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Topps answers eTopps cancellation questions

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor

When Topps announced it was canceling its eTopps program last week, the brief statement left more questions than answers for collectors.

And judging by the reaction from collectors, it was a disappointing end — even if the value of most cards dwindled over the years.

Knowing that collectors still had many questions, Topps released a Q&A on its website Thursday in hopes to shed some light as to why the program was canceled and some of its future digital plans.

 

Why did you decide stop offering new eTopps cards?

This was not an easy decision. This business has been a part of Topps for over 10 years, and we have many loyal customers whose business we greatly appreciate. The reality is, over the past 10 years the site has become dated, and unfortunately, the business model has become unsustainable. Also, finding a vendor with the technological capabilities to print eTopps cards has become more and more difficult, and at the end of the day the business was not making money.

Do I have to take shipment of my cards?

Absolutely not. If you wish to take cards in-hand we will continue to offer shipment, while if you wish to keep cards in your portfolio, or “in port,” we do not currently plan to force them out and your credit card will not be charged for shipping and handling.

So you’re not going to automatically charge my credit card?

No, we are not going to charge your card for shipping and processing charges unless you specifically request delivery of your cards.

How long will my cards continue to stay in port?

As of today we will continue to hold cards in ports and offer shipping and processing services to those who wish to receive cards in-hand. We expect to continue this service in 2012. If we make any changes, all collectors will receive ample notice.

Why did you implement such a steep price increase on the cost to ship cards?

For approximately five years, we have not increased the shipping and handling charges while the actual costs of shipping, picking, packing, and packaging have risen significantly. To date, we have absorbed this cost, but it is no longer possible for us to do so.

If I have a lot of cards in my port, is there any discount available in shipping and processing cost?

We do understand that for some customers, the cost of shipping all or most of your cards would be significant at the current shipping and processing rates. For those that have a significant amount of cards in portfolio, we encourage you to contact our customer service team who will do best to work with you to get your cards in-hand as simply as possible.

I have many points, what can I do with them?

We do expect to continue our catalog. In fact, we are looking to enhance and improve the catalog offerings in the future, and look forward to providing a greater variety of options for our community to redeem points.

Will you offer a baseball game in 2012?

We will offer a fantasy baseball game in 2012, in an effort to reward those that have accumulated cards over the past years. We expect at least a 10-week fantasy game and our present plan is to allow 2008-2011 cards to be used.

Will you replace or build off of eTopps, or have a new eTopps like offering soon?

We are exploring many new digital platforms for the future. Some are similar to eTopps, some are unique and different. We don’t expect that any of our future products will directly build off of eTopps, but we are hopeful that these new digital offerings will appeal to our current eTopps community, and we sincerely hope you stay tuned for updates.

Can we continue to trade cards and sell cards via eBay?

We will continue to offer trading and selling of cards via eBay, and the eBay trading floor will not be affected at this time.

Susan Lulgjuraj is a contributing editor for Beckett Media. You can email Susan here. Follow her on Twitter here.

14 Comments

Ben

The real question regarding the shipping increase is why didn’t they announce the discontinuation of the reward points discount at the same time instead of after the price increase took hold.

Shady business by Topps.

Posted January 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
Jamie Case

TOPPS IS JUST GARBAGE!!!

Posted January 21, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink
Flopps

Topps always made money on the atrocious eTopps shipping fees they charged; the five year story falls short of the truth!

Posted January 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink
Aardvark Ratnick

What’s the deal with Topps these days. Their product has been a dismal pile of junk the last couple years, now this. Collectors are losing interest in your endless barrage of products laced with prospects who couldn’t hit their way out of a sandbox. Time for a new product development team over there.

Posted January 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink
Robert Braxton

eTopps failed, in large part, because they FOOLISHLY put a ‘cap’ on what you can offer for a card (via Trades). This is AMERICA! EVERYONE knows you let the market dictate its own prices. I can pull off a successful trade, for a card I want, with my endless Rewards Points, because there RIDICULOUS system won’t let me make a decent offer that goes WELL beyond the assigned ‘Maximum’.
You’ve got some utter knuckleheads workin’ at Topps.
P.s. I’m growing weary of finding a variety of card-damage to the new packs I buy in stores.
Fix that!

Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink
Robert Braxton

*I meant to say … I can NOT pull off a successful trade …

Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink
Gabriel

I love how the cost of a card was set along with the serial numbered to show scarcity, but in the end as soon as you were charged for the card, it made some money on eBay for like a week, than shot down like a boulder in water. My portfolio was at over $500 and now dwindled to $226 as of last week, why because the customers regulate the price, and the greed behind the company and the weak regulations of the whole system. How can cards not hold value if they had phenominal years like Darren Sproles, Tom Brady, Ponder, and yet after the season is over there is very little chance your card would raise in value because the price had no precedence over the tenure of the card. There is no reason to hold onto an etopps card because it will never GAIN value only lose. Once a card can not get anymore “reward points” it is no longer of any value to anyone. Collecting etopps is nothing like collecting real cards, where a rookie card has a potential of gaining value dependent on present day performance. Disgusting and exploitative signs of America at it’s finest praying on the young hobbyist. Sad and pathetic, I believe they should pay back all the money that people still have invested, the original price paid for the card, or else it was almost like selling worthless junk as mentioned before. I feel duped and taken advantage of, Topps has lost me as a fan forever, and I have been collecting since 1988!! I will never buy another Topps brand anything!!!

Posted January 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
PaulyB

‘we do not currently plan to force them out and your credit card will not be charged for shipping and handling.’

damn right you better not ‘force them out at a certain fee’ or else you will have a class action on your hands, you lowlifes. What a horribly spirited and utterly numb company. This concept could have been a goldmine. But topps was too dumb to even negotiate fees with ebay. I got 50 free ebay insertions a month. How many free auctions via etopps? 0 !! what a sham

Posted January 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
PaulyB

‘We do expect to continue our catalog. In fact, we are looking to enhance and improve the catalog offerings in the future, and look forward to providing a greater variety of options for our community to redeem points.’

another lie. how can a rewards catalog be of any interest to you, etopps? this is just so people will value reward points artificially and use their points up so by the time there is a class action, etopps can claim that everyone used their points and thus will have to pay for their shipping. And why don’t you just raise the delivery to 100 dollars a card once we have to ‘ask’ for cards to be delivered? Maybe I will cash my points in for some 1989 topps baseball!

Posted January 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
Mike Michelakis

I am feeling more and more in agreement with class action!
I just got off the phone and was told that they will not accept points or the old ship fees for 2010 football that should have been available a year before the shipping increase. These cards have been delayed time after time and the least that Topps should do is offer shipping at the rate is was when the cards should have been available. I have nearly 1000 cards in my port and am definitely not paying $2000 to get them. Any ideas on how to find an attorney to take on this cause?

Posted February 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
K Man

Sham, scam, and rip-off ! Sure they will offer more merchandise to ‘spend’ worthless reward points, because those S&H fees are even more ridiculous! If Topps don’t offer a reasonable way for Acc’t holders to liquidate their fraudulently influenced holdings they should indeed be sued. Even though they have made DRASTIC CHANGES to the Buy/Sell/Trade and DELIVERY of cards, those changes are contradicted or hidden on the site. ie: Start the ‘take delivery’ process and you STILL see statement to use ‘Pt.s’ to pay for delivery, 3 Months AFTER change. eBay listing template is also a ‘come-on’ misrepresentation duping new ‘portfolio’ owners. They purposely created this sell-off to force the value of portfolios down before any suits emerge, simply to mitigate their potential losses. Topps needs to be investigated by State’s Attorney Generals starting with an injunction of the practice of forcing ‘new buyers’ to join a losing investment holding company.

Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink
Angelo

I argee with my fellow customers, I brought over 500 cards and now have to worry how much is it going to cost me to get them home. I already lost my shirt paying for them, now they went down in value so fast. If I knew they were going to do this to us, I would of brought from another company. I feel used and betrayed. I feel they are not being fair with us. We should be given a fair shipping and handling price to get our cards out, we all ready lost our shirts, do we have to loose our underwear ? We should not buy any more products what so ever from Topps or any other company that deals with them. Boycott Topps America………..

Posted April 9, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink
richard

I have over 2300 cards in my portfolio that are worth $4600. It will cost me $4100 to ship them. That doesn’t make any sense. I could actually pay for a flight and hotel room and pick them up in person for a fraction of that price.

Furthermore why are you only limited to just 3 cards through USPS. Don’t they Have flat rate shipping boxes for $15 that would easily hold over 100 cards in them with enough room left over for bubble wrap?

The market for these cards will only improve when they are finally “In Hand” and start showing up at card shops and shows.

I’m seriously thinking about suing them in small claims court.

Posted April 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
carey c

eTopps. . . what a great idea in 2001, got a bit out of hand in later years. Now eleven years later
it’s over. . .abruptly. Too sad. I quit collecting several times over the years only to be drawn back in by shorter print runs and supposedly limited autos. Hate to see it end and my portfolio value diminish. Thanks Topps. Thanks for printing Triple Threads and Tribute only to see that quality of cards diminish in later releases. I mean I get cards with actual dented/ripped edges etc. I probably dropped at least $50K on your products the past 23 years and others have spent more.

Posted May 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

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