Where Your Subscription Money Goes…

Well, looks like Beckett has pissed off more people, including former employees. Ha, love it. Despite the fact that I have received internal communications that Beckett is not at all well to do in terms of finance, this post on Boycott Beckett seems to show that they at least have money to threaten the bloggers with lawsuits.

Well, glad to see that Beckett’s priorities are in the right order:
1) Suck Donini’s cock
2) Threaten former employees with libel suits
3) Use the “millions” of dollars in the bank to file said suits
4) Try to get leg up on bloggers who do everything for free
5) Make excuses for epically failing at #4
6) Suck Donini’s cock
7) Put together Donini marketing event at Beckett HQ
100) report on hobby “info” (actually more advertising for Donini)
Good job there on establishing these. Glad to see Beckett is still the number one source for Douchebaggery.

Beckett and Donini: As If There Was Any Question Anymore

Thank you to reader Greg for sending this in care of the Beckett idiots.

I am not going to plug anything for them, but I want to point out a few things that are very VERY important to collectors who question any relationship between Panini and Beckett. Its getting to the point now where they are sharing lollipops and walking around with their hands in each other’s back pockets. Im really hoping that people respond as wretchedly as I did.

For their upcoming “Screw The Hobby and The Collectors” event:

You can …
– Meet James Spence, the JSA staff, Beckett Media and Panini representatives.
SCU: So, now Beckett and Panini are doing events together? Sickening.

– Increase the value of your memorabilia by assuring its authenticity.
SCU: Third party authentication does not “assure authenticity,” especially when it is done on site.

– Have your items authenticated and appraised by the best in the industry.
SCU: PSA has better authentication than JSA if you HAVE to do it. I don’t even need to point that out, everyone knows. As for the appraisal, I have no idea why people would have confidence in any appraisal from someone that values cards the way Beckett does.

– Get on-site encapsulation and grading performed by Beckett Grading Services and receive your item back the same day submitted.
SCU: Another scam, perpetrated by people who only want your money. Fuck, they NEED your money.

– Attend free seminars and Q&A sessions from BGS, JSA, and Panini representatives.
SCU: I would pay someone to go and ask why Beckett thinks it’s not a conflict of interest to partner with a company whose value and sales are helped/hurt by the price guide.

– Win free stuff from Panini and Beckett Media.
SCU: Swag is good enough reason to go and perform the above request.

– Participate in a Card Grading Contest. How accurately can you grade
under BGS/BVG standards?
SCU: Im guessing since its all arbitrary and subjective, you can be AS GOOD as the “professionals!”

– Meet Beckett Select Auction staff for free evaluation of your high-end sports collectibles.
SCU: See above with the appraisals. “So, my Marty Cordova authenticated JSA jersey is worth 400 bucks according to you? Awesome, now find me a buyer at that price.”

Please, please, please, someone in texas please go to this event to fuck shit up. I would laugh hysterically and offer you plugs galore for whatever you want. I don’t think there could be a better event for SCU readers, especially with all the wonderful appraisals they will give you. Hell, go get your card graded by the “best in the business.” Hahahaha.

A Comment On The Montana BGS 10 Sale

I just want to leverage the Montana BGS 10 against some very interesting information that was briefly discussed by Mario in his write up of the recent auction. First off, we know that the Montana was graded at the national convention by an “anonymous” person who didn’t want the publicity of having the only 10 ever graded. As Mario mentioned, this person was long thought to be associated with Beckett, and used that relationship to his advantage in the grading of the card. Sean Storms, the current seller of the card is opening an eBay business that specializes in the inventory that will provide BGS with some very important cards and clients. Add this all together, in addition to the history of one of the douchebaggiest companies known for providing favorable grading treatment to their large customers and friends, and you have a large scale scam that may have cost a buyer $65,000.

First off, lets discuss a little bit about BGS and PSA grading, and the incredibly subjective grading that they put cards through. Mario mentioned that it is so subjective, that collectors have made a practice of cracking holders and resubmitting cards for better grades. Now, I discussed a while ago about PSA offering better average grades for larger orders than it does for customers who use the service once in a blue moon. BGS has been largely accused of the same practice, mainly because they supposedly spend less time on individual pieces from larger orders, and that large volume customers can often be driven away by the lack of good grades. This leads to higher grades on the cards, and only exacerbates the scam.

BGS is a business just like every other part of this hobby, and provides no responsibility to offer expert services to collectors. The only responsibility they have is to making money, which at this point is a major focus for the failing magazine. Basically, if they screw up, they don’t answer to any regulatory body, and many collectors enjoy the extra preferential treatment they get due to the inflated values of the cards. However, most lay people are unaware of the subjectivity and often take BGS and PSA as gospel with their grades. Really, if you examine a BGS 10 with a BGS 9.5 through magnifying glass, there is usually no difference in the card itself. It could be that one grader had a good day, and one had a bad day. Then, factor in the size of the original order, and you have your result.

I am not saying that 10s don’t exist outside of big orders and valuable customers, but most of the time, that’s the way it turns out.

