Daily Archives: March 6, 2009

Razor Buyers Beware

beckett

While reading up on Razorgate, as it’s been dubbed, I noticed Beckett had no mention of the whole situation on their website.  I waited a couple of days, and still nothing.  This morning I felt like sending out a buyer beware post on their message board.   I wanted to warn anyone who was thinking about purchasing one of these cards that they may not be what they seem, something that I figured Beckett would want their readers to know.  I guess I was wrong.  Instead they revealed themselves for what they truly are.  I always thought Gellmen was a little harsh in his view of Beckett, it turns out he was giving them the benefit of doubt.  Here is the thread as it appeared, minus beavers comment that didn’t make any sense after it was censored.

Razor Buyers Beware

gritz76

Razor Buyers Beware

I feel the need to share this with all of you.  It seems that some of the autos included in the Razor Presidential Cut Sig set are allegedly not real autos.  It appears that a few of them were signed with an autopen machine.  They are authenticated, but it seems that there are questions of the ethics of the authenticator.  It seems as if these were passed as authentic as a favor even though these are not authentic. There are also questions raised with some of Upper Decks Presidential cut sigs.  Here’s a link so you can check it out yourself.

http://www.autographalert.com/news.html

FROM MOD: The allegations are from anonymous sources — so you should consider that. They could have no credibility. And, by the way, the cards were not authenticated by Beckett or JSA when slabbed. They were merely slabbed by Beckett. Any authentication claim/responsibility is with Razor. Razor chose to pay for the slabbing service, not the slabbing and authentication service. It’s pretty simple.

TO MOD: These allegations must have some credibility because Brian Gray has recognized these cards as possible machine inked autos.  Also if Beckett/JSA is an authentication company, they should not plaster their name all over a product if they have not authenticated the card.  This is misleading and irresponsible.  Last I checked, you guys were not in the business of packaging cards.  So the way I see it, Beckett/JSA is partially responsible.

RichK

As an FYI; nothing more; nothing less — although this is interesting reader — the blogger here is a well known autograph dealer with an ax to grind about various people. Just take his comments at face value
Regards

Rich

gritz76

Agreed, but I think these accusations are based on fact.  Brian Gray has already stepped up and is trying to make sure the people who own these cards are taken care of.  Still no word from Upper Deck but I doubt we ever will.  I think if you are going to sell a product as high end as the Oval Office or sell a set with cut sigs as the highlights of the set, you better make damn sure these are legit autos.  This whole situation will make me question the legitimacy of any “hits” I ever pull.  I still think the documents these sigs were cut from had more value than the card they were place in.  I guess I just don’t get it.

MartinFFCollector

Found this on another message board about autograph alert and the site’s owner.
This situation doesn’t concern me. Just passing along info…..
http://www.autographdealernews.com/Articles.aspx?article=20
http://www.uacc.info/page15.html
http://www.iada-cc.com/NewsDetail.asp?NewsID=131
http://gavelchat.sportscollectorsdigest.com/default,date,2008-06-09.aspx

gritz76

I want to state that I know the autograph site author is a little shady.  In this instance he has a valid claim.  The sigs were done by an autopen machine, and the UD sigs are trimmed to the point where important parts of the signature are no longer there.  This information needs to be in the open so that people who want to pay $2500 for a card know exactly what they might be getting.  I think it is also important that if Beckett is going to put their name on something it is in their best interest to varify it as authentic.  Why not slab them with a Razor logo instead of the Beckett logo if you are not 100% sure these are legit?  It is at least a little misleading, is it not?

dmskier1

I’ve heard this was happening from other sources also. There isn’t enough going into the authenticity of these auto’s. I’m sure some individuals who are trusted to authenticate these cards don’t take the proper time into each and every autograph.

Most of all if a consumer spend their money for something they are “trusting” to me authentic then the companies have every responsibility to ensure they products they send out are exactly what they say it is.

Personally I think its ridiculous to fork out $2500 a pack for a product that comes from a brand new company like Razor. I’m not saying not to buy their products. But they haven’t built a firm foundation in the industry yet. They aren’t a trusted name, yet. And I don’t think they have earned the trust UD and Topps have. They really should build trust and a foundation into the collecting community before they become confident to sell a product at that price. And collectors most of all should demand this company earn their trust.

