Take One Out, Another Takes Its Place – Avoid khartinla4gnd AT ALL COSTS

Ufjumper may be out of the picture for right now, but that doesn’t mean that others arent in line to take his place. Over on FCB there is a debate over a few Triple Threads cards for sale by khartinla4gnd, mainly that these cards are worth spending astronomical amounts of money on, despite the questions of authenticity. Personally, even if I liked Triple Threads in the slightest, I wouldn’t touch any of them with someone else’s ten foot pole.

Oddly enough, its not even the Reebok or NFL logos that send up the most obvious red flag on these cards, it’s the captains patches, and the fact that he has a few cards with similar swatches. Triple Threads has logos, and it has reebok logos, but I have never seen Captains patches before. It’s the one patch, you rarely see in any set, let alone in three cards from the same seller in the same brand.

Let me elaborate. The Captain’s “C” patch was first used in 2007 for the teams who wanted to institute the system. The Manning, in particular is from 2008, which means that the jersey in the card would be less than one year old. Because of the way jerseys are stocked among the big three companies, I would guess they don’t use 2007 or 2008 issued uniforms in products from 2008. 2009 would not be out of the question to me, but definitely not 2008. But, for some people, that isnt enough of a red flag to not bid on the cards he is selling. Then, after seeing some of the other questionable cards he has for sale, I begin to wonder if they are fooling themselves into a false sense of security just because the card is a 1/1.

Here are the ones I am talking about:

Peyton Manning Triple Threads 1/1 – Three logos, and a nice touch with the sideways NFL logo. Still doesn’t fool me though. I say 100% fake.

Brett Favre Triple Threads 1/1 Again 3 logos and a captain’s patch, again a 1/1, but still not fooling me. Plus, I don’t think Triple Threads often uses 3 separate logos on one card. Maybe one split into the two windows, but I have rarely ever seen 3 DIFFERENT logos.

Tom Brady Triple Threads 1/1 – Same type of card as the two above. I have the same reaction. 3 from the same seller? Cmon, that is a HUGE red flag.

Dwayne Wade Triple Threads 1/1 – Ok, now the story is taking shape. The guy finds out you can split the Triple Threads cards at the seam and switch out the patches, and decides to try it out on a few crappy cards. Then he moves on to cards like this one and the three above. I have a feeling that you get this card and see some damage along one of the sides.

Chris Paul Triple Threads 1/1 – This card was proven fake on Blowout, here is the thread, and once I saw this card on his store completed list, everything clicked.

Brett Favre Limited NFL Logo 3/10 – I know NFL logos exist in this set, but they are numbered 1/1. This is a questionable card at best. I say fake, but not 100% on this one.

Dan Marino Gridiron Gear /5 NFL Logo – This one is no doubt fake, I don’t even know why people think its real. Just a ridiculously bad job on a card that tells me exactly what this guy is up to.

Rick Ankiel Ultimate Patch – Very questionable patch here, but at this point we already know what’s up.

Its really too bad when stuff like this shows up, hopefully this guy gets banned too.

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.

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.