View Full Version : Our hobby,how dishonest can it get.

04-03-2011, 08:59 AM
Let me preface this article by saying I'm 49 years young and have seen alot going on in this hobby.When I first started collecting it was the late 60's and there weren't gu or autographs in the packs,but they did have see thru cello packs and the first kid to get to the store after they restocked always had his pick of the cello packs,bad but still not completely dishonest.The same goes for the 70's and 80's nothing really major put in packs that could be searched out by a feel of the packs.

Onto the late 90's this is where the fun begins,the inclusion of gu and autographs has hit the market,very cool concept and the odds were astronomical to pull one,so pack searchers really weren't at too much of an advantage as they could feel thousands of packs and still come up empty handed.

Let's fast forward to the 2,000's and the here and now,meaning the advent of selling cards on ebay and card trading sites such as sportscardforum.com.The companies figured that if one gu or auto in 2,500 packs was good one per box was even better,we as collectors obviously agreed as that is why we bust wax,more for the big hit than to put a set together.I have seen pack searchers first hand and I guess it's a skill as one of the card shop owners in New York would crack a box of 97 ud legends football and show me how he could always pull the pack with the gu card.I should have known right then and there that this hobby was going down the wrong path but still I kept collecting.

Now let's forward to the fiasco known as Topps rookie premiere football autographs,possibly the most forged autograph set of all time.For some reason Topps let unsigned versions of these cards get on the outside market and the forgers had a field day,the red versions which supposedly had a print run of 10 were all of a sudden showing up in truckloads.

Let's move onto patch cards shall we,when gu cards first came out there were usually only one color swatches and if you got really lucky you pulled a 2 color swatch.Sp authentic football started coming out with rookie patch autographs which was an innovative and great idea.I pulled an antwaan randle el and it was a 1 color patch auto but I was still satisfied.Now comes some more dishonesty in our hobby,the sellers on ebay didn't seem satisfied with the money they were making from their 1 color patch auto's,so what's a seller to do,yep that's right switch the patch out for the most awesome fake patch your eyes could see,the most mind blowing is the faked adrian peterson viking head.To this day I will not buy a more than one color patch unless I saw it pack pulled myself.

Okay I'll be honest the reason I started this article was because of the Topps diamond giveaway codes.I had bought a mixed topps pack for 14.99 that came with 2 guaranteed giveaway codes.I was lucky enough to pull a code from one of the packs and entered it and everything was fine,now here comes the problem,the 2 codes that came wih the box did not work showing up as invalid.I guess when Topps packaged these things they didn't take into consideration how dishonest today's collectors are,as I noticed after the fact that if you turned the package a certain way you could read the codes without actually buying the product.

I love this hobby and I love pulling great cards and autographs,but lately the dishonest scum are making collecting a very hard thing to do.I would rather go back to the good old days of the 60's where you traded and put sets together with the help of your schoolyard friends,and book value didn't come into play as you got a card you needed and so did your trading partner.I will still collect as hard as I always have,but I will do so with both eyes wide open,and I would suggest you my fellow collectors do the same,as if we can get rid of the scammers and dishonest people in this hobby one true collector at a time things just might get better.Have a great collecting day,take care Steve

04-03-2011, 09:58 AM
You are right on the money Steve. I also received all invalid codes for my $14.99 Topps mixed packs w/ the guaranteed code cards. I don't think the card companies can ever 100% prevent people from screwing the honest collectors, but sometimes I don't think they truly think everything through on how the package their cards. There are plenty of ways that pack searching can be prevented if the card companies R&D teams just spent a little time brainstorming and really thinking about the problems in the hobby.

You also have the problem with resealed "Hot Packs" and I'm also hearing a lot of people getting "resealed" boxes from crooks off eBay.

Great article!

04-03-2011, 10:12 AM
Thanks Don,but I stand corrected on the giveaway codes.That was a Topps error as all the codes in those packages are coming up invalid,I tried emailing them but the server is down,I'll place a call on monday.As far as making the packs and boxes so they can't be searched,it really wouldn't be that hard.I remember when flair came out in 1994 they came in a cardboard box that couldn't be searched,or donruss preferred from 1997 which came in a metal tin,but people with their little scales will still weigh the boxes,anything for an advantage I guess.Don't get me started on resealed boxes as 2 times on boxes I've bought from target every pack in the box was already opened and I guess someone with a resealing machine could have a field day,as most of these retail stores will just take the returned box without even examining it.

