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mikesilvia
01-30-2010, 01:26 PM
Can I get someone to look this over?

The Sports Card Industry is a fraction of its former glory days. At its peak, the sports card industry had thousands of card shops and an increasing market share. That was the late 80s and early 90s. Today, you will find less than a thousand brick and mortar card shops and an ever-shrinking sports card industry. Sure, the card manufacturers and a select few are making millions producing and/or selling sports cards today, but a quick look on eBay and you will see card shops going out of business and liquidating their inventories.

In my view, there are 10 reasons that contributed to the decline of the sports card market. These are the 10 worst ideas in the sports card market today!

10. <strong>"1/1" serial numbered cards</strong> <strong>are not so unique or special</strong> - At one point getting a 1/1 serial-numbered card was a pure joy. It was like pulling the winning ticket out of a Willy Wonky Chocolate Bar. Today, there are two issues that have taken the joy out of these "unique" pulls. First, you will find several variations of your 1/1 card. Typically, the 1/1 cards have been the printing plates. Most owners find out that there are typically four printing plates and the 1/1 suddenly loses it's uniqueness. Second, manufactures are producing 1/1 cards with patches or jersey cards embedded into them and in many cases they are single-colored jersey cards. What manufacturing genius had the bright idea of putting the worst jersey material in the most unique cards?

9. <strong>Terrible Cut Signatures</strong> - Who wouldn't love a signature from George Washington or Babe Ruth? Since these greats are no longer with us their signatures are usually cut from a letter and matted/framed on a card. The problem is some appear to have been cut by a kindergarten student! In some cases, signatures are cut from cards and inserted back onto cut signature cards.

8. <strong>High cost</strong> - In the 1980s you could get a lot from your local card shop with $10. Now a collector will be lucky to find a decent pack of cards for $10. If you are looking for the current, top product you will spend $80 - $500 a box on average.

7. <strong>Parallels</strong> - Collecting every card of your favorite player has become virtually impossible thanks to inserts. Parallels have frustrated player collectors to no end. Manufacturers have decided to make dozens of variations of cards by simply changing the frame/background and adding a lower serial number on the back. Gold, silver, bronze, black, platinum, red, prime, spectrum ...

6. <strong>Cross Sports (or mixed sports)</strong> - There was a time when you bought a pack of baseball cards you pulled baseball cards out of a pack. This is not true for a lot of sets today! For some reason manufactures have decided to insert other sports in traditional pure sport sets.

5. <strong>Manufactured Patch Cards</strong> - It is bad enough that some memorabilia cards are not actually game-used, but at least they were touched by an athlete at a photo shoot or special rookie event. Today, you will find autographs on or near manufactured letterman cards, flags or manufactured items. The items are a weak replacement for the NFL logos and other highly sought after items on player jerseys. While unique, they are cheap and have no business being on a card!

4. <strong>Non Sports Items in Sports Sport Products</strong> - Recently, Upper Deck started producing cards with dinosaur bones, thoroughbred race horse hair and butterflies in them. In most cases, these cards are the "hits" of the case. While these cards may attract non-sports collectors they seem to turn off sports card collectors. Just a hunch, but I'm assuming a hockey guy prefers to pull a Gordie Howe auto over a T-Rex bone!

3. <strong>Over production of memorabilia and autographed cards </strong>- At one time autographed and memorabilia cards were very rare. A collector could go through dozens of boxes and never get one. Today, it is common to get three memorabilia and/or autographed cards per box and in many cases per pack. In order to raise the prices of the card boxes, manufactures began to insert more "hits". By doing this the manufactures have saturated the market thus devaluing autographs and memorabilia cards. Today shoppers can get star athlete memorabilia cards for $1 and autographs for less than $10 on eBay or card shows!

2. <strong>Sticker autographs</strong> - Is there anything worst than having an autographed card that was not signed by the athlete? With sticker autographs, the athlete was mailed sheets of stickers that he/she signed and mailed back to the manufacturer or a representative met with the athlete to get the sheet of stickers signed. The card manufacturer then pulled the sticker of a sheet and placed it on a card. Welcome to assembly line autographs!

