Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Frustrating Situation

It was 11am.

At the National Sports Collectors Convention two weeks ago in Baltimore, Maryland, I happened upon a card I needed; a 1938 Goudey Heads Up. It looks identical to this card, but it has cartoons around it:
Reference this link (not my card). That is what the card looked like, but it was not graded. I knew this deal had the card for a very long time, about 4 years, which is a long time to sit on a card. The starting price for the card was $395, which was WAY more than I wanted to spend on it.  For that day, it was marked 20% off, which brought it down to $320, still much more than I wanted to spend on it.

With much help from my friend, I negotiated the price down to $200, which I was comfortable paying. I was on top of the world. I could not have been happier, spending the day with a best friend and picking up a card I needed for a price I wasn't upset with.  I brought the card right over to SGC to be graded.

It was 12pm.

We perused the show for the next 2 hours waiting for the card to be graded. Coming back to the SGC booth I'm thinking to myself how I could not wait to finally have the card in hand.  I was elated, excited, anxious, all of the above.

My day was about to be ruined.  It wasn't the worst news I could have possibly gotten, but it's pretty close.  Under heavy examination, the top border of the card came back slightly trimmed, making the card grade 'authentic' instead of a number grade, which would have designated the card was original and untampered with.  In a frenzy, cursing the world, and in somewhat disbelief, I walk back to the dealer who sold me the card.

This would happen to me.

It was 2:15pm.

My strategy going into this conversation with the dealer was to not be hostile, and ask what we could do to remedy the situation. They did not fight with me at all, instead they were very understanding of the situation and refunded my money completely, and even paid for half of the grading fee, which was a considerate gesture.  

At this point, I was without-card, and lost 3 hours of valuable time looking for a card to replace the one I lost.  

Luckily I find this to replace it, but the feeling of the day ending like this is shitty, and on the 1 1/2  hour drive back to Fairfax, VA I was mad at the world, and still in disbelief.  

I didn't think at the time to offer a price on the trimmed card to fill the collection spot for now, then in the future upgrade to a better copy. I was just too flustered.

Fast-forward to today.  I make a call to the dealer, asking for a price on the very same card, hoping I could get it for significantly less than $200.  To my utter surprise, they offer $180, only $20 less than what I originally bought the card for.  Doesn't surprise me at all actually, their original price for the card was WAY above what anyone wanted to pay for it, thus it sitting for 4+ years in their display case.

I explain to him that the card is trimmed, and the legitimacy is compromised.  He argues that the card is still in G-VG condition. "No, sir, it isn't. It says right on the label that it is authentic."  He then goes on to say that they will resell the card as G-VG, but trimmed, and set the price at $190.  Seriously? Sorry bro, but that card will NEVER sell. 

Have fun letting it sit for another 4 years.


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