04-03-2011, 11:59 AM
I recently bought a 2010 Bowman Platinum blaster at Wally World. Every pack was already opened and 25% of the cards were missing. I hate crooks!

Thanks Don,but I stand corrected on the giveaway codes.That was a Topps error as all the codes in those packages are coming up invalid,I tried emailing them but the server is down,I'll place a call on monday.As far as making the packs and boxes so they can't be searched,it really wouldn't be that hard.I remember when flair came out in 1994 they came in a cardboard box that couldn't be searched,or donruss preferred from 1997 which came in a metal tin,but people with their little scales will still weigh the boxes,anything for an advantage I guess.Don't get me started on resealed boxes as 2 times on boxes I've bought from target every pack in the box was already opened and I guess someone with a resealing machine could have a field day,as most of these retail stores will just take the returned box without even examining it.

Ray Rice Collector
04-03-2011, 09:37 PM
Great article. Ithink that we as collectors have to do our homework. If we continue to pay our money we have to live by the if it is too good to be true then it probaly is motto. The thing that I hate the most is multiple versions of cards. Back in the day there was only one version if you got it you got it. Now a days you think you have completed a set of your favorite player only to find that there are more cards in a different color.

04-03-2011, 10:45 PM
Thanks for the reply pee632,player collecting is one of the hardest things to do with all the parallels,sp's and variations,not to mention Topps moments and milestones.I think most collectors don't even include that set as part of their player collections that's how many variables are in that set.Take care Steve

04-04-2011, 08:25 AM
Haven't bought many cards in my life. I bought like a hobby box with random packs in a store on vacation and got 2 jersey cards which made me so happy (Pat Burell and a Javy Lopez all star jersey card. For hockey I've bought many blaster boxes only got 4 jersey cards (my best was a MVP 2on2 card of weber, rinee vs stuart osgood). Why don't people buy hobby boxes so they can't be searched or jus stop buying like me last thing i bought was like 2010.

04-05-2011, 01:30 PM
Will edit and post this tonight after work Steve thanks :)

04-05-2011, 02:35 PM
You,re welcome karine,have a great day

04-05-2011, 09:19 PM
Here you go: http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2011/04/our-hobby-how-dishonest-can-it-get/

Have a good eve!

black bass
04-07-2011, 05:04 PM
I also started collecting cards in the late 1960s...I was born in 1961 , as were you. I got my packs of bubble gum cards at " Georges candy store "
on 9th & Linclon ave in Milwaukee , wi. I was hit by a car in 1969 and George came to visit me at the hospital...he brought me a bunch of good candy that I liked , and three boxes of 1969 football cards. I was hooked on cards from then on. I have seen all the problems that you mentioned , and I have become sick of $ 300 auto / patch rc cards of guys that have done nothing.
Recently I decided to collect inserts and base cards of players that I like...
maybe an auto or two. I want to collect cool looking low value cards that I really enjoy !!

thanks for this great thread !


04-08-2011, 08:28 AM
Pretty cool story yourself Bill,that was a great gesture by George and the world needs more people like that.

04-08-2011, 11:47 AM
Good thread Steve.

I'm 32 and was introduced to baseball cards at the age of 7. My best card which I cherished the most was the Bird/Magic 1980 Topps rookie card that me an my dad found at a flea market.

I started acculating cards over time and in 1989 I saw John Elway playing in a playoff game against the Browns, saw some outstanding talent, and boom was instantly hooked.

I was thrilled when I started collecting Elway and had amassed 20 different ones. After 5 years I had gotten to over 2,000 unique cards and many oddball things.

I went through hard times and sold off all of the collection.

I do remember around 1990-1994 with the inclusion of 1990 Leaf, the Gold Leaf Rookies, then came Select in 1993, the Marshall Faulk craze, and 1994 brought a whole new look as previously mentioned with Flair, and finally in 1995 is when changes started happening rapidly.

