My Take On The National

There have been a ton of posts on all the blogs already about what happened at the national, lack of foot traffic, dealers not giving two shits about it, etc. And though Beckett seems to think this National was “teh best natty con EVAR,” its become undeniable that something just wasnt the same. It could have been the city, it could have been the economy, it could have been all of that or none of it. One thing remains, however, the national card show has a few problems and they arent going away.

The main thing that I believe is the reason the national attendance has been going downhill is because its a card show. That is one reason that no one seems to get. Who wants to pay $250 for plane fare, 100 bucks for hotel, 8 bucks for parking, 20 bucks for admission, and all sorts of money for food, just for a card show? Yes, there are a lot of people there, but in all reality, there is now a free card show that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in ebay. In any economy where people arent scrounging for money, it wouldnt be too much of a factor. However, when disposable income is at a complete minimum, why even make an effort?

Add in the fact that you have mediocre autograph guests charging hundreds, and there is an even bigger problem than before. When you have someone at the show like Barry Sanders, thats all great and everything, but when he charges as much as he does, it loses appeal for collectors who normally would pay under 100 bucks for a great photo and or football on eBay. The same prices were true for last year, but the economy was different.

Then, when you have hundreds of dealers all competing for the dollars of the few consumers who live in the area or made the trek, you would expect that it would be a buyer’s market. From the many reports I got through email and on the boards, however, the dealers were not able to make it a buyer’s market due to the fact that they were having trouble making rent for the show. Also, they had such poor service that people were turned off by their actions and went elsewhere. Its been quoted on a few places that the dealers’ biggest customers were other dealers, im guessing because so many people needed stuff to sell to the dwindling customer base.

My thought is that even though the economy will rebound, events like this will not. People are starting to wise up on the best places to get deals, and will go to these events more to be around other collectors and to see their favorite card company’s booth. They will not go to buy cards from a dirty old man who charges high book. Beckett wants you to think that the national is the best thing since sliced bread, because they know its the one place where they can do more than average bloggers, and because book value is everywhere there. It makes them seem relevant in the hobby more than they really are. The fact is, many bloggers dont need to go to the event because of the lack of interest to most readers, and because there is already enough communication with the manufacturers outside of the show. Bloggers WANT to go to the show to meet people in person, but I guarantee you that none of them spent more than a hundred bucks or so, give or take.

Under that assumption, I would encourage the bloggers to make a trip next year to Baltimore, but not with the idea of providing the “OMG, we are everywherez!” coverage that Beckett did. I think it should be more about educating the public, showcasing our talents as hobby media personnel, and getting to know the reader base. If you want to do interviews, why wait for a once a year event? Its your responsibility to seek them out for your readers the whole year long. Use the national the way it should be used, as a gathering of the populace, not as a place to show readers that you can get interviews with Scotty Prusha and Tracy Hackler. These are people who would normally scoff at your attempt at providing news as a “cesspool of misinformation,” and shouldnt be the people that get the stage at any time, let alone at a card show.

Bloggers and message boards are the new number one source for hobby commentary and news. Everything else is stale and outdated. Its time to show what we got 24/7/365 instead of just for one weekend.

Carrying the Banner – Rob From VOTC

My friend and yours, Rob from Voice of the Collector, should be walking around the national show this weekend with a very special shirt that was produced especially for the occasion. His idea, posted on his blog, was to produce a custom “Beckett Sucks” t-shirt for him to walk the show floor in, to which I offered to pay for his costs of creating said shirt. After the money was donated and the shirt was delivered, I realized this could be a pretty worthwhile adventure due to his tenacity and hatred for all things douchey. Personally, I wanted him to put “Ask me why!” on the back of it, but then I thought he wouldn’t be able to enjoy his trip with constant bombardment from the thousands of JCs that are at the show.

Either way, if you see Rob and his t-shirt tribute to the hobby’s number one source on douchebaggery, go and take a picture with him. Send them to me so I can get a gallery going of our exploits. Obviously this shirt isnt going to be an OMG!! type of thing at the show, but it’s a good inside joke for the people who read the blogs here and at VOTC. Be sure to give him a whistle or two just so he feels pretty, or at least the call of a dying giraffe so he knows you are with him.

As for Rob, he shouldn’t get kicked out of the show, nor cause a ruckus, yet, I wanted him to hang around Panini’s booth and Beckett’s booth and take some photos himself. I hope he comes through big, it’s a great banner for his site, and I even have a feeling that they will think he is me. Even though I couldn’t be there in person due to work, I will at least get to have some lame fun at the expense of a few people I dislike.

We all have seen Beckett walking around Panini’s booth on video, highlighting all the offerings from their butt buddies, how great would it be to get him in one of those? I would laugh pretty hard.

Rob, Here’s to your reckless and humorous take on sticking it to the man.

Beckett’s Upcoming National Show Report: REVEALED!

Guys, I just got an exclusive preview of Beckett’s national card show report, as my personal psychic has dictated it word for word to me per her vision of the future. At this point in our technology, we are unable to time travel into the future, but this is a pretty good replacement. For your warning, I want to post this just so you have an idea of what is going to go down this week, before it happens. Thanks to Madame Cleo for this:

Beckett Is A Bright Star At The National Card Show

By Tracy Hackler, Editor, Beckett Everything Magazine

Golly! What a week at the national card show! We had a blast showing everyone the awesome things that Beckett has done over the last year as well as what is coming up for 2009 and 2010! I cant believe how many collectors we met, as well as all of the amazing things that at the best booth at the show! Here is a recap of what went down.

