A Comment On Exclusive NCAA Licensing

Im so glad this industry has turned out to be eye for an eye type of crap, right? Well, Topps signed an exclusive deal with MLB for their license, so UD signed an exclusive deal with the NCAA licensing people. Upper Deck sues topps, Topps sues Upper Deck. Its all about who can kick the other’s nuts the hardest, and personally, its gotten to the point of absurdity. Although the MLB license was huge in baseball, the collegiate license is huge in just about every other sport. It basically puts Press Poop out on their ass, and prevents Panini, Topps, SAGE and everyone else from making logo ridden college cards. This will basically damage pre-premiere releases for all those companies, no doubt, and I don’t think that is very good at all.

I will continue to post my repeated feelings on contracts as long as shit like this goes down. Exclusivity sucks, bottom line, because it basically puts you ahead of the competition by force rather than by content. Really, as much I as I have despised the absolute donkey crap that Panini has put out, I would at least like them to get the chance to redeem themselves next year. Granted, it is only 5 of the 16 sets of the year, but that is 5 I would like to see at top form for everyone – not just one company. Exlusivity hurts collectors because it takes away the choices we have, both for baseball, basketball and also for football. Now that I will not be able to get the college uni cards that look like the college unis, I will DEFINITELY avoid those products even more so than I already do. I really dislike cards without the pro shit on them, but I still have some singles from the targets I collect. No more, for sure, if I have to deal with logoless cards. What’s the point anymore if it gets that far?

Really, this is only a bad thing, just as it was in Baseball with Topps, and the pettiness of the contract is dripping from the pages. We get it, the first strike is always the worst, as it was here too, but this is not faring much better for anyone.

I swear, if an NFL exlusive is reached, regardless of company, I will never forgive the NFL and NFLPA for allowing it to happen on their watch. Thankfully, with Panini GROSSLY overspending on the NBA license, and Topps doing the same on the baseball, im not holding my breath. Yet, only time will tell. Let the pandering begin.

Im Beginning To Wonder If Ebay Even Thinks Before They Change Policies

I just got an email from a few people, detailing eBay’s new policy over photos. Starting shortly, all user photos uploaded to eBay’s systems will be available for use for anyone who chooses to use them. That means, when you post your card, your clothes, your anything, someone else can use your pictures when they sell theirs.

I have one thing to ask.


As if eBay wasnt a breeding ground for counterfeit cards and other valuable items, it has now opened the floodgates. Now, instead of providing your own photo, or unethically ripping someone else’s picture, you now have an eBay sanctioned way of scamming people. Im guessing the pictures will act much like the video game, DVD, and book libraries, where stock pictures are listed as such, but for people who arent smart enough to tell the difference, its a license to cheat. Considering these people are already the ones that buy the cards we laugh at, its going to get bad.

Im praying this isnt abused, but we all know what is going to happen.


Text from FCB:

Warning: eBay will be using photos without creators’ permission.

Starting on August 31st, eBay is going to institute a new policy where photos you upload to any listing are put into a “catalog” of online images that any eBay user can then use for their own listings. The default setting for this is opt-in, which is a problem if you, like me, consider your photographs your property and want to control how they are used and by whom. A copyright notice is posted with a link to your user profile, but no additional information is given, and the link is quite small.

Since the default setting is opt-in, and eBay has not sent messages out about this, a lot of people are going to be caught flat-footed by this new policy.

Again, the default for this setting is YES, you have opted in. Meaning “Yes, I will allow eBay to make my photos available for anyone to use.”

If you do not want eBay to make the photos you upload to all of your future auctions available to other users in a sort of catalog process, you need to go change your settings now, before August 31st. If you opt out after then, any photos you upload between the 31st and when you opt out will still be eligible for inclusion in their “catalog.”

In order to opt out of this so-not-okay process, do the following. I’ve broken it down exhaustively. Hopefully your eBay pages look like mine.

1) Go to your eBay summary page (“My eBay”).

2) On the left-hand side, there are three tabs that say “Activity,” “Messages,” and “Account.” Hover over the “Account” tab.

3) A drop-down list will appear. Move your mouse down to “Site Preferences” and click.

4) You will be taken to a page with a list of site options for selling, shipping, and listing. About the sixth from the top is “Share your Photos.” Click on the word “show” on the right hand side next to this option.

5) The box will expand, and if you are opted in, “yes” will appear. If you are opted out, “no” will appear. A small “edit” link will appear below the “show” link. If you want to change the settings, click “edit.”

6) You will be taken to a new page with the following text: If you’d like to opt-out of this program, please do so by checking this box and clicking the “submit” button below.
(If you opt-out before August 31, 2009, none of your photos will be considered for inclusion in this program unless you opt back in at a later time. If you opt-out after August 31, 2009, any photos we select for inclusion in this program prior to your opt-out may continue to be used in the catalog)

7) If you want to opt out of the program, check the ticky box on the left-hand side next to the text, then go down and click the “submit” button.

8) You will go back to the settings screen you were just on, and there will be a green checkmark and a confirmation message. Go down to the “Share your Photos” option again and click “show.” Your setting should now appear as “no.”

I am sure that this will be a useful feature for some people, for some items, but the automatic opt-in is not okay with me at all, as I don’t want my photographs used to illustrate someone else’s auction for a different item, not for any reason whatsoever.

I thought you should all be warned. Please spread the word. This is a slimy, underhanded thing to do, and I hope it bites them in the ass.

ETA: It appears that this might not be affecting everyone, but I urge you to go check your settings anyway. Mine was defaulted to “yes.” Maybe it’s a browser thing, I don’t know, but y’all should probably go make sure.

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

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.

I Heart Ebay Idiots and Idiots In General

Oh my god, Wheeler, thank you for sending this to me.

So, lets get you the run down on this auction:

Graded 1/1 – Check
Graded NFL Shield Card – Check
Non-gem grade – Check
Complete and Utter Idiot – Check
Population report published in the auction – WTF?

Not only do you have a guy who has ridiculously graded his NFL shield Felix Jones card from NT, but he has also published a population report in his auction. Why? If the card is a 1/1 is there really a need to show where all the cards have fallen? No, as there is only one. Duh. See, the practice of grading cards like this is fucking stupid to begin with, but to show the bidders where it stands among its non-existant counterparts is borderline mentally disabled.

Again, what will grading this card serve? Nothing. Also, what will adding the pop report to the auction serve? Nothing, but it will show that you are a clueless douche. Congrats my nizzle, you are one with the brain.