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One of the major complaints about the hobby might be the Topps redemption card process (or Panini redemption card process for that matter). So is there anything that can be done to make it better?
WHY WE HAVE REDEMPTION CARDS?
Redemption cards were included in packs of trading cards, promising collectors the opportunity to redeem them for rare and valuable cards that were not yet available.
Sounds good in theory with manufacturers looking to add exclusivity to their products via redemption cards such as cards that would feature images of players with their autographs, memorabilia relics, or both.
This also allowed manufacturers to include cards of high-demand players or limited-edition cards that were not yet printed or signed by the athletes.
PROBLEM WITH PANINI / TOPPS REDEMPTION CARD PROCESS
But over the years, redemption sports cards have faced numerous challenges, resulting in common disappointment and frustration for collectors.
One is that collectors would receive a redemption card with a unique code that could be redeemed for the actual card at a later date. But how long it took to fully redeem the redemption card was anyone’s guess.
Manufacturers often face challenges in fulfilling redemption requests, such as delays in obtaining autographs from athletes, issues with printing, or simply not producing enough cards to meet the demand.
As a result, collectors may have to wait months or even years to receive the cards they were promised, leading to disappointment and dissatisfaction.
Sometimes the redemption card would not be as valuable as collectors might have originally thought. Or in some cases, by the time they receive one of a certain player, the value would have significantly dropped.
Some collectors have encountered issues with the quality or authenticity of the cards they received through redemption. There have been cases where collectors received damaged or poorly printed cards, or even cards that were not autographed as promised.
And third, the problem with redemption cards is the risk of expired redemptions. Many redemption cards come with expiration dates, after which collectors are no longer able to redeem them for the actual cards.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR PANINI / TOPPS REDEMPTION CARD PROCESS
In recent years, some card manufacturers have attempted to address these issues by improving their redemption processes and being more transparent with collectors about the status of their redemptions. Here’s info about the current Topps Redemption Card process.
Some manufacturers have implemented online tracking systems that allow collectors to monitor the progress of their redemption requests, while others have extended expiration dates or offered replacement cards for expired redemptions.
Another solution is to just overhaul the process altogether as collector denny_cards suggests in a podcast episode of Cards To The Moon (play below).
Redemption cards that are good for redeeming other signed memorabilia is something Michael Rubin and the rest of the Fanatics crew can be in a great position to do now that they run Topps.
But in the meantime, another play could simply be for collectors to consider trading or selling redemption cards instead of redeeming them (passing the buck so to speak.)
Fingers crossed to see whether the Panini / Topps Redemption Card process that seems to be flawed currently will be fixed anytime soon.
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