Redemption cards are very common in today’s hobby scene. And, in my opinion, they are very much needed because you want to have the latest and greatest rookie card autographs. Topps, Panini, Leaf, etc. all have redemptions in their products. But there are definitely times and circumstances that make that rookie player unavailable to sign those cards by the time the product is set to be packaged for release. I get that, and I hope we all do.
The problem is that those redemptions expire, or at least have a manufacturer-set expiration date. I recently participated in a big break at Ultimate Box Breaks and pulled my favorite team, the Cincinnati Bengals. In that break, Bryan opened up a box of 2015 Topps Diamond Football and pulled an Ickey Woods autograph redemption card. The expiration was approximately 6 or so months past, so I emailed Topps and asked them about it. They were very responsive and left me a message back saying they couldn’t guarantee that I’d get my exact product, but did say they’d try to send something back in equal value. That was awesome news – there was a chance I’d get the card I was trying to redeem back! But it hasn’t turned out like I’d expect.
Topps told me to send the card back with a specific address, so I did. A month past and I get the PWE back returned, unable to be delivered.
I’ve reached back out to Topps to see what is going on with that address, so I’ll keep you updated on the status. Still hoping to get that Ickey Woods auto back, though…
All-in-all, my story isn’t all that bad considering the Ickey Woods redemption isn’t worth all that much – except to my personal collection. I’ve heard horror stories of people trying to redeem some very expensive cards that were pulled, not redeemed, and were shut out of that card due to the expiration date.
I view redemption cards as a love/hate scenario – you have to have them, but they are awful since they have an expiration date. I totally understand manufacturers not being able to house several thousands of cards that remain unredeemed, but at the same time it’s a difficult pill to swallow knowing that your redemption may have already been offered up to someone else as a substitute for their expired redemption.
I received an email from Topps asking me to send it back in, only one and a half months after already giving it another try by sending in. At least it hasn’t been returned undelivered yet this time! Will keep you posted…
Please share your thoughts on redemption cards below.
Although I do not have a 2015 Topps Diamond Autograph Card of Ickey Woods in my collection, we felt Topps did a great job of hooking us up even though they technically didn’t have to. We received two 2015 Topps High Tek autos (see below), along with two 2019 Topps AAF packs that contained an autograph and a parallel (also see below). Overall, we feel that Topps went out of their way to make up for the expired redemption.
- 2015 Topps High Tek Autographs #82 Ameer Abdullah Lions RC Auto
Kudos for Topps for helping us out with this expired redemption we ended up hitting in a group break!