25
Nov
08

2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition is a hit!

IF YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT ANY OF THESE AWESOME CARDS LOOK LIKE, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE UNDERLINED WORDS!

After last year’s return to anything “Baseball” by Donruss (even if it was only college and high school players on their way to the majors), everyone was waiting for the release of 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition with dollar signs in their eyes…AND BOY WERE THEY RIGHT!

This stuff is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!

Master cases are set up with 20 boxes and each box contains 20 packs of 6 cards. If you’re quick to jump on this one, you’ll be able to find it in master case format, but if it sells out like last year, you’ll be had pressed to come across even the direct 6 box cases. DID I SAY YOU BETTER HURRY UP!!???!!

In each box, you’ll be finding a combination of at least 4 autographs or game-used memorabilia cards and at least 5 inserts or parallel cards. The base set is made up of 100 cards, so if you’re just looking to pick up a few sets for yourself, you’ll be able to find them pretty cheap on eBay a little after Christmas time. But if you’re set on completing this BAD BOY MASTER SET, get ready for a challenge, as this one is DEEP and full of SWEET cards that everyone is going to want in their collection.  I’m not just talking about the 100 autographed rookies numbered to 1499 or 200 “turn of the century” rookie autographs numbered out of 999, I’m talking about some CRAAAZY depth!

For instance, there are SEVEN levels of die-cut parallels!  For each of the levels of die-cut parallels, there are 200 different cards.  The “Aspirations” level is numbered out of 150 or less, the “Status” level is numbered out of 75 or less, the “Gold Status” level is numbered out of 25 or less, the “Aspirations Signature” level features autographs and is numbered out of 100 or less, the “Red Status Signature” level features autographs and is numbered out of 50 or less, the “Gold Status Singnature” level features autographs and is numbered out of 25 or less and the “Black Status Signature” level features autpgraphs and is numbered out of 5 or less! 

Then we have the highly popular “School Colors” subset.   The base subset features 50 different cards highlighting the college or highschool that prominent draft picks attended and is numbered out of 1500.  The three parallels to the “School Colors” subset are Materials, Materials Prime and Autographs.  There are 50 cards in each of the “School Colors” parallel sets and the speacial features differ in each.  “School Colors Materials” cards are numbered out of 100 or less and contain a piece of authentic memorabilia.  The “School Colors Materials Prime” cards are numbered out of 25 or less and contain “Prime” pieces of memorabilia. The “School Colors Autograph” cards are numbered out of 100 or less and feature signatures.

Next we have the famous “Throwback Threads” subset.  This set contains 25 different cards and there are four different levels.  The “base” level is numbered out of 500 or less, the “Throwback Threads Autographs” are awesome cards that feature a game-used piece of memorabila and an autograph and they are numbered out of 100 or less, the “Throwback Threads Prime” cards have only pieces of the best memorabilia on them and are numbered out of 25 or less and the MOTHER of this subset is the “Throwback Threads Prime Autographs” subset.  This subset is one that many people will buy this product to chase and contains PRIME pieces of game-used memorabilia with autographs and they are numbered out of 10 or less!

For all you collegiate sports fans, Donruss has ABSOLUTELY LOADED Elite Extra Edition with supreme value in the form of an EPIC “College Ties” subset.  Although this subset only has 35 different cards, it is one of the key points of this product.  There are three parallel levels and and three Autograph/memorabilia levels that make up the “College Ties” cards, which feature college star players paired with either another player or a coach from the same college.  The base parallel levels are “College Ties Green” (numbered to 1500 or less) , “College Ties Gold” (numbered to 100 or less) and “College Ties Red” (numbered to 50 or less) .  The next three parts of the “College Ties” subset are going to be ROCK SOLID SELLERS for quite some time!  “College Ties Autographs” are numbered to 50 or less, “College Ties Jerseys” are numbered to 500 or less, and “College Ties Prime Jerseys” are numbered to 25 or less.

Potentially the greatest inclusion in 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition this year are the 65 different “Collegiate Patches” .  These cards are numbered to 250 or less and contain large pieces of memorabilia with an embroidered collegiate logo AND an autograph from a college legend.  YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT BEAT THAT IF YOU ARE A COLLEGE COLLECTOR!!!

OVERALL, this is set to be one of the best releases of the year and should prove to be a GREAT money maker for all of you prospecting for the 2009 Baseball season!

13
Sep
08

DEATH MAGNETIC – Makes me forget St. Anger (and Load, and Reload)

HOLY CRAP!!!

METALLICA FINALLY PUT OUT AN ALBUM THAT MADE ME THINK I WAS LISTENING TO THE SAME BAND THAT RELEASED MASTER OF PUPPETS AND …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!

