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Friday, March 18, 2011

More Redemption Ramblings

Whilst (yes it is a word) I was speaking with Chris Carlin (The Upper Deck Guy) on the phone yesterday in addition to the twitter conversations a few points were made by Chris and Upper Deck that I completely disagree with.

First, Upper Deck et al are in the business of selling "new cards".

Couple of problems with that statement. Back in 2007 and especially 2008 and 2009, products were coming out at break neck speeds. Even with my budget I was getting killed by the number of releases and eventually that is what turned me away from busting. Don't get me wrong I have been busting a lot lately but for a different reason that I will discuss in a future post. BTW, I have been at this blogging thing for 2 1/2 years...WTF? Anyway, the problem is that a week between releases even if they are from different companies means it takes that much longer to sort through everything and figure out what is worth buying.

Even if you decide that 5 of the 30 releases are worth opening, it may take 6 months for prices, availability and time to line up just right. For example, my buying of 07 masterpieces ordering, shipping, busting, sorting, listing and shipping sales is about a 3 week process and that is turning it around almost as quickly as I can and still hold down a job. God forbid I take a month off to let everything smooth out. Plus I have $1700 tied up in cases. If something goes even remotely wrong, or horribly wrong in the case of my Topps Jumbo Cases, time is needed to get it sorted out or recover from the $1k enema.

My point is this, it may take a couple years if not 3-4 to actually get around to busting cases in volume. Prices finally settle, etc. An example of this product is 2008 Heroes Football. This is a fantastic product to bust at $50-$65 a box for collectors or even trying to flip a little bit. The problem is that the product is just about worthless. The reason is that you can take a massive hit in expired redemptions. I opened a case or so and yanked out 4-5 redemptions 3 that were pretty nice. Hackie Joyner Kersey, Chad Johnson Patch auto, Fran Turkington (sic). I also pulled Malcom Kelly and maybe 1 or 2 others. How much of a hit is it to pull 2 of those case hits and having them be worth nothing? Now I wouldn't pay more than $30 for a box, same with 08 Icons.

Moreover, if dealers can't move old upper deck product how likely are they to cut down on future orders. The market is set up so that even 10-20 year old wax isn't considered vintage. In contrast, in 1986, 76 topps and especially 66 topps was considered vintage and impossible to get. These days Blowout, Atlanta, DA etc are routinely bringing in products that are 5-10 years old. It's the nature of the current wax market. Thus, Upper Deck is in the business of making sure that as many of their past releases as possible are in demand. Plus, don't they have cases of crap laying around or do they have to blow that stuff out cheap....Philly Football.

This brings me to the next point. Upper Deck said that prices are often lower once redemptions expire and the dealers know this blah blah blah. Frankly that just isn't true. For example, prices of 08 Heroes FB, 07 and 08 masterpieces FB and BB and on and on haven't moved since the redemptions expired. Is this Upper Deck's fault? Not really, but it doesn't help their argument.

My third issue is Upper Deck stated they can't keep redemptions in stock forever. Please, even a million cards....

Fourth, Upper Deck said when you open older wax you just take your chances.....Bullshit. Which cards are redemptions? When do they expire? No where can you find a list of redemptions or the exact date of expiration. Plus if they can't make the card on time for release, why do we have to suffer.

2 comments:

beardy said...

Once again, you are preaching to the choir. I'm still super sonically pissed off about my expired Mauer redemption.

Gimme a fuckin break Upper Deck! At least make an effort to make it appear that you give a shit about your customers. If you think we'll be back when you finally get around to releasing decent products again, you may come to find out you're sorely mistaken.

Offy said...

That's funny. I covered just about all of the same point and got the same canned responses in return from Mr. Carlin. My favorite was when he equated my asking for something (anything) in place of an expired CASE HIT redemption card to a collector asking for a mint copy of an '89 Griffey rookie. (I chose to take the high road and not mention the rumored extra Griffeys printed up.) It's so ridiculous. He kept stressing how they produce collectibles and the importance of value. This is the same company that just sent me two cards that come nowhere close to matching the value of a non-expired redemption card that they never fulfilled.

It all comes down to laziness and a lack of caring by the card company themselves and it sucks that collectors have to piss and moan so much before someone even considers talking to them. It's by far some of the worst customer service that I've ever experienced. One person doesn't know what other people are telling customers via email, Twitter or the phone and that leads to even more problems.

I can only imagine what my email telling them that they failed on matching the value of the Michael Johnson is going to net me in headaches and annoyance.