I just got an interesting email in my box from Zach, a guy who unfortunately purchased the extremely fake Pujols Topps patch (confirmed fake by Topps) from Ufjumper a week or two ago. After getting emails from a number of eBay users talking about the fakes that this douche sells on a normal basis, he started doing some research and found the original card that was faked – #4/20. He also found this site and wanted me to let you all know about his experience.
Ufjumper7 takes the word douchebag and makes it a culture. Im pretty sure he has it tattooed on his lower back. Sadly, he has expanded his criminal empire further into baseball with this Albert Pujols hilarity, but at least its so obvious that only the most uniformed portion of the uninformed would even consider bidding. Either way, he has posted so many ridiculous fakes lately, that I can barely keep up:
Reggie Jackson Topps Sterling Tag Patch – How can anyone in their right mind think this is real. Im actually wondering.
Randy Johnson Ultimate Logo Patch – ANOTHER AMAZING PATCH FROM ULTIMATE! He is officially the luckiest guy ever.
And the usual football greatness as well:
LeSean McCoy Certified Freshman Fabrics – These cards only have jerseys in them, but he has put in patches without doing his research. Again, that wont stop people from bidding.
Chris Johnson Exquisite Logo – Its actually funny how commonly faked these cards are. This is even worse because its that much more obvious.
Ray Rice National Treasures Logo – Im starting to wonder if he is going out and buying these patches in bulk, because this one isnt even close.
LeSean McCoy SP Authentic Auto Patch – I don’t need to say anything more than “ugh.”
Brett Favre National Treasures Patch Auto – Such a terrible card to waste when faking. Its become practically offensive.
Percy Harvin SPA Auto Patch – WOW! His third logo from the crop of Harvin redemptions he bought. Imagine that! I cant believe he actually got ALL three color patches and logos! Funny how that is!
I actually want to create a special exhibit for him in the patch faker hall of fame. His bust is already displayed next to Kevin Burge, but he needs his own wing. Thank you to all the readers that send these to me, it really makes my day.
EDIT: Here is a listing of all the cards Ufjumper has bid on or bought. Funny how most all of them are single color and or undesirable. Maybe he should cover his tracks better. I love the Chris Johnson jersey he bought.
Ufjumper7 is the type of guy who has a poster of Kevin Burge above his patch faking workbench for inspiration. Its like he wants to see how dumb people truly are, and that is despite the hundreds of emails that he probably gets each time he posts an auction. Because his stuff sells, and because there is always a sucker out there who doesn’t check the name or the past auctions before bidding or buying.
I have made it a point to rail on this guy because its so obvious what he is trying to do. I mean, look at the auctions now, as he has taken to covering up all serial numbers with price stickers to avoid people checking on the cards. That’s how bad it has gotten.
He seemingly had a 4th of July blowout sale with some hilarious cards, and I think it needs to be seen by all. Not just for the patches, but for the laughs.
Chris Johnson Bowman Sterling Patch Auto– I love this one because the patch window is so small that he didn’t even have enough room to put in a logo patch. Titans logos are some of the most faked ones around, and this one is just “real” enough for the idiots to bite on it.
Chin Ming Wang Yankee Stadium Logo Patch– He must have pulled this card as a one or two color like all Yankees cards and has tried to make it real enough for someone to pay the price of the box. Still hilariously funny when you see that he actually bought the patch with the same account earlier this year.
Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners Patch – Same situation as above, though just as obvious. Again, purchased patch from a different auction and didn’t really do much to cover his tracks.
Beanie Wells Cardinal Logo Patch– Not even the right shade of red, but it didn’t matter to the person who dropped 2 bills on this fraud. Nice.
Kobe Bryant Exquisite Letter Patch Auto – I cant believe the Kobe fans out there fell for this one. It sold for a ton, and its blatantly obvious that it isnt real. Too bad for the guy who spent close to a grand on it.
Michael Jordan Reprint Rookie– This one is labeled as “real” and that’s why I love it. No one fell for it and it sold for .99 cents despite his deceptive title. You would think some idiot out there would still buy it for 20 bucks or something and put it into a 4 inch screwdown.
