Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Graded Card Conspiracy and a Twitter Conversation

Well as you all know by now, the Stephen Strasburg Superfractor that has received so much hype has come back from grading with a grade of 9.5 despite it obvious flaws. Flaws so obvious that the grader from BGS lists several of them in the first few seconds of this video. The grader excuses these flaws by saying they are within "range" for the grade received. I'm sorry, but I am just not buying it and I am not alone as the comments on their own post attest to.

I have long said I hold no personal animosity towards anyone individually at Beckett and was pleasantly surprised to engage in a cordial yet opinionated debate about the subject with Chris Olds on Twitter. The conversation is detailed below.

This is Chris' statement that got the conversation started:

CO:
I didn't look closely at the card other than holding it in the video. I can't say for sure. I don't work for BGS. However, I will say that centering is just one of the four pieces in the equation.

VOTC:
Since you don't work for BGS, quit walking the company line and call a spade a spade! That whole thing was a cheap PR stunt.

CO:
Sounds like you're back to your line. My back is doing better this week than last, BTW. (I wished him a Get Well last week. I have back issues also.)

VOTC:
I'm glad to hear that. I'm not the only one being critical though Chris.

CO:
Feel free to leave your comments online and send them to BGS.

CO:
Tell me, in what way would that card getting that grade be a publicity stunt? I want to hear YOUR take, sir.

CO:
I'm curious as the owner never indicated to anyone here that he was intending to re-sell. Oddly, he launched it while it was at BGS & that really doesn't make much sense at all. (But to each his own.)

VOTC:
The mainstream media covered the story, now he is flipping it, if it makes a profit, part of that, right or wrong will be attributed to the cards graded condition, which upon any subsequent follow-up would surely be mentioned in the story.

CO:I didn't like the fact that he decided to sell so soon, either. However, Beckett has no control over what anyone does. And, again, he launched the auction while the card was at BGS -- which is a real head-scratcher.

VOTC:
No its not a head scratcher. It's quite possible the grade was determined and communicated before it was even in hand.

CO:
Funny you say that. The card's grade has yet to be mentioned in a story at all. (Only mentioned in the video post.)

VOTC:
Well as the main stream media goes, the card is still for sale, thus no real story yet.

CO:
But, again, feel free to comment on the card on the blog or Beckett.com and send BGS your thoughts, comments, etc. That's all I can tell you since BGS is a different division of the company. It's their deal, not mine. I decided to do the video so they could talk about the card being graded. Anything more than that, I'd direct to them.

CO: Honestly, I'd bet that the large outlets don't even follow it beyond this sale. It's already been talked about a lot -- and the 100K "auction" will be the one to grab headlines next -- even though I think it's drawing bad bids left and right.

VOTC:
I know you don't Chris and that's why I have no personal angst against you in the matter, AT ALL. You asked my "Opinion" and that's all it is. The whole thing is just fishy. Glad we could have a conversation about it though.


Hey, I know Chris has to walk the Beckett (Sucks) line but I do thank him for at least engaging in a conversation.

8 comments:

G_Moses said...

I don't give him that much credit. The stund was a stooge move. The company is so corrupt.

He can deflect all he wants, that video showed what a clown show that place really is.

Fuji said...

It's sad that a company trusted by thousands of collectors are conducting shady business. A Beckett 9.5 used to be so rare... a card with that centering would have no chance at receiving a 9.5.

That video was disappointing to say the least.

Anonymous said...

When you have to make a video to justify a grade, that's a major red flag. What's worse is to think about the MILLIONS of $'s they profit on grading and how many collectors have either received inflated grades because of the volume of cards they send in or the subpar grades others have received because they lack deep pockets.

This video essentially proves that regardless of what the number may say on the slab, who the hell really knows.

I am so disgusted by this whole subject but am delighting in the truth being revealed by their own words and actions.

Gellman said...

At least he didnt say THIS IS WHY ITS A 9.5 like they did in that terrible video. He knows what's up and I would guess he is just as puzzled. Thats why he didnt explicitly voice his support.

John said...

He took the other division route. I don't work for them route.

Anonymous said...

QUOTE:
"CO:I didn't like the fact that he decided to sell so soon, either. However, Beckett has no control over what anyone does. And, again, he launched the auction while the card was at BGS -- which is a real head-scratcher.

VOTC:
No its not a head scratcher. It's quite possible the grade was determined and communicated before it was even in hand."

BINGO! You could work as a PI. The whole thing wreaks of impropriety. The timeline proves it! Yuk, shame on you, Beckett

Lance said...

Frankly, this episode points to the rotten core of a hobby that is no longer a hobby (to folks of their ilk, anyway).

I'm getting back into cards with a specific purpose. I won't be buying new product, but rather, searching for older stuff for a Cubs-themed room. Any graded cards I happen to acquire will be removed from their casings.

Graded cards aren't cards - they are slabs of plastic from which you get no sensory input apart from the visual aspect.

Thanks, but no thanks...

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