By Alex Kupka aka mnlax13

Like many collectors on this site, I am quite fed up with the card companies and many aspects of their products. To start off if I could change things about companies the first thing that I get them to do is to start inserting more decoys. Many people view pack searchers as a cardinal sin in the hobby. They’re looked down upon and many believe that people that commit this act are ruining the future of collecting for our youth. I have been to big box stores and have seen people searching for some relic or auto and it makes me sick. In the past I have notified managers of the store and nothing was done to the searchers. If they were educated more, hopefully they would be able to crackdown on searching.
I can remember when I was younger, companies like Donruss and Fleer were smart enough to try throwing pack searchers off. Topps really has not caught on too well with their products like the Allen and Ginter, Topps 206, and their yearly sets. I do commend them though for inserting dummy cards into the Gypsey Queen and Bowman Sterling Value Packs. Pack Searching has gone out of hand in my opinion. I am upset by sites such as eBay selling hot packs picked fresh from the stores, hot packs opened on youtube, and worst of all, a site that helps people with the system. If Topps, Pinnacle, and Painini can insert more dummy cards into their products there may be less pack searching.

The relics that are now inserted into packs have become so mundane especially. The cards that are considered hits are worth very little unless they are super stars or Hall of Famers. Upon finding a relic I often pray to the heavens that it is not another backup player’s jersey or bat relic. The result of companies inserting these bad relics is that those are worth next to nothing, and some inserts are worth more than these relics. If card companies can reduce the amount of no namers into the set, many collectors would be content.

Another issue that I would address is that Topps is the top dog in the sports card industry which is disappointing in the sense that it leaves little variety for consumers. I like variety like any consumer does. I am like the next guy who loves Topps, but there are days in which I want to buy some Fleer, Donruss, or even Upper Deck baseball cards. I am not interested in second party stuff like Tristar repacks or random boxes that you will find at places like Target and Walmart, but with Fleer out of the picture and Upper Deck barely staying afloat I find myself sometimes reaching for a repack box because it has packs of UD Goudey and Fleer Tradition. The issue I have with this is Topps runs the baseball card production line. They lack variety, and I am speaking on behalf of all sports card collectors, bring back Upper Deck and give Panini a shot!

My last and final issue that I would like to cover is redemptions and customer service. Just this year I got my first redemption and I was pumped to receive an Andre Dawson Game Used jersey and JR Towles auto. I quickly redeemed it online and was forced to wait five weeks. It takes too long to actually receive this. I would really like for card companies to speed up the time it takes to receive redemptions.

The last point in my article that I would like to cover is the customer service. I was excited for the Million Card Giveaway that was held last year. I received a card from the early 1950s and requested it to be delivered. Three weeks later I receive a bubble mailer containing the cards. The card I asked for looks like it was put in a washing machine, buried in the dirt, and left on the busiest sidewalks of New York City for days. I was shocked by the condition it was in and called customer service. I waited for a good ten minutes and was greeted by a guy picking up the phone greeting me by saying yeah? I told the man my issue and he told me that there was nothing that could be done about it. I refuted that the condition of the card was never stated. He was obviously irritated and I was upset I could not return the card. He hung up on me after I told him I did not want the card. I did not feel important or appreciated by the company. After this incident I sent a letter to corporate and have yet to receive any reply. I am extremely upset how Topps treats their customers and feel as if the company should be given an evaluation by us the consumers. If card companies can start to abide by these guidelines and tips, I feel as though the hobby can be even more successful than it is now.