Sunday, November 11, 2018

Bipoffs and Ripoffs

Fuji recently scored a trio of Bip Roberts autographed index cards and challenged me to a Bipoff (asked if I could spice them up). It was his idea to have one each for me, him, and Rod.. basically the only active card-bloggers these days who are Padres fans. Very generous of him! Fuji has shown off the version I made for him. Rod still hasn't gotten around to posting his, but maybe one of these days. And now here's mine.

The effect didn't really work, but it was supposed to sort of have a superfractor background. This is just an overlay; I couldn't bring myself to cut up the index cards since they've got a PSA/DNA sticker on the back, and plus the signatures were so big that it'd be hard to squeeze them down to standard card size. According to baseball-reference, the only time Bip wore #6 in his MLB career was his time in Cleveland.. a stint that lasted only 23 regular season games plus 16 in the postseason, as the Indians won the pennant but fell to the Marlins in the World Series. But I think the autograph might actually be from his minor league days in the mid 80s. (Fuji's index card has a similar signature, and we were able to date that one from 1986.) I'm pretty sure by the 90s, he had simplified his autograph and abandoned this style of signature with the B and R combining. Too bad Bip deleted his Twitter account because I'd love to ask him about this.

Certified! For what it's worth.

Great guy, that Fuji! And then, when in a recent post when I was mentioning I was after a few Sandlot coins from 2018 Archives, he let me know he had some available.

I don't typically go after non-card items, but I'm going for a "master set" of Sandlot cards (not including parallels) and wanted to complete this 5-coin subset. I already had the Squints coin, and I currently have the Ham coin sitting in my COMC inventory waiting for my next shipment, so this part of the goal has now been checked off. Thanks again, Fuji!

Coins can be a pain to store. Here's my go-to way to do it.. stacking them up in a thick top-loader.

I had planned to shoot Fuji over some cards to return the favor, but he said not to worry about it and that these were just a thank-you for the Bip custom. Wow. Again, what a great guy! Thanks, Fuji!

I can't compete with the him and the other most generous folks on the cardsphere, though I try to put together solid trade packages and run a couple contests every once in a while. (I didn't sign up for Secret Santa, though, as stuff like that stresses me out.)

But one thing I've never done in all my years is ever rip anybody off. And this has been on my mind lately because I got an email out of the blue yesterday from a guy accusing me of screwing him over a deal way back in 2008. Yes, a freaking decade ago! His email just said, "Asshole. You never sent it." with a forwarded message he sent me back then asking about a DVD I sold him. I searched my old email and found a Paypal receipt for a $3 payment he made me. I know I've never pulled a "take the money and run" so I have no doubt I mailed out the DVD. His address was listed as Alaska, so I can only assume the DVD got lost in the mail going up north thru the tundra.

While there should be some unwritten statute of limitations after a decade, I pride myself on being an honest man and so I refunded that prick the $3 thru Paypal. No surprise that the garbage person he is (who sends an email to somebody after 10 years with, "Asshole. You never sent it."), he didn't even bother to say "thanks" or "sorry for the way I handled the situation"... nope, no reply from him yet. (The guy's name is Peter Jackson, so maybe he's an asshole because he's sick of people making Lord of the Rings jokes at his expense.) Whatever. I could have just deleted his email and forgotten about it. But it would have nagged at me. Burning three bucks to keep my conscious clear works for me.

As I like to say at least once a year, PLEASE let me know if you think I owe you cards or anything. My worst fear is that I'm on someone's shitlist because they sent me cards and I either didn't receive them or maybe I forgot to send them a return.. I would feel terrible if someone out there is stewing over me. So again, please let me know if I owe you cards.

Here are the people I know I currently owe cards: Billy, John Miller, GCA, mr. haverkamp

I will try to even the score with these guys soon.

As for my personal shitlist (yes, I hold grudges): View From The Skybox never hit me back for a few Gypsy Queen minis I sent him circa 2013. Play At The Plate never hit me back for a PWE with a couple decent Rangers cards circa 2014. Pat at Hot Corner Cards never returned anything for a nice box of Heritage needs I sent him circa 2015. A guy named Brett had me do some Hoyt Wilhelm photoshop work for him, with the promise of sending me back some Hoyt autos and copies of the custom set he was making (what the 'shopped images I made him were for), but he has been unresponsive to my emails for over a year now. Breaks my heart that a Hoyt head would rip off a fellow Hoyt head. [UPDATE: Brett eventually came through in a big way in January 2020! Thank you, Brett!]

And most recently, James (dominicfdny) promised me a stack of 1974 Topps needs in exchange for a few customs of mine. He got them and said "hay Gavin the cards got here 2day and there as awesome as the guys on your blog say thanks again and I want to let u know I'm putting your cards in the mail Saturday cuz I had a situation at home come up sorry for the delay thanks again"

That was way back on October 25th and I haven't received the cards nor gotten a response to my emails checking in since. Hopefully he eventually comes through, but I'm not feeling good about my chances at this point.

But over all, I've had 99% great experiences trading cards online.

Thanks for reading my ramblings!
And always remember:


  1. That e-mail from Peter Jackson would annoy the hell out of me for days. A $3 DVD isn't enough reason to be that nasty in the moment, let alone 10 years later. Some people are just assholes, plain and simple. You handled that a lot better than I would have.

