Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hiding Is Not Worth The Effort

Yesterday, Beckett posted the end to their highly publicized in depth three year long expose about the fake Topps Rookie Premiere autos. This move sparked quite a frenzy over why this approach was taken, a lot of those comments focusing on Beckett's lack of professionalism. Rather than moving on or examining the impact of said news, Hackler instead decided it was better to take passive shots at the vast amounts of discussion over the merits of Topps move. After discussing with some of the other bloggers the reason for this idiotic display of douchebaggery, it became clear to us why this was all happening in such a weird fashion.

As most people said, including myself, the move by Topps was just a minor chink in the armor created by these people who sell hundreds of fake Rookie Premiere Autos. Beckett, as most of us expected, focused more on the inconsequential parts of the story, as not to disturb the plethora of people who come to them with news. I mean, because "player issue" cards are a HUGE part of the problem, right? Personally, I now see why Topps decided that Beckett would be a better outlet to break this story to. Rather than giving the story to a blog like this one, they chose a more familiar outlet. Clearly, its easier to go with a friend who wouldnt question the lack of action or call them out for focusing on the future rather than the present. Topps knew that going with Beckett would provide them with the opportunity to hide behind a solution that only covers upcoming cards instead of securing one that deals with the current problem.

Despite what people may say about my motives, many were left scratching their heads as to why Topps wasn’t going after the scammers more aggressively. If you think about it, it’s a good way to guard against future transgressions if the people responsible are punished for their crimes. Of course, there is a large discrepancy over the amount of time needed to execute this bust and the time available to execute it, which is a great reason why its important to have the discussion now. By throwing this solution at the problem, you still leave the collector base open to decade worth of fake cards, all being sold to unsuspecting people who pay hundreds to get them. How about protecting the customer rather than yourself? Hmm, becoming clearer now why Beckett got the resolution rather than the blogs?

Luckily here in the blog network we have established, its no longer an easy task to hide in plain sight, as many of the people who read Beckett's blog also read Mario, Rob and I. That means the people who read the kid gloves version of the story, are also going to get a lot of the riff raff you create by handling it that way.


  1. They posted Justin's comment and then deleted it. What was the point?

  2. That is my question too?

    I figured they wouldn't even post it, but they did and then it vanished within 15 minutes.

    I am getting sick of their selective approval of comments. As much crap as Gellman gets on this blog at least he approves comments that call him out (just not the ones that attack his wife, etc.). I have left a few comments on Beckett's Blog that are anything but attacks and they refuse to approve them.

    You know what that says to me. The big boys are afraid what the little guys might do in terms of enlightening their audience.

  3. P.S.

    Since I know that Beckett reads this and also so do some fanboys, let me tell you that I don't always agree with the tone and argument of Gellman, but Beckett is very, very shady in terms of professional "ethics".

    Also, Mr. Hackler (since I know you read this or one of your buddies will tell you to read it), I am keeping screen shots of every comment I make on Beckett's blog. It is your choice to approve them or not, but just because you don't approve them doesn't mean that they aren't going to make it out on the net some time.

  4. Dear Beckett (and Andrew, for that matter):
    As "professional media," censorship is an awfully slippery slope. The irony engine could go right off the tracks with this one.

    Are you familiar with the Upper Deck brouhaha with the non-Sidney Moncrief auto on a triple-signature card and the doctoring by a collector who then put the card on eBay? Upper Deck, citing some nonsense, cried to eBay who pulled it under paper-thin pretenses. It was on the Blowout Cards forum ... if you don't know about it, let me know and I'll find the thread and send you the link.
    But the point it, if Upper Deck could do it for a doctored card advertised as such, Topps could too for these forgeries.

  5. I think I know the card, but not the stuff that happened with eBay. That is nuts.

  6. What can Topps actually do about the fakes that are already out there? They can't buy up all the cards on eBay and then have then authenticated. I don't see what Topps can do besides making them different from now on.

    They should've been smart enough not to make the cards like that in the first place, but it's kind of late now.

  7. See, as has been said, I would have been very easy to pull down the existing fakes. It wouldnt be an end all be all, but it would give people a hint to stop. Then you figure out a way to make that stick. Of course, it would take planning, rather than just throwing a solution at it that makes little sense for the past cards.

    Im as angry that Beckett didnt even ask the question. They just threw softballs for Clay to hit.

  8. Can I throw an idea out there? It's short.

    Serial. Numbered. Everything.

    Except base, of course. But you want to avoid the counterfeiting issue? Put a number on everything - inserts, parallels, g/u, autos. Is it the best idea? Eh, maybe not. Is it foolproof? Well, pretty close. Hard to undo a foil stamping.

  9. Well said sir. And THAT should be and is the final word on the subject.


  10. The thing that I love about this community is the different opinions and the different angles to every story. I always stand by the credo, "Look at everything, in the middle lies the truth". Between you, Rob and Mario (and occasionally a few others), the community gets closer to the truth.

    I haven't read Beckett's blog in a long time. I keep it in my blog roll to keep an eye on stories that may escape me and of the interest of my readers. I rarely find anything that makes me want to click through, since I know that I'll get an underwhelming soft fluff piece, the majority of the time. I'd rather read the rebuttals in our community, where I'll get closer to the real story than I ever would reading Beckett.

    With all the commotion on Twitter in the last few days, I clicked over to read the origins of these stories from the Beckett blog. I was greeted by underwhelming snippets of garbage and only complimentary comments. Then I panned down to see that my blog had been added to their collecting blog roll. The last time I looked, my blog wasn't on there. If it's been linked on there a long time, that should tell you the last time that I actually read the Beckett blog.

    Thankfully, I don't have to go to Beckett for important stories. I can rely on SCU, VOTC and Wax Heaven for real news.

  11. This is a great blog. Beckett lovers and haters can voice an opinion here. Have a great weekend A.G.

  12. My comment vanished also, pointing to your blog. No surprise.

  13. I have $100 that says this comment is posted.

    I also have $100 that says there is no good reason why all of our comments on the "breaking news" on blogbeckett were ignored.

  14. Matt, There are sellers who have stamped and modified foil stamps on their cards. Serial numbering won't help that aspect. However a searchable database with a picture of each serial numbered card would. But I don't see them taking that large of a step any time soon.

  15. VTH:
    I know people have stamped cards before, hence why anything of any interest should already have a foil stamp. I think modifying the foil stamps, while not impossible, is much harder to do/easier to spot. Not that I'm looking to inform the masses, but do you know how people have modified stamped s/ns before in a passable way? It seems like it would be hard to take a card #ed to 1500 and clear off the two extra zeroes (plus that would only work if the card was one of the first 15 stamped anyway).
    The searchable database should come into play with some cards - I'm thinking particularly the higher-end stuff like Exquisite, The Cup in hockey and the like. But it would be a huge step, and costly in terms of time and resources. Those costs would be passed along to collectors who already overpay for wax.