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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Russell Martin Minor League Autos Are The Best Russell Martin Autos

I picked up these sweet Russ Martin minor league autos from eBay for pretty swell prices. The first, a Silver Edition Auto /100, was a paltry $5.47 delivered, and the second auto, not numbered, was $6.69 shipped.


I absolutely love Just Minors products, so both of these autos were huge pickups for my Russ Martin PC. Also, as I've mentioned before, players tend to sign their full name, or at least close to it, on their minor league autos, and Russ inscribed his full first name on both of these.

I did have a bit of a problem with the seller of the second auto. A tiff, if you will. Everything about the transaction was fine, with the exception that the seller chose to not use a penny sleeve. If there's one thing that irks me about eBay sellers and the packages they send - and there's more than one, but only this point is relevant to this situation - it's sellers who choose to not send cards in penny sleeves.

Especially when that card contains an autograph.

So I did something I had never previously done on eBay. I left neutral feedback. I said in that feedback that the transaction itself was fine, but the seller, by going sans penny sleeve, put the card at risk for damage and did not do everything he could to protect what I had paid for.

The seller was, in a word, pissed.

Well, more displeased at the outset of our message exchange that followed. I told him why I had left the neutral feedback, and his response was basically that because the card wasn't damaged from his minimal packaging efforts, it wasn't an issue and shouldn't merit anything but positive feedback.

Which is, of course, like saying that drunk driving is okay as long as nobody gets hurt. Or rostering Aaron Miles and Juan Castro is fine. Which we all know is not true in any way, shape, or form. The results don't determine whether something was right or wrong. A decision should be made taking into account what is most likely to occur, because we don't know the results ahead of time. A penny sleeve is extra protection, and should be used, even if you think no harm will come from its' absence.

Making decisions based off of results is intellectually lazy, and allows you to shift the blame to someone other than yourself if something goes wrong, while being correct no matter the outcome.

Anyhoo, after it became obvious that my neutral feedback would be met with negative feedback from him (he claimed he could not recommend me as a trading partner and would make sure that was known - basically, he wanted to besmirch my flawless eBay name), we resolved to leave each other the most basic positive feedback and move on, so long as he used penny sleeves in the future. Simple "thanks" were left, and we went our separate ways.

So I ask anyone who has read this far: did I overreact? Is it too much to ask that all the precaution possible be taken, and a card, with an autograph no less, be placed within a penny sleeve?


  1. I think you were fine, and actually admire you guts. I've had similar situations in the past where cards were shipped to me in less than safe conditions, causing me then to decide whether to neutral feedback or protect my Ebay feedback. I always choose protect because 100% is a nice round number that I like. But it's true that bad shippers need to learn the error of their ways, so I'm glad you spoke up in this case!

  2. Yeah, I usually just leave positive feedback and occasionally mention that a penny sleeve would be appreciated. But I guess after so many times of it happening, I just couldn't take it anymore haha.

    And 100% is quite the nice number.

  3. Good for you Greg. That guy is an asshole. Honestly, it's a stinkin' penny sleeve! Key word: PENNY. It's a minimal cost to keep his product in good condition.

    It's impossible to leave neutral or negative feedback without payback.

  4. "It's a minimal cost to keep his product in good condition."

    Couldn't have said it better myself DB.

  5. I've also gotten flak for suggesting that people shouldn't break eBay rules by sending me something saying that they'll leave me feedback (as the buyer) after I leave them feedback (as the seller). I won't leave feedback for a seller unless they've already left me feedback.

    I'm becoming a fan of Just Minors as well. I busted a box of 2008, I think, and pulled a Josh Reddick auto as well as a couple of Jordan Zimmermans (one of which was numbered to 10). I just picked up a very affordable Jon Lester auto from Just Minors. An autograph is an autograph so I'll pick something like that up in a heartbeat.

  6. I hate dealing with sellers like that and if they haven't left me feedback, then I go with what my mother taught me "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" I tell her I learned from her saying it all the time. Truth is, I'm protecting my feedback rating too.

  7. Offy- Just Minors are some of the greatest autos I've come across.

    Jeff- It sucks that we have to base our decisions on protecting our feedback. Such is life, I suppose.