What Can we Learn From the Logan Paul Pokemon Disaster? 3 Takeaways to Help Protect Yourself
January 28, 20228 min read
So by now, I'm sure you probably have heard this whole Logan Paul Pokemon sealed case disaster. If you haven't, I'll give you a quick 20 second synopsis. Essentially, he bought a first edition Pokemon sealed case from a very well-respected dealer and investor in the industry, Matt Allen, for $3.5 million, and it ended up being a fake case. There were GI Joe cards inside and not any Pokemon cards.
So go back and watch this video. It's all over social. It's, sad and comical at the same time. This Matt Allen guy, I don't know any of these people here, but he's very legitimate in the business from what I've seen. He had purchased it from another guy, another card shop who helped facilitate the sale for like $2.7 million. So just a ton of cash to be playing around with here. They had it all inspected by BBCE who authentics sealed cases. Mainly sports cards is what I know them for, but apparently they did this Pokemon one too and that was the reason why they were able to get this big sale price, because it was authenticated by them. They opened it up and it was GI Joe cards inside Pokemon boxes.
What's funny about the whole story is essentially he authenticated it because of the tape and the label. Like it looked like it was from 1999. So that's how he authenticated that. That's a bizarre story. Alan has since refunded Logan Paul, but apparently he has not gotten his money back yet, so we'll see what happens there.
Anyway, what can we learn from this fiasco? I mean, this just absolute disaster for them and for the industry. Let me give you three takeaways that I think will help you when buying sports memorabilia or really anything for this matter, but mainly for the sports memorabilia for autographs, sports cards, et cetera.
Number one, this is probably the most important one I'm going to talk about today. You got to buy from people that will help you if there's a problem. There's going to be issues that are going to pop up in this industry. You buy an item and it gets damaged, or, you buy an item and it's not what you think it is, or you get it and something's messed up with it. So you got to work with people that are going to be willing to help you out when there's a problem. Logan Paul got pretty lucky here that he was working with such a stand-up guy who actually refunded his money.
Now, granted, there was a whole bunch of social media coverage on this. So it would look really, really bad if he didn't refund his money. I have no doubt that this Allen guy would have refunded his money. He's very well known in the industry and seems like a pretty standup guy, but you got to work with people that are going to help you out here. You always want to make sure that you protect yourself. Do everything you can to protect yourself. That is by paying with a method that gives you an out, for example, paying with your debit card or whatever it is. If someone is making you do something uncomfortable in a transaction, whether that's forcing you to pay a certain way. For example, friends and family, Venmo, stuff like that, where you don't have any recourse if there's a problem, that's probably some pause and some reconsideration that may be taking on your end. That's why anytime anybody buys something from me, it's always done through my website, so that way they can pay with the method that they choose.
There's literally eight different payment methods on there and they get a receipt. They know exactly what they've paid for. There's no questions about it. In the autograph industry, dealers are still making people send in checks and money orders. Like what the hell is going on here? Who's paying people for autographs with money orders? What is this eBay 1999. I mean, insanity and please don't do that. Don't send people checks and money orders for sports memorabilia. That is one of the dumbest things you can do. You have no out should the signing get canceled, and then it's on you to follow up with that dealer.
Don't do that. Pay with a method that you feel comfortable doing. That's why people pay big bucks for stuff for guys like Golden Auctions and whatnot. Yes, obviously they're selling high end stuff, but they know if there's a problem that, they're going to fix it. They're gonna do everything they can to fix it because these companies have reputations and they've got to protect that reputation and they're going to do everything they can to help the customers out. So again, issues will pop up with transactions. I'm not immune. You are not immune. Just make sure that you buy from people that you trust and people who will actually help you fix an issue.
Number two, and another big one here, ask for help. You gotta lean on other people in the industry and not just one person, especially when you're doing a big purchase. Let's take a look at this transaction. BBCE who authenticated the Pokemon case. I don't know how much they really know about the Pokemon world. There were some issues that were brought up there, and the reason why they started opening up this sealed case from other people who knew more about this particular item than BBCE. There are obviously experts out there who knew more about this than the person who was authenticating the case.
