Terrible Serial Number Scam

Serial numbering scammers are a pain in the you know what.  A few days ago I found a few collectors talking about this subject over on The Bench.  They uncovered a seller who has done probably one of the worst serial numbering jobs I’ve ever seen.  Take a look at these two basic Topps cards which seem to be “one of a kind”.

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When was the last time you saw cards from a basic Topps set contain serial numbers that look like this?  Probably never.  If cards like this are numbered at all, its usually done with very small font on the back.  You also don’t find many regular Topps cards with one of one’s being printing as “01/01”.  They usually don’t put zeros before the one.  Luckily only a few of them sold and not all.  The Dunn sold for the most and a couple others went for $5.00.  This is just another case of when buyer’s don’t quite know everything about what they are purchasing.  Be careful out there.

Biggest Joke In The Hobby: Coach’s Corner

If you ever need a good laugh, I suggest heading over to Coach’s Corner.  This auction site is nothing but a breeding ground for scammers and counterfeiters.  I know for a fact I’m not the first person to discuss them, but I thought I would still share my thoughts on it.

Coach’s Corner always seems to have extremely high-end memorabilia up for sale.  Rarely do any of their items come with a COA from a “worthy” third-party authenticator.  Usually their autographs come certified by Chris Morales or STAT Authentic.  I think COAs from Big Bird or Batman hold more credibility than Morales or STAT Authentic 🙂  Items like a Ty Cobb or Honus Wagner autographed baseball are worth many thousands of dollars if they are determined to be authentic, but when something like that shows up on the Coach’s Corner it usually only goes for a few hundred dollars.  Do all these people get really good deals?  No, because many people know the autographs are counterfeit.  Many people that bid on this stuff clearly know its fake but think they can flip it somewhere else to make a profit.

The funniest part about Coach’s Corner is reading the item descriptions.  Here is what they say about this Terry Bradshaw 1971 Topps RC graded a Pristine 10:

This ROOKIE card #156 of the Steeler Great & Hall of Famer, Terry Bradshaw comes Slabbed and Graded a Perfect “PRISTINE 10”. The PSA Online book value of this beauty is near $25,000, and a great card for the collector who wants ONLY the BEST.

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GEM Elite gives every card that comes through their front door a 10, and its crazy to compare this type of 10 to a PSA 10.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this card was trimmed.

There have been many discussions/videos posted about Coach’s Corner and the soon to be out of business Sports Collectors Digest.  It seems as if the two are “in bed” together because Coach’s Corner advertises in SCD.  Coach’s Corner is one of the biggest jokes in the hobby and should only be visited if you need a laugh.

Serial Number Scammers & More

Last night SCU reported about a Brady Quinn 2007 LCM Freshman Fabric rookie jersey/autograph that had been up for sale on eBay.  The problem with this card is that Donruss never made any autographs like this.  Scammers are now creating counterfeit sticker autographs.  One of SCU readers suggested a way that someone might go about removing a crappy autograph from a sticker to replace it with a forged one of a better player, and then over at VOTC they created a video giving it a try.  After watching that video it really makes you think twice about buying another sticker autograph online.  This just makes on-card autographs look even better.  Congrats to SCU and VOTC for doing such great detective work.

Digging a little deeper I found this auction run by the same person who sold the Quinn.  This Yogi Berra ’08 Sports Legends auto #’ed 1/1 doesn’t look to have the “shiny” border like the other autographs #’ed 1/1 from this product.  At first I thought it might be the scan, but then another red flag popped-up when I looked at the back.  The serial number is hand written with a marker, not stamped like the other 1/1 autographs.  The final nail in the coffin would be the fact that the person with the high bid on the Berra has their I.D. kept private just like the Quinn auction.  The only other hand-numbered 1/1 autograph from Sports Legends that I could find was this Jerry West.  At first glance it looks to be from a different seller, but you can see they recently changed their I.D. and are located in Baltimore, MD.  The Berra auto is located in Elkridge, MD which is not that far from Baltimore.  I’ll report the Berra to eBay and hope they take it down.

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This is what an authentic 2008 Sports Legends autograph #’ed 1/1 should look like.

The Great Wrapper Caper

This afternoon I headed over to the Collector’s Universe sports card forum to see what was going on, and my attention went right to this post written by user summerof68.  They did some excellent detective work discovering that this seller was purchasing old wax wrappers and reselling them as if they were sealed packs.  That seller has been one of the largest suppliers of wax packs on eBay for awhile and it just seemed strange that they always had so many to sell.  You really need to have a trained eye to see what this seller was doing.  There are little things that you can see on the wrapper that show up on the resealed pack they sold.  Collecting old packs is a great way to enjoy the hobby, but you really need to be careful who you are buying from.  Many authenticators grade/certify packs to ensure that its never been opened or resealed.  Its probably better to purchase a vintage pack in person so you can inspect it yourself.  The detective work done on this case is probably some of the best I’ve ever seen.  

On a side note, someday I’d like to add a few sealed packs to my collection (thats if I could keep them sealed).  I’d like to add a 1984 Topps football, and a  1995 Bowman’s Best baseball pack to my collection.  The ’84 Topps would be for the Marino RC and the ’95 Bowman’s Best for the Rolen RC.  Older packs containing rookies of players from the Miami Dolphins Perfect Season would also be nice to add, but they can get really expensive.

