What the Fed’s Presence Says About Fakes and the Hobby

When it comes to fake anything in this hobby, I get fired up. Fake autos, fake cards, fake patches, they all make my blood boil to a point that I refuse to sit idly by while the douchebags out there try to take advantage of people who don’t know any better. The last (and final) time I went to a show, it got to a point where I had words with at least two of the dealers at the show because their booths were packed with fakes. Not just one or two, but practically whole tables. I cant let that slide, and I even considered contacting the show’s organizer before I found out that the people were good friends. In fact, there are so many fakes in this hobby that the FBI has gotten involved, going as far as travelling to Baltimore and walking the floor. That’s when you know things are terrible rather than just bad or poor.

I read a piece in the daily news about their presence, and that there were even a few people who wanted to start an industry “police force,” or something like that, as a response to their prodding. Although I support the policing of fakes and frauds in our midst, I know that its pointless to create bodies of people who will try to police it. Its one thing when an auction house that sells multi thousand dollar items sells fakes, but its almost impossible to use a broadsword to cut fakes out of places like eBay instead of the scalpel that is needed. Really, there will always be people that sell fakes, because when there is money to be made in a venture, someone will take advantage of it.

Really, what I think is the best idea is to make the databases that PSA and JSA uses available as a searchable site. Offer it as a free service. Put together a roster of signatures from people who are prolifically sold, and let people have a free resource for combatting fakes. Again, that will rely on collectors’ ability to use the internet for research, as well as a keen eye from the people who use it, but it’s a start. I have often said that signatures from card companies inserted in packs are going to be the only way to get an authentic signature in the future, and its looking worse and worse every day. Not every piece is going to have documentation like this hilarious Mantle ball, and not everyone is going to know what makes a real Mantle real and a fake Mantle fake. That is where the opportunity lies, however. Education is most definitely the answer, and money spent on education will most definitely pay off. With a light amount of simple education, a casual buyer would be able to recognize that this auto is completely terrible, and this one is legit. But, like with most things in america, people want it done for them without thinking. Then when you factor in that Beckett has rarely ever covered the underbelly of the hobby, with the gross misunderstanding that people will be scared off, it starts to become that much more clear. As much as I hate to admit it, Beckett is a place where uninformed people go for an idea of what is going on, and because they purposefully avoid the subject of fakes all around, those collectors don’t know their asshole from a hole in the ground.

Based on the above, when I hear that the fed is walking the floor at the National, I couldn’t care less. They arent going to be able to do much than hit HUGE targets. Although I like to focus on the smaller targets, I don’t reach enough people to make a difference. Even a little bit. Because of that fact, bigger entities need to figure out a way to help out the people they reach. If we were able to create an autograph-pedia and give people a chance to learn, it would be a start, but if someone like Upper Deck, Panini, or Topps sent out a blast of what to look for, it would trump anything I could ever do. In fact, I would even put it together for them. They would just be the vehicle. Hell, if they don’t like what I do, they can give it to Beckett. I would be more than willing to let Beckett take on this subject as long as more people become edjucated.

Its funny because when one of Ufjumper7’s victims emailed me about purchasing a fake, he lamblasted me for calling people like him uninformed in my posts that I do about spotting fakes. Well, if this is the attitude of the people who buy the fakes, maybe there is no hope. If people are not willing to admit that they don’t know all there is to know, there will never be a way to reach them. In fact, when I spoke with one receptive dealer at a show about this subject, he admitted that he would have been offended in the past if someone called his eye for fakes into question. God forbid he cant tell a real from an obvious fake. But, after reading a few fake posts on different sites that I told him to pull up on his computer, he definitely saw where he had a lot to learn. Other people arent as willing to let their egos take a hit like that, especially when their livelihood is involved.

Basically, fakes will always be a part of the hobby we love, but they don’t have to be a growing stain on our reputation. Even if the fed does crack down on bigger fish in the pond, the minnows will always be our own responsibility. I equate a war on fakes to a war on drugs, as there will never be a way to win it. However, there will be small battles in which collectors emerge victorious, and that is where we stand to gain a portion of asylum from the shit storm propogated by the criminals among us.

Ufjumper7 Has Continued His Assault On SPA Redemptions

I have been talking about Ufjumper7 for a long time now. The guy has single-handedly destroyed a portion of 2009 SPA like no other seller has done in a long time. Because of Upper Deck’s troubles, as well as rumors of athletes not signing for redemptions, he was able to pick up tons of Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin and Beanie Wells for chump change, all with the intentions of exploiting people. The funny part is how stupid some people are for believing his stuff is real.

Here are his recent auctions to avoid:

Percy Harvin Viking Head Logo /25 – Not only did he destroy a Harvin card with a ridiculous fake logo, but he ruined a gold version that usually sells for around 200. This is his second logo that he has sold, and no one seems to notice. What a douche.

Percy Harvin 3 Color – Harvin didnt get a lot of three colors in SPA, but Ufjumper has gotten them time after time, right? Sure, if you like patches off the replithentic jerseys he bought for 3 bucks.

Percy Harvin 3 Color – See above, these are terrible.

Kenny Britt 3 Color – Kenny Britt also has a 3 color shortage, and when they are three colors, I dont think this is the jersey he wore at the premiere even. Not that this ass hat would even care, but just saying. Stay away.