9/12/08 was indeed a day that will go down in infamy, as their latest album “Death Magnetic” was put on retail shelves EVERYWHERE!  BRAVO!!!

I had been planning for the day since I learned of its coming and had everything lined up and ready to go.  I had a ten dollar gift card to a big electronics retailer that someone gave me as a gift a few years back, that I FINALLY had a use for, so as soon as the store opened, I rushed in, got the CD and went up to the check out counter.  “That will be $34.82 sir”, the cashier said lightly.  HOLY…WHAT!!!???  I fired back, “but I thought it was $9.99?”.  She informed me that there were two different CD’s on the rack…one that was $9.99 and one that was $29.99 because it was a special release with downloadable guitar hero tracks.  Since I’m a loser and don’t have an XBOX 360, I had absolutely no use for the downloads, but no love lost here.

As I pedaled home faster than I can remember in the past few years (uphill, over a highway and through the desert), I could feel the CD pulsating in my backpack, as though it could wait to get into that stereo and be played at super-high decibles!  Keep going, almost there!!!

When I finally pressed play on the CD player, I waited for another disappointment like St. Anger briefly, but soon found myself heading back to 1990 which was when I first got …and Justice for all.  The songs crept up on me and then KICKED MY ASS!!!  I must have listened to the CD about 5 times through that day alone, and not a day has gone by that I haven’t at least listed to a few of the songs. 

My least favorite track on the CD is the one that they had the video for on youtube for a while “The Day That Never Comes”.  Its not to say that I skip over that song every time I play the CD (just about 50-60% of the time), but rather that not all of the song is as driving as the others on the album.  My absolute favorite is Track #5, “All Nightmare Long”…it just rocks!  Fast, hard, tempo changes…everything that everyone loves about Metallica.  The absolute best feature of the album is that EVERY SINGLE SONG is longer than FIVE MINUTES!!! HELL YEAH!!!  Just like they ought to be and just like they were before.

After banging my head to this one for a week and a half, I have officially discarded St. Anger, Load and Reload from my Metallica CD collection.  This is WITHOUT A DOUBT THE BEST ALBUM that Metallica has released since 1991!!! 

THANK YOU METALLICA!!!  ~ KarlsKards.com

15
Aug
08

More seller rants about eBay…and a BLOCKED BIDDER LIST!

First off, I have to let you know that at one point I was a VERY enthusiastic seller on eBay.  In 1999 when I started selling happy meal toys for $20+ each on the site, I thought my dreams had finally been answered!  SOMEONE WILL ACTUALLY BUY CRAP THAT IS WORTH NOTHING TO ME!!!  OMG!!!  I would list hundreds of items each month and clear more than both of my part-time jobs paid me.  As my love for the company and the brand increased, so did the stock price, and my measly investment of $1000 quickly quadrupled.  But then eBay started making some changes.  New categories, new policies in different categories, increased fees, a change in search result ranking, and so on (by the way, those changes they made back then have never stopped, and I’m sure if you are a current eBay seller that has been around for a while, you can feel my pain on this one).  I suddenly found myself losing faith in a company that I had come to depend upon and trust.

It must not have just been me that had those squirrly feelings about eBay’s stance AGAINST sellers, because more and more people started moving their investments away from the company and the stock price fell pretty rapidly.  It seemed that for every major share price drop, the goons at eBay had a new promotion up their sleeves to keep producing “numbers” that were favorable to investors…numbers like how many auctions were going on at a certain time and how many people were selling.  People are a little smarter than eBay gives credit for, so after the lumbering billion-dollar-WHITEY-machine started to limit the way sellers could give negative feedback on auctions that went wrong (SCAMMERS that try to STEAL items by saying that they never received the item or that the item wasn’t exactly what they thought it would be), even more sellers started leaving the site.  Now, the whole eBay mess is starting to resemble a prom night without a condom…PULL AND PRAY!!!

I have been on the losing end of about a dozen scammers during my eBay lifetime and I’m sure that I’m not alone.  The part that sucks is that eBay offers very little protection for sellers, but at the same time empowers scumbags to rip off those who are honest.  Ever get a bid on an item from Taiwan and about a week after you ship the item find a paypal payment dispute in your inbox because the buyer didn’t get their $100 item?  I have…only to find that THE SAME BUYER had the item I shipped him (or her) RELISTED UNDER THEIR ACCOUNT!!!  They can be as blatant as they want, because as a seller on eBay, you are guilty until proven MORE GUILTY by eBay.  Circumstances like that have led me to a “No International Shipping” policy that angers many International bidders that MAY be legitimate, but I can’t keep taking $100+ risks to Romania and Asia.

