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Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007 at 5:04 PM
  (Login MarkH56)

Thank you to all who have responded to my posting regarding the 1930 Goudey – Babe Ruth Calendar Card – Questionable Authenticity. Please note that on February 14, 2007, I offered to send the card for testing if Steve Verkman would place the funds paid for the card in an escrow account with my attorney until this was resolved to both parties satisfaction. He refused to do so and I was not willing to have him have possession of both card and the money and leave me with nothing. When I originally asked Verkman about paper testing, he told me he did not want to do that. I have checked with John Reznikoff (who does have a machine for paper testing) regarding paper testing and was informed that they would have to have a comparison piece for the testing to be valid. With regard to testing, it is certain possible to obtain old paper and cardboard to create a reproduction. Paper testing may prove nothing. The issue is not about paper testing – it is about Clean Sweep’s guarantee as stated in its catalog and on its website. I still hope this matter may be resolved in an amicable manner. However, this is my final attempt to obtain a full refund without filing a lawsuit and I will be seeking punitive damages.

Thank you,
Mark Haverkos

March 21, 2007

Steve:

When I purchased this card in your Clean Sweep Auctions #123 (9/27/06), I was excited about the prospect of owning an authentic 1 of 1 Babe Ruth Card from his playing days, truly a dream for a Ruth collector like me. I did not anticipate any problems with 3rd party authentication of the card and knew, with confidence, that if there was a problem, Clean Sweep Auctions would stand behind me and make it right. When we have had issues in the past, Steve, you have always told me that if I didn't like an item that I had purchased from you or had problems with it, I should simply sent it back and you’ll refund the money.

Also, in you auction catalogues, you state that Clean Sweep “Has an amazing reputation when it comes to autographed items and authenticity in general.” Furthermore, on your Clean Sweep Auctions website (csauctions.com, Frequently Asked Questions) under “What are our standards for Authenticity?” you state that “CSA only sells original items. We completely stand behind the authenticity of every item we sell… CSA uses the strictest standards in the industry and does not sell questionable items.” In response to the questions about your policy with regard to grading services, you state that you guarantee all items to be authentic and will accept a return of any card or other item deemed not to be authentic by any reputable grading service.”

With these guarantees in mind as well as my inherent trust in you as a professional collector/dealer and good, honest person (our 6-7 year business relationship), I bid with confidence on Lot 978 (Auction 123), which was described as follows: Catalogue Description:

1930 Rare Babe Ruth Calendar Card VG-EX $3,000 Measuring 3 ½ x
5 ½, this is a black & white cardboard card with a full body pose of Ruth on the front, with the Goudey league baseball in the four corners. The back is a calendar for 1930 with Goudey clearly printed at the bottom. This has some mild creasing and general wear. Rare card that we have never seen before that was likely a precursor to Goudey’s seminal 1933 gum card set. Fresh item unknown to the hobby until now that was obtained in New England. This appeared in one of our auctions last year and sold for $10,738. Sadly, the winning bidder purchased this treasure to become the centerpieces of his son’s collection and the son died in a car accident this year.

In fact when I called Clean Sweep Auction on the night of 9/27/06 to check on my bid, you told me that the card was already hotly contested by 2 advanced Ruth collectors but, by placing one more bid, you felt that I would have a pretty good chance of winning the lot. And so it came to pass that I sent you a bank check for $18,775.32 and you sent to me the card encased in a large block of acrylic that had a sticker on it (hand written) stating “NY Yankee’s 1930 Goudey Gum Babe Ruth Calendar Card, “Excellent Condition”, Goudey Holy Grail, $10,738.”On the reverse was a sticker reading “CSA 9/27/06, Lot #978, Facon 88.”

The card initially looked to me to be as represented in the catalog. I was a little surprised by the lumpy feel of the front of the card but hey, I’m no expert. I’m a collector. I leave the authentication to the experts and my own research.

I commenced my research almost immediately upon receipt of the card. I contacted, among others, the Boston Public Library (for information on the Boston company Goudey), the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Cy Burdicke Collection), the man who purchased the remaining Goudey archives in the 1970’s, Marshall Fogel (who wrote the history of the Goudey Gum Co.), the Standard Catalog of Baseball cards, the Calendar Collectors’ Society, and many others. I put in countless hours of my own time trying to find a historical reference to authenticate the card. In all of these contacts from 10/06 – 02/07, I found absolutely no reference to the card. During this research process, I also sent the card to PSA on October 20, 2006 (23 days post auction) for authentication (not grading). Several weeks later, I was contacted by PSA who informed me that they could not authenticate the card and were returning it to me. If I could find any supporting evidence in my research, PSA told me to re-submit it for re-evaluation. On December 8, 2006, Steve, I called to inform you of PSA’s rejection, my research findings and to request from you your evidence of authenticity. You were the vendor who only sells authentic items so you had to have a way of proving the card’s authenticity. By telephone you told me that: 1) you had no supporting evidence; 2) you knew the card was real; 3) PSA couldn’t prove it wasn’t real; 4) you would “work it out with Joe Orlando” (President of PSA). I also requested a letter of authenticity from you. The following is what you sent, signed and notarized:

December 21, 2006
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a letter of authenticity for a 1930 Goudey Babe Ruth Calendar card.
This is unique card measures 3 ½ x 5 ½ and has black and white printing on cardboard with a full body pose of Ruth. The Goudey league baseball is on the four corners. The back is a calendar for 1930 with Goudey clearly printed at the bottom. This has some mild creasing and general wear. Rare card that we have never seen before that was likely a precursor to Goudey’s seminal 1933 gum card set. Fresh item unknown to the hobby until now that was found in an attic in Vermont in 2005 as part of a vintage collection. The lucky person who discovered this card then consigned it to our May 2005 auction and it sold for $10,738. Sadly, the winning bidder purchased this treasure to become the centerpiece of his son’s collection and the son died in a car accident this year.
When this card sold publicly in 2005, this garnered a lot of attention in the hobby and to our surprise, NO OTHER EXAMPLE has ever surfaced.
I have been involved in the sale and purchase of vintage sports cards since 1979. My company has been featured or mentioned in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fox News etc.
Steve Verkman
President
Clean Sweep Auctions


Basically, Steve, you re-state the auction catalogue information in paragraph 1, tell me of your surprise after you sold the card previously in paragraph 2, and what your credentials are in paragraph 3. But where is the authenticity in your letter of such? It is actually a letter of history, not authenticity.

Nevertheless, it was the only item of corroborating evidence that I could find in my many hours of research. On January 8, 2007, I re-submitted the card and your letter to PSA for authentication. The following letter from PSA, concerning the card, (which I provided you with a copy) dated January 28, 2007, was received.

January 28, 2007
Dear Mark,
I am writing this letter to inform you of our findings.
The card that you submitted, an alleged 1930 Goudey Babe Ruth Calendar Card is, in our expert opinion, not genuine or original based on the following:
1) This card has not been documented by any respected publication nor has it been acknowledged as an original card by any respected third party expert service that I am aware of. No such card, to date, is known to exist. In fact, the existence of such a card would counter any logic based on what we know about the Goudey company and trading cards of that era.
2) More importantly, this card does not possess the characteristics normally found on trading cards of the era or issued by the manufacturer. The print, registration and paper quality are not consistent with any period Goudey card or any other card from that time period. In fact, even the wear found on the card appears to be contrived to give the card the appearance that it is of certain vintage.
3) In sum, it appears to be poorly constructed fabrication based on the above-mentioned characteristics.
PSA has been found for nearly 16 years and we have handled over 10 million trading cards in our history. As the leading trading card authentication and grading service in the world, it is our collective opinion that this item is not genuine.
I am very sorry for the bad news but it is our job to be both the good and bad messenger at times.
If you should have any other questions regarding this matter, please contact me directly at (949)567-1170.
Sincerely,
Joe Orlando
President


Genuine and original are the definition of authentic. PSA clearly states that the card is “Not genuine or original. It appears to be a poorly constructed fabrication.” Steve, your own website states that you “will accept a return of any card or other item deemed not to be authentic by any reputable grading service.” Am I missing something, or did PSA state that the card is not genuine or original (authentic)? Is PSA not a reputable grading service? What about your own words, Steve? Your integrity? The reputation of Clean Sweep Auctions?

I also had sent the card to Bill Mastro, figuring that if he would auction it, I wouldn’t necessarily need to put it in a holder. On December 13, 2006, he sent the card back to me with the following hand-written letter:

12-13-06
To Whom It May Concern –
I have viewed and held in my hand the supposed 1930 Goudey Babe Ruth Calendar card and it is absolutely a fantasy piece which was created within the last few decades. It is absolutely not from 1930 and no original piece is known to exist. The print quality and type of paper are not that of the 1930’s. The wear is contrived to make one believe it is old. Nothing about the piece is original. This is not an opinion – it is a fact! I have been dealing in such material for over 40 years and my credentials are unquestionable. The piece is not authentic and is of no value.
Sincerely, William Mastro
CEO
Mastro Auctions


Bill clearly states the facts, Steve: 1) it is not from the ‘30’s; 2) it was created recently; 3) the print and paper are not from the 1930’s; 4) the wear is contrived; 5) nothing about the piece is original. He held the card, Steve, and these are the facts, not opinions.

As stated above, I also contacted Marshall Fogel and his reply is as follows:

From Marshall Fogel

As to your recent telephone call, this is to confirm the answer to your inquiry that I did write about the history of the Goudey Gum Company for the Sports Market Report National Convention Issue(SMR) on July 8, 2003. (The article can be found on the internet-The Goudey Company-Marshall Fogel.) After this article was published, similar information confirming my original research as well as new valuable information appears on the internet. When I began to research for information about this company, there was no reference material other then "bits and pieces." I was fortunate to locate and interview people, in detail, who had an intimate knowledge of facts that appear in the text of my article.

