Probstein Selling Counterfeit Autographed Cards On eBay?

Probstein Selling Counterfeit Autographed Cards On eBay?

Probstein123, one of the biggest sports card sellers on eBay, was seen selling Iconic Ink cards on eBay:

Iconic Ink are not real cards; they can be found as custom cards on Etsy, where they are listed as facsimile signatures. They play on Panini’s product of the same name, and also consumers’ ignorance. The backs of the cards say that they are facsimile signatures, too, but Probstein appears to have not included the backs of any of the cards in their listing.

And let’s be honest about custom cards like this: they are counterfeit, and the autographs are as well. Probstein123 shouldn’t be listing them at all, but if they are going to they should make if far more clear that they are custom cards with facsimile autographs. Here’s the only indication that they aren’t autographed, and no one really looks at this field:

In fact, Probstein123 included “SP” in the title, which usually means “short print,” implying that these cards are rare.

Quite a few people went and reported them as counterfeits to eBay, and here was the response:

When people brought up concerns about AI making the decision (see the text above in the section under “What happened,” eBay responded on Twitter:

I wanted to see if eBay would do the right thing; their reply above implied that maybe they had, and it just wasn’t yet visible on their platform to us. And I might be mistaken, but the listing shows up under Sold and Completed listings, which I take to mean that it was not taken down. Interestingly, though, there were no further bids after the screenshot at the top of this thread.

I also reached out to Probstein123 via eBay and email, but received no response. It seemed that they ignored all the questions about it on Twitter, too.

For more details about a court case against the person behind a lot of these cards, I recommend reading this Paul Lesko thread on Twitter.

YouTube Comment Of The Week

I normally want to highlight funny or insightful comments here, but my week was severely lacking. I’ll settle for a very complimentary one. I have always aimed to make my channel about the stories and the cards, with the values often being cited but far less important. This is the type of comment that validates me.

Here’s a tweet that was funny, though:

Ken Goldin: Customer Service Hero?

This person posted about their negative experience selling on Goldin Auctions:

Here’s the card they tried grading and selling:

Most would call this a “gimmick” card and advise that you sell it as quickly as possible. I’ve talked about these Brady cards a few times, and I believed the high initial values could and would only go down.

So this seller signed an agreement with Goldin, agreed to have Goldin grade it with their sister company PSA, and then it ended up in an auction later than expected. All these delays added up, and it sold for maybe half what they expected it to sell for.

They’re not happy! So they put Goldin on blast on Twitter. We know from a video I did 90 days ago that this strategy can work. Ken Goldin does not like negative press. He also doesn’t like being blamed for PSA’s slow turnaround time or other things related to PSA.

Here’s his response to that seller:

For what it’s worth, Nat Turner did respond, blaming Christmas holiday closures, which is actually pretty reasonable.

Ken must have felt that his team overpromised. We don’t know what he did or is going to do, but it’s great that he listens to his customers, a value his boss Nat Turner doesn’t seem to share, and something I don’t often see from PSA.

Upcoming Videos

Is someone getting fake Venezuelan Topps cards past PSA and then selling them on ebay? I’m looking into this after receiving some really compelling evidence from an expert.

Again hoping to release another Attic Find Friday, maybe even on Friday this week!

Am I spending the night at Baseball Collector Mike’s house next Sunday night? Yes I am! Assuming that my flight out of Maine gets me there in time, which is always a challenge in the winter, expect a livestream from his hobby room Sunday evening.

Channel Highlights From the Past Week

I talked about some poor quality in 2023 Stadium Club’s baseball release. A little behind the scenes: I often receive tips on issues like this, but I won’t run them unless there’s enough there. It often takes a fair amount of research and reaching out to people. In this case, I felt like there was enough smoke.

One of my commenters explained the quality control problem that delayed the original Stadium Club release:


In my Attic Find Friday series I covered another Just Collect collection purchase of 1930s-era sports and non-sports cards.

Incidentally, last week’s Attic Find Friday now has over 10,000 views, making it my 11th-most watched video. It should reach top-10 soon. It’s my first AFF video to take off in a while, but it speaks to the staying power of this series.

My Pickup Of The Week

Spoiler alert for another upcoming video: I haven’t bought a single card in the month of January. This is crazy for me! But I’m implementing my strategy to buy more big cards, and fewer smaller cards. Plus I had a big tuition bill due, so there’s that.

Here’s one thing that I did buy, though:

I’ve talked about my childhood Nintendo obsession before on my YouTube channel, and now I’ve obtained my third “black box” five-screw original NES game. Baseball, Excitebike, and Kung Fu were all huge parts of my childhood, and I’m really excited to add Kung Fu. It was priced at $150 on ebay and the seller accepted my offer of $75.

Newsletter Notes

112+ subscribers in under a week! It feels quite great. I did make one mistake with the link to comments last week; Beehiiv doesn’t make it easy, and I seem to have made it more difficult. Hopefully I’ve fixed it on this one. If I haven’t, feel free to reply to this email to make a comment privately to me.

Subscriber Pickup Of The Week

This one comes from my YouTube friend Rob Segedi, also known as The Commenting Collector:

I recently bought an NFL HOF six signed (each with a year inducted inscription) card lot off of ebay for a best offer of $40 or about $8 apiece landed, all in.

My favorite of the lot is this Charlie Joiner, 1987 Topps Record Breaker card which beautifully pictures the football about to fall into the secure hands that at the time were responsible for making him the NFL record holder for career receiving yards.  But more than that and what really endeared me to this card is knowing that the same shaky signature that wonderfully scrolls completely across the aforementioned photo was penned and possibly held by the same legendary hands that earned Mr. Joiner enshrinement into the '96 HOF to which he also inscribed.  

It doesn't matter to me that the cards are ungraded and unauthenticated because I will not be selling them.  But I do believe deep down in my heart as Seinfeld would say, "they are real and spectacular"!

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.

This Hobby News Daily interview with Marc Mader, who shows off a staggering collection of iconic vintage cards and event tickets.

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