Saturday, January 29, 2011

Black and Blue?

Not too long ago, I took a gamble on some rare Robin Yount cards on eBay. There were some sweet-looking printing plates available at dirt cheap prices. At the time, I didn't have a single printing plate for my Yount collection, so I jumped on the first one and got it for less than $20.

The only caveat: Fuck me, an Asian seller...

Man, how many times have we seen this? If something you want is being sold by a seller with an Asian location, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Philippines... you're taking a chance right off the bat. First of all, will it even get to you? Second of all, is it going to be even close to the item in the description? Thirdly, is it going to get to your house before the dawning of the next ice age?

Well, I went for it, and within an acceptable amount of time, an odd-looking envelope arrived at my door. Or, should I say, arrived at the post office because it was first delivered when I was not home and I had to sign for it. And believe me, I LOATHE going to the post office where my mail is held. It's in a horrible part of the city where I feel like I'm risking life and limb just to park my car. Honestly, I pull in, and every time I ask myself, is this the post office's parking lot, or is it the chicken restaurant's paring lot? Orrrrr, might it actually be the check cashing place's parking lot? How much of my car will be remaining after I get back form this five-minute errand?

But I digress. I took the chance, hoping everything would turn out fine. I tore the customs slip away from the envelope, sliced it open, and crossed my fingers that this wouldn't be a "Nice try, Lao Che" type of situation.

As it turned out, I got a nice blue printing plate of Robin Yount's 2003 Fleer Showcase card.

Oddly enough the same seller had another one up for bid, ending between the time I won the first plate and when I actually received it. Again, risky behavior that could turn out badly. And again, other bidders were scared off, resulting in an insanely cheap final price.

Well, after another trip to the post office's Thunderdome branch, here's what I got.

Upon opening the package containing the second card, I was initially a little crestfallen. To my eyes, the plates looked exactly the same. They still look way too similar to me, to be honest. However, I did receive fair warning. Apparently this Asian seller bought out a lot of Fleer's stockpiled product around the time they collapsed. Among these were many many printing plates, none of which were identified with a sticker on the back, as we are now used to. These cards were never in packs, and instead were housed in a Fleer warehouse.

What do you think? Upon seeing the scans, these now look a lot more like one black plate and one blue (cyan) plate. I never saw the magenta or yellow plate up for bid, but they might not have been represented as such. The second auction I won, after all, merely stated that I would be getting a plate different from the one that was offered earlier. All in all, I think I did okay on this deal, spending less than $30 to get two Yount 1 of 1's.

And by the way, here's the finished product, 2003 Fleer Showcase Robin Yount #98


SpastikMooss said...

They look black and cyan to me. Nice job dude - I'm about to get a plate for $30...2 for $30 is quite the steal!

Thorzul said...


Whose plate are you going to pick up?

Eric L said...

I have a yellow printing plate for both 2010 Topps and Topps Chrome for the same player. The plates are identical except for the barely visible Chrome logo in the upper left corner.

I'm no printing plate expert, but it looks like yours are two different colors.

SpastikMooss said...

Seneca Wallace. My 2nd of his, so I'm psyched. It's been a long time coming because the guy I'm buying from is having some life crisis issues and so he's been a bit inconsistent with the emails. But it's finally coming to fruition and should work out nicely.

Community Gum said...

Those may be more legit printing plates than the ones you're seeing packed out nowadays. Turns out the ones Topps puts in packs are fakes- created just for the product. Definitely disappointed to learn that. But Fleer bankruptcy stock? Almost certainly the real deal! -Andy

cynicalbuddha said...

You lucky $%#$%@$'er. Nice snag. And without seeing them in hand I'd say from the scan they look like different colors. I think that's the general concencious.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but these plates are FAKES. A seller on eBay from Taiwan uses the names 'rosex2spain', 'bbs.ptt' and 'heysongsucks' to buy the cards, make the fake plates and sell them. Some of us are in the process of working with eBay to shut him down. I bought 4 plates from him, and saw that they were obvious fakes when I got them. As soon as I questioned their authenticity, he immediately refunded my money and demanded them back. There are several give aways, one being that if you look at authentic plates, they don't include the foil parts of the card, those are added later, NOT printed, see how the 'Fleer Showcase' and players name in foil is shown as an exact copy on the plates? This would NOT be with a true plate used to print the colors on the card. He has also sold the exact same plates (no, not just the variations like he makes them out to be, I know there are 4 variations of each, but multiples of the exact same supposedly 1/1 plates!) several times. And if something is too good to be true, it most likely is. Plates of HOF players just don't go for that low. Also, the Fleer bankruptcy auction was in 2005, how or why are these just being sold now? Keep them if you want an oddity, but I would force the guys hand and get a refund. There is too much crap already in the sports collectibles marketplace to have this going on. But just watch out, he tries to retaliate if you leave negative or neutral feedback by using one of his other id's and bidding on something of yours to try and leave you bad feedback. Honest truth, the guy is CRAZY!