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If The Hobby Were a Daytime TV Show it Would Be a Springer Rerun

I anticipate that this article will not only be controversial but also elicit strong opinions, with individuals becoming upset and firmly believing they are right. How do I come to this conclusion? It's the inherent nature of the hobby. I'd like to pose a question to my readers. I'm fairly certain that many of you have been or are currently members of a scammer tracker page, whether on Facebook, Instagram, Discord, or elsewhere. More often than not, the threads in those groups devolve into a disaster of name-calling and dramatics reminiscent of middle school puberty or even the knock-down, drag-out fights on the Jerry Springer Show. Picture it – the virtual crowds in the group cheering, practically shouting "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" as metaphorical punches and chairs are thrown.


Recently, I was scrolling through one of these drama-packed pages and stumbled upon a post that had the commenters split right down the middle. A person shared a tale of a deal gone awry. According to him, he bought a card in good faith, sent the payment, and eagerly awaited tracking for his newfound treasure. Imagine his dismay when, less than 30 minutes after sending the payment, the seller reached out, expressing regret. He had made a mistake, unintentionally selling a $2500 card for a mere $450. Would the buyer understand that the seller simply couldn't part with this valuable card after all? To make amends, the seller even offered to refund the money plus an additional $100 for the trouble caused. However, the buyer was furious and took to Facebook to air his grievances among fellow collectors.


But, as is often the case, the comment section didn't unfold as our protagonist expected. While half of the oh so wise and well-meaning patrons of the Facebook group sympathized wholeheartedly with our hoodwinked buyer, the other half accused him of knowing the card's true worth and shamelessly taking advantage of a seller with less hobby knowledge. The seller, in a tragicomic turn, pleaded ignorance about the card's value, and after many virtuous hobby enthusiasts, like knights in shining armor, reached out privately and on his post to educate him, he realized he had been taken for a fool. It was only right for him to back out of the deal, refund the money and he even offered to pay the $100 after all! Our antagonist wanted to know how could the buyer be mad at making $100 in 30 minutes without having to do anything at all?


Meanwhile, our buyer, the now maligned protagonist, chose the low road, according to some, and exploited this poor, ignorant seller. For what it's worth, at the time of my writing this, our ill-informed seller had refunded the buyer, albeit less the $100 bonus he had promised.


Now, here's my personal takeaway from this saga, and I'm eager to hear yours. First and foremost, once I sell something, it's a done deal. Having traversed the card show circuit, I've seen well-respected and even "famous" hobby participants attempt to back out of deals gone sour by throwing around their weight and name “Don’t you know who I think I am!”. That's not my style. I'd feel sick if I mistakenly sold something for a fifth of its value, but it is what it is, and it was my fault. On the flip side, as a buyer, I would never take advantage of someone who didn't know better. As many wise souls in the thread commented, the angry buyer was really just mad he missed out on that fat flip. The lack of accountability and responsibility for pricing your own cards is 100% on you. Further, the sort of attitude of wanting to get one over on someone and taking advantage of our fellow collector is what ruins the hobby for so many and causes them to leave. If you're as seasoned as I am, you might recall Jerry Springer's Final Thoughts at the end of his ridiculous shows. Well, Courtney's Final Thoughts are these: No one wins in situations like this; everyone looks greedy, and the hobby looks like a cesspool. So, let's do and be better. What are your thoughts?


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