1. <strong>Redemption Cards</strong> - The redemption card is the cruelest, most offensive idea in the history of sports cards. Imagine going to the grocery store and buying your favorite box of cereal Honey Nut Cheerios. The next morning you have a hunger for Honey Nut Cheerios and move quickly to the kitchen. You attempt to pour the cereal in a bowl only to find a card that falls into you bowl. Angry, you read the cards that says, "Sorry, we didn't produce enough Honey Nut Cheerios. Please send this card in and when we produce enough Honey Nut Cheerios we will send you a box." You eat an apple and send in the card. Six months later the mail man brings you your redemption. You quickly tear open the package and notice a fruit cake with a note. The note says, "We are sorry but we didn't produce enough Honey Nut Cheerios. Please accept this left-over fruit cake from three years ago as a replacement." Get the picture? Let's hope the manufacturers do!

gmoney168
01-30-2010, 03:35 PM
Been a while since I edited an article but figured it would be fun. You can have Matt re-edit my version if you want.

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The sports card industry is a fraction of its former glory days. At its peak, the sports card industry had thousands of card shops and an increasing market share. That was the late '80s and early '90s. Today, you will find less than a thousand brick and mortar card shops and an ever-shrinking sports card industry. Sure, the card manufacturers and a select few are making millions producing and/or selling sports cards today, but a quick look on eBay and you will see card shops going out of business and liquidating their inventories.

In my view, there are 10 reasons that contributed to the decline of the sports card market. These are the 10 worst ideas in the sports card market today!

10. "1/1" Serial Numbered Cards are not so Unique or Special - At one point getting a 1/1 serial-numbered card was a pure joy. It was like pulling the winning golden ticket out of a Willy Wonky Chocolate Bar. Today, there are two issues that have taken the joy out of these "unique" pulls. First, you will find several variations of your 1/1 card. Typically, the 1/1 cards have been the printing plates. Most owners find out that there are typically four printing plates and the 1/1 suddenly loses it's uniqueness. Second, manufactures are producing 1/1 cards with patches or jersey cards embedded into them and in many cases they are single-colored jersey cards. What manufacturing genius had the bright idea of putting the worst jersey material in the most unique cards?

9. Terrible Cut Signatures - Who wouldn't love a signature from George Washington or Babe Ruth? Since these greats are no longer with us, their signatures are usually cut from a letter and matted/framed on a card. The problem is some appear to have been cut by a kindergarten student! In some cases, signatures are cut from cards and inserted back onto cut signature cards.

8. High Cost - In the 1980s you could get a lot from your local card shop with $10. Now a collector will be lucky to find a decent pack of cards for $10. If you are looking for the current, top product you will spend $80 - $500 a box on average.

7. Parallels - Collecting every card of your favorite player has become virtually impossible thanks to inserts. Parallels have frustrated player collectors to no end. Manufacturers have decided to make dozens of variations of cards by simply changing the frame/background and adding a lower serial number on the back. Gold, silver, bronze, black, platinum, red, prime, spectrum...

6. Cross Sports (or Mixed Sports) - There was a time when you bought a pack of baseball cards and you pulled baseball cards out of a pack. This is not true for a lot of sets today! For some reason manufactures have decided to insert other sports in traditional pure sport sets.

5. Manufactured Patch Cards - It is bad enough that some memorabilia cards are not actually game-used, but at least they were touched by an athlete at a photo shoot or special rookie event. Today, you will find autographs on or near manufactured letterman cards, flags or manufactured items. The items are a weak replacement for the NFL logos and other highly sought after items on player jerseys. While unique, they are cheap and have no business being on a card!

4. Non-Sports Items in Sports Products - Recently, Upper Deck started producing cards with dinosaur bones, thoroughbred race horse hair and butterflies in them. In most cases, these cards are the "hits" of the case. While these cards may attract non-sports collectors, they seem to turn off sports card collectors. Just a hunch, but I'm assuming a hockey guy prefers to pull a Gordie Howe auto over a T-Rex bone!

3. Overproduction of Memorabilia and Autographed Cards - At one time autographed and memorabilia cards were very rare. A collector could go through dozens of boxes and never get one. Today, it is common to get three memorabilia and/or autographed cards per box and, in many cases, per pack. In order to raise the prices of the card boxes, manufactures began to insert more "hits". By doing this the manufactures have saturated the market, thus devaluing autographs and memorabilia cards. Today, shoppers can get star athlete memorabilia cards for $1 and autographs for less than $10 on eBay or at card shows!

2. Sticker Autographs - Is there anything worst than having an autographed card that was not signed by the athlete? With sticker autographs, the athlete was mailed sheets of stickers that he/she signed and mailed back to the manufacturer or a representative met with the athlete to get the sheet of stickers signed. The card manufacturer then pulled the sticker of a sheet and placed it on a card. Welcome to assembly line autographs!

