Thursday, July 25, 2019

"A Look Inside the Scandal Rocking the Sports Memorabilia World"

Darren Rovell:

The largest seller of cards on eBay, PWCC, with more than $60 million in annual sales, has been caught up in a scandal, having sold millions of dollars worth of cards that were altered.

...

The cards turned over to the FBI were trimmed, a long-time trick in the trading card industry. Trimmers aim to cut the card in a way that makes it more mint, and the gets a higher grade, while seeking to keep the card’s proportions relatively in tact so as to trick the grader.

Trimming takes advantage of the fact that card cuts, especially on vintage cards, vary greatly, so trimming off a fraction of it to make the corners sharper can go unnoticed.

...

Left for dead in the mid-1990’s after huge print runs busted any business upside, the market came back thanks to false scarcity created by card-graders who rendered quantity useless and quality everything.

...

At least some of this was based on a house of cards. In order to convince people that data was on his side, Huigens’ team started a price index based on the sale prices of the 100 and 500 most valuable trading cards.

The index revealed, according to Huigens, that through Dec. 31, 2018, a 10-year return on investment on the top 500 trading cards would be 165% compared to a 71% return for the S&P 500.
*Previously: "Topps Channels Futures Betting With ‘World Series Champions’ Card Packs"