This letter is in response to your request for my comments after viewing a copy of what I will refer to as the calendar card that is represented to have been published and distributed by the Goudey Gum Company. (The referenced company, for clarity, printed the 1933 Goudey Baseball Gum set.) An image of Babe Ruth appears on the front of the card and a 1930 calendar is printed on the reverse. My opinion is based on available historical information.

CONCLUSION
It is my opinion that there is no evidence that the referenced Goudey Gum Company printed or distributed the calendar card as it now appears . There is substantial and compelling evidence that this company did not print or distribute the calendar card that you e-mailed to me.

1. I cannot offer you any logical motive or business reason why the Goudey company would print or distribute, in any quantity, a card with an image of a young Babe Ruth previous to 1930 and three years before the company had any connection with baseball as a marketing theme. Additionally, the calendar card is black and white, low grade quality and just "plain ugly." Goudey printed high quality colorized advertising images. These images were simply to advertise gum and appeal to "kids." It is clear to me that the Goudey company purposely and carefully incorporated quality art work when printing their products. For example, some images in the Goudey Indian gum set were copies of original print images belonging to the Smithsonian.

2. The Yankees, in 1930, were not the dominant baseball team and Ruth certainly did not have a season that was as memorable as his past seasons. Including that fact that Goudey, in 1930, had no connection with baseball in promoting their products, there is no reason for the company to print the 1930 calendar card of what Ruth looked like before 1930 and to feature a Yankee when this team was not dominant and did not win. In fact many experts consider the 1929 and 1930 Philadelphia A's as great or greater then the 1927 Yankees.

3.The reverse of the 1930 calendar card states the term Big League Chewing Gum. No such term was used by Goudey until 1933 and then again in 1934, 1935, 1936 and 1938. Before 1933, Goudey advertising brands were, for example, Oh-Boy Gum, Around The World Gum, as well as other gum brands; but, not Big League Chewing Gum. (Refer to the internet for examples of gum labels)

4.The calendar card has the word League printed inside a baseball four times on the front of the card. At this point, we are in the death penalty phase regarding this card. What is League? What is Big League Chewing Gum in 1930 when there is no Big League Chewing Gum to chew.

5. Since the image of Ruth appears on the calendar card along with a crude advertising attempt to promote Big League Chewing Gum, it is logical to conclude that the calendar card was to be widely distributed in 1930 so the public would take advantage of the calendar. It is a fact that there is a significant number of Goudey sport and non sport cards and premiums in various conditions that can be collected today. One would conclude that, at least, a moderate amount of calendar cards, especially picturing the Ruth image, would also be available today. They are not and they should be.

During the time I have been writing this letter I became aware, in detail, that there is not longer controversy surrounding this calendar card. It is obvious to me that very experienced and knowledgeable people have overwhelming opined that the calendar card is not authentic. Also, there are others who have commented, on various message boards, that support the view of these experts as well as including many of the same opinions that I have stated when approaching the calendar card issue from an historical point of view. While others have opined that the card is not authentic, I would add my opinion that there is no compelling historic evidence that the Goudey Gum Company did print the calendar card. I would be open at all times in the future to reassess my opinion if there is evidence to the contrary.

Finally, Mr. Verkman you should take seriously the views expressed and return the collector's money. Your offer to have the card tested before you refund the collectors money is not in keeping with your return policy, and your offer simply unfair. I must add that I read you supposed letter of authenticity. The content of your letter falls short of the standard set for those of us who write letters of authenticity.


In short, I purchased this card from Clean Sweep Auctions with confidence in it’s authenticity and Clean Sweep‘s integrity and honesty as the vendor in backing up that claim. There’s no one who wanted to authenticate this card more than myself. I bought it. I even put in countless hours of my own trying to find the proof for it. But, Steve, the resounding word, whether you and I like it or not, is that it’s not authentic. So come on, man, step up to the plate. Are you going to do the right thing and refund to me my money paid to you for the card as I have requested twice, or are were going to have to take this one step further? I have been very patient and understanding so far, Steve, even offering to put the money in a third party escrow account until the matter is settled to the satisfaction of all. But you informed me that your company didn’t do business that way and that I would have to send you the card, with no refund, in order for you to authenticate it or else you had no more time to spend on the matter. But didn’t your catalog description tell me what the card is? Now, you still don’t have it authenticated, after selling it to me. Steve, the only way that you aren’t going to spend anymore time on this matter is if you do the right thing and sent me a full refund of $18, 775, in exchange for return of the card. If you can authenticate it with that calendar that you spoke of, do so and re-sell it. I’m sure it would be worth your while. But I have received my answer and it is a resounding “no.”

I’m not satisfied, Steve. You have always told me, in the past that if I wasn’t satisfied, to send the item back for a full refund, otherwise, keep it. Why not now?

Presently, I’m only asking you to honor your word and send me a full refund. If we need to go to court, I’ll be asking for a whole lot more.

Do you really want to put us through this, Steve? It is bad for the hobby, bad for Clean Sweep Auctions, and wholly unnecessary. Think about it. Do you really want to drag your reputable business, Clean Sweep Auctions, through all of the allegations? My patience is running out Steve, and I definitely won’t quit. I’ve asked our friends and colleagues on this message board for any new information that would be useful in authentication. Nothing. I hope to hear from you soon, Mr. Verkman.

Mark Haverkos





 
    
AuthorReply

(Login barrysloate)

Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word

March 21 2007, 5:14 PM 

This is getting ugly. You two guys aren't even remotely on the same page. Your posts and Steve's posts seem to be mutually exclusive. I think you will need a third party to settle this.

 
 


(Login a66cobra)

Just my opinion

March 21 2007, 5:15 PM 

Mark,

Take it to court, you will win hands down. Not to mention, he will be paying your legal fees if he is not careful you might just find a few law-dogs from this site that will do it pro-bono for fun.

I got your back if you need it, I hate when people have lapses with their integrity.

 
 

(Login SteveVerkman)

enough

March 21 2007, 6:16 PM 

Mark,

You are not dealing in an honest way and it is thus hard to take you seriously. You personally told me that you went to a museum in your area and they told you it would run $300 or something to test the paper and you did not want to spend the money; I then offered to pay the cost of testing (and not just the paper, also the ink) and would have this done in New York. You also asked me to send you a notarized LOA in early November and told me that you would be comfortable with that as a solutionl you certainly did not say that you were going to submit the card to PSA a second time with my letter. It is these types of things that make it very difficult to work with you and why an escrow arrangement with a lawyer of your choosing is not acceptable.

Bottom line is if the card is proven scientifically to be found inauthentic, you will be taken care of. Letters from collectors, even those as knowledgable as Mr Fogel, do not prove the dating of any card. Every grading company has made mistakes with respect to authenticity of vintage items as this can be subjective. Goudey may well have made this as a prototype or promotional card. If this was reproduced, why would someone only make one of them? It simply does not make sense; we are not talking about a Frojoy Ruth card here. Finally, while it is your right to air this out in a public forum, you do not help yourself when you omit crucial details and are basically running a smear campaign. - Steve

 
 
Peter Spaeth
(Login Peter_Spaeth)

questions

March 21 2007, 7:17 PM 

If I were judging/mediating this dispute I would want to hear more from Mr. Verkman as to why he affirmatively believes the card to be genuine, as opposed to statements to the effect that the three experts who apparently think it is not might be wrong. I would also, in fairness, want to know more about Mark's prior relationship if any with the experts -- one must always be sensitive to bias.

I repeat my suggestion that a better course of action than litigation would be to agree on a neutral or panel of neutrals to examine the card and render an opinion.

 
 


(Login E93)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 7:32 PM 

If I were Steve, I would apologize for an honest mistake, refund the money in full and cut my losses. The longer this goes on, particularly with the way Steve has handled this thus far, the more he destroys whatever reputation he has left. How ironic this is after the unfounded accusations he flung at Brian Drent a few months back.
JimB

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

addendum

March 21 2007, 7:59 PM 

What say you, Mr. Verkman, to the point that on your website you promise to accept the return of any item found not to be authentic by a reputable grading company? This seems a fairly compelling point having read the presumably accurate quote from the website and the letter from Mr. Orlando of PSA. If indeed such a guaranty was made, it would seem irrelevant whether or not PSA is right or wrong; what matters is their refusal to authenticate. EDITED TO FIX TYPO


    
This message has been edited by Peter_Spaeth on Mar 21, 2007 8:01 PM


 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word

March 21 2007, 8:18 PM 

Steve- I know before this issue is resolved you want some definitive proof, or documentation, that this card is no good. Technically speaking, you are entitled to it.

But from all that has transpired so far, my gut tells me you can't win this battle. I can't imagine any scenario where after this card is tested it comes back unequivocally authentic and the case is closed in your favor. I agree with Jim- nothing good is coming your way in this deal, and it is best to cut your losses and move on.

While I don't want to go into specifics, I once sold a baseball card at auction- of greater value than this- and received a call from the buyer that he was certain it had major restoration done to it. I could have gone through the same routine- have it tested, send it to all the experts, etc. But in my heart I knew he was right. I put a check in the mail the next day.

I find it hard to believe that you feel with any certainty that this card is good.

 
 

(Login howard38)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 8:24 PM 

Sounds like Mark has a good case. Was the guarantee changed from "reputable authenticator" to "proven scientifically"? If the buyer is misrepresenting the case then we need to hear more from the seller. What he posted earlier was unconvincing.

Howard

 
 

(Login Bicem)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 8:46 PM 

quoted directly from csauctions.com...


What is our policy with respect to grading services?
We guarantee all items to be authentic and will accept a return of any card or other item deemed not to be authentic by any reputable grading service. We cannot guarantee the grade any item we sell will receive by a grading service due to the inherent subjectivity of grading.

 
 


(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 9:22 PM 

What is the liability of the consigner in a case like this?

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

consignor

March 21 2007, 9:28 PM 

I can't see the consignor having any liability to the buyer. The buyer's dealings are with the auction house, which in this case made the representations about authenticity and accepting returns.