Recently, a buyer told me they weren’t satisfied with an item they had won for LESS THAN $5 plus $2 shipping.  I offered a full refund of the entire amount they send (including the shipping) and the guy has the gall to say “You want ME to pay to ship the item back to YOU???  I think I should get to keep the item and get a full refund!”.  WHOA!! REALLY???  The bad part is that I can’t leave a negative feedback on this buyer’s account anymore because eBay doesn’t let sellers do that.  “Why would it be useful anyway?”, you ask…because the person has pulled the SAME scam on several other sellers knowing that they won’t get a negative mark on their record.  WHAT A SHAME EBAY!  WHAT A SHAME! 

By the way – the guy that did this is a total hypocrite that claims in his profile, “I’m a strong believer in Integrity, Honor, and Respect!”. LOL!

SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING WHITEY WOULD DO!!!

So if you’re sick and tired of getting scammed on eBay or want to prevent yourself from becoming another seller-statistic that got robbed, you can start off by cutting and pasting this BLOCKED BIDDER LIST of people that are known to either scam or be shady.  The categories I pull these bidders from are in sports cards and memorabilia, so if you sell Tiffany Lamps, this may be out of your realm, but you get my drift. 

Also, if you would like to add a name or two in the comments, feel free to do that.  If your name is on the list, SUCK IT WHITEY! – If you want a copy of the list, you can check ANY of the major sports memorabilia message boards or email most of the members who regularly sell on eBay…or me :) LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karl – KarlsKards.com

31
Jul
08

Scotch Fur Fighter product review – “pet hair remover”

I first learned of the Scotch Fur Fighter while watching late night TV.  It looked pretty interesting and [surprisignly] seemed to be a product that was designed to solve a problem that plagues many pet owners…HAIR EVERYWHERE!  And I mean EVERYWHERE – on clothes, on carpet, on furniture and in the car.

The commercial informs of an introductory coupon on the “FurFighter” web site for $4.00 off of the price of a Starter Kit.  I was hooked and “bit” on the offer, so I printed out my little coupon, headed out to the nearest Target and bought my starter kit.   For about $10 you get one plastic handle, five refill sheets and a $1.00 off coupon good towards the purchase of more “refill sheets”.   I thought that this thing must be pretty good, because they give you so many coupons and show such dramatic results on TV.  Heck, even the product packaging is cleverly worded:

“Shake paws with the Scotch Fur Fighter Hair Remover – a breakthrough solution in the never-ending battle against pet hair.” 

This product also claims to do the following:

- Remove embedded pet hair that vacuum cleaners leave behind

- Pick up over 3 times more pet hair than a lint roller

- Toss dander that may cause allergic reactions.

WOW!!!  So far, this thing sounds like the holy grail!  Holding it in my hand, I felt like I could conquer the world of savage beast hair and once and for all defeat the satanic armies of fleas and dander.  It even looks pretty cool and uses “Microtrap Grippers” so it must be some sort of alien-inspired space technology, right? 

Just when I was getting ready to delcare the Scotch Fur Fighter the next president of the United States – potentially even the next coming of Christ, I decided to use it.  BIG MISTAKE!  Apparently, this is another one of those “it-sounds-and-looks-so-much-better-than-it-really-is” type of deals.

I closely followed the directions on the packaging to make sure that my opinion wasn’t skewed either way on its capabilities and even rang the 3M Home Care Division to ask if it was peachy to use it on car upholstry.  “Oh, definiltely sir!  Your Fur Fighter was designed to work on ANY surface that could house embedded pet hair”, the help center person cheerfully declared.  I attached the refill pad to the handle and off I went, trying to snag all of that embedded pet hair that was supposed to magically dislodge itself.

Soon after I began my cleaning quest, I could almost HEAR the pet hair saying [in the voice of a canival barker], “HEH!  Is that all you’ve got?  You can’t do any better than that?  WEAK!  LOSER! Better luck next time!”.  To my surprise (or maybe not), this so-called “Fur Fighter” is more like an ally of fur in the war against pet hair, than a savior of common man.  All it does is embed the pet hair more while creating some static electricity which attracts a little bit of dirt and stray hairs that haven’t been embedded yet.

Plain and simple, it doesn’t work, so my recommendation…DON’T BUY THIS PIECE OF CRAP!  I’ve already sent mine back to 3M for a full refund and would caution anyone who wants to buy this to “give it a try” to either save your money or send it to me and pretend like you bought the Fur Fighter and tried it, because you’ll get the same end result no matter what.  Don’t believe me???  Watch the video I made about it below. 