Percy Harvin Viking Head Logo SPA Gold– Ive showcased this card recently, just note what it sold for. I want everyone to see that. Holy shit.
I think I may just check in on his account weekly just to brighten my Monday mornings. This is too much fun and too easy to stop the barrage now. I know he has gotten at least 50 emails just from readers of this site who have started sending him questions on all his auctions. Keep up the good work people.
Im sure that many of you are also autograph collectors as well as card collectors. File me under that heading too, as my allegiance has always been more to the autograph collectors than the card collectors. Its rare that I buy a non-autographed card, and that leaves me in quite a predicament when I want to buy a certified auto on eBay.
Lately I have noticed a lot of autographs popping up that not only arent real, but have a GAI certificate with the item. GAI used to be a company that at least had some loose standards in authenticating autographs, but that has changed recently according to a number of connected people in the hobby. Therefore, like me, you may start to see a lot of GAI certified autos that arent at all close to being legit. Although some GAI certs may actually be for real autos, Im not sure if I would risk my hard earned money if I didn’t know the autograph as well as I know some. The company just has way too many red flags and it is the reason that people like Kevin Burge use them almost exclusively. Due to company revenues issues they have been known to issue a cert on any order that is submitted, and that leaves a lot of fake autographs out there that look real to the average collector.
Again, im not saying that you should disregard buying an auto just because it has a GAI cert, but I would exhaust all options before you head in that direction. If there is another option, why risk it, right? Use your head and think, if a company is out there that can generate revenue any way they can, this seems like it would be the first course of action to get more people to utilize your service.
We already know that non-money starved companies like PSA are just as willing to authenticate fake topps rookie premiere autos, so who is to say that they don’t employ the same practice here. Autograph authentication has always been a third party opinion, not a third party FACT, and that leads to a lot of stuff happening that normally wouldn’t be an issue. Its tough to say that most of the autos they certify are fake, but it isnt out of the realm of possibility to think that it is just another tool to generate revenue through the normal conflict of interest it presents. Let’s not forget the video of Beckett partner JSA certifying a baseball signed in the parking lot of a show.
A lot of people may criticize my site for being overly negative when it comes to the tendencies of people operating in the hobby, yet time after time, issues like this come up. When they do come up, everyone has such a peachy keen outlook on things that they refuse to think they could be on the wrong side of a scammer transaction. Watch your ass people, as this hobby tends to eat people alive when they don’t think anything bad can happen to them. Any time money is involved in anything, people will find ways to exploit other people to get ahead. Don’t think for a moment that respected hobby sources may be on the take as well. I have never forgotten that, and I attribute a lot of my own success as a result of that personal mantra.
Fakes are an inevitable part of our hobby, and there is nothing we can do about it. Anytime there is a way to make money, there are morally corrupt people out there who will try to take advantage of it. Personally, despite my feelings of anger, I can understand the reasons that people sell the fakes. Its easy, people are stupid, and there is no action that anyone can take to stop it. There has been police involvement in the past, but there has never been a resolution. Only recently did the government get involved, but the focus was more on big offenders rather than the petty crooks. To be completely honest, the action to stop fakes falls on two groups of people, collectors and the manufacturers. Since we all know that the manufacturers have done a whole bag of nothing to help us out before we purchase the fakes, ill focus on the collectors in a recap of how to avoid being caught in a bad way.
Before I move on, this exact topic has been covered before on this blog about ten separate times. Some day, if you have a few hours, it may be in your best interest to do some data mining if you want to learn a little more. The search box at the top right of the blog is incredibly helpful, as is many of the other blogs that are out there. In fact, this is a subject handled almost 100% by message boards and blogs, due to the fact that it is such a hands off topic by both the card companies and the media sources like those douche hats over at Beckett. They are so concerned with not admitting vulnerability or fear of “showing people how to do it” that they have yet to address it publicly. I actually was told once a last year by a manufacturer that they didn’t want me to talk about it because collectors would become fearful enough not to buy their products. I don’t even know where to start with that.
Regardless of how other sources cover this plague, here is a good how to list of how to protect yourself. Not all of it may happen every time a fake is sold, but these are some good red flags to consider.