 
 

JimB
(Login E93)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 9:34 PM 

The consignor bought the card from Verkman too and reconsigned it to him. Perhaps there would be recourse from the original consignor two auctions back, but I think that would be a tough one since Verkman has vouched for its authenticity twice now.
JimB

 
 


(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 9:55 PM 

I should have made myself more clear...I was wondering does Clean Sweep have any recourse against the original consigner?

 
 
Corey R. Shanus
(Login benjulmag)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 9:56 PM 

As I understand testing, it will not say an item is authentic. All it can do is tell you an item is not authentic (through the detection of substances not available when the item was purportedly made). So if the threshold in this instance is that for the auction house to prevail it must prove by testing that the item dates to 1930, by definition the issue is decided before the item is even sent to the lab; it cannot be done.

I do think though the issue is academic. If as has been posted Clean Sweep has in fact warranted that all that the winning bidder needs to do in order to return the item for a full refund is to produce documenation from a reputable grading service opining that the item is not authentic, the matter is closed. PSA's letter certainly says that. So beats me on what basis the auction house feels by fighting on it could possibly prevail.

 
 

Jason L
(Login smallcapdaddy)
Registered Users

WOW!!!!

March 21 2007, 9:57 PM 

Let me see if I got this right:
Customer: "Please prove this item that I bought for $18k is authentic."
Seller/Auction House: "No, you prove that it is not authentic."

Seriously?
Huh?!?!?!?! Holy crap...

Mr. Verkman, I have never done business with you, but please find a way to place me on your list of banned bidders. Immediately.
Thanks,
Jason Leinberger



 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Corey

March 21 2007, 9:58 PM 

Perhaps PSA is not a "reptuable grading service"? This is, after all, Net 54.

 
 


(Login Wite3)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 10:00 PM 

Alas,
Makes me wonder as well...does anyone know the consignor?

Why is Steve fighting this so hard. He has done returns before and the bad press he is generating is certainly costing him more than the return fees, s/h, etc.

My question is whether Steve is the actual owner of the card and is unwilling to take this "loss?"

Joshua

 
 


(Login asphaltman76)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 10:32 PM 

Steve is going to take alot more losses than just this one...(which should be in court at this point). We've seen it before..customer is always right..get in a publice dispute with a customer and you need to do whatever possible to stop it from becomming a major issue for all taking notice. The longer this drags on the more business Steve will lose because of it. I certainly wouldn't buy from an auction house that wouldn't stand behind the items they are selling...as well as making thier own money from with a commission. Bad business is bad business.


    
This message has been edited by asphaltman76 on Mar 21, 2007 10:32 PM


 
 

(Login SteveVerkman)

some points

March 21 2007, 10:35 PM 

1. I am not, and have never been, the owner of this card.

2. I am only fighting for this card to be tested. Again, if this was fake, why would there be only one of them? Why would someone go to so much trouble to make a single example of this item?

3. Our auction return policy is that all sales are final. With that said, we will again deal with this but want definitive testing. My point is that Mr Haverkos does not want this tested in almost any circumstance and has resisted MULTIPLE attempts for me to do this.

4. Nature of card. This is not a Frojoy Ruth, 54 SI card or other known problematic pieces. Leon made a good point on the last thread, which has not been answered. What specifically about this card if the issue? The fact that it is from 1930 is not an issue. For Mr. Fogel to argue that the Yankee were not a Championship team in 1929 or 1930 and therefore Ruth should not be the topic seems to me a reach. As this is a unique card and one of the major arguments of everyone involved is that there are none known, therefore this is fake is a classic tautology. Having a full test wil resolve this.

5. This is on thick stock and is nicely printed; there are no dot matrix patterns or other telltale signs of a fake. It is a calendar and is not a trading card, was obviously not issued in gum packs. We can go on about this forever but...

6. This was consigned to us by a tiny hobby store owner in Vermont. It seems rather unlikely this person would be perpetrating a fraud but again this is not a fact, only a theory.

I am asking for nothing more than what I absolutely would get in the discovery phase of a trial: the right to test the card to make sure. At that point, this is over. I AM NOT, AND HAVE NEVER, TOLD THIS GUY TO TAKE A WALK, only that we be sure about this.


 
 

(Login sayhey24)

who has the money?

March 21 2007, 10:38 PM 

Wouldn't the consignor have been paid already? If that's the case, wouldn't the auction house have to eat the entire loss on a return? That might help explain the unwillingness to do what's right.

 
 


(Login asphaltman76)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 10:38 PM 

Steve....that would all be fine and dandy...your problem however is this statement...



quoted directly from csauctions.com...


What is our policy with respect to grading services?
We guarantee all items to be authentic and will accept a return of any card or other item deemed not to be authentic by any reputable grading service. We cannot guarantee the grade any item we sell will receive by a grading service due to the inherent subjectivity of grading.


Edited to say...Joe Orlando has his own word on paper concerning this very card. What more is needed? SGC's written statement? GAI's?


    
This message has been edited by asphaltman76 on Mar 21, 2007 10:40 PM


 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

question

March 21 2007, 10:40 PM 

Does the return guaranty NOT apply to auctions but only to direct sales, is that what you are saying?

 
 


(Login robershaw)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 10:57 PM 

Wow. What a thread. Knowing nothing about cards and authentication I feel I'm a pretty impartial person. I would think that Mr. Verkman should take the card back and refund the money just to get everything back to square one. If Mr. Verkman is certain the card is authentic then whatever evidence he has can be used to authenticate the card and then re-auction the card with full disclosures in his next auction. It's the only win/win situation for both parties. If this card is found to be authentic down the road then all this publicity will elevate the price higher than $18K. If it is found to be a fake then the money would have to be refunded anyway. Bottom line - refund the money, authenticate the card and re-auction it again with full disclosures.

What else can any buyer do that hasn't already been done? It's time for Mr. Verkman to step up and authenticate the calendar...but refund the money and relist the card for future auction.



robert shaw

 
 

(Login deadballpaul)

Testing

March 21 2007, 11:07 PM 

A simple test would be to check the printing technique that was used. If it doesn't have vintage printing, then case closed. PSA mentioned that the print wasn't correct, but didn't elaborate according to what was posted. It would be really nice to see a picture using a digital microscope with atleast 40X magnification.


    
This message has been edited by deadballpaul on Mar 21, 2007 11:07 PM


 
 


(Login ItsOnlyGil)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:13 PM 

It seems to me that Corey is correct. Unless you have documented provenance on an item, proving its authenticity is virtually impossible. This of course leaves the only hope for "proof" being to prove the item's illegitimacy.

Certainly PSA offers their standard meaningless BS - in this instance "gee, we never saw it before, and we actually never saw anything like it; nor has anyone else we have heard of":

- This card has not been documented by any respected publication nor has it been acknowledged as an original card by any respected third party expert service that I am aware of. No such card, to date, is known to exist.
- More importantly, this card does not possess the characteristics normally found on trading cards of the era or issued by the manufacturer. The print, registration and paper quality are not consistent with any period Goudey card or any other card from that time period.

To be "reputable" perhaps one only needs a reputation. Indeed, PSA has a reputation.

 
 
Al C.risafulli
(Login Novocent)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:16 PM 

ALL AVAILABLE EVIDENCE indicates that there was no such thing as Big League Chewing Gum in 1930.

Period.

I'm not sure what else there is to argue about here.

-Al

 
 


(Login boxingcardman)

Steve, I'm one of your supporters here

March 21 2007, 11:17 PM 

And I don't know the other guy from Adam (sorry), but if your web site says:

"We guarantee all items to be authentic and will accept a return of any card or other item deemed not to be authentic by any reputable grading service. We cannot guarantee the grade any item we sell will receive by a grading service due to the inherent subjectivity of grading."

then you're dead in the water on this one. Take the card back and investigate it yourself, before this gets any worse.

 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:20 PM 

Buyer (Mark) and Seller (Steve) - would you two be willing to put the card into the hands of an agreed upon third party after establishing:

1) What will be the outcome of the testing and validations by hobby experts: complete refund?
2) What type of testing would be completed? Ink and paper?
3) Who's responsible for paying for the testing? If proved not authentic then Steve, otherwise, Mark.

Where does it go from here? Another thread? It's come this far, lets get it resolved and over with that way the both of you can move on. Mark, your original post should have included that Steve offered to have the card tested. The part where you didn't want to send it back to him is understandable. That last statement is not meant to say Steve can't be trusted, it's just to say Mark's feelings were understandable.

Test it, get opinions and post the findings.... my guess is that if one party doesn't abide by the agreement then it'll get posted here anyway...



    
This message has been edited by JudgeDred2 on Mar 21, 2007 11:21 PM


 
 
Mike Pugeda
(Login docpatlv)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:22 PM 

Why weren't tests done before the item was put up for auction? Especially for a one of a kind item of a BB legend where authenticity might at some point be called into question.

 
 

JK
(Login jkrasner2)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:38 PM 

Silver King makes a great point.

Steve wont refund the money because he suspects it is a fake and, if so, that is the only scenerio in which he loses out.

If he offers a refund and it turns out to be authentic, what's the harm - you reauction the card.

I could be completely wrong here, but as far as never owning the card, I guessing that's not exactly accurate. The card was auctioned once and purchased back by Steve - I dont recall how long after the original auction that occurred, but Im guessing it wasnt immediately. Im further guessing that Steve paid the consigner after the first auction and paid his own money when he repurchased the card from the first auction winner. If so, that card belonged to Steve when auctioned.

Finally, what really gets me is that Steve continues to ignore his own return policy. Explain that for us Steve. If it only applies to direct sales, why doesnt it say so. If your policy is all auction sales are final - surely you cant be telling us that if you sell a fake card, its tough s*#t for the buyer - that its there obligation not yours to insure that the card was real in the first place.

If this isnt resolved, Im predicting a very expensive lesson for CSA Auctions - a big court loss, lots of legal fees (both its own and the plaintiff's) and a dramatic drop collectors willing to bid in CSA auctions.

