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NY Times Fake Relics Sept 13, 2012
Beckett Sept 13 Report
Since the report broke last week, no card companies have yet to comment. I'm guessing they will not. I would like to hear their spin and hear how they are going to get it right before I put money on high dollar items. If I spend $100s for packs for the high end cards, I would rather just by a signed framed game jersey for less till I feel my warm and fuzzy again.
It is time that our sports leagues and our government need to investigate our hobby that we love. As someone who enjoys collecting and I use my hard earned money I want to know what we are really buying. If this was a food product we want to know the ingredients of the food. On each can of food there is ingredients, nutrition labels, lot numbers, etc. Even on clothes there are numbers to state what is real and inspected by. Why does Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini get to slide on saying it is a Game Used Relic? If Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini really cared about us collectors they would put more time and energy in producing better ways to guarantee their products. Do we hold Larry McWilliams liable since his signature is on each card from Upper Deck for each fake card made under his time there?
As a collector, I am not going to stop collecting, but it may make me stop buying current cards till card companies shape up. I plan to send to all card companies and the leagues they represent a letter stating a boycott of any future products. I am also going to send letters to members in government.
Here is my idea on what I would like to see. I am going to use Major League Baseball as my example on relics and how they need to be changed. It doesn't have to be anything like this, we as collectors just want to see the card companies have some pride in their own work and PROVE to us collectors these are real cards!
STEP 1: In order to ensure true 100% truth a MLB and MLBPA reps/officials must inspect all items. This will prevent and item to be bought and shipped directly to a card company. If an item is bought by Topps from a third party it must be first sent to the MLB/MLBPA rep/official to officially category the item. If it is found to be fake, it will be destroyed and the seller would be black listed. MLB/MLBPA can designate or contract a company to handle their memorabilia and will be audited by the MLB/MLBPA to ensure strict guidelines are met. Any memorabilia found to be rouge or unknown will be destroyed.
STEP 2: Once item is passed it's QC it is assigned an MLB number automatically. It is photographed and attached to that number. It is then sealed with QC paperwork and sent to the card company.
STEP 3: Card company accepts the item and scans item into its possession and placed in a secured location where it has limited access to ensure no contamination. Like other companies if an item is no longer 100% known where it came from it now becomes trashed. All items in limited access area are have proper paperwork and numbers at all times. If audit finds any not numbered then it will be destroyed.
STEP 4: If that jersey is sent to be cut, whatever pieces are cut are given a number. Lets say piece number 1 is miscut, it will then be logged as destroyed, then next would be 2 and so on. Those pieces will then be sealed in a bag labeled with MLB12232.xxx. If that piece ever gets mixed up, it would easily be able to be looked up to figure out where it goes. If any of the jersey is left, it will be bagged again and labeled again MLB12232 to be cut at a future date again. This process is great because if the company doesn't use the item and is sold or changes hands as long as the seal isn't broke the MLB sticker still displays the true item that is inside the bag. If the seal is broken and the item is sold, it should be reported and destroyed.
STEP 5: If a card company needs 300 pieces of David Wright Jersey's they will be able to look in their database and see the swatches, patches, etc they have available. They may have 240 of the MLB12232 2009 Black Jersey, and 60 of the MLB23223 2010 White Jersey. Each card that uses the black jersey will be labeled MLB12232.xxx and the white MLB23223.xxx. The collector would be able to look in the database to see the exact jersey and information of that item.
STEP 6: Final QC is ensuring the MLB label is on the card, and the label is logged with the card that it is on. Such as if MLB12232.123 is 34/300 of the 2013 Topps Greatest Game Relic.
Now you will have a card that looks like this...
No matter the card companies general relic info, you will be able to go to the main quality control site appointed by the MLB and look up the MLB # and see all the information on the relic you have in your hand.
Now that is TRULY bringing you closer to the game!
If card companies are making so many high end products they can afford to be made accountable for their actions. I again plan on sending my thoughts to some government officials in Washington who are heading this case against Upper Deck, Topps, and Panini on knowing of using fake items. Card companies tell us all the time this type of service of logging would take too long and cost too much, of course they don't want to do it, because we would find out every thing maybe fakes! I hope our government can step in and mandate a better process to help us collectors out who like to throw money into a hobby we love. If this means less game used products in our packs, so be it! At least when we go on ebay or any other site to throw down money we know it is real! Plus this would cause prices of relics to maybe go back up.
Thank you for reading and I hope we as collectors can put our foot down and tell them we want to be heard! We want change, we don't want to pay $100 for a maybe real or maybe fake item. Again, do I really care if a $8 relic card is 100% for sure, I would like to say yes, but I understand that, but if card companies expect me to pay $100 a pack of cards, I expect real. If I can go to jail for selling knowingly selling fake Nikes, so should they for selling us fake relics!
If you want print and send to your rep or to the card makers! I also hope you share this article on other blogs, but please reference me as the writer.