Sports Memorabilia Auction Concerns & Knowledge

Welcome to SMACK an Auction Watch Page. This page is meant to educate and warn buyers of possibly fraudelent memorabilia auctions listed on the internet everyday. You are welcome to have us review and post auctions so that others maybe warned. If you as a seller have been mentioned please feel free to defend yourself. Disclaimer: Anything posted here is an opinion and in no way represents that what is being offered for sale is fake, just questionable. Before You Bid Arm Yourself With Knowledge !

Sunday, February 27, 2005

ALERT!!! Sellers To Be Concerned About LIST

In our on going efforts to keep you informed of the questionable card board dealers out there, we will provide a list of the sellers offering dubious merchandise. Again to remind you, we are not making claims that the cards for sale, or that have been sold by these dealers are not genuine, but are very questionable. To further that effort we also provide the name of the buyer of closed auctions of this material so that if you run across it being resold you know to question it’s validity before bidding. This list will be updated as much as possible so check back…

1. Seller: starsforless
1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE #311 Item number: 5163171981
Buyer: greensleeves2003
1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE #311 Item number: 5163433092 Buyer: Private
1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE #311 Item number: 5164915579
Buyer: brewcrew90
1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE #311 Item number: 5165328246
Buyer: 516tommy
1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE #311 Item number: 5165726404
Buyer: blaclabl
1933 GOUDEY BABE RUTH #53 Item number: 5166209603
Buyer: blaclabl
2. Seller: akanugget
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle Item number: 5170311707

Purchased similar card from starsforless on 2/18/05 Item number 5167193527
3. Seller: blaclabl
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle RC #311 Item number: 5170276171
Purchased similar card from starsforless on 2/15/05 Item number: 5165726404
1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #53 No Reserve Item number: 5170278230

Purchased similar card from starsforless 2/15/05 Item number: 5166209603
4. Seller: newcer
1954 HANK AARON ROOKIE Item number: 5169950978
Purchased similar card from starsforless on 2/22/05 Item number: 5168491416
5. Seller: themike34
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 Item number: 5168261414
Purchased a Gehrig card from starsforless on 2/24/05 Item number: 5169077159 Coincidence?
6. Seller: monty7198
1909 T206 HONUS WAGNER Item number 5170366854
He got it in a shoe box from an old man?
(Hint) There are 50-75 known original examples of this card

Before You Bid Arm Yourself With Knowledge !
last updated 2/27/05 @ 1.53pmCST

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Vintage Reprints

I'm an avid baseball card collector. As I have reported in the past, there seems to be an influx of counterfeit baseball cards being sold on eBay. These sellers are listing them as reprints and selling them cheap. There is no authorized reprint set for these cards. So what they are doing is coping the original card and then selling it on eBay as a reprint.

I realize the seller clearly states in his listing it is a reprint, but buyers could be buying these and selling them privately as the real thing. I feel that the seller should stamp the reprint/counterfeit as such. Then encapsulate it as such. Otherwise, they should not be able to list it on eBay.

One seller that comes to mind is "erniefigures". Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. All one day auctions with cheap encapsulated counterfeits. Their are several sellers like this one. I and others are really getting fed-up with these sellers getting away with selling these fakes. They encapsulate the card, making it difficult to open the case, and inspect the card. If you could open the card, you would find out it's just basicly thick paper. Not regular card stock paper!

Dave

Friday, February 25, 2005

A Study: Vintage Unsearched Wax Packs Coincidence?

In one of the oldest scams in the hobby, some sleazy sellers elect to buy old wax wrappers and place commons in them re-seal them and pawn them off as “Vintage Unopened Wax Packs”. Snooping around last month one of our eBay board members found this seller, treasureseeker52296 and reported their activity. Upon further investigation this is what I found. Of course the person in question is no longer a registered eBay user under that name at least, but don’t be surprised if they resurface under another ID.

The following are the items that our seller purchased over the last 30 days.

[Link]1970’s Topps Baseball Wrappers
[Link] 1979 Topps Football Wrappers
[Link]1977-78 OPC Hockey Set Lot 320 Diff. + 7 Wax Wrappers
[Link]1977-78 Topps Hockey Set Lot of 1300 Mint Cards

These are the types of items they sold.

[Link]1978-79 Topps Basketball Unopened Wax Packs
[Link]1972 Topps Baseball Complete Unopened Wax Box
[Link] 1976-77 Topps Hockey Unopened Wax Box
[Link] 1971 Topps Football Unopened Wax Pack

Coincidence or questionable? You be the Judge.

Here is a classic case where the consumer by doing a little homework and researching the sellers recent activities, would have had a reasonable doubt as to weather or not to bid on unopened wax packs from this seller.





1986 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN RC GEM MINT CONDITION THE REAL DEAL OR NOT?? YOU BE THE JUDGE

Being that this is one of the most sold counterfeit cards on eBay it's almost a given that an ungraded card in Mint or Better condition will most likely be a fake.
So one of the first things that you as a buyer can do is check out the buying habits of the seller. Granted many sellers are smart in that they have two id's. One for buying and the other for selling but the following is a great example if the buyer had only checked into the sellers history before bidding.