- Most of you heard about the Pristine 10 BGS Montana RC from last year’s show, but just wait until you hear about this year! In front of everyone, we graded the first ever Pristine BGS Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer RC! It was a sight, and a great investment for a collector who wished to remain anonymous. At least he was wearing a Beckett shirt, which was great for working the booth after the commotion died down! Who would have guessed that the biggest card grade in history would have come from the biggest show on the planet? We didnt!

- There were also a ton of people who came and told us how much they loved seeing us do our Beckett Box Busters! Unfortunately, there are a few vocal people out there who tell us that this is a huge problem, but the ten or so people we talked to all told us how much they loved it. Shows how much those downers out there know about collectors! Then, when those Beckett fans broke the boxes we gave them, they told us about how much more they loved the Beckett Box Busters! We aim to please!

- On Friday, our own Chris Olds and Timmy, a ten year old collector from Cleveland, got a chance for his own special episode of box busters! Thanks to our “friends” at Panini, they were able to break dueling boxes of Panini’s upcoming Absolute Memorabilia, more than 2 months early! To our amazement, Chris ended up pulling a 1/1 Michael Crabtree auto patch! Talk about luck, right? As for Timmy, he pulled a sweet Andre Caldwell auto, so he went away happy too!

- Beckett also unveiled that in addition to grading cards on the spot at the show, they were also starting up the first ever completely graded card live auction! We opened the huge Beckett vaults, pulled out as many 9.5s of some of the most important cards in history, and made them available for the first time to you! The auction was a huge success, and it also allowed us to pay the electric bill we have been trying to avoid paying for so long. People may have complained that the cards we sold didn’t look right, but our grades are completely legit, as they always truly are. These are the ones graded by our top graders over the last few years, and the grading standard has been accepted by collectors worldwide. Also, some of these graded cards will be available again on the new Beckett Graded Card Marketplace, where you can buy the 9.5s directly from us!

- We also got compliment after compliment from kids at the show who told us how happy they were to find out that their collections were worth so much in the price guide. After using our “my collection” station, 8 year old Joey C found out that the cards his dad had given him from 1987 were worth over $1000 dollars due to the sheer number he had! Again Beckett satisfies another collector, good luck selling those million cards Joey!

- Fresh off his sweet box break, Chris Olds was also a big hit! He wowed us with material from the best blog on the net, showing everyone why the Beckett blog should be the ONLY stop you make on the blogosphere. We are so glad to see that his work paid off in talking about the Craigslist Collector Corner, where he tried to educate a few people on how outdated their ads were. He also showed a few previews for his expose on the fake Topps rookie premiere autographs, as well as his “man on the street” features. Chris is definitely the most innovative blogger out there.

- Lastly, Panini and Beckett embarked on a long standing relationship with our teams formally announcing that all high end Panini products will feature Beckett/JSA authenticated player autos, as well as a special Panini page on the Beckett site. Despite accusations that the new partnership stood against everything that is right and just in the hobby, we promised that no favoritism would occur. In fact, we even showcased the first pricing for Panini’s Donruss Elite, the most valuable set of the year so far! This is great news for this new company on the block, as well as great news for our new special Panini Market Analysts, who will be working directly with the manufacturer to make sure all pricing reflects exactly what the cards are worth.

The folks here and in Texas cannot wait for next year’s show, so be sure to check back to Beckett.com for more overage and pictures!

Im so glad that Madame Cleo had such a good vision of the future! This is some gold right here!

ITS BAAAACCCCKKK!


For those of you newer readers of SCU, im sure you have seen a recent focus on scams and fakes. Exposing scams are actually nothing new to this site, and its always fun when a past expose comes back around for a second helping of disgust.
Shit, did I say fun? I meant totally fucking idiotic. Unfortunately for us, there is a sucker born every half second in this hobby, and even worse, they have tons of fucking cheese to spend.
A little backgroud:
Last year, a viking head logo Peterson Exquisite surfaced on eBay, with an “authenticity” letter provided by Gregg Kohn of Upper Deck. Seemingly at the same time, an identical patch auto was also posted with the same viking head logo. Gregg, upon my request, confirmed the authenticity of the letter for the first one, and confirmed that the second was fake.
Obviously, people never learn, as there is now a THIRD fake Peterson Viking head logo patch, with this one already up over 1000 dollars. The reason I know its fake is because Gregg was positive that only one Viking logo was known to be in the product, making this one a fraud. Also, the colors and stitching style of the viking head, as well as the material its sewn onto are completely wrong. This would stick out like a Beckett box break to any informed collector, but that doesnt stop the idiots from jumping on it. To think that someone would destroy this amazing card with a fake patch is completely fucking ridiculous in the first place, but it isnt the first and wont be the last. It is the best non 1/1 card of 2007, and now this one is destroyed. Wonderful. Maybe UD will pull it down, doubtful though.
Glad to see that douchebaggery faces us at every turn.
h/t Wheeler and Jason