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.

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.

I LOLed.

This was great from the Beckett douches: “We’re not going to tell you what we had to do to get it, but we’ve managed to procure a box of 2009 Donruss Elite Football almost a full week before its official release date.” Im guessing it went a little something like this:

Donini Brand Manager: Hello you got the big guy, talk.
Hackler: Hey baby, how YOU doin?
DBM: Oh, hi, didn’t realize it was you! Im doing great!
Hacker: So, I was wondering if I could come over later, grab a few boxes of Elite, and maybe help you “relax.”
DBM: God, I love when you do that. Id give you a case for your talents.
Hackler: I only have eyes for you Donini, ill be over later, light some candles.
DBM: Oh, almost forgot. Remember the deal. You LOVE this product, and we continue to help you scoop the misinformed cesspools.
Hackler: Wont be a problem.

Well, since Donini loves Beckett like a fat kid love cake, they got a box of Prestige Chrome a full week ahead of time. They may not have pulled anything, as this was obviously NOT a hand seeded product, but you can bet this solidifies that I am going to have a very hard time supporting Donini products this year. Either way, it shouldn’t be too hard if the cards look as shitty as they did in this video.

You can already see the poorly constructed cards with the Maroney being ass backwards with a swatch in no man’s land. Plus, the weird ghost starburst looked ridicu-stupid on the base cards, im not sure who thought that looked good. So far, Ill be passing on this product faster than Donini can say “I heart Beckett.”