Its One Thing To Be Bad At Faking

I just dont understand the stupidity of some people. Why anyone even think of spending their hard earned cash on something as expensive as a Mark Sanchez SPA without looking at it first is beyond me. Look at this auction, and you will see exactly why I condemn the people who sell, as well as those who dont think before bidding.

See the problem? Its the image from the fucking sell sheet. The guy has posted an auction with the intent of selling a scan from the sheet UD puts out to promote the set. Some may say he is showing this pic because he cant get his own on eBay, but he even says in the description that the lines are from his scanner.
Hopefully this gets pulled before someone gets screwed out of hundreds of dollars.

Stay Away From These SPAs

While I was out, Heel posted on the makeup of what an SPA scammer is all about. He mentioned a guy, ufjumper7, who is starting to make waves as quite possibly the dumbest faker in recent memory. Usually, scammers use two accounts to complete their fakes, one to buy and one to sell. Obviously ufjumper didnt get the memo. Must not have had a cover sheet, I guess.

Over on FCB, a good break down of his purchases versus sales was discussed, further cementing what Heel originally posted. Here are some of the examples:

LeSean McCoy BEFORE – 1 color patch, same sig, same number.

LeSean McCoy AFTER – Ridiculous patch, same sig same number.
Mark Sanchez BEFORE – 2 color patch ( a good patch ruined), same sig, same number.
Mark Sanchez AFTER – Logo patch, same sig, same number.
Matt Stafford BEFORE – 1 color patch, same sig, same number.
Matt Stafford AFTER – 4 color patch, same sig, same number.
Also, as I failed to mention in the original draft of this post, the guy has bought close to 30 versions of redemptions from the guys who havent signed yet. I think its safe to say what is going to happen with those.
Is this really what we have come to? Scammers arent even trying anymore. I hope this guy gets crapped on by a dog today, a nice runny one, that would only be a portion of what he deserves.
h/t Wheeler

I Hate The Culture Of Scams

Ive always taken a firm stance against douchebaggery in this hobby, mainly through outing the scams that I find to be the most detrimental to my overall experience with cards. For some reason, there is an unlimited supply of asshats to join the ranks of people looking to take advantage of others, and knowledge to combat them is at a high premium. Most of this is probably due to lack of coverage in major news sources, time needed to learn about countermeasures, as well as a lackadaisical attitudes by the manufacturers. This is combined with a secondary market that functions both online and in storefronts, thus limiting policing bodies.

That’s not to say that memorabilia in general hasn’t received national attention, as operation bullpen and FBI raids at the national sure completed the picture of who is taking notice. Im just wondering if maybe sports in general takes on more of these scams than with other money making ventures. Is it because Memorabilia is so valuable and easy to fake?

Lets take a look at some of the more recent card scams for evidence, as it has become very easy to fake and make money off of them. With the rookie premiere autographs, as well as the patches in cards that you can cut off of a 10 dollar ebay bought replica jersey, the opportunity cost of scamming people is micro. Its those types of situations that worry me to no end. I could go on the most widely read sports site in the world, post non-stop for a year and still not even make a dent because of the culture created by the bodies who have the ability to police the problems.

Then, when you look at sources like the idiots over at Beckett, who have a pedestal to reach a lot of collectors, they don’t. Instead, they only address this situation when the manufacturers give them the window with a press release or something. They never take the opportunity to inform, as it shows a weakness or vulnerability in collecting, and they are in the business of sounding the “all is well” alarm 24/7/365.

Even places like social media outlets created by the manufacturers have the opportunity to address the sitution, but rarely take that chance. They also don’t want to show the chink in the armor or the weak link in the chain because Its bad for business. Even though places like Panini have offered patch faking countermeasures, nothing is valid until you already own the card. Add in that the quick opinion button for PSA only applies to autographs, and there is nothing to help the general collector to avoid scams.

I have mentioned before that a national photo database is a great idea, but that only will be used by collectors who use internet media for their collecting habits. I think the best thing would be for the manufacturers to utilize an outside service to comb through questionable auctions, and prompt eBay to pull them down. They wont catch them all, but they will catch some.

This does bring us to another huge issue, which is eBay themselves, as they make tons of money off the sellers who sell fakes and get away with it. Each of those final values sends a percentage to eBay’s bottom line, and to take those away is taking money out of their pockets. When you factor in that most people don’t avoid ebay despite these things, you have a recipe for disaster.

When it comes down to it, scams are always going to be a part of any commodity that has money making ability. I just wonder why cards continue to be the easiest to thrive in when you are a criminal. Granted, now with mediums like blogs that garner thousands of readers per day, and don’t have to answer to their advertisers, hopefully the weak link will be exposed more. At that point we can begin to repair it, and hopefully we wont have to live in this type of culture for much longer.

Have Old SPA 3 Colors Become Too Risky?

I was going through some of the older SPA rookie patch autos on eBay, and I have gotten to the point now where I am questioning most of the three color patches from years past. Obviously if you are looking at Chris Henry or Jerome Simpson, its one thing, but for players like Sidney Rice, Adrian Peterson, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Chris Johnson, etc, it may be too risky now to get one. I am beginning to support the thought that three colors may be a bad idea when you can have a two color for less money, and you know its more likely to be legit.

Because so many fake RPAs have been sold, some of them are making their second or third go around, and at this point, we may not even be able to trace it back to a shady seller. This means, legit people who happened to unknowingly buy fake patch cards are selling them now, and they only deserve my ridicule for not doing their research.
This also begs the question if it is only safe to buy cards like the RPAs early in the release time frame when the donkey rapers havent gotten their grubby mitts on them yet. For now, I am going to say that it is heading in that direction, or at least until UD gets off their lazy ass and does something to help us.
Its at this time that I am happy to be someone who buys early, because I know the cards I buy arent fake. On top of all of that, I have become EXTREMELY skeptical by nature, so I havent even bought a three color before. If you are in the market for one, I would be sure to think twice, or at least run a few photobucket searches to see if its been posted before, because you never know.
Lastly, I have seen a rash of non-graded, authenticated, RPAs hit ebay with obviously fake patches. Remember before jumping on one of these, “Authentic” cards just minimally examine the authenticity of the card’s patch area, and dont authenticate the patches. Just because a card features a Beckett blue slab doesnt mean the patch is real. It just means the card is real.
As always, the biggest defense is your response to seeing red flags. If you watch your ass, you will be fine.