Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Join The Cause

A big focus of this blog lately has been to highlight scams that are happening around the hobby, mainly with the fake Topps rookie premiere autos that have spread like a disease. Topps has yet to respond to any emails, despite the number of people who have contacted them in response to this site. This means that as long as eBay is making money off these auctions, and as long as people continue to buy them, they are here to stay. Sadly.

Here are some ways to protect yourself, as most of these cards are pretty big investments. Basically, if any of these red flags are present, stay away and just wait for the next one.

1. Seller has MANY rookie premiere autos or questionable cards up for sale that all look the same. Most of the time, these cards come up for sale through sellers that have basically made a living selling them. That will leave hundreds of cards in their possession to sell, many of them looking signed by the same person. If you see this pop up, its time to investigate before bidding. If you are about to buy a rookie premiere, this should be step number one, and the link to do so is right under the seller's name in the auction. Actually, this isnt a bad idea with any questionable card.

2. Seller has MANY red ink RPAs for sale. Ever since the inception of these cards, the red ink variations have been the toughest to pull. Usually around 10 or so copies of the cards are signed in red ink, which leaves very few of these cards to actually pop up for sale. Unfortunately, this has changed recently, as the red inks are a favorite of these douchebags due to their value. Although its possible for someone to sell their collection of red inks, that comes once a year at most. If you see an auction block full of duals and quad red inks, stay away.

3. Seller's cards are signed in THICK markers. Staedler pens, which are used to sign these cards, are becoming harder and harder to find. Most of the time they are also pretty expensive to purchase. This leads to the sellers trying to use the wrong pens, or just being to stupid to use the right ones. Staedler pens leave razor sharp lines that are very distinguishable, and you can easily tell when someone has butchered a fake with a fine point sharpie. Again, this is something that can be seen in the seller's auction listings, because many should have the same lines in the sigs.

4. Autographs on the cards don’t look right. It can be tough sometimes to determine which autos look real, but most of the time, you can find PSA or BGS graded copies to compare the autos to. Look for the slant of the letters, the connection of the lines, even stop and start points on the sig. If they are different, something is up.

5. The players sold by the seller are always the top of the class. I have seen that during the sales of these cards, SOME of the weird players from the premiere sometimes get fakes, but the top guys ALWAYS are a focus for obvious reasons. If the guy has twenty rookie premiere autos for sale, and all of them are Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, and Matt Ryan, a flag should be applied.

6. Price is low. Most quad red ink autos sell at around 400 for the good players, these are selling at around 200. Obviously, its rare that a price would drop 50% for any card without circumstance, so be sure to pay attention to ending price on the cards. If they usually are ending lower than they should, its for a reason.

Guys, in all reality, if people would just do their research, this could all be avoided. Im not saying they should come here, but they should go on eBay and look around to compare notes on other legit sales. The fact is that people in this world are generally ignorant and would rather live in their own world than spend their money with people who actually deserve it. If they had the tools, they would use them, but as we have seen around here lately, using smarts to apply to a sale is very rare.


  1. Wow, I actually agree with you on this one. Does that make me 1-23?

  2. It has nothing to do with agreement, how about adding something relevant to the conversation.

  3. Nah, that would be constructive, which is against everything I stand for. I will say that I saw a 2001 RPA of Todd Heap at the National. He never signed for the set, the auto was definately fake and I called him out on it. He was not too happy.

  4. The heaps are all over eBay, did not know he did not sign for the set.

  5. Nope, they're fake.

  6. did hell just freeze over? a civil productive exchange between ryan and gellman?

  7. Fake RPA's and buybacks are a HUGE hobby problem.

    People who don't know what their buying are the stuid victims.

    It takes all of 5 seconds to compare a legit autograph to the fake one.

  8. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH No! This is like Batman and Joker hanging out together! Delete, delete!

  9. Man, that's why I love Staedler pens. I once did a ballin' ass line-sketch of frank thomas in a sharpie (which he eventually signed) and it got nasty pretty quickly.

    Staedler, or Copic, really ball the fuck out.

    By the way, to all the thefterizers out there. Go to your local art store, they're like 3 bucks.