Friday, July 30, 2010

Beckett Sucks: The Never Ending Story UPDATE

  1. Manufacturer collusion is a serious breach of business practice and free trade.
  2. Non disclosure of said possible collusion is a serious ethical breach of media integrity.

These are the issues I have with the shennanigans at Beckett HQ regarding the Topps Tribute fiasco. Last night on Twitter, Steven Judd (former trading card brand manager) made the following statements:

"So Beckett got a loaded box, big deal. I "packed" quite a few of them over the years. Get over it. It's part of the business. Geez..... When the Beckett boards were more dominant. I would make a special "case" (I'd give the packout vendor a specific list of auto/mem hits to put in each box), have it sent to a buddy of mine a week prior to the release date, have him break the scan and scan all of the auto/mem cards and then post a box-by-box break on the Beckett boards around midnight on the night before the release date in order to get people excited about the product.
I like to call it guerilla marketing. Just to be clear, Beckett or the folks who work there have nothing to do with the "loaded" boxes they receive. It's the PDT/marketing people at the card companies that plot and scheme to jerrymander the box/boxes.

I think everybody takes some of this a bit too seriously. That's just me. Maybe I'm the jackass here, but it's just a box of cards. Again, I'm pretty sure Beckett Media, or any of its employees, is not responsible for all of the ills of this industry...good gracious can't you all at least think of something different to bitch about? Same song, same verse, different day."


Whoa. WTF is that!?!!

Ok, so we now know from an industry insider the facts, thus validating all of the "paranoid conspiracy theories" (as my arguements have been called by Beckett employees).

1. Manufacturers are capable of knowing what goes into a particular box and case.

2. Beckett Media is aware of these practices.

3. Loaded marketing boxes sent to Beckett do in fact exist.

The big problem here then is the lack of complete disclosure on the part of Beckett Media. However it goes beyond that. The desperate attempt to down play this practice with posts regarding the prevalence of 1 of 1's in the marketplace as reasoning for the box hits (see Chris Olds' blog post yesterday) only adds fuel to the fire and screams desperation.

Apparently I am not alone with these concerns as evidence by this thread on the Blowout forums, and this conversation regarding the potential legal ramifications with major case breaker and attorney I Am Joe Collector and fellow blogger, Box Busters, here.

3 comments:

James said...

Hardly guerrilla marketing considering the cost to load a box/case.

This seems pretty high dollar value items. How does this work with the FTC gifting rules for bloggers: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/business/media/06adco.html

It seems this whole thing could be avoided if the manufacturers just sent the 1/1 cards instead of going through the whole surprise face of opening boxes. Why not just say, "Here are a few 1/1s, a couple base cards, and a couple of jersey swatches. We received these from XX Company and we'll give them away next Friday."

Paul said...

Hey Guys,

I actually started that discussion on blowout (Paul Z). I have been collecting for over 20 years, but I have just gotten back into it full time. When I saw that break, I was apalled, so I decided to comment on it. Chris Olds comes off as an all knowing prick. I just don't understand how Beckett can continue to get away with this.

Sal said...

Hey, hey now...let's not throw Beckett under the bus now. They DO give away the 1/1 and auto/mem cards that they pull from the boxes that Topps sends them. And they are sure to tell us that they do, too.

Meanwhile, paying customers who keep Topps, Upper Deck and Beckett in business by giving them our dollars end up getting guys like Mike Iggulden and Jon Filewich when we open the boxes that we pay for. And if you are not a hockey fan, don't worry...even US hockey fans don't know who those guys are either.

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