 
 

Joann
(Login jmk59)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:46 PM 

Mark's post lays out information and support for his position that is, to me, very compelling.

Steve lays out ... oh, that's right, nothing. Except claims that everything Mark has shown is still not enough to stand behind a written guarantee that is published for the purpose of generating sales, and did generate this sale.

Seems simple to me. No CSA in my future. Ever. It's the principle. Unless something comes out very quickly to support Steve's position.

Interesting that if this goes to court, Mark has stated he will not just be going for the $18K plus fees, but punitives as well. Good. That's exactly what punitive damages are for.

I don't know jack about Steve Verkman and his auctions except that this is not Mastro or REA we are talking about here. I wonder how much of a lawsuit the company can withstand. And if not much, then maybe Mark gets left holding the bag anyways.

Joann

 
 


(Login bowlingshoeguy)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:51 PM 

All I have to say is that the whole situation does not surprise me. I have had a problem with Verkman in the past gave him a chance to rectify and did not. Needless to say I do not and will not bid or buy from him. THere are enough quality dealers and auctions out there to buy from.

Lee

 
 

(Login Greatwake)
Registered Users

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 21 2007, 11:55 PM 

In the other thread the card was associated with the year 1930. As it is here. Realistically, a 1930 calendar would be printed and distributed at the end of 1929...


Someone really did get "Cleaned" in this deal... and it almost got "Swept" under the rug.

 
 
davidcycleback
(Login drc1)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:12 AM 

There's little doubt a 1930 calendar would have been issued in 1929, but 1929 V 1930 would be a minor issue at best in valuation.

My opinion is that someone competent could examine the printing with a microscope and offer a good opinion if the card is vintage or modern. As digital images can be made through a microscope, images could be posted on line as evidence. If the calendar is a modern computer print, that would be illustrated easily. If it's a photoengraving, which is a process that likely would have been used to make such a 1929 item, that could be illustrated as well.

If the item was made with a photocopier, as some suggest, there's no need to do paper tests on the card. I can assure you that, no matter the age of the paper, photocopiers weren't being used in 1929.

It would be nice to know when Goudey started Big League Chewing Gum. If the brand began with the 1933 cards, there would be little debate the card is fake. Goudey wouldn't have advertised a product 3-4 before it existed. However, I haven't heard anyone state the year when the brand began.


    
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 12:35 AM
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 12:33 AM
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 12:32 AM
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 12:23 AM
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 12:19 AM
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 12:18 AM


 
 


(Login BOTN)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:19 AM 

Maybe Stevie wants Walter Rantanen of Integrated Paper Services, who tested this T206 Wagner to test his Ruth item.

Not so reassuring that he is unwilling to accept the opinions provided to date. Once again, if Steve is so sure the item is the real deal, take it back and resell it.

 
 

(Login Novocent)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:42 AM 

David:

Best I've been able to determine, Goudey did not begin marketing the Big League Gum brand until 1933. I can't see any instance of Big League Gum being marketed without cards. Until 1933, it seems that the Oh Boy brand was Goudey's dominant product, and I would imagine that since the company letterhead publicized the Oh Boy brand of gum and not the Big League brand, that if the company were to use Babe Ruth's image to sell gum in 1930, it would have been the Oh Boy brand.

-Al

 
 

(Login shaneleo)

this is bad

March 22 2007, 12:59 AM 

This whole thing has "fishy" written all over it. First off, the card should have been authenticated before it went to auction. Even if the card was considered restored by a grading company, at least every bidder going in on this has confidence that the card is real. What makes me really bothered by the story that Mark has written is that during the auction Steve told him that two aggressive Ruth collectors were on this card and that one more bid would probably guarantee him the high bid. Steve, where is the integrity in this? Why would you be telling him two large collectors are on this fighting this out and that one more bid would possibly knock both out? Are you trying to get more money for the card? Who would benefit from this the most? The consignor would.....could the consignor be you in fact? Since the card sold the first time for $10K and you knew that two heavy hitters would be going for it the next time around, you simply purchase the card back and relist the item knowing that two guys would be on it. I have placed many proxy bids on items from Mastro, MileHigh, Lelands and SCP before and have felt 100% confident that when I did this, I was in good hands with these guys. If I ever found out that one of these guys was screwing around with my bids or telling others about my high bid or who I was, my relationship with them would end immediately.

Regardless of how this ends up, your screwed.

 
 

(Login cmoking)

auction description

March 22 2007, 2:43 AM 

When I first saw the auction description, I found this part very odd: "Sadly, the winning bidder purchased this treasure to become the centerpieces of his son’s collection and the son died in a car accident this year"

Why was this necessary? And was it appropriate to put in an auction description? Even if that's what the consignor wanted, it just seems out of place. After the events in the past couple of weeks, instead of seeming out of place, now it sounds fishy.

 
 


(Login wonkaticket)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 4:41 AM 

Cmoking,

I agree I found that very odd, didn't seem to add really anything or seem needed. Perhaps Steve was going for a "Hope" diamond vibe....

Both parties’ have valid points and concerns, I myself have bought a few cards from Steve. I have never had to try to return anything so I have no track record there with Steve. However the cards I have bought have been nice and very close to as described in his defense. I even bought several raw Obak’s from Stevethe ones I sent in graded with in one grade of his descriptions, which in the grading game is pretty close.

As for this, tough position for both people, and there are always two sides to every story. I say send it to be tested, and if it’s bad news bears chalk it up as a learning experience.

Unfortunately for Steve “Learning Experience” from what I have learned is Greek for take it in the pants.

 
 

Steve f
(Login fdnyladder7)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 7:01 AM 

Mr Verkman,

You know it's fake, the professionals know it's fake and this board knows it's fake. Heck, I'm just a freakin bum and I can tell it's a laserprint counterfeit. 'Do unto others...' applies here. The only option is to do the decent thing and return this kid's money. Perhaps you can salvage a bit of your once good name, more importantly, sleep tonight.

Again, Good luck Mark. As I see it, you had no other option but to bring this to an open forum.

 
 


(Login EcardCollector)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 7:13 AM 

It seems that Mr. Verkman's main point in establishing the items authentication is the question "why would only one exist." Well making one calender and selling it for ten grand seems like a pretty compelling reason to make a fake calender. Who knows the specifics of why a counterfeiter didnt produce more, or maybe he did, and is house burnt down, who knows? Point is no one believes its authentic, including Mastro and PSA. And while grading is subjective Mastro and PSA handle a lot of cards, and counterfeits, and their opinion will hold water in a court of law.
I personaly will never do business with Mr.Verkman after witnessing this charade. Honor your policy stated on your website. If you had an item that PSA and Mastro deemed fake that you purchased from another auction house and they wouldnt refund your money you would be equally upset.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word

March 22 2007, 7:21 AM 

Steve- whether it's real or fake is almost moot at this point.

Your reputation, which you have always worked hard at to tell people was second to none, has just fallen off a steep cliff. You have bought yourself over 18K worth of bad publicity. This whole sordid affair will have long term repercussions for Clean Sweep Auctions.

 
 

(Login mdcngceo)

Its all about the testing

March 22 2007, 9:04 AM 

I am amazed at how many people can develop their own such strongly held opinions without any reference to the primary data. I have had cards rejected by PSA then slabbed when they were re-submitted 6 months later. I have had vintage autographs with differing opinions from respected authentication sources within the hobby, people whose opinions I still respect, although it was not possible that they were both correct in certain instances. Unfortunately, in this hobby we too often have only opinions to work with, and not one of them is, or can be , definative, and we in the hobby have to work through that murkiness all the time. But why act like that is not the case? Does it make us feel better about what we bought, or chose not to buy?

This is a unique case where credible scientific testing is available, so why not do it? And why not withold judgement until that testing is done? All this talk about lawsuits and punitive damages is fantasy (I am a lawyer, and I assume if there are other lawyers on this blog they will agree with me). No one is getting punative damages in a commercial dispute, which is all this is, where the subject matter is in legitimate dispute. But if there is a lawsuit, the very first thing that is going to happen is the very testing that is NOT taking place now will, and Viola! The answer will be revealed, and the matter settled way before a judge or a jury ever hears about it. The sad thing is, we will either not hear about it, or no longer care about it, by the time this resoves itself. But all our opinions without basis will be posted here, in cyber space, without being confirmed or refuted, forever.

Find some independent 3rd party to coordinate testing and bring this out of the realm of opinion and into the realm of fact. This is not an arguement about whether or not CSA honors its commitments-it is an arguement about whether the facts bring that commitment into play. When there is objective, verfiable testing available to answer that question that testing needs to be done. Only testing will bring this entire matter out of the realm of speculation and into the realm of fact. As a hobby we already confuse fact with opinion enough, because too often we have to, because we have no other options. They do here, and they should use them. And if this case does go to court, that is precisely how it will resolve itself anyway.

All that said, barry might have hit the nail on the head-sometimes the damage is done, regardless of who is right or wrong.



Mark

 
 


(Login T206Collector)

I can't believe....

March 22 2007, 9:15 AM 

...that anyone paid over $10 for this card -- let alone $18,000. What was the buyer thinking? Who lays down that kind of money without knowing what the heck he is buying?

That card was brought to my father-in-law's attention a few years ago. He is from Vermont. I posted it on this board asking for opinions, and everyone said it was totally fake. There were good reasons given as well, though I can't imagine how I'd find the old thread on this card.

When I saw that card in this auction sell for as much as it did, I just couldn't believe it. While I think the seller is 100% in the wrong on the refund issue, especially given the statements made in his guarantee, to take an $18,000 risk on this piece of garbage is waaayyyy beyond my comprehension.




 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Mark- Demeter1

March 22 2007, 9:17 AM 

I count no less than 4 lawyers and 1 judge in this thread....there are more than 200 that read this "blog".....I sort of hate the term "blog" but a message board by any other name, I guess. If you are a lawyer, and I am certainly not, then you should readily see that Steve has pre-empted anything else with his guarantee on his site. Whether the card is real or fake is irrelevent at this point. PSA is a reputable grading company (like it or not) and they deem it counterfeit. Case closed.....unless I am missing something? How would you argue that point? For the record I have had many good transactions with Steve's company and only one return which went very smoothly, albeit it was only about $100. Waiting to hear your argument to that point sir? best regards and thanks for your view point....

