Reopening the Necessary Discussion on Beckett

Its been a while since I have discussed my personal hatred for everything Beckett, but after seeing a thread on FCB talking about whether or not people still buy it, I feel the need to bring up a few key points. For those of you who read the site on a regular basis, you are familiar with how I feel about Beckett and why I feel that way. If you are a newer reader, welcome to my world. The reality of the situation is that SCU was founded as a response to the constant misdirection that Beckett perpetrates on a regular basis, and I think that the way I feel has become more of a popular mindset over the last few years.

See, it used to be that Beckett was rarely the source of any controversy, but since the beginning of 2008, they have become a relative hobby meme for bad behavior in our midst. That alone should say something about the way they function in this hobby, and personally, it makes me sick the way that people have given them a free pass on other sites because they are “nice people in person.” Whether it’s the loaded box breaks that present products in a false favorable light, the incredible arrogance when presented with questions on their horribly unethical practices, or even the passive pot shots taken at other “non-official” hobby news sources, Beckett has done nothing but bad things to the hobby itself. Certain people like to say that they promote the hobby to the masses and that’s all that matters, but when you promote an unrealistic expectation of what is actually going on, that is where the positive gain stops.

A lot of collectors have come to understand that the values presented in Beckett’s price guide are more of a joke than than the squirrel card from 2007 Topps. However, almost all of those collectors who have the correct view on things are people who have been to a few rodeos, and know the tendencies surrounding card value. It’s the people who don’t really have a good idea that get destroyed by the way initial perceptions turn into negative experiences. Yesterday, a new reader named Jeff emailed me about his recent journey back into the hobby. He was at a mall and decided to check out a local shop because it brought back memories of his childhood. He still had most of his old collection and was shocked to see in Beckett how much the cards were worth. Immediately he wanted to buy a few boxes and get back into the swing of things, but decided to do some research first. What he found was devastating to his original perception of the hobby. After checking eBay and seeing the REAL value of his cards, he remembered why he left the hobby to begin with. He started searching on google to get some further info and stumbled on my site. He was so put off by the unrealistic portrayal of value in Beckett that it actually cost the hobby a returning collector.

Jeff is not a unique case either. His story is one I have heard a ton of times through email via this site. Aside from the inherant conflict of interest the price guide presents thanks to the ad money received via the card companies, it doesn’t reflect any real data pertaining to the actual worth of any card. People may scoff at the fact that people put so much weight on card value, but its an intrinsic part of our collections. Baseball cards wouldn’t be what they are if they werent worth anything. The question becomes, “So, what ARE these worth?” Well, since Beckett wants you to believe that they are the “#1 Authority,” you would expect that they can put out a bi-monthly guide explaining such things. Wrong. Just like with any commercial good, value is not a static enough number to put out even a daily guide. Its why the stock market changes each second, and not each month. Something is only worth what someone else will pay for it, and that is a concept to which Beckett and its readers are completely foreign to. When you also factor in that Beckett accepts free boxes from the card companies, ad money from the card companies, and there is no responsibility or regulatory body to watch over the results of said transactions, the guide becomes one huge conflict of interest. Oh? So you want to pull your ads, well we will just drop your product’s value by 25%. How will that do for your sales? When I first started writing this site and the venom I spewed daily was being picked up by the manufacturers I got a call from a person at one of the companies that really set the tone. “The people at Beckett are fucking retarded, and everyone knows it.” I wanted to get that tattooed on my arm like a tribal band.

So, if everyone who is anyone knows that Beckett doesn’t offer any redeeming value in the guide they put out, why do shop owners continually subject their customers to its hypocrisy? I mean this is a magazine that refuses to cover any of the necessary things that people NEED to know about. Fake patches, fake autos, fake cards? Forget covering that, it will scare people away. Plus, we don’t want to present our ad buyers in a negative light! Give an accurate representation of worth? Forget that too, we want inflated prices so people buy more wax! Go to the failing store and support them by buying our video boxes there instead of getting them free from the company a week early? Scrap that idea, we only open the boxes that have once in a lifetime pulls in them.

