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Kudo's to LOTG - discovered a counterfeit #311 1952 Mantle PSA 1 in latest auction

Madison18JoshuaMadison18Joshua Posts: 60

I have been after a 52 Mantle PSA 1 as that is the best my budget can do right now. It is very popular card and there are a ton of them but it is difficult to uncover a good priced one as everyone on ebay wants more than even VCP. I thought I finally landed one from most recent LOTG auction at what I thought was a fair price. $5,800 for a rough PSA 1 cert#19886752. Which I checked out on PSA site and it said it was a #311 PSA 1 Mantle. It was item #23 in some unique display with an autographed picture as well. I thought people had simply overlooked it, which is why I got it for such a low price. After winning the auction Al Crisafulli reached out saying he had questions of its authenticity and wanted to get PSA's opinion. It was confirmed by Jackie Curiel of PSA that the alleged PSA graded card was in fact a counterfeit. So bummed but at least I didnt pay $5k for a fake and Al was nice enough to credit me $100 for a future auction for my troubles.

As I think more about this it makes me wonder if any of my cards in holders could be fakes too.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Has something like this happened to anyone here before?

Best,
Micah

http://loveofthegameauctions.com/Att...-LOT16655.aspx


Comments

  • Stone193Stone193 Posts: 24,151 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've known Al of LOTG for almost 15 years.

    He's an honest straight shooter and will always make good on his word and what he puts in his auction.

    Good show on this.

    Mike





  • Dpeck100Dpeck100 Posts: 10,914 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Was the case compromised or was a counterfeit copy graded?

  • Madison18JoshuaMadison18Joshua Posts: 60
    edited August 20, 2018 2:10PM

    Here is the whole story....

    In LOTG auction they had a display piece that included a '52 Mantle in a PSA holder with an authentic certification number.

    On auction closing weekend Al had a bidder ask a question about the piece, which led him to take a harder look at the card. Ultimately on Monday morning he sent an email to PSA to ask them if they'd kindly take a look at the card, and then he sent the entire display piece to them by FedEx.

    Al sent me an email, advising me of the situation and asking me not to pay my invoice until he received a final word from PSA.

    Wednesday night, he received the email from PSA that the card was, indeed, counterfeit. The fraudsters (not Al's consignor, but the person from whom he bought the display piece years ago) seem to have cracked an authentic Mantle out, inserted a fake, and then put the entire holder into what looked like a very nice framed display. Behind a sheet of glass and then the plastic holder, it was pretty convincing. Thankfully, they caught it before money exchanged hands, but Al offered me a account credit for the inconvenience.

    Unfortunate for me, as I felt I'd gotten a good price on a card, but very fortunate for me, as I didn't wind up paying nearly $6K for a counterfeit.

  • @Dpeck100 said:
    Was the case compromised or was a counterfeit copy graded?

    see my latest comment explaining in detail.

  • GreenSneakersGreenSneakers Posts: 759 ✭✭✭✭

    I’m always skeptical of iconic cards that are”really” beat up. It’s like the fraudsters overdo it so as to not get too much attention. Reminds me of the fake 52 Mick with the glasses drawn on it a few years ago.

    Glad it worked out for you. I haven’t bought from LOTG but will def check them out due to this story.

  • BatpigBatpig Posts: 450 ✭✭✭

    @thunderdan said:
    Al is great, so I'm not surprised at all he took care of this.

    That one is an easy fake looking at the card stock alone. It's bright white vs. the off/white cream that all real mantles have. Then the fake aging/sullying of the card. .

    More than any card in the hobby, I've seen people burned by this card. They think they're getting a steal on a mantle either raw or holdered and it ends up being fake. It really is worth buying from reputable dealers who either a) know the 52 mantle well and are even willing to get it reholdered for you upon purchase or b) are willing to stand behind anything they sell you (which Al did in this case).

    Nobody is going to get a 52 mantle at a steal, and it's such a popular card that rarely have people overlooked it. There's a reason why that price was so low. People who are familiar with that card would have known right away that was a fake and stayed away.

    Very true. That thing is incredibly easy to spot. The "bright" white crease lines are a dead give away.

  • @Batpig said:

    @thunderdan said:
    Al is great, so I'm not surprised at all he took care of this.

    That one is an easy fake looking at the card stock alone. It's bright white vs. the off/white cream that all real mantles have. Then the fake aging/sullying of the card. .

    More than any card in the hobby, I've seen people burned by this card. They think they're getting a steal on a mantle either raw or holdered and it ends up being fake. It really is worth buying from reputable dealers who either a) know the 52 mantle well and are even willing to get it reholdered for you upon purchase or b) are willing to stand behind anything they sell you (which Al did in this case).

