Topps continues the ‘Bait and Switch’ approach to redemptions

First and foremost I’m a collector of sports cards, so with full disclosure I am personally waiting for two redemptions to be fulfilled from Topps.


BPBWXVUQN4  2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball Auto Relic Refractor of Jose Altuve     Pending

BPBJLLXDJM  2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball Bowman Black Auto of George Springer  Pending



There it is, ‘Pending’.  The collectors least favorite word when it comes to redemptions.

For those who haven’t experienced the glory of redemptions, here’s a brief overview.  Card companies want to fill products with great player inserts so product will sell well, so they get players to sign cards for them.  They must abide by the rules of the MLBPA and of course deal with representatives for each player.  It’s a business, and there is a lot of money going around.  Sometimes they can’t get the player to sign in time so they use a redemption card to fill the space of the players card in the hopes that they will still get said player to fulfill their end of the obligation.

The only problem is, sometimes the players don’t sign.  The companies don’t pursue and then there are these redemptions sitting in a list like the one shown above gathering dust, if you will.  The other problem is the card companies don’t seem to have any sense of urgency in the matter.

Topps isn’t the only culprit, just the one I’m writing about.  Panini America ( Tracy Hackler, more specifially)does a great job with announcing redemptions that have been fulfilled which pleases the customer base. Their weekly redemption update can be found here.

Companies will say that sometimes redemptions are a necessary evil, and sometimes they can’t be prevented.  There are probably some truths to that statement, but collectors don’t seem to care.

I don’t.

I don’t know of any other retail industry that sells incomplete products.  Shirts without a sleeve?  Refrigerators without the door handle? Cars without the battery?  If you sell a product it should be complete, if not DON’T PUT IT ON THE MARKET.

For me, I’d rather wait and have everything done correctly.  I don’t appreciate the bait and switch that comes with unfulfilled redemption cards.  It’s unfair and bad business.  The card companies aren’t exactly swimming in profits.  Not anymore- there is no room for customer dissatisfaction.

To be clear- I’ve had redemptions before and I’ve had them filled.  I’ve also had issues with missing hits that have been replaced within a reasonable amount of time.  The problem is- the current state of redemptions isn’t the same experience with everyone.  On a recent Twitter ‘poll’, some collectors said they have redemptions pending from 2011.  A YEAR AGO!

It’s time for some accountability. Collectors are spending hard-earned money to purchase things that are meant to make them happy.  Collectors are having a tough time ripping through cards and finding that black and white card with the hopes of getting something nice.

How has your redemption card experience gone?

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