The seller's favorable feedback % and high number of total sales pushed me to buy the card, since who knows when it'll pop up again? It definitely didn't seem like an eBay scammer trying a 1-time con. (Most experienced buyers have seen those guys in action.)
Short story, my purchase turned out not so authentic; three things gave it away.
- Its front picture had "ripples," where the picture-to-backing glue dried unevenly. I've never seen this on authentic Bazookas.
- Paper peeling at the card edge revealed a hint of colors behind the player photo. In other words, something was printed on the back, flipped over, and reused for more printing. Topps almost never did this.
- Modern color printers use "dotted" ink printing. Vintage cards don't and this card had it. This is the most damning proof, but can be hard to see with the naked eye. (Check out #3 in this counterfeit-spotting guide.)
Knowing that the seller will probably resell this card, I had second thoughts. Keeping (or even destroying) the #5 might make more sense than returning it. After all, this saves the trouble of a less experienced buyer picking it up, thinking they've got the real deal, and getting a rude surprise much later. Of course, that also wastes my $20!
This week's poll: what would you do? Return the card as I did? Destroy it? Keep it as a souvenir? Add comments if you have other proposals.