If anyone has a lot of money and wants to be a big star on YouTube, buy some vintage packs and open them up on camera.  I’m sure many collectors would love to see a pack of 1933 Goudey busted.

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YouTube Group Break Scam

Chris from Cards Infinity posted a video talking about a group break scam that has been taking place on YouTube.  Thanks to Wax Heaven for finding this video.

 

YouTube Raffle Scam

Chris, who operates CardsInfinity.com is one of my favorite collectors to watch open up new products.  Today, he posted this video about a raffle scam that is taking place on YouTube.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Sports Card Collection E-mail Scam

Today I received an e-mail that was titled “Massive Sports Collection For Sale”.  The message inside said the following:

“Hello

I am very interested in selling all my sports memorabilia, sports cards, rookie cards and Autographed items
along with other unique purchases including stamps and foreign currency
I have purchased these items all individually over the past 35 years.
 
Everything is in graded or ungraded mint condition
It had a book value of well over $30,000 back in the late 90’s
And has not been valued since.
 
I would welcome any offer as little as it may be in order to liquidate this collection
I would like to sell it all in its entirety if possible and welcome all offers
 
Thanks
Anthony Colavecchio
New Jersey”

Attached to the e-mail are four Excel spreadsheets: A.S.F. Rare Collectibles, A.S.F. Rare Sports, Autographed Sports Memorabilia, and Barry Bonds2.  When I went to download the attachments, my virus scanner detected a virus with the A.S.F. Rare Collectibles spreadsheet.  I e-mailed him back saying that very few people go by book value anymore, and that one of his attachments looks to contain a virus.  I haven’t heard back yet.  Please watch out for this e-mail, and do not download the attachments.  The e-mail address it came from was: YPPBI@aol.com
UPDATE:
  1. I received an e-mail back which contained all the information that was suppose to be in the virus infected e-mail.  At the top of the message it now says the money is going to be used for The Feinstein Foundation.  This was something that wasn’t mentioned at all in the original message.  I checked out the website of that organization and I see nothing on their about sports memorabilia.  I e-mailed him back asking for more information.
  2. I heard back from him this morning and he was kinda angry that I was asking questions.  That is never a good sign.

The Lengths Some People Go To Make A Sale

I have seen a lot of funny things up for sale on eBay, but this auction beats them all.  This guy claims that he has a ton of valuable baseball cards for sale, in which you purchase for ONLY $1.00 and there are 5 cards per lot.  The title of the auction really gets your attention, “ALIMONY SALE >Ex Girlfriend/Wife sport card collection”.  When reading his description it gets even more interesting.  He says that there will be a Mickey Mantle 1952 Topps rookie card placed within one of the lots.  Thats funny, because Mantle’s rookie is from 1951 Bowman.  For a guy that claims to have owned a sports card store for 30+ years, I think he would know that.   The main auction image that appears in the search results displays a Mickey Mantle rookie card, but you can easily see the copyright date indicating that it’s  a reprint.  I highly doubt that he even has a Mickey Mantle card within that collection.   He says that this is the best way to sell his cards fast to payoff his wife.  I think he is trying to unload a bunch of common base cards he doesn’t want anymore.  He’s giving false hope to people.  Most likely if you purchase a lot, all you will receive is a handful of base cards not even worth a dollar.  Its not uncommon to see auctions like this popup, but this one really caught my eye.  Maybe this guy is telling the truth.  Perhaps sports cards are the reason couples breakup.  If so, its happening a lot.

Tricky Lights

Refractors and parallels are an important aspect of the hobby today.  Having a parallel numbered 1/5 versus 1/500 can have a huge affect on the price tag.  If you plan to purchase one over the internet it is strongly advised that you get a scan of the back of the card.  Many sellers try and use lights to make the card look like a different color.  For example, if you turn a card a certain way it may change from a white color to a green.  This can happen a lot with card from the Leaf Certified Materials sets.  The card below is serial numbered to 100, but when you look at the picture, it has a green tint to it making collectors think that it is a Mirror Emerald insert numbered to 5.  

This can happen with a lot of products.  The color of a card can change with any chrome like card.  Bowman Chrome cards  can really look different when they are scanned.  Sometimes regular chrome cards can look blue and gold refractors can look orange.  If your not too sure about what color a card is, always ask for a picture of the back so you can make sure what the serial number really is.

Can’t See That eBay Photo?

People stealing photos on eBay for their own auctions is down right low.  It happened to me a few months ago when I was selling a bobblehead figure.  If you find a card for sale and you are thinking of buying it because they provide a photo, make sure to look at the picture carefully.  If the photo is really small there is a good chance that they stole it.  I know there are some scanners that people use and the images come out small, but when I mean small, I mean really small.  If people steal a photo from eBay and then upload on the auction form, eBay shrinks the photo.  Thats why the photos you take on your own end up being smaller on the standard auction page.  If some uses a stolen photo, eBay will shrink an already shrunken photo.  Thats why when you look at the auction page, the end result is really tiny.  Be sure to check the completed auctions before bidding an a card.  There you can compare photos to see if the picture you are looking at was used before.