 
 
Peter Spaeth
(Login Peter_Spaeth)

I disagree with the foregoing

March 22 2007, 9:22 AM 

"This is not an arguement about whether or not CSA honors its commitments-it is an arguement about whether the facts bring that commitment into play."

If Mr. Verkman's guaranty that he will accept a return of an item if any reputable grading service opines it is not authentic is indeed applicable to his auctions as well as his direct sales, then this is very much an argument about whether he honors his commitments.


 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

T206

March 22 2007, 9:25 AM 

Myself, and another board member and good friend, with over 30 years experience, were the 2nd and 3rd underbidders. We were of the same thinking...that if Steve had held the card and was selling it as authentic then it probably was. He and I have both done business with Steve before and were comfortable with the venue...The 3rd underbidder and I were going back and forth running the card up....he finally quit, I thought I had won it....but then later Mark bid again and I was not going any higher....If this card isn't good, which I believe at this point, it wouldn't have been the first time I made a mistake...though it would have been the most expensive by a long shot....regards

 
 


(Login bijoem)

It seems simple to me

March 22 2007, 9:30 AM 

... The return should be allowed. The return policy clearly puts the 'returnability' of an item in the hands of a reputable grading company. PSA is not only reputable, but the largest - most well known in the industry.

I'm not sure it needs to go any further than that.

But I do want to address a couple of other things:
"2. I am only fighting for this card to be tested. Again, if this was fake, why would there be only one of them? Why would someone go to so much trouble to make a single example of this item?"

On point 2 - couldn't the same be said for a company making a real item? Why would someone go to so much trouble to make a single real example? The fact is - someone did go through the trouble - whether it is real or fake.


Another point mentioned earlier is very compelling... would an auction house care about a return if they thought the item was genuine? They could always auction it off once again. Its not like this is buyer's remorse and 'no reason' for a return. The buyer did get the opinion of PSA which is what the return policy looks for.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Paul....

March 22 2007, 9:42 AM 

I think you are too harsh on the buyer. He didn't have the card in his possession, and therefore relied on Mr. Verkman's promise of authenticity and return guaranty. If one presumes one is dealing with a reputable seller, then there is no risk.

 
 


(Login EcardCollector)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 9:45 AM 

Perhaps someone was fooling around who had printing knowledge that made one many years ago for fun, or whatever, and it ended up in someones collection, who knows? Its not even the point. Point is that its not deemed authentic by a reputable grading company therefore it meets Verkmans standards stated on his website for a return. End of story, period. If it is real he wouldnt have disputed it, as he couldve resold it. Perhaps realizing the card is a counterfeit he's doing all he can so the buyer takes the loss and not himself.

 
 


(Login jacklitsch)

Interesting pic

March 22 2007, 9:46 AM 


 
 


(Login one-in-ten)

That is a crazy coincidence

March 22 2007, 9:48 AM 

Just crazy.

--Chad

 
 
PC
(Login PC-T206)

This fiasco reminds me of the fake Wagner

March 22 2007, 9:50 AM 

Not sure what SV thinks paper testing will prove -- as others have already pointed out, even if the paper is old, it doesn't mean the card is real.

This Ruth card/calendar (whatever it is) is starting to look a lot like our favorite fake T206 Wagner printed on old paper:
http://bobconnelly.com/honuswagnert206.html

I say, let Arnie and Walter tell you its old. Then, adopt the theory that old means real, like Messrs. Cobb and Edwards. Then send it to Bob to sell.

 
 


(Login jacklitsch)

You gotta see this !!!

March 22 2007, 10:00 AM 


 
 


(Login vintagewhitesox)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 10:06 AM 

I'm surprised this thread has gone this long.

Verkman sold a card he guaranteed as authentic. His guarantee on his website discloses any argument on this point.

Buyer wins a card that is later deemed a reproduction; hence, not authentic.

Verkman won't honor his guarantee.

Why hasn't the buyer just stopped posturing on an internet message board and sue the seller for breach of guarantee? After all, CSA is holding over $18,000 of his money. Everything else is just noise.


 
 
Corey R. Shanus
(Login benjulmag)

Mark

March 22 2007, 10:08 AM 

Scientific testing by itself CANNOT establish the card is real, period. Even if the testing shows the composition of the paper and ink is consistent with a 1930 manufacture, that same result can be produced by a counterfeiter making the card yesterday and using substances known to be available in 1930. So Mr. Verkman CANNOT win his case by scientific testing alone. Therefore, even if the testing does not prove the card is not authentic, absent some corroborating evidence establishing a 1930 manufacture (e.g., a period newspaper ad illustrating the card), the buyer can still credibly argue (via the expressed opinions of hobby experts, grading services and auction houses) that the card is not genuine.

Peter in my view makes the dispositive point. Assuming Clean Sweep represents that any item can be returned if a reputable grading service deems it not authentic (and I read Clean Sweep's guaranty to say just that), case closed (absent perhaps showing fraud, collusion on PSA's part). PSA has opined just that, and by any credible legal standard they will be found to be a reputable grading service.


    
This message has been edited by benjulmag on Mar 22, 2007 10:09 AM


 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Josh...

March 22 2007, 10:19 AM 

The buyer is hoping the court of public opinion will persuade Mr. Verkman to do the right thing before the buyer has to spend money on an attorney or commit to some contingent fee arrangement. There is no rush to bring suit.

 
 

(Login SteveVerkman)

some points

March 22 2007, 10:27 AM 

Wow - an honest dispute about authenticity can really bring up some emotions. Allow me to make a few points please:

(1) The TCMA type card appears to be the same pose. That does mean a lot as we all know many pre-war cards used file photos as images; ie we see the same pose of Cobb and others on many cards. This is interesting but CERTAINLY NOT definitive.

(2) Return policy. I completely where people are coming from on this but please understand my position on this: (1) This is a unique situation and we all know grading services can change their mind; (2) This part of our web site did not exist when this card was auctioned; (3) Mr Haverkos bid by phone and not on the internet; (4) We are willing to accept a return but we want to know the actual age of the card first.

(3) Winning bidder/board. I have been pushing to have this card tested since last October. If you step back from the situation and think about it, why does Mr Haverkos not want to test the card? Surely with three letters in his mind there can only be one outcome. He has been offered this for six months and has resisted it at every turn. You really make it hard to for someone to establish authenticity without access to the item. Everyone on this board knows I would never run a bait and switch and keep his card and the money; further, as I pointed out to him repeatedly, I would personally sign for any package.

(3a) Mr Haverkos ABSOLUTELY was manipulative with his first and post and even with his second. While the internet is great for free exchanges of information, it really is troubling when people (as other board members have pointed out) make HUGE OMISSIONS. If he is so sure of his position and is a straight guy, why resort to these tactics? I never ignored him or make a single promise that I did not keep.

(4) General. What is the real issue here? I think it is whether the card is real and I will overnight him a check immediately if this can be proven by aging the card. The basic rationale for rejecting this card is that we have not seen this before; NO-ONE HAS DONE A THOROUGH ANALYSIS. If and when this is tested, I plan on comparing this larger size Goudey Ruth items like an R309-1 and even Ruth bookplate images from the 1930s.

(5) Testing. I am not running a scam operation here and have never; this is simply an honest disagreement and desire to know the answer from science. I will have the ink AND paper test, both front and back. I believe the suspect T206 Wagner may be a real back with a fake front as I believe only the back was tested; this is a very common tactic among people who fix and alter early cards.

(6) I agree 1000% to the terms set by Judge Fred, who is the only one who is really trying to be fair to both parties here (I do know him, but perhaps he is a wise real judge!).
I will in fact pay the cost of the testing regardless of the outcome; in other words, if it comes back from the period, it is on my dime. I will go further and say publicly that if the authenticity cannot be determined by testing (after an actual attempt), I will also issue a refund.


Bottom line: is this about finding out if the card is real or running a smear campaign? All I am after is indisputable truth and if that is not possible, I will issue a complete refund.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word

March 22 2007, 10:35 AM 

Steve- do you think it is possible that you and the buyer will be able to resolve this between yourselves, or do you think it would be best to use the services of an outside third party? It does appear that the two of you can not do it alone.

 
 

Mike
(Login Qcards)

Do The Right Thing !!

March 22 2007, 10:36 AM 

Steve; I bid on high end items on behalf of a big collector and have scratched your auction house off my list. I'm not sure how many other customers you have lost but why not just give the guy his dough back, authenticate it and re sell it?
How can it be more simple then that?
Give the buyer a break here as it appears that he really doesn't want the item now authentic or not so why not just do the right thing?
If I were you, I would fix this before you do your firm any more damage.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Return policy

March 22 2007, 10:47 AM 

"(1) This is a unique situation and we all know grading services can change their mind; (2) This part of our web site did not exist when this card was auctioned; (3) Mr Haverkos bid by phone and not on the internet; (4) We are willing to accept a return but we want to know the actual age of the card first."

If an unqualified guaranty was made, then #1 is clearly irrelevant, and #4 is inconsistent with the terms of the guaranty. #3 also is irrelevant; surely the degree of protection the buyer gets doesn't depend on his method of bidding, and the guaranty nowhere says it is applicable only to internet bids. That said, if #2 is true, then no return guaranty was made with respect to the item. Is there a way objectively to determine whether the language at issue is indeed a recent addition to the website? At first blush it seems a little too convenient under the circumstances to carry a lot of credulity.

 
 


(Login hanksta)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 10:52 AM 

I would think that it would be in the best interest for Steve to return the money, get the card back and have it tested. If it turns out to be "authentic" I would think the card would sell for a lot more.

How much is it worth to drag this out?