    Nobody is going to get a 52 mantle at a steal, and it's such a popular card that rarely have people overlooked it. There's a reason why that price was so low. People who are familiar with that card would have known right away that was a fake and stayed away.

    Very true. That thing is incredibly easy to spot. The "bright" white crease lines are a dead give away.

    in hindsight and reading these comments it is easy to see what you all mean. I am relatively new at collecting these higher end cards and "assumed" that by it being in a PSA or SGC holder and verifying the cert# I was good to go. You mean to tell me there is a way to open a slabbed card and put a fake in without being able to tell?

    In this case they were able to get away with it because the card was sealed away edges of the holder unseen by the clever matting.

  • KendallCatKendallCat Posts: 2,795 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @thunderdan said:
    Al is great, so I'm not surprised at all he took care of this.

    +1

    I first met Al a few years ago at the National, and he is truly one of the very good guys in the hobby. Always helpful, generous, and really provides his customers value and service. Adding Jeff to the LOTG group was another smart move. If they keep it up I hope their operation continues to grow and do well. For those reasons alone I will consider them strongly in the future should I consign items to an AH. Always nice to see the good guys get rewarded.

    KC

  • TNP777TNP777 Posts: 5,710 ✭✭✭

    Egads. To think that a legit '52 Mantle in that condition goes for six large is mind-boggling.

    Thank you, cardboard Jesus, for not allowing me to be a Yankees fan.

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 6,038 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Totally agree on the white borders being a giveaway. Had an almost ultra-white appearance. In this example they really stood out. Best to look at many,many Mantles in person, then the counterfeits will stand out more easily and be easier to spot.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit
  • CWCW Posts: 1,173 ✭✭✭

    @Madison18Joshua said:
    You mean to tell me there is a way to open a slabbed card and put a fake in without being able to tell?

    Usually you can tell by seeing "frosting" or white areas on the edges when the seal is compromised. It would be even easier to spot tampering with the newer holders in most cases.

    In this case they were able to get away with it because the card was sealed away edges of the holder >unseen by the clever matting.

    I think you are correct here.

  • dontippetdontippet Posts: 2,500 ✭✭✭

    So, why didn't any of the bidders alert the auction house to this while the auction was going on? If it's that obvious, I wonder why nobody said anything earlier.

    > [Click on this link to see my ebay listings.](https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=0&_udlo=&_udhi=&_ftrt=901&_ftrv=1&_sabdlo=&_sabdhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=15&_stpos=61611&_sargn=-1&saslc=1&_salic=1&_fss=1&_fsradio=&LH_SpecificSeller=1&_saslop=1&_sasl=mygirlsthree3&_sop=12&_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_fosrp=1)
    >

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  • thunderdanthunderdan Posts: 3,035 ✭✭✭
    edited August 21, 2018 8:32AM

    @dontippet said:
    So, why didn't any of the bidders alert the auction house to this while the auction was going on? If it's that obvious, I wonder why nobody said anything earlier.

    Same reason scam listings on ebay go off all the time and people get taken: many people have an attitude that if it doesn't affect them, they don't really care if it might impact others. Cynical I know, but it happens all the time in society with people not whistleblowing dishonesty.

    image


  • KbKardsKbKards Posts: 1,782 ✭✭✭

    It's hard to believe that anybody with any experience in vintage cards would not immediately identify it as a fake with even a cursory glance while in the general vicinity of the item. It's an obvious fake that sticks out like a sore thumb and the extra glass does nothing to make assessing the authenticity of the item more difficult. It's good that is was caught before it was paid for but unbelievable that it was ever accepted in the first place. Kudos to LOTG for correcting the situation when brought to their attention but it's crazy how that thing could have made it through the acceptance process.

  • Wouldn't something like this qualify for a "refund" based upon the "PSA Financial Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity" policy? If someone bought it and sent it to PSA to be re-slabbed, it wouldn't grade PSA 1, so they would refund you the difference between what you paid and what a fake, beat-up 52T Mantle is worth, right?

    https://psacard.com/about/financialguarantee/

    I actively collect Kirby Puckett. I have collections of Michael Jordan, Emmitt Smith, Roberto Clemente, Dwight Gooden, Tom Seaver, Errict Rhett and Evan Longoria.

  • Dpeck100Dpeck100 Posts: 10,914 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jimmy_Commonpants said:
    Wouldn't something like this qualify for a "refund" based upon the "PSA Financial Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity" policy? If someone bought it and sent it to PSA to be re-slabbed, it wouldn't grade PSA 1, so they would refund you the difference between what you paid and what a fake, beat-up 52T Mantle is worth, right?

    https://psacard.com/about/financialguarantee/

    Not when the slab has been compromised and a fake card is inserted.

