Beckett living in a glass house

5 05 2009

…and throwing stones at the blogosphere.

I just spoke with a former employee of Beckett Media. I was informed that not only do they loathe 90% of the hobby blogs but they are actually going out of their way to have card companies no longer sponsor or deal with any of us. If you read Wax Heaven, you likely already know about their failed power move last year.

Not only are they squeezing down on card companies, one of them is already in bed with them and has refused to share news stories/product previews with anyone BUT Beckett (hint: they just gave away a bunch of Ric Flair autographs). It turns out DonNini’s marketing director and Tracy Hackler go “way back”, whatever that means.

So while “The #1 Source” continues to disregard the same collectors who kept them in business all these years because they have chosen to report rather than be reported to, remember that we will continue to work and get bigger while your company continues its massive layoffs and outsourcing.

As for Panini, you’ve made a terrible decision by shunning the blogosphere just to keep your buddies in Texas happy. I only hope the new management realizes what a bonehead move you guys made by entrusting your product to Chris Olds and company.

On the Internet, message boards and hobby blogs are the number one source.

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31 responses

5 05 2009
OC

I thought Hakler was one of the ones that got fired.

5 05 2009
dayf

Tracy Hackler used to work for Donruss a while back if I’m not mistaken. I think he wrote some press releases and stuff for their football products. That’s probably where the ‘goes way back” thing comes from.

It’s too bad they allegedly loathe collector blogs. They’d be much better off if they treated them like customers and not competition. No big deal, it’s better to be hated than ignored.

Hmmm… I wonder if I am worthy of loathing? I *do* have them linked on my sidebar as “The Propaganda”. Of course there’s a very good story behind that. And they have been linked on that sidebar since day one of my blog so that has to count for something. Maybe I should ask ’em if they hate me. Hey, Beckett lurker spies… you tell me if you like me or not and I’ll tell you why I call you “The Propaganda”. deal?

5 05 2009
Sooz

Where do you get those stats?

5 05 2009
mfw13

Beckett is toast and has been for a long time. Their price guides lost their usefulness as soon as Ebay came into existence, and since their magazines are 90% price guides they are almost unreadable. I don’t know a single collector who buys any of their products…

5 05 2009
The Mojo Hand

I was not aware of this Mario. Im canceling my subscription Immediately. They wanna go to war!!! Well take them to war!! COCKROACHES!!!!

The Mojo Hand

5 05 2009
Chris Harris

It should be noted that T-Hack left Beckett in the late-90s to work for what was then known as “Playoff, Inc.” only to return to Beckett around ’02-ish.

5 05 2009
Mario A.

Sooz, they come from Alexa.

http://www.alexa.com/

5 05 2009
Paul

I know that Hackler worked for Beckett for sure in the summer of 1996 as I recall getting a letter from him regarding an article of mine they published. I didn’t realize he was gone from Beckett for that long. Beckett is just holding on much like Sports Collectors Digest and other publications. I can find sell sheets of products online before the Beckett comes out, no one uses Beckett prices, and the magazine has gone up in price because of all the prices that no one uses which combined means there is no purpose for me to pick one up. The blogs are competition and they’re grasping at straws at Beckett to hold on to what little of the industry they have left.

5 05 2009
Dinged Corners

There are no words.

5 05 2009
dylansharek

I don’t usually follow your “Beckett sucks” stuff, but it really is strange to me that they link to every, single blog on the face of the Earth except for yours.
It appears as though you’re the competition bud. Keep it up.

5 05 2009
Ross

Maybe this explains why I can no longer login to Beckett.com and post in the forums.

I posted in there a couple weeks ago when I was giving away THE ENTIRE BOX of cards TRISTAR sent over…. and went there last week to post and could not login. I reset my password 3 times and emailed support twice regarding the issue and never heard anything back.

5 05 2009
beaverman3001

This really is not different then newspapers fighting blogs and online sites to keep their heads above water. But eventually we all know that online sources will win out unless Beckett can adapt. And if anyone has experience their “new” site with their features, they don’t know how to adapt, or even make a working website.

5 05 2009
Mario A.

Dylan, they not only had my link in their blogroll but would post guest articles by me…. until Chris Olds showed up.

5 05 2009
rosschrisman2003

i would send stuff in too, but they no longer want stuff from collectors that run popular blogs. i wonder if this is why press pass has promised to send stuff but hasn’t for awhile? eventually beckett will fall and manufacturers won’t have a choice.

5 05 2009
Mario A.

A couple of more blogs were removed from their blogroll last night….

5 05 2009
162games

Guys, comon now.

Pitch Forks and Torches?

Really?

5 05 2009
Ross

Funny, I just got an email back from Beckett about my account.

Apparently my account was suspended because I posted a message in the forums about the FREE BOX OF TNA that I gave away SPONSORED BY TRISTAR.

I will be canceling my subscription after this as. I tried to play nice with these *&^#&$@ but obviously that is not the proper approach…..

5 05 2009
slette

Exactly, what issue did they take with that? Obviously, they took issue with a “commoner” getting free product to give away, but what was their reasoning?

5 05 2009
JRJ @ SportsLocker

I may be in the minority here, but companies preferring one outlet over another isn’t new and I’m not surprised that card companies prefer a large corporation like Beckett over popular card blogs. Companies give better treatment and more exclusives to publications they receive better coverage from all the time. Political figures do it constantly with news outlets. Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal if Beckett editors have buddies in some corporations and they get the scoop because of it. That doesn’t prevent other blogs from providing opinions in the blogosphere.

