Pick A COA, Any COA

This has to be one of the most disturbing trends I’ve found.  Individuals are now selling COA’s that are from or look like they are from reputable companies.  All a forger would have to do is purchase a few of these COA’s that look like they are from Steiner and then forge the autograph.  Each of these COA’s comes with a hologram containing the Steiner logo.  I’m wondering what happened to the actual items these COA’s belong to – if they existed at all.  Forgers could do this for all reputable authenticators within The Hobby.  A good portion of the time COA’s from companies like Steiner will contain serial numbers that match a hologram placed on the item.  All it would take is for some uneducated collector not to realize the serial numbers don’t match.  For many, they just see the Steiner name and that would be enough.  COA’s for autographed items is just one area forgers will use these things.  They could also be used for rare cards that could be purchased directly from the manufacturer such as blank backs, proofs, etc.

I don’t think eBay should allow sellers just to sell COA’s in an auction.  Why in the hell would someone want to purchase one if there isn’t an item to go with it.  The whole situation is setup to cater towards a counterfeiter.   Of coarse eBay won’t stop them because they want their fees.  Collectors have to be so careful when purchasing an autographed piece of memorabilia.  My personal favorite authenticator in The Hobby is Mounted Memories.  I have a Dan Marino autographed photo that contains a COA from them.  If you visit Marino’s official website, everything he has autographed comes with a COA from Mounted Memories.  At one time, Marino was on the Board of Mounted Memories too.

Nothing can ever be as good as meeting the athlete in person.  Sure it may cost a bit more, but you can be 100% sure the autograph you received is real.  Remember, if its too good to be true, it probably is.

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Another Note On Score Board COA’s

Early this morning I received a comment on the post I wrote yesterday dealing with Score Board COA’s.  Apparently that COA with the McGwire “autograph” isn’t plastered on the back of the card.  Instead its totally separate, which is completely worse.  What stops someone from making their own counterfeit autograph and then taking a crappy COA that doesn’t mention the player’s name to go along with it?  Thats right.  Nothing.  I said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Stay far away from items certified by Score Board.

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Any counterfeiter could use this COA for almost anything.

Score Board’s COA Is No Better Than NSA’s

Its 2:00 in the morning.  You just got home from a long night of bad decision making.  Whats the next thing you should do?  Thats right, turn on Shop at Home and see what crap the people at The Score Board, Inc are selling.

Take a look at this piece of junk made by The Score Board, Inc back in the 90’s.  This Mark McGwire Diamond Kings “autograph” is numbered one-of-one and the seller is looking to get around $100.00 for it.  Too bad this thing is fake.  It would make one heck of an authentic card.  McGwire’s rookie may have gone down to nothing, but his relics and autographs are very collectible.  I wouldn’t trust Score Board’s COAs anymore than NSA’s.  Reading the COA they plastered on the back doesn’t state McGwire’s name anywhere.  Yeah, its certified alright.  Its a certified autograph of who is the real question.  Stay far away from Score Board’s stuff!!!  Its a good thing this company went out of business.

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NSA Reads Sports Card Info

The other day I was told by one of my readers to check out NSA’s (National Sportscard Authenticator) new website.  Their old one had been under construction for a very long time.  After checking out their Testimonials page I noticed something that seemed very familiar.  Almost like I’ve seen these sentences before.  Wait a minute!  I think I have.  NSA copied & pasted comments made on my initial post I wrote about them.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they wrote those comments and then put them on their site.  I also like how on their Product page they state “NSA has nothing to hide.”  I’m betting when a company says they have nothing to hide, 95% of the time they probably do.

NSA asks people to contact them if they have a piece of “game-used” memorabilia they would like to sell.  Just for the fun of it, I made up a story to see what they would say and I received the following response:

Thank you for your inquiry. Yes! We are very interested in purchasing your jersey. There are a few strict qualifications that your piece must meet. First and foremost, do you have any COA? Second, do you have a photo of your meeting and Jeter handing you this jersey? If so, we may accept your piece and at that point what we normally do is visit your local area courthouse with you, all expenses on us, and obtain a sworn affidavit verifying the authenticity of the piece.

We also send it off to a qualified authentication company. To clarify, we do not offer in house authentication, and we only accept pieces after they have been authenticated by a qualified company. Therefore once the piece is ready to be made our company can certify each piece since NSA is a relatively new company. This insures our integrity and a quality product for our customers.

