Show #96 Tips On Avoiding Scams - Scandals & Shadiness

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Fake Patch Cards

Like all of these scams, they don't make financial sense to the seller in the long-run - so I have no idea why people do this, but it happens. People take normal jersey cards, or sometimes bland looking prime jerseys - then add a patch from a fake jersey they buy off eBay. I've seen jersey cards #/299 with the NFL patch, I've seen people take (an already very valuable) Adrian Peterson Exquisite RC's and add a 'better' Vikings patch. You can't avoid fake patches, so the best thing to do is know how to spot them.

  • If the patch is too good to be true - it's fake
  • The edges around where the jersey piece sits will show signs of damage
  • The seller has bought fake jerseys off eBay
  • The seller only sells great looking patch cards
  • Almost every other sale of the card is a single color jersey

Fake Autographs

I would guess that at every card show I go to, over 90% of the autographed jerseys, 8x10's, helmets, and other items are fake. LeBron James, Tim Lincecum, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and other big time athletes just don't sign stacks of 8x10's and fake Addidas jerseys. Most of the time, these athletes have had a relationship with Upper Deck or other local companies to only sign autographs for them. It's funny that people actually try to sell this crap at a card show when the main draw is usually an athlete or celebrity signing.

  • If you didn't see the athlete sign it - he probably didn't.
  • NEVER buy Autographs on fake Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Majestic jerseys
  • Only buy autographs of Upper Deck, Panini, Topps, Steiner athletes directly from the company
  • Athletes like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have changed their signature over the years
    so the signature should match the period when the item was originally signed.

Pack Searchers

I saw a kid get dropped off by his mom at Target right when it opened on a Tuesday to run inside to go 'feel up' all the new boxes that had been put out. Talk about being a pathetic looser. However, these loosers exist. While I wouldn't rule out the guys that bring the scales into the store weigh the blaster boxes too, I would consider these a safer buy because you know the packs haven't been searched one by one.

  • Don't expect to hit jersey cards from loose packs at Target, Wal-Mart and even some hobby shops
  • Buying 'hot packs' is also very risky because what if you get 2 extra base cards and not a hit?
  • In the long run, this is not a profitable experience & not sure why people do this, especially sellers.
  • Please don't buy hot packs online, it will help stop this practice.

Bad Traders

People on forums lure people in to trade with them, and then they never send the cards - or send less valuable ones out. I've seen people with good feedback go off the deep end and rip people off. The best thing to do is not trade cards online that you can't afford to loose.

  • Young kids that can't drive, afford stamps/bubble mailers are usually not good traders
  • People with lots of transactions in a short period of time should be dealt with caution
  • Traders who promote how they are a 'great trader' probably shouldn't be trusted, because if you
    are trustworthy - you'll let the community/others decide that.
  • Use an escrow or neutral third party to complete trades you don't feel comfortable with.

Phony Websites

A while back a website was gaining traffic by stealing content from other bloggers + streaming in RSS feeds from ESPN, Yahoo and other sources to make his site look like it had content. Then he started selling re-packaged products to people off the site via YouTube. He lured people in by making everything look like a great deal in the beginning - but once he knew he could take your money and run ... he did. Sites gone because he never spent any time on it, and he took your money just like he had planned it all along.

The same thing can happen with a 'box break' or any other kind of website. For a period of time they can seem legitimate and run a clean business. But usually you can tell the ones that just want to setup a quick website & videos to scam you later on.

  • Sites that RSS feed in ESPN, CBS, Yahoo stories for content is almost always a scam setup.
  • Someone who tries to sell re-packaged product is setting you up for a scam.
  • Search the WhoIs record of a domain and see when the domain was registered, I'd be very weary of
    sending anyone money that just started a site within the last year. If the domain expires in less than
    a few years ... the owner is not confident in his business & certainly is not making money.
  • Anyone trying to attract lots of customers very quickly should be dealt with caution.
  • A site you see spamming message boards and blog comments.

Panini, Topps, Upper Deck

NONE of these companies see the athletes sign every card, and they certainly didn't see Derrick Rose take off the jersey after the game and cut it up into cards. Most of the time these things end up in the hands of a third party printer (who has no affiliation to the company) ... and most certainly have employees that could steal or make the items less credible. That doesn't mean it happens a high percentage of the time, but it certainly can. We've seen Magic Johnson autograph stickers end up on a baseball prospects cards ... there are more examples of this mistake that happen almost every season. You can bet they've mixed up jersey pieces and other items as well; as human error happens.

  • No company has the chain of command to know if every item is authentic
  • There are rumors that girlfriends and other people sometimes sign cards for athletes
  • Mistakes happen, so there is no guarantee the jersey piece is from the athlete it says
  • If you didn't see if come directly from the athlete, you can't be 100% sure its authentic

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