Collectors ripping 2012 Topps Football may have found redemption cards good for a free pack of Kickoff cards. The program was intended to send collectors to their local shops where they could get their special packs starting on September 5.
Here we are, still in August, and several of the cards are already being listed on eBay. Singles, lots, packs, autographs -- all can be found.
And Topps isn't happy about it.
Last night, they called several sellers out publicly via their Twitter account, blasting the message out to their more than 30,000 followers. They also encouraged collectors to contact them if their local shops were selling the 2012 Topps Football Kickoff packs. Topps even promised to make it "worth their while" for reporting shops abusing the program.
The action didn't stop there. Today, Topps sent the following letter to those selling the cards on eBay:
Dear eBay Seller,
We have found our Topps 2012 NFL Kickoff Promotional Products on sale through your eBay account. Please understand that this promotion is authorized for and intended only for in-store execution by Hobby Stores that are Authorized Topps Dealers. These products are not for sale or resale at any value, in any venue, or any retail format. Placing our products on eBay is inconsistent with the spirit of this promotion; therefore, we are asking that you remove them immediately. Further, our Hobby Stores have been given advanced warning about using our promotional materials outside of program guidelines. If we find that your account is in any way linked to an Authorized Topps Hobby Shop Dealer, please understand that the Hobby Store will face punitive action from Topps up to and including suspension of their direct buying privileges from Topps and permanent exclusion from any future Topps promotions. We value our Hobby Stores and respect their ability to execute our programs with integrity. We ask that you please remove these products so that our Hobby Stores can execute this program as it was intended—in Hobby Stores Only.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
The Topps Company
This strong stance doesn't apply to those selling the redemption cards themselves. They're just taking action against those selling cards the prize cards themselves that are intended to be given out free.
For every 2012 Topps Football Kickoff card, collectors get a pack of five cards. Random autographs are also inserted. The promotion does have a short window, though. Collectors must take their cards to participating shops between September 5 and September 11.
Collectors have long complained about dealers abusing promotions like this. This is the first time a card company has publicly taken a stance.