Obviously there's many variables to point out why this and why that. I believe as it seems to be adhered to that adjustment is the key.

Here's a player collecting idea: I am focusing more on Elway again and determined that I would set a bar of going after all cards that are serial numbered to #/25 and up. All others that are limited to less I want go after as much but rather consider those as "gravy".

We can still enjoy and have fun despite all the crookedness that finds it's way into the hobby.

Again this is a great discussion.


04-08-2011, 11:57 AM
Thanks for the reply Brian,it's funny how us collectors all got our starts in this hobby,as no one story seems the same.I got my start in the schoolyard when I was about 8 because it seemed all the kids with cards didn't get picked on as much.

04-08-2011, 11:20 PM
I remember the 1992 topps packs that had some diamond scratch off game in them. The packs were sealed with light glue and you could open them, search for black gold cards and the scratch off game then reseal them with a glue stick. Good as new. On top of that the game carss were see through under a flashlight and certain backgrounds so people would win everytime..... Thats when i knew this hobby was rigges

04-12-2011, 11:31 PM
Dont get me started on the Scales... ! Nice article though!

04-13-2011, 03:48 PM
Great read......I hate pack searchers, and I hate to be a nark but when I see them I turn them in........I know it seems childish to do that but I think about kids who buy retail packs or the parents that buy them as a suprise. As far as LCS theres not much down my way which makes it alot easier to weed out the hobby rip-offs

04-16-2011, 07:36 PM
Since going to buying only singles and boxes from what i feel are reputable dealers pack searchers dont bother me a whole lot. If you whant to buy the fat packs you go right ahead. I kind of look at it like buying anything else. you always take the best looking shirt or whatever off the rack. I do think the person who gets hurt the most is the one who cant afford a box like younger kids.

What does bother me are the dealers who search the boxes and take out the hits and sell the rest of the packs.

Here is a true story for you.

I was at my local card shop bs'n with the guys who work there and we started talking about pack searching and the owner said it doesnt pay unless you "know what you are doing" after hearing the "owner" say that and realizing ive never gotten a nice hit out of his packs i did a little research. After reading some posts about scales my son and i did a little test we bought three boxes. 1 2010 donruss basketball 1 2010 spx hockey 1 2010 artifacts hockey. We weighed all the packs with a little kitchen food scale found six packs that weighed like .1 oz difference and guess what. Yep six jerseys. Couldnt find the autos with the scale but found all the jerseys. For that reason i will never buy packs again or anything again from my local dealer.

Sad part is pack searching is for real and for those who are stuck with only being able to buy packs it sucks

04-18-2011, 09:56 PM
Well i'm only 18, and graduate high school in about a month, I started collecting when i was about 7. I havent been able to work or anything, so I'm stuck with buying the little blaster boxes from walmart/target/etc..The reason I got hooked onto cards was my best friend (who was my neighbor) I went into his house and downstairs into a room and every single spot you looked in the room was an auto or a jersey/patch card or some really really nice rookies and stuff. When I saw that I thought it was amazing! It made me want to start collecting, so I went to target with them one time and his dad bought me a box of cards, and that pack I bought I pulled a Daunte Culpepper Rc GU..can't remember if it was an auto. That got me hooked. Plenty of times have I gone to walmart or somewhere and seen opened packs just laying there, or people looking to see which pack weighs more for the jersey/auto. It just gets annoying knowing thats going on, and on my budget only being able to afford that. This had made me stick to buying just single cards on card trading forums.

04-18-2011, 11:34 PM
I may be a "rookie" according to this site but ive been a collector since my mom bought me a Yankees team set from 84 topps. Since then ive seen the "Good, the Bad, and a whole lotta UGLY" I try not to dwell on the ugly and just re-live the thrill of dissecting each case/box/pack i purchase. Pack searchings never going to stop being a problem unfortunately however you can find a good dealer to get your boxes from. Im fortunate to have a great "local" card shop who doesnt pack-search. Ill never ever forget some of the great cards ive pulled from him over the years. Just this year i pulled a Koufax from heritage and last week a Lou Gehrig triple relic from 1 pack of tribute. (kinda pricey product but fantastic hits!) There are alot of good guys out there that are trustworthy and in time if your fortunate youll find them. I dont want to advertise a site thats great for boxes but there are good ones out there. Most of all dont let it get to you!A hobby should add enjoyment to your life and when it stops doing so its time to find a new hobby. I'll be addicted for life, i cant go a day without opening a pack without suffering from SCBWD'S (severe cardboard withdrawals) I keep a few 90's junk wax boxes around just for this purpose.

