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  #101  
Old 05-25-2023, 08:29 PM
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Do accountants get paid by the word?
97 has to be a forum record.
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Last edited by Peter_Spaeth; 05-25-2023 at 08:30 PM.
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  #102  
Old 05-25-2023, 08:32 PM
G1911 G1911 is offline
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Do accountants get paid by the word?
97 has to be a forum record.
97 is shorter than most of his posts
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  #103  
Old 05-25-2023, 08:55 PM
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97 is shorter than most of his posts
But combined with the post being quoted....
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  #104  
Old 05-25-2023, 09:45 PM
raulus raulus is offline
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Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Do accountants get paid by the word?
97 has to be a forum record.
Sadly, were not attorneys. Just the ugly red headed step children who get no respect.
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  #105  
Old 05-25-2023, 09:48 PM
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Sadly, were not attorneys. Just the ugly red headed step children who get no respect.
LOL. I can say truthfully I've worked with some great accounting experts over the years on many cases.
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  #106  
Old 05-25-2023, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Far more likely IHO they would grade a card too low in the hope the unhappy submitter resubmits it and pays another grading fee. Or, if they grade a card too high, it's likely as a favor to someone, not to squeeze out a few more dollars in fees. With due respect Bob, sure it's possible, but I would bet in the real world it isn't much of an issue.
Doesn't matter, as both those instances as you describe them are most definitely potential abuses and absolutely describe potential instances of dishonesty, bias, conflicts-of-interest, and so on that a TPG can easily get away with because they currently have no independent oversight or third-party reviews of what they do.

For whatever reason(s), you and others seem to be focusing almost exclusively on the comments I made regarding TPGs charging contingent fees, in comparison to how CPAs and the rules we have to follow specifically prohibit such a practice, and for which we can lose our licenses to continue being CPAs over. Doesn't mean I am and was not also trying to point out how the lack of independent third-party oversight and review of TPGs can also then lead to them doing, and getting away with, the somewhat heinous actions you are describing. The implied bias and conflict-of-interest of TPGs because of instances where they can be deemed to be charging contingent fees is just a part of the overall issues that exist with TPGs not being subject to more rules, standards, oversight, and reviews, as CPAs are. They, TPGs, are giving their opinions on the authenticity and condition of items that can, and do, have direct financial impacts and effects on others. Exactly the same as when CPAs give their opinions on business financial statements and the financial condition of those companies they examine and audit.

The only real and true difference between the two, IMO, is the number of people, and the potential amount of dollars, that those two group's (TPGs and CPAs) opinions can impact and effect. Obviously CPAs can effect the overall world markets, and literally the economy of the entire planet. TPGs, nowhere near that kind of financial impact and effect. But does that difference in potential reach and economic/financial effect really mean to you and others that you can simply ignore or brush off instances of such blatant biases, lack of independence, conflicts-of-interest, and such from TPGs, and give them a pass by making such statements as you did -With due respect Bob, sure it's possible, but I would bet in the real world it isn't much of an issue.?

With that last statement of yours, you've admitted that such abuses and wrongful acts by TPGs are absolutely possible, but that basically no one cares. Isn't that exactly the problem, and the reason that TPGs can get away with seemingly doing whatever they want, with virtually no consequences or accountability resulting from any of their actions, no one seems to care? People like you and Nic seem to be saying that the TPGs aren't really doing any of those bad things all the time, and certainly not intentionally, so quit worrying and complaining about them because no one else really cares anyway. I'll bet you that with all the rules, regulations and oversight there are covering the financial world and markets, there are quite a number of people that would have wished to God that all those things worked much more effectively when it came to the likes of an Enron or Bernie Madoff back in the day, before both blew up and financially affected/ruined countless numbers of people. Now imagine how the financial markets would be, and all the additional negative things that may have happened, had there been no rules, regulations, independent third-party reviews and oversights at all. Just like there aren't any with regard to TPGs.

