Beckett’s Upcoming National Show Report: REVEALED!

Guys, I just got an exclusive preview of Beckett’s national card show report, as my personal psychic has dictated it word for word to me per her vision of the future. At this point in our technology, we are unable to time travel into the future, but this is a pretty good replacement. For your warning, I want to post this just so you have an idea of what is going to go down this week, before it happens. Thanks to Madame Cleo for this:

Beckett Is A Bright Star At The National Card Show

By Tracy Hackler, Editor, Beckett Everything Magazine

Golly! What a week at the national card show! We had a blast showing everyone the awesome things that Beckett has done over the last year as well as what is coming up for 2009 and 2010! I cant believe how many collectors we met, as well as all of the amazing things that at the best booth at the show! Here is a recap of what went down.

- Most of you heard about the Pristine 10 BGS Montana RC from last year’s show, but just wait until you hear about this year! In front of everyone, we graded the first ever Pristine BGS Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer RC! It was a sight, and a great investment for a collector who wished to remain anonymous. At least he was wearing a Beckett shirt, which was great for working the booth after the commotion died down! Who would have guessed that the biggest card grade in history would have come from the biggest show on the planet? We didnt!

- There were also a ton of people who came and told us how much they loved seeing us do our Beckett Box Busters! Unfortunately, there are a few vocal people out there who tell us that this is a huge problem, but the ten or so people we talked to all told us how much they loved it. Shows how much those downers out there know about collectors! Then, when those Beckett fans broke the boxes we gave them, they told us about how much more they loved the Beckett Box Busters! We aim to please!

- On Friday, our own Chris Olds and Timmy, a ten year old collector from Cleveland, got a chance for his own special episode of box busters! Thanks to our “friends” at Panini, they were able to break dueling boxes of Panini’s upcoming Absolute Memorabilia, more than 2 months early! To our amazement, Chris ended up pulling a 1/1 Michael Crabtree auto patch! Talk about luck, right? As for Timmy, he pulled a sweet Andre Caldwell auto, so he went away happy too!

- Beckett also unveiled that in addition to grading cards on the spot at the show, they were also starting up the first ever completely graded card live auction! We opened the huge Beckett vaults, pulled out as many 9.5s of some of the most important cards in history, and made them available for the first time to you! The auction was a huge success, and it also allowed us to pay the electric bill we have been trying to avoid paying for so long. People may have complained that the cards we sold didn’t look right, but our grades are completely legit, as they always truly are. These are the ones graded by our top graders over the last few years, and the grading standard has been accepted by collectors worldwide. Also, some of these graded cards will be available again on the new Beckett Graded Card Marketplace, where you can buy the 9.5s directly from us!

- We also got compliment after compliment from kids at the show who told us how happy they were to find out that their collections were worth so much in the price guide. After using our “my collection” station, 8 year old Joey C found out that the cards his dad had given him from 1987 were worth over $1000 dollars due to the sheer number he had! Again Beckett satisfies another collector, good luck selling those million cards Joey!

- Fresh off his sweet box break, Chris Olds was also a big hit! He wowed us with material from the best blog on the net, showing everyone why the Beckett blog should be the ONLY stop you make on the blogosphere. We are so glad to see that his work paid off in talking about the Craigslist Collector Corner, where he tried to educate a few people on how outdated their ads were. He also showed a few previews for his expose on the fake Topps rookie premiere autographs, as well as his “man on the street” features. Chris is definitely the most innovative blogger out there.

- Lastly, Panini and Beckett embarked on a long standing relationship with our teams formally announcing that all high end Panini products will feature Beckett/JSA authenticated player autos, as well as a special Panini page on the Beckett site. Despite accusations that the new partnership stood against everything that is right and just in the hobby, we promised that no favoritism would occur. In fact, we even showcased the first pricing for Panini’s Donruss Elite, the most valuable set of the year so far! This is great news for this new company on the block, as well as great news for our new special Panini Market Analysts, who will be working directly with the manufacturer to make sure all pricing reflects exactly what the cards are worth.

The folks here and in Texas cannot wait for next year’s show, so be sure to check back to Beckett.com for more overage and pictures!

Im so glad that Madame Cleo had such a good vision of the future! This is some gold right here!

How Deep Does The Relationship Between Beckett and Panini Really Go?

We all know the events of the past four or five months, Beckett and Panini have basically declared their sloppy love for each other, even going pretty far in showing that relationship off to the public. Although its pretty sickening to me, not many people know how deep that love really is.

It starts with tiny stuff, like Beckett receiving boxes weeks ahead of their release, and larger amounts exclusive info here and there. For each of the last Panini releases, Beckett has gotten boxes up to ten to fifteen days ahead of the street date, some of them with pretty nice stuff in it. You may remember that after the hype machine behind the school colors on card autos, Beckett pulled a Percy Harvin, a card I have yet to see being offered to the public. Although it wasnt a huge dollar pull, it was a card from an overhyped, ugly product that needed a little push. I rarely believe these things to be a coincidence.

