Ignore The Uncirculated Holders

Just because you come across an item in a Topps uncirculated holder, doesnt mean its real. Ever since Topps started using them back in the earlier part of the decade, scammers have used them as a way to legitimize a fake card.

These holders are no longer used, obviously for football, but also for Baseball. In football, they werent even used for the entire 2009 season. That didnt stop this guy from trying to pass this off as real. See, the sticker is so easily peeled off and reapplied, that anyone can take out the crap uncirculated card and replace it with a different one. Not sure why he chose that Moreno, but scammers usually arent the smartest people.
Then there is the buybacks, as I posted about last week. For the buybacks in 2005 and 2006, many of them came in these holders. Usually, that meant that every fake buyback from Topps came in one. There were also a few Upper Deck ones that came in topps holders too, and as soon as I see one, ill laugh and post it here. This Mauer is one of my new favorites, as the guy doesnt even have the confidence to show the actual auto in his scan. Nice pic dude.
Either way, dont be fooled by an uncirculated holder. They rarely prove anything and have actually become more of a red flag than an authenticator.

Do Your Best To Avoid Buyback Headaches

Buybacks suck when it comes to the real/fake debate. Don’t let yourself think any differently, no matter how legit they seem. Its one thing if they are the 20th anniversary Ken Griffey Jr buybacks from Upper Deck with a matching COA, but its another thing if it’s a random Pujols card. Topps and Upper Deck spent a lot of time coming out with buyback auto cards over the last decade, and it has led to people trying to take advantage of those cards more than anything. It is too easy to fake them because the cards werent autoed when they were first released. Scammers pull any card they can find out of their common box, sign the front, put a peeled sticker from another card on the back, and call it a day. If they have honed their trade, they get one of the topps uncirculated holders and use that to give it more “legitimacy.” Don’t fall for it.

The main target of many of the fake buyback sellers is 2006 Bowman Originals, a product based solely on thee cards. In this high end product, Topps bought some good cards and some really crappy cards and had them resigned by players like David Wright, Pujols, and others. They put out boxes with one buyback auto per pack, and sold them at a ridiculous price for people who wanted to own the “original” cards signed by those players. There were two main problems with this set, primarily stemming from the way it was produced. First, for every one of the great players that graced this product, there were 20 that werent so great. In fact, the Wrights and Pujolses were numbered low enough that they became very valuable to player collectors who wanted a shot at them. This led to the second problem, stemming from the hand numbering of the cards. Because Topps hand numbered each of the cards in this set instead of serially numbering them, it was easy to see where scammers would have a field day. Topps also failed to provide a COA or foil stamp on the cards, which means that the uncirculated holder was the only thing standing between a scammer and the buyback gold.

Now that you have the background, it should be clear why you SHOULD NOT buy a buyback auto unless you are 100% sure it is real. That means a correct price, a well regarded seller, and a history check on the auto/card/seller itself. Compare and contrast with similar cards, study the makeup of the set, and try to determine a reason why it would be real. Approach guilty until proven innocent, because I have yet to see anything convincing to show me that buybacks are actually worth my time.

Here are some obvious fakes and the way scammers get you. I even saw a topps holder on a UD card once. Yes, they are that dumb sometimes.

Bowman Heritage Albert Pujols – Umm no. This card has a sig that isnt even close, and the fact that it’s a jersey card from Hertiage proves its fake status. He also has sold a few fake SPA patches in the last few months as well.

UD Masterpieces Ken Griffey Jr – Fake sticker, fake buyback, everything about this card is wrong. All buybacks feature on card signatures with few exceptions. This is not one of those exceptions. Plus, this card is pretty damning evidence to boot.

Tiger Woods Upper Deck Golf – Same seller, same result. These arent even close. Why even waste your time?

Basically, so many of the buybacks are too close to call, so it may be better to just avoid them. This is especially true if the player is high prestige. Although people have wised up, a lot of others have not. There are a lot of collectors obsessed with cards like this, and it continues to make demand high. My advice, just walk away and buy a nice version of another type of auto you know is real.

We Know PSA Is Bad, But This Bad?

I have commented numerous times on the epic fails that are PSA graded cards. I first showed a number of fake rookie premiere autos slabbed by PSA as real. Now, over on FCB, a user has found this Tim Lincecum rookie chrome auto that is obviously fake, yet it has been graded as authentic by PSA. Wonderful.

Just for further proof, Here is another one that is ungraded and has a worse auto.

The first time I posted about their tendencies for grading fake cards, I emailed PSA about their QC. They responded that they dont authenticate the auto on card unless it is paid for that way. This explains why the fake rookie premieres were graded the way they were. This is a little different. The card itself is a backdoored unsigned version of the Lincecum, very much like the blank Bowman Sterling cards we have seen pop up on eBay every once in a while. The scammer (not necessarily the seller) forged the auto in true faker glory, sent it into PSA, where they didnt even think twice about slabbing it. This is all despite the fact that the card IS NOT numbered like every other refractor auto in existence.
This is further proof as to why no one should trust the graders in any sort of way. It is a completely subjective and arbitrary process that people put way too much stock into.
Search up at the top for more posts I have done on this hobby wide scam.

This Kind Of Makes Me Sad (UPDATED)

This card sets off all sorts of red flags, first off. Its from a guy whose name is “hotpacksgalore,” sells all hot packs except for a bunch of ridiculous Ultimate patch cards that look suspect, and then there is this Peterson. A great and wonderful person acting in our hobby. Now, I am NOT SURE if this isnt real (not anymore, see below), but there is a lot of things I dont like about the auction.

First, the card is WAY too conveniently cropped. Because there is only 10 of these cards, and many of them have been put on eBay, including the one I bought, he probably needed to conceal the number. Then, when you factor in that the small picture of the card again conveniently is just too small to see the numbers, more red flags pop up. In my experience, people who go out of their way to show their item this way, are doing it because they have something to hide.
Also, I FUCKING LOVE these cards and have been tracking all of them that have popped up on eBay. Although some feature nice patches, there have been ZERO logos in the ones /10. From the sell sheet, the 1/1s feature logos, but not these. Fishy if you ask me.
I wouldnt touch this card with someone else’s ten foot pole, but someone found it convincing enough to drop five bills on. That is something I will never understand.
EDIT: THIS CARD HAS BEEN CONFIRMED FAKE. Here is the card when the set was released. What. A. Fucking. DOUCHEBAG.
h/t MARK – thank you buddy!

Stay Away From NSA – Write That Down

I recently got an email from a collector wondering about the hundreds of encased NSA 1/1 patch cards that get posted on eBay every day. I know if you have searches set up with daily filtered eBay items, you have seen these terrible cards. They are the ones that are sold as “game used” and are encased in holders that look similar to BGS and PSA, but look like they were made in someone’s garage. People buy these cards thinking that the jersey swatches are game used, when really they are most likely just cut up replica jerseys.

I shouldnt even have to write about this subject, as there is no reason to consider buying a non-certified card, patch or no patch. Its like buying a questionable auto certified by GAI – why even waste your time? Considering that most of the certified patches for 90% of any product checklist sell for under $10, its not even cost effective to spend a dime on fucking junk like these.
Hopefully that clears this up for those of you who are super collectors, as these cards should not be on your radar. Just walk away and let some other poor schmuck buy them.