Again, THIS PRODUCT SUCKS – ITS GARBAGE – DON’T BUY IT!  On the plus side, the marketers are genius to get people to waste money on it! LOL!!!!

Karl – KarlsKards.com

15
Jul
08

Patience DOES NOT fill my gas tank! EBAY Takes another turn for the worse.

A few days ago, Friday July 11th to be exact, I was going through the routine like I usually do when it comes to listing stuff on eBay…Sort everything out, scan it in, line it up on the table and start listing.  Everything was going smoothly as usual, but after listing 2 of the 50 items I had waiting, I got an error message.

You can not submit your listing due to the following problems
“Thank you for choosing eBay.

In order to help maintain a safe trading environment, selling limits are occasionally placed on accounts. To list this item, you will need to provide verifying information through PayPal. This higher level of verification is designed to help maintain safety in the marketplace and enhance buyer confidence and security.

1) For instructions on how to provide the necessary verifying information through PayPal, please click on your country of eBay registration below.

2) If you already have a verified PayPal account, and are still receiving this message, please link your PayPal account to your eBay account.

For instructions on how to become PayPal Verified or how to link your PayPal account to your eBay account, please click on the site of your eBay registration below:

We sincerely value you as a member of our trading community and look forward to a continued successful relationship with you. “

WHOA!!!!  WTF EBAY?!?!?!?!

As you probably suspect, I was rather perplexed about this, seeing as though FOR THE PAST 9 and a half years, after listing THOUSANDS OF ITEMS, I have never once received this message.  I thought it must be a glitch in their system (more on their “GLITCH” later) so I tried to list the item.  I even made sure that all of my Paypal and eBay accounts were up-to-date and linked properly.  They all were.

 Again and again, I continued to get the same message, so I found the “Live Help” section and waited in queue after 22 other people to speak with a “help” rep.  Thirty minutes passed and I was finally connected to someone named “Lester D” who took my problem and gave me a link to submit a request to unlock my account to the “Trust and Safety” customer support department.  [Little side note - eBay has lost TONS of trust from sellers over the SAFETY to sell without any problems sliding through the cracks to scam bidders].  I sent them a message exaclty like “Lester D” instructed me, and he told me that it should be resolved by the morning.

I woke up on Saturday and tried to list – SAME MESSAGE.  I tried to list in the afternoon – SAME MESSAGE.  I tried to list in the evening…YEP – SAME MESSAGE!  So I got on the “Live Help” chat again to see what the hold up was.  This time I only had to wait in line behind 15 people and for about fifteen minutes.  “Mary Rose” was the help assistant this time and I explained my concern.  She told me that “It looks like the Trust and Safety department has received your communication, so you’ll have to wait 24-72 hours to have your account unlocked.”  WHAT!!!  Knowing how POOR eBay is at direct (or even indirect) communication with their sellers, I knew that was a BAD sign.  I asked if there could possibly be ANYTHING that I could do about the situation, but “Mary Rose” explained that I basically had to just wait for their response because “you have already done all that you can on your side” – GREAT, ANOTHER eBay SELLERIZM…On YOUR side = tough $HIT PACO!!!
So here I was, losing patience in eBay, a PILE of stuff scanned in and sorted out on my kitchen table waiting to be listed so someone could get it at “Fire Sale” prices, and waiting to make a few bucks…the ball was in the court of the “Trust and Safety” department, so I should feel secure, right?  HELL NO! 
The next day, I went through the same routine and had the same outcome.  Error message, no communication from the “Trust and Saftey” department, stuff on my table and more rage building up against eBay.  [Mind you, like most small-time sellers, I have been feeling more and more alienated by eBay's policy changes over the past year or so...change in where you show up in search results, not being able to leave negative feedback for ASS POOR SCAMMER SELLERS, increasing fees and other random CRAP.]  I logged on to the “Live Help” chat again, but when I saw that I’d be in queue behind 45 other people with an estimated wait time of over an hour, I decided to call it a night and do some pushups and jumping jacks to ease my mind.
Today, July 14th, I went through the same routine…and got through with the “Live Help” chat people in less than five minutes.  Today, it was “Ray” that gave me the same snake oil sales pitch about the “Trust and Safety” department BS and that there was nothing that I could do to expedite the process.  GREAT!  They must REALLY love me if it’s taking this long.  One little quirk that he entered into his chat box made me pretty upset though…”Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.”.  That twisted me the wrong way and I told him that he was gravely mistaken.  I had ABSOLUTELY no understanding of what kind of game they were playing with me, nor was I amused by his attempt at humor.  I also mentioned that “Patience won’t fill up my gas tank – those items I want to list that are sitting on my kitchen table will!”.  EBay makes a butt load of money off of listing fees, final value fees and even paypal fees, so what the heck is their beef against a small time seller that’s going to make them a couple of bucks???
So I am left to wait for some sort of communication or explanation from the “Trust and Safety” department.  Since I’m obviously not listing anything right now, I want to make a quick observational disection of the little “error message” that eBay sent…more specifically, one specific sentence.
“We sincerely value you as a member of our trading community and look forward to a continued successful relationship with you.”
It is pretty darn obvious to me (and maybe to many other eBay sellers out there that understand what they are doing) that they COULDN’T GIVE TWO STINKY POOPS that you are a member of the trading community.  They DO NOT VALUE you AT ALL!  Also, they do NOT look forward to a continued relationship with you unless you are a buyer that wants to scam someone out of their money and merchandise, because that is who their new policies and proceedures favor over the sellers (sellers are the heart of eBay by the way, right?).  If you keep virtually kicking sellers in the nuts enough times, eventually they’ll get sick of it!
Oh yeah, “Trust and Safety” department…I DON’T TRUST YOU!  YOU DO NOT PROVIDE SAFETY TO ANYTHING!
YOU ARE WHITEY!!!
Karl
 
