How to Avoid Scams When Buying and Selling VeeFriends Zerocool Trading Cards

March 21, 2022 - 12 min read

Avoid scams when buying and selling VeeFriends Zerocool trading cards and advice on how to maximize the value of your cards on the secondary market.

How to Avoid Scams When Buying and Selling VeeFriends Zerocool Trading Cards

Introduction 

The first-ever trading card set to come out of Fanatics through its sub-brand Zerocool has been taking the market by storm

The set features a popular NFT project, VeeFriends, by Gary Vaynerchuk and after boxes sold for $2,150 via blind dutch auction, they are now selling for $10,000+ on the secondary market

People are starting to open their boxes and hit 1/1s (as I predicted before, every box has a 1/1) and the market is realizing just how limited supply there is with 1,000 total boxes and 10,000 cards

However, if you plan to buy or sell these trading cards, you need to know how to protect yourself against scams. 

Many people who have reached out to me from the NFT space are unfamiliar with the trading card space, so we’re going to do a comprehensive review of shill bidding, direct deal cautions, and ways to protect yourself as a seller. 

If you want to shop for VeeFriends Zerocool trading cards as they are hitting the secondary market (plenty are live right now!), you can take a look at the live eBay listings here.

Disclaimer: The eBay link above and others placed in this article are affiliate links, which provide a small commission to us at no cost to you. These links track your purchase and credit it to this website. Affiliate links are a primary way that we make money from this blog and we have a lot of VeeFriends trading cards we want to buy. You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

How to Identify Shill-Bidding and Illegitimate Purchases 

Shill Bid VeeFriend Zerocool Card

Source: eBay 

When buying trading cards, it is best practice to use eBay sold listing data to find comps. Comps are just comparable purchases that help a buyer and seller determine a fair market value for a card. 

The problem is that bad actors can take advantage of eBay to inflate comps by creating an eBay account to bid high on a card, not pay, but it still shows up in eBay’s sold listings. 

Some sophisticated scammers even perform wash sales — they will have a friend bid up a card or Buy It Now for a high price, pay for the card and the seller will send the funds (minus fees) back to the buyer. 

Those are much harder to track and prove, so trusting your gut after looking at a lot of data is the best answer I can offer in that case. 

But I want to look at a recent $10,100 sale of a Rare 1/8 Brave Bison VeeFriends trading card that seems suspicious. 

Based on my gut and seeing data, a rare card selling for $10,100 (the price of a full box of cards) is an anomaly. 

It was done via auction, so once you click on the item, you can click on “52 bids” as seen below to investigate: 

VeeFriends Zerocool Bids

Source: eBay 

This will show you all the bids for the card: 

Zerocool x VeeFriends Bid Details

Source: eBay

There are three accounts that bid on the card, and all but 1 have just 1 feedback. 

Feedback is the number of reviews a buyer or seller has received. The higher the better typically (some people won’t sell to buyers with less than 10 reviews). 

There will likely be a lot of low feedback VeeFriends trading card buyers coming from the NFT space who haven’t used eBay, so this isn’t the only thing to look at. 

The biggest red flag is when b***1 took the listing from $1,100 to $5,000 and then $9,000 and then $10,000. 

The winning bid of $10,100 from 4***4 also has just 1 feedback and is a new account. 

Anytime a bid from the same buyer jumps significantly, it’s a red flag. 

Yes, maybe the person wanted to secure that card, but bidding 10x their original bid doesn’t make sense. 

Oftentimes, buyers have 4 days to pay the seller before an item can be relisted. 

The best thing to do is click on a sold listing to see if the item has been relisted to verify if payment has not been received. This is confirmation that the bids were illegitimate or a mistake by a buyer. 

This type of behavior happens frequently, and while the sports card hobby is pretty vigilant, I don’t think many people are keeping an eye on it for this segment of cards. 

Cardladder.com is a tool that verifies sales and costs $15 per month. I have an account and I’ll keep an eye out for VeeFriends cards if they verify them. 

I already heard from someone who pulled a rare card and was offered $5,000 because the buyer thought this $10,100 sale was legitimate. Thankfully, the seller denied the offer knowing it was inflated because of this false comp. 

To recap, you can view sold listings on eBay to get comps to help you understand the value of a card by seeing what people historically paid for them. 

You can also look at the bids from an auction to see if the bidders had a lot of eBay feedback or were new accounts. 

You can wait a few days to see if the card has been relisted to verify that payment wasn’t received. 

Note: The same thing can happen with best offers or buy it nows. People can buy an item to make it look like it sold for a big amount, but not pay and there’s a delay before it is relisted. 

The bottom line here is to wait a few days and see if an item has been relisted before taking the comp at face value. 

How to Protect Yourself as a Seller of VeeFriends Trading Cards for Private and Secondary Market Deals 

If you are selling VeeFriends trading cards, there are a few things to be mindful of: 

(1) Buyers have up to 30 days to return a card for nearly any reason and eBay typically sides with buyers. There was one case I personally know of when a buyer was banned for buying a card that lost 80% of its value and cited that as the reason for return. 

Savvier buyers could return an item saying it wasn’t in the condition listed (please be careful with listing conditions, I would never mark an ungraded card in “Brand New” or “Like New” condition and only people with experience should list it as “Very Good”). There are a number of listings live right now that list their cards as “Brand New”. 

If the market did tumble, buyers could successfully return the card and say the condition wasn’t as described and they have an easier chance of success if you list it as Very Good.

(2) Never ship a card without tracking. EVER. 

If you ship a card via white envelope to save costs, a buyer could simply say it didn’t arrive and you’d be out of luck. 