And despite the wishes of many, the "hobby" industry seems to be, on a daily basis, becoming more and more like an alternative investment market and industry. So maybe more people should start thinking along the same lines, and try to figure out how to begin going about implementing and imposing more of these same kinds of rules, standards, independent oversight and reviews on TPGs, just like CPAs face for doing the exact same thing, giving one's opinion on the status/condition of an item that can then financially affect others.

You're both basically telling me you don't really care, because no one else does. So, I shouldn't really care and complain either. This may be considered corny, but I'll leave you with the following words/quote, and say no more on the subject then.

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing; and most good men nowadays can be relied upon to do precisely that. Where a reputation for intolerance is more feared than a reputation for vice itself, all manner of evil may be expected to flourish.
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  #107  
Old 05-25-2023, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric72 View Post
Fanatics buys PWCC, so (of course) let's argue about TPGs.
The relevance is that Fanatics has already acquired Topps, and now PWCC, so one of the questions brought up was what may be Fanatic's next move as far as acquisitions. Adding a TPG to Fanatics consolidated group is potentially a real possibility, and one that can have additional implications that may start to push the limits of ethical activity and conflicts-of-interest and so on.

As an alternative example, think of Warren Buffet/Berkshire-Hathaway purchasing one of the Big Four accounting firms today, and then have that accounting firm become the auditor/advisor for all the other companies Berkshire-Hathaway owns. That would be a totally unacceptable, biased situation, and under current rules, regulations, and laws, not a chance of ever happening. But lacking such rules, regulations and laws overseeing TPGs, that also render financially impacting opinions like CPA firms do, Fanatics could absolutely acquire a TPG, and then use that TPG to provide whatever services and work they want, with all the other companies under Fanatics ownership, in whatever creative ways they can come up with.
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  #108  
Old 05-25-2023, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BobC View Post
The relevance is that Fanatics has already acquired Topps, and now PWCC, so one of the questions brought up was what may be Fanatic's next move as far as acquisitions. Adding a TPG to Fanatics consolidated group is potentially a real possibility, and one that can have additional implications that may start to push the limits of ethical activity and conflicts-of-interest and so on.

As an alternative example, think of Warren Buffet/Berkshire-Hathaway purchasing one of the Big Four accounting firms today, and then have that accounting firm become the auditor/advisor for all the other companies Berkshire-Hathaway owns. That would be a totally unacceptable, biased situation, and under current rules, regulations, and laws, not a chance of ever happening. But lacking such rules, regulations and laws overseeing TPGs, that also render financially impacting opinions like CPA firms do, Fanatics could absolutely acquire a TPG, and then use that TPG to provide whatever services and work they want, with all the other companies under Fanatics ownership, in whatever creative ways they can come up with.
Could Fanatics afford PSA? Anyone know?
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  #109  
Old 05-25-2023, 11:26 PM
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Could Fanatics afford PSA? Anyone know?
To put it in perspective Collectors Universe has 450ish employees (psa is probably most of that). Fanatics has over 10,000.

Psa was bought in 2021 for 700 million. Fanatics profit in 2021 was 3.4 billion.

The answer is yes, easily.
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  #110  
Old 05-25-2023, 11:32 PM
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Fanatics buys PWCC, so (of course) let's argue about TPGs.
I was thinking the same thing. There are a thousand threads about the failings of TPG. Some of the threads started off as a TPG rant, others, like this one, just inevitably devolved in that direction. The same complaints by the same people over and over again, year after year. Nothing new is ever said, and nothing ever changes. Complaining, complaining.....

And yet, some of the loudest complainers offer for sale, or display from their collections, cards in PSA holders.
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  #111  
Old 05-26-2023, 12:33 AM
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Seems to me that one of the reasons that Fanatics bought PWCC was to get their customers. Same would be in acquiring a TPG. Use that to further widen your market.
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  #112  
Old 05-26-2023, 07:52 AM
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I was thinking the same thing. There are a thousand threads about the failings of TPG. Some of the threads started off as a TPG rant, others, like this one, just inevitably devolved in that direction. The same complaints by the same people over and over again, year after year. Nothing new is ever said, and nothing ever changes. Complaining, complaining.....

