Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Redemption Report: What? What? What?!?

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you get the card you were supposed to get and sometimes you don't. Sounds like fun doesn't it? I mean who doesn't absolutely love getting a trading card product, opening it in the hopes of building a set, getting a couple of fun hits, and actually enjoying the process. That's the way it is supposed to work right?

Wrong.

That's because unlike any other industry, with trading cards, you can say specific cards are in a product and, actually release it to the public without them, but its OK because a worthless card is inserted in its place that lets you know that you may, or may not actually get that card.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Yay! So inviting for new collectors to rejoice with the utmost faith that the hobby is still FUN.

NOT!

Before I go any further, I have a question for you collectors reading. Why on earth do you accept this? Why? Why? Why?

Ok, rant over... maybe.

Let's go back to 2011. Topps Finest Baseball, which I think is one of the nicest looking baseball card collections made in the modern day, hits stores. Somewhere collectors do a jig, feign happiness, spend cash, and start busting boxes,or maybe they didn't.

I opened a box and you can see it right here:



It was a pretty good box, at least I thought it was. The cards really looked great and for me, that's a huge factor. I love the design elements of trading cards. I even found a Mike Trout rookie card! The Eduardo Nunez auto was also a welcome addition to my colletion. The guy has been groomed to be Derek Jeter's replacement since he was a kid. Seeing him go deep off of Justin Verlander in the 2012 playoffs only made me appreciate this card that much more.

Unfortunately for me the big hit in the box was a redemption card for a refractor autograph of the Royals top prospect Mike Moustakas. I say unfortunately because I really wanted the card. At the time Moustakas was touted by many as the top prospect in all of baseball. Apparently all the hype went right to his head because he didn't return his signatures. In that respect, I could care less what he does on the field, it shows he could care less about signing autographs for collectors or fans. It's no surprise. When you make big bucks, signing cards isn't even the equivalent of beer money for these guys.

So it was October of 2011 when this was submitted to Topps. I sure wish that the date, and some additional information about your submission could be found at redeem.topps.com, but when you log in the only thing you can see is the redemption code, the product it is from and the description of the cards. The status is usually incorrect, and good luck seeing any tracking information -- EVER.

Last month, yes, October of 2012 I received an envelope from Topps Duryea, PA fulfillment center with a card in it. I sure hoped it was the Moustakas, or at least one of the other 5 or 6 cards I have sitting in limbo. It wasn't. Instead it was a replacement for the Moustakas, a 2011 Bowman Sterling autograph of the Arizona Diamondbacks Tyler Skaggs.

Talk about a card I could care less about...

What's even more special about this card is that I specifically spoke with a Topps Customer Service rep. After it took 10 minutes to get an actual person on the phone, and another 10 to pull up my account, we finally talked about the Moustakas card. At the time of my call, it became known that some Mike Moustakas autographs had been finally returned to Topps. How did I know? I read forums, talk to collectors, and stay in the loop. I politely asked if my card could be replaced by any other Moustakas autos received, which at that time, happened to be Sterling and Platinum according to the collectors that had been waiting for their redemptions to be returned.

I was told that my request was an option if they were available. That sounded good, but I also asked that if Moustakas autographs WERE NOT available that I'd like to wait it out until they do become available.

So why did I get the Skaggs? Good question. I'll let you know when I call back Topps customer service. You see this card had a expiration date of 10/31/14. So wouldn't you think I had at least until that time to wait it out? Apparently not.

So let's talk about Skaggs for a minute. He's another prospect that's touted highly. He made his MLB debut in August of this year with a win. Was the swap out an even deal? Was it a fair trade out? That depends on what kind of collector you are. If you collect Royals the trade sucked. If you collect Moustakas, the deal was poor. A set builder? Now your set is incomplete and may never be completed...

On the other hand, if you are looking to make money, it could pan out for you. If you were gonna flip the hit for a few bucks, that's about all you'd get right now.

Are you asking yourself what I am ranting about since it was a pretty fair trade value wise?

 I wanted the specific card I was promised. I don't think that is too much to ask. I wanted the card that was supposed to be in the box to complete my set. I wanted the card that was listed on the redemption card because that's what was supposed to be in the box and the product.

When will this madness end?

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