This is the reason I cant support anything they do. Its all bull. Every. Last. Word.

What happens when someone brings up questions on their business practices, you ask? Well, most of the time its shrugged off, met with extreme arrogance, or ignored completely. Sometimes the attitude is so piss poor, you get a post like this. Its ridiculous that the most recognizable hobby news source can address criticism in a way like they do. I remember when Beckett wrote that blogs were full of “uneducated ranting” and were “cesspools of misinformation” in their magazine and how that made people feel. Really? So Blogs are the misinformed ones when Beckett has a monthly release of 90+ pages showing 100% accurate pricing? Cmon.

I will be the first to admit that I take my personal vendetta to a level that most people wouldn’t even sniff, I feel as though it is necessary to discuss these problems. When collectors are becoming more of a rare breed because of a huge drop in disposable income, why exacerbate the situation with constant misrepresentation of the actual state of things. Everyone at Beckett wants to sound the “ALL IS WELL!” alarm as much as they can, but when people see the reality of the current situation, the only positive feeling produced is that they are POSITIVE that Beckett is completely disconnected from everything in the hobby.

I remember commenting quite extensively about the relationship Beckett has with Panini, which is even more evident thanks to some recent personnel moves. Its these types of situations that present the actual motives behind a lot of their moves. When you see that shop owners are pushing this agenda on new collectors by referring them to the magazine, you can see what I mean.

The best story I have from the past two and a half years of this site, was a shop owner who stopped carrying Beckett and used the money to buy a cheap laptop to keep on his counter. He put up a sign that explained his no more Beckett decision and that they were free to look their cards up on eBay if they were that concerned with value. Hilarious idea.

Although I realize that not everyone shares my views on Beckett, I think it definitely necessitates discussion on their place in the lexicon of this hobby. Only a magazine like them would create a scam like card grading, sell their own graded cards, and then laugh when people question them about publicity stunts related to said practice. That is Beckett in a nutshell, and I hope that as a community, we begin to move away from everything they represent.

53 thoughts on “Reopening the Necessary Discussion on Beckett

  1. 100% truth written here! I hate when people use an innocent hobby as a form of hustle!

  2. Glad my story has inspired a post like this. I think your site is a tremendous resource for all sorts of collectors, especially new ones.

    Thanks for opening my eyes.

  3. If someone avoided the hobby because he/she was disappointed in the unrealistic Beckett values, then the hobby is better off without that person. There is too much emphasis put on dollar value for cards, because there is no such thing as a dollar value for a card. The hobby is called such because it is intended for collectors, not vendors. I completely agree that Beckett values are ridiculous, but to call them useless is just plain ignorant. Beckett is a tool, not a method. That means Beckett should not be the method by which you assess value, but simply a tool used in assessing value. Here is a simple example: Your 2008 Topps Gold Albert Pujols is valued at $12.00 and my 2009 Topps Gold Greg Maddux is valued at $6.00. Now, neither of us can sell for that value, but it is much closer to accurate in saying that the Pujols is twice as valuable as the Maddux. Beckett is a useful tool for assessing some relative value. This comes in handy when I make trades. For a single small trade, there’s not usually a cause to check relative value, but when you have multiple 100+ card trades going on, it is useful to check to see if the Beckett values changing hands are in the same ballpack to avoid getting screwed, or screwing someone over, especially unintentionally.

  4. “The Card Crusader”?? no no “the Card Avenger”!!! It’s funny you say “Something is only worth what someone else will pay for it” When I started collecting cards and comics in the 80’s that’s exactly what my dad told me. Because lets be honest comic pricing in Overstreet and Wizard is comical as well. I won’t touch Beckett mainly because I find there pricing absurd and the cover price even more absurd. I subsribe to Tuff Stuff, one because it’s cheap, has all 4 sports and I like the articles, plus they have their older price guide online for free. Here’s the thing it’s nice to puruse the pricing but anyone who has bought or sold on ebay knows you’ll never get that price, well almost never. But as a seller it’s all about supply and demand and I’ve never listed a card for more than .99 cents. Why? Because one I want to sell the card and two, it’s only worth what someones wiling to pay.

