As avid collectors, we spend a lot of time on different boards, perhaps too much time (according to my husband anyways)…but the net advantage of rummaging through all of these boards is that you are aware of the developments in the hobby. Be it the “scandalously good video break done by Beckett” or the rumours of upcoming releases, if you spend enough time online, you are on the ball! Tonight, I heard about a rumour that I found both strange and incredible. As I said, it is only a rumour and has not been confirmed yet, but if it is confirmed, it could change the trading habits of numerous people.

As some of you probably know, Beckett is working on a new version of its site. They are promoting it heavily, and today, a new “feature” has been reported as part of the new Beckett. Yes, paying for trading online! You read right, according to the thread on their discussion board, they are considering making their members pay to trade. Three options will be given to members: the A La Carte option which means paying for each trade, the trader light option which will allow up to 15 trades a month and the all you can trade option which well, it’s pretty self explanatory really. I don’t know about you but when I heard about this, my jaw hit the floor.

If this does indeed happen, I think it will be seen as a slap in the face to their members. While they are of course running a business, I cannot believe that they are not content with what they already have, i.e. selling advertising, the Beckett market place, the online price guides, the printed guides and the list goes on. Charging people to trade cards? Where is the logical basis of such a measure? To me it seems rather obvious that the consequence will be a dramatic loss of members for the Beckett boards. Why would people chose to pay for a service that they can have for free on numerous other sites? On sportscardforum.com, the owner has already reacted to this bomb of a rumour by saying that SCF will always be free, apart from for those who chose to become premium members. This is the kind of assurance members are looking for. It’s hard enough to trade as it is, to be safe online, trade in a great community or find the cards you want without having on top of that to pay a fee for your trades. Especially since the hobby is not getting any cheaper as plenty of new high end products are released each year, and it’s our addiction to such products that keep companies like Beckett in business. In exchange, you would have thought that they would have the decency to carry on offering a service as basic as free trading.

Apologies for my little rant, but this news has somewhat shaken me. There will be cynics who will say that they saw this coming, but to me, it comes as a shock (perhaps I am too naïve). I love collecting, and I do not think I could cope without the hobby. But as I said, it is expensive enough as it is. Watch this space to see if the rumour is confirmed by Beckett, and if they give any kind of explanation as to the logic behind the decision. I know that I will be keeping an eye out for more information!