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I quit.

Posted by houstoncollector on August 1, 2008

This is a letter I’m in the middle of writing to the card companies.  This is also probably the last post I’ll make for a good while.

To whom it may concern at each of the named companies.

I quit.

It’s as simple as that, really.  I hereby quit collecting.  I hereby quit buying your product.  I hereby quit caring that you’re destroying the industry with the sheer amount of crap that you’re dropping into retail and hobby stores.

To be honest, you’re killing us with what you’re doing to the hobby, between overpriced product that only people with a lot of money can really afford (Topps Triple Threads, Upper Deck Exquisite, Playoff National Treasures, and any other product where a ‘pack’ is nearly $100), an overabundance of ‘relic’ cards, generally single white swatches, which are almost always nearly worthless to anyone other than player collectors, products that no one really wants and that are crappy to begin with (Upper Deck NFL Draft Edition, Topps Rookie Progression, Topps Moments & Milestones, Upper Deck MLB Documentary), ‘guaranteed’ autographs of people hardly anyone cards about, and the sheer amount of crap that Beckett has pulled /with your willing help/.

Seriously.  What’s the point of guaranteeing four hits a box, when we already know that three if not four of them will be nearly worthless?  What’s the point of dozens of parallels which do nothing but water the set down?  What’s the point of using pictures of players from two or three years ago, instead of keeping updated?  For Donruss and Press Pass, what’s the point of having us mail in redemptions?  What’s the point of sticker autographs, which usually look crappy?
What’s the point of offering retail versions of products that are completely gimped (Donruss, SA-GE and Press Pass, I’m looking at you here, and I’m waiting to see if Upper Deck screws up their base football, or if they follow the trend set by their baseball product)?  What’s the point of offering product that people can’t possibly build the sets without buying huge amounts of cards that they don’t really want?

I mean, we all know you’re making money.  That’s not the problem.  The problem is, you’re pissing all over your loyal customer base in the process, and all but killing any chance at building a customer base from future generations.  I miss the magic when I was growing up, when I could go and buy a pack of cards, and it was about the /cards/ and the players, not some crappy piece of white cloth that may or may not have been worn by a player at some point or another (Rookie Premiere crap, anyone?), or some autograph of some guy who won’t ever make an impact for a team, much less on the national scene?

Where’s the oddball sets?  Where’s the food inserts?  Where’s the stuff you can get at convenience stores?  Why is it the only place I can find cards anymore is at a hobby shop, over the internet, or at Wal-Mart, Target or K-Mart?  Seriously, the only baseball sets this year that were any good were base Topps and Upper Deck, and /maybe/ Topps Chrome.  Football?  Eh.  Nothing’s even remotely interested me, and I’d love to be surprised.  Topps Moments & Milestones?  Crap.  Allen & Ginter?  Love those collation problems.  Upper Deck NFL Draft and Football Heroes?  They made me throw up in my mouth.

Listen to the collecting bloggers out there.  Listen to the people on message boards NOT owned by Beckett (The Bench and Sports Cards Forum are both good ones).  Look at Ebay and see how low the prices are in general over a few months’ time.  Look at the fact that Topps no longer guarantees the value of a box of Bowman like they did 10 years ago.

Look at the fact that I’m writing this letter.

Please.  Please give me a reason to collect again.  Because right now?  With gas nearly $4 a gallon?  I can’t see a reason to buy your crappy little pieces of cardboard.  And I used to love collecting.

Sincerely,

Jason Ballew
An Ex-Houston Collector.

Note:  As soon as I can find a contact email for Topps and Donruss, I’ll send the email.  If anyone has one, please let me know.

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