I have always hated scammers that try to take advantage of other people, especially those who may not know any better. For instance, when it comes to fake patches, more people need to know the history behind cards like this. I have similarly condemned the lack of homework done in many of these cases, but its easier to police the criminals than educate the ignorant. That hasnt stopped me from trying to educate, but it has gotten extremely difficult these days.
The issue is that so much of card value in memorabilia cards comes from the content of the patch included. If the swatch is one color, it is worth significantly less than a logo patch. So much so, that the card companies have started to use exponentially higher numbers of jerseys each year at the rookie premiere. This gives them enough yield from those jerseys worn for less than 5 seconds, to produce logo cards well into the season. That’s why there are 100s of logos like this in cards over a season. As a result, we have lost a major deterrent for fake patches in the hobby. If every patch card has the potential to be a logo, how can you tell the fakes from the real?
As recent as five years ago, all of these cards would have been labeled as “too good to be true.” Now its impossible to determine:
Here are some more likely examples of cards that I would stay away from:
2012 Topps Andrew Luck NFL Logo Patch – there were no shields in this set.
Just because its graded or slabbed “authentic” doesnt mean the patch is real, just that the card is real:
In the end, there are a few things we know:
- Cards are rarely faked until the product has been out for a number of weeks or months. We know that it takes time for the scammers to buy the cards in bulk and insert their own patches. Its easier to avoid fakes when you buy early, even though it may cost more.
- If you are going to buy a single that is over a year old, research the seller, research the product, and research similar cards. Dont buy a single JUST because it is a logo. You never know what you are getting yourself into unless you do your homework. Just because a card looks incredible or is low numbered, doesnt necessarily mean its unquestionably authentic in any way.
- The older the card, the less likely it is to have a crazy ridiculous patch. There are logos going as far back as the early 2000s, but its as close to a unicorn as it can possibly be. The most likely target are the high end cards from SP Authentic, Triple Threads, Exquisite and National Treasures, as the scammers had the most to gain from faking those patches. Mid 2000s Donruss cards might as well all be fake, as they were some of the easiest cards around to alter.
- Many of the sellers of the cards may not be the original scammer. So many of these cards have been passed around more than ever before, so its difficult to trace it back to the source. Because of this situation, we also know that researching the seller may not provide the best indication of whether cards are real. This used to be a prime defense.
I have always spoken out against patch quality determining value, especially on non-game worn jerseys from the rookie season. Design and look should speak more volume than a swatch barely even touched by the player. Obviously, not many people agree with me, especially in more of the hideous cases. We have legitimately made our own bed, and now we have to sleep in it, something that makes me incredibly unhappy. We like ridiculous patches more than well designed and conceived cards, and the manufacturers arent stupid. They have played to our wants, even though those wants arent what is good for anyone.
Think about it – kid WANTS candy an hour before dinner. Do you give him it because he wants it? I get that this is oversimplifying the situation, but the concept is similar. The difference is that the kid is a captive audience, and collectors have and will take their business elsewhere. Im just saying, in most cases, patch quality shouldnt matter, and yet, here we are. For some reason, it no longer matters if a patch is game worn – just that its a logo.
We wonder why its so easy to dupe us, we have blinders on.