A Particular eBay Phrase Generally Means You Should do One thing — Run

Lots of red flags appear in suspicious eBay listings but one in particular is usually bad news

Buyers on eBay see plenty of things from sellers that should raise alarms. But there’s one phrase being used more and more that is almost always bad news.

Selling as Reprint

1934 Goudey Lou GehrigThat phrase is worded many different ways. Sometimes, it’s a short statement such as that. Others it’s a variation of that such as ‘Selling as reprint’ where a seller may try to insinuate that the card could be real. And sometimes, it’s a long-winded explanation of why the seller personally believes a particular card is real but is being forced by eBay to list the card as a reprint.

In almost all of those instances, the best thing to do is avoid such a listing.

The reality is that the majority of these listings are fools gold. I’ve seen thousands of them and can probably count the number of cards that appeared legitimate on, I don’t know, one or two hands.

Listings such as this often come with a great allure. They typically provide an opportunity to buy a very expensive card for next to nothing. If you’ve been collecting those sorts of cards, whatever they may be, for a while, you can probably pick those off pretty quickly. But if you’re, say, mostly a modern buyer and looking for your first T206 card, you could be understandably duped.

But there’s good reason to avoid these listings. First of all, anyone selling a legitimate card will more than likely do some research on it. And even those selling questionable cards will, too. If someone has a card potentially worth thousands, what sense does it make for them to sell it for $10 or $20? Asking the question of a seller might elicit a response citing that they don’t have time to research it or try to get more money for it. But unless you’re bleeding money and don’t need it, no one is going to sell a valuable card for peanuts.

Ted Williams 1939 Play BallAnother shifty seller tactic will involve feigning ignorance – i.e., a seller may pretend to know nothing about the card or even baseball cards in general. But those can often be weeded out easily, too.

For example, a seller offering a purportedly rare card will sometimes pretend as if the reason they are selling it so inexpensive is because they don’t know anything about it. But the funny thing is that they will often list the card with the exact American Card Catalog number or be able to precisely identify the card correctly in the title. If they know enough to find the real name/type of a card they don’t know anything about, they surely can do the small bit of recon it takes to find out how to have it graded or consigned to an auction house.

Plus, most sellers of cards that they know nothing about it are probably not all that likely to list it with the reprint disclaimer. In most cases where sellers appear to not know what they might have, I have not seen them use this kind of language. Some inexperienced sellers of cards probably couldn’t even tell you what a reprint was.

Do legitimate cards slip through the cracks with sellers of legitimate cards using this kind of disclaimer? Sure. But it’s usually so rare that taking a gamble on a card simply isn’t worth it. Whenever you see this kind of language in a seller’s eBay auction, the best thing to do in almost every instance is run in the other direction.

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