Of course, this was after the massive amounts of exclusive previews that Beckett receives directly from Panini, sometimes needlessly so. Its almost like they are providing Beckett with these things to try to show people that when it comes to news, Beckett is it, despite the fact that are continually out-scooped by the blogs. Add in that stories are consistently ripped off of the people who do it for fun, and you see why this practice is necessary. Beckett is basically facing the fact that message boards and blogs are now the number one source for hobby news, and they are left with Wrestling cards and promises of finding love for lonely collectors.

What people arent familiar with is that Scott Prusha of Panini Marketing, and Tracy Hackler have been best friends since Prusha started his career with Beckett media. In fact, Prusha and Hackler have such a close relationship, that Hackler was the best man at Prusha’s wedding. To think that these two people have teamed together to boost each of the products the other offers, doesnt seem like so much of a stretch anymore. Not only that, but it may be the evidence people are looking for when it comes to establishing the link between Panini and Beckett’s coexistance.

Its also kind of interesting that Panini products have been hailed by Beckett Football as the best of the year so far, even though there are less than 10 total products from three companies on the market. Plus, the UD products have made the Panini products look like they were done by people who didnt know what the fuck they were doing, so the title of best of the year seems like a huge stretch. Why else would that be the case other than pure favoritism?

The reason that I focus on this so much is because of what it means for average collectors, who may not spend the time on the blogs. They see Beckett as a legit news source, when really it is just advertising for their buddies. Im guessing that prices for Panini will also be higher this year despite the “market analysts” they have, yeah fucking right. I would go so far as saying that new collectors may be so jaded on this that Panini sales are above where they actually should be, despite the already poor performance they have had on the primary and secondary markets.

Lastly, we already know that Beckett and Panini have had and will have events together that showcase the relationship they have built. There have also been multiple sources that have told me that Panini reps will be at Beckett’s national booth, and vice versa. So, based on that information, isnt it safe to say that a company like Panini should not be supported the way that other companies are? I dont remember hearing anything about a Topps/Tuff Stuff relationship where both companies worked together to help the other out.

See, when you present yourself as an objective news source and price guide for the hobby, relationships like the one Panini and Beckett have should not be fucking tolerated. Bottom line. The problem is that Beckett has no responsibility to the people they consider to be their reader base, so they end up doing some of the douchebaggiest things since UD printed extra griffey rookies on the weekends. Sadly, the people they hurt are not the type of people that read SCU and Wax Heaven, but rather the collectors who dont have those opportunities. Each kid who picks up a Beckett forms an opinion, some of those opinions being ones entirely based on the info they read. I know I did as a kid. With that information and those opinions, new ideas are formed, most of which are based on lies.

Ask yourself, are these the type of people you want to support?

A Comment On VOTC’s National Show Coverage

The National is nigh, and Rob from VOTC has posted a great guide to making it the card show experience of your life. I do have a few things to add, as I see it a little differently than most of the others out there. Obviously, I cant go due to having to work this weekend and being across the country, but I hope a lot of you do. It looks like a lot of fun, and you are really going to have to watch your wallet.

Before you go splurge on your future collection centerpieces, remember that eBay is still the best way to get cards, hands down. Even though this show will pretty much have everything you could ever need, its still a show. Also remember that when you go from table to table, the prices are still show prices, and that most of the regular cards wont be worth your time unless you are trading your stuff away. Even in that case, I would probably wait before handing your collection to a dealer booth, as they will only give you trade values based on them making money(we all know what that means).

What I would suggest is trying to find those cards that wont be available anywhere else. You know there are going to be some ridiculous cards, in a good way, and this may be your time to A) see what is out there B) window shop and C) secure some nice rarities and oddballs. Other than that, I would be very careful if you are going to buy mid to high end stuff at show prices.

Second, the manufacturers booths are the way to go as Rob said. They have awesome giveaways and ways to get free stuff. If you do one thing at the show, its go to these booths.

In terms of buying versus trading, this is a show that has thousands of collectors there for one reason. I would not hesitate to set up some trades with collectors instead of the dealers, as you know that they don’t have to pay overhead for booth space. I have heard so many amazing stories of trades that go down, and I assume that if you look, you should be able to find a lot of the action.

Another great thing is the case breaks that go down, because as you can imagine, collectors from all walks of life will be there. Last year I heard there were so many Cup and Exquisite breaks that they almost devoted a whole room to the people who spend 20K and break it all there. Keep your eyes out as you may see something that you will never be able to see again in that respect. Also, many of these people bust for stuff to sell at the show, so it’s a good chance that you would be able to work out a deal for any card they pull. Not always, but I got an email from a guy last year who said he purchased a Brady Quinn Exquisite Patch Rookie Auto for 20 bucks. The scan alone was worth that.

