eBay Authentication Loopholes Run Rampant

eBay Authentication Loopholes Run Rampant

In recent years, eBay has rolled out an “Authenticity Guarantee” in order to help buyers confidently buy more expensive sports cards — particularly unauthenticated ones — on their platform. If a card is $250 or more, it will be sent off to authentication. CGC authenticates raw cards, while PSA will authenticate slabs.

My friend Theo, of the YouTube channel Clemente Collector, did a good video about eBay authentication loopholes. We were texting after I watched it and he told me that another loophole is that authentication will be bypassed if the buyer has a PO box. Sure enough, this seems to be the case. Why can’t you have a PO box? Reportedly because the program uses Fedex exclusively, and not one that allows shipping to PO boxes. I have a PO box, but I can also use my post office’s street address, which is a nice benefit that I’ll need to remember if I ever need eBay authentication.

So what are some of the other loopholes?

Wrong category: If the seller lists a sports card in the non-sports category, it will go to authentication and they won’t be able to authenticate it due to being listed incorrectly. It will still go to the buyer in this case. Be careful when buying.

Single listed as a lot: Plenty of sellers are getting around the authentication by listing their valuable card as a lot. Sometimes there is legitimately a lot, but it’s usually the valuable card mixed with junk. Some are doing it because they don’t like the delay of the authentication program, but less scrupulous sellers are doing it because they either aren’t sure their item is authentic and don’t want to find out, or they know it isn’t authentic and they don’t want you to find out. Be careful when buying.

eBay could fix this one by asking the buyer if there is a single card in the lot that they want authenticated.

While I haven’t used eBay’s authenticity program, I think it’s a good program with some flaws that seem easily fixable to me.

If you know of any other loopholes, please comment them or reply to this email to email me.

YouTube Comment Of The Week

No comment of the week, but I have a subscriber tweet of the week, in response to how many people have pulled a 1/1 in a pack (from my Clearing the Bases episode):

Update On The 1979 O-Pee-Chee Sealed Case Attic Find Friday Story

Remember the sealed case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards I featured on a recent Attic Find Friday? Well, the sealed case sold for $3.72 million via Heritage Auctions.

Darren Rovell features a great video about the find, and shows Steve Hart of BBCE opening the case and estimating its value while wrapping the boxes.


On the back of the Topps Definitive Shohei Ohtani / Babe Ruth dual autograph card, Topps forgot the r in “struck.” You’d think they’d be more careful with the biggest chase 1/1 card in years.

Upcoming Videos

I actually don’t know! This is an uncomfortable position for me to be in. I like having at least a couple of ideas outside of Attic Friday Friday, but right now all of my ideas are too big for me to take on at the moment.

Channel Highlights From the Past Week

I reviewed the new documentary “The Hobby,” and received a nice private message from the director. A nice change from the last time I reviewed a hobby documentary, when the director sent me a ton of angry private messages after. I asked this director why the documentary said Topps bought Bowman in 1965, a decade later than reality, and he had a great answer:

I also shared the huge PC pickup I previewed on last week’s newsletter.

Another successful Attic Find Friday featuring a cigar box full of pre-war cards found in a closet.

My Pickup Of The Week

One card addition last week: a 1988 Donruss Diamond Kings Dwight Evans autographed and authenticated (sticker) by PSA. I paid $35 for this, which I was comfortable with. Dewey doesn’t sign a ton, so there are only a few of these listed on eBay. And he charges $40 through private signing, so to get one for less than that was a win.

Plus, I think he has a shot at the Hall of Fame through a Veterans Committee vote in the next couple of years.

Subscriber Pickup Of The Week

Tim of Wicked Sports RI received an SGC order back with a sweet Darryl Strawberry rookie card graded a 10! The SGC scan isn’t great, but here it is:

I bought a raw Straw rookie last year thinking it had a chance at a PSA 10, but it came back a 9. (Still great!)

To nominate your card for next week, reply to this email and include why it should be included and a photo. Please don’t be offended if I don’t reply.

Kayla from Hobby News Daily asks if Topps has made it more difficult to collect a rainbow. The obvious answer is yes. The more pressing question is if they’ve made it less fun, and Kayla and I come to different conclusions there.

Speakeasy, spa, card signings await MLB at Topps Spot house in Scottsdale — maybe this will be the start of improving confidence in the authenticity of pack-pulled autographs.


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