By Sean Berry aka #1 Broncos Fan

Well, I have vented many times about how the hobby has changed and how it has been flooded with fakes, I do remember back in the beginning of trade sites I had joined Beckett’s Buy/Sell/Trade and everything was based on the honor system there was no trade manager or feedback it was: “Hey I like this card you have” and you would exchange addresses and send your cards. Yes I had many great trades and of course got burned a few times, but more often then not it was positive. Back when I got back into collecting in 1994 there was no such thing as game-used or even autographed cards, I mean they had them but not in the mass quantities they have now. I remember going after the inserts in Fleer Ultra, 1995 Spx going for the Montana and Marino (Autos), Pinnacle the artist proofs, Zenith the same thing going for the inserts and it was lots of fun.


Then came the days when they started making more game-used and putting more autos in hobby packs and you were lucky to pull a game-used or auto about 1 per box or 1 per case. After that it started becoming more like 2 to 3 hits per box and sometimes more. As part of the new millennium the card trading sites and Beckett popped up and nowadays there are hundreds of trade sites and scammers that have started to damage and ruin the hobby by flooding it with fake patch cards or autos in hopes of making a quick profit. At the same time they are stealing from honest collectors, and these people are most commonly found on places such as eBay and sports card trading sites or hobby sites. These people who take time to ruin perfectly good cards by removing an authentic piece of jersey or patch and replace it with a team logo or other multi-color patch from a retail jersey they bought just so they get premium dollars. At the same time deceiving unsuspecting buyers or traders, and the real sad thing is the big card companies who say they care about the collectors and the people who spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year on their cards well I am finding that they are like anyone else they care about the money not knowing whether or not someone is counterfeiting or taking their cards and scamming Joe public.

One of the worst places is eBay, it does not take a rocket scientist to see or spot fakes but you would be amazed at how flooded this online auction site is with fakes or counterfeits. Trust me I know from experience that it does not matter how much proof you have about a fake card they don’t care as long as they get their money. Sure they have ways for you to report fakes and other counterfeit items but they barely give you enough room to even get in one sentence, and no I have never ever seen them do anything about these scammers. Even the big card companies have places you can report the same stuff which I have done several times and hey guess what? I have never ever gotten a response not even a thank you we will look into it. I know it is free market and this and that but this is why the hobby is getting ruined; because these fakes and counterfeits are allowed to be sold and traded with no consequences well except for the person who ends up buying a complete fake.

Even on the trade sites this stuff occurs but it is mostly people joining and getting established with feedback and they compile a deal of hot young stars and veteran players then they will put together a huge trade or sell stuff via Paypal gift which does not protect the buyer if he gets ripped off. I have been burned several times because I have been too trusting with people on these trade sites, well now I am even more cautious then ever before and no longer use Paypal gift for any kind of trade or purchase. I would rather pay the extra charge to cover me. Don’t get me wrong, I have had many great trades with some great people and most of the time I end up trading with people I have made several trades with before. If I could give you any advice on fake or counterfeit cards or memorabilia, I would say that if it sounds or looks too good to be true then it probably is! Unless you witnessed or pulled the cards yourself. Do your research and ask sellers or traders questions about the cards and where they obtained them from, and most of all go with your gut feeling…