    I think I'm square with everyone except Jon, and that's only because I'm trying to find more cards to send him. Since I started card blogging I've run into two deadbeats. One was a guy from San Antonio who claimed a 50/50 lot and never sent a return. I should have known better than to "trade" with someone out of the blue.

  2. gav - you are above reproach here. I can't believe anyone could hold a $3 grudge for ten freakin years. My guess is he has major relationship issues. Two of the fellows you mentioned gave me the finger too. Both dropped off the face of the blogging earth. One never acknowledged a package of NICE cards I eliminated from my collection. He confirmed receipt when I asked but no comment on the contents. The other, I'm thinking is a hothead of sorts. When I first began blogging, he sent a 3-card pwe which I managed to add to another stack on my table without scanning them first. I thanked him on the blog and pleaded for forgiveness but he wrote me off, right then and there. I sent cards his way but they went unacknowledged. We all make mistakes but being rude and unkind is inexcusable in my little Golden Book. I hope JR comes through for you. BTW, nice Bips! ;)

  3. Hehehe I'm glad I've had nothing go south. I'm not sure I'd have the guts to post a warning list though.

    I definitely struggle to put together good return packages (my collection, let alone my dupes and bycatch is just not that big). I send what I can and make sure I post about everything I receive though. I even keep a list of everyone I've received stuff from on the blog but I'm still petrified that I've missed someone or something has gotten lost in the mail and someone thinks I've stuffed them.

  4. Looks like we have some delinquent traders in common. I did a similar post a few years back when I had about 20 delinquent traders. Since then a few more have been added and myntrafing circle keeps getting smaller and smaller.

    I was hoping you were sending me one of those 57 topps cards that you bought multiples of in exchange for the fielder I sent but I'm not losing sleep over it

    1. Don't fret.. still got a '57 in your little stack waiting till I've got enough for you to justify a stamp!

  5. That guy is probably scamming everyone he ever bought from. Hoping that people won't remember if they actually sent or will be good people and send something even though they already did.

    I am terrible at remembering things, so I don't think I owe anyone anything...but there are a few people I want to send thank you gifts to and have been too discombobulated to do so. I actually had a stack of stuff to send CrazieJoe and misplaced it; probably 40 or 50 cards. It annoys the heck out of me that I lost them. I claimed some free stuff from Dennis at Too Many Manninghams that was nothing required but there was so much good stuff there that I wanted to send him some Michigan stuff anyway...and I haven't. Big problem for me is that I don't do college so I don't really know WHAT I need to look for, beyond Chris Webber and Jalen Rose.

    I have some stacks building up for Jon/Penny Sleeve and a new stack building for CrazieJoe. If I can ever start getting basketball repacks again I will be setting aside the Raptors for Douglas/Sportscards from the Dollar Store and Blazers for Madding/Cards on Cards, and Tim Duncans for you, but as it sits now I've sent out literally everything I have at hand that for them and you.

    I have found that most of the people I've gotten cards from are not ever asking anything in return, and I feel bad about not having stuff to send them...not being a baseball guy limits me in what I can send.

    I know I have said I would like some of the things you offered up, but you don't OWE me anything. If anything, I owe you, because you've sent me plenty over the years.

  6. Dominicfdny owes me some cards too . . . sometimes I've "gently" hounded someone every few months - that's worked a few times

  7. I definitely feel like I owe people all of the time, so whenever someone contacts me I am happy to make things square, even if I don't know where things went wrong. I'm just not great about keeping tabs on things and cannot be considered a "fast" trader by any means. It's one of the reasons I sort of switched to a model of just sending stuff to people out of the blue or with no strings attached. In my personal situation, it's better to be surprised than always be expecting something.

    I really should do one of these "hey, tell me if you owe me" posts.

    That being said, it's not very cheap to send things through the mail anymore, so that can be frustrating when you feel like the cardboard appreciation isn't being reciprocated. That, and I do sort of keep track in my head of people where I feel like they maybe sorta kinda could taking advantage of my generosity.

    I can only think of a couple of people that have truly seemed like scammers over the years, and it strikes me as strange considering what "low dollar" cards I usually deal in. Come on, guys, save your awful lies for something that could actually change someone's life?

  8. 10 years later?! What???

    I actually always feel like I'm in debt to you (and others), and I think most would agree you're one of the most generous bloggers out there. Plus, you take the time to do awesome customs, as well as the rip card brigade from a few years ago.

  9. 10 years? That's insane. I'm sure there are people out there that I still owe. I try my best to use my blog as a way of keeping track... and have done the same thing as you and asked readers to comment if I owe them. Now I have my "hit list" in my sidebar to help remind me.

    P.S. Great job on the custom (as usual) and thanks again for taking on the project.

  10. Don't owe me anything but because of this now I know who to avoid from this list. We don't owe each other anything.

    I on the other hand keep a list of stuff I mail out and stuff I expect in return so I know who owes me and who I owe.

  11. I've been on both ends of this. I wanna say about I've let around five people down over the years, though most I can probably still track down if I'm ever able to turn up what I owe them again.

    I think I have about the same number of outstanding trades owed to me, but unlike my own that I still hope to make good on someday, I've pretty much written off any hope of ever receiving most of them. And since we be naming names, the highest profile person to ever rip me off was PunkRockPaint.