Monday, October 21, 2013

First Ever Grading Submission Results

Most of you know that when it comes to selling vintage cards online, that it can be quite the pain in the you know what if the cards aren't graded. I've sold vintage cards raw and first, you don't maximize the return on the card, secondly you deal with too many feedback and charge back issues regardless of how transparently honest you describe the card's condition. 

I used SGC because, quite frankly I trust them, in as much as you can trust such a subjective process. In all the years I have been involved with the hobby media side of things, either with Card Corner Club or Cardboard Connection, I've never heard or read a story about an issue at SGC. Now I am not naive enough to think that they don't exist, I simply do not have any first hand knowledge. Given recent events, I just couldn't give my money to PSA and while I'm content to let sleeping dogs lie, you all know I can't give my money to Beckett either. So that left me with one option, SGC.

When it comes to vintage cards, most of what I have in my PC or that I am selling on consignment for others isn't anything close to PRISTINE, GEM MINT 10!!! I'm more of a VG to EX kind of guy so I was hoping that's what range the cards I sent in would receive. So here's a look, card by card.

I'm pretty happy all-in-all. Would have liked a bit better grade on the Gayle Sayers but that's OK.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's Official - PSA Duped or Complicit in Biggest Scam Ever Perpetrated in The Hobby

Mastro leaves court*
With this week's admission in Federal court, that Bill Mastro is guilty of defrauding the public by way of his trimming the world's most valuable baseball card, more questions than answers continue to unfold. While many will argue with the analogy that "a rising tide lifts all ships" and that his action business helped turn the hobby into a multi-billion dollar industry, did more good than harm, I strongly disagree. The end never justifies the means when accomplished through deception, fraud, forgery, shill bidding, doctoring or any other unethical business dealings associated with this hobby of ours.

The fact that the card was trimmed, and was the first serial numbered graded card of PSA, ever, which essentially put PSA on the map and created the now multi-million dollar industry of card grading, leaves ONLY two possibilities of what actually transpired way back in the early 1990's.

1. PSA Was Duped - Think about it. One of the very first cards they EVER graded, is a doctored piece of cardboard worth no more than a designation of "Authentic", and truly how can we even be sure of that. The card that set the standard for all future pre-war cards to follow is a sham. Not only is it a sham, it's a sham that was graded by the company that literally created the grading card industry.

2. PSA Was Complicit - Could PSA have been in on the scam from the beginning? Well of course. Think about the publicity that was continually generated for the company every time that card changed hands. The mainstream media provided, literally, millions of dollars worth of free advertising. For years, in the early days of card grading, the Honus Wagner T206 provided a sense of legitimacy to the whole concept of card grading and helped PSA become the industry leader they are today. So there was definitely motive.

So, with a show of hands, how many of you choose to believe Option 1? And now, Option 2? What you choose to believe is really what this comes down to because, we may never know the truth and there simply is not another option.

The other part of this story is that of shill bidding. To know it happened once, one can safely assume, surmise, ponder - that it happened numerous times. Is MastroNet the only sports memorabilia auction house to use such practices to artificially inflate the value of sports memorabilia for higher revenue percentages? I don't know. But it certaily isn't out of the realm of possibility.

So everyone that owned the "The Card" made money, so what's the big deal, some may ask. Let's ask Ken Kendrick, the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks and current keeper of "The Card" if and when he chooses to sell it.Talk about getting left holding the bag. Who knew that all the previous owners were playing a 30+ year game of hot potato?

* Photo credit (Anthony Souffle, Chicago Tribune, 10/9/13)