    As for using the guide for relative values that’s here nor there if both parties are up for it but to be honest if I was a Maddux collector I would find the Maddux card more valuable and desireable than the Pujols. That’s what collecting is about!!

    Sorry starting to ramble and I have work to do but I will say I agree 100% about Becketts business practices. Especially there grading company. What a joke, especially after the whole Strasburg superfractor grading debate. I won’t touch a Beckett graded card. I prefer ungraded anyways. Sealing a card in a tomb of plasic is so unnatural. Not so say that grading doesn’t have it’s place but there is a reason there are only 3 companies left. I have never regretted buying a PSA or SGC graded card, but I have a few BCCG and BCG graded cards that are jokes.

    Alright enough. Gellman keep up the good work and keep fighting I’ll keep reading and posting long pointless comments. Cheers

  5. Here’s the thing, no one would collect cards if we didn’t care about their value. Part of the excitement of collecting is the feeling that you are collecting something of value, something that will appreciate in value. Every large scale hobby is based on value. Also, the hobby needs more collectors as it grows the industry, boosts the demand for products, and leads to greater card values. On top of that, it brings cards closer to the days where you could trade with friends and leads to more shows, events, card stores and other good things.

    Bottom line, when you are the Wall Street of cards, a great deal of responsibility accompanies that. Instead of understanding this, Beckett determines the value of cards, grades cards, runs a seconday market on their website, and sells cards on eBay. They also constantly cherry pick smaller card sites for content and constantly block us from access to card companies. We need a price guide, but not at this cost. If Beckett fails, all that means is that someone with a new, better idea will step in to fill the void. It’s time whoever that is gets their shot.

  6. Beckett’s point about the 1/1’s they’ve pulled using the argument that their are 30,000 1/1’s, but they only got 5 of them is very misleading.

    They should instead take into account the amount of boxes sold (millions) and # of collectors per 1/1 pulled.

    It’s like saying, Hey, I’ve only been in 50 car accidents, but there were 2 million car accidents just this year, so you guys have all been in a lot too. Face it, 50 car accidents is still a lot of accidents and something is definitely wrong!

  7. I actually agree with Spanky. I got back into the hobby about a year ago for the very reason discussed in the article, old memories and high book values. I realized shortly thereafter that book values are BS, however they are still a tool.

  8. Also, the more people that collect, the bigger the hobby gets, which in turn shines a brighter light on the scam artists, counterfeiters, and seedy characters that burden the hobby.

  9. That is a point I completely forgot to add. Going back over the general rise of the card blogs, Beckett has done everything to prevent similar access that they have. I remember when Mario started to get exclusives that Beckett was used to getting. They freaked, threatened a few people, and you can bet that things changed pretty quickly.

    Ill find the article somewhere.

  10. Adam, i understand what you’re saying, but the way I see this is that collecting is a hobby — it should be enjoyed in whatever way the participant pleases. And if someone in the hobby is so angry about things or doesn’t enjoy it any more, then they should leave. And I do not mean that YOU should leave; I’m speaking generally here.

    This is not a matter of life and death. Beckett is a trade magazine, not a traditional news publication so for it to ignore the “issues” isn’t surprising. Does Krause Publications discuss in their Goldmine record price guide that the hobby of collecting records is taking a hit by the ever changing technology of digital music? Or does it discuss how you can walk into damn near any thrift store and find dozens of records for $1 each that have a guide value of $15-$100?

    Apples to oranges? Not really.

    Price guides for any collectible are going to be off. I mean the comic industry has the same issues in terms of values. Hell, anything that is “worth” anything is subjected to this issue because “worth” is relative. Items ARE worth only what people are willing to pay for them. However, there is also a segment of this hobby that trades and for some — and I stress for some — having a value guide somewhere is important. History has shown that not all pieces of manufactured cardboard are created equal.

