Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Beckett Website

Beckett has been behind the growth of the sports card industry since the early 1990's and their website has been a great asset for player collectors, organizing collections, their magazine and their online price guide.   Recently, Beckett has over-hauled their website.  The new format has been met with criticism on many forums  due to its lack of user-friendly features, introduction of trading fees, and changes to many of its formats.  Collectors are frustrated due to the amount of time it takes to familiarize oneself to the new site and the difficulty in doing tasks which used to be simple.

From my experience, the site has declined in usefulness.  The new site is not user-friendly and is overly complicated.  However, besides the handy player collector features which allow a person to create a list of most available cards of a certain player, I never used the site much to begin with.  The reason... it never offered anything else that I needed.

If I want a list of player cards or a quick price check, I go to Beckett.  If I want insightful discussion on new products, uncensored hobby talk, access to cards thru trading, or opportunities to buy/sell without using eBay, then I will visit one of the many message boards and web forums available online.   Using the Beckett website is similar to only getting your news from CNN.  You're only getting one story from one angle.   The various web forums such as HobbyInsider give many viewpoints from many different collectors, and for the most part, these views are uncensored and do not serve the interests of a corporate entity.

If the new Beckett website wants to alienate collectors, fine.  Other than the production of a price guide and the player collection database, its relevance to the hobby has been declining on an annual basis.  Real collectors have much better assets available to them on the internet anyway.  And for the most part, they were already using them.

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