Why The F*%£ Can’t Topps Sort Out Their RC’s?

OK… OK… Sometimes I really despair over the tiniest, most insignificant things in life. I often worry that I might be missing something bigger by sweating the small stuff all the time, but occasionally there are those moments of sheer frustration born out of something which, on the surface, is pretty mundane and banal!

Collecting baseball cards shouldn’t be something to stress over. It should be about the fun; the community; the Hobby!

But every once in awhile maybe it doesn’t hurt to let off a little steam, you know? Shout from the rooftops even if there is no-one around to listen, or even care!

After my brief time away from the Hobby I’ve spent the last few days reacquainting myself with everything card-related that’s been occurring since the Red Sox somehow used their proliferance of facial hair to convince my Cardinals that they no longer knew how to hit or score runs (still not bitter)! This reacquaintance is still an ongoing process but I have had the chance to check out some of the products that I’ve missed.

And one such product was 2013 Topps Five Star Baseball!

Now, I know that the 2012 set had its fair share of issues – the epic QA fail that was the chipping and that ill-judged 5-Star Club thingy were a couple that I remember standing out – but from the early previews of the 2013 set I remember really liking what I saw! 2013 Five Star Baseball is last year’s news already (literally as well as figuratively) but I’ve only just come across it and can’t help marvelling at the sheer beauty of what Topps has produced here. Still waaaaayyyy out of my price range, but a lovely set all the same!

However one thing about it really bugs me on initial viewing, and that’s Topps’ inability to sort out their problem with the RC logo conventions. Check these two cards out –

5starmachadobase

5starmachadorc

On the top we have a Manny Machado base card #’d/75 while underneath we have an autographed card #’d/353.

“So what’s the big issue here Andy, you cantankerous English bastard?”, I hear you all cry!!

The issue for me is that the RC logo is on the wrong bloody card!!

What the hell is it doing on the autograph card when there’s a perfectly good (and much rarer) base card without a RC logo on it? Shouldn’t the base card in any set be the one that’s designated the RC, where applicable? What’s the deal with Topps and their never ending quest to create autographed RCs seemingly out of everything these days??

I don’t know!! Maybe it’s just me that still gets bothered about stuff like this? I know that there are plenty of you out there that still DO care about the status of the venerable old RC, even though its existence these days seems to be becoming more and more irrelevant to Topps and to certain sections of the Hobby.

At the end of the day should this be something to even care about?

Does it really matter where a RC logo appears, or more importantly doesn’t appear?? In the age of the Prospect card does the RC even have that much significance to the average collector anymore? or has it become something of an anachronism – a remnant of an older and more simpler era of collecting?

I’d love to hear all your thoughts on this one!!

Breaking Down an eBay Issue

Off that bat, I consider myself a pretty considerate and understanding person.

Those of you who have known me for a while, through the blog, on Twitter or through the odd trade or two, will hopefully attest to this very fact (thank you very much)!

The only reason I mention this is because I’ve just run into an issue with a seller on eBay that I wanted to share with you and hopefully get your thoughts on the matter. Last October I entered my 15th year of trading on the ‘Bay and this is the first time anything like this has happened.

In a nutshell…

I found a box of 2014 Topps Baseball on eBay from a seller based over in the US who goes by the username of tntnorthnj. Ordinarily I wouldn’t name names but I’d like other international buyers to be aware of who they might be dealing with!

The box was listed at $54.89 with $7.00 international shipping. Now, before I go any further I’d like to point out that ordinarily the shipping on a box like this is usually in the region of $25.00+ so I knew that there must be a mistake with the amount and I wanted to capitalise. A bit mercenary of me, but what the hell!

I offered a cheeky $51.00 and the seller countered with $54.00. Since the postage was sooooo low I decided to bite, accepting the counteroffer and paying the $61.00!

So far so good, and all above board! Here’s a look at the listing –

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Anyway, everything went through OK and the seller even left me some positive feedback, and off I go to bed safe in the knowledge that I’ve gone and snagged myself a bargain.

Zzzzzzz… Zzzzzzzz…

Morning comes along far too quickly and I have a quick look at my phone to check emails. Hold on a sec… What’s this!?!? A refund for $61.00 for the box I paid for the night before, including a message that says – “This item cannot be shipped abroad”

Now wait a bloody minute!!! I think it can and you’ve got a listing that confirms this. So I send off a message through eBay to query this and get a reply that says – “We do not ship wax internationally anymore, shipping costs got too expensive”

OK… I’ll concede that it is pretty pricey to ship outside of the US, but when there’s a listing that clearly states that the seller does ship internationally and which clearly states the cost of shipping internationally, I’d like to think that this is something that should be honoured. I even checked the description to see if I’d missed something that said NO INTERNATIONAL WAX SHIPPING (or something along those lines) but nothing! Here, take a look –

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I contacted the seller again just over 24 hours ago to query the issue and have so far heard nothing back. In all honesty I’m not expecting to hear anything either.

So here’s my issue… When a purchase goes through eBay is keen to point out that this is a binding sale between the buyer and the seller. Everything I did from a buyer’s perspective falls in line with this and I’m happy with my part in the proceedings! Unfortunately our seller doesn’t seem to agree that the usual selling rules on eBay apply to them, and that it’s OK to refund a transaction (without my agreement) just because they realise that they’ve undercharged on the shipping!

Now I’m sure that this is something that we’ve all done before and we’ve probably had to just suck it up. A few years ago I sold a load of D&D modules to a buyer in the US and I woefully underestimated the shipping costs. I sold the modules for £15.00 (approx $25.00) and charged £12.00 (approx $20.00) for shipping. I forgot to consider the weight of the items and the total cost of shipping ended up being £30.00 (approx $50.00)! So not only did I not make any money on them but I ended up having to spend some of my own money to send them overseas! Not once did I consider ending the deal or refunding the money!

So, where do we go from here??

Am I within my rights to think that the seller should have honoured the transaction (despite suffering a potential loss on shipping costs)? or is the seller within his rights to arbitrarily refund what I paid without even consulting me first?

Should I report the seller to eBay? and will they even be in a position to do anything about it? I mean… I can’t imagine they can force a seller to honour the original sale and send the box over at the original transaction price, can they?

Am I able to take this any further? or should I just leave some feedback and move on?

Personally I think the seller is a bit of a shyster who obviously thinks that the usual rules don’t apply to them! The best thing is the seller hasn’t even made any attempt to alter their listings for wax boxes, so they are still showing with international shipping at $7.00!

So come on the guys!! Who’s going to be the first to get the ball rolling on this one? I’m sure you’ll have an opinion either way so let me know what you all think!

As I said at the top, I like to think I’m a pretty understanding and considerate person, but sometimes…

Mike Karamanian and the Great Clint Frazier Blog Challenge

OK then, just for tonight I’ve emerged from my self-imposed retirement to help one of my collecting buddies from over in Canada, one Mr Mike Karamanian!

You see Mike’s been busy making a new friend in the form of top Indians OF prospect, Clint Frazier, and he’s set himself the task that if he gets 2000 hits this month on his blog then young Mr Frazier has agreed to do a Q&A with him!

Now despite it being February (nice one Mike) I’m pretty sure that this is an achievable target, but it will be a lot easier with the help of you good folks out there in card-collecting land. So go and do Mike (and yourselves) a favour and head on over to his blog by clicking on the link below –

Cardzcollector

And while you’re there why not check out some of his other posts showcasing some of the awesome rookie and prospect autos he’s been picking up over the last few years!

You know you want to!

Thanks for your time and I hope to see you again soon. Oh, and Happy New Year by the way 🙂