The value we bring as bloggers isn’t in breaking news or having the exclusive image for the afternoon, it’s in the quality of the content we provide.

Just my 2 cents.

5 05 2009
mfw13

Ross,

I have found that card companies are very anal about their forums. I got banned by PSA last year for having the temerity to suggest ways they could improve the quality of their product (both the grading and the holders).

Needless to say, PSA hasn’t received a penny of my money since, and on the rare occasions when I decide to get a card graded it goes to SGC.

They still believe it’s better to shoot the messenger rather than listen to the message…

5 05 2009
Card Informant

We’ve seen this move made previously by a company only to have them reverse course as they felt it was better to embrace all sites and not just one. Given that Panini is larger and more established, perhaps they can get away with it, perhaps not.

I do know that I received my first news release about a product (Prestige) from them this morning, so, perhaps I’m still on Santa’s nice and not naughty list. I suppose only time will tell.

5 05 2009
slette

I’m not sure I’d necessarily consider Panini larger and established. I would guess the lion’s share of collectors think of them making stickers in the 80s and 90s, while a smaller population of collectors will be thinking about their soccer releases. Before they got the NBA license and bought Donruss, I don’t think collectors thought twice about the crap they put out. Panini should be felating anybody, blogger or otherwise, who will give their new ventures exposure.

That being said, I have a very ho-hum attitude towards them. If they get an MLB license, perhaps I’ll pay a little more attention to them. Otherwise, they can continue to churn out unlicensed dog shit cards, and I won’t miss their coverage on Wax Heaven.

5 05 2009
todduncommon

Beckett occasionally warrants a nostalgic buy from me, but I usually see stacks of them just pile up month after month at Toys R Us. I’m not kidding–if I want a Beckett Basketball Guide from fall 2008, I know where to get one. If I were Toys R Us, I’d be organizing serious returns of unsold issues for credit on subsequent months of reduced orders.

It’s too bad to see Beckett go from an organization created by a nice Christian guy you could trust, to an immature, back-biting organization rife with conflicts of interest. When you lose your moral compass (or never had a good one), situational ethics are a poor substitute for guidance.

I’ve always liked the quality physical product from BGS compared to other grading services. However, I’m not sure when Beckett’s turning point occurred, but it’s certain it has to do with the critical mass that eBay became for the Hobby, and when card shops started dying off like abandoned koalas.

A more believable market price based on repeated, daily, and easily available samples of data became more reliable than monthly price setting by pope election surveys arriving by pony express from fewer and fewer hobby shops.

That market data also showed exactly how far the Hobby has shrunk and that the market has gone as soft as a wet cannoli. Beckett subtly (but I don’t think nefariously) shifted from reporting suggested card prices, to trying to set them–or keeping them propped them up simply by not updating them according to current data trends, except in isolated, obvious areas (Hot List, etc.).

However, that status as now price-setter rather than price-reporter is a big shift for them, and whether they want to admit it or not, diminishes trust in the Beckett name. Adding a grading service always smacked to me of a conflict of interest, regardless of any sooth-saying to the contrary (even if it is a quality product).

This kind of petty, immature behavior with new Hobby voices other than the creaky traditional ones only helps ruin the Beckett reputation, in a time where pretty soon, a reputation is all you ever really have.

I don’t have to go far to see that Beckett struggles to even keep it together. How long has it been beta.beckett.com by now?

5 05 2009
162games

Honestly, as the proprietor of a large sports card message board I do not know if I would have handled the situation any differently. If a site has a no spam rule, and you spam your site continually, you get the boot.

He did not get suspended for giving away free cards, he got suspended for spamming his website.

5 05 2009
Mario A.

That’s funny cause several of your members spam their sites continuously, including me not too long ago when I was giving away a bunch of autographs and game-used relics. The catch was that you had to leave a comment at Wax Heaven.

If you have something special, you don’t have to worry about competition.

5 05 2009
162games

Yes, several members that are not direct competition are allowed. Those that have forums are not.

His site, although it is very well done and I enjoy reading it from time to time, has a forum. This makes it direct competition to beckett. How do you think beckett would react if I jumped on there and started promoting my boards? They would have a fit.

5 05 2009
162games

I love hobby blogs, you and I have had issues in the past, but that dosen’t mean I cant read what you write from time to time. Although I disagree with a ton your opinions, it is still an interesting read. Yes, I made the wrong decision to delete a link someone threw up on FCB to your blog. Given another chance at that I would leave it up.

5 05 2009
Mario A.

His forum is like two days old… doesn’t have but one member still.

This incident happened months before.

6 05 2009
162games

Even with that considered, beckett still has an anti-spam rule. Beckett did not ban him for giving away cards.

6 05 2009
*

162 games asks: “How do you think beckett would react if I jumped on there and started promoting my boards? They would have a fit.”

To that I would reply, “Yes, and they would ban you. Oh wait. They did ban you for exactlly that. As well as many of your moderators and administrators”

6 05 2009
162games

That is really funny bill

I am not banned from beckett at all. In fact I have a GREAT relationship with beckett and talk to them frequently. I did not spam beckett in any way. The spamming of beckett was done by my former partner before I was involved with the forum.

Please know what you are talking about before you speak.

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