    As for the ethics of Beckett, I see what you’re getting at. But Chris Olds, editor of content (not pricing) at Beckett Baseball has said repeatedly that there IS a team of pricing analysts who pours over data taken from eBay and other sources. Just a few weeks ago he Tweeted a picture of a stack of information regarding the 2002 Bowman Chrome Draft Nick Swisher rookie.

    Beckett’s reputation really took a hit with the infamous NFL Exquisite break, which I’m sure hit home for you since THE card — the one picturing your current favorite player Adrian Peterson — was pulled by Beckett in box provided by Upper Deck. That incident set the company back and really upset a lot of people.

    That said, Beckett is not the only source receiving free products for review. Hell, there are a slew of bloggers who have managed to get onto mailing lists for card companies whether they deserve it or not. And while everyone who receives free products claims until they are blue in the face that they will remain unbiased, fact is free items have a tendency to change how people act. And for the record, I know you are totally against the idea of free product being given to anyone — and I agree with that thought.

  11. Ive mentioned to you a few times that I am against that practice 100%. Free product being given out is never okay, especially considering how much contrived scarcity the products use to sell themselves.

  12. I just noticed something … you did a sponsored topps chrome fb break … is atl sports cards giving you product?

  13. I’m not defending everything Beckett has done, but I am a current beckett online subscriber and find that the online low prices are pretty close to the ebay rates. Take the ’08 Topps Gold Pujols (price range of $5-$12) and Maddux ($3-$8). I think Beckett has even said that the low price is maybe a ebay price or the high as what you’d pay at an LCS. Instead of a high/low maybe it should be used as a bid/ask. You could also look at it as a birck-and-mortar price vs online price. It’s not really different pricing than if you go to the store to buy a dvd it might cost you $20 or you could buy it at amazon for $10.

    Also, aren’t Tuff Stuff’s prices about the same as Beckett? Unless someone else comes along with more accurate prices then we just have to live with it since they are the only ones in town. People can choose to buy/read/subscribe to Beckett or not. It makes no difference to me or my enjoyment of the hobby.

  14. ah, thanks for clearing that up. Why did you call it a sponsored break then; has a diffenet connotation, hence my confusion?

  15. Sponsorship usually implies they are paying you or that they provided the product to you for free or discounted levels. if you’re buying boxes from them are normal rates that’s not really sponsorship, is it?

  16. I agree with the thing about being a player collector. I’m happy trading pujols for scott sizemore. What I was more talking about is larger base card trades. I understand the personal value aspect, but sometimes it can be misleading. Say someone is getting 30 A&G base cards from me, and I am getting 30 Goudey base cards from them. If we both pull the cards based on card numbers – as happens a lot with base card trading – sometimes it is nice to double check to make sure he isn’t giving me 3-4 higher value rookies when I’m giving him all low end players. I constantly forget what players are in what sets and which cards are short printed and whatnot, so Beckett is one of the tools I use. I also use ebay, COMC, etc. I agree that in the end if both traders are happy, that’s what matters. My ultimate point was that while beckett’s business practices and hobby coverage suck, they are still a tool that helps me (a casual collector/blogger/trader) keep track of some cards. It also helps me make sure I am not screwing myself over by trading away cards that I would get more for elsewhere.

  17. When ATL sponsors my breaks, they give me a lower price than their published price most of the time. Often times it is 5%. Of course I buy in big volume and am a regular customer. Kind of what happens at teh LCS when you buy a lot from them. In return I put their logo on my site. You will notice that when I post articles about good prices, I post the best price I can find. For example BigT had the best price of Panini Hall of Fame Basketball.

    Also on the 1/1 issue, it was Albert Pujols for crying out loud along with the strappleburger and Ruth.

    In response to Spanky, the issue is that Beckett props up the book value on a card which leaves an unreasonable expectation. The issue being that if a box of Triple Scraps costs 150 and book value on the average pull is 175 but the actual sell value is $35 then that is the problem. People buy wax because they think they will pull cards of value based on the beckett price.