Even Logan Paul is a very well versed person in the Pokemon card world. He's a big fan. He knows about the cards and Allen of course is a well-respected high-end card dealer. so he knows the space. I don't know how much he knows about Pokemon here, but all three of these people got, as they said in the video, "duped". As soon as they open it up and they figured out that it's a fake, "oh, we all got duped." Which is technically true, but they all kind of got duped because it was authenticated by your company, which is why I stay out of the authentication business. That is a tough racket there. I don't want to be the one that says, "Hey, yep. I believe that's fake. I believe that's real". I usually defer to the other people that are well more versed in this. The JSA, PSAs, and Becket's there. So if you message me asking me if something's authentic, I typically don't give you a yes or no answer, because I don't want to be the guy that says yes, and then it's no, and I don't want to be a guy that says no, and then it actually is a real, so that's a tough business to be in.
You got to make sure that you're checking with two or three sources prior to a big purchase like this. Because again, there are in the Pokemon world, there are rabid collectors out there, people that know this stuff like the back of their hand. I don't know how much research was done on their end. Granted, you know, having authenticated by BBCE is usually a pretty good indicator that it's a real sealed case, but again, they're going to make mistakes, but you gotta be doing research with two or three other people that you really know and trust in this.
You've got to be your biggest advocate. You've got to be the one fighting for information. If you don't understand something fully, somebody says it's authentic. Hey, why is it authentic? Well, we believe it's authentic because of this and this and this. If I was buying a $3.5 million Pokemon case, and somebody said they're authenticating it because of the tape on the outside. I'd be like, "well do you have any, any other information on why it's authentic? Like, you know, maybe the weight of the box or or I don't know, there's gotta be some sort of information out there other than what the tape looks like, because you could have opened it up in 1999 and put 1999 tape back on it in 1999."
So I don't know. That's just seems like a weird way to authentic it. I know you're buying a sealed case but if you're spending this much money, you think that you would like open it just to make sure that everything is okay. The dimensions are all correct. Just think about it. You're going to buy a house for example. A lot of us know stuff about home building some of us don't but we always get an inspection. Because the homeowner is probably gonna lie on their disclosure. They don't tell you everything. They get a little water in that basement. They're probably going to leave that off there. So it's always important to obviously get an inspection, but also bring someone else with you. Somebody else that's bought two or three homes. That way they can take a look at it and make sure everything's on the, up and up for it. I remember the last house that we bought. We found out that the window was rotting and there was, we had to replace the whole window there and that was 1300 bucks right there.
Again, on big purchases, you want to get extra help, but also don't be afraid to ask questions and don't buy something that you don't understand. Just like Dave Ramsey says, I know a lot of you guys don't like Dave Ramsey, but I think he's definitely right on this one here it's "don't buy or invest in anything you don't fully understand." Okay. There's a lot of pumping up stuff going on right now. NFT market, the crypto market. I mean, everything is being manipulated. If you don't fully understand something, don't buy it.
Number three. Another good takeaway is be willing to walk away from a deal. This is a very, very challenging one. I know a lot of you guys will resonate with this one. You get presented with an opportunity that you think is a steal or something that is going to be monumentous for your collection to buy and to sell. You don't think the opportunity is going to present itself again, I've been there. You've guys have been there and yes, you might miss some opportunities here if you do this, but always be willing to walk away from a deal, if something doesn't add up or you aren't confident in the legitimacy of an autograph or a Pokemon box in this case.
Yes, the BBCE guys had authenticated that, but again, this is a $3.5 million purchase. I don't know how much money that is of a net worth for Logan Paul, but you know, that's probably a decent chunk of change. I would be going through any length to find out its legitimacy and be 100% confident in its legitimacy. If I wasn't, I would want to back away. The reason being is it's a lot harder to get out of transactions than it is to get into transactions. Just keep that in mind, a lot easier to buy stuff than it is to sell stuff afterwards. So never feel pressured to rush, to buy anything, especially something you don't fully understand, but having the courage and the know with all to walk away from a deal that you don't feel confident in is a game changer.
It's very, very hard to do. Believe me. I'd been there very hard to do, to say no and say, "you know what? I don't feel confident in this one here." And it's tough. I get it. But try it out. Believe me, you will save yourself a ton of headache and some money and trust that gut in there. After talking with a whole bunch of people, trust your gut, ask for help, buy from people that you know will help you out with a problem and be willing to walk away.
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