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”.



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.

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.



Embroidered Patches

Have you seen these up for sale on eBay?  There are a ton of these embroidered patches up for sale with logos of sports teams.  They may seem harmless, but many people buy them to create their own patch cards.  Once the person obtains a patch like this, they will cut it up and insert them into cards and try to pass them off as real patch cards.  It is very important that you check the feedback of the seller to see what their record is like.  They could have 100% positive feedback, but they may be buying a bunch of these patches.  Be sure to check the numbering of the card and the condition of the patch window.  If the window has damaged edges, that may be a clear sign that they altered the card.

Check that seller’s item photo

Many people know that you shouldn’t buy something online without seeing a photo.  Thats great, but what if the deceptive seller posts a picture that isn’t their own.  If you find a card that you really want to buy check past auctions that have taken place.  It could be possible that the seller stole the photo from another person.  It also is possible that they stole the picture from the card company.  For example, Upper Deck, like other card companies, posts pictures of their products online.  Most of the time, when a company posts pictures of their product they will have their logo across the picture and the serial number on the card may look like this, “xx/100”.  Companies usually don’t show the first two digits of the serial number.  If you see a picture like this in an auction listing, thats not the actual item you will receive.  Here is an example of what a picture from Upper Deck looks like.