If you’ve been around the hobby for any period of time, you are aware that there are some fantastic people in the hobby marketplace. Unfortunately, we also know there are some not so fantastic people that try to lurk their way in. This is the reality of any marketplace / hobby, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone. At any rate, we at BreakerCulture pride ourselves on keeping you in the know and making sure you don’t make a mistake that could be easily avoided. Silly mistakes happen far too often as scammers play into our excitement of the awesome pull or amazing find! Collecting cards is a lot like treasure hunting so we as collectors can easily overlook simple alarms to guard us from a scam. After all, one of the worst feelings in the hobby is the big let down of disappointment when you thought you hit a big one and it doesn’t work out.
We wanted to put together a simply checklist / reminder to help new collectors better protect themselves as they spend money in the hobby. Let’s see if we can help you avoid the frustration and hassle of being duped.
Checklist for buying cards on Auction Sites (i.e. eBay)
Here are the FIVE essential components of buying cards on the core auction sites.
- Feedback – Make sure the seller has at least some positive feedback. The more the better obviously. Especially for a bigger purchase. Also, pay attention to the most recent trends in the sellers feedback. Sometimes an honest seller can take a turn for the worse.
- Location – Make sure the location seems reasonable. International isn’t all bad, but definitely something that should be a minor concern especially if it is a new member.
- Returns – Most sellers with positive feedback allow returns. If the seller you are dealing with does not allow returns, proceed with caution.
- Completed Items – some scammers are too lazy to even alter a posting they have stolen. If you do a quick search of completed items make sure the item you are “buying” didn’t just recently sell. They can copy pictures of a previous post, then post them for sale right after the actual card sells.
- Intuition – Everyone wants to find a good deal but make sure you don’t let go of your intuition. If you are getting a 90% off discount make sure to run thoroughly through the list above to make sure all is good. It’s awesome to hit a great deal but even worse to lose hard earned money.
Checklist for buying on Twitter/Facebook
Here are the FOUR essential components of buying cards on Social Media.
- Profile – Give the person a quick look at their profile, see how long they have been using that profile by the joined date. If they just joined recently and have low number of followers or friends be wary. Also make sure to look at their profile picture, if it seems oddly nice or too clean, it was probably grabbed from the web.
- History – When dealing with a new person, check to see previous tweets or posts and see if they are active or proof they are a real person. A lot of times scammers can only use a profile once for a scam and they don’t build up a profile presence before hand. If you can’t find any previous posts or tweets then you will want to proceed with caution.
- Vouch – Vouching is an awesome way that I have seen the community lean on each other for big trades or online purchases. With a lot of our transactions for cards happening online and having little knowledge of who you are dealing with, it is nice to get some other hobbyist to confirm this person is great to deal with. You can do this by asking for Vouch for the person in a facebook room or on twitter with their twitter handle. You will need to make sure the people vouching are legit as well. This a good way to use the overall positive community to your advantage.
- Tracking Number – Make sure that you get a tracking number for the item when shipped. Tracking is important for validating shipment. If there is no tracking number then their will be no way to tell if the item actually got lost or never sent. This is important for ebay purchases as well.
Checklist for buying into breaks
Here are the THREE essential components of buying cards on independent group break sites.
- Get to know the breaker or group- In today’s world of breaking with live streams and constant interaction with customers, it’s easy to get an idea of what the person breaking the cards is like before you buy from them. You can watch all the breaks you aren’t in for free, so take some time and see different people break before committing your $ to a break. You can also check out some of the reviews left for breakers here at BreakerCulture.com
- Feedback/Reputation– The obvious point here is to check out our break reviews at BreakerCulture first. However, there are a lot of people big and small trying to break cards. If they breaks are being sold on ebay, again look at the feedback and read some reviews. The reputation of the breaker is tied into business. If they have quick fills and active members, you should feel good about breaking with them. If it is a smaller breaker or someone just getting started, make sure to proceed with caution as they build their reputation.
- Price Points – It is important to have an idea of what you are buying into at a reasonable price. Be familiar with the product you are buying into. If the price seems too high, move on to the next options. Do understand that price can be represented from quality of breakers, professionalism, and overall experience as well. You get what you pay for mentality.
How to ensure others in the hobby don’t get scammed.
Here are the TWO essential things to do to help others!!
- Leave Feedback – Yes, I know…this seems obvious. But unfortunately there are too many buyers that refuse to take the time to complete feedback. Your insight into your transaction helps the next person more than you know.
- Use Social Media – If you interact on Twitter or Instagram, be sure to give the seller an electronic pat on the back. Shout out your experience good or bad… it helps strengthen the hobby.
There you go, short & sweet. Hope that provides a few quick reminders to help out.
What else are we missing?