And yet, some of the loudest complainers offer for sale, or display from their collections, cards in PSA holders.
We complain and argue because we care.

And possibly because we dont have any other outlet.
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  #113  
Old 05-26-2023, 07:55 AM
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Fanatics has been slabbing cards for quite some time already, authenticating autographed cards from their signings.



Fanatics' management cannot be blind to the fact that CCG was already grading game cards and started CSG by hiring some Beckett people. The next move could be a high profile hire from an existing TPG to run a new grading division. They already have the holder machines, all they need is a label redesign and someone to run the division. I'd even go so far as to speculate that the hire will come out of PSA in Cali because our state has the strictest laws in the country against allowing employers to force employees to sign non-compete agreements. They are 100% illegal and unenforceable against Cali residents regardless of where the company is located or what choice of law they stick into the contract.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 05-26-2023 at 08:02 AM.
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  #114  
Old 05-26-2023, 09:09 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
The relevance is that Fanatics has already acquired Topps, and now PWCC, so one of the questions brought up was what may be Fanatic's next move as far as acquisitions. Adding a TPG to Fanatics consolidated group is potentially a real possibility, and one that can have additional implications that may start to push the limits of ethical activity and conflicts-of-interest and so on.

As an alternative example, think of Warren Buffet/Berkshire-Hathaway purchasing one of the Big Four accounting firms today, and then have that accounting firm become the auditor/advisor for all the other companies Berkshire-Hathaway owns. That would be a totally unacceptable, biased situation, and under current rules, regulations, and laws, not a chance of ever happening. But lacking such rules, regulations and laws overseeing TPGs, that also render financially impacting opinions like CPA firms do, Fanatics could absolutely acquire a TPG, and then use that TPG to provide whatever services and work they want, with all the other companies under Fanatics ownership, in whatever creative ways they can come up with.
Them owning both a manufacturer and a sales venue is just asking for bad stuff to be done.

I'd say we need a modern day Emile Autuori*, but even then.... remember the guy who was supposed to hand distribute the McDonalds Monoply prizes?

*Im really hoping someone gets that obscure reference, but doubting that even someone in vegas would take that bet.
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  #115  
Old 05-26-2023, 09:19 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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I'd leave to hear a fact-based reasonable argument that the evidence is "proof" and not proof.

I don't know what anyone would expect to have happen. I don't believe he did anything illegal, he just got gift grades from opinion sellers that were his buddies and former coworkers. It exposes the farce of this game, but I don't think he committed fraud and obviously Beckett doesn't give a shit so what would we expect to happen that didn't?
It's been done before, and yes, it's illegal.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...069-story.html

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal.../1344/2359710/

The story ends with the Philatelic Foundation repairing their reputation and again being a leader in the field.
But then, its an older hobby with far less crookedness and less tolerance for that.
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  #116  
Old 05-26-2023, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by steve B View Post
Them owning both a manufacturer and a sales venue is just asking for bad stuff to be done.

I'd say we need a modern day Emile Autuori*, but even then.... remember the guy who was supposed to hand distribute the McDonalds Monoply prizes?

*Im really hoping someone gets that obscure reference, but doubting that even someone in vegas would take that bet.
To be fair the McDonalds guy did distribute the Monopoly winning pieces. It was just to friends that split the prizes with him.
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  #117  
Old 05-26-2023, 09:34 AM
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Fanatics ownership group also owns CGC so all this speculation about what grading company they're going to buy is too late. Oh and do you really think it's coincidence that PWCC got into bed with CGC???
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  #118  
Old 05-26-2023, 09:51 AM
MikeGarcia MikeGarcia is offline
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Originally Posted by Aquarian Sports Cards View Post
Fanatics ownership group also owns CGC so all this speculation about what grading company they're going to buy is too late. Oh and do you really think it's coincidence that PWCC got into bed with CGC???
..But isn't that the grader E-Bay has suggested , where we should submit our sold raw cards ? Confused now.