04-19-2011, 03:12 PM
This really isn't a product of this specific hobby, but more of anything that has a monetary value. Dishonest people scam and counterfeit lots of things. If it has value someone will counterfeit it or try to get it for the cheapest way possible (in the case of pack searchers). Anything from Fossils or war relics all the way to money, electronics, cards, or beanie babies have fakes to try to pass off as the real deal.

The point in the card world where people aren't concerned with value is long gone. In the 60's they were more looked at as toys, as you know. Now they are viewed as commodities. Ironically, the way they were not kept as collectibles back in the first half of the century is exactly why they are collectible today. Had all of the early 1900's cards been cared for and saved like they are know there probably wouldn't be such a huge card market like there is today. Or at least they wouldn't have such high values as the supply would be much greater.

Any collector hobby you get into you will run across scammers. It stinks, but in the long run the honest people will far outweigh your experiences with scammers. At least that's my experience for the 25 years I've been dealing with cards.

04-22-2011, 01:20 PM
I agree with your points star cards and the hobby can never take a step back to the olden days.I also think there are more honest people than dishonest people in our hobby,it's just that the dishonesty gets publicized alot more than the nice gestures and honesty,just people's nature I guess.I will spend my next few days acquiring information on the positives that have happened to me on sportscardforum and card collecting in general and write something positive,as I love the hobby and its good people but it seems the bad incidents always take precedence over the good,thanks for your response take care Steve

04-22-2011, 01:42 PM
definitely the case that negatives get more pub than positives. I guess bad incidents just stay with us longer than the normal that go smoothly.

05-10-2011, 09:42 PM
Star Cards I filled my end of the bargain and wrote a positive article,as you can see no replies and only 45 views,negativity sells I guess.

LGB Cards
06-06-2011, 08:33 PM
I find it a little interesting that no one has even discussed decoys here. I used to be a metal fabricator and had to learn how to eyeball and feel very small differences. I can just look at a bunch of packs and clearly tell which are the thicker ones. I bought like 6 packs of Donruss 10/11 a few months ago and when pulling them out could tell that 3 of the 6 where thicker. We brought them home and I put a micrometer on them, it was like 1/32 of an inch of difference in the 3 but upon opening them they all had decoys and one of the thin ones was the one that had the auto in it.

Decoys are throwing people off a lot and the issue is being handled by some BUT not by all companies. I can buy boxes and tell which one has the GU but the autos can be detected at all.

Honestly though, despite my ability to do this I don't ever pack search unless the box is open and they are selling packs in which then I NEVER take the top, I always take a top, a middle, and a bottom no matter how much I am buying but I have done that since I was a kid.

Despite be trying to be honest myself though I have fallen victim to this before. I bought 5 boxes of 08/09 UD Ice and pulled nothing but base cards out of all 5, not 1 rookie or insert of any kind at all. Then bought 5 more from another person and ended up pulling 3 game used, 3 premier cuts, and 2 rookies. It sucks that despite people like me who really do try and not do this that people do it and then reseal boxes with only base cards.

06-07-2011, 03:52 AM
Since the hobby became a business and not a hobby, well some of us call it a hobby, the invention of game used and auto cards and high end inserts you are seeing more and more fraud then ever before.

Fake patches- are a big problem because now as collectors we can't even buy that cool logo or shield patch 1/1 without raising a red flag. The only way us collectors can prove that logo or shield is real is if it was pulled live via group break or out of a pack or box. If we fight back and stay educated on this, we then can weed out the fakes and get the real ones.

Ebay, fake auto memorabilia and cards- This to me is the biggest problem more then ever becuase of not just the money involved but the popularity and how collectible that card or auto piece can be. I'll give you my thoughts on both fake auto memorabilia on ebay and fake cards on ebay.