    In response to JR, the lower the book value is the more likely the card is to fall into that range. For example the Greg Maddux card you used range is 3-8. Beckett is most likely going to be correct because the card of a future HOF is always going to have some demand Additionally, that is a statistically faulty range. If I told you that a 2010 camaro’s value in excellent condition is between $10K-$22K, that would be a useless valuation. Most of the time, the beef with beckett value is in the cards that are priced at above $10. These cards often sell for half of low book. I am overgenerallizing for sure.

  18. Beckett is 100% a non factor in this day of the internet age. All I ever hear from the Topps giveaway site is BV, I strictly collect vintage, and got many many stars at $5-$50.00 why because that is what I was willing to pay. I still don’t see how beckett gets there prices, I never seen a rep in my local shop, any way Beckett is like the phone book big in the 80’s to look up a name and # today it’s a auction world, tell me is a 57 Ed Matthews worth $5.00, because at a show that’s what I paid, not the beckett price.

  19. I wasnt arguing, im just saying that type of attitude causes problems. I disagree with what you said, and my original argument states the reason why.

  20. I hear ya spankee. Tools are tools. An ax can cut fire wood or be used as a murder weapon. Responibility is what I think we are talking about here.

  21. God this is a great topic way to go Gellman. As I was reading all the responses got me thinking of the old days before internet. Beckett pretty much was the source. Or the annual Overstreet. I remember back in the 80’s when Beckett came out, everybody thought it was top Sh#t. Why? Because there was no other source to gauge value. And back then i do believe that they use to poll LCS’s for sales data or something like that. And ok Beckett, Tuff Stuff are guides, GUIDES, they’re tools, I’ll give you that, but when I go to a trade night or card show and some kid says he won’t trade his Aaron Rodgers jersey card numbered to 1500 for a jersey card of his favorite player because the Rodgers is 12 bucks in the guide and his guy is listed for 9 and he wants something else to make up for the 3 buck difference he’s either stupid or 12. This is an example not real, don’t take me to task people.

    My point being now that if you want to find a relative real price there are lots of choices. There’s Sports Lizard online, which can be great or not so great but after you put in you critriea you can look at the data the estimate is based on. You can search ebay for finished listing and active listings for that matter, I guess what I’m saying is the Beckett price guide is a dinosaur and it’s end is probably near. At least the paper version.

    And there have been lots of good points made here. Brett is right about the secondary market value of cards. We all want our collections to make us rich or at least our kids rich, I definately don’t want my cards to be worth nothing, and anyone who says different is lying. Opps boss is coming.

  22. What’s wrong with Beckett’s grading service? (I honestly am not aware). My perception is that PSA gives out their highest grade (10) more than BGS (9.5) all else equal. Also nice to have the subgrades.

  23. I remember reading not that long ago that Beckett only has 1 analyst per sport. It was on one of the sites with former employees of Beckett, you know the one that got shutdown. If this is the case there is no way they are even close to being able to keep an accurate record of the market. Somebody needs to tweet Olds and see just how many man hours a week is being spent on the price guide. I bet it’s not nearly enough!

  24. Oh my god. Why doesn’t eBay just archive freakin’ auction closing prices and make them searchable? Oh, wait… they do.

    Do the magazines sell THAT much to support the company? I thought they derived a majority of their income from grading now. You know, they needed to find a new scam once people weren’t buying print magazines as much anymore, right?

    Maybe to get the print sales up again, there will be some nice Panini exclusive insert cards only available in beckett monthly. Sorry, these random comments probably make zero sense. My lord I hate beckett…

  25. Beckett has become an overpriced contentless rag. I don’t know how they can sleep at night charging $10 for a magazine that changes no more than a couple pages from month to month. I grew up eagerly awaiting my fresh new Beckett every month so I could read all the hot and cold articles (remember those?), and the awesome Reader’s Write. All that is left now is a one page hot list and a pathetic excuse for a Reader’s Write that usually consists of ONE letter and is either some shill suck up piece or a worthless question that has been asked a million times before.

