My Topps Million Card Giveaway experience

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5.00 star(s)
Dec 5, 2003
Rochester Hills, MI
While this is fresh in my mind, I thought I'd tell everyone about my experience with the Topps Million Card Giveaway. I bought a lot of Topps series 1 and 2, and amassed a lot of code cards (at least a hundred). I entered all the codes and had fun trading away all the 1993 Rich Monteleones, 1986 Sid Fernandez's, 1978 Larry Harlows, 1963 Dennis Bennetts and 1955 Tom Carrolls. I amassed a collection of 45 cards from 1966, which is a collection I had started a long time ago but never finished. I also "pulled" a 2010 Strasburg. After getting the Strasburg (which is a premium card and therefore gets you free postage for the entire order), I thought long and hard and decided to pay the $350 and turn the Strasburg into an autograph, then placed my order. Of course in the meantime, Strasburg hurts his arm and the prices on ebay plummet for the Strasburg auto. After 7 weeks went by, I asked Topps about the status of my order and was told "It can take up to 8 weeks for the orders to go out and if you have not been notified of it shipping, then it has not shipped yet. You will be notified as soon as it ships." So I patiently waited another 3 weeks (for a total of 10) and still no notification. At that point, I sent another message asking for a refund of the $350 and to change the Strasburg back to the non-auto version. The next business day, I get a notification that my cards have all shipped. What a shocker! Today, only three days after getting the notification, my cards arrived in two packages - the Strasburg auto came UPS, and the '66's came USPS (they arrived within an hour of each other.) Topps did much better than I had assumed with the condition of the cards. I expected the higher numbered (more expensive) cards to be more beat up, but they in fact were mostly in nicer condition than the lower numbered cards. A few of the high numbers (Jim Bunning, Joel Horlen, Rich Rollins and a couple more) I would call Nr Mint, which means Topps really did go out of their way in my opinion to get nice quality cards in some cases. Some of the lower numbered cards were somewhat beat up, with a big crease or dog-eared corners. My 6th Series Checklist had been marked in pencil, and the Max Alvis was really badly tilted and off-center. But overall, I am very pleased with the job Topps did on these. It's possible they learned some lessons from their early shipments and went out to find some better cards.
So if you have cards in your MCG portfolio you are planning on redeeming, be prepared to wait, try to get a "premium" card to get free shipping - this saved me a lot, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. But you will probably get some nice condition cards with your beaters if your experience is like mine. I have more '66's I have since traded for and need to redeem, and I traded a 1952 Wayne Terwilliger for an Andy Pafko auto so I will have free shipping again.
awesome story...i wish i could get a "premium" card to get free shipping...I need all the cards I have in my portfolio for my topps phillies collection
The autos I've seen offered are certified autos from '01 & '02 Topps Heritage, "01 Archives & Archives Reserve and '01 Golden Anniversary. I'm guessing they've been in their vaults and were not re-purchased. If you have an account you can see them by trying to trade for them (you don't actually have to go through with the trade) or by clicking this link and then changing the number at the end of the link. The autos are all at the end of their inventory.
Does anyone know if the autographs are some sort of earlier issue buyback, new style certified, vintage cards that were signed IP/TTM or other I have not thought of?