In the middle of last week we received a phone call from a man in the Midwest inquiring if we did indeed have what would normally be considered a ridiculously low price on one of our bigger ticket items. He questioned the sticker price on one of our nicer remote controlled cars, the XMaxx. The car has a retail price right around a $1,000 and the customer inquired if, by some stroke of luck or just a stroke of the owner, we were selling them for $7.97.
At first, we thought he was trying to be funny or just be difficult, but it turned out he seriously wanted to help us as it appeared someone was stealing our images and likenesses and posting them on their own social media pages for obviously shady reasons. The Good Samaritan caller pointed us to a Facebook page called “Hobby Hut” which clearly showed images that had been taken from our shop’s page along with absurdly cheap pricing. For instance, there was a picture clearly from our shop that had our banners in the background and some of our merchandise on the shelf, along with the truck in question on the table. But the owner of the page in question created a graphic with the ridiculous price and someone’s face photo shopped on our faithful owner’s body. Jason’s frosted tips were still present but the face attached was clearly not his.
It appears as though this scammer was running some type of presale scam accepting seven bucks as a down payment for this truck. Then as soon as they get their money, they’re going to close this page out and skate with the gullible customer’s loot. It was all disturbingly weird but I know we’re not the first victim of this kind of online shenanigans.
Of course, we reported it as scam and fraudulent page and all those fun things to Facebook to get that page taken down before anyone is financially hurt.
As I’ve mentioned in past pieces, we continue with a number of large purchases from a local shop that was recently bought out. This time around, we purchased nearly a 100 cases of old McFarlane sports figures. It definitely brought us back a few years as many of these cats are from the early to mid 2010s. We saw Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu’s flowing locks, as well as Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson and many other super stars, stars, semi stars and head scratchers from the era. Apparently the seller has an enormous backroom– make that a full warehouse– with thousands and thousands of cases of old figures.
We are somewhere in the negotiation process to potentially buy out the back room. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that happening because many of these cases are completely dead, not just dead stock, but dead as a doornail as far as sales opportunities. Even for the once in a lifetime deal of pennies on the dollar, these figures will literally collect dust until we give them away. The trade-off for the few that are worth money or the select few that we can make a few bucks on, in my opinion, is not even remotely reasonable…but it’s not my decision.
Our Mini Referee
On Halloween night, we took the cutest referee ever around Northumberland for trick-or-treating. Our daughter Isabella chose to don the zebra stripes and be a football referee, which was quite a sight to see.
She had a great time keeping the town in line and frequently checking the Halloween trick-or-treat rulebook in an effort to keep the game clean and avoid flagging anyone for any candy related fouls while walking down the mean streets of Norry.
What’s Going On Around Here?
Speaking of mean streets, in 10 o’clock style news or maybe even an upcoming Dateline episode, literally one block from our shop, there was a fatal shooting on Thursday night. A man was gunned down, literally feet from our store at around 11:30 PM. From what we heard from local law enforcement there are suspects in custody but it continues to get crazier in our area and has us second-guessing the location of our little hobby oasis.
It was a big week for new sports card releases as we picked up every form of the new 2023 Prestige Football that hit the field. We received blasters, megas H2, fat packs, and every other version of the product. We opened a box of H2, and it was very underwhelming as the rookies are still in their college uniforms halfway through the season and we didn’t really hit anything of note.
Prestige has a mid-1990s design feel to it, which is fine but the outcome of the box was meh at best.
Another hobby favorite, Topps Archives Baseball was penciled into the lineup at the store this week, too. We just got hobby boxes in the door Friday afternoon, so I can’t yet offer a sales report but it’s usually a good seller for us..
After a busy week, I was ready for a weekend full of football, observed from the friendly confines of the couch.