Razor Ink Archives mired in controversy

1 04 2009

Ten years ago, most collectors had to wait months to read about card-related news in either Beckett or through Tuff Stuff. How much controversy do you think both those companies ignored just to save advertising dollars?

Yesterday, a member of the Card Informant forums made a very interesting discovery on eBay. As it turns out, over 100 Inkworks autographs had been sold through an eBay account “wwwaitexascom” weeks prior to the announcement that Razor had bought the Inkworks archives, believed to contain over 20,000 autographs.

Razor had released a sell sheet for Ink Archives which was due to be released in May and according to Trader Crack’s, contained just under 18,000 Inkworks autographs. The problem occurred when Card Informant did some background checks and found out that the eBay account belongs to a company owned by Brian Gray of Razor.

As you can imagine, many accusations have been tossed around including that Razor cherry-picked the best autographs and sold them on eBay and stuck collectors with the commons for Ink Archives. I can’t imagine for one second that Brian would be so brazen to attempt such a scheme and destroy the credibility of his company. Ultimately, we will find out the truth when Ink Archives starts popping up on YouTube.

The question I have is why did Razor not sell the Inkworks autographs not being included in Archives through its much-publicised eBay account? I spoke with Brian last night and he informed me that there were plenty of the “big name” autographs being included in Ink Archives and that there were so many leftover cards that there might even be a second series released in the near future.

This story is brought to you by the power of the Internet.

Update Brian has informed Wax Heaven that the remaining Inkworks cards have been removed from eBay. He also stated that the reason they were being sold on another account was because the cards were not produced by Razor.

FINAL UPDATE: Brian Gray released the following statement;

We sold cards PRIOR to even deciding to make this product. I do however feel we should have pulled these off immediately upon issuing the order form. For this delay, we apologize.

In no way are ANY of the quality hits for this product sold elsewhere. On some names, we had additional copies and we did indeed sell some of these. We also sold lots of lesser names as well. However, all additional autographs in stock will be SAVED and used for a potential future product. NO MORE of these cards will be sold by me of any affiliated companies in the near future. We deleted these auctions immediately upon hearing feedback. As always, we react promptly to customer feedback/concerns.

Any questions can feel free to call me at 214-393-4510. I encourage the curious to call rather than speculate, guess or worse.

Brian Gray


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26 responses

1 04 2009
Gellman

Boom goes the dynamite.

1 04 2009
slette

Looks like Johnny Cueto signed that Ozzy card.

1 04 2009
Rob AKA VOTC

hmmm . . . very interesting . . . nice scoop

1 04 2009
Jeff W

Ozzy has my handwriting. Nice story too, again, you guys are very appreciated for all the news.

1 04 2009
mfw13

When will people start to realize that autographs, be they on an artifically scarce “1/1” card or on a piece of binder paper, are not scarce.

Anybody who is currently active and/or reitred players who were alive after 1985 will have signed thousands of items by the time they die. Yet people are playing ridiculous sums of money for autogrpahs just because the are on supposedly scarce cards.

Take a hint….Willie Mays and Hank Aaron autographs can be had for under $100 because they’ve signed so much stuff.

Now think about how many things a Fielder, Braun, or Steven Strasburg will sign over the next 40-50 years? Nothing they sign will ever be consider particularly scarce…

1 04 2009
Submarine Shane

I love when folks catch these people with their hands in the cookie jar. It doesn’t matter what these guys (Brian of Razor, McWilliam of UD) say, I think they are all full of BS. These guys start “damage control” as soon as a story breaks. They always have a slick way of pointing fingers and laying the blame some place else. Same as in the cut signature fiasco. They should have jobs in Washington D.C. as politicians….or maybe Lawyers.
Here is yet another reason for The Man on the Street to cut his spending. The sad part is these people piss collectors and buyers off, but the person that suffers most would be my card shop owner…when we stop buying wax. This is just my opinion and a little rambling.

Later All,
Submarine Shane-Man on the Street

1 04 2009
Jbob

Oh come on, not produced by Razor! He is still selling off cards that by the sound of the release states that they would be in the up coming razor product. I mean why would he the sell the junky stuff to put the best in the product, that would make no sense.

1 04 2009
JRJ @ SportsLocker

I’m still amazed on how I find these stories here, VOTC, and other blogs… while the card leaders still blog about American Idol cards.

1 04 2009
Card Informant

The kudos really has to go to our members. They were the ones who looked into the issue at hand and did the work to prove their point. I just provided them the ability to discuss the problem.

I’m sure I will hear nothing formally from Mr. Gray as he has chosen in the past to make false promises to our site and has also chosen to leave us out of his news network.

1 04 2009
BRIAN

Info,
Tried to call # form your site, but disconnected.
Call me at 214-393-4510.
Brian
Should say great post. Looking forward to reading the next one!