1. Redemption Cards - The redemption card is the cruelest, most offensive idea in the history of sports cards. Imagine going to the grocery store and buying your favorite box of cereal Honey Nut Cheerios. The next morning you have a hunger for Honey Nut Cheerios and move quickly to the kitchen. You attempt to pour the cereal in a bowl only to find a card that falls into your bowl. Angry, you read the cards that says, "Sorry, we didn't produce enough Honey Nut Cheerios. Please send this card in and when we produce enough Honey Nut Cheerios we will send you a box." You eat an apple and send in the card. Six months later the mail man brings you your redemption. You quickly tear open the package and notice a fruit cake with a note. The note says, "We are sorry but we didn't produce enough Honey Nut Cheerios. Please accept this left-over fruit cake from three years ago as a replacement." Get the picture? Let's hope the manufacturers do!

INTIMADATOR2007
01-30-2010, 04:38 PM
Great Stuff guys ..Love the redemption thought !!

sivjosh
01-30-2010, 10:49 PM
I'll offer a few quick edits/ideas:

First off, are we sure there are fewer than 1,000 actual card shops out there? Where does that number come from?

#10 is more accurate, I think, if you say ""1/1" serial numbered that are not so unique or special" because some 1/1s ARE unique and/or special. It is the ones that aren't that you are talking about.

#6 and #4 are basically the same complaint. Combine them.

#5, #3 and #2 are basically the same thing. Add a sentence about assembly line "jersey wearing" and combine them.

I think you should say "Unfulfilled redemption cards" in #1. I can understand why a company might want to use a redemption to prevent putting some great "King of All Cards" card in a pack. But, like you say, it is plain wrong to say "this redemption is for this card" if they don't already have the card made and don't know that they ever will.

TheDoleUSMC
01-31-2010, 03:33 AM
Redmption cards arent always bad... remember some are for actual items that were game worn or a framed auto of some sort... something that cant be seeded into packs. I can even understand if it was for a cut auto of a deceased player or celeb. Id want them to take the time to produce a good looking card with an authentic cut auto.

What ABSOLUTELY BLOWS MY MIND: redemption for a sticker auto. Really? You couldnt wrangle up enough "stickers" in time? Was the "sticker machine" on the fritz? Or maybe the player just looked at the stickers and said, "what the hell?" and had no idea what to do since they resemble NOTHING LIKE A CARD!

haha good article though, I agree with alot of your points mike!

mikesilvia
01-31-2010, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the inputs guys! I'll do the edits today.

al032184
01-31-2010, 02:37 PM
I don't think this is necessarily one of the worst ideas, but I think it has gone way out of hand.. Having cards of past superstars in each new set produced. I think we can slow it down with the new Mantle cards a bit.

vladroks10
01-31-2010, 02:42 PM
nice article mike. definitely interested in reading the final draft.

nebboy
02-01-2010, 07:11 PM
Thanks al123048
I also think if you indeed added a number it would be for former player in current issues. Make a set for retired player and keep curent issues to current players. Mantle stats havn't changes in awhile, therre not much more they can explote from him.

Seahawks Fan
02-03-2010, 02:33 AM
Good read indeed. Redemptions are annoying sure but the fact that they expire is the worst part. Imagine buying a box of 05 Exquisite for 500 bucks you pull a nice card and find out its expired.. thats plain crap. Is it really that hard to rent an extra garage to keep the cards on hand or to say hey this is expired..send it in and we will send you something.

RtdRSuperstar
02-03-2010, 09:38 AM
not only did you hit it on the #10 reason, but i think that 1/1 loses even more uniqueness when everyone considers the following a 1/1 too: 1. the player's jersey number. 2. the last card in the run 3. any odd or random number that is affiliated with the player (for example the number of touchdowns he scored in a season. who cares?)

mikesilvia
02-03-2010, 06:06 PM
Published here:
http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2010/01/the-10-worst-ideas-in-the-sports-card-industry/

MonticelloCards
02-05-2010, 02:59 PM
ill give you one that drove me nuts a long time ago - 1998 Zenith. Remember the dare to tear concept? That was the predecessor of rip cards - and i hated that stupid product

wrafman
02-05-2010, 10:35 PM
Good article. I don't think those are all bad ideas - most of them I like. It is just often the way they were implemented, as you suggest. I agree with redemptions being #1. Good analogy/metaphor there although I can see why occasionally redemptions might be necessary. There are just too many of them.

