This has been the toughest decision I have had to make while at MEARS since it will impact collectors. Since our inception, we have worked to provided useful and valuable information to both members and non-members. At one time we featured probably the most extensive tagging database in the hobby/industry. We made a decision to take it down when we found that others offering opinions for auction houses we were no longer working for began to rely on it heavily. Today we find ourselves in a similar situation.
In speaking with someone who has been involved in this hobby/industry for decades, it was brought to my attention that the use of the Letters of Opinion on the MEARS web site are likely to be used in a similar manner in the very near future. Unlike the information used by a much larger community of those working with bats, our information on uniforms has been built over time and at great expense. It is available for less than $1.00 a week. Subscriptions have always been such that they paid the cost of running the web site. In order to protect our investment of time and money, uniform LOO’s will no longer be viewable in their entirety. There will be no change in bat LOO’s since as I previously stated, the majority of individuals working in this field are working from the same information, most notably Louisville Slugger production information.
We will leave the jersey census information up as collectors will still be able to track items bearing a MEARS hologram but with no letter. We have found that on any number of occasions sellers seem to lose these letters when their item has been designated as Unable to Authenticate. There are currently over 4000 uniforms in the jersey census so there is still a great deal of information to be had. Should MEARS Members have detailed questions about a particular jersey, we will try to be as accommodating as possible in answering your specific questions.
As such, for any MEARS member who feels this change makes their membership no longer worth the money they paid, I ask that that they contact Troy at Troy@mearsonline.com and he will arrange for a refund. This note has also been sent via e-mails to MEARS members directly. Members have 45 days from the date of this announcement in order to re-assess their position and ask for a refund.
We will continue to write and publish information as we have in the past 2 ½ years, but we can’t allow ourselves to be taken advantage of by a segment of this industry who values what we provide, but it not willing to compensate us accordingly. At the end of the day, the real loser is the average collector who has used our information for the intent we had envisioned. The fact of the matter is the environment that exists today and the role we play in has changed dramatically. People who Dave Bushing and Troy Kinunen have known for decades have made business decisions in the best interests of their organizations that have impacted Dave and Troy’s livelihood. The Bushing and Kinunen For Sales Section was a direct outgrowth of decisions made not to use the MEARS evaluation services. While this has been very successful, Dave and Troy should not be expected to physically and financially underwrite the evaluation efforts of those in the employ of others. I don’t expect the average MEARS member to like this anymore than I do, but I at least hope they can objectively understand my position.
Since this only effects those who have paid a subscription fee to MEARS On Line, some might wonder why I have also made this announcement public. I am doing this for a number of reasons:
1. To ensure that collectors who are considering signing up for MEARS On Line know just what they are or are not getting.
2. To offer some insights on the real nature of this industry as exists today.
3. To ensure that MEARS Members who may not have a current e-mail address on file get this information.
No hidden agenda here… no double talk on why we are doing what we are doing or some spin on how it will help collectors…the sad fact is that it won’t…but this “hobby” is an industry and a business…and based on the actions of others, we have been forced to act and react accordingly.
MEARS Auth, LLC