Know Your Purchase
Know the Prices
Know the Auction Style
Although not as common anymore, it used to be that all the fakers would use private auctions to prevent the message boarders from emailing the high bidders. Although eBay hides the names now, you still see private auctions pop up every once in a while. At that point, just walk away.
Know the Auctions Themselves
Fakers are notoriously stupid people. So, to protect yourself, I am talking about going through the rest of their items and comparing before you buy. I recently talked about a Chris Johnson SPA that sold with such an obviously fake patch that I couldn’t believe it. If the bidders had gone through the rest of the auctions, they would see just how many of those ridiculous cards the seller had up for sale. See, no matter what someone tells you, its incredibly rare to amass a collection of non-shield logo patch cards without a lot of money and a lot of patience. So, if you are about to buy a logo patch card, especially one with a jumbo swatch, check the rest of the stuff the guy has up. If every card he has is a crazy patch, that red flag should pop up immediately.
Know the Cards That Are Prone To Fakes
Some cards are faked more than any on the planet. Those jumbo swatches with full sleeve patches? Yeah, good luck on those. Have a Donruss card with out a diecut window? Have fun. Topps Rookie Premiere autos with multiple good players on them? Sorry dude, you are out of luck. 3 color plus SPA rookie patch autos? Big target in your hands. What most don’t realize is that if you have the ability to recognize an easy target, you can avoid easy fakes. Despite the fact that logo patches are becoming more and more common in lower end cards, they are still rare, so not every person can have one. It also means that you need to watch out before you decide that you AB
SOLUTELY need every patch from that player you collect. Stick to cards you have no doubt on, and recognize an easy target before thinking of bidding. I know that Vikings head Peterson SPA looks cool, but chances are it isnt real.
Know What Players Are Favorite Fakes
Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Percy Harvin, Mark Sanchez, the list goes on and on. If the guy is at the top of the league, he is on the list. If he is an inconsequential player that doesn’t command much attention, you are going to be much safer.
Know that Graded Does Not Mean Real
I cant stress this enough. BGS and PSA do not authenticate anything but the card itself. Patches, autos on card, etc are all services outside of normal grading. Scammers use this to their advantage when they authenticate cards that have fake patches or fake autos. If the card itself is real, BGS and PSA consider it to be real, regardless of the other stuff on the card.
I get that prices go down after a few months of being on the market, but if you buy in prime time, 99% of the time the cards are real. Fakers don’t have the time to get brand new cards to counterfeit, and many just don’t know how to do it until they have had some time to play around with the cards. Plus, with many of them trying to focus on making as much money as possible, they arent going to want to pay 20% more for a card that they can purchase cheaper later on. If the card costs 50 bucks after the release bump goes away, maybe its worth paying 60 for it to know you have a real one.
Know That If Its Too Good To Be True, It Usually Is
This old adage has been around for years, and I continue to encourage you to follow it. I know that you want to build the most amazing collection around, but you have to know when to walk away from a bad sale. This is essential when you are buying crazy ridiculous patches and high dollar cards. There is no worse feeling than knowing you have a fake in your hands, especially if you spent a lot of money on it. If you have to buy a sure thing two color Exquisite instead of a questionable three color, where is the harm in that? Even if the card is exceedingly rare, sometimes its better to let it go if you have questions about it. There will always be more cards and more rarities, so don’t fret. With the growing culture of fake cards in this hobby growing exponentially, stay away from those cards that you cant verify 100%. If the card costs ten bucks, that’s one thing, but people regularly drop hundreds on easily identifiable fakes.
Know to Ask For Help
I will guarantee you that every message board and every blogger will have an opinion somewhere for you to seek. Post the auction on FCB, or send one my collegues or myself an email. We are happy to help you stay out of the weeds. We wont call you stupid, and even if we do, you still have a better idea of how to approach the sale.
Lets face it here, the people who do this prey on collector’s inability or unwillingness to gather information about their purchases, and the more people that gain the tools, the less profit the scammers will get. Until they have no money to be made, fakes will continue to be a part of the hobby. On that note, the responsibility falls on our shoulders rather than the shoulders of the regulators. If we protect ourselves, there is no longer a need to try to get police or law enforcement involved.