Always use a tracking number. Ask if the buyer wants a signature required. And always get insurance for the value of the card. I’ve never once had a card stolen, but I’d rather pay a bit more than lose a claim to a buyer who said a card was stolen in the mail. 

(3) Video yourself packing up the card. 

Another scam I’ve seen is people claiming no card was in the packaging or the wrong card was sent to them. Sellers who video-recorded themselves packing a card and placing it into a mailer with the label have saved themselves by doing so. 

Many sellers of VeeFriends trading cards are transacting for $1,000+. This may seem like an extreme step, but better safe than sorry 

(4) Properly package the cards before you ship them — premium cards like this set are prone to damage. If you don’t carefully place the card in a penny sleeve, top-loader, seal with painters tape (do not use scotch tape), seal it with a graded card bag, sandwich it between two pieces of cardboard (fastened by painters tape), and put it in a protective bubble mailer or USPS priority shipping box, the card could get damaged en route. 

If it is damaged due to improper packaging, the buyer has every right to make a return, especially with a sensitive high-end set. 

(5) Never ever do friends and family for private deals. As a buyer or seller, this leaves you without protection. Yes, you have to pay taxes on the sale, but again, better safe than sorry. 

If you send a card via friends and family, the buyer can have their payment reversed. 

No matter how hard someone pushes for this, do not cave in. Just say that it’s your policy not to transact in this way and you have zero exceptions. 

(6) What to do if you suspect your item was shill-bid or that a buyer won’t pay — follow eBay’s guidelines closely. You can send a follow-up with an invoice, but if you suspect a buyer isn’t going to pay, you can cancel “after 4 calendar days”, and relist the item. 

How to Maximize the Value of Your VeeFriends Trading Cards on the Secondary Market

Should you list an item via eBay auction or Buy It Now? 

Please note: this section is based on experience and not data science. Many people will say auctions are best, others will say Buy It Now is best, others will say each scenario is unique. 

Given that the VeeFriends trading card set has a low population count, my recommendation to maximize the value of your card is to run a 7-day auction starting at $0.99. 

I’ve seen VeeFriends trading card boxes sell for more at auction even when a box was listed Buy It Now for less money. 

Why? 

Bidders get invested in the auction and are too distracted to look at buy-it-now listings, and they don’t want to retract their bids. 

Say I bid $10,000 for a box and it’s the highest bid, but there’s a box listed for $9,000. I could retract my bid, but it’s frowned upon by eBay and you’re limited to the number of bid retractions you can perform. 

An auction involves multiple buyers, a Buy-It-Now is just between you and a buyer with imperfect information (the buyer can’t see others’ bids for that card). It can be hard to price a buy-it-now unless you know your number for a particular card. 

You can field private offers to get a sense of what they might pay, but my experience says auctions will get you the most value. 

Make sure to take high-quality pictures of your card — front, back, corners, edges and write an accurate, detailed description. 

I’ve seen people misspell names of athletes like LeBron James and Michael Jordan, only to see their item sell well below market value because it wasn’t easily searchable. 

Think of eBay like a search engine — make it easy for people to find your card. 

If I’m looking for “Sorcerer Scholarship” but you spell it “Sorcoror Scholership” you will miss potential buyers. If you happen to know that this card is a “Gunmetal” and it is THE ONLY card of that particular NFT, you should write that in the description. 

Pro Tip for Buyers: you can search for misspellings to see if there are overlooked listings. So far, it hasn’t been effective for VeeFriends because the supply is so low. 

This market is new without established comps just yet. It’s a brand new set, so the market needs to do discovery pricing. 

There are a lot of 1/1s in this set, so people will likely pay more in an auction not knowing if the card would show up again. 

Let’s remember, zerocool did a blind dutch auction (where buyers couldn’t see bids, much like a Buy It Now), and the boxes sold for $2,150. 

Once auction data became public boxes sold for five figures. 

It’s scary to list a card at $0.99 for 7 days. Anything could happen days 5–7, but this is a better bet to get people invested in your cards. 

When people are choosing which cards to buy, it’s easier to put in a bid of $500 and get invested in that card, versus trying to figure out an offer to a Buy It Now listing (which is often overpriced). 

If you list your card at auction starting at $5,999, you may not get a lot of initial interest. Buyers will likely wait for similar comps to see if you are overpriced and underpriced and will act accordingly. 

If you have a truly rare card in the set, you may want to shop it around looking for a direct deal on Twitter or the VeeFriends Discord Group. 

There’s a reason auction houses run auctions. That’s how they maximize value. They don’t typically do buy it nows. Emotions take over and people are competing with multiple other people with a time limit. This creates scarcity. When the clock is ticking down for those final 14 minutes, it’s a rush. You aren’t looking at other comps, you are looking at the card alone, refreshing and placing your bids to make sure you can win. 

So, my final verdict is that for rare cards like 1/1s, autographs, etc., an auction is your best bet. 

Given that there are more core cards (22 for each character), you could look at sold data (now that we have it) and pick a price point you think is within range versus an auction. But for 1/1s and other rare cards, I think the auction will maximize your return. 

Please remember, I am not liable for the final value of your item. This is not financial advice and any choice you make when buying or selling your cards is yours and yours alone. 

If you want to shop for VeeFriends Zerocool trading cards as they are hitting the secondary market (plenty are live right now!), you can take a look at the live eBay listings here.

Disclaimer: The eBay link above is an affiliate link, which provide a small commission to us at no cost to you. These links track your purchase and credit it to this website. Affiliate links are a primary way that we make money from this blog and we have a lot of VeeFriends trading cards we want to buy. You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Jon Torrey

written by

Jon Torrey

NFT Enthusiast

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