BREAKING NEWS: PWCC Accused Of Shill Bidding By eBay
eBay today announced that it would be restricting PWCC from selling on its marketplace due to allegations of ‘shill bidding’.
For those not familiar with the term, shill bidding occurs when fake buyers submit bids on items in order to intentionally drive increased activity to a listing.
The full statement from eBay:
As one of the world’s largest marketplaces, eBay has policies in place to protect our buyers and sellers. eBay was founded on trust, and we work every day to ensure a fair and positive experience for the entire eBay community.
Recently, it was determined that individuals associated with a trading card seller, PWCC, have engaged in “shill bidding,” which is prohibited on eBay. As a result, eBay has restricted PWCC’s selling privileges and listings, effective today. eBay’s policies and standards were designed to ensure a trusted marketplace where our community can transact with confidence. If we determine that a buyer or seller is not acting in good faith, eBay takes this seriously and takes action. Our customer service team will work directly with anyone who has a question about a recent PWCC transaction.
eBay is the destination for buying and selling trading cards – built over 25 years with our passionate community of collectors and sellers, as partners, on that journey. Trust is the cornerstone of eBay, which is why we felt it was important to share this information with our community. We assure you that eBay will continue to take actions to deliver on our commitment.
Can I Still Buy Sports Cards At Target or Walmart?
While the bulk of my card collecting and writing on All Vintage Cards is focused on older cards, I admittedly have had the urge to buy some modern cards while shopping at Target or Walmart in the past.
However, when I went to Target recently to pick up some household items, I was disappointed to find the shelves that used to hold sports cards galore completely barren. So I set out to find the truth.
Can you still buy sports cards at Walmart or Target?
Unfortunately, it’s much harder today to find sports cards at Walmart or Target, as they both have suspended the selling of many sports and trading cards. They still sell some sports cards in-store and online, however, there is a huge variation in availability based on your specific location.
PSA To Suspend Value, Economy, Regular and Express Grading
In what can only be described as inevitable, PSA just announced that it was suspending all Value, Economy, Regular and Express grading service levels. In a letter to collectors, PSA President Steve Sloan outlines the massive influx of grading requests and the move to ultimately slow down submissions.
Sloan reiterates in his letter that PSA continues to get flooded with grading requests and has received more cards in three days than they did during the previous three months. The letter clearly states that PSA needs to catch up. And in order to do so, they are halting any Value, Regular and Express grading submissions.
So what does this mean for collectors? Well, it means that it will basically be impossible to get your cards graded at PSA, unless you want to pony up the $300 for the ‘Super Express’ grading level. And for most collectors that isn’t an option, unless you are dealing with a card worth in the multiple thousands of dollars.
PSA & SGC Hike Grading Prices, Provide Updates On Wait Times
In what was only inevitable, both SGC and PSA, two of the hobby’s largest third-party grading companies have hiked prices.
The deluge of cards submitted to the grading companies has resulted in nearly unfathomable wait times and the grading companies are trying to put a halt to submissions….well, by raising prices.
The story at PSA is two-fold. First, if you hadn’t heard, the parent of PSA – Collector’s Universe was acquired by an investor group, which includes collector Nat Turner. Turner has voiced his desire to improve upon the existing operational infrastructure at PSA and to provide much-needed investment to improve upon the existing processes.
“This is a big step in the evolution of digital commerce and especially in the advent of what has become a growing market for cryptocurrencies. Our stance is that bitcoin is here to stay and that we would like to play our part in helping the digital ecosystem evolve into the world of online commerce. It’s only natural that card collectors have the ability to utilize their cryptocurrencies in purchasing sports cards” -says All Vintage Cards President, Evan Gibson.
The All Vintage Cards shop carries high quality vintage sports cards, and was recently launched in 2020, following on years of success in helping collector with a plethora of hobby resources, including numerous resource guides relating to spotting counterfeit cards, along with helping to identify good investments in the hobby.
All of this was done with the help of PWCC, the big eBay auction house, although the company has denied any wrongdoing to date.
Let’s face it; PSA, SGC, and Beckett are just third-party authenticators. There is no guarantee that the graders will get it right, intentionally or not. It’s now on us to be a ‘fourth party grader’ to ensure we are not getting scammed.
Yet the graders provide a level of ‘certainty’ in what used to be a very uncertain marketplace. But with the recent events, should we still trust the third-party graders? Is there any indication that PSA or other graders have knowingly graded altered cards?
In this piece, I review the history of the grading companies, what has transpired in recent years, and whether we as collectors should continue to rely on the graders to provide this consistency to our beloved hobby.
I’ve also surveyed All Vintage Cards followers for their own feedback and will present the results after this article.