Ebay fake auto memorabilia- I can pull one of the greatest players from each sport and show you the fake to real autos. There are some good authenicators PSA and JSA, and the big autograph companies ud, steiner, tristar, etc. we can trust those companies and know our memorabilia is very real but then there the ones that sell on ebay to make a buck and never get caught. Ebay allows fake autographs to be sold on their site regardless as long as ebay gets a cut of the money same with paypal it will be a growing disease. Why does ebay have GAI has a proven authenicator on their site???? I know they have been criticized with selling fakes via coach's corner auctions and on ebay, do a search and compare GAI to some of the real ones and you will see the differance. Any average person can make fake autos and sell them on ebay, like I said earlier as long as ebay and paypal get a cut of the money they dont care.

Ebay fake cards- This probelly is more geared towards patches more but rookies, bigger named autos/deceased and higher end vintage now days need to be graded in my opinion to be called authentic but there some very good people in the hobby that can authenicate without needing a grading slab. I prefer my vintage to be graded because for two reasons 1. Authentication. With so many reprints and fakes in the hobby its good to know someone can help determine the real from fake 2. Preservation. Its good to know that the cards will stay protected forever and never be removed for any reason, its not so I can re sell for profit but so they can stay nice looking for years to come.

i tried my best and said what was on my mind

06-07-2011, 07:07 PM
If some of you guys remember back to your high school English classes, Chaucer's Pardoner was trafficking counterfeit holy relics.


It does boil down to economics. If it's lucrative, people will figure out how to get in on the action, and that does mean breaking the law from time to time. That's the deal--and it's no different with counterfeit Coach bags to a counterfeit ARod Patch card. It's just that one of them breaks my heart to run across.

06-08-2011, 09:54 AM

09-16-2011, 02:41 PM
Let's see if people still feel the same.

09-16-2011, 06:37 PM
I wish cards were still packaged like the '94 Flair baseball packs. They were sealed packs that came in a small cardboard box/pack. They seemed to be safer than just the plain foil packs, and it was not easy to unseal them and reseal them with the holographic seal on the lid of the pack under the clear wrapper. Here's an example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Flair-Baseball-Series-2-Hobby-Pack-Rodriguez-RC-/170196892012?pt=US_Baseball&hash=item27a086796c (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=3&campid=5335896190&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2F1994-Flair-Baseball-Series-2-Hobby-Pack-Rodriguez-RC-%2F170196892012%3Fpt%3DUS_Baseball%26hash%3Ditem27 a086796c)

09-16-2011, 07:16 PM
Yep Don,those were the good old days,before packsearching was even thought of.I think those packs or similar wrapping need to make a comeback.

09-16-2011, 11:50 PM
but the price would skyrocket due to the excess cardboard thats needed but i agree..or package them like the old topps pristine multiple packs in one and always put the hit in the middle pack if that particular pack has a hit

09-27-2011, 07:23 PM
My next door neoghbour was on his way to the end of his driveway with a huge box in his hands. I was out on the front lawn & he looked over at me as he was walking and said "Do you want these?"
I didn't even know what was in the box but I was 5 so the answer was obviously YES.
He took the lid off & there were hundreds of hockey cards about a hundred baseball cards & hundreds of non-sports cards (Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, Jaws II, Superman, etc.)
I've been collecting ever since.

Side thought: I know we shouldn't be pack searching because we are ruinning it for the little kids but, what do we do about the 5 year old pack searchers. I swear I saw one at Target the other day, bending the pack and replacing it back in the box!

09-29-2011, 08:35 AM
to me, i honestly think that card collectiong has gone wrong. i personally think that the card sets should only have autographs, regular refractors, and the base set. game used are just a bunch of fakes. i saw a documentary on them on abc. they have the player wear the jersey, take a few swings, they wash it, cut it up, and put it on a card. as for the dead/retired players, they take a replica jersey, slab some dirt on it, and put it on a card. all of the card companies are just trying to make more money off products such as triple threads, or tribute. i agree with spuds on how we should go back to the collecting in the 60's