..
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  #119  
Old 05-26-2023, 10:08 AM
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Fanatics REVENUE in 2021 was reported to be $3.4B...big difference vs. profit
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  #120  
Old 05-26-2023, 10:30 AM
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I think we as hobbyists should consider that Fanatics could implement cultural changes and innovations that we like, in addition to our pessimism.

I'm not certain that what Fanatics is doing is as nefarious as some of the posts describe. In business terms, they are following vertical acquisition, or "they are buying companies at different stages of production." This is very different than horizontal acquisition which people tend to generally dislike because it reduces competition. Vertical acquisition has been a successful business model for 150 years. Think Rockefeller and Carnegie as examples of men who successfully implemented vertical acquisition. They accomplished great things, even though they became obscenely rich.

Most of our major banks have followed this type. However, most people like the one stop shopping that is available at banks. People generally also like the cheaper prices that this model can provide. While problems do arise occasionally, it hasn't ended these types of mergers.

I wonder if we as hobbyists dislike what's happening with Fanatics because MLB / NFL / NBA etc created their own scarce competition by monopolizing within Fanatics. This is very different than Fanatics swallowing up all of the competition.

Luckily for us, though, we buy cards on the secondary market. Perhaps if Fanatics buys ebay or COMC will we see heads starting to explode. Now envision the Mind Blown GIF. That would be further expansion on vertical acquisition, but it would then greatly impact us vintage collectors.
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  #121  
Old 05-26-2023, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Aquarian Sports Cards View Post
Fanatics ownership group also owns CGC so all this speculation about what grading company they're going to buy is too late. Oh and do you really think it's coincidence that PWCC got into bed with CGC???
Kind of. Fanatics Holdings, Inc., does not own the Certified Collectibles Group. CCG's parent is Blackstone, Inc. Michael Rubin, founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, is a minority investor in the Blackstone CCG acquisition. You may be right as to where the grading business is going to go.
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  #122  
Old 05-26-2023, 12:17 PM
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Just to amuse myself, I clicked on PWCC to check out their new auction format.
I would offer up my thoughts: the quality of the material is poor overall, for example, all of the Goudey cards are graded authentic by some company I have never heard of, the bidding is almost negligible, although it is early, and everything was unimpressive. Few in our crowd would give it a second look.
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  #123  
Old 05-26-2023, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by steve B View Post
Them owning both a manufacturer and a sales venue is just asking for bad stuff to be done.

I'd say we need a modern day Emile Autuori*, but even then.... remember the guy who was supposed to hand distribute the McDonalds Monoply prizes?

*Im really hoping someone gets that obscure reference, but doubting that even someone in vegas would take that bet.
Your initial statement is exactly right Steve. Am not, and never was, saying that if such an acquisition of a TPG by Fanatics did occur that there would definitely ever be anything nefarious or unethical occurring as a result. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that with no rules, regulations, oversight and such on TPGs that the means, motivation, and ability for such negative things to occur most definitely would exist. And when you're in a profession where your sole task is to act in an independent, unbiased manner, giving out opinions that have definite financial implications for others, you should never be in a situation where conflicts-of-interest, bias and such exist, in both fact AND appearance.

Despite what some may think, discussing such issues in light of the Fanatics acquisition of PWCC is absolutely relevant, as it is most definitely a very real and possible extension of actions that can come, based on what Fanatics has done so far. This thread is about what people think and how they may react to this most recent acquisition. So why is it that discussing where this may lead next, and the possible negative aspects of such projected actions, is somehow not relevant and acceptable to some to be discussed in this thread?

And for those themselves complaining (not you Steve), and putting down others and basically telling them to be quiet for daring to continuously expose and discuss actual and potentially negative things others are doing in the hobby, maybe at least one of the reasons you perceive that nothing ever seems to change as a result is because you, and others like you, keep telling everyone else to shut up and quit their complaining and discussions of such actual and/or potential negative activities. If they're not part of the fight/solution, did it ever occur to those trying to quiet others simply because they don't want to hear the negative stuff anymore, they may actually be part of the continuing problem, and one of the main reasons nothing ever does change as a result?