Lets go back to the Montana for a second. Lets say that they get a great looking Montana in at the national, and have a quick conference. The person submitting the grade is a “friend,” and the publicity generated in the hobby from finding the ONLY Montana 10 out there is pretty huge. Plus, if anyone were ever to examine the card, there are no legit ways to prove the difference between a 10 and a much less valuable 9.5. We know that the anonymous grade getter made 25K off his card, the price of a mid ranged car, and as many of us know, money drives this hobby. At this point I am casting every bit of suspicion I have at the evil empire, because they have every reason to use this as a great advertisement for BGS.

It comes down to the fact that all is never what it seems with Beckett, and this will ultimately lead to suspicion of douchebaggery. For those of you out there who still have faith in the magazine that seems to gaff on a daily basis, your day will come. Trust me on that, it always does.

Im So Glad That Beckett Has Taken The Time To Talk About Us…

I was at the mall today waiting for my wife to do her shopping when I stumbled into borders to grab a cup of coffee. While I was enjoying myself, I heard a large chuckle coming from one of the other patrons. I look in his hands and see he is reading the latest issue of Beckett and typing on a computer. Funny enough, he is a student at California State and is writing a paper on the poor effect that price guides are having on hobbies, including looking at Wizard Magazine for comics and Kelly Blue Book for Cars.

I went over and started up a conversation, and he started feeding me lots of economic models about the ill effects that price guides have on collectibles as well as reasons that advertisers make money off the contributions to the mags. When I told him who I was, he recognized my name from the blog. He even said that they made reference to card blogs in the recent issue of Beckett as good, but basically just a fun place to go to talk to other collectors, as long as you still get all the info from the “true” hobby reporters.
As I read what he was referring to, I saw it was a little more drastic. First, in an article from recently laid off David Lee, I saw that he had taken a good five inches to explain how the rumors of the Panini sale were exploited on the blogs before it was considered “confirmed.” He took a classic sports reporter approach and said that blogs were something he “liked,” but should basically be written off as credible news sources due to speculating about events before they are reported on by the big dogs. This is coming from the former editor of a magazine who hasnt published a REAL expectation of card value EVER, and used half the magazine giving a printed blow job to their boyfriends at Panini. Oh, but wait, it gets better!
Later in the magazine, they published “30 reasons to smile” about card collecting. Number 17 was about the blogs, though it was said that some of them could be “cesspools of misinformation” and full of “uneducated ranting.” Really? So its something to “smile” about even though its been “reported” that the 90% of the total blogosphere who bash Beckett like a job are loathed by the evil empire. Im so glad that the blogs are making a mark on a magazine headed for the recycle bin so much that they need to trash us as reporters for the hobby. Yeah, if you are getting your ass fucking kicked by amateurs who do it for free, I would take every chance to discredit them too.
Mike at Borders, thanks for the fun hour we had.

Is Beckett FINALLY Going Under?

Man, if the news I received from John is true, color me fucking elated. He sent me some inside news that said that Beckett had not only gone through MASSIVE layoffs in recent weeks, but that the layoffs will continue very soon. Much like SCD, the magazine’s content will shrink considerably in coming months, mainly due to a lack of money. There is also rumblings among the Beckett employees that the number of publications will drop, as well as circulation, so that the money hemorrhaging from the Beckett accounts may slow as much as possible.

John basically said that he doesnt predict the magazine to be around much longer as readership, subscriptions, and basically everything has hit a massive downturn. Although I feel bad for the innocent employees who will ultimately lose their jobs, I do not have anything but contempt and hatred for the people who have basically destroyed any semblance of ethics that may or may not have been present at the company.

Certain practices at Beckett have already spawned a blog that was started by former employees affected by the layoffs, as well as garnered widespread hatred among the many people who still take stock in the grossly outdated and outclassed magazine. Considering how many ridiculous fucking things they have done over the last year, I am beyond goddamn happy this is so close to happening.

Finally there will be no more sham box breaks of product hand picked and hand delivered by people at the manufacturers to the asshats who open them. No more incoherent prices that are drawn from the pricing hat with no ties to actual value at all. No more cry babies at the Beckett blog who run to their secret lovers at Panini and Topps to give them exclusives so that the blogs wont get more traffic than they do. No more blatant stupidity in the grading service BUSINESS that shows how much of a sham it really is. No more underhanded, unethical, unprofessional actions that damage the expectations of people who dont know any better.

The time to stop the lies is now, and I will be there to piss all over the burnt ashes of a company that deserved to go more than any single entity in the history of the hobby. There are still so many people with the wool pulled so far over their face, that I am continually sickened by them. Maybe, once the sheep have no leader, things will change for the better. However, if Beckett miraculously stays afloat, the hobby will never be free from the evil grasp of the magazine riddled with conflicts of interest.

Plus, after numerous examples of douchebaggery by the hobby media, why would anyone want to further support the people who only care about making money, rather than the responsibility of proving truthful coverage to the collectors out there? You may think its great and wonderful that every product gets nothing but kind words in the shit stained pages of Beckett, but with that kind of crap polluting the minds of people out there, no inspiration for change will ever provoke creativity. I know you feel the creeping boredom of the latest products, please dont take it for the only possible outcome. With people out there who give honest reviews, without worrying about backlash from advertisers, there is no reason to read anything from tainted meatpuppets other than for comedic purposes.

Its your dollars that spark change, so please keep that in mind. I may only reach a few people, nothing in the grand scheme of things, but with word of mouth, I have found that an idea can change more than one would expect.