Here are two others from before, there will defintely be more, he bought a ton of these.
Percy Harvin Vikings Chest Logo – Not even a question this isnt real. I still cannot believe people dont see who this guy really is. Im wondering how long it will be before he changes his name.
Percy Harvin 3 Color – Funny how many of these 3 colors he was “lucky” enough to get. These hit so early after release that no one knew to question him. Again with replithentic patches.
Ufjumper7 needs to be on everyone’s list, even you hockey collectors. Most of the time, his fakes are easy to recognize, but every once in a while, he pulls one over on a few unsuspecting people. Ill keep you posted if he pulls any other shit.

1500 Bucks Wont Scare Away A Scammer

There are times where you just wonder where people get some ideas. Its become obvious in the last few years that price tag is not a factor when considering fakes, and these examples are the quintessential example of that. On BO’s forum, a collector brought these to my attention, showing proof of the patch alterations made to the card.

First, we have this one, number 3 of 25, a 1500 dollar card, if not more. The seller took it down and relisted it with proof of its fake status, claiming that it was sold for a customer, but I have heard that before. Just goes to show what some people will do to make a few extra dollars. Fakers really dont understand that fans track the rare cards like this, so when there are only 25 of these high profile cards, its very likely that there is going to be someone with scans of every one of them put on the net.
Second, we have number 19 of 25, which carries a similar ridiculous price tag PRIOR to alteration. Again, this was pulled because the seller decided to make good on his fakes, but again its still reeks of scam.
Even though these cards were not sold with their fake patches in this form , they will still most likely show up in another form. The purpose of this is to show that no card is safe from fakes, and that you need to look at every possible angle before buying a card in any form. The hobby is an unsafe place when it comes to some cards, and unfortunately that means that price tag is not a deterrant.

Fake Patches Still Make Me Laugh

I love these types of cards, even going so far as saying that I am a connoisseur of fine fake patches. Today, as I woke up to Noah screaming for his bottle, I checked my email to find this godlike example of a incredible and beautiful fake patch. Really, this card has circulated around ebay so many times, I just laugh at every person who buys it. I know its fake because the Vikings had no logos that size on the jerseys that Peterson wore at the 2007 Rookie Premiere, and yet no one is smart enough to do their homework.

This Peterson isnt the only one on eBay right now that features a patch of this fake quality, and yet, so many people continue to bid and bid thinking, “OMG I MUST HAVEZ THIS MOJOZ!” As I have said a million times, if you take 10 minutes to cover your own ass, 90% of the time you are going to have an answer on the patch authenticity. For the other 10% of the time, it may not be 100% clear, but it may give you enough information to decide whether to walk away. Personally, I dont buy a patch card unless I am truly sure if its real, as its just not worth me having a question about the card for the entire time I own it.
Check these out:

LeSean McCoy NT Logo Patch /99 – This card is one of the base patches, and from what I have observed this would be the first real chest logo in the base parallel. All of the real logo patches are in the gold set /25. A great way to approach it, especially because of how many questions it helps to answer.

Tom Seaver Mets Logo Patch – The Ultimate Patch set from 2009 Ultimate will eventually be the most faked patch set in the history of patch sets. There are just too many patches that could be real or could be fake. This one is 100% fake. Upper Deck was meticulous in matching the player picture with the patch, and this card doesnt match.

Maurice Jones Drew Limited Logo Patch – This is one of those cards that all people would need to do is look at everything else the seller is selling. Everything on his seller page is listed in a shady way, and he is selling NSA stuff as well. Then you see this type of card listed as a 1/1, but really out of 25, and the picture becomes more clear. Why waste your money or your time?

Tom Brady NFL Logo Patch 4/5 – Not only is this seller’s name terrible, but this card is one of a slew of fake patches this guy has. Whenever I see an NFL logo patch numbered higher than 1/1, I start to raise my antennae, then when I also see cards like this one, I immediately write the guy off.

Chad Pennington NFL Logo Patch – Normally I wouldnt care about a Chad Pennington card, but I want to make a point here. Fleer went out of business in 2004 before being purchased by Upper Deck, and a lot of their cards that were in their “vault” flooded the market without patches in the patch window. Obviously, this means that the scammers had the opportunity to make cards like this. Although there are SOME real ones, I wouldnt touch any fleer logo patches from any set that was released around the bankruptcy.

Again, many of these cards can easily be ruled fake by doing your homework, so its pretty easy to protect yourself without much effort. Many people have emailed me looking for help on the patches they find, and I am always happy to help. I also know that everyone on the message boards are willing to help, so dont hesitate to ask for help.

Some Fake Buyers Deserve It…

Hank Aaron was a huge part of the 2005 Absolute Memorabilia Sets. His cards are some of the most valuable in the set, minus Thorpe and Ruth. Its pretty obvious why he is a target for scammers out there, even more so when you consider that this set is one of the most faked sets of all time. Didnt stop people from bidding on this abomination.

1. The card says game used jersey, not game used jersey prime
2. The card is numbered to 250
3. Hank Aaron retired in 1976, this patch is from 1994
4. There is no jersey material present on the edges.
Some people deserve what they get.