Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Beckett Can Save Itself, Maybe. Part 1

The last time I purchased a Beckett magazine was in mid 2004. That was so I could get the 2004 Trading Deadline Alex Rodriguez Prmotional MLB Showdown Card. I have not purchased or even picked up a Beckett since. No, I'm not anti-Beckett at all. To be totally honest, I don't really like magazines at all.

However, I'm very in touch with all the Blogs vs Beckett war going on over the last few months. While Gellman over at Sports Cards Uncensored, is very against them, as are many other bloggers, I just don't really have that kind of hate. Have both his blog and Beckett slung mud at one another, yes they have.

When Mario over at Wax Heaven became sponsored by Upper Deck, I was pretty shocked. For any blogger, let alone Mario (a very good one I might add) to get sponsored by one of the biggest card companies in America is huge. Unfortunately, Beckett used their clout to get UD to stop sending Mario exclusives, and that was the end of the sponsorship. Was this a shady tactic, no I don't think so. Beckett just played business politics and won. Unfortunately, this burned some bridges that Mario had at Beckett and after a few emails, everyone could tell there was more than just the UD sponsorship. That was crappy on Beckett's part.

This has put Beckett in a tough spot for many of the "in the know" collectors and bloggers out there. We all collectively feel that Beckett is no longer what they once were, due in part to them eating their own hype that they really are the World's Number 1 Go to Guide for anything Sports Collectibles.

What I don't like about Beckett:
1- Pay for Website and Membership
-Yeah, no thanks.
2- Price Guide is way out of touch
-Why would I ever pay $600-$900 for a Gretsky rookie?
3- Out of Touch
-Talked about this already.

Their business model is outdated and if they continue down this road, they are done for. In order to compete in the current economy and with other sites (Blogs and Ebay) they need to act just like us, and here's how.

1. Change the Marketplace
Turn the Marketplace into an auction format. Set it up just like Ebay, in fact, even talk to Ebay about using their design and set up but run it all on Beckett. It'd generate more appeal into their site and help get them back into the true authority they once were. Another positive this could give all collector's is that all the fake patch and shady people who put fake patches into cards would be done away with, or at least dwindled down.

2. It'd give up to date pricing
The hobby analysts would actually be doing their job instead of throwing darts at a dartboard and using that as a price determiner. The foundation of the price guide could be kept in place (i.e. minor stars $.05-$.10, stars $0.10-$0.25, etc.). But the bigger cards would have a more real-life monetary value assigned. And hell, even the low number serial number cards would have a value instead of "No Pricing due to scarcity".

This is where I'll finish off right now. Sorry if this is at all incoherent, I've thought about this for quite some time now and these are just a few ideas on what can be done. To be honest, I don't think these ideas will ever come to fruition, but I can always dream, no?

Actually, why don't all of us bloggers just put something like this together? I'd love to hear any thoughts and comments about these ideas above. Oh, and if you guys at Beckett stumble upon this and take my ideas, I'll come down on you harder Eddy Curry did on his limo driver.

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