Sean BH

 
 
Jay
(Login OldJudge)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 10:53 AM 

I have been trying to stay away but let me make a few points:

1-Did the auction catalog contain the authenticity guaranty?

2-If yes to #1, why is it relevant that Mark bid by phone?

3-Although, as Steve states, this is a "unique" item, I assume that the guaranty clause does not have a caveat to exclude "unique" items

4-I agree with Corey; testing the paper can only prove the negative, but not authenticity

5-Question for Steve: If you accept the return will you attempt to return the lot to the original consignor and, if so, what recourse do you believe you have against him?

 
 

(Login PC-T206)

Let SGC or Kevin Saucier look at it

March 22 2007, 11:02 AM 

Paper testing is a red-herring. It might prove that the paper is not old (and thus, without a dobut, that the card is fake), but what if it demonstrates that the paper used was old? Will a refund NOT be given at that point?

PSA has already spoken -- they believe the card is not authentic.

Why not agree to let SGC or GAI make the final determination? If SGC cannot confirm authenticity, then that would confirm PSA's conclusion, and that should be the end of this.

Or even better -- assuming he would agree to look at the card, send it Kevin Saucier. Based on what I've seen on this board recently, he'll not only be able to tell you if it's authentic, but also exactly how it was faked (if it is not authentic).

 
 

JK
(Login jkrasner2)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 11:02 AM 

Mark- Demeter1

You are correct - this is a commercial dispute and those who may have used the term punitive damages were using the term generically. In most states, including the state where I practice, there are unfair and deceptive trade practices statutes that deal with commercial disputes. Those statutes typically have some sort of liquidated damages provision - here, its treble damages and attorneys fees. Not saying that the facts in this case are sufficient to prove a deceptive practices claim, only that there is likely some basis for additional recovery.

Peter - I am, of course, aware that there is no need to bring suit immediately here and that the buyer would prefer to work it out without the need for fees. However, based on SV's continual refusal to simply take the card back, its unlikely that this will be resolved cheaply.

Steve V. - If testing cannot establish authenticity, why go through the hassle. Take the card back and if you are curious about the date, test it yourself before you resell. Even if paper testing says the card stock dates to the 1930s, it doesnt establish that the card is authentic. Your guarantee is apparently worthless and that tells me all I really need to know.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

JK

March 22 2007, 11:03 AM 

Sorry I was responding to Josh Adams, not you.

 
 


(Login jkrasner2)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 11:06 AM 

"All I am after is indisputable truth and if that is not possible, I will issue a complete refund."

To beat a dead horse, if testing cant offer "indisputable truth" that the card is real, then in your own words, a refund should be forthcoming.


 
 


(Login bijoem)

from a customer's perspesctive

March 22 2007, 11:06 AM 

I think it is worse that Steve is saying that the guarantee is more current than the sale of the item.... yet he will not abide by the guarantee.
Its not as if he is saying it is an outdated guarantee.... quite the opposite - it seems to be the current one.

Plain and simple - if your guarantee hinges on the opinion of a reputable grader - abide by it even if you disagree with the grader or think he could be wrong.

Otherwise, change your guarantee.

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

I will buy it

March 22 2007, 11:11 AM 

If it's proven real, being that I was the underbidder twice, I will buy the card for $19,000.....

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Joe D.

March 22 2007, 11:12 AM 

I gotta disagree with ya there, if the buyer bought this card at a time Mr. Verkman was not promising a return guaranty, then the buyer is not entitled to it simply because Mr. Verkman later enlarged his guaranty. I read somewhere there is a way to get a picture of websites as of earlier dates, does anyone know?

 
 

Jason L
(Login smallcapdaddy)
Registered Users

You know...

March 22 2007, 11:30 AM 

There is a family-run grocery store near where I live, that has a sign out front that says:
Rule #1: The customer is always right
Rule #2: See Rule #1

This thread is highly entertaining...it's kinda like a big train wreck, grotesque but you can't seem to turn away.


 
 


(Login bijoem)

peter -

March 22 2007, 11:32 AM 

my comment (as titled) was from a customer's perspective. Not so much from a legal perspective (which I defer to people more learned than I am).

But as a prospective customer....

I find it troubling that this is the current return policy and yet it is not being abided by.

As a customer, am I to believe that the auction house will abide by a reputable grading company's opinion for all future items.... or will there always be the "well they could be wrong or mistaken" defense?


And as noted by Leon.... a buyer is there if the item is legit. I could only scratch my head and wonder why an auction house would balk at a return that is very much consistent with their current philosophy as to what a 'good reason' for a return would be.... especially if they believe the item to be genuine and could sell it to someone else.


edit: grammar (probably still wrong)


    
This message has been edited by bijoem on Mar 22, 2007 11:42 AM


 
 

(Login SteveVerkman)

yes

March 22 2007, 11:42 AM 

I am absolutely willing as Barry and others have suggested to have a COMPLETELY independent third-party perform a test. Again, to talk about red herrings, we all know the games with paper and ink. This is clearly something that was printed; people that use period ink tend to sign autographs and not print cards and I want to make every best effort and then some to resolve this definitively and AGAIN, if tests are inconclusive, the winning bidder gets an immediate refund.

Corey and Jay, you are both very bright guys and I respect you tremendously but how would one ever corroborate a unique item? There is not always available a vintage ad, especially as in this case, where it is likely a prototype. Testing can also be a positive as it would tell us a lot if the ink and paper were from 1929/30.

It troubles me that few address the key point as to whether this is real. Any quick look at the blog can tell that grading services often make mistakes and are not infallible; this seems to me to be a particularly potent case with a unique card. Also, this needs to be said (as it was to the winning bidder): had PSA run a paper and ink test and on that basis rejected the card, there would be no issue and an immediate refund.

People, technical issues can be debated, but why such a momentous resistance to knowing if the card is real via testing? However this resolves itself, this card needs to be tested to know its authenticity.

Strictly speaking as hobbyists (as I am a collector as well as a dealer myself), the only way to resolve something like this is to test. This happens in the art world all the time, in the world of historical documents; our hobby should be at the stage at which we can resolve thing like this and not by collecting history (ie, we all have seen or not seen this before, ergo real or fake)

Steve

 
 

Dan Lundrigan
(Login sheetmetaldan)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 11:44 AM 

I have a question for Leon since he was one of the underbidders on this card "or anyone else for that matter".The question I have was brought up by others earlier in this thread but it seems like the question was lost in the shuffle. Is it common practice for the auctioneer to be disclosing bid information about other biddders on an item during an ongoing auction?This seems to me a little bit unethical and does even more damage to the credibility of the auction house in my opinion.

 
 


(Login bijoem)

Steve -

March 22 2007, 11:50 AM 

I would like to add... because I have not said it already:

I do not know Steve, and I don't believe I have had any prior business dealings with him.

But, I am very impressed with Steve's answers and the manner in which he is posting.

He is a gentleman in a tough situation - and that is to be commended.

Based on that, I am guessing this will eventually work itself out in an amicable way.

 
 
Alan
(Login Jewish-collector)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 11:50 AM 


 
 
Eric B
(Login egbeachley)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 11:53 AM 

So is this an official change to the policy that returns can be made only after paper and ink tests are performed? Will there be a reimbursement for these testing procedures?

 
 

(Login cardtarget)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:00 PM 

Internet Archive:

http://www.archive.org/

This page, with this word for word guarantee, has been published on the csauctions.com website since at least March of 2005.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050305035144/http://www.csauctions.com/html/faq.html

So there goes that defense....

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Dan L.

March 22 2007, 12:06 PM 

To answer your question about an auctioneer telling anything about other bids, it shouldn't be done, there should never be that situation. With that being said, and I will not name names, it is not extraordinary to be told something to garner another bid. Again, it shouldn't be done....but it is.....I have first hand knowledge of it being done, and it was not in any CSA auction.....I have no idea about this card, and this issue, in that auction....I am just answering the question you asked..I also know several good friends that have had the same experiences as I......best regards

 
 


(Login bijoem)

2005?

March 22 2007, 12:07 PM 

if so - that is contrary to what was said here (maybe an honest error - but pretty bad).


 
 
Peter Spaeth
(Login Peter_Spaeth)

Guaranty -- what say you now, Mr. Verkman?

March 22 2007, 12:11 PM 

"This page, with this word for word guarantee, has been published on the csauctions.com website since at least March of 2005.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050305035144/http://www.csauctions.com/html/faq.html

So there goes that defense...."

What say you to this apparently objective evidence, Mr. Verkman? This appears contrary to your statement that the guaranty did not appear on the website at the time the item in question was offered.

 
 


(Login sheetmetaldan)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:20 PM 

Thanks for the respose Leon I read something in a previous post that made me comment but I just didn`t have the STRENGTH to go back and re-read every comment.I tried to state my question as best I remembered reading it.I would also agree with the post from Joe D. Though I do not personally know them, Mr. Verkman and Mr. Haverkos do seem like a gentlemen in a tough situation.Hope this works out for all involved.

 
 


(Login three25hits)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:33 PM 

Refund the money.

Test it yourself. If its real, you have a buyer. If its not, you would have to refund the money anyway.

The cost to not refunding the money but getting your way?

This thread will go to 300+ posts and many current & potential customers will become non-customers.

 
 

(Login JASONn11)

Mr Verkman -you are doing the correct thing

March 22 2007, 12:42 PM 

None of these individuals PSA, Mastro, SGC, GAI, Fogel are not Superman. They do not have x-ray vision to say that the actual orientation of the card is not authentic. Because they handle many expensive pieces (that has no relevance to this case). They never handled this piece which is the primary topic since it is a one of a kind card. It's merely an opinion what they are saying, not a fact because there is no proof. I am surprised at Mastro's statement-his last sentence.
You must take this card to a testing third party that handles world class documents for inspection. You are doing the right thing.

 
 


(Login three25hits)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:44 PM 

Double negatives are troublesome.

 
 
Al C.risafulli
(Login Novocent)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:51 PM 

No they're not.

