According to the New York Daily News, a sports memorabilia dealer faces up to 20 years in prison for selling fake game-used jerseys to Panini America, Upper Deck and Topps from 2005-2009. The dealer was allegedly taking jerseys (like the ones you can buy in the store), then dirtying them up to make it look like they were game-used. The dealer claims that he and an associate had "Home-Run Derby Contests" to make bats look game-used as well.
The items were then cut up into small pieces and inserted into cards. The dealer claims that the companies should have knew they were fake, due to the fact that the jerseys were being sold far below market value, however no charges have been filed against the companies.
There are two great articles from collectors with two very different points of view. Jon at Community Gum doesn't really mind it. He makes some pretty good points as why he simply "does not care." The Night Owl on the other hand, he's not so happy.
As for me, I'm an autograph collector and don't have a whole lot of relic cards. Maybe less three or four at the most, but I am concerned about these "fakes" getting pass the buyers at the card companies. It's all about trust and credibility when it comes to sports memorabilia. That's why relics and autographed inserts generally sell for premium. The buyer trusts that the company behind the card has done everything imaginable to ensure it's authenticity. If customers feel like this trust is broken, they will leave.
Labels: Sports Memorabilia Dealer Arrested