Once again - All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing; and most good men nowadays can be relied upon to do precisely that. Where a reputation for intolerance is more feared than a reputation for vice itself, all manner of evil may be expected to flourish.
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  #124  
Old 05-26-2023, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
Fanatics has been slabbing cards for quite some time already, authenticating autographed cards from their signings.



Fanatics' management cannot be blind to the fact that CCG was already grading game cards and started CSG by hiring some Beckett people. The next move could be a high profile hire from an existing TPG to run a new grading division. They already have the holder machines, all they need is a label redesign and someone to run the division. I'd even go so far as to speculate that the hire will come out of PSA in Cali because our state has the strictest laws in the country against allowing employers to force employees to sign non-compete agreements. They are 100% illegal and unenforceable against Cali residents regardless of where the company is located or what choice of law they stick into the contract.
Exactly right and all very true. The idea of acquiring/partnering with an already known and hobby accepted TPG though could also maybe be to take more advantage of that TPGs already existing client/customer base. Expand the market, as BlueSky alluded to in an earlier post. Building up your own TPG company, while stealing talent from other existing TPGs, can work very well also, especially when you also own/control an actual major card manufacturer and retail seller/market already.
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  #125  
Old 05-26-2023, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by steve B View Post
It's been done before, and yes, it's illegal.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...069-story.html

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal.../1344/2359710/

The story ends with the Philatelic Foundation repairing their reputation and again being a leader in the field.
But then, its an older hobby with far less crookedness and less tolerance for that.
This is quite different. They were selling counterfeit stamps and authenticating them by putting them in slabs. That's very different from someone offering a subjective opinion about the condition of a very much authentic item.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying what Joe Clemons et al did was OK, and he without question did receive favorable grades. I'm just saying I don't think the counterfeit stamps case would hold weight as precedence here.
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  #126  
Old 05-26-2023, 01:52 PM
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Fanatics ownership group also owns CGC so all this speculation about what grading company they're going to buy is too late. Oh and do you really think it's coincidence that PWCC got into bed with CGC???
I think this has been brought up like 5 times by now lol. Yet somehow, half the people here keep asking if they're going to buy a TPG. :facepalm:
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  #127  
Old 05-26-2023, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by todeen View Post
I think we as hobbyists should consider that Fanatics could implement cultural changes and innovations that we like, in addition to our pessimism.

I'm not certain that what Fanatics is doing is as nefarious as some of the posts describe. In business terms, they are following vertical acquisition, or "they are buying companies at different stages of production." This is very different than horizontal acquisition which people tend to generally dislike because it reduces competition. Vertical acquisition has been a successful business model for 150 years. Think Rockefeller and Carnegie as examples of men who successfully implemented vertical acquisition. They accomplished great things, even though they became obscenely rich.

Most of our major banks have followed this type. However, most people like the one stop shopping that is available at banks. People generally also like the cheaper prices that this model can provide. While problems do arise occasionally, it hasn't ended these types of mergers.

I wonder if we as hobbyists dislike what's happening with Fanatics because MLB / NFL / NBA etc created their own scarce competition by monopolizing within Fanatics. This is very different than Fanatics swallowing up all of the competition.

Luckily for us, though, we buy cards on the secondary market. Perhaps if Fanatics buys ebay or COMC will we see heads starting to explode. Now envision the Mind Blown GIF. That would be further expansion on vertical acquisition, but it would then greatly impact us vintage collectors.
But they're doing both vertical AND horizontal acquisition lol. They're gobbling up every license for every major sport possible and now control 90%+ of all cards that the hobby cares about going forward. Sure, Upper Deck still has hockey, for now, and Leaf still has street clothes Jason Giambi and Edward Snowden, but other than that, Fanatics now has a monopoly in this sector. There's effectively no more room for them to go horizontally, so now they're going vertical.
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I'm a data scientist who works on problems that are very similar to the problem of "AI" card grading. Here are some links to some of my thoughts on the topic.

