The Dreaded “R-Word”

Hey everyone, Moe from COMC here. Over the past week or so, you may have noticed a slight change in our Blog – we’re working on changing our direction a little, trying to generate a little more discussion and dialogue within the community. And, I’m thinking (hoping) this post gets a lot of folks talking…I got one word for you:


Homealone scream_345x258 - from the movie Home Alone.

We’ve all gotten them in a pack of cards, at one point or another. You’re anticipating a big hit, expecting something really awesome and cool as promised on the wrapper and…boom. There it is. Like the blue screen of death (kids, ask your parents) there it is, staring you in the face. A nondescript card with a little bit of text detailing something that could be potentially awesome, with something that needs to be scratched off.

Granted, these days you can go to the card company’s website, get the redemption process started and hope that something comes back to you…in a year. Maybe. And, what are the chances that you’ll get that card they promised? What if that player bails on the company? Or the company decides to go with someone else? Or (as happened to me earlier this year) the player gets cut by the team after his 2nd arrest during training camp?

Sometimes you get lucky…in that you get what’s actually been promised. Sometimes, you just get whatever the card company had laying around as a replacement.

Feel free to share your best/worst redemption stories. Go ahead and name names, point fingers, vent, yell, then tell us what you think would make the redemption process a more positive one for you.

15 thoughts on “The Dreaded “R-Word”

  1. How ironic, I just emailed Topps this morning about 2 redemptions that I have that are 18 months old from the 2011 Chrome series. They have not responded to my previous 3 emails or my 1 phone call so I won’t hold my breath. This is the main reason I stopped doing case breaks. Their customer service is the worst. If you can’t produce don’t offer an item, or at least offer a good substitute in reasonable time. I won’t start venting just yet about the 2 Bowman Chrome redemptions I have that are about to hit 6 months…

  2. I’ve hated redemptions ever since the Fleer Bankruptcy era.
    Purchased redemptions of cards I wanted online only to see the company claim bankruptcy. Then being mailed a “settlement” group of cards and later seeing MY cards, which should have been mailed to me, being sold online by the company that was paid to “randomly” distribute all of the cards to Fleer’s victims.

  3. Worst redemption story: Purchased a 2008 SP Authentic Baseball box during BlowoutCard’s Black Friday sale. Promised 3 autos per box and two were redemptions – both expired! But that turned into…

    Best redemption story: Sent those two expired redemptions to UD for a chance in their raffle drawing at the Industry Summitt in March. Won a 2012 SPGU Golf pack and a 2012 SP Authentic Football box. No redemptions and the best hit was an Alfred Morris RPA Gold /25 !

    (FYI: The Alfred Morris auto will be up for sale on COMC around 6/2)

  4. I’ve had to stop breaking boxes completely because of redemptions. It’s an expensive hobby anyway and when you need to be paid back in part so you can have the fun of opening more packs and then you have to wait 4-8 months, or in some cases, way over a year to even have a card that you needed to sell immediately then you’re up the creek. I still kinda follow new products but I’m planning on cashing out and becoming a vintage collector now.

  5. Redemptions suck – Eliminate them! Can I write the card company’s a check that might be good in a year for there product? I quit buying boxes as much as it’s ruined the hobby. When I had the store nothing worse than seeing a customer’s eyes when they pulled a Redemption. Cause they knew as well it wasn’t a guarentee.

  6. im still waiting for a card I mailed in OVER 2 years ago, because they feel that it is “SAFER” locked up in there so called “vault” over at topps……then it just pushes the product back because of all the redemptions, out of all the redemption packs I sent in, well packs I got ONE pack back. scamming. also what is with the buyback cards from the heritage this year? what do you do with those? if anyone can help me out that would be great! and MUCH MUCH appreciated! everytime I have called topps ive had a good outcome with them, also someone pulled a 1 in 94,000 pack bat knob redemption card a couple months back, lets see how long that takes to come! if I EVER redeem the so called redemption cards I just have them do it at the local card store. which ive been going to since I was a kid, but WHY OH WHY do they take SOOOOOOO long to send them out????

  7. My first 10 redemptions, 2 panini came in the mail within 2 months (thanks Panini!!), 8 topps only 1 of which I’ve gotten, a 3 dollar Carl Crawford auto. All redeemed this year so I’ve not given it the dreaded 18 months! but Topps has a HUGE strike against them here and Panini a HUGE plus! Say what you want about Panini.

    • oh, it’s been 3 months since I sent them in, one being a purple Jose Fernandez auto I sent in pre ST thinking he wont be called up for a year+!! :/

  8. Still waiting for two Jose Altuve Auto Relics from 2012 Bowman Platinum. I see the guy play every night, it’s not like he’s left the country or has otherwise gone missing, Why can’t Topps get the guy top sign?

  9. Hello Everyone,
    We at COMC just wanted to pop by and say that many of these stories are all to familiar. Many of our Team members are avid collectors and most have had similar horror stories.
    In light of that, I personally had two questions for all of you. First, if you had control of the situation, what would you do about redemptions? Would you get rid of them all together, or is there a better way to do this and still have the “excitement” that this is supposed to generate?
    The second question is, if I were to go and record some stories from within the halls of COMC, would anyone want to hear some Redemption stories from some of COMCs’ Team Members?

    Mark M.

    • question 1) Get rid of them for altogether! Even in the rare instances that there is a quick turnaround on a redemption card it is still very disappointing to open a pack and get a voucher for a cool card instead of an actual cool card. Why not just push any signatures not received in time for product release to next years packs?
      question 2) Honestly not really. I am pretty sure we are going to get 1 good story for every 99 horror stories and I really am not interested in people 1-uping each other on how horrible their experience was, I’d rather the manufacturers get their stuff together and make everyone’s experience a pleasant one. A side note to that all of my bad experiences with redemption have been w/ Topps/Bowman. As another user noted I also have had very good success with Panini. That being said I would still do away with them unless manufacturers are going to allow collectors to buy cases with IOU’s. . .

  10. I don’t have any clue as the bottom line ie I heard (in the FCB podcast) just having Tiger Woods playing in a golf tournament 5x the profit! In the same way having that Bubba Starling card in your set may make it that much more profitable even if it’s just a redemption! Just sayin, I don’t know if Topps would be fine even without redemptions even if it means some early top draft picks don’t get autos. Possibly if it’s just a GREED thing, if all Topps needs to do is pay these guys more to put aside the TIME to sign 2000+ cards possibly that’s all they need to do. Possibly all we need to do is get these kids to put the controller down a bit and do their friggen JOBS. Possibly they should be paid more I don’t know. But if the money’s there and the need is there these redemptions need to GO.

  11. I have a interesting one. I placed a redemption on a 2011 Topps Tier 1 Matt Cain Crowd Pleasers Gold Auto /25. I waited patiently for two years and then started to see the base auto popping up on ebay. I figured they finally started mailing out the redemptions and I would get mine. I received a package a week later but no Matt Cain. I got a lowly Don Sutton unlimited auto in its place with a letter saying they “tried” their best to get me the auto but couldn’t. A Dodger? When everyone of my redemptions are for Giants? Some kind of joke. I am done with box breaking and will just stick to purchases of nonredemption cards. How can they release the base version…and not send me at least that?

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