Of course, Beckett will be there, and they are going to be surrounded by everything that makes them the devil in this industry. They surely will grade your cards on the spot, and they will also have something called “Raw Card Review” like they do at every show. It is the biggest rip off ever created, don’t fall for it. RCR is basically them stealing your money, as they take a quick look at your unslabbed card and give it an “expected” grade. The problem is that these grades are NOT guaranteed to transfer to a slab and are not held with the same premium as the regular slabs. It will still cost you a long wait and some cash you could spend elsewhere. Also, there will be about 100,000 cards they will need to slab in three days, so the attention your card will get will be minimal compared to the regular process. This could work to your advantage, but it could also screw you out of getting a deserved higher grade. I don’t support grading at all, but if you have to do it, wait for better ways, or don’t request on the spot service.

With Beckett, they seem to think that the people at the National justify a lot of their horrible existence, but you will see why I have some of the problems I do with their practices, just from observing their booth. From what I have heard from my industry sources, there may be Panini reps AT the Beckett booth, and many of the Beckett giveaways will be Panini in nature. No surprise there. Either way, I am confident that Tracy Hackler will be sure to give his report of how much positive feedback they get at the show, but as an enlightened collector, I would stay far away from anything they have to offer. That is, unless you actually want to be surrounded by a bunch of price guide thumping idiots who want to suckle at the teat of the hobby’s number one source on douchebaggery. Really, I’m sure there will be enough price guide propaganda outside of the area around their station, as this show will probably be ripe with JCs who don’t know anything about the sheer stupidity of everything Beckett preaches.

Also, Blowout and DACardworld are going to be there and they always have some sweet deals on wax. If you are looking for older stuff, or stuff that has been out for a few years even, check out the booths, they will have some rock bottom prices.

Just be sure to remember that it may be the national, but its still a card show. It will be a blast even if you don’t buy anything, so don’t think you are wasting time and money if you just go there to see the gathering. I think that because so many of your contacts from the blogs and the message boards will be there, it would be a great way to put some faces and personalities to the names. Keep your eyes peeled for good deals, and avoid tables with price guides sitting in prominent places.

Most importantly, send me the pictures!!

The Donini/Beckett Love Affair Continues: How Far Does It Go?

So, Donini sent over another box to Beckett, again a week early. Im sure it was for all the “favors” to be named later, but this one gave us some indication of how deep the love affair really runs. Not only was it a week early, fresh from the factory, but it contained an auto that Donini has been publicizing non-stop since the Premiere last month.

They managed to “pull” (being a subjective term) a Percy Harvin School Colors fugly silver paint pen auto, which in itself isnt that big of a deal. The reason I am mentioning this is solely because of the sheer fuckload of marketing they have done on these cards. They have released digital galleries – twice – as well as provided extremely visible coverage from the premiere signing of the cards.

After seeing all of this marketing crap, I guessed that it was happening because when Donini releases an on card auto subset, its a holiday! No matter that they are fugly beyond belief, they are just happy to be a waiter at the on card auto dinner table, right?

Obviously, post-beckett break, its making a little more sense to me. Considering that Beckett was delivered a box with a top of the class auto from this set, we are now seeing the purpose of the Beckett box break. Its no longer about setting unrealistic expectations for the box breaks that are done by real collectors, but now its about pimping your ugly ass subsets to draw up needless buzz. My uncle, an emmy award winning writer, once said that hollywood only advertises early when its a dog, otherwise they let the stuff speak for itself – then blow it up. Here we clearly have the dog, being blown up as long ago as the fucking rookie premiere. Then you send a fresh box to Beckett with a “great” example of that target? Cmon, im not that dumb.

Im not even going to talk about the 2 patch cards they received in the same box, something that NEVER happens in boxes of Classics.

Lastly, on an unrelated note, Im happy that Donini has sort of solved their floating swatch problems, as some of the jersey cards look good. However, they majorly fucked up the base formula by editing out the field and replacing it with a weird ass brown background. Im not sure why, as I think the field is ABSOLUTELY necessary to do a picture it’s due justice. Without it, you just have overdone photoshop abortions with no character.

Book Value Idiots: Message Board Edition

Thanks to Bad Wax for this idea.

For the record, I do not trade on message boards anymore, its just too frustrating. I encourage you to do the same. The number of douchebags and idiots vastly outnumber the nice people who actually want to trade. Of those nice people many of them still idiotically trade by book value rather than actual value, so that leaves me with such a miniscule amount of people trade with, I just don’t do it anymore. Despite my rules, sometimes I get random PMs from people who have found old cards or lists on sites and figure I am worth a chance. Not often do I respond, but when I do, sometimes its just to have some fun with people who are stupid beyond belief. This is one of those stories.

