How To Avoid This Michael Jordan Rookie Card Scam (Beckett Authentic Altered).
Ah, The Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer Rookie Fakes. There are a ridiculous amount of them. Just Google “how to spot a fake Michael Jordan rookie.” Now, scams come in multiple shapes and sizes related to these fake cards. One easy scam is when people list this card ungraded on Facebook Marketplace for somewhere between $50 and $500. The ungraded nature of the card makes it hard to determine whether it’s an authentic original, altered, or straight up copy of the card. The temptation is to buy it, submit it to PSA, and get a slabbed grade of anything over a 4, which gives it immediate HUGE resale value. The thing to really look out for though, is the Beckett Slabbed Authentic Altered version of this, and other cards.
This leads me to my major scam alert. This is a bit more complicated. First, you have to understand Cross Grading. Cross Grading is a service that all of the major grading companies offer. The easiest way to explain it is - if I have a Gem Mint 10 from SGC, and it’s value is $150, but the PSA 10 value of the same card is $500, I can send my SGC slabbed card to PSA and for a $50 Cross Grading fee, PSA will break the SGC slab, grade it, and slab it. The strategy here is that if SGC graded it a 10 already, it has a higher probability of being graded a 10 by PSA than an ungraded card. So instead of selling it for $150, I can increase my profit margin by 100% to $300 by trying to turn it into a PSA 10.
Now to the scam. When a card has been altered (corners trimmed to appear sharper or rebacked, etc.) it has no value. None. But, different grading companies do different things with these kinds of cards. For example, you can still send it into BGS (Beckett Grading Services) and they will slab it in a professional slab, without a grade, with the words “AUTHENTIC ALTERED” on it.
Now, picture a listing on Facebook Marketplace or Etsy that is selling a card like the `86 Fleer Michael Jordan for example, that is slabbed and says AUTHENTIC ALTERED, say for $4,200, like in this video. Different then that ungraded version, right? You’d initially think, WOW! an authentic slabbed Jordan rookie that I could send into PSA for cross-grading, which is likely to be a 6 or better, and all of the sudden be worth $15k or more.
The problem is that Beckett slabs altered cards in this manner, but PSA doesn’t. PSA would receive this card and immediately break the slab, and send it back in a penny saver with a sticker on it that says “altered.”
OUCH. This card is worth NOTHING! You’re out $4,200 and you own a card nobody wants to touch.
Paul Hickey is a Digital Creator, spending about about 60% of his work time building WordPress websites for small businesses, 20% of his work time running an eCommerce Sports Cards and Digital Collectibles business at NoOffseason.com and another 20% of his work time authoring books and creating digital art in the form of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).
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