Are there more thieves in the sports card industry than other collectibles markets?

Discussion in 'Sports Card Chat' started by Peter T Davis, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Notorious Admin Moderator

    Maybe it's just my impression, but the more I look around in the sports card industry, the more I see thievery. I've been deeply involved in the coin collecting industry (I run a coin forum too), and also involved in stamp collecting (my stamp forum is smaller), but I just don't see the same level of thievery there that I do with sports cards. I haven't personally been defrauded, it's just an impression I get from watching. And, not specifically here at the Sports Card Club either, more so when I look around at other sites where people are actively buying and selling and trading. I have been active on Twitter this week, for example, and found lots of people talking about sports cards, and one of the more regularly mentioned topics is thieves. Is there something about sports cards that makes people less honest?
  2. ranbethscards

    ranbethscards NASCAR products are back baby!!!!! oh yeah! Moderator

    not sure how to answer this Peter... but I will say... I spent 20 years collecting coins and stamps before I gave those hobbies up and NEVER had anyone take advantage of me... and yet, in the short time I've been in the sports card hobby (13 years) I have been taken many many times.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  3. Leafsfan1967

    Leafsfan1967 Well-Known Member

    Different breed of people, I guess? I can't speak from experience, as I've never been in the coin, or stamp hobby, but I always got the impression the people that do these hobbies are older, and more mature, as cards a lot of teens to early adults are just in it now for the bucks. Maybe there's more profit to be made in cards, not sure, but that would bring greed into the equation, right? Bottom line is people in general just plain suck. Most everyone is only out for themselves. Selfishness, and greed. I've seen it myself with my own family, imagine strangers are no different.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  4. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Notorious Admin Moderator

    I wouldn't say it's because there's more money in cards. As an industry, coins are huge compared to anything else. Maybe some people perceive it as it being quicker and easier to make money in cards? Not that coins are totally clean, mind you, there's a big problem with Chinese counterfeits coming on the market. It just seems like there's more petty theft, the kind where you arrange a trade with someone on a small scale, like a ten dollar card, and they don't send anything back.
  5. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Insert Cool Title Moderator

    I think in today's card world...there are a couple factors. First off, "value" is a lot more ambiguous. With coins, it is easy to find auction records and assign a more iron clad value...not so much with most cards, especially modern super SPs. So, there is a lot more room to "steal" in the sense of pricing.

    On top of that, with so many card products and so many different parallels and's really easy to misrepresent cards. If you aren't really up to date with a given product, you might buy something thinking it's really valuable and it not be.

    You don't run into this as much with coins. But, there are still major opportunities to "steal" with coins...and it happens all the time. Dealers regularly overgrade coins (and most people don't know how to properly grade). Plus, how often do we see cleaned coins being sold as problem free. Not to mention...the possibility of counterfeits.

    I think "thieves" are just as common in both hobbies...they just show themselves in very different ways.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  6. debgram

    debgram Member

    What I also found out that thieves/cheaters will buy a set of cards, replace the ones they have damaged with your good ones and say yours was damaged and send it back for refund. I did trade or sell a lot in forums but now mostly on ebay and this kind of thief goes on a lot. You really have to cover your butt and take a lot of pictures at every angle and whatnot and even then sometimes ebay will still side with the buyer which is bs.

    Also on some forums I think it's the collector that's been around longer than tries to pull something. They been at it long that they can work their way around a lie and steal. All they do is get banned but then they sign up with a new id and email and their back in business.
    jonsportscardz and Peter T Davis like this.
  7. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Insert Cool Title Moderator

    I haven't personally experienced this kind of behavior...but it makes sense. Thanks for the warning.
  8. erdoro

    erdoro New Member

    The most stories I hear of this is mostly on ebay and beckett's. Most trading sites that are well ran rarely heard of problems.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  9. fdgowin

    fdgowin Member

    I had a 1970 Nolan Ryan stolen from my table at a card show once, but that's my only real theft. (I think my brother took a 1963 Willie Mays from me, but that's another story :) - I've never really had a bad experience on any of the forums I use, but I agree with debgram, there are unscrupulous people out there who will try and pull anything.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  10. NORD

    NORD Member

    Theft and deception is quite common dealing with cards.Trading
    sites and Ebay.Most sites set must send first tags on new comers
    and once they earn (10) feedback it is at your own discrection as
    to who sends first if anyone.But I have found that in more than
    3 cases the newcomer does 10 low end trades and then hits
    up for a big trade.Only to not come through!Ebay newbies do not
    have a send first moniker thus a lot of people are hesitant to deal with them.
    You have to start somewhere,we all did.I am glad the good traders
    out weigh the bad by miles.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  11. bobsacard

    bobsacard New Member

    I could not agree with you more. Back in 2007 I attempted to purchase a 1935 Goudey Babe Ruth via Ebay. I worked with the seller but he insisted he would only take a postal money order and I would have to ship it to a Fed Ex office in San Diego, well we agreed I would pay half up front and the rest upon the arrival of the card. Needless to say this story did not have a good ending. I was defrauded out of $1,700 and I could not get ebay, the postal inspector or the FBI to do a damn thing. I contacted the Internet Fraud Division and filed a complaint. They followed up and said I should get in touch with the DA in my home town or San Diego where the theft actually occurred. I was lucky enough to find the right DA and a sting operation was set up once I gave them the entire email address which identified the exact location where the emails were being sent from and it was a cafe in San Diego.
    Long story short the guy they arrested had defrauded more then $156,000 from Ebay and other sources. He and his partner were arrested and I had the pleasure of being in a news story along with Tony Gwynn on the unscrupulous people surrounding the sports card and memorabilia industry.

    They were arrested and sent to jail for a minimum of 1 year and max of 5. The paid a small restitution fee which was collected from the DA's Office in San Diego. The two clowns spent about a year in jail and were released. The only pleasure I had was seeing the two idiots behind bars in court.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  12. Peter T Davis

    Peter T Davis Notorious Admin Moderator

    Interesting story there @bobsacard do you happen to have the video of the news story? I'm guessing the money was long gone by the time the guy got caught?
  13. JSOKOL1626

    JSOKOL1626 New Member

    I have had some issues with autographs of historical figures and Hollywood mega stars. I once bought a Bogart auto and when it arrived the photo was the same but my item was signed in Sharpie!!!! Historical artifacts are also suspect as there are many reproductions that look pretty authentic.
    Peter T Davis likes this.
  14. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Insert Cool Title Moderator

    I think autograph collecting in general is among the higher risk hobbies there is.
  15. bobsacard

    bobsacard New Member

    Pete I did have it on a disc some where. Let me see if I can locate it. If I find it I will try and post it or email it to you.
  16. bobsacard

    bobsacard New Member

  17. bobsacard

    bobsacard New Member

  18. Taliasen

    Taliasen Collecting Rickey Henderson and Sean Casey. Moderator

    Same amount of thieves per capita. Just A LOT more people who are uneducated about the hobby who are easy to take advantage of.
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