Two days ago I get a PM from someone who was interested in card I posted a long time ago on a message board I never go to anymore. It was one I still had, and he actually had some stuff I was somewhat interested in. I PM him back and say that I was interested, and then it starts:

Book Value Idiot: So, what does your card book?

Me: Considering that I havent bought a Beckett in years, I have no idea.

BVI: Well, ill see if I can find out and let you know.

(at this point I know I am just going to continue the conversation to fuck with this guy)

Me: Okay, let me know when you find out.

BVI: It books at 155 or something like that, mine books at 250, do you have anything else to trade?

Me: Here is the link to my photobucket, help yourself

BVI:
I found some other stuff, but the combined BV comes to 230, can you throw in 20 bucks to get this done?

Me: What other stuff did you find?

BVI: I liked the Mauer, the Peterson RC, the Garnett RC and maybe one other card. Those BVs come to 230 total with the other card, so 20 bucks should cover the rest of it.

Me: Well, considering that your card books at 250, but sells at less than 100 on numerous occasions, here, here, and here, I think that we should ditch the book value conversation all together. The card you Pmed me about sells at About 90 give or take, and the other cards you want bring the actual price to about 70 bucks over what yours sells for. How about we just do a 2 for one, you pick which one of the cards you want from the others you picked

BVI: Sorry, I don’t go by sell value. eBay is too crazy when it comes to pricing. I would like to work this out via BV.

Me: Well, if you look back over the three month listings, your card hasn’t fluctuated THAT much. Maybe 5-10 bucks here or there.

BVI: Yeah, but the card has an up arrow in the new Beckett. And is on their hot list. I cant let this go unless I get a good deal or at least equal BV.

Me: Okay, so if we were to figure it out where things were even, minus five bucks on your end, you wouldn’t do it, even though you searched back 6 months on the forum to find me with this card?

BVI: Sorry, it needs to be exactly even, otherwise you get the better deal.

Me: I just showed you that in terms of actual value, you would be taking me to the cleaners. Is that fair?

BVI: Book value is the way we price on this board, it makes things even. So yes, its fair.

Me: I always say that something is only worth as much as someone else will pay for it. As crazy as you may think that sounds, no one will pay the prices you want for your card – as I showed you. It only shows how ridiculously arbitrary the prices are in your bible.

BVI: I have traded and collected for 20 years. You are an idiot if you think that BV doesn’t mean anything.

Me: 20 years ago it may have, but that was before the internet, before people could actually communicate at the drop of a hat. Now, we can find out how much something is actually worth for free. Its called eBay. The price guide is obsolete.

BVI: Well everyone else on here seems to think you are wrong.

Me: I see that, and that is why I havent posted here for a long, long, looooooooooooong time. This place is filled with people like you who think they know everything about value, when in reality they cant seem to fathom that a price guide makes no sense – IN ANY HOBBY. See, this trade should be like this. I have a card you desperately want. You have a card that I want. I want your card more than I want my card. They are similar in value. I will trade you.

BVI: People like you just try to rip people like me off. I see it all the time.

Me: YOU CONTACTED ME FROM A SIX MONTH OLD POST! Why would I try to rip you off? In fact, I showed you how I was NOT ripping you off via actual value. Its not my fault you want to use arbitrarily selected prices deemed “appropriate” by some harem of douchebags in texas who know nothing about cards.

BVI: F off, go somewhere that accept trolls like you for who you are – idiots.

Me: I love how you think I am the idiot. Have fun trying to find this card again, I havent seen it anywhere since I got it.

BVI: I will.

(end of PMs)

I loved every minute of this conversation, looking back, he said some of the craziest things I have ever seen. Up arrows? This guy was amazing! It really sucks that stupid people are EVERYWHERE and it is beyond frustrating to work with them when you need to. I swear to god, this hobby would be a better place without the price guide around. 20 years ago it was advertised as a tool to help people avoid getting ripped off by dealers who had the ability to set their own prices. In reality, it probably just furthered the façade they were displaying, because then they had widely accepted price justification to sell cards at what they wanted.

Now, since the advent of the internet and ebay, price has become a completely different ballgame now that people can communicate world wide. The privilege of information is no longer something you have to be on the inside to have. You can get it FOR FREE pretty much anywhere. Hell, most of the time you can get Beckett pricing without paying just by asking someone. Regardless, the line stands: “something is only worth as much as someone else will pay for it.” If you arent living by this in the hobby, you and I will never get to tradin’, because you are lighting fire with sticks and I am walking around with a lighter. Its that simple.