https://net54baseball.com/showthread...35#post2132535

https://net54baseball.com/showpost.p...2&postcount=46
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  #128  
Old 05-26-2023, 02:26 PM
BobC BobC is online now
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Originally Posted by Aquarian Sports Cards View Post
Fanatics ownership group also owns CGC so all this speculation about what grading company they're going to buy is too late. Oh and do you really think it's coincidence that PWCC got into bed with CGC???
Maybe..............and maybe not. As Adam/Exhibitman pointed out, Michael Rubin is only a minority owner in the holding company that owns CSG. In hindsight, most likely his common ownership helped open doors for Fanatics in talking to PWCC about their acquisition, as you surmised, since PWCC and CSG were already partnered in doing some business activities together.

But as only a minority owner in CSG's parent company, his reach and motives will not necessarily prevail over those of CGC's other, majority owners. One of the mergers/acquisitions I was directly involved in a few years back saw my two clients, and the company they owned, taken over by a large, New York investment group. My guys would continue to run the company, and also retained a 20% minority ownership interest as well. After the deal was completed, there were some final clean-up calculations of escrowed monies, and my two guys ended up getting screwed out of over $1Million because of an unexpected change in the way some calculations that had been done by the Big Four accounting firm involved in the deal, and originally hired by the New York group, were suddenly changed. In a conference call meeting we initiated with the acquiring group to protest, I was simply told by one of the New York firm's reps that they were required to look out for their owners/partners in the deal. When I asserted that my two clients were also owners/partners in the deal, the rep just repeated exactly what he had originally said, and the meeting was effectively ended. And since the paperwork closing the deal had already been signed, my guys were effectively screwed. Being a minority owner doesn't always give you anything or any say so. Having Rubin's common ownership doesn't mean CSG's majority owners would automatically go along with and agree to do anything that Fanatics might want to do.

Collectors care for collecting and their collections. Hobby industry businesses don't always really care about collectors and how they collect, just how best to make the most money as possible off those collectors. And that is why such discussions as in this thread are often necessary, to remind those in the hobby community how these businesses pretty much running and controlling the hobby industry these days actually think and operate. The more you understand how and why businesses may be thinking and doing what they're doing, the better a collecting can maybe deal with and react to them. And the same goes for you as well Scott, as a small, private business owner operating in the hobby industry hierarchy as well. The things these big businesses/players are doing can definitely have an impact, both positive and negative, on your business going forward as well. We just don't know exactly where they're going yet, and what they're going to end up doing and how it will end up affecting everyone else involved. So, talking and having discussions about it isn't at all bad, and actually is pretty much necessary for people that want to start thinking about and figure out what to do going forward.
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  #129  
Old 05-26-2023, 04:48 PM
Yoda Yoda is offline
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Wall Street seems to be abuzz about the collectibles market. How long before we see the launch of IPO's, indexed sports cards funds, margin trading, short selling, derivatives, options market etc. What happened to the hobby that chased cards not the all mighty dollar.
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  #130  
Old 05-26-2023, 05:04 PM
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swarmee swarmee is offline
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Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
Wall Street seems to be abuzz about the collectibles market. How long before we see the launch of IPO's, indexed sports cards funds, margin trading, short selling, derivatives, options market etc. What happened to the hobby that chased cards not the all mighty dollar.
The first two have occurred multiple times in the past five years. Blowout has an index fund of unopened boxes. It was doing really good for the first two quarters; most recent values still show a tripling of the initial investment... boxes/cases will be sold over years 4-7.
https://www.blowoutcards.com/blog/ta...dern-wax-fund/
https://www.atticinvestments.com/wp-...t-12.31.22.pdf
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PWCC: The Fish Stinks From the Head
PSA: Regularly Get Cheated
BGS: Can't detect trimming on modern
SGC: Closed auto authentication business
JSA: Approved same T206 Autos before SGC
Oh, what a difference a year makes.

Last edited by swarmee; 05-26-2023 at 05:16 PM.
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