  • @dontippet said:
    So, why didn't any of the bidders alert the auction house to this while the auction was going on? If it's that obvious, I wonder why nobody said anything earlier.

    one of them did but towards then end of the auction, to Al directly which is why he requested PSA take a look at it.> @Jimmy_Commonpants said:

    Wouldn't something like this qualify for a "refund" based upon the "PSA Financial Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity" policy? If someone bought it and sent it to PSA to be re-slabbed, it wouldn't grade PSA 1, so they would refund you the difference between what you paid and what a fake, beat-up 52T Mantle is worth, right?

    https://psacard.com/about/financialguarantee/

    no it wouldnt as PSA says.... the Guarantee does not apply to any card that has been removed from the PSA holder or any card for which the PSA holder shows evidence of tampering;

  • KbKardsKbKards Posts: 1,782 ✭✭✭

    It would be very interesting to know the expertise level of the consignor. Was it just a one-off from a pigeon duped off Craigslist, or was it from a frequent consignor who was well aware of exactly what they had.

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Al is a great and upstanding individual, so I am not surprised that he took care of the problem.

    Good luck with your search of a Mickey Topps rookie card.

    Donato

    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Donato's Complete US Type Set ---- Donato's Dansco 7070 Modified Type Set ---- Donato's Basic U.S. Coin Design Set

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  • shouldabeena10shouldabeena10 Posts: 1,367 ✭✭✭

    Al Crisafulli is top notch, ... one of the best guys in the hobby.

    "Vintage Football Cards" A private Facebook Group of 4000 members, for vintage football card trading, sales & auctions. https://facebook.com/groups/vintagefootball/
  • mrmojorisinmrmojorisin Posts: 272 ✭✭
    edited August 23, 2018 9:32AM

    I see this in vintage firecracker packs, where the damage/wear just looks deliberate because of the completeness of wear. As if someone ground the pack into the dirt repeatedly. Well the faker basically did, but my mind goes to how this wear/damage would happen if real. How could a kid or collector take a pack in real life and get that kind of damage. When my mind can't think of a reasonable explanation, I start to think fake since they WANTED it damaged/worn to mask the tell-tale signs of a repro pack. Translates to cards as well I think.

    I also see it in re-labeled packs. If I see a crease in a label, but I can't figure out how this crease could happen with the label on the pack, then I figure the crease occurred when the label was loose and could be creased a certain way before being put on a different pack.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 25,856 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The only limitation to a fake is a scammer's imagination. :/

  • @KbKards said:
    It would be very interesting to know the expertise level of the consignor. Was it just a one-off from a pigeon duped off Craigslist, or was it from a frequent consignor who was well aware of exactly what they had.

    Yes, that is an interesting question. As you posted above, " it's crazy how that thing could have made it through the acceptance process."

    Another question is how often they accepted merchandise from the consignor. If he was new or infrequent, you would think they would have reviewed it more closely. If he consigns things frequently, that would make more sense, but then that raises the other question as to did the consignor know it was fake. Sounds like the seller Al is a standup guy and maybe this just slipped through. Who knows. You'd think any company would scrutinize a display like that very hard, especially such a coveted card which is prone to scams. I'd hate to think everyone involved knew what they were doing and simply got cold feet at the end and pulled it.

    I actively collect Kirby Puckett. I have collections of Michael Jordan, Emmitt Smith, Roberto Clemente, Dwight Gooden, Tom Seaver, Errict Rhett and Evan Longoria.

  • thunderdanthunderdan Posts: 3,035 ✭✭✭
    edited August 23, 2018 11:11AM

    If I were running an AH, I'd make sure every single card above a certain value got a review and reholder before starting the auction. And I wouldn't raise my commission to do it. This way you avoid these situations and give buyers peace of mind that every single high value card has been blessed by PSA and you get the nice look of the new holder as a bonus.

    It would take a little more time to coordinate and some additional cost, but would be a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition. IMO, there won't be more than a few AHs 5-10 years down the road. There are too many in our hobby that have crappy descriptions, poor customers service, poor scans, shipping as a profit center, and so on. This would be an actual service that would greatly benefit the customer.

    image


  • @thunderdan said:
    If I were running an AH, I'd make sure every single card above a certain value got a review and reholder before starting the auction. And I wouldn't raise my commission to do it. This way you avoid these situations and give buyers peace of mind that every single high value card has been blessed by PSA and you get the nice look of the new holder as a bonus.

    It would take a little more time to coordinate and some additional cost, but would be a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition. IMO, there won't be more than a few AHs 5-10 years down the road. There are too many in our hobby that have crappy descriptions, poor customers service, poor scans, shipping as a profit center, and so on. This would be an actual service that would greatly benefit the customer.

    Well said and I agree!

  • @divecchia said:
    Al is a great and upstanding individual, so I am not surprised that he took care of the problem.

    Good luck with your search of a Mickey Topps rookie card.

    Donato

    Thanks Donato!

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