Original “Dumped” illustration by Jay Lynch
We all know there are times in our lives we make statements we do not keep. However, we at Non-Sport Update have tried to stay true to one our earliest statements. This is in regard to the matter of dumping products.
In Volume 3, No. 3 of Non-Sport Update (Jul-Sep 1992), we stated “just as the world would be a better place to live in if it were free of pollution, the non-sport hobby would be a better place if it were free of dumped product.”
We followed this up in Volume 3, No. 4 (Oct-Dec 1992). In our editorial column, we wrote “we are aware of more than 40 titles which have been dumped on the market lately and are available at very low prices.” Please note we have not made adjustments to the price guide but have added an asterisk to show which items have been dumped. There is no way to tell how quickly specific sets may be absorbed by the market.
In the early days, dumped boxes from manufacturers had a black “x” on the lids or no lids at all. Closeout boxes do not exist today but we still see dealers opening boxes solely to search for high value cards and dumping the base sets. We have witnessed base card sets selling at shows for $1 to $3.
In terms of Non-Sport Update, customers buy our issues to strip out promotional cards and do not read any part of the magazine itself. In essence, they dump the magazine. We see the promos on the internet at a higher price than the original magazine sells for!
We cannot put a number on it but the question is: How many true collectors have left the hobby because they realize some of their collection is no longer valuable? It is not a healthy sign for the hobby.
After all that has been said, you may be wondering what we are trying to say. Since the beginning, we have offered back issues for sale. For the most part, individuals have purchased the magazine for its contents; however we know some copies are sold strictly for the promos. We liken this to the phenomenon of a manufacturer spending loads of time on developing base cards only to have the product stripped for a few chase cards.
Storing upwards of 75-plus back issues costs money and is no longer cost effective. Therefore, we have decided to destroy all back issues prior to Vol. 23 (2012). It is true we could have had a one-time sale to sell them off cheaply. We would in essence be selling the old promo cards and perhaps doing so in large quantities to resellers. We value our subscribers and know they would feel we “dumped” the magazines. We would not have kept our word and we would be as guilty as some of the people who felt it was OK to dump product into the marketplace.
We will maintain a few copies for our archives and a very limited quantity for upcoming shows.