young kids. Running the site is peanuts and printing the mag cost nothing as well. Grading is pure profit! This time next year they will be here. There collecting tool is second to none and used my most collecting/trading forum members.

  8. Wheeler, if you want to subscribe, be my guest, its not that big of a deal to me. I just refuse to read an "objective" pricing magazine that is basically one big ad.

    They have no responsibility to do anything truthful, so I dont understand why people quote it like the bible.

    They're only responsibility is to the bottom line, which I guarantee is not doing well.

  9. I thought Beckett was sold again this fall/winter? I'm pretty sure they have a new person running the company at least.

    My hope for 2009 is that they become more transparent in pricing, use other blogging resources to strengthen the hobby, and cure world hunger.