-Al

 
 


(Login three25hits)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 12:52 PM 

Al, you're grumpy as of late.

 
 

(Login Novocent)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 1:00 PM 

I've heard that. I'll try harder.

-Al

 
 


(Login jacklitsch)

Then there's

March 22 2007, 1:02 PM 

Nikdo nic nevyhrál.

"Nobody didn't win nothing" a triple negative which is the way this is turning out.


    
This message has been edited by jacklitsch on Mar 22, 2007 1:06 PM
This message has been edited by jacklitsch on Mar 22, 2007 1:04 PM


 
 


(Login E93)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 1:03 PM 

What is most shocking to me is that Steve Verkman is still holding on and still thinks he can prevail on this one! How can he recognize a fake card if he can't recognize when he lost the battle and the war? (rhetorical question). How does someone with such low business intuition stay in business as long as he has?

Steve, for your own good, listen to what everybody here is saying. If the members of this board do not bid your auctions, you are sunk.
JimB

Edited to delete an account of my previous bad experience with Steve Verkman. I decided I do not want to contribute to prolonging this any further, even if I am not a fan of his.


    
This message has been edited by E93 on Mar 22, 2007 3:43 PM


 
 


(Login jmk59)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 1:57 PM 

Steve,

I can't speak for the rest of the board, but I think the overall resistance to having it tested may lie in what you intend to do with the results. I'm thinking that if it comes back as 30's on paper, ink or both you will conclude that it is real and call it conclusive.

So there are these possible outcomes:

1) Forego testing and refund based on expert opinion.

2) Have it tested and it fails. Again, a refund

3) Have it tested and it passes, but you agree that it is not necessarily conclusive and refund the money, possibly after further negotiation or whatever.

4) Have it tested and it passes, and you decide that is conclusive. In that case, you would be giving the age of paper and/or ink more weight than the collective expert opinion, and actually giving that outcome veto power over the experts.

So for me, the issue of testing comes down to this: It would give you the opportunity to deny a refund by taking a passing result and defining it as more persuasive than all combined experts. And you would be able to make that call because as of right now, you hold the money and Mark holds the card. This despite the many reasons given above that testing is not conclusive.

So all outcomes lead to refund except one. That's a passing result that you consider conclusive even though few others would.

It's just my opinion, but that's why I don't think there is a big clamor going on in support of testing. To help others support your position, can you clarify what you would do in the case of passing results?

Thx,

Joann


    
This message has been edited by jmk59 on Mar 22, 2007 1:57 PM


 
 
davidcycleback
(Login drc1)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 1:58 PM 

The return guarantee is clear. PSA, Mastro, etc are reputable experts. Yes, PSA, Mastro, Lifson and Josh Evans have been wrong individually (as we all have), but it's unlikely they would all wrong simultaneously. Mastro, REA and Lelands are competing companies, and aren't in collusion. If one of those experts offered different opinion there would be debate, but they are in agreement. If Steve accepts return and after various tests the card is proven to be vintage, he can resell it.


    
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 2:09 PM
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 2:06 PM
This message has been edited by drc1 on Mar 22, 2007 2:05 PM


 
 
Jeff Prizner
(Login Bicem)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:01 PM 

real, fake, old, new... whatever.

bottom line is the customer service in this situation is horrendous.

I spent over $5k in one of their auctions last year with no problems, but I won't take that kind of chance again!

Refund his money, he has a letter from the president of PSA for crying out loud.

 
 


(Login jkrasner2)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:12 PM 

Jay (JASONn11) -

You need to reread this thread. First, paper testing (whether done by someone who handles "world class" documents or not) cannot prove that the item is authentic. The fact that PSA, Mastro and others deem the card to be fake has everything to do with this issue since CSA's guarantee states quite specifically that they will refund a buyer's money if any reputable grading company deems an item not to be authentic. That is exactly what has happened here. Mistakes or not, PSA is reputable. To borrow a very astute comment (which I couldnt agree with more) from an email I received about this matter from another forum member:

"I find it totally hypocritical of these dealers who say 'no returns if graded by a respected third party authenticator'. But when these authenticators won't slab a card, then the dealers say 'the grading companies don't know what they are doing and I know better.'"


    
This message has been edited by jkrasner2 on Mar 22, 2007 2:20 PM
This message has been edited by jkrasner2 on Mar 22, 2007 2:16 PM


 
 


(Login three25hits)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:15 PM 

...


    
This message has been edited by three25hits on Mar 22, 2007 2:31 PM


 
 


(Login BOTN)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:16 PM 

I think at this point Stevie should get familiar with the phrase "Would you like fries with that, sir?"

 
 

(Login JudgeDred2)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:21 PM 

Jeff,

That's priceless....

"Refund his money, he has a letter from the president of PSA for crying out loud."



 
 

(Login pirateback)

JimB

March 22 2007, 2:23 PM 

Wow...seeing the activity on this board the past couple of days, if I ever go into business selling vintage cards I'll be extra sure to keep on the good side of you guys!!!

I've had two very different experiences with Steve. The first was similar to yours, Jim, where I bought two cards at auction that were listed in Ex condition, but had paper loss on the backs and creases. I called, returned the cards, and got a refund with no problem at all (interestingly, I saw them again later for sale in VG condition). Since that time I have always assumed that everything was one level over-graded and bid accordingly.

Later, I bought a 1986-87 Fleer Basketball near-set. The problem was that the four cards used in the catalog picture weren't included. I do believe that the folks at CS Auctions went to some effort to find them but couldn't. I called frequently for the first few months, and while they did find one of the four cards and sent it to me, I kept being told that it was hard to find individual cards in comparable condition...yet they've sold many, many 1986-87 sets and partial sets since. They rarely called back, and eventually I just gave up, stopped calling, stopped buying, and stopped bidding.

I agree that for better or worse it all comes down to customer service, and that customer experiences and recommendations carry a lot of weight.

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

moratorium on this thread

March 22 2007, 2:25 PM 

Guys- We have said all we need to. I am not protecting anyone...I promise...but unless there is something we already don't know do we really need to continue the bashing? Steve is contacting a paper conservator now...I have spoken with Steve a few times today. It is being worked on now.....Lets give these guys a chance to work it out and chill out for a day or two.....we've all said enough....

Herman- thanks for putting your name by your post. I deleted it before that because it was semi-anonymous, which is against board rules. Also, I want you to edit your login with reference to CSA.....you may say what you want to but lets keep it professional. This is someone's business ....lets be fair. I do think a refund will come in the near future but again, those things are being worked on....This is a difficult time for the buyer and seller so lets respect that....please

ps..Herman- I just read your statement about a child porn website...that is hideous....you need to prove that or edit your statement...this is getting a little out of hand...

thanks folks.....


    
This message has been edited by leonl on Mar 22, 2007 2:27 PM


 
 

(Login JASONn11)

Mr. Verkman - You are doing the correct thing

March 22 2007, 2:33 PM 

Board members. You have got to know this. PSA, Mastro, Evans, SGC, GAI, they all need each other. Each Auction house that you have mentioned use their grading services. They all need & i'm sure they all work together on many things for REVENUE reasons (that's for a later date). Of course they are going to agree with each other since they are all feeding on one another.
PSA, GAI, MASTRO catalogues, Leland's have all made mistakes in grading, descriptions, items. Do the research you will see (like Mr. Verkman mentioned) Why is it that sometimes you see items withdrawn from an auction?
You have to take this out of the hands of these people from this hobby. They are all together and will agree together like a large conglomerate family. A private third party outside the sports memorabilia business will give you a better one on one definitive answer.

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Herman Taube

March 22 2007, 2:38 PM 

You must change your login from the reference you make about CSA..If I could edit it I would.......say what you want to....but be professional please.....

edited to say...I saw the reference to the old url....it's not that way anymore and my guess is that it had nothing to do with Steve Verkman...there was no reference to that that I found....I will chalk that up to an internet issue....it had nothing to do with Steve's company....let's keep this factual if we can....


    
This message has been edited by leonl on Mar 22, 2007 2:41 PM


 
 


(Login three25hits)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:40 PM 

Then why is the guarantee based on such a flawed incestuous system?

Its sad that all the grading companies and auction houses have conspired against this poor card.




    
This message has been edited by three25hits on Mar 22, 2007 2:41 PM


 
 


(Login BOTN)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:40 PM 

I think this is the thread to which Herman was referring.


 
 

(Login taslegal)

Jay

March 22 2007, 2:40 PM 

Here's the part you either don't get or choose to ignore. There is a guarantee that if a reputable grading company finds an item to be unauthentic, a return will be accepted. Period.
Doesn't matter if the reputable grading company is right or wrong. No one forced the seller to make this or any guarantee. He elected to do so. If he's got a beef, it's with the grading company behind whom he was willing to stand. Don't make promises you are unwilling to keep.

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Greg..and Todd

March 22 2007, 2:43 PM 

I just did do that search and found that thread before you posted it...but really luckeycards.com could get just as tangled and I can assure everyone my site only has to do with card related stuff....and always has.....

Todd- I have agreed with that statement all along...

 
 

(Login JASONn11)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:55 PM 

Mr. Todd, Let's do it this way. "A reputable grading Co." Nowhere does it states "if PSA, SGC, GAI, Mastro,Leland's Fogel, etc....find an item to be unauthentic" it just states a "reputable grading Co." Why does it have to be them. Why can't it be a reputable third party outside the sports memorabilia business? You see what i'm saying. Who determines what a "reputable grading Co." stands for if they ALL MADE MISTAKES". All mistake are documented by those Co.'s above on the web.
When you are talking about this amount of money, you can not rely on 4 individuals that use or FEED each other in the sports business for a final answer. You have to go the a neutral mediator.

 
 

(Login pchaos)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 2:57 PM 

Jay,

That's a good idea but what would a neutral mediator know about baseball cards.