Seller wins the following auction on Jan-17-05 Jordan Reprint

Than on Feb-10-05 starts an auction for a Jordan RC. Real Jordan?

Auction closes on Feb-13-05 to the tune of $330.00
Buyer than shows up on the CU board with the following thread.
(The Following Comments Are Of The Individual Posters And ARE NOT Necessarily The Views OR Opinions Of This Board)Got an obvious fake off ebay, what can I do/should I do?

To do a search of what a person has been buying is easy.
Click on advanced search. Then click on items by bidder. Enter bidder's name in the box and choose your options. I recommend that you include completed auctions and even if not the high bidder so that you can see every item that has been bid on. Unfortunately this only shows items of the past 30 days so you might have to go and check the sellers feedback, look for items they have bought and click away.

Also another overlooked thing by many buyers is that they don't check feedback left until after a problem arises. To save you potential problems use the following Negative/Neutral Feedback tool before you commit to hitting that bid or buy it now button.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

SCAM ALERT! Pre sell cases and boxes of sports cards

This is a scam where you purchase pre release date boxes and cases of unopened boxes of sports cards. Be sure you know who you are dealing with when buying unopened material before the release date.

I was just involved in one of these types of scams. I was fortunate enough to get my money back. The following is what happened to me, and many other buyers who were not as fortunate as I.

I was in the market for 2 unopened factory cases of 2005 Topps Heritage baseball cards. Topps set a release date of February 16, 2005. The pre sell auctions began to appear on eBay in mid to late December of 2004. I purchased 2 from the same seller, and immediate payment was required through PayPal. So, I paid immediately.

A few days after I had made my purchases, the seller began getting negative feedbacks from different buyers about non delivery of presell items from football boxes. The negatives were for over 2 month old auctions, far too late to file for your money back with PayPal considering they only allow 45 days. So, I contacted the seller about it, and all he told me was that my payment was received and my cases would be shipped ASAP. I never heard another word from him.

At the end of January 2005, I checked for more negatives, and noticed the seller had been suspended from eBay. I immediately filed for my money back from PayPal, as it was nearing the end of my 45 day time limit to do so. I also sent an email to the seller that I had filed for my money back, and got a nasty response. He assured me that the police would be knocking at my door, and I would be suspended from eBay and PayPal. He tried to make me feel guilty. Needless to say, the police never arrived here, and I am still registered on eBay and PayPal. Anyhow, I got my money back from PayPal, and moved on.

I received an email from another buyer of this sellers, asking me if I had any luck with this seller. He also was getting no contact from the seller, and was a little concerned. It was on February 17, that I received the email from the buyer. One day after the release date. Then on February 23, 2005, he received an email from the seller that the cards were going to be released late, and he should have them by February 26, 2005. They would then be shipped to the buyers, and the buyers should email the seller for a tracking number. Why the buyer should have to ask for a tracking number is beyond me, the seller should just send it to the buyer. Anyway, then later in the day on February 23, 2005 this other buyer received a second email from this seller, stating that if his dealer does not get the cases to him by Monday February 28, 2005 refunds will be issued.

What happened here, is this seller needed some money and fast. I have heard of several different sellers doing this of late. They pre sell cases of cards more than 45 days ahead of the release date. They sell them dirt cheap, so they move fast. Then, since the buyer is aware that the cards are not going to be released to the sellers until the release date, this gives the seller enough time that he/she does not have to worry about PayPal chargebacks. By the time the buyer realizes his/her cards are not coming it is too late.

The seller then fills the buyer with empty promises and excuses as to why they have not shipped the cards yet. Usual excuse is, "My supplier has not received his shipment yet, therefore I do not have the cards yet to send. As soon as my supplier releases these cards to me, I will send them right away to you. I will advise when the cards are coming." Or, "If we do not receive the cards from our supplier by xx/xx/xxxx, we will issue you a full refund. We are sorry for any inconveniences this may cause you." Something to the effect of that anyhow.

Then, they either dissappear completely, and you never hear from them again. Or a few weeks of empty promises and excuses later, you receive a full refund.

I believe what they are doing, is borrowing money from buyers to pay bills. Or, they are borrowing money to order these products early, and then when they get the product they sell it for a much higher rate and send the buyers a refund. Only, they are not letting the buyer in on the secret, that they are actually the sellers interest free bank.

Either way, it is not fair to the buyer in either circumstance. When the buyer orders a product, they obviously expect it to show up at their door. It is very disappointing when it does not, I know and many of you probably know first hand how that feels.