We look forward to your response,

NSA Grading Merchandising Team

Even though it sounds like they want to try and make sure the relics are real, there is just something about them I don’t like.  I would really like to know who their “authenticator” is since they say they don’t do it in house.  I e-mailed NSA back asking who they use, but I haven’t received a response back yet.  I asked them this a long time ago too and never received a response.  If I do get one, I’ll be sure to let you know.  None of the COA’s on their cards state who the authenticator is.  Not even their newer cards.  As I have stated in numerous other posts, I still don’t trust this company.  Its not possible to pickup an authentic NBA logo patch card of Michael Jordan for $20.00.  Manufactured patch cards in some cases sell for much more than that.  Remember people, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

UPDATE:

I did get a response from NSA and they wouldn’t give me the names of their (3) authenticators they use.  Probably because they don’t use any!!  Be sure to check out this post over on SCU about this fake crap.

Chrome Proofs Are Garbage

Last night I received a question about these so called “Chrome Proofs” you see up for sale.  They wanted to know if these are authentic 1/1 proofs from the manufacturer.  The answer to that question in no.  These were once base cards from a Bowman Chrome set, and then someone dissolved away the cardboard and what was left is the chrome front.  When cleaned up it looks like a proof that came from a manufacturer, but in reality its nothing more than an altered base card made to fool collectors.

These cards fit nicely into the same category as those 1/1 proofs containing the multi-colored bars.  Those cards come from an uncut sheet that should have been discarded by the manufacturer but somehow found their way into the hands of a scammer who thought it would be a good idea to cut them up and try to pass them off as proofs.  Manufacturers really need to find a better way of discarding the leftovers of past products so they stay out of the hands of scammers.

While doing a little research for this post, one of the biggest sellers of these counterfeit proofs is none other than ljbiggestfan2, who also is a huge seller of NSA “game-used” cards.  For those people who defend NSA because you can’t admit you got scammed, just look at what else this person is selling.  It sure doesn’t add to the credibility of NSA.  Be sure to check out my other posts about NSA which have attracted a lot of attention from the collecting community.

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Collectors Defending NSA….. I’m Not One Of Them

I’ve talked about NSA “relic” cards on hear before, and the topic has been one of the most clicked on posts I have ever written over the two year period this blog has been around.  Last night I received another comment on my original post from a collector actually defending NSA.  Most collectors agree with me that these cards DO NOT contain actual relics worn by the athlete pictured on the front of each card.  But there are some people that think these cards are great investments and are waiting for them to go up in price.  I don’t know how many times I have to tell people, but the COA on the reverse side of each card doesn’t state the piece of memorabilia was actually used by the athlete.  Comparing an NSA COA to a COA from Upper Deck, Topps, or Panini you can clearly see the difference.

I have to laugh at the people defending this company.  Take a look at some of their comments I’ve received:

  • Why would this company risk going to jail over a few dollars? You can buy a Brett Favre Game Used jersey for $500 cut it up into 1000’s of pieces where each piece would be about 50 cents or so. You can sell the cards for $25 -$30. You can easily make $25,000 from one jersey. What do you think Upper Deck does? It does not have to be fake! Get the point!
  • Say what you want. I would think if these jersey cards where not the real thing these stars would have sued NSA for false advertising by now. I know I would have wouldn’t you? So I’m buying them up as fast as I can before they catch on and the prices skyrocket.
  • I bought a two LeBron James jersey cards. I think NSA is actually a good company, since it is often hard to get a piece of that size of swatch from an NBA jersey. I was lucky and got half of an NBA logos from LeBron’s jersey. I also got a high school jersey. They are great prices going by the fact that most LeBron James High School jersey pieces are a load more. Its a rare find because they don’t play near the amount of high school games that they do in the NBA. I just think NSA is a good company.

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Newly Discovered Allen & Ginter Set?

I THINK NOT!!!  Every now and then I search to see if there are any scams up for sale or have been up for sale.  This afternoon I came upon this little beauty which I unfortunately didn’t find in time to report.  Looks to me like someone took a regular Jose Reyes A&G mini and gave it a haircut.  I think it looks like a postage stamp.  Somebody thought this was a real die cut insert and paid $10.51 for a card that normally would sell for only $0.99.

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’62 Topps Printing Plate Scam

I Am Joe Collector spotted a great scam taking place on eBay yesterday and I thought I’d dig a little deeper on the subject.  He found someone claiming they owned the actual printing plates from 1962 Topps Baseball and Football.  This person is attempting to sell each individual plate for $60.00 to $80.00.  If those were real plates and/or proofs, they’d be selling for a lot more money than that.  So far it looks as if only one person fell for their little scam.  I e-mailed the seller and asked where they obtained these items, and they claim to have purchased them at the Topps sale of 1989.  Topps did sell a lot of items from their “Vault” back in ’89, but these were not on the list.  In addition to that, these plates/proofs don’t even come with a COA from The Topps Company.

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This is suppose to be a plate of Mike Mercer from ’62 Topps Football.  Don’t you love the authentic label they slapped on there?  Any idiot with a label maker could do this.

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This is a nice PSA look alike grading holder.  If its too good to be true, it probably is.