Peter

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Herman

March 22 2007, 3:09 PM 

You are referencing CSA in your login....you can't do that. Please change it or I will not allow you to post...it's that easy...and let's stick to the topic......so do it now and all is good...thanks

 
 

(Login JASONn11)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 3:13 PM 

Mr Verkman, This is my last post regarding this subject. Of course you have the option to do what you think is good for you. I would stay away from the other auctioneers & grading services in the sports business that are all working together, FEEDING each other, and using each other, for an answer. I would take this outside the sports business if you can. The grading services in the past have destroyed the coin business. It's just a matter of time before it will destroy the baseball card business. They are all one family and they only care about how much Millions of dollars they will make this year. Good luck until next time.

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Herman

March 22 2007, 3:17 PM 

My sole recourse is being able to edit a post, delete a post, or ban an IP. That's it. I can not change anyone's login nor do I have any other info. YOU created the login. Don't tell me to fix it. Had you not created it we wouldn't be having this discussion. I suggest you re-create a login that is more appropriate. Your last post is about to be deleted....and if you post with that login again you won't ever post again. This really isn't personal...and I hate censoring more than anyone...It's one of my biggest faults and I admit it. Now fix it.

ps...Herman- I want to work this out....if you have a minute call me....972-774-7032.....thanks man


    
This message has been edited by leonl on Mar 22, 2007 3:19 PM


 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word

March 22 2007, 3:19 PM 

Everyone has spoken their mind, and this thread is starting to fall apart. It's time to lock it.

 
 

(Login martyogelvie)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 3:22 PM 

I enjoyed reading this tremendously. I learned a lot!


martyOgelvie
nyyankeecards.com

 
 

(Login flinchfree)

Hi Herman

March 22 2007, 3:25 PM 

Just a quick take down. This place is no blog and not a space to merely leave some prose to be counted as fiction or not. It's a forum for incredibly serious hobbyists possessing various and varying knowledge. People yack but always in the context of mostly being serious (or at least attempt to be serious) contributors to discussions relevant and revealing to collecting vintage cards. Livelihoods can be at stake, families are supported by those livelihoods, and thus the rules of engagement Leon amiably enforces. Be a gent and you'll get to have a full say on this forum, get crotchety and dismiss the style of the place and you won't be long for here.

Kindest regards
Daniel

 
 
Herman Taube
(Login blogpuppet)

Is everyone happy?

March 22 2007, 3:26 PM 

Now that is ironed out....Lets get back to the more important issue of the week here. Steve Verkman and CSA. I invite anyone else within eye shot of this post to recount any and all problems they have had with this auction house, for the protection of the general collecting public that read this blog. I myself have had problems with this business but for fear of repercussion, I will not mention details.

Who else has had a bad deal with CSA?

 
 

(Login taslegal)

Jay

March 22 2007, 3:27 PM 

Seller chose "reputable grading company" as his language, not "reputable somethingorother outside the hobby". He knew what this meant and again, had the option to choose other language or provide no guarantee at all. If his argument is that PSA, SCG or whoever is not reputable, then he needs to tell us what grading company is reputable, but he won't make that argument because it's bogus.
If you're trying to argue that no grading company is reputable, forget it--no Court in the land would buy that.

 
 


(Login EcardCollector)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 3:31 PM 

Mr Verkman keeps stating that the only reason PSA wont authenticate it is because they've never seen one. PSA has graded previously unseen items before. Infact according to the above letter written by Joe Orlando he stated that he believes it to be a counterfeit.
The letter doesn't say "it looks good, however we can't grade it because we've never seen one." Which is what Mr. Verkman wants you to believe IT DOES say "More importantly, this card does not possess the characteristics normally found on trading cards of the era or issued by the manufacturer. The print, registration and paper quality are not consistent with any period Goudey card or any other card from that time period. In fact, even the wear found on the card appears to be contrived to give the card the appearance that it is of certain vintage."
Seems PSA laid out why they wouldn't authenticate it pretty clearly to me...

 
 
Herman Taube
(Login blogpuppet)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 3:36 PM 

Have I said anything that is not factual? I mentioned the porn site that was cleansweepauctions.com only because I read it HERE IN THIS FORUM. I am trying to stick to the topic of the bad item in CSA and the situation speculation everyone is proclaiming. All I have is another different opinion from everyone else.
I think that auction houses like this one are a plague upon the industry that is only a level or two above perceived slimy coin dealers. I wish cards had a better reputation than it does and I will fight for it until the day I die. Companies like Memory Lane and WIWAG and CSA, and others are perpetuating the present stereotype of the card dealer and it must stop. Don't you want a better industry for everyone? I want to be able to buy a deal with a company check instead of cash because the customer doesn't trust a card dealer.
This crap with Verkman is only another banner of customer inconvenience and blatant possible ripoff by another card dealer. The writing is on the wall with this subject. How much more public and expert opinion does there need to be interjected? I am appalled at how the situation has progressed to this level. And you should be too.


    
This message has been edited by blogpuppet on Mar 22, 2007 3:38 PM


 
 

(Login SteveVerkman)

reveal yourself

March 22 2007, 3:39 PM 

Who are you Mr Taube? I know you are not John Taube because he is a classy guy. Why do I suspect that you are someone else who is playing a game?

Please stick to the topic of this card and we would all love to know who you are. You are obviously just a lowlife flamer who is only trying to get their kicks by slamming someone.

 
 
Jay
(Login OldJudge)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 3:40 PM 

Herman--"I have had problems with this business but for fear of repercussion I won't mention the details". For fear of repercussion? In my opinion, short of running over Steve's dog(assuming he has one), you have already taken some pretty big shots at him. My guess is that you have already been removed from his Christmas card list.

 
 

(Login Peter_Spaeth)

What is relevant and what is not

March 22 2007, 3:43 PM 

At this stage, I analyze the case as follows.
1. Mr. Verkman guaranteed he would take back the item if ANY REPUTABLE GRADING COMPANY determined it was not authentic. This guaranty was posted on the website at the time of the auction and therefore is part of the terms and conditions of the sale.
1a. Mr. Verkman apparently was in error when he claimed earlier that this guaranty was not in effect for the auction in question.
2. A reputable grading company has determined the item is not authentic.
3. The buyer has invoked the guaranty seeking to return the item.

In my view, all the rest of it, on both sides, is irrelevant at this point including Mr. Mastro's opinion, Mr. Fogel's opinion, whether or not the buyer's recounting of the negotiations is incomplete or misleading, whether testing can or cannot determine the authenticity of the item, and indeed whether the item is or is not authentic.

 
 
Herman Taube
(Login blogpuppet)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 3:47 PM 

I don't want to mention the problem deal I had with CSA because Leon may choose to censor it due to bashing rules. I haven't getton used to them yet and how they are invoked. Needless to say, I was once a bidder in CSA auctions until I got tired of being burned on his suspect inventory and subjected to his bad shipping practices. But maybe I am the only one, who knows? I choose not to speculate up here but reference previous posts and general knowledge that is in the hobby. This is why I invite anyone who has had problems with CSA to post here to inform and protect the general public from a possible marginal auction house.
Steve, now that you see you have gone from the pan to the fire, its time to be a stand up guy and refund the $$. 18k cant be a make or break figure for you given all the business you do.

 
 

(Login barrysloate)

Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word

March 22 2007, 3:56 PM 

Herman- you're asking others to tell their horror stories but when asked to discuss yours, you refuse because of possible repercussions. Why should others do it if you won't?

This thread is degenerating into chaos.

 
 


(Premier Login leonl)
Forum Owner

Herman

March 22 2007, 3:57 PM 

I haven't censored one friggin' thing you have said nor have I asked you to say, or not say, anything, since you changed your login. How would you like me to to change my login to disparage you? You are about to piss me off....kind regards

 
 
David Smith
(Login ctownboy)

Jay

March 22 2007, 3:59 PM 

I disagree with you. Why would all the other auction companies conspire against Mr. Verkman over an $18,000 card?

I don't believe $18,000 is going to break CSA and if it is, then they have more trouble than just this card. Now if we were talking about the high grade PSA Wagner and $2.3 million, then I can see that the others might want to conspire because THAT would put a serious financial dent in CSA AND be highly public.

Also, if this card were REAL wouldn't you think the other auction companies would want it to be real? I mean with all the trouble this has caused for the buyer and the acrimony between the buyer and CSA, I don't think the buyer would EVER use CSA to sell the card if and when he decides to do so. So, the buyer would use another auction company.

Leon has already stated that if this card is REAL he would pay MORE for it than what the buyer paid. Now, add that to the fact that if this card were REAL then it would be a unique example of the biggest star player of the time and from the most prominent gum company which produced the most collected series of cards from the time. All this adds to the value of the card.

Right now, if the card were to be auctioned and Leon won it for $19,000, the auction company would make $2,850 if they charged a 15% buyers premium. However, I believe with all of the publicity generated on this board combined with the facts I stated in the previous paragraph that the card would sell for much more. This higher sales price would mean a higher dollar amount for any of the other auction houses as far as commissions go.

So, for the other auction houses to say this card is fake is, in effect, taking money from their own companies.

David

 
 


(Login jkrasner2)

Re: Mr. Verkman – Keep your Word - Letters From Bill Mastro, Joe Orlando, & Marshall Fogel

March 22 2007, 4:02 PM 

Jay -

Who the hell are you? I know you dont post here much, but can you seriously argue that psa, sgc, etc are not reputable grading companies? That is the seller's guarantee. His guarantee does not require that someone outside the hobby (presumably with no experience authenticating cards) examine the card and deem it to be fake.

As for your conspiracy theory about all these entities feeding off each other and working with each other, that is just plain ridiculous. First, while auction companies need grading companies to grade consignments, Im sure that psa, sgc, gai get more fees from individual submissions than from auction houses. Second, what is mastro's incentive to deem the card a fake just b/c PSA says its fake? That hurts mastro in that they lose a potential consignment. If making money is all its about for these companies than mastro would have authenticated the item and sold it in their next auction graded or not.

This will go down in the annuls of conspiracy theories: the Grassy Knoll, Area 54, Elvis lives, etc.

 
 
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