Just thought I should add this to the list of scams to watch out for. There are probably many very good sellers of unopened material, but please be sure of who you are dealing with when you are shelling out several hundred dollars way before the release date. Always check the feedback, but that is not always a guarantee either. The seller I got burned by had over 900 positive feedbacks, with only one negative feedback at the time of my purchases. He was also a Power Seller. He went downhill fast.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Vintage Sports Card Buying On The Net 101

As I mentioned in my last post once a new card collector has gained a little experience and becomes hooked on this hobby, they usually turn their collecting interests towards “ Vintage Sports Cards”. The unfortunate part is that around every corner there are opportunists waiting to take their money. This is a wonderful hobby and the collecting of Vintage Sports Materials is a great way to own a piece of Americana. Don't let the scammers scare you away from the hobby, just take precautions and you'll be fine.

The cards that most commonly are counterfeited in the hobby include: 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth, 1933 Goudey Nap Lajoie, T206 Honus Wagner, and the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. These cards represent the Holy Grail of Vintage card collecting and one should approach buying them on the net with extreme caution. They are offered on a daily basis all you have to do is a search. Here is a search I did for completed auctions for the (click following text to see results) 1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE #311 ROOKIE . As you can see over the last 30 days one seller has cornered the market on these. Can you explain to me how this person came to own this many Near Mint examples of a card that books for $18,000, and there is no news of it in any of the major sports collecting publications? If you happen to do a search on this seller you will also find that they have also sold several copies of the 33 Goudey Ruth and Lajoie. Makes a person wonder.

If you follow these simple rules before buying a Vintage Card on an internet auction you are likely not to get ripped off.

1. Never buy from a seller that has private Feedback. Why would an honest seller want to hide their feedback?
2. Never bid on an auction where the buyer’s ID is kept private. The other bidders are likely to be shills.
3. Never buy from a seller that does not have a return policy. Honest dealers will always stand behind their products.
4. If buying a graded card make sure it comes in one of these holders PSA, BGS, BVG, SGC, or GAI any other companies grading vintage cards just do not offer the expertise of the companies mentioned.
5. Research your seller do as much homework as you can on the seller you are buying from.
6. Seek a second opinion. There are plenty of discussion boards all over the net for people interested in collecting Vintage Cards.
7. If your not sure don’t buy there will always be another card.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

T206 Nap Lajoie Graded 0 by Beckett's

Here is another example of a questionable auction on eBay. Most people who enter the hobby start collecting modern era cards, be it of a favorite player or team. Eventually what happens is they learn a little and then find themselves wanting to collect vintage cards. The T206 Tobacco cards are the Rolls Royce of Vintage Cards along with the 1933 Goudey set, and the 1952 Topps set. Unfortunately these sets have been reproduced over the years and this fact gives liscense to many shady dealers to sell their junk to unsuspecting novice buyers.

In this auction 5166648717 the seller states that this card has been graded by BGS (Beckett) as 0, becuase of a pressed crease. A quick jump over to Beckett's would reveal that there is no such grade given by them. If Beckett's where to return the card as ungradeable it would be for simple reasons, the card in question is a fake or it is altered. Vintage cards are graded with creases and tears all the time, as in this example 5168458513

You be the judge, questionable?

Monday, February 21, 2005

What a great Seller

Oldliz is the eBay Power Seller.....
I was shocked to see this person finally is going to get the ebay axe. She and her husband and son have been selling "autographed baseballs". I knew before buying from them it was going to be a forgery. Their M.O. was always the same, Private auctions, issue their own COA, NO PHOTOs and the cheapest prices on ebay (and many were the real hard ones that don't do signing shows). Because they used the USPS for delivery, my postmaster general called her's and she ended up in court, settled the case out of court for $3,000 fine and had to give me a real Frank Robinson signed baseball. Ebay was informed about the results of the court (by me) and took no action. They remained Power Sellers! Click on the title "What a great Seller" to see their awful feedback!


Looking at their recent feedback, surely this time they'll be gone!

Same Seller Different Card Same Scam?

Well seems like our seller is busy here is another great card you can bid on.


(note) click the auction numbers below they are links to the auctions.

5167708135

Now who did he buy it from ?

5166209603

1952 Topps Mantle what do you think?

Well it did'nt take long to find the first fishy auction. This seller is auctioning this 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie.


(note) click the auction numbers below they are links to the auctions.

5167702940
Now how is it that you own a card that is apparently in a very high grade condition and not send it off to PSA/BGS or any other reputable grader for grading? I'll tell you why. Could it be that on Feb 16,2005 he purchased this

5165726404
You tell me?


eBay fakes and fraud

Welcome to the auction watch page for sports memorabilia. I have chosen to create this page because in eBay's infinite wisdom, we as consumers are not allowed to post what are obvious fraudulent auctions which are taking place on that site and others on a daily basis. If you do happen to post on the sports memorabilia board there you are subject, to having your post removed and possibly having your account suspended. I will remind anyone reading on this site that what is posted is an opinion and in no way represents that sellers of items posted are selling fakes. If you are a seller that is mentioned here you are more than welcome to defend your product offering and inform the readers what makes your product geniune.


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