 

 

27
Jun
08

2008-2009 NBA DRAFT IS GOLDEN!!!

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that golden for you, but for a Chicago Bulls fan with South Side blood in my veins, I was all waiting in anticipation…pacing the room in front of the TV…crossing my fingers that the Bulls would make a great pick with the chance they had.  They did, and then I lost interest in the rest of the draft and turned it off! LOL!!!  Derrick Rose will be the only person that I collect out of any 2008-09 basketball product and will hopefully add some great power to the team.

How did your team do?  Did they NEED to DO in the first place???  I ask myself the same questions year after year in every sport…WHY DRAFT SO MANY NEW PLAYERS??? 

Regardless of the sport, there are older players retiring, injured players warming the bench, “Pac Men” getting arrested, Ricky Willamses going hippie, but COME ON!!!  Seriously, they could be done with one round of the draft, with the rest of the players going back to work on their skills waiting for the next run through.  Do all Fresh-out-of-college (or high school) players mix well with 30-40 year old veterans?  Some, but when was the last time someone like LeBron James or Sidney Crosby got pulled from the draft?  Late 70’s with Wayne Gretzky?  Early 80’s with Michael Jordan?  Not much to brag about at too many intervals in between. 

So what if they [meaning ALL sports] did away with the endless BS of drafting a bunch of players that they want to just dump into an exhibition league or send off to the practice squad?  OH, I JUST FIGURED IT OUT!!!

The owners are just like sports card collectors (I’m one, so I relate to this) — except they aren’t opening packs of cards that have maybe one star player and 11 scrubs…they are drafting 10 guys hoping that they can use some as TRADE BAIT!  THEY ARE JUST LIKE US…but have Billions of more dollars to spend on their “Cards” [players].  I can just hear the conversation that preceeded the Shaquille O’Neal trade to the Phoenix Suns this past season

“I’ll trade you one Shaquille O’Neal for a Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks”.  Kinda like me when I talk with some of my buddies on AOL Instant Messenger… “Dude, I need that Figgins 1/1 you have and I’ll trade you an Anquan Boldin Auto Jersey Rookie Patch for it (yeah G-reg, I used you as an example)”.

So in reality, its not a draft after all…its a day at the card shop for the owners!

Karl – KarlsKards.com

17
Jun
08

NO cruise control in new cars??? It should be standard by now!

Why the hell did they make cars without cruise control? I rented this stupid Dodge Caliber car and it doesn’t have cruise control.  It’s 2008, damn it!  Cars should come standard with cruise control.  Get on top of it auto makers, make it easy on folks like me that are trying to go green and save gas.  CONSTANT SPEED – Very simple…Oh yeah, I forgot…the major US auto manufacturers have TONS AND TONS of stock in keeping us addicted to gasoline, so anything to lower the fuel efficiency a little [right under our noses] when they claim to be trying to help makes them look good.  Most of the country is dumb enough to fall for your BS, but there are a bunch of people like me out there that question where your best interests are.  I know you’re all about the bottom line, but other people can’t see past the “we’ve got five models over 30mpg”.  WTF!!!  30mpg is NOTHING!!! 

People WAKE UP!  Stick it to everyone that tries to screw us out of MORE of our money every time we turn around!

Karl – KarlsKards.com




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