Saturday, February 16, 2013

Buying Certified Autos Stinks: Finding the Fakes

Money is tight at the moment, but with the compa's permission I've dumped a lot of cards on ebay. I have a strange fantasy that I am going to purchase a Willie Mays or Hank Aaron auto to mark the passing of this particular semester. So with a good deal of trepidation I'm dipping my toe into the category of "people who pay too much for cards." And that's fine, it's a one-shot deal.

I enjoys autos and send out my share of ttms. I like hearing back from players but let's face it: taking the auto in the envelop at face value is based on the same leap of faith most of us take in assuming our parents are indeed our biological parents. You have no empirical proof of the fact, no photos, no video, and even if you did you take on faith that the baby in the picture is you. It's complicated, but it doesn't bother you too much if at all. TTM autos are like that: I have no proof Bobby Doerr signed my 1938 Goudey, but I sent it to his address and it came back signed. So yeah, I'll take that on good faith.

But certified autos? Blech. For example, you have certified Mays fakes. It's a long story I've posted about before. Then this Mays auto, which has been sold several times by the same seller. And if you think that's nuts, this low-numbered seller has flipped that same Mays 14 times! I read somewhere that card has a print run of 150. At best it's shill bidding. At worst...? What the heck happened at Fleer?

Then you have what appear to be sticker fakes. Gellman used to go off about these. But here's a Hank Aaron ending today, and the price as of 11 AM is definitely right. But wait: the auto is surprisingly clean for a 2008 Hank, it's completely on the sticker, AND a letter or two looks a little suspicious. After some sleauthing (looking up the checklist did NOTHING), I found this card. The auto is classic Hank Aaron from the last five or so years: labored, falling off the sticker. Then you check the back: yup, Donruss did the solid of printing the certificate of authenticity on there. You look again at the first card and oh, wait.....It's a fake.

Frustrating if nothing else, but it always sucks to see collectors screwing each other. It's why a) I love the blogosphere and b) I generally stick to my own ttms.

Have a good one and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, even without the obvious fakery with the card backs, anyone who does their homework (maybe 5% of humanity) will see that this is a phony 2008 Aaron auto. His sig wasn't that neat when I got it in person in '86 for six bucks! Kind of a drag.