And it is a complete shame the UD trims auto’s to fit in the card. I’ve seen several auto cut’s make to fit. It really should devalue the auto. It defaces the very rare and few pieces of history. It’s really sad to think they do that to fit it on a card. There are other ways to make it work.

gritz76

Yeah, this is fairly big news in the hobby and it went unreported for a couple days here on Beckett.  I can understand why, but by ignoring it does not make it go away.  As far as trust, I’m not so sure Upper Deck has quite earned that over the years either.  Read the book Card Sharks for more examples of this.  The grading and authenticating industry, I believe is a waste.  There are too many instances were fraud is obvious but the companies turn a blind eye in favor of profits.  I know what condition my cards are in with out someone else telling me.  It basically provides a false scarcity for certain cards.  Sure there may be only two documented 10’s of a card but that does not mean there is not thousands if not more out there in the same condition or better.

bennybeaver01

I pretty much agree on the grading “scam” as I call it. Grading has turned the hobby into a money grubbing industry. It is no longer “oh I got a rookie card of a new great player” it is “of I got a rookie card of a new great player that I better send into BGS and put on ebay for a exorbitant price compared to what a ungraded sells for”. Whatever, different strokes for different folks I guess. But this industry is going down hill fast on quality, service, and trust lately.

pacrimcollectibles

The questionable authenticity of these cut signatures isn’t a new problem. When I worked in Portland we had a cut of Casey Stengel pulled from SP Legendary Cuts in our shop. We were thrilled for the customer until we realized that there was something wrong with the autograph. After a quick referenceing session on eBay, we figured out what that problem was. Upper Deck had taken a preprinted autograph from an easily obtainable source, a round card produced in the late 60s, and had used it. That story ended happily asUpper Deck did replace the card, but it can’t be the only time this has happened.

There was a thread on here about a month ago about Topps contacting the recipient of the Barack Obama / Jackie Robinson dual cut auto and replacing the Obama signature. Topps did this rather quickly and quietly. You have to ask yourself why they would feel the need to replace that signature.

There is a pretty simple explanation as to why questionable autographs pop up on these cards as often as they do. These companies have to buy on the cheap in order to be able to produce such cards, and when you buy autographs on the cheap you run a major risk of getting burned.

Keep in mind that whoever authenticated these signatures has to share the blame. Some of these companies have such limited resources of archived examples that they blindly pass anything that looks close to their one or two authentic signatures, while at the same time they choose to fail items that are completely authentic because it doesn’t match their one source.

Finally, autographalert does have an axe to grind, but most of their content these days comes from outside sources. They receive daily emails from collectors who can’t believe some of the common mistakes authentication companies make. My favorite was how a Bo Jackson preprint that appears in every copy of his “Bo Knows Bo” book got authenticated.

The Cardboard Fan

Beckett is not and does not claim to be an authentication company… they use JSA for that… they are a grading company and publisher… check your facts sir

gritz76

Cardboard Fan,

Maybe Beckett/JSA should of checked their facts before agreeing to go forward with this project.

Either way, the #1 Authority has their name forever attached to the highest price pack of cards ever produced.  It just happens that in that set, it seems some of the cards are fraudulent. How are we supposed to take Beckett/JSA seriously.  Your price guide is so far off market value, it’s an embarrassment.  Your in house blogger consistently plagiarizes other blogs.  And now your grading/authentication departments are a part of the biggest sham to come along.  Congratulations Beckett, you are #1 at something!

END

This is when the thread disappeared.  To me, it looks like Beckett may know more on this subject than they are willing to admit.  This situation is definitely news worthy and one would think Beckett would want to cover it from some angle.  Instead they decide to muffle all mention of it on their message boards.  I just hope some unsuspecting collecter does not decide to purchase this product and then later finds out what we all know.

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Whant To Know What An Autopen Looks Like?

autopen_pt

m80

Apparently there are models that now run up to 10 pens at once.

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