Panini America Doesn’t Want to Fill Your Redemptions (and Why You Should Be Very Concerned)

There is an incredibly important class action lawsuit going on right now that has the potential to open the flood gates and rip off thousands of collectors and almost no one is talking about it. Panini America, the worst card company to come along in a very long time is arguing in court that they have no further responsibility to fulfill redemptions. Considering Panini’s modern products are loaded with redemptions, this is a big deal and something collectors should consider when choosing what products to buy.

I am not a lawyer nor can I pretend to be but Paul Lesko is and he’s been covering the entire lawsuit as well as other hobby-related court matters almost daily on Twitter. As insane as Panini’s defense is, what is truly scary is what could happen if Panini America wins. That potential victory could open the door for other card manufacturers to disregard expired and/or late redemptions they were unable to fulfill. Topps is notorious for redemption issues but Panini America has taken this to a whole new extreme.

Currently on eBay there are over 3,000 redemptions for sale from Panini America alone. Panini will be out of the American card market soon thanks to Fanatics which means if they can get their lawyers to stall long enough, there could potentially be thousands and thousands of redemptions left null and void. This is not the first time this exact thing has happened, as Fleer left collectors holding thousands unfilled redemptions when they abruptly filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

Don’t be surprised to see Panini America employees taking cards through the back door once the time comes to give up their licenses. Collectors should do everything in their power to get the word out. Twitter accounts with 5,000+ followers need to retweet case updates by Lesko because if the word does not get out soon, collectors could potentially lose tens of thousands of dollars per week. Tweet @PaniniAmerica and @TracyHackler as much as possible and demand coverage from @BeckettMedia.

When the PSA card trimming scandal broke, it barely made waves outside of the Blowout Cards forum and a few brave Twitter users who kept it relevant. The fraud was right there smack in everyone’s face but thanks to collectors, PSA had record profits in 2020 and is still the leader in the card grading business, despite seemingly dozens of new grading companies popping up every month. With no real competition, PSA will continue to devour the industry as long as collectors see there is money to be made.

Why do collectors choose to keep silent on these matters? It’s simple politics. Some collectors have thousands of dollars invested in graded cards, more specifically, PSA. If these collectors were to jump on the PSA Scam train, their collection and the money it cost them to get graded, would instantly be lost. Rather than speak up, they would rather unload at profit or just wait till the heat dies down and pretend like it didn’t happen. Well, folks … the wait paid off because it’s been forgotten.

There’s also another group of collectors who have remained silent, we call them industry shills. These are people with high Twitter follower counts who choose to stay silent because they don’t want to damage their “brand” by upsetting people at Panini. The two hosts of Go GTS Live, Ivan and Rob, for example. These two have Panini reps on their show almost weekly but wouldn’t dare make waves for fear of losing free product, which in turn, brings in ratings. Let’s be honest, who would watch Go GTS Live without free swag every segment?

Unfortunately, the industry shills and the collectors heavily invested in the trading card business have voices than are much louder and can reach further distances than someone with 200 followers who is choosing to speak out. Hopefully, Panini America gets eviscerated in court and is forced to fill all redemptions or at the very least pay back money or send acceptable replacements. The longer these card companies are allowed to get away dirty deeds at the expense of collectors, the worse our once beloved hobby becomes.

Further reading:

Paging Tracy Hackler

It’s Time for Collectors to Cancel PSA

3 thoughts on “Panini America Doesn’t Want to Fill Your Redemptions (and Why You Should Be Very Concerned)

  1. Specifically, Panini seems to be arguing that there is no element of consideration, which is an essential element of a contract. In short: if I were to promise to, say, buy you a car (for the record, I am not going to buy anyone a car), that’s just a promise; you haven’t given me anything for it, so there is no enforceable contract.

    On the other hand, if I promise you a car *in exchange for* something–usually money, but trading one for a ’52 Mantle would count, too–that IS a contract, and you could go to the courts if you fulfill your end of the bargain, and I don’t. So Panini is saying that they didn’t make such a deal, because they didn’t get anything for it.

    Except–you bought the box of cards, right? Even if someone else originally bought the box (or pack or case or whatever), and you obtained it from them, there was still a valid contract. I don’t see how Panini gets around that. Maybe they’ll say that the actual cards in the box or pack already fulfilled the contract and the redemption is just a free inclusion, but that’s going to be hard to sell, especially if there are ever redemptions which count towards a promised number of hits, and I would think there are.

  2. I’m so glad I’ve never purchased or collected any Panini product. I’m also glad I don’t have any PSA-graded cards nor done any business with PSA.

  3. The crazy thing I don’t get is that PSA (collectors universe) took out $4.2 million in forgivable PPP loans that were meant for small businesses in 2020, Only to increase prices substantially and suspend operations for months In 2021. Yet no one batted an eye.

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