Move Along Mr. Tebow, Nothing To See Here

Tim Tebow and I are not going to be collecting BFFs this year, but for a lot of people, he is the hottest player to come out of school since Danny Wuerffle. Because of this, a guy who probably wont do a single thing well in the pros has cards that are selling for astronomical values. When I say astronomical, I mean, he is frequently outselling top picks and players who are slated to do very well in the NFL.

Although some of his current autographed cards are selling off the chart, there is one of them that has made some waves lately. This card shouldnt have sold for more than 150-200 bucks, but for some reason, it sold close to 700. Obviously this should set off some big red flags, and more importantly, it is a good teaching tool to show people how bad shill bidding can get.
Basically, a guy has a card that he doesnt want to sell low, so he either creates an account or gets a friend to bid on his own item. Sometimes, this fraudulent account bids countless times in the minimum amount until it gets higher than the seller wants. Other times, its two accounts, one setting a huge high bid, and another bidding it up to a high amount. This Tebow is a pretty good example of both. If the fraudulent account wins, the original seller just puts it back up under a different name, or if the scammer is stupid enough, under the same name.
The easiest way to check is to open the bid history from the item page, and start clicking on the hidden names. It displays a record of how many times each person has bid with a certain seller, and most importantly, how many items they have won. This is one thing that eBay takes VERY seriously, so dont hesitate to report it if you see it.

Can We Ever Trust Buybacks Again?

Over the last few months, I have spent a lot of time discussing fake autos, fake patches, and all sorts of scams across this hobby. Lately the amount of certain types of fakes has nearly quadrupled, leading me to question every single part of every auto that makes it on eBay. Its tiring really.

One of the scams that has blown up recently has been the production of fake buybacks, mostly bad ones. Sellers take cards that are pretty much worthless unsigned, and sign them illegitamately themselves under the auspices that the card was re-purchased by the manufacturer and signed officially. The term for these cards is “buyback” because the company actually goes out and buys unsigned versions of old cards for signatures. They are pretty rare in most cases, unless you look at a product like Bowman Originals, a set comprised completely of buybacks.

The problem is, people have found ways to transfer stickers or cases that usually secure the cards as real. This has caused a boom in fakes, and even people who just dont care enough to do it the convincing way.

When it comes to any future buybacks, im pretty much going to say right now that this situation has prevented me from buying one ever again. Now that Rookie Premiere Autographs are ruined, as well as these, non-scam ridden card types are dropping like flies. Of course, because companies REFUSE to do anything to prevent it, and eBay makes tons of money off it, no one will ever force them to stop.

Hopefully, over the next few years, companies can find a way to make the cards tamperproof. However, when you see that people can fake slabs on PSA cards, its going to be really tough to figure out a way to stop the scammers. I say that educating the uneducated is the best answer, even though there are people out there who think that one shouldnt do anything until they are scammed themselves. As stupid as that sounds, these douchebags take advantage of every edge they can get. Give em an inch and they take a mile. Do you have any ideas?

Fake Buybacks Are Just As Bad Right Now

In the wake of all this sticker fake mania, I have kind of left out all the different other fakes these fuckers are selling. One of the more prominent and easier scams to run is the “Buyback” fake, because technically, any card can be signed and considered for the job. All you do is start signing cards, get some holograms (or not), and you have a buyback. You dont even need language on the back or anything to signify that its more than just a signed card bought and resigned by the company. Look at Bowman Orignials, the whole product is made up of buybacks.

Still, the scam rules still apply:

1)If its too good to be true, it usually is
2)Private auctions are always bad
3)Watch the seller and their other items for sale
4)Research your sets so you dont get taken
5)If price is low, its low for a reason

Here are a few examples:

Fake Tiger Woods SP Authentic Buyback – Totally a fake, not even a question.
Fake Albert Pujols Bowman Buyback – Another No Doubter
Fake Alex Rodriguez Play Ball Buyback – Seller calls this card into question
Fake Alex Rodriguez Bowman Heritage Buyback – Just funny its so bad.

When it comes down to it, dont mess with buybacks unless you are sure. Most if not all UD buybacks come with a certificate, and you can always look up the UD cert number. Despite all these sellers saying they bought it from a friend, or it was pack pulled, they are just trying to scam you. No reason to take a chance.

More Updates On The Growing Epidemic Of Fake Auto Stickers

Looks like fake stickers are going to be the newest scam to hit the market. Yet, as expected, the people who perpetuate the scam are about as stupid as the clueless idiots that bid on this stuff. Thanks to my new favorite eBay spotter, ewensel, we now have cards that are so obviously fake that im surprised people are bidding.

Here we have a 2007 LCM Brady Quinn Freshman Fabrics card numbered to some gross number over 600. What the bidders dont know is that this card ALWAYS contained one jersey swatch and ZERO autos. When they get this card, turn it over and see the huge number its paralleled to, Im hoping they will maybe be tipped off.

First off, the auto is definitely fake. Quinn’s auto looks similar, but not even close. Secondly, the card is known to have NO auto parallels, and there is no back scan of the card. Obviously when you see the language on the back of the card there is no auto mentioned. Thirdly, the language from the auction says that “Card is autographed on an official Donruss/Playoff Autograph Sticker!!” Why would you need to say that? Obviously not real. Lastly, its a private auction, always a red flag.

I have two theories about how this happened. Either someone stole sheets of unsigned stickers from the company at an event or signing, or they are taking old stickers off crap cards and rubbing off the auto. Since most of the stickers are signed in permanent black pen, there has to be a catch I am missing.

Basically, if the card doesnt look right from now on, DO NOT BID. Cover your ass and dont be an idiot. Looks like hot packs have gone the way of the dodo, this is the new scam no doubt. I may stop covering it to prevent people from getting ideas.

NOTE: If someone has a crap Topps or Donini auto they can spare, please try to get the auto off the sticker and tell me what happens. Nail polish remover, acetone, paint thinner, do it all. Ill post the results here.

Unopened Wax Packs Banned By Ebay?

Per new policy, unopened and ungraded wax packs are no longer allowed to be listed on eBay. Thank god. I guess after the massive amounts of pre-searched and resealed wax, eBay has decided it would be best to stop that from happening. So far, this is only for true WAX packs, which is like plugging a hole in the bottom of the sinking ship, so its not the complete ban on single packs altogether that should be enforced. However, with so many one hit per pack products out there, that would be pretty tough.

Of course, this is only ONE of the thousands of scams out there in the sports card section of eBay, but at least its a start. I hope this continues and is not reversed by the douchebags out there who make their poor man’s living off this shit. 
At least the people who buy the opened wrappers of 1986 Fleer Basketball and insert 15 commons instead of that possible Jordan RC they advertise, wont be able to continue scamming. 
One scam down, one million to go.