I hate the expired part too or replacing cards with other cards. I sent some cards in to topps including an expensive redemption that I traded for. I thought the person was sending the original but they sent the expired redemption - aarrrrghhh. The trader was dishonest (I believe) but I was lazy and careless - should have done my homework on that. I tried sending that one and a few other small redemption cards that I forgot to redeem in to topps but they just sent them back, stating they were expired(should have written a letter).

Another time I bought a redemption for an auto RC that I needed for a set and they replace it with other cards only to later send that card to other people(guess he was slow in signing).

I like some parallels, especially refractors but I agree that it has got a little out of hand and can be confusing.

I liked printing plates when they were not common but these days it seems like almost every product has tons of them. A true 1/1 printing plate would be nice but I like how it shows how they combine the colours/inks (magenta, cyan, and two others -can't remember).

ghurls12
02-06-2010, 01:10 PM
great read...

marcus0202
02-09-2010, 07:46 PM
Good article. I'm not sure I agree with #6 though, ever since there have been baseball cards, there have been multisport sets. See, e.g., 1888 Allen & Ginter, 1926 Spalding, 1932 U.S. Caramel, 1933 Sport Kings, 1951 Berk Ross, 1992 Classic 4-Sport...just to name a few.

mikesilvia
02-09-2010, 08:08 PM
Good article. I'm not sure I agree with #6 though, ever since there have been baseball cards, there have been multisport sets. See, e.g., 1888 Allen & Ginter, 1926 Spalding, 1932 U.S. Caramel, 1933 Sport Kings, 1951 Berk Ross, 1992 Classic 4-Sport...just to name a few.

Excellent point!

LSUsg
02-12-2010, 12:24 PM
haha funny but true read

LSUsg
02-12-2010, 12:26 PM
Good article. I'm not sure I agree with #6 though, ever since there have been baseball cards, there have been multisport sets. See, e.g., 1888 Allen & Ginter, 1926 Spalding, 1932 U.S. Caramel, 1933 Sport Kings, 1951 Berk Ross, 1992 Classic 4-Sport...just to name a few.

this years ud heros football had mixed sports, i pulled a freaking surfers card

wrafman
02-13-2010, 04:42 AM
Good article. I'm not sure I agree with #6 though, ever since there have been baseball cards, there have been multisport sets. See, e.g., 1888 Allen & Ginter, 1926 Spalding, 1932 U.S. Caramel, 1933 Sport Kings, 1951 Berk Ross, 1992 Classic 4-Sport...just to name a few.

I like the Allen & Ginter set. I don't collect baseball and haven't bought any of it but like what I have seen (creative) online. I like how it includes famous people outside of sports and the invisible man and animal hairs and George Washington hair are kind of gimmicky but cool. Don't know if I would want that Washington hair though(kind of eerie).

stewart20rulz
02-13-2010, 08:29 PM
Very good article Mike. Another reason I think the hobby has all but deteriorated completely is the fact that online auctions like eBay and others are like a double-edge sword. They are good for buyers in most cases who can find cards they want at way below price guide value without leaving their homes. As you said, the card companies have flooded the market with so many GU and autographed cards, that collector's can pick them up for far less than the price of packs in most cases. Why buy cards or packs at shops when you can get them delivered to your door for less? On the other hand, sellers may feel like they just took a hockey puck to the groin when they end up getting one bid and sell their awesome autographed patch card for way below book value. Taking a huge loss on a high-end product can deepen the wounds and just turns people off to collecting, especially those who can't afford to spend $100 only to get a low-tier autograph or jersey card. This is the point where you find out who the true collectors are and who are in it just for the money. Personally, I feel it would be nice that if you pay $100+ for a product, that you would get $100 in value. However, the hobby has become a lottery and there are some that win and a whole lot who lose on box breaks. If the manufacturers don't change their marketing strategies soon, everyone will lose as the hobby slowly dies out as card shops disappear.

Seahawks Fan
02-14-2010, 10:54 AM
Card shops are going the way of the Video Game Arcades extinct due to the fact that like you said you dont have to leave your home to get the best deals. Local card shops need to take a clue and price a little better. No one is going to pay $10 BV for a David Carr GU card let alone even $5 bucks.. I walk into card shops these days and just think "no wonder these places are going out of business" The ones that stay in business constantly keep track of the fluctuating market of Ebay/Online values and price around them.