If you’ve ever been active on social media over the past twenty years (forums included), odds are you’ve heard the name Tracy Hackler. Heck, you’ve probably even had a few interactions with him. Hackler, who is currently Panini America’s Hobby Marketing Manager, was once the face of Beckett Media and has also done tours with Playoff / Donruss. If you are a wanna-be hobby influencer or have a fledgling podcast, you’ve probably had Hackler make an appearance once or twice. Hobby shill, Ivan Lovegren, who co-hosts the hobby infomercial, GO GTS Live, seems to have Hackler on regularly just to lob him softball questions while avoiding any real issues as usual.
A month ago, Hackler made a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in the cringe-inducing #HobbyFamily rap video, which you can see below. You can fast forward to 1:40 to see our favorite Panini America Marketing Manager. Meanwhile, at the very same time he was lending his likeness to the hip hop world, collectors were tweeting at Panini America, their customer service account, and even Hackler for help on unfulfilled redemptions, missing guaranteed “hits”, out of the pack damaged cards, and much more. As you can imagine, these die-hard collectors who spent their hard-earned money on Panini America products were met with deafening silence.
I could spend the next week embedding tweets from collectors complaining about Panini America’s problems but instead take a look at the one tweet below. This man is waiting on autograph redemptions, which is 100% Panini’s responsibility and has been tweeting out to them for seven years without a response. This tweet perfectly incapsulates Panini’s total disregard for their customers. They do not care because at the end of the day, their products sell out. So as nice of a fella that Tracy Hackler appears to be, he is without question, a complete dirt bag for sticking his head in the sand when collectors need his help. This goes for any YouTube/Podcaster who has Hackler on their show and lets it slide.
The real question is WHY? Why do we let companies like Topps and Panini America dick us around for redemptions and damaged cards? The price of unopened products has skyrocketed over the past two years and collectors are not getting their money’s worth and that’s before we get saddled with redemptions that take years to fulfill (or longer) and damaged cards. The day Fanatics took over collecting should have been a day to rejoice. Fanatics has an opportunity to make things right with collectors. Redemptions are unfortunately a necessary evil in today’s market but they should be fulfilled in a timely manner. The same goes for damaged cards, so long as you have proof of purchase.
I’ve long given up on anyone with so-called influence to ever speak out. I was once an “influencer”, as my blog was sponsored by Topps & Upper Deck and I received thousands of dollars worth of product delivered to my door every week. My job was to review said product and be honest about it because I respected my readers. Chris Carlin (Upper Deck) and Clay Luraschi (Topps) understood and gave me the green light. Unfortunately, the people in charge at Topps & Panini today won’t allow this. In order to get free products, you can only give out glowing reviews. Bloggers/Youtubers/Podcasters need that free product in order to hold contests and to bring in more readers/viewers. Now you know why Ivan Lovegren seemingly loves EVERYTHING.
Tracy, if you want to have a real discussion with someone who is passionate about the inner workings of the industry and isn’t just interested in gaining followers or free cards, contact me. Prove to collectors, new and old that you’re not just at Panini America to collect a pay check. My DM is always open but something tells me you’d feel much safer having Ivan & Rob read your sell sheets word for word on GO GTS Live, while giving away free Panini America boxes to anyone willing to tune in. I am @NotMario33 on Twitter and tweeted at you just the other day but it appears you missed it. If you don’t like Twitter, you can email me at WaxMorgue@gmail.com. Let’s get a discussion going.
6 thoughts on “Paging Tracy Hackler”
I’ve had issues with Topps, Upper Deck, and Panini regarding redemptions. Finally cleared my slate of all open redemptions last year. I finally found success with Panini by emailing three different people. It took a month or two, but eventually I got something in the mail.
Redemptions are crazy enough to begin with, but it’s sad when paying customers cannot get a response or update from the company.
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I too would like customers treated as they should! I spend hard earned money on cards and cuttingly have 2 pages of redemptions and get no where with customer service! I was told some redemptions were out of stock….WHAT? How can a shaq card from 2016 be out of stock? They don’t care I believe this is criminal and is a bait and switch scam.
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