1 04 2009
ozzy

i just went through their feedback and so far have seen 6 ozzy autos sold and possibly more, wonder if any ozzy’s will be in the ink archives, id rather buy these autos on ebay when they hit the market, then pay 20 for a pack and end up with a no body

1 04 2009
ozzy

check the feedback for the iste, you have to go in about 15 pages and you see some quality autos, locklear, acker, fillion, he was definately trying to make a buck, not interested in buying any packs now,

2 04 2009
Card Informant

I would like to leave a follow up post to my previous one. When I got home this afternoon I had 3 emails from Brian/Razor as well as a couple missed phone calls. I look forward to speaking with Brian again about things. Once again have to point out what has been said many times, he does a great job of trying to stay in touch with the collecting community.

2 04 2009
Thomas

I’m interested to see how this plays out. I’m in the minority here as I like Razor as a company. I bought a couple packs of the prospect stuff and was underwhelmed, but I think the Presidential product was really well done and something this hobby really needed. It’s a shame it didn’t get more attention.

With regards to this current issue, assuming everything is as it appears and everyone’s worst fears are true, you have to remember that Razor is a business. I haven’t seen the sell sheets, but if Razor didn’t claim that the entirety of the Inkworks auto archives was put into packs, then I don’t see why people would be pissed that Razor sold some of the stock on eBay. What, Razor should be expected to pack everything out and take a loss on their investment?

If they say there’s a Gomer Pyle auto in the product and they didn’t put a Pyle into the product, that’s bad. If they put one into packs and then sold another one on eBay, what’s the problem?

2 04 2009
Howard W

I have been reading your blog for a very long time, and to a certain degree have come to respect your opinions, however, I think I just lost all respect with FCB and the Nazi’s that the mods over there have. http://freedomcardboard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=37872&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=15.

I dont know if this link will work, but basically Cgilmore is a Piece of Sugar Honey Iced Tea.

2 04 2009
Mario A.

Howard, thanks for your comment. I know W.H is not for everyone. i tried my absolute best to make this story as neutral as possible and even spoke to Brian Gray on the phone twice to get information.

I know many at FCB don’t like me and I have left them out of the site but Gilmore continues to take his shots knowing that I won’t ever go back to the site. He’s just going to have to accept that many of his members read Wax Heaven every so often or more.

2 04 2009
Bryan

wow Razor!
Fool me once, shame on you…

2 04 2009
JBob

Why am i not surprised by any of this? Razor is just as crooked as Topps or U.D. or Beckett. Look baseball cards are a business, a big business, but can we find some classy guys to run these things?

5 04 2009
ozzy

recent feedback wwwaitexascom for inkworks cards sold on site,
hartley- 2.
lily-2.
k. bell- 2.
b. fraiser- 6.
andy hallett- 2.
j holloway-2.
n. fillion-2.
j whedon – 3.
e dushku.

makes you wonder how many top names would of been sold if he wasnt caught. the above sure would of looked nice in the product. some low names but not alot.

11 05 2009
inkhunter

NICE! I can’t wait to get my 5 common autographs out of the RAZOR ARCHIVES BOX I just bought! It’s all about GREED and ALL of the card companies just don’t get it! You spend $100-$200 on a box/pack and get a $5 autograph or jersey! They ALL should be ashamed! WHAT A JOKE!

11 05 2009
INKFAN

Why not wait to open the box before you decide it sucks?
It might not be great, but why comdemn before u open it?

10 06 2009
inkhunter

Just as expected! I opened my 2 boxes and…10 common autographs! AWESOME! Would have been nice to get at least ONE good one but I guess they had been sold off prior to the release!

11 06 2009
Steve

Does anyone know how to contact Inkworks or Razor about “The Spirit” redemptions? They expire in two weeks, yet no one returns any e-mails and I never got my autos back from the company.

12 06 2009
drew

Razor Ink is clearly misrepresented, the box and pack states encapsulated auto. a magnetic ultra pro case is not considered encapsulated…does anyone feel different? Razor just screwed themselves and all the other dealers holding inkworks sealed product and singles….its a joke and the sadest part of it all is Razor ruined themselves and all of inkworks past products with one release.

14 06 2009
inkhunter

I agree Drew…They could have at least SEALED the magnetic ultra pro holder with a RAZOR logo label! Notice how there hasn’t been a single HIGH-END auto to hit eBay yet! All my autographs just sold for $3-$4 each…LAME! Now, eBay is flooded with Inkworks autographs making them worth NOTHING! So now, MY PERSONAL INKWORKS AUTO CARD COLLECTION IS WORTH NOTHING! WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! But HEY, right now is a GREAT time to be a BUYER…You can get any card you want for a buck or two! Isn’t that just great!

15 06 2009
drew

the hits being in the product is not my complaint. the few boxes i opened had value and some decent autos. im just not pleased with final end result of the product. Razor did do a great job with the packaging and presentation until you open the pack and get an auto in a magnetic holder. i assumed the idea was to make it better… re-invent the autos with style and flair to get collectors excited again…instead Razor to a short-cut and took a step backwards IMO.

other products like Encore and even the recent release iCONS is what i expected the cards should of looked like…i know cost was an issue with 18000+ autos, but once again encapsulated should not mean magnetic holders…thats just too easy and lazy.

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