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Old 01-16-2018, 05:42 PM
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Peter Spaeth
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Default Card doctoring...

is the hobby's dirty little secret. It is interesting to me that so many of the newer collectors (and some of the old) including those spending large sums of money seem to think that if one of the major TPGs slab a card, it's legitimate. And the logical corollary of that is sellers are judged only by their customer service --if they get you the card you bought well-packaged in a reasonable time, they're a superstar.

But it ain't necessarily so. Many of us know better and know that doctoring is rampant. To an extent, one could say, well who cares, once slabbed a card becomes a commodity and the alteration is irrelevant. On the other hand, I suspect a fair number of collectors would not buy even slabbed cards if they knew they had been altered, or deal with sellers who traffic in altered cards.

But the dilemma is this. Those who know are just not going to go on a public forum and name names. And the reason is this: for the most part, we don't have incontrovertible proof, we didn't see anyone do it or overhear an admission, it's more in the nature of knowledge from our long history in the hobby, the reputation of certain people among graders and honest dealers we know, observation about the cards certain people buy versus those they sell, observation about cards purchased that to a trained eye appear altered, and so forth.

So what's the right thing to do? I guess you could say I and others are (plural starting with p) for not coming forward and naming names and only making statements like the above in general terms. And maybe that would be correct.

Anyhow, at the risk of being vilified, I put the topic out there for discussion.
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Last edited by Peter_Spaeth; 01-16-2018 at 05:44 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2018, 06:12 PM
hcv123 hcv123 is offline
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Default Knowledge is power - stick to the facts

I for one think it would be completely reasonable to raise questions/suspicions stating the facts as you understand them or your own personal experience (as that) supporting the question(s). That could be the start of a conversation at the end of which each person can make their own decision or draw their own conclusions - I don't think it would be fair or reasonable to name call or make unsubstantiated accusations. The PWCC Joe Dimaggio card thread would be an example.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:16 PM
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R0b3rt Ch!ld3rs
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I am a small fish in the collecting world. It used to be that I was a small fish out of necessity. While that is somewhat still the case, it is now also a result of some of what you are saying, Peter. I observe a lot here on Net54, at the National, etc. It is funny and ironic how certain things come back around full circle and end up devouring themselves. I remember being a teenager and looking at dealers' ads in magazines like SCD and Tuff Stuff. You never really knew what ex or nm meant because it was different for every dealer. Now we have dealers trading in altered cards and such, but it is all okay because, as you say, those dealers provide impeccable service as they connect customers with the cards that have become slabbed commodities. The dealers can simply plead ignorance and defer to the TPGs. Nevermind that professional grading was supposed to regulate the hobby. I used to bristle when you wrote "stuff trumps all." However, I now know it to be true.

Thank goodness there are good people still left in this hobby. I have become content to work on little off the radar, low budget projects that few here would even care about, in hopes that some of the graft you describe will be cleaned up. I am not holding my breath.

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Last edited by vintagebaseballcardguy; 01-16-2018 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:18 PM
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"once slabbed a card becomes a commodity and the alteration is irrelevant"

This is the root of the problem.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:26 PM
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Unless you had that incontrovertible evidence, naming names would only get you into an argument. Those who are named would obviously deny the accusation and we'd go round and round. Jeff L. warned us of Mastro and he denied everything until he got busted by the Feds. Might make for an epic net54 thread though.

Not to hi-jack your thread as this might be a little off target, but pertains to card doctoring. I've wondered about the time line of progression of the sophistication of alterations. What kind of alterations were being done 20, 15, 10 years ago vs 5 years up to current techniques? Where alterations much "simpler" so to speaker 15 years ago which made them "easier" to detect? Could that mean earlier graded cards actually being less likely to have some kind of alteration due to the types of alterations being done at that time easier to detect? Could be a totally naive thought, but a thought popped into my head.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyW View Post
"once slabbed a card becomes a commodity and the alteration is irrelevant"

This is the root of the problem.
Yup. We as collectors hand over all our power with this, and simply repeat it. We accept it and form long lines to have it done again. Education and knowledge take a back seat to what someone behind a curtain says. In this regard, TPGs have simply made doctoring more acceptable as long as it passes by them...b/c, of course, its graded.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainier2004 View Post
Yup. We as collectors hand over all our power with this, and simply repeat it. We accept it and form long lines to have it done again. Education and knowledge take a back seat to what someone behind a curtain says. In this regard, TPGs have simply made doctoring more acceptable as long as it passes by them...b/c, of course, its graded.
It doesn't help when you hear people talking about resubmitting cards over & over again until they get the grade that they feel is appropriate.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:35 PM
mckinneyj mckinneyj is offline
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> if one of the major TPGs slab a card, it's legitimate

> once slabbed a card becomes a commodity

> observation about the cards certain people buy versus those they sell


These and other thoughts have recently occurred to me as well and I find myself left jaded a bit and wondering what the future might be. The fact that we even need TPGs I find somewhat disconcerting... I'd rather that all cards were "raw" and authentic and unaltered (and there are differing opinions on what constitutes alteration for that matter) - but that's not our world. I wonder if someday should I need or want to liquidate my collection will uncertainty of how these traits are viewed have negatively impacted today's value - I suppose that its just a hobby; but still... I sometimes think that one big scandal involving a major TPG will crush that value - again, just a hobby; but we're all acquiring/buying in a market that is heavily propped up by the influence that TPGs have on it. Just another small fish writing here...
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckinneyj View Post
> if one of the major TPGs slab a card, it's legitimate

> once slabbed a card becomes a commodity

> observation about the cards certain people buy versus those they sell


These and other thoughts have recently occurred to me as well and I find myself left jaded a bit and wondering what the future might be. The fact that we even need TPGs I find somewhat disconcerting... I'd rather that all cards were "raw" and authentic and unaltered (and there are differing opinions on what constitutes alteration for that matter) - but that's not our world. I wonder if someday should I need or want to liquidate my collection will uncertainty of how these traits are viewed have negatively impacted today's value - I suppose that its just a hobby; but still... I sometimes think that one big scandal involving a major TPG will crush that value - again, just a hobby; but we're all acquiring/buying in a market that is heavily propped up by the influence that TPGs have on it. Just another small fish writing here...
If PSA gets caught in a major scandal that send hoards of customers away, all the values collapse. This could be a thesis, but just imagine that you woke up tomorrow and every PSA card was 10 cents on the dollar...
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:40 PM
Marchillo Marchillo is online now
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Funny this post got added today. Today I had two cards posted with SGC that were deemed "color added". I've had all other cards always receive a grade and then today 2/6 are color added. Funny thing is I bought the cards at least 6 months apart from different sellers and it was a 62 Topps and a 75 Topps. So wasn't like it was 2 - 71 Topps from the same batch from the same seller. I think it's relevant to the OP because I've never had this happen in dozens of sumissioms and now 2 in a single submission? Maybe one was obvious so they took a harder look at the rest? Kind of supports the notion that maybe some of my other submissions had alterations but they weren't picked up.
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