Unfortunately, the sports card and memorabilia collecting hobby is filled with scam artists and criminals looking to get one over us. Many of these lessons I’ve had to learn the hard way, hopefully the information below will make sure you don’t have to.
Don’t let this ruin the hobby for you.This hobby is a terrific hobby and remember those moments when you were a kid and the feeling you got when you got the card you have been dreaming about. There is no such thing as a victimless crime in collecting. You could be stealing from a kid who saved his allowance for a couple months so he could buy a couple packs of cards or go to the card show to buy his favorite player.
Fakes and Forgeries and Switching stickers
What I can tell you is that this is a major problem in the secondary market. eBay is the easiest way for a scam artist to quickly flip a fake.
- The more popular the player is, the more fakes and forgeries there are
- Topps Rookie Premiere Autos are probably the most counterfeited autos on the Market. It’s becoming hard for even Topps to identify whether they are fake or not.
- If an eBay seller has too many “finite” cards, there’s a chance they are fake.
- “Buy Back” Autos are a popular scam with novice counterfeiters.
- Beware of the sticker autos and having scammers peel off a sticker of a less know player and putting it on a Stars card that didn’t originally have a auto.
The Secondary Grading Companies
These are grading companies that throw out 10’s left and right. They also grade fakes and cards that have been “trimmed” or “doctored”. The only grading companies I will even consider paying top dollar for are BGS, SCG, and PSA.
This is where someone will setup a fake eBay account to bid up their own cards. This creates a false perception of interest and boosts the sale price of the card. If someone sells the identical card several times over, there’s a chance they used a “schill” account to win one of their own auctions.
Taking advantage of sellers on eBay
This is when someone basically “screws” you over on eBay and tries to force you to take money off the price of a card. They try to get away with this by threatening bad “feedback”. An honest seller cares about having good feedback, so when a scam artist threatens to leave “un-true” negative feedback, the honest seller caves in and looks the other way. If you’ve done nothing wrong and have truly been screwed over, do not back down. eBay does an excellent job of policing this type of activity. Make sure you ship all your cards via paypal or ebay labels because there is seller protection in case a scammer claims they did not receive a card. With those labels there is tracking numbers to help prove delivery has been made.