    You touched on some key points, especially with hobby fakes & forgeries(there’s your new content title Beckett!) running rampant, there is a multitude of untapped subjects begging to be covered in depth. Unfortunately they have chosen greed over quality, and use every opportunity to charge us more, for website access and for card grading. It’s not enough that they charge us $10 for a price guide, but they don’t even list all the sets in the paper guide anymore and expect us to pay additional online fees to get more worthless pricing!

    Our only hope is that someone stands up to the evil empire and writes a quality card hobby magazine. I know I would pay good money for one.

  26. Their days are numbered. Print is a dying media and they haven’t figured out how to generate enough revenue online to make them viable. When I wore the Beckett Sucks shirt to last year’s National, I was amazed at how many dealers were in complete agreement. Antiquated pricing models have done more to hurt The Hobby then any of their efforts to promote it have helped.

    I no longer participate in my LCS’s “Trade Days” because of the brainwashed mentality of so many collectors regarding Book Value.

    While you are preaching to the choir, I think it’s important to note that while dissing bloggers they now have their own, and in addition, have recently solicited a fellow blogger in Sooz from A Cardboard Problem as a contributing editor.

    Becektt has so poorly been able to transition to the digital age that instead of incorporating their blog as editorial content on their own site, they are hosting thru WordPress.

    When the #1 Authority on sports collectibles starts relying on user generated content (and that is no knock on Sooz, I’m proud of her and kudos) you really have to question their validity as an “authority” on anything.

  27. Pingback: Morning Coffee and the Blog Roundup 10/21 – Working for the Weekend edition « NatsTown

  28. Here is my take ( the serious one)

    I just started using COMC, and what I have noticed is they go by BV for a base listing of your cards. What a majority of collectors seem to do is price their cards at 50% off boo value, but on the other hand some sellers price above it, and have no problem selling their cards at all. COMC is getting very popular, and is widely used by thousands of collectors. Although you cant cash out you can use your sells towards Blowout gift cards, and the purchase of other wax on the site. It would be interesting to see where these cards fall as far as sells go.

    I have to admit the Man Children over at Beckett are arrogant as can be, but when Tracy Hackler pops up on Card Club Radio ( Great Show) , and not a single caller calls in to confront him, or question Becketts policy’s then It doesn’t say much for those who are really passionate about this discussion in the first place. Its nothing personal against you Adam, but you did miss a great opportunity. As far as Rob goes you were sitting right next to the guy, but I can understand not wanting to offend one of your guest’s.

    I personally quite buying Becketts snake oil years ago, but am still a very active trader at sports card fun so I need it in order to complete trades. A little advice for new collectors create your own mental price guide, and run with it. Its a lot cheaper, and way less frustrating.

    Adam why not pull some resources, and come up with a free online price guide. Kinda like a blog. Ask for volunteers and see how far it goes. I would give you a hand if you needed any help, and Im sure a lot of other bloggers would as well.

    T.M.H

  29. Adam,
    Your a smart man and a great writer. This article has generated a lot of thought, response, and discussion. And it has prompted me to put in my three cents worth. Although Beckett is not what you want it to be, it still is a valuable part of our hobby.

    Whenever someone asks me how much they can get for their cards, I refer them to eBay. However, whenever someone wants to trade with me, all of us are satisfied that Beckett will provide us a good means for comparison. And, as an eBay “Top Rated Seller,” I have found that I can sell my cards on eBay for something between the “Hi” and “Low” column in Beckett about 90% of the time.

    As for determining the worth of a card, everyone knows there is an internet and something called eBay. However, just because three Sam Bradford Topps Chrome Red Refractors sold for (hypothetically) $30, $50, and $70 on eBay yesterday, does not mean it is worth $50. As often stated, It is worth whatever, someone is willing to pay for it. If a knowledgeable collector comes into my storefront, examines the same Bradford card and is willing to pay $90 for that card, that knowledgeable collector has determined the card was worth $90.

    The above example brings in one more factor, condition in determining card value/worth. And, although Beckett Grading is less than perfect, collectors who are knowledgeable about graded cards have verified by their buying tendencies on eBay, Beckett Grading is the most accurate and consistent grading service. Beckett has been of tremendous value for me as a seller on eBay and in my storefront. Thanks Beckett.

  30. The thing is, it’s not just Beckett that behaves unethically. It’s pretty much everyone in the business. The grading companies, auction houses, and manufacturers behave just as unethically as Beckett does.

    Pretty much the only people you can trust and rely on these days are the people not in it for the money, i.e. your fellow collectors.

  31. I have had similar experiences of collectors e-mailing me about getting back into the hobby & Beckett Prices. Its kind of frustrating because I’m not sure what to tell them. Maybe I’ll just point them to this article.

    When I owned a card store and ordered magazines directly from Beckett – it was frustrating to try and sell a magazine & at the same time explain that those prices are subjective.

    I only buy cards for the fun of it these days – but I remember ‘pre-internet’ it was fun seeing up/down arrows in the newest Beckett. Seems like they just put the top end range and its set in stone. I think it would be kind of frustrating for collectors to never see up OR down arrows …. if my Stock Brokerage Account never went up or down … I’d probably find a new place to spend (invest) my money.

    I think if Beckett made the process more transparent to collectors – it would help the hobby.

    Great article.

  32. Where can I get a ” Beckett Sucks” T-shrt? I will take an x-large.

    Good day sir..

  33. I would like to see an accurate & up-to-date price guide. Anyone up to the challenge?

    Having a degree in engineering with a minor in statistics and working 37 years as a management analyst, I point out it will not be an easy task. Where will you get your data? EBay is not the only place cards are sold. And, what about traded cards? Should documented trades also be a factor in determining worth? Furthermore, the amount for which a card recently sold, is not necessarily what a card is worth. You must eliminate unrepresentative data (cards with minor defects, cards sold by newbies on eBay with low feedback, sellers with bad feedback, cards sold by overseas sellers because buyers are afraid to bid on their items, and so on).

    I assume you want the calculated “value/worth” to be representative of all such listed cards, not just reflect the average of easily available data. A potential problem is sample size, the amount of data necessary to get a relatively accurate value (Of course, for each listed “value/worth” you could also list the corresponding computed degree of accuracy). Do you include 2 or 3 month-old data in order to achieve required sample size to meet your accuracy requirements? Do you include data that may be influenced by a one time event (for example: right after a rookie pitches a no-hitter)?

    I would love to see a better on-line price guide. If you want it to be accurate & respected, it has to be totally transparent and done by people with the appropriate experience and statistical credentials.

    I agree, anyone professionally reviewing a product should not accept free product; nor should they accept advertising money from companies whose products they are reviewing. I don’t believe it would necessarily influence the individual tasked with reviewing the product, but the individual reviewer may be pressured by their management. In any case, you want to avoid the possible perception of bias.

    In examining Beckett Magazine’s review of upcoming products, the number of 2-star and 3-star ratings leads me to believe their reviews have been fair and unbias. However, people would be less likely to question Beckett’s integrity if Beckett did not take free product or advertising dollars.

  34. It is a shame that new people to the hobby end up getting screwed by some hobby shops selling there old common cards for and inserts for ridiculous book values when no experienced collector even wants those cards anymore because they have no value at all, really.

    What bothers me even more than the book values is the attitude they have; that Gellman has wrote about. The arrogance they have when questioned is disgusting and shameful. Instead of explaining things they just insult the questioner and that’s a horrible way to run ANY business.

    Gellman’s right! I think I’ll add that to my signature on the Beckett forums until they start acting professionally.

  35. I sure some of you were collecting with Current Card Prices (CCP) It was a paperback and it cost like $1.50. I was a show in Chattanooga, TN when CCP was the price guide going. For some reason, CCP stabilized the 1989 Upper Deck prices and dealers saw this. The dumped CCP on the spot and all dealers there started using Beckett and using it every since. The year was 1990 and I am not sure because I was only 15, but I think Beckett done something to take CCP out. Tuff Stuff is still out but, it’s hard to find in my home town.

    But who recalls when every dealer quick using CCP?

  36. Philip,
    I was 42 in 1990, and it seems like yesterday to an old fart like me. I lived in Dayton Ohio from 1980 to 1985. I was a serious collector buying up all the vintage (1887 to 1971) my paycheck would allow. I visited card shops twice a week and card shows throughout the Ohio & Indiana area monthly. In the world of vintage cards, the Beckett Annual was always (first one was published about 1978) the “bible.” Every vintage collector carried Beckett Annual into the card show and nothing else. So Beckett had credibility, but modern card collectors wanted to know how much is their George Brett RC or Robin Yount RC worth this month. CCP filled this void and was very popular in the early 80’s.

    I also collected new stuff. I still have my old copies of CCP from 1982 to 1985. I stopped using CCP in 1985 because I liked Beckett better. The first Beckett Baseball was issued in November 1984. I still have all my old Becketts. What can I say, I’m a collector.

    I choose Beckett because it had a nice glossy color cover with more information and a ton of up & down arrows. CCP was made from recycled paper and was just not professional looking. Yes, image plays a part in credibility, and Beckett jump right in and took over. This was way before eBay. Beckett got their information by asking shop owners and big show dealers to submit selling prices and by snooping around card shows every weekend. From my recollection CCP used data from a few northern shop owners and a few northern show dealers.

    I moved back to Texas in 1985, where everyone seemed to prefer Beckett over CCP. I remember people here generally saying that CCP was a northern price guide, and Beckett data better reflected the the average throughout the country. Dr. Beckett (guy who started Beckett) was an accredited statistician. He got my vote for knowing what he was doing. I guess it took other parts of the country a little longer to come around.

  37. By the way, love the website…I find myself entertained by all the scumbag scammers and how many people bid on their junk. You do a great job informing and educating people on what to look out for…there is too much junk on ebay and that is why I have backed off on collecting. However, I continue to read through all of your old blogs and the information is outstanding. Kudos to you sir…you are one of the few things right about this hobby anymore.

  38. Thanks dude, im going to warn you that not all of it made it through the wordpress migration. This used to be on blogger and it worked much better with the archives.

  39. I do not like Beckett Magazine myself because in my opinion he has a bunch of unknowlegable people working for him. Beckett has basically ruined the card market and I cannot understand why so many people follow his pathetic price guides. All you have to do is look at all the premium sports cards that enter the market every year. As soon as Beckett give pricing on them, no body wants to pay dirt for them. Ebay has become a sad place for anyone whom thinks they are going to sell cards and make anything off of them. This is evident by watching how people treat bidding on cards, it’s like they know before a certain card is released, not to pay sqaut for it, because Becketts going to come along and dump on it.
    I have noticed over the years is, look at how many sport card shop have went out of business over the past so many years. Everyone should boycott the Beckett Price Guide. Maybe this way the sports card market might have a chance to recover and people will eventually begin taking an interest in card collecting like they use to years ago.

  40. What? I thought every price in Beckett was etched on a stone tablet and I could go into any card shop in the world and get that exact price.
    (not really)

  41. However, although Beckett made a positive impression on her colleagues for her investigative skills, she soon found herself unable to make the necessary moral compromises for her new role, jeopardizing a plan to infiltrate a major crime syndicate to protect a young woman who would have been forced to act as the mole.

  42. The purpose of this panel is to provide a multidisciplinary platform for thinking about the body in Beckett s work through emerging reading practices, which could engender new connections and ideas for such an extensively critiqued range of texts.

  43. When I go to collectorsuniverse, which is the